While reflecting on his career, Machine Head singer Robb Flynn spoke to when the band left Roadrunner Records. It was with Roadrunner where Flynn signed a deal involving the band’s studio album debut, Burn My Eyes; around 2001, after their record Supercharger had come out, Machine Head left Roadrunner.
During a conversation with Metal Injection, Flynn says that, contrary to what many may think, the band were not dropped from the label; in fact, they wanted to get off the label due to other matters. Here is what Robb had to say about leaving Roadrunner Records (all quotes transcribed by Metal Injection):
“Contrary to popular mythology, Machine Head negotiated off Roadrunner Records because they had breached contract. We didn’t get dropped, which is kind of ‘the story’ but we negotiated off because they had breached contract. At the time, we’d sold two million records at that point. We’re a festival headliner, we can headline our own shows and tours. I was just like, ‘we’ll be fine. We got it.'”
“You know how the music business is. When you’re a fuckin’ hot band, every fuckin’ label is like ‘you should be with us, man. We’ll make you [huge]. You’re a star, we’ll make you even bigger.’ You hear that like, 150 times and you’re like ‘yeah man! Let’s do it!’ Of course all these labels are up my ass just like ‘yeah dude, as soon as you’re off that shitty Roadrunner label, we’ll sign you right up.’ We negotiated off, we’re clean and free and I’m like ‘alright! Here I am, let’s do this!’ And they’re like, ‘slow down. We gotta hear some demos, times have changed now.’ And I’m like, ‘slow down? Okay.'”
The Machine Head frontman went on to add that labels were looking for “radio hits,” and the band got rejected by multiple labels upon leaving Roadrunner. Flynn adds, “I’m kind of crushed. I just sold two million records. My last record just sold 300,000 copies so it wasn’t a failure by any stretch.”
Then more rejections happened – Flynn says that 35 labels rejected the band. At that point, Robb began to rethink his career as a musician. That is when his wife spoke up and said, “You gotta turn this shit around and start making some money, and start doing some stuff.”
And obviously, as one can tell looking at Machine Head today, things worked out! Funny enough, the band found themselves involved with Roadrunner once again. We are thankful to have such a powerhouse of talent like Machine Head in the world of metal. In that same interview, Robb also talked about a horrible incident where he OD’d on heroin. Link to that story can be found below.