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Rob Zombie Dishes on ‘The Lords of Salem,’ Tour With Marilyn Manson, Upcoming Album + More

Rob Zombie
Photo by Rick Fagan

Rob Zombie is the special guest on Loudwire Radio this weekend. He talks to host Mike ‘Sandman’ Sanders about his new movie ‘The Lords of Salem,’ his fall tour with Marilyn Manson and his upcoming album. Tune in to hear Sandman’s chat with Zombie, and read a preview of the interview below:

You have some big things on the horizon, the first of which—I got to ask you about, I’m very excited about, as are all Rob Zombie fans—is the movie Lords of Salem. It had its premiere at the Toronto Film Festival, apparently scary as hell, as you tend to make some of your movies. Give us a little bit of the background. I know you were at a wedding in Massachusetts and you got interested in the Salem lore…maybe you could give me a little background from there.

Well, I grew up in Massachusetts, so I was always very aware of the Salem Witch Trials even as a little kid sometimes the class field trip would be to go to Salem and, you know, they would have reenactments of the witch trials and, you know, lovely things like this for the kids to watch, but I was always well aware of it, you know, the wax museums in that area would have witch trial displays and things. But I hadn’t really thought of it in a long, long time. And about seven years ago, I went to a wedding in Massachusetts and I was just bored and I was in the hotel lobby in the gift store and I bought a book about Salem Witch Trials just to read it and kill time, and it just got me thinking about it and I just came up with this idea for the Salem, a very rough idea. And I kind of jotted down a few notes and forgot all about it.

And then, about seven years later, the opportunity came up to make a film but, the only stipulation was — I mean, the budget was the first stipulation but, they just wanted something with a supernatural edge and I remembered this idea and that’s how I sort of dug it out of mothballs and brought it out and started working on it. And, yeah, the movie’s done. We had its premiere in Toronto last week at the Toronto Film Festival and it was fantastic. I don’t know exactly when it’s coming out, I actually have a meeting with Anchor Bay, the company that purchased the film, about the release date and everything…I don’t know it today but I probably will know it tomorrow. So, unfortunately, I can’t tell you.

We’ll find out soon enough. Is it going to be — now, you said ‘supernatural’ — is it going to be, maybe, less visceral than some of your previous films?

It’s not like a violent, gory movie — that wasn’t really what I wanted to do. I wanted to do something that was more like … It’s a very long, slow, descent of a movie and by the end … it’s just a weird disturbing, mind-altering, trip. It’s a very different type of movie, but that was the goal, I don’t want to keep doing the same thing over and over, that’s just crazy. I’m very excited, I can’t wait. I know it’s a very polarizing film, too, which I find really, really cool. I know some people are just going to love it to death, it’ll be their favorite movie, and other people will just be like, ‘What the hell was that all about?’

Well, you’re certainly no stranger to that, I would say.

Pretty much everything I’ve ever done has had that reaction and I don’t really expect anything else to happen, or would I want anything else to happen. I think if I made something that everyone could agree on, I would feel as if I had somehow failed.

I was going to say, if you were looking for approval you probably wouldn’t launch a co-headlining tour with Marilyn Manson.

It’s always been like that. I never look for approval from anybody because times change and critics change and everything changes. I remember White Zombie, which now, everybody likes to talk about very favorable — like the fans and how great the records were and how great the band was. But I remember on our Geffen release, the first review we got, and I remember it clearly, it was in this magazine called Alternative Press, and the review started off by saying “This is the worst band ever…” And then the review went downhill from there! But now everyone [says] “Oh, classic record, blah, blah, blah.” I don’t give a crap.

The tour with Manson is going to be phenomenal. I like touring with other artists who I feel that our audiences are similar. It makes for a really great night. Because, you know, it’s hard to do that. I had that experience at Alice Cooer but sometimes you tour with bands and you can tell their fans don’t like you and your fans don’t like them and…its better when everybody is there for the same reason.

A couple of weeks ago I had a chance to talk to John 5. I mean, of course we talked about the soundtrack to ‘The Lords of Salem,’ which I know he worked on and we talked a little bit about the next Rob Zombie album. Can you give us a little cue as to when we might be hearing some of that music?

Well, probably not ‘til after Christmas, that’s probably when we’ll release it. The record is done and the recording is done, we’re actually mixing it now, so in about another week the record will be a 100-percent finished. For what its worth — and I know everybody says this — I really think it’s our best record ever. You know, you struggle at times writing songs and other times you feel very inspired, this is a very inspired record and I think it’s the perfect combination of what I’ve done on my own and what White Zombie has done in the past combined. And the few people that have heard it had that reaction.

You know, my wife is very honest when I play her music she won’t say something good, if she doesn’t like it she’ll just go “That sucks.” She’s very honest, which is good. She’s been there for everything, she was on the White Zombie tour. I mean, she loves it. The only person that’s been to more shows of mine than her is me. And she heard it the first time and that was exactly her response, she was like, “Wow. That seemed like the best of the old days mixed with the best of the new days.” So, I’m excited for people to hear it.

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