Friday, June 13, 2008

Robb Flynn's Disease. Before And After

Metal Inquisition once again opens its video vault, this time to reveal footage of Robb Flynn prior to contracting the very disease that would be named after him. I remember watching this footage of Vio-Lence when it first came out (1990) and thinking these guys were absolutely rad. Now I look at this footage and realize that they all look like meth dealers who were molested by their uncles. Were they sponsored by Fruit Of The Loom? What's with all the sweatpants, sweatshirts and gym socks? Jesus. Also, please note the amazing facial hair.

Anyway, please pay attention to the shy gentleman wearing the sweet Metal Church hat. That young man, the one with the quiet demeanor, is none other than Robb Flynn. Who knew that such a nice guy would go on to be such a huge douche bag. Come to think of it, as silly as the guys in Vio-Lence look in this interview...I much prefer it to what Robb has gone on to do, both musically and fashion-wise. Ah, the good old days.

Lastly, if any of you out there are in a band, it's very important that you pay close attention to this whole video. Here, the guys in the band break down how they got signed and went on sell tens of records worldwide. Apparently, doing a "demo giveaway through Mechanic" is the key to their success. This video also offers a quick primer on how to deal with the media. Apparently, you have to talk into the camera. Watch and learn.


  1. solid post. where the hell is snohomish county?

    also, i fully approve of MI's consistent (but not always accurate IMO) use of the "speed metal" tag.

  2. snohomish county, the sarge can fill you in.

    the speed metal controversy has raged on for years. many believe speed metal is best exemplified by german bands like kreator. i personally feel that vio-lence and forbidden played a second or third wave of thrash that took on certain aspects of speed musically, but had a more melodic vocal approach. their solos were more kerry king than kirk hammett. you know? in general i use it in the same way that your grandma would say "oh jared listens to the rock and roll music". as such...violence plays "the speed metals"

  3. Wow, Dean Dell was super energetic. He was just happy to be playing "the speed metals", man...

  4. HAHA, "the speed metals". i thought i was the only person that said that. small world.

    i tend to use the term to apply to traditional heavy metal played way fast. the first couple running wild albums, the first couple living death albums, the first holy moses album, et al.

    i dunno. maybe i should just man up and listen to cephalotripsy.

  5. I find that video charming.

    About speed metal definitions, here's some NERD TALK cross-posted from The Corroseum, since it seems to be pertinent to the discussion:

    Speed metal is a term that emerged in the 'Here's some modern Metal, only BETTER AND NEW AND MAKES OLD HEAVY METAL REDUNDANT' days I think. Back when nobody knew if this sort of music was a fad or if it would last and everybody was desperate to carve out their own niche before this whole 'heavy metal' thing blew over. Back when Metallica printed business cards that read 'POWER METAL' on them and so on. Speed, power, thrash (initially) meant 'better metal' as far as I can understand because they were used interchangeably and they didn't solidify in describing actual musical traits until (much) later on, when they were appropriated by the music industry and made to describe specific 'selling points' of bands so if you liked one band they termed 'speed metal' you'd probably like - and should buy!! - their other bands termed 'speed metal'.

    Back in the day the evolution of metal was understood to be linear. Thrash Metal killed Heavy Metal and so on. Thrashers made fun on Iron Maiden for their dinosaur shit, man! It's only today that new metal listeners say 'I recognize all these different genres and respect them all equally'. And then they go on and buy 300 shitty records.

    Speed Metal is largely meaningless if you think about it. It either means 'savage thrash metal without the bay area chops' (usually of the German persuasion) or it means 'proto-thrash on-the-fence Metal-Blade-Metal like Savage Grace' or it means 'neoclassical technical thrash metal like Megadeath' or it means 'Germanic power metal bands before they were power metal like Helloween and Bling Guardian'. So I try to avoid the term. Usually when I use it I mean the 'Savage Grace' type, really. The Corroseum seems to go with the 'savage thrash' version I think. Seriously, I am not sure at all that when people talk about speed metal, anybody understands what the other person is saying besides the fact that the music needs to be fucking fast.

    It was pretty meaningless to begin with, especially since in the early-to-mid 80's most HM bands didn't specialize on one single facet of metal. They had their power metal hymn, their slow epic metal track, their almost-glam embarrassment and their speed metal hell track. It was much later when bands have started having a concrete idea of what 'metal is' that they started to mimic not their favorite bands but genres. You no longer said "I want to start a band that sounds like Master's Hammer having sex with Torchure" you said "I want to start a black/death band" and that's awful.


    All that being said, Vio-lence are the epitome of Bay Area thrash, and from most modern points of view they really do not play speed metal.

  6. What is your problem with Robb. I mean I love your webpage but this post actually pissed me off. you don't know Robb probably never met Robb so why are you calling him a douche bag. Fuck off!! Every one looked like dickheads in the 80's. People have to adapt with the times. Robb has gone through phases but so has every other band. If Anthrax looked the same as the did in 1984 they would be a joke.

  7. helm - yeah i stick with the 2nd and 4th definitions when i refer to the term speed metal. and lol @ master's hammer.

    james - adapting to the times is for wimps. grow a poodle mullet, poseur.

  8. well said jared. adapting is for fools. all of us at metal inquisition rock powerful poodle mullets, and are proud. no facial piercings here. no power groove, no braided facial hair. yes everyone looked like toolbags in the early 90s, me included. that look suited these guys way better and was more age-appropriate. robb dresses with accesories that would be perfectly appropriate for a 19 year old juggalo. he's the perfect metal man/child. bands like this basically live out their careers playing festivals in europe. which, no offense to our european brothers, is like a metal retirement home. by the way, i do know him. and he's a douche of the grandest proportions. does that facial hair say otherwise?

    by the way, anthrax changed their looks, and they suck now. scott was better with hair. danny spitz had such a powerful poodle mullet...without it, he has lost his powers. he's like samson.

    regarding what speed metal is...i know what it isn't. vio lence isn't..but i like the tag.

    can we also argue about my use of the "dairy queen ice cream cake" label? that would be rad.

  9. Excellent post. Love the blog. Hope you don't mind if I add a link to MI on my own blog.

  10. Anthrax *are* a joke haha! See there I laugh at Anthrax!

  11. Wow, that brings me back. That's from the old Hard and Heavy videos. I saw Vio-lence on tour with Voivod a couple times around this. They were great live. Much better than Machinehead.

  12. lucho, i couldnt possibly argue over anything involving dairy queen ice cream cake, because it is delicious.

    and speaking of anthrax changing their looks...danny lilker still looks the same as he did 25 years ago, and he still rules. coincidence?

  13. "When I think of "speed metal" I come up with bands like Exciter: fast riffs, straight and simple drumming and song structures, sharp guitars with little use of "chuggha chuggha" and palm muting. Back then someone considered early Helloween as speed metal.
    "Power metal"...heavier than average metal, with use of double bass drums and often epic themes (Helloween mark II, Armored Saint, Amulance, Omen, and all those gay bands that got signed by NB since Hammerfall)

    All those thrash bands of 1st (Metallica, Exodus) and 2nd (Testament, Vio-lence) generation aren't speed metal.
    I personally label as DEATH/THRASH bands like Slayer, Dark Angel, Sepultura, Kreator, etc etc etc..."

  14. Kreator? Death thrash? Really? have you seen the youtube video where Mille looks and sounds like he wants to be in a goth type band.
    The Password I used to type this comment was khwmlgt which I hope is stolen as Kvlt bvnd nvme with an illegible logo because it would fit perfectly.

    Extreme Aggression is still my favourite Kreator album.

  15. "I personally label as DEATH/THRASH bands like Slayer, Dark Angel, Sepultura, Kreator"

    Sepultura are certainly death/thrash at some point in their evolution. Same for Kreator (a lot of the savage Germanic thrash crosses over like this, like Protector, yet today we just call it thrash for some reason) and S.R.Prozak makes a compelling case to consider 'Reign in Blood' as a death metal record on aesthetic grounds (all it talks about is death), but I am not convinced. Dark Angel are not death as far as I can tell, just really savage on their second record that everybody loves and which is clearly inferior to both 'Leave Scars' and 'Time Does Not Heal'.

  16. Obviously, I'm just talking about the years till 1990/91, all thrash bands went downhill after then, the most trying to emulate the shitty Panty-era.

  17. Sorry, I couldn't resist:

  18. does anyone remember how there was a split second when melodic thrash bands in the early 90s like Panic and Epidemic were called Power Metal? I swear I even remember Anihilator being called Power Metal in the I think there was a time that Power Metal meant something else than epic themed Hammerfall style metal. I think, but maybe i'm loosing my mind. Since we have some pretty smart metal people here, maybe we can figure out what the hell MOD plays.

  19. Epidemic...Power Metal? Crazy. I still own my original "Decameron" tape: DEATH/THRASH! Maybe we're talking of two different Epidemic...

  20. wait...people care about MOD?

  21. Snohomish County is the next county north of Seattle, and where I grew up. it's the home of awesome bands like FORCED ENTRY, from Mountlake Terrace, and lesser known but equally awesome local rippers like DUMT, DATE RAPE, BIG TOP, and THE EVICTED. panic might have been from snohomish county, not sure, i think they were from king county.

    in regards to speed metal, i'm inclined to go with the Metal Blade style definition. one of my least favorite genres of music (but i love wigger slam so what do i know).

  22. Metal Blade Metal (yes, I know) is one of my favorite genres and I find the GUTTURAL SLAMMINGLY BEASTAL BRUTALITISM bands you enjoy to be hilariously bad! I always read the posts and listen to the myspaces of these bands when you write about them though! I hope I'm not a closet fan!

    About Epidemic being power metal, are we talking about the Greek thrash band Epidemic? The ones who went off to play in the UK and the club was empty (3 tickets sold, so says the legend, all bought from the staff of the venue) and they then lied to the greek metal hammer magazine about how the show was PACKED? Ah, the stories.

    Anyway, power metal also meant/means at least 3 different types of HM over the years, so in case anyone is really interested, power metal is the original "Heavy Metal, only TIMES TEN!" genre. It's just more extreme HM, more pomposity, more epic feeling, higher vocals, more solos, more technical, that sort of thing, originally. Naturally, this is an American invention though a lot of European stuff was retconned in there later. Initially though, surely American, which makes sense seeing how obsessed with 'always more' your culture is. I know all about your culture, I've seen two documentaries about it.

    This sort of definition still remains for the oldschool fans that listen to US metal like Jag Panzer, Crimson Glory and the like. This stuff sounded really high-tech back in the early 80s and a lot of people can't get over that particular style of HM. That's the fabled "US Power" in these circles and being branded that is an one-way ticket to cultdom for people in Greece, Italy, Germany etc. It has little to do with the Helloween-type teutonic version that came later that we're all begrudgingly familiar with. Superficially they seem close (it's all fast and pompous most of the time) but the discerning nerd notices the differences.

    I have never listened to MOD.