Yikes. Kerry King and Robb Flynn Really Used to Hate Each Other

Kerry King by Suelen Pessoa via Wikipedia. Robb Flynn by kallerna via Wikipedia
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Every friendship has its ups and downs, but ho boy, Slayer’s Kerry King and Machine Head‘s Robb Flynn sure have had a rollercoaster ride of a relationship over the past few decades.

Back in 2002, Kerry (as he is ought to do), publicly aired some negative feelings about Machine Head’s musical output at the time. King, never one to hold back his true thoughts, isn’t afraid to call out his friends and peers publicly when he feels like their music isn’t up to snuff.

Robb understandably took issue, posting a rant on Machine Head‘s website at the time that was a pointed bashing of King, stating:

“The other day, someone asked me what I think of Kerry King from Slayer always trashing Machine Head and me. You want to know what I think? I think the guy’s a jerk. I think the guy’s a lard ass. I think the guy’s eaten so many cheeseburgers lately his brain is starting to clog up, and he can’t think straight anymore.

And, I think it’s really hard to get offended when the guy who’s talking trash about you looks like Right Said Fred with a beard, and wears ass-less leather chaps. I mean, c’mon!? The guy wears ass-less leather chaps!!!? Where I live in San Francisco, that’d be Kerry Queen.

Make no mistake about it, I am a huge Slayer fan. Not a Kerry fan. But hell,.. The way I look at it, I take pleasure in knowing that by doing absolutely nothing, we can be such a source of irritation to one man.”

The mud slinging between the two carried on for a few more years, until Machine Head and Slayer played together at a festival in Europe in 2004. Backstage, Flynn attempted to bury the hatchet:

“At first he avoided me for 10 minutes, then I finally went into his area to shake his hand and say, ‘What’s up fucker.’ He was eating a sandwich so he declined the handshake, which didn’t seem weird. He was pretty stand off-ish but we made small talk about the Paris show, and how unbelievably happy they were that the tour was over, then he left to the other room again.

At this point I decided, ‘Hey, I’m gonna try and squash this thing officially, ‘bring it up,’ and kinda break the ice. So I went up to him a second time, extended my hand to shake and said, ‘Hey man, so are we officially done?’ He didn’t shake my hand, just kinda knocked it, and replied sarcastically, ‘Done with what?’

I said, ‘Done with our little spat,’ he said, ‘It was never a spat with me,’ I said, ‘Then shake my hand, and call it a day,’ he gave me a smarmy look and said, ‘No.…’ I said, ‘You’re not gonna shake my hand?’, he pursed his lips, shook his head and said, ‘…No.’

I just stood there for a few seconds, kinda like… what? I took a deep breath, exhaled, and was like ‘Alright man, whatever…’ I wished him safe travels, he said, ‘Thanks…’ I left the room…

And I expected him to be the bigger man about this whole thing, and I guess that was just a little too much to expect.”

The Apology?:

Fast forward to 2008. Machine Head drops The Blackening, their return to form and still heralded as one of their best albums. And King took notice. In a Midwest Metal interview, he explained that he had decided to bury the hatchet with Flynn, stating:

“I mean if I have a problem with you, I have a problem with you. When that whole thing went down [with Machine Head] I essentially blackballed him [Robb Flynn] and his band for, like ten years. And one day it was, like, enough is enough. You guys are making killer records, and if I ever want to have a tour with them, I want to be able to talk with them. [Laughs] That new record [‘The Blackening’] is kick-ass.”

Friends Again:


Now thankfully, per a recent interview with Metal Globe, it seems that Flynn and King have been able to keep it together these past few years, seemingly better off now than they ever were.

When asked what it meant to him to tour with Slayer back in the mid 1990’s, Robb had nothing but glowing things to say, and shares his gratitude for Kerry and Slayer for having essentially launched Machine Heads career:

“It was a dream come true… It launched Machine Head into the stratosphere. And I’ve gotta give Kerry King a lot of credit for that, man. He really believed in us and took a shot on us.

I had seen Slayer more than any other band in thrash metal. I used to drive to L.A., to Sacramento, to Fresno. Me and my friends would take road trips to go see [Slayer]. We fucking loved Slayer. And so when we finally got the gig, it was, like, ‘Holy fuck. This is amazing.’ They took us all over Europe; they took us to America. We did five months with Slayer. I got to see 88 free Slayer shows. [Laughs] And I watched every night; there was not a night that I didn’t catch at least even part of the show. And I felt very fortunate for that.”

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