Rob Zombie on Band Chemistry, Upcoming Album, Touring + More
It’s no secret that Rob Zombie is an accomplished musician, film director, screenwriter and much more. This year, he's as busy as ever as he wraps up his new film 'The Lords of Salem,' prepares to hit the studio for a new album and rocks concertgoers on a co-headlining U.S. tour with Megadeth.
Loudwire recently had the chance to talk to Mr. Zombie, and he dished on the energy of the current members of his band, his forthcoming album, his enthusiasm for the future of the hard rock / heavy metal industry as a whole and much more.
Your current band lineup of John 5, Piggy D and Ginger Fish is very impressive. Talk about what the chemistry is like between the members.
The band’s chemistry right now I would describe as perfect. It’s always been getting better and better through the years. I think really right now it’s the best that it’s ever been, ever. I’ve always had great musicians going in and out of the band, good people and what not - I don’t always have four people who are on the same page conceptually. Sometimes you get people that don’t want to do certain things, they’re not into it or whatever and this is the first time I’ve had everybody in the band just totally down with whatever crazy things we’ll do. It makes things so much better.
You guys are headed back to the studio in the summer and you've said it will be your "best record yet.” For you, what makes it the best? What can fans expect from this album?
I said that it would be the best record yet just because you definitely feel it at certain times when doing something. I had that with White Zombie when we did ‘Astro Creep.’ I felt like “this is the best record the band’s gonna make” I just felt that. You can get a sense of what’s going on, just the vibe and then with the first solo record, the vibe was just there it was all coming together and I thought there’s been great stuff all the time but you just get a vibe, it just makes sense and that feels like right now. The band and everything that’s going on, the popularity of what we’re doing is bigger than ever, the shows are bigger than ever just the excitement of what’s going on.
It feels for like the past few years, well for a while, it felt like hard rock and heavy metal had really been struggling you know, like top of the charts – it felt like they were being kicked to the curb for a long time. It was almost like you were doing something and you feel like nobody cares anymore but you’re just chuggin’ along doing what you do and it’s like the world had forgotten but it’s felt like in the last few years that’s kind of changed and you feel it coming back. You feel – all kinds of different things, radio, festivals and things like that, like there’s a desire for it again from old fans and from a new crop of young fans and that sort of collective energy pays into what you’re doing.
It’s been a while since you shared the stage with Megadeth; what are some of your fondest memories when you did tour with them briefly during your White Zombie days?
Well I don’t have any memories of Megadeth from that time, we only played three shows - it was Megadeth, Pantera, White Zombie. We played three shows. I’m pretty sure one of them was Dayton, Ohio. All I remember is Megadeth and Pantera seemed to be always fighting with each other. That’s my memory of it [laughs]. I do remember one show I think I had a broken rib and it was miserable to play ‘cause our drummer at the time, John Tempesta, was throwing things at me - these are the things I remember, I don’t really remember much [laughs].
What do you enjoy most about touring?
It is just the fact that it’s so immediate. I enjoy everything else that I do -- recording records, making movies -- but it’s not an immediate gratification. You work on these things in a vacuum for the most part, you put hundreds and hundreds of hours into this project, there’s no feedback, no way of knowing if anyone’s gonna like it or hate it. A live show -- I mean what else is there? You walk onstage and there’s thousands and thousands of people goin’ crazy and you can go crazy and it’s the greatest thing in the world. I mean the only thing it’s similar to is -- I guess if you’re a professional athlete, it’s just a rush that you can only get from doing that.
What is your take on more metal musicians getting into the horror film genre, like Corey Taylor and Clown of Slipknot starting Living Breathing Films and Phil Anselmo launching the Housecore Horror Film Festival in Austin, Texas?
I mean it’s great, the more the merrier, it’s all good. I’m not quite sure what everybody’s goal is but good luck to all of them [laughs]. It’s a tough field but I hope they enjoy it; they’ve been responsible for doing great things in music so hopefully they can bring some of that to movies, too.