One of the most successful hard rock producers of the late '90s was unquestionably Ross Robinson. Robinson began as a thrash metal guitarist (he was a member of a band that included future Machine Head drummer Dave McClain), but picked up a thing or two from the studios where his band recorded demos. It wasn't long before Robinson was well-versed enough with the recording studio that he received his first credit, as an assistant engineer for W.A.S.P.'s ambitious 1993 concept album, The Crimson Idol. Almost immediately afterward, Robinson received his big break, when he hooked up with an up-and-coming alt-metal band by the name of Korn. The union between Robinson and Korn would last for a pair of hit albums -- the quintet's self-titled 1994 debut and 1996's Life Is Peachy -- which put both the band and producer at the top of the '90s metal heap.
Robinson then signed on to produce the debut by a rap-metal band that Korn had taken under their wing, Limp Bizkit, resulting in the massive-hit debut, 1997's Three Dollar Bill Y'All. Not only did the release turn Limp Bizkit into overnight sensations, but it opened the floodgates for the whole rap-metal movement of the late '90s. Becoming one of rock's most in-demand producers, Robinson continued to produce others, including Machine Head, Sepultura (including their landmark release Roots), Soulfly, Amen, Cold, Glassjaw, At the Drive In, and even Vanilla Ice's rap-metal makeover/comeback album, Hard to Swallow. It wasn't long before Robinson helped discover another unknown band that would go on to become one of metal's most popular acts, the masked eight-man band Slipknot. He produced their two massive albums, 1999's self-titled debut and 2001's Iowa. Robinson also runs his own record label imprint, I Am Recordings, which is distributed by such renowned labels as Roadrunner and Virgin.