Machine Head’s Robb Flynn: Streaming ‘Has to be Part of the Equation’ for Metal to Survive
The popularity of streaming music continues to rise, and if you're not on board yet, Machine Head's Robb Flynn wants you to seriously consider it. In a new piece penned for Kerrang!, the vocalist expressed his fondness for streaming, sharing his thoughts on how it will affect the future of music. Simply put, Flynn states, "If people want metal to survive, that has to be part of the equation."
Flynn opens the commentary, stating, "I fucking love Spotify. It’s one of the biggest changes in the music industry since I’ve been playing music, and I don’t get the hate over it from the metal scene. It’s very frustrating."
The singer calls the service "innovative" and insists that it's "not just a fad thing." He goes on to state, "You look around and see hip-hop, which just passed rock music in America for the first time in history, and that’s totally embracing Spotify. Since the beginning of music, rock has dominated, but rock music now is Coldplay and Mumford & Sons! That’s not rock music! What is that? And a lot of it is because those bands are killing it on streaming."
He also discussed the benefits of streaming for other forms of entertainment. "You watch Netflix, right? Do you miss going to rent a DVD from Blockbuster? I don’t! I love being able to pull up some shit on Netflix and there it is!"
Flynn says there's a history of change in musical presentation, each usually initially meeting with some resistance but eventually finding its way, whether it be 8-tracks, vinyl, cassettes, CD, iTunes and now streaming.
The singer states, "If people want metal to survive that has to be part of the equation. For me, if people want to buy CDs and vinyl, that’s great. If that’s your preferred way of listening to music, so be it. You’re not supporting me in any way, shape, or form, though, just by buying my CD; that does not equate to a chart position anymore. It’s a combination of YouTube streams, Spotify streams, single downloads from iTunes, Apple Music streams and CD and vinyl, which makes up a chunk of it. But it’s all that."
He continues, "When so-and-so rapper has 4,000,000 streams on YouTube, that’s going towards his fucking chart position! But I get it. There’s change. For me, it wasn’t so big of a deal. It was fucking easier! And I’m not the dude saying, ‘Don’t steal my record.’ Fucking steal it! It’s so fucking inconvenient at this point to go to a site and download it illegally when you can fucking listen to it on Spotify! It’s weird, and I think it’s unhealthy for metal, and I think metal’s going to disappear if people don’t get onboard with streaming, because it’s such an important part of a band’s longevity."
Flynn also states that streaming provides an ease in accessibility as well. "Do I want to carry a fucking suitcase full of CDs with me on tour? No! Do I want to be able to check out new shit really easily and support the artist like that? Fuck yeah," remarked the singer. Read Flynn's thoughts on streaming in full at Kerrang!
Meanwhile, Flynn and his Machine Head cohorts will be playing music live later this spring. They kick off a European tour April 19 in Zaragoza, Spain. See all their dates listed here.
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