Machine Head Frontman: 'I F--king Can't Stand Lou Reed'

In a new interview Machine Head's Robb Flynn was asked if he could ever see his band recording something totally different, like Metallica's "Lulu".

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According to Blabbermouth.net, in a brand new interview with Niclas Müller-Hansen of Sweden's Metalshrine, Machine Head guitarist/vocalist Robb Flynn was asked if he could ever see his band recording something totally different, like Metallica did with its collaborative album with Lou Reed, "Lulu".

"Well, the 'Lulu' thing sucks. It's f--king horrible." Flynn replied. When asked if he told the Metallica members - and Machine Head's frequent touring mates - his opinion of the "Lulu" CD, Flynn replied, "They didn't ask and if they would've asked, I would've told them how I felt. I've said it in public already, so they know, because those dudes know what people are saying about Metallica."

He continued, "I didn't even get it. If those guys need to do that stuff to get their ya-yas out, that's cool and I respect them, but eeehhh... was Lemmy not available? Was f--king Iggy Pop not available? [laughs] I think there are so many people that might've been a better choice. I don't know the dude [Lou Reed], but maybe he's the most charismatic guy in the world, I don't know.

"I f--king can't stand Lou Reed. I don't like his solo career and I don't like The Velvet Underground, so I don't know much about it other than 'Walk On The Wild Side'.

"Do I see myself [recording something completely different]? Yeah, I mean, we write plenty of songs that aren't necessarily what Machine Head would be. I love The Cure, so I write a bunch of mellow stuff that's like super-gothy and... gay. [laughs] But I think it's cool. You jam for a while and you come up with all kinds of shit. The thing that's great about Machine Head is that it's a pretty wide canvas we get to paint on. We're not afraid to try any idea, at least just to try it and see where it goes, because you never know where it's gonna go, so we're stupidly fearless in the sense that we'll just try an idea and most of the time if that idea isn't working within about a week or two we're pretty good at figuring it out. In the past we may not have figured it out. Lord knows we've got a couple of stinkers in our catalog, but I think overall, if you look at... we're seven albums deep and we have a huge career and we've managed to transcend and maintain a level and just slowly keep on growing. Never really even going down, which is amazing. I'm really proud of the fact that we've been able to kinda get a vision and keep it. We've never had a 'Lulu' and we've never even had like a Blaze Bayley moment [referring to Iron Maiden's short-lived collaboration with the British singer], you know what I mean? ([laughs] Where it's like, 'What is going on?' We've always been able to do it and if you look at the breadth of our music overall, it's pretty pioneering and pretty consistent and that's what I'm very proud of. I mean, there's a core Machine Head sound, but we never want a record to sound like the previous record and I think maybe sometime we almost ran too far away from what we had just done. I think we we're better at it now more than ever and just going, Yeah, let's try this way and see what's over here.' It may be the total wrong way, but we gotta try it. I gotta see what's over here and I gotta go this way just to see if it's right, because you know what, it might be the best way we've ever gone. You never know until you try it.

"To me, writing music is a lot like... and this is gonna be a very bizarre analogy, but I like to run a lot, so often when I wake up super hung-over, it's like, 'OK, you got to enjoy yourself, now you gotta f--king sweat it all out to make the balance, right?! So I'll wake up hung-over as shit in some f--king hotel or some f--king club or theater and I don't have any idea of where I am and I'll just go out and start running and it's like you're just lost for a while. You have no idea, everything's new and you have no bearings and eventually you go, 'Alright, am I gonna get back?' and then eventually you go, 'OK, I know the way back. I know where I'm going.' It's like you gotta go and get lost for a second before you figure out where you're going."

79 comments sorted by best / new / date

    GibsonMan321
    I've tried to listen to Lou Reed a couple occasions, watching his most viewed songs on YouTube. I absolutely can't stand him. His voice sucks and his lyrics try too hard to be deep and meaningful when they're not.
    scarabs
    HavokStrife wrote: Well, I'm a big metal head, and I don't own a single Machine Head CD or mp3! So, my view of their band is not far off from their singer's view of Reed. And I don't think Metallica needs to pull their 'ya yas' out, Death Magnetic is better than anything I've ever heard by Machine Head.. And that damn album has its moments, the amount of shit it receives is ridiculous, even by 'big' musicians (aka Metalli-jealous, like Slayer, Megadeth, and now Machine Head), and I really don't know if it's because of Lou Reed, of cuz Metallica wrote St Anger, or what..
    well it probably would be yeah
    GMPX
    HavokStrife wrote: Well, I'm a big metal head, and I don't own a single Machine Head CD or mp3!
    I would hope that if you claim you are a metal head you have at least heard Machine Head?
    Flyn n replied, "They didn't ask and if they would've asked" Metallica don't ask because they surely would know the answer 99% of people with functional ears would give (except arty farty Lars who thinks we all have no taste).
    LesPaulGuy77
    Maybe he doesn't like Lou Reed, but that doesn't mean he has to be a disrespectful to him.
    andrew_whiggum
    Why is this even news? I've never heard of Machine Head and never listened to Lou Reed/Velvet Underground, but after youtubeing them, Velvet Underground wins my vote
    6-String_Madman
    There are certain opinions that should be kept inside... "The Album That Should Not Be" should be all in our backs now... Get over it!
    scarabs
    TheExterminator wrote: He's done Groove Metal, he's done Nu-Metal, he's done Metalcore
    I'm sorry but please tell me which machine head song is even remotely metalcore
    swave75
    phantom_lord586 wrote: Lou Reed was a decent artist back in the days gone by but he's just an out of time mumbling old man now
    I wonder if Lou Reed had just made Lulu with just a session band in the same style would it be so hated still?
    stonedhippos
    Mikethespud wrote: He must be illiterate if he doesn't like Lulu
    did no one else get the sarcasm?
    andyscoot
    I would like to see a Robb Flynn interview where he dosen't say "****". Mr Flynn, we get it, you're cool and badass and all those other things, but expand your vocabulary.
    TheExterminator
    thegreasefire wrote: Entry level metal fan? You're funny...
    Please. Anyone who has gotten passed Metal Hammer and Terrorizer as sources of Metal realizes Machine Head is try-hard trash, and their only relevance lies in mainstream Metal, making them completely unimportant to Metal fans with half a brain and some experience in the real Metal world. I'd want them to break up so Vio-Lence can reform, but I'm afraid what Rob Flynn would do to tarnish that legacy.
    link no1
    HavokStrife wrote: (aka Metalli-jealous, like Slayer, Megadeth, and now Machine Head)
    Hmmm...I don't like alot of metal bands...I jelly?
    TheExterminator wrote: thegreasefire wrote: Entry level metal fan? You're funny... Please. Anyone who has gotten passed Metal Hammer and Terrorizer as sources of Metal realizes Machine Head is try-hard trash, and their only relevance lies in mainstream Metal, making them completely unimportant to Metal fans with half a brain and some experience in the real Metal world. I'd want them to break up so Vio-Lence can reform, but I'm afraid what Rob Flynn would do to tarnish that legacy.
    Dude, STFU. If somebody likes Machine Head or any other "try-hard trash" then leave them to it. Metal is metal and there is just way too many of you idiots around who think they have the right to say what is and isn't metal. If the world was filled with that opinion then metal would die very VERY quickly. Your head, please remove it from your anus. As Chuck Schuldiner once said, "metal is metal whether or not I like it."
    razor888razor88
    I did not like it either it was like someone reading at a poetry club with Metallica playing in the back round.
    thegreasefire
    TheExterminator wrote: Ah Rob Flynn. The only reason he was in Vio-Lence was because Thrash was hot at the time. The only reason he formed Machine Head was so he could continue following every wannabe Metal trend and remain relevant in the eyes of every mainstream and entry-level Metal fan. He's done Groove Metal, he's done Nu-Metal, he's done Metalcore, I'm surprised Machine Head hasn't done a Deathcore album yet. All in all, they're a trendy mallcore band for posers. That being said, Lou Reed's effort on Lulu was about as horrible as Metallica's was. It has got to be his worst vocal performance to date, but it's definitely not a representation of his entire career at all. You could say worse for Metallica, because their input sounded like St Anger rejects mixed with mediocre Sludge. It's on par with pretty much every piece of trash that Metallica has spit out for the past 20 years. You wouldn't see Rob Flynn talking shit about Metallica, though, that may dig into his fame and commercial success! Woe is the day this hack ever becomes a Metal icon or legend. That would be the day Metal dies.
    Entry level metal fan? You're funny...
    AsOneIStand
    Wow... A man is asked a question and is expected to give his honest opinion and receives backlash from people on forums who've never achieved the same things. Sounds like jealousy. Machine Head>Lou Reed. Personally, I'd rather hear an artist's honest opinion about what he has heard of the artist he is criticizing. Like it's a bad thing to not like an artist. I see a bunch of butthurt Lou Reed fans in here.
    TheExterminator
    link no1 wrote: Dude, STFU. If somebody likes Machine Head or any other "try-hard trash" then leave them to it. Metal is metal and there is just way too many of you idiots around who think they have the right to say what is and isn't metal. If the world was filled with that opinion then metal would die very VERY quickly. Your head, please remove it from your anus. As Chuck Schuldiner once said, "metal is metal whether or not I like it."
    Metal is Metal, but bad Metal can still exist, and Machine Head will still be poserbait no matter how Metal their music is. I'm not denying they make Metal music, I'm saying they are completely irrelevant to Metal outside the simple fact they make piss-poor examples of it. No different than Lil Wayne is to Rap, or Carrie Underwood is to Country. Metal has always been strongly opinionated. What do you think made the 80's so prevalent and creative in terms of Metal? Overly-accepting metalheads who just bent over and accepted everything and anything that people called Metal? Fuck no. They actually had a sense of objectivity and enough arrogance to tell someone when they sucked. That's why the best and most original Thrash Metal, Death Metal, Speed Metal, Black Metal, NWOBHM, Doom Metal, and Traditional Heavy Metal all came from that short span of 10 years and the early part of the 90's. They actually demanded better from both the fans and the bands, instead of sitting around wallowing in pitiful trash, whining about "IZ ALL METAL, THUS IMMUNE TO CRITICISM." If the older generation pulled that crap, we'd still be listening bands like Poison and Warrant, and Thrash would have never made it off the ground. And you want to tell me my kind of attitude kills Metal? Metal is only dying because its fans are becoming more and more mainstream and commercial friendly, all the while abandoning everything Metal once stood for, pushing good Metal deeper underground, and worshipping all the crappy bands pushed forward by big-name labels and magazines. Mainstream trash is still mainstream trash, even if they call it Metal or Punk. Why do you think great Hardcore like GISM or Discharge is all but forgotten, in favour of horrendous crap like Hatebreed and Terror? Because people made fun of horrible bands and discouraged others from supporting them, or because people let Punk get so saturated with those crappy bands that they outnumbered and buried all the good ones? Same shit has happened to Rap, Country, and any other music genre that has managed to get a hold of some popularity. Even plain old Pop music. When is the last time we've seen a Pop artist that could hold a candle to the likes of Michael Jackson or ABBA? It's not a good thing, but so-called "Metalheads" such as yourself seem to be the only ones who discourage pointing that out.
    SkepsisMetal
    TheExterminator wrote: angst whine cry.
    I remember being 12 too. Don't worry, you'll grow out of it too. Funny you call others "tryhards" though.
    priestfan76
    tomc2 wrote: I'd rather hear Lou Reed than Machine Head. I don't understand why everyone thinks theyre so great.
    cuz they are
    betsilog
    a co-worker's mom makes $60 hourly on the computer. She has been out of a job for nine months but last month her payment was $21461 just working on the computer for a few hours. Go to this web site and read more NuttyRich☻com
    thegreasefire
    TheExterminator wrote: thegreasefire wrote: Entry level metal fan? You're funny... Please. Anyone who has gotten passed Metal Hammer and Terrorizer as sources of Metal realizes Machine Head is try-hard trash, and their only relevance lies in mainstream Metal, making them completely unimportant to Metal fans with half a brain and some experience in the real Metal world. I'd want them to break up so Vio-Lence can reform, but I'm afraid what Rob Flynn would do to tarnish that legacy.
    Seriously, people like you amuse me so much! I have no clue where Metal Hammer fits into this whole rant (Nor do I want to) The bullshit that people feed themselves every day just amazes me! Don't worry... you will grow up and remove your head from your ass eventually.
    HollowPoint423
    All I can says is LOL at "extreme"inator and someone is trapped in the 80's, how sad. It's 2012 guy, let it go and instead of trying to sound intellectual, how about you catch up with the rest of us and appreciate music as a whole. Hence why folks say "metal is metal". Stop trying to label stuff, it only makes you like a closed minded piece of crap.
    BigHeadClan
    writing music is a lot like getting lost, it's only when your looking back at where you came from that you realize where you are in the world. ^What Nicalas should have said^
    crocoscar
    Pfffff... Nobody understood that Lulu is an album by Lou Reed FEATURING Metallica and now every god damn metal band is asked about their opinion on Lou Reed, which we don't give a **** about ...
    tom183
    I like Rob Flynn and he has his opinion like anyone else but he came across just a little too disrespectful in this in my opinion.
    mop10893
    HavokStrife wrote: Well, I'm a big metal head, and I don't own a single Machine Head CD or mp3! So, my view of their band is not far off from their singer's view of Reed. And I don't think Metallica needs to pull their 'ya yas' out, Death Magnetic is better than anything I've ever heard by Machine Head.. And that damn album has its moments, the amount of shit it receives is ridiculous, even by 'big' musicians (aka Metalli-jealous, like Slayer, Megadeth, and now Machine Head), and I really don't know if it's because of Lou Reed, of cuz Metallica wrote St Anger, or what..
    You really should listen to Machinehead. They are an absolutely incredible band. The Blackening is up there with Master of Puppets and Number of the Beast as one of the greatest metal albums of all time. I find it hard to believe that you're a metalhead and have never heard anything by them. Give them a listen. I assure you that you'll love them.
    a drummer
    TheExterminator wrote: link no1 wrote: Dude, STFU. If somebody likes Machine Head or any other "try-hard trash" then leave them to it. Metal is metal and there is just way too many of you idiots around who think they have the right to say what is and isn't metal. If the world was filled with that opinion then metal would die very VERY quickly. Your head, please remove it from your anus. As Chuck Schuldiner once said, "metal is metal whether or not I like it." Metal is Metal, but bad Metal can still exist, and Machine Head will still be poserbait no matter how Metal their music is. I'm not denying they make Metal music, I'm saying they are completely irrelevant to Metal outside the simple fact they make piss-poor examples of it. No different than Lil Wayne is to Rap, or Carrie Underwood is to Country. Metal has always been strongly opinionated. What do you think made the 80's so prevalent and creative in terms of Metal? Overly-accepting metalheads who just bent over and accepted everything and anything that people called Metal? Fuck no. They actually had a sense of objectivity and enough arrogance to tell someone when they sucked. That's why the best and most original Thrash Metal, Death Metal, Speed Metal, Black Metal, NWOBHM, Doom Metal, and Traditional Heavy Metal all came from that short span of 10 years and the early part of the 90's. They actually demanded better from both the fans and the bands, instead of sitting around wallowing in pitiful trash, whining about "IZ ALL METAL, THUS IMMUNE TO CRITICISM." If the older generation pulled that crap, we'd still be listening bands like Poison and Warrant, and Thrash would have never made it off the ground. And you want to tell me my kind of attitude kills Metal? Metal is only dying because its fans are becoming more and more mainstream and commercial friendly, all the while abandoning everything Metal once stood for, pushing good Metal deeper underground, and worshipping all the crappy bands pushed forward by big-name labels and magazines. Mainstream trash is still mainstream trash, even if they call it Metal or Punk. Why do you think great Hardcore like GISM or Discharge is all but forgotten, in favour of horrendous crap like Hatebreed and Terror? Because people made fun of horrible bands and discouraged others from supporting them, or because people let Punk get so saturated with those crappy bands that they outnumbered and buried all the good ones? Same shit has happened to Rap, Country, and any other music genre that has managed to get a hold of some popularity. Even plain old Pop music. When is the last time we've seen a Pop artist that could hold a candle to the likes of Michael Jackson or ABBA? It's not a good thing, but so-called "Metalheads" such as yourself seem to be the only ones who discourage pointing that out.
    Dude, Really? Just stop.
    RCAlbright
    He thinks his music is "pioneering"? It sounds like Godsmack and a million other jock rock bands.
    pokerhappy
    If Flynn hadn't gone on to create Machine Head, his opinion might be more valid. After leaving Vio-lence for that, he's in no position to talk about bad decisions.
    VertigodowN
    Maybe if musicians in big metal bands werent such arrogant ignoramuses their fans wouldnt be so closed minded
    TheExterminator
    SkepsisMetal wrote: TheExterminator wrote: angst whine cry. I remember being 12 too. Don't worry, you'll grow out of it too. Funny you call others "tryhards" though.
    And funny you mention being 12, because 12 - 16 is Machine Head's main fanbase. It's typical of a pre-teen to lack to ability to make legitimate counter arguments in the face of criticism, and it's a trait they share with people who flock to Machine Head and Metal Hammer's distorted idea of what Metal is. Not as bad as die-hard Pantera fans, I admit. By now, they would have be threatening to beat me up or come to my house with a shotgun. What is it with rednecks and guns?
    RGallagherFan
    "I f--king can't stand Lou Reed. I don't like his solo career and I don't like The Velvet Underground, so I don't know much about it other than 'Walk On The Wild Side'.
    This guy needs to shut the **** up and hear The Velvet Underground & Nico and Loaded (at least!). You don't bash a musician if you've only heard their new stuff and one of their old songs!!!
    TheExterminator
    Ah Rob Flynn. The only reason he was in Vio-Lence was because Thrash was hot at the time. The only reason he formed Machine Head was so he could continue following every wannabe Metal trend and remain relevant in the eyes of every mainstream and entry-level Metal fan. He's done Groove Metal, he's done Nu-Metal, he's done Metalcore, I'm surprised Machine Head hasn't done a Deathcore album yet. All in all, they're a trendy mallcore band for posers. That being said, Lou Reed's effort on Lulu was about as horrible as Metallica's was. It has got to be his worst vocal performance to date, but it's definitely not a representation of his entire career at all. You could say worse for Metallica, because their input sounded like St Anger rejects mixed with mediocre Sludge. It's on par with pretty much every piece of trash that Metallica has spit out for the past 20 years. You wouldn't see Rob Flynn talking shit about Metallica, though, that may dig into his fame and commercial success! Woe is the day this hack ever becomes a Metal icon or legend. That would be the day Metal dies.
    nailsarecruel
    We've always been able to do it and if you look at the breadth of our music overall, it's pretty pioneering and pretty consistent and that's what I'm very proud of.
    Supercharger, The Burning Red and Rob Flynn ( and his yeeeee boyyyyy vernacular)interview transcripts from those album eras. That's all.
    zalant
    Krieger91 wrote: He made it sound like Walk on the Wild side was The Velvet underground when actually it was Lou Reed solo.
    Thus demonstrating his point that he doesn't know shit-all about Lou/Velvet.
    xicetraex
    HavokStrife wrote: Well, I'm a big metal head, and I don't own a single Machine Head CD or mp3! So, my view of their band is not far off from their singer's view of Reed. And I don't think Metallica needs to pull their 'ya yas' out, Death Magnetic is better than anything I've ever heard by Machine Head.. And that damn album has its moments, the amount of shit it receives is ridiculous, even by 'big' musicians (aka Metalli-jealous, like Slayer, Megadeth, and now Machine Head), and I really don't know if it's because of Lou Reed, of cuz Metallica wrote St Anger, or what..
    I'm not the biggest fan of Machinehead, and I'm one of those who enjoys Death Magnetic, but Machine Head's "The Blackening" is a much better album then DM. And to the people trying to defend Lou Reed: Stop. He is a waste of space and if he never existed Metallica wouldn't have made that piece of garbage Lulu. And I did listen to it in bits.. the album is a total cringe-fest.
    TheHydra
    if lou reed never existed then punk wouldn't exist in the same form as it does today. metallica wouldn't exist at all.
    HavokStrife
    Well, I'm a big metal head, and I don't own a single Machine Head CD or mp3! So, my view of their band is not far off from their singer's view of Reed. And I don't think Metallica needs to pull their 'ya yas' out, Death Magnetic is better than anything I've ever heard by Machine Head.. And that damn album has its moments, the amount of shit it receives is ridiculous, even by 'big' musicians (aka Metalli-jealous, like Slayer, Megadeth, and now Machine Head), and I really don't know if it's because of Lou Reed, of cuz Metallica wrote St Anger, or what..
    SkepsisMetal
    HavokStrife wrote: Well, I'm a big metal head, and I don't own a single Machine Head CD or mp3! So, my view of their band is not far off from their singer's view of Reed. And I don't think Metallica needs to pull their 'ya yas' out, Death Magnetic is better than anything I've ever heard by Machine Head.. And that damn album has its moments, the amount of shit it receives is ridiculous, even by 'big' musicians (aka Metalli-jealous, like Slayer, Megadeth, and now Machine Head), and I really don't know if it's because of Lou Reed, of cuz Metallica wrote St Anger, or what..
    >Doesn't like album/artist >Automatically jealous Did you even read the article? Lulu just wasn't a good album. Both artists are great independently, but that doesn't mean you need them together.
    Rick_Diculous
    If Patrick Carney of The Black Keys said this, there would be a substantially larger number of outrage posts. I like Lou Reed's old stuff and I don't know who Machine Head is.
    ne14t
    headstone05 wrote: "I don't like his solo career and I don't like The Velvet Underground, so I don't know much about it other than 'Walk On The Wild Side" If you don't know much about it how can you make a fair judgement off of one song.
    Maybe he has listened and didn't like anything else, I know I share the same feelings about Lou Reed, unfortunately he is just one of those artists that do not tickle my musical interest.
    animemetalhead
    Is it just considered cool to rag on Lou Reed now? The man just wanted to try a metal album and this is how you treat him? I mean, tell him metal's not his thing. Maybe he needs to try a country album or something. But everyone basically saying he's a waste of space must be making him depressed. I mean, just stop! I mean, even Metallica didn't back him, and they wrote the freakin' music! I mean, especially if you didn't listen to the album, just shut the hell up already!
    jonathanb2
    zalant wrote: Krieger91 wrote: He made it sound like Walk on the Wild side was The Velvet underground when actually it was Lou Reed solo. Thus demonstrating his point that he doesn't know shit-all about Lou/Velvet.
    And doesn't care to... for good reason.
    skylerjames13
    Lulu was bad imo. Anyone who liked it either has odd taste (and there's nothing wrong with that) or saying they liked it to just be different. Eight times out of ten it's probably the latter.