Machine Head’s Robb Flynn: ‘Is There Anybody Out There’ Partially Inspired by Philip Anselmo ‘White Power’ Incident
The fan theories are true. In a video post by Machine Head frontman Robb Flynn, he reveals the new track “Is There Anybody Out There?” was indeed partially inspired by the Philip Anselmo “white power” incident earlier this year.
The lyric, “Ashamed of the racists I used to call brothers,” got the attention from many in the metal community, causing many to assume the words were directly about Philip Anselmo. In a new video (above), the writing process of “Is There Anybody Out There?” is documented, showing that Flynn was in the middle of recording the track when the Dimebash incident happened. Disgusted by what he saw while onstage with Anselmo, Flynn changed the second verse of “Anybody Out There” to give the track a more genuine feeling of anger.
“This has been happening for twenty f—ing years now, but I never had to stand on stage with the dude,” Flynn says about Anselmo’s racially based actions. “I sang some pretty pissed-off lyrics for that second verse. And everybody wanted [it to sound] more pissed; they got more pissed.”
Flynn also reveals that there was some serious discussion between Machine Head band members about whether or not to keep Flynn’s new lyrics. “‘Does it need to be said? It’s gonna turn off people in the Midwest and the South. And that’s where all the radio play is gonna be that matters. We’re gonna polarize people,'” Robb explains some of the points brought up. “And we are. Those aren’t invalid arguments; they’re all true. We run the risk of not getting any airplay because of it. Hopefully the catchiness of the song can override that, because it’s a really catchy f—ing song. But it may not. It may start a bunch of s—t and then not even do anything. But that’s how I felt.”
Flynn continues, I don’t think the majority of the people who live in the Midwest and the South wanna hear white power s—t, and I don’t think they’re gonna be offended by me saying otherwise, by me saying, ‘F— those people!’ Because, really, that is what ‘Is There Anybody Out There?’ is about. Does anybody feel lonely? Do you feel f—ing lost? Do you feel scared? And I do. I do feel scared. I’m scared to say this, ’cause I know it’s gonna start a war with them. I’m scared to sing it. And that’s one of the lines in the chorus: ‘Is anybody else scared? The paranoia drops me to my knees.’ But does it need to be said? Yes. F—! Absolutely. Now more than ever.”
Earlier this year, Flynn released a video called “Racism in Metal,” in which he called Anselmo out for his actions, going viral in the process. Flynn claims he received over 1,000 death threats from white supremacists in the following week. His wife and kids’ lives were also apparently threatened.
Check out the video above to hear Robb Flynn’s full description on how ‘Is There Anybody Out There?’ came together.
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