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Yeah t-shirt lovers, that IS Masuimi Max wearing the SexBomb t-shirt.  She's a player!

So, I have to go on and on about t-shirts here. I need to have my t-shirts discovered and that mostly means that you and your robots need to know that I have a lot to say about t-shirts.  I do, I have been working with t-shirts for over 2o years, i had a screenprinting shop that did posters and t-shirts and in the front we sold mostly... t-shirts.  So, now for thie internetty out there to find my t-shirts I have go go full rain man and carry on about my really cool burlesque inspired t-shirts.  Especially on pages with interviews like this that talk very little about t-shirts.  I have to make up for t with my long knowlegable rant about t-shirts.

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Did I mention that I did a ZINE once?
Oh, there's one now!

rob zombie from an old punk rock, burlesque, pop zine called HYPNO

This was a pretty cool issue, a helluva lot of fun putting together and an alright interview with Senor Zombie.

This was the 3nd interview, a bit more big time now, Right after Astro Creep 2000 about 1995

 

If you read it and pay attention, you'll notice Rob predict i-tunes.

 

Platinum! Grammy Award Nominated!

The Next Big Thing!

 

 

Yeah, yeah, it all looks good to a record merchandiser that doesn’t have a clue about what he’s lining his pockets and record sleeves with, but what it really is, is Rob zombie doing his own thing. It just turns out that his ‘thing’ is a twisting, smashing, screeching, & exploding supersonic roller derby of noise. Good noise. Shockingly pleasing noise that made everybody freak out a year ago when MTV arbitrarily decided to point out to unsuspecting viewers, something that only a few thousand knew, WHITE ZOMBIE is an incredible band. Tremendously powerful and extremely flavored with a universe of odd spices, their new album ASTROCREEP 2000- SONGS OF LOVE, DESTRUCTIONAND OTHER DELUSIONS OF THE ELECTRIC HEAD, proves that the unique mantle WHITE ZOMBIE created for itself is one that will be around for a long, long time. That is, if Rob keeps working as hard as he is now at keeping things that way. This is one cat that doesn’t just shit out an album, he crafts it. From the peculiar samples entwined with the music to the art on the inside of he album, he makes sure it’s what he wants WHITE ZOMBIE to be and he really doesn’t give much of a damn what you think about that. This is his way, hope you like it, but if you don’t…you’d better just get the hell away from him.


This small town boy turned New York malcontent turned bemused LA rock star took a few hours out of his normal day to day alienation to talk about his new album, his fans and himself. THIS IS ROB ZOMBIE .

 

HYPNO: You were going to take a break after touring before actually going back into the studio. Did you?

 

RZ: No, because after our last show, we kicked out our drummer, so then we had the ‘find a drummer hell,’ which sucks, and then we wrote the album. There wasn’t even like one day of break really.

 

So it’s you, Shaun, J. and who?

 

John.

 

Why didn’t the drummer work out? Just freak out from the road?

 

Some people just don’t have what it takes to do things. They just want to be flaky so you’ve just got to put ‘em in the escape pod and let ‘em go.

 

You and Shawn and J. have been around for awhile. It seems like it’s pretty tight.

 

Yeah, things work. Everyone doesn’t always get along, but who cares. The success has afforded us the luxury that nobody has to see each other anymore, which is good, you know. We can just do this. But with most stuff, if I don’t do it, who will? I mean, I don’t know how you have a band and let other people control it. What’s the point?

 

It seems J. (the guitarist) has grown a lot musically since the last album.

 

I think J. is awesome. When he first joined the band, I wanted him more for his attitude than his playing ability. It was like, wow, he’s really fast & he’s into the right shit.

 

I understand you gave him movie quizzes as part of his audition?

 

Yeah, he was really smart, and he was into everything. He had a good attitude, knew how to work hard and was like the missing link. Now he’s incredible. He gets better every day. He never stops playing guitar. It’s like when he first joined, he was just a guy who played bar chords and Ramones songs, and now he’s one of the best.

 

Who were your biggest influences in music? I mean, you’re wearing a Samhain shirt and I know you’ve named the Misfits as an influence.

 

Well, I guess it’s pretty obvious. The first three records I ever owned when I was little was an Elton John record, a Kiss record, and an Alice Cooper record. I just thought music was like that. Oh, everyone’s like this. Right? And then got into all the punk rock stuff, but then it got boring. You know, just the same old crap, but then I found the Misfits and they seemed like the ultimate type of thing. But I can only take so many kids who lived with their parents saying their mom and dad suck, punk rock. That kind of wore on my nerves after a while. But there were always a few bands like the Misfits & Bad Brains that seemed like the rock star, punk rock bands. Those are more what I was into. And then, you know, stuff like Birthday Party, Cramps,… I never consciously said these are the bands I like so I want to do this. They were just the bands that went along with everything else.

 

Did it take the three of you: Shaun, J., and yourself to really make what it is you do, or did it just kind of fall together? I mean, seems like everything you do is very, very intentional.

 

Well, attitude-wise, and just the whole vibe of what it is – that’s exactly what I always wanted to do. Musically, that changes – you know, there’s always a direction, but since there’s more than one person doing it, it’s changed over the years as people learn to play better, you know. It’s like, you can only kind of create music to the level of your ability. Touring for the last album, we played more shows in two years than we’d played in eight years, like 350 shows… that’s a lot of practice.

 

Is this album going to be called Devil Music Part II?

 

No. We’ll wait till we’re like Meatloaf, and that’ll be the big come back.

 

What’s the oddest thing that’s happened to you that made you realize just how big WHITE ZOMBIE has become?

 

Well the oddest thing that ever happened was when I got to go to the INTERVIEW WITH THE VAMPIRE party. I went to the red carpet premiere – where you get out of the limo, and in front of you is literally… Rachel Welch and behind you is Roseanne Barr or whatever her name is, and you’re walking down the red carpet with them and people are taking pictures of you cuz they figure you’re famous and you can’t stop smiling cuz it’s so totally stupid.

 

So did you have to do the tuxedo thing?

 

No, we just looked like bums, but I think they thought that was funny. And then, whoever plays the dad on Married with Children, I forget, Ed O’Neill I think, going down the carpet with him was just so weird. And you know they’re thinking, ‘What the hell! Who let this guy in?’ It was just so weird hanging out at the party and literally like standing in line for the bathroom with James Coburn. You know, every single person I could imagine – at first I didn’t notice, like I would just be sitting there eating and suddenly realize that I’m sitting next to Tim Curry and Carrie Fischer – so we started spotting them like it was a trivia contest or something. That’s Candace Bergen, that’s Steven Seagal, there’s Brad Pitt, over there’s Tom Cruise. It was like every single person was famous, literally, and when you thought they weren’t and that somebody else there was normal it’s like, ‘Holy crap that wasn’t a regular guy, that was Clint Eastwood with a different haircut.‘ That just felt weird, you know. I’m amazed that someone didn’t just grab me and throw me out the back door. That was really funny. I think everybody in there thought like, uh, it must be some guy from Guns and Roses that they didn’t recognize.

 

Was it your press people trying to put your face into things like that?

 

No, not really. That was just like a weird situation. When we got like a personal invite from David Geffen, and you know, we didn’t think of it at the time, I just felt like seeing a movie. It wasn’t till I got home later and watched Entertainment Tonight that they were like, ‘And the hottest premier of the last 20 years and the hottest ticket in town and….’ I didn’t even realize at the time. That was so Hollywood. It was so stupid it was funny.

 

Well, what did you think of the movie?

 

I couldn’t watch it like a normal movie. The whole thing was so overwhelming. Cuz when you’re sitting there watching Brad Pitt on screen, and when he’s sitting right in the next aisle, it’s tough to focus on the movie. I had no idea what was going on. It was pretty bizarre.

 

Ahh, at least your parents were probably impressed. Where are they, still back in the old homestead?

 

Yeah, my parents still live in the same house I grew up in. In Massachusetts, where they’ve always been and probably forever will be.

 

Was your whole childhood spent there?

 

Yeah, I moved out the day I left high school and went to New York and starved forever… you know, the same old shit. My parents are funny, they don’t think anything’s real until it’s like something really stupid. You can go, ‘Look Mom, platinum record,’ and she’ll be all, ‘Do they give those to everybody? What’s that all about? It’s like they don’t care about something like that. I could be accepting an Academy Award but until the garbage man says he saw it, they don’t take it as reality. It’s like they think I’m making it up. It’s totally meaningless until like they call me up with something goofy like, ‘The plumber just came over and he knew who you were.’ That’s when it hits the ceiling or ‘Our mailman recognized you.’ That’s when they get all excited, nothing else matters.

 

Was this a small town in Massachusetts?

 

Yeah, it’s a pretty shitty town. Have you even seen the movie Roger and Me? It was that type of vibe. When I was in high school, Newsweek magazine voted it the worst place in the country to live. Number One! It had the least opportunities of any city in the United States. Then they got onto this big kick to try and bring the spirit up, so they started hanging up banners everywhere that said, “The All American City.” They didn’t actually do anything, the place was still just a bunch of deserted buildings, it was just one of those, ‘Well, it sucks, but God damn we’re proud of that!’ scenarios. The high school was like a prison. It was so trashy and every time a kid would break a window, they got so sick of replacing the glass that they just put up metal bars instead. I mean, there’s two ways it’s gonna go, there’s the kids that fit in and love it. They love high school, and they’re gonna live there forever, and, you know, relive their fucking football games, and then there’s people like us. It worked out great for me.

 

Well, high school is when they were big shots.

 

Right, those were literally the best years of their lives, unfortunately. So there’s the kids that give into it and it totally breaks ‘em down, or there’s the kids that become resentful and go off and do something else. I’m totally resentful. It’s like, ‘Hey, fuck all of you, I don’t suck, you all suck. I’m leaving.’ But all the other kids believe it and think, ‘My God, how am I ever gonna fit in.’ I think those are the kids that are waiting to get to the top of the clock tower and start shooting.

 

Just waiting for that right snapping noise to go off in their heads. But the people that do leave those towns often go on to do some of the biggest things.

 

Well, yeah, you know the kid with the greasy hair in front of you with the slide rule is the kid that grew up to be Steven Spielberg. And the most likely to succeed handsome boy is now a big fat plumber somewhere. That’s what always happens.

 

What’s next for the band? The kind of stuff you guys could work on in any format. What are you working on?

 

Well, there’s lots of things. The tour which is just another hell, then making videos which is another one – cuz I want everything to be cool. If I was just gonna walk into a studio and lip sync for five minutes and leave, it would be nothing. But now that there’s money around, I want to try and put it to good use. And I have a comic book that is half way moving along. I’ve been getting some pages in the mail. You know, things are kind of creeping along with that.

 

Are you going to have the big fold-out liner note thing on the CD again?

 

Yeah, it’s huge this time. That’s one of the biggest hells I’ve been in, because Geffen’s real anti-packaging. Then I had to do a version where the packaging is a little bit watered down, that’s just for Walmart.

 

Geffen’s got something of a history with Walmart.

 

Right. At first I was like, ‘No way!’ And then I started thinking about it. Hmm… when I first started buying records, I bought ‘em at Kmart and if it wasn’t there, I had nowhere else to go, you know? Kids can’t help that, so you might as well make it available to them, or Walmart’s just gonna stock Garth Brooks for the rest of their life, and the kids are screwed.

 

Yeah, there are so many other things to do, why fight that dragon? If people absolutely have to be tightasses, they just shouldn’t go to Walmart.

 

Yeah, like it’s gonna be in its original form for people who can get it, which is most people, but you know, why make life that hard for kids that live in shitty places. I can relate to it, and I know how much it sucked. I’m not changing the music, which is the main thing. Actually I’m hardly changing anything.

 

What’s going on that you’re really excited about – tour stuff, video people or what?

 

Well, that just kind of came down today and it’s all sounding good because, you know, it’s a whole different universe. Last time around it was like, ‘Who is this guy? What does he know.’ Now it’s like, ‘Whatever you want to do. However much money you need.’
I’m just scratching the surface with the videos. I mean, the big hell is trying to get the live show together and that’s really cool because now we have some rally good money. You know, all the rinky-dink shit we were doing in the past is over. We can really blow up some big things now.

 

So you’re going to do the full explosions, fire and synthetic brimstone thing?

 

Full on everything. I mean, it’s like the whole stage is gonna be this giant enclosed structure with giant video screens and pyro and management was like, ‘You can do this, this, this or this.’ And I was like, ‘Let’s do all of them at the same time!’ It’s gonna be a nightmare to do but it’s gonna be cool.

 

When and where does the tour start?

 

Well, the tour starts like May 7th I think. We’ll probably do the US, go to Europe, Japan, blah, blah, blah. Come back, do US, I really don’t know yet.

 

Yeah, if Japan’s rebuilt by then.

 

I know it’s like everywhere I turn on the TV, it’s like Japan, where we played is destroyed and then like all of Germany and all these places we played are all like you know, under water and stuff. There’s nowhere to go.

 

Yeah. So it’ll be US and any other still standing structure in the world.

 

Everything’s destroyed. We’re talking about doing Lollapolooza. That keeps coming up, which could be interesting cuz they seem to shy away from bands like us, so it would be kind of cool to do it. I don’t know what this year’s gonna be all about. I heard the headline was Neil Young, which seems kind of strange. What’s next year? Bruce Springsteen? You know, it’s kind of like edging in that direction. It’s like all they care about is selling tickets. It used to be the Butthole Surfers. Now it’s Neil Young.

 

If you don’t do Lollapolooza, who do you think you’re gonna tour with?

 

I don’t know. This tour we’re gonna be headlining for sure. I don’t know who to take, and we’ve been offered so many bizarre tours, like opening for Van Halen and stuff like that, and I’m like, ‘What’s that all about?’ I can just imagine looking out at a sea of 40-year-old guys that worship Eddie Van Halen staring at us like, ‘What is this crap?’

 

It’s cool that you’re willing to go that extra mile for your fans – I mean spending all that money on the pyrotechnics and the displays, that comes right out of your pocket, doesn’t it?

 

Well, that’s all my money in a sense. We get a little tour support, but it really comes out of our guarantees for the night. If you bring a big show, then it costs $50,000 just to tour. You know, like I have to earn a certain amount just to break even. Because it takes three lighting guys to run that, and two video guys for that, and you know, this guy’s the set, this guy’s the chair specialist. A lot of bands that tour don’t even make money, they’ll lose money. Even things like U2. I heard they lost money on the Zooropa tour because they brought so much stuff that they couldn’t make enough to pay for it all – but they’re so rich it doesn’t matter. Now if you do the thing like oh, we’ll walk on stage with a white light bulb, then you’re cashing in so heavy, because it’s not costing you jack. You know, but that’s so weak. But you get paid last. Everyone else gets paid or they don’t tour. The drum tech must get his money. You can eat it, but he won’t, he’ll just walk. So that’s the nightmare. Especially with something like pyro, even the simplest thing is super expensive and every night you fight with fire marshals and their codes and their laws, but it’s definitely worth it. But all you need is one kid to sue you cuz his hair went up in flames and it’s all over.

 

What was the last band you were really into?

 

I never get into new shit, ever. Um, I just don’t care. I always like get more into old shit. Like I always get on a kick. Like all of a sudden I have to own everything by the Monkees. It’s like I just wake up one day, and I’m on a Monkees thing. So I just run out and get everything and go crazy with that for a while and then find something else.

 

Have your collecting tendencies forced you into living in a warehouse yet?

 

No, I have a little place. The money’s weird. People think there’s way more money to be made in this than there is because there have been so many years of bands flaunting money they don’t have, ‘Let’s rent expensive cars and girls and all this stuff for videos. Make people think we’re really rich when we’re really not.’ But everyone believes it. But it’s like the thing with the tour is, I can only make it as elaborate as I can afford to spend without going broke, so I have to keep an eye on the spending.

 

What are you reading these days?

 

I’m on the Sherlock Holmes kick. That’s what I’m reading now. Nothing exciting. I always go like, ‘Oh man, Sherlock Holmes. All right. I want to go out and buy everything.’ Then it’s hard to even find the time to read.

 

Any other obsessions?

 

I was on a huge Sinatra bender that lasted for like three years, and then it finally ended cuz I went to Vegas and saw him about a year ago and that was like, you know, the circle was complete.

 

Wasn’t that when he was passing out on stage?

 

Right before all that. I saw him at the Desert Inn in Vegas, and it was awesome. He sounded perfect, and he was funny and just did his stuff. I think they over-exaggerate a lot of his problems cuz it makes for interesting stories. You know, tabloid stuff. The guy’s like 80. It’s pretty fucking amazing for an 80-year-old guy. I’m lucky if I can get out of a chair when I’m that old. My other big thing was when I got on this autograph kick all of a sudden. I don’t know why, but I was in a store, and I saw a Boris Karloff and Bela Lugosi autograph. And I was like, ‘Oh, I gotta have them.’ So I got those and then someone gave me an Elsa Lanchester one for Christmas. And I just got a Jayne Mansfield one for my birthday, and you know, you get on a kick and people feed it. Besides that, I was still on the pinball machine thing.

 

Collecting them or—

 

Well, just a few. Some of them are cool to look at but aren’t that much fun to play, so I had to be careful.

 

How many do you have?

 

Just like three. I had to throw away furniture just to fit pinball machines. They’re awesome, and you play them incredibly loud. Like the Star Trek one’s got digital sound, so you can play it as loud as your stereo. So when you shoot torpedos at Klingon ships, you can crank it so loud the neighbors just go berserk.

 

We should get some photos of the place, or wait, is there a lot of artwork nobody’s seen yet?

 

A ton – like 16 pages worth.

 

I remember last time you said you wanted all kinds of stuff, spring loaded with 3-D glasses, whirling lights, explosions and so on.

 

Yeah, when I got into that, they’re like sure, you can have whatever you want, but you have to pay for it. So to make the CD I wanted to make, we would have to sell a million of them. It just became a completely money losing thing, so what we settled on was like 99% of what I wanted. It’s huge. I went out and found the biggest CD I could find and told them that was what I wanted.

 

Are you going to do any multimedia stuff?

 

Well, I want to, it’s just a matter of time. You know, I only have so much of it. It’s like getting to make the band complete leads to something else.

 

Have you ever played around with CD ROM stuff?

 

I kind of started getting into that with these guys that I work with at Universal cuz they’d made this game Way of the Warrior. It’s kind of like a Mortal Combat game, and they use White Zombie music, but when I really got into it, they were saying it takes a year to design a game, it’s really expensive and there’s no guarantee that the technology won’t be outdated by the time your done so, until the format stabilizes, it’s too much of a hit or miss thing.

 

The way it’s going, CD’s, CD ROMS, TVs, computer screens, they’re all going to be interchangeable. All the lines are getting blurry right now.

 

We were just talking about that. Soon the record stores won’t even exist. You’ll just get the record on your computer, and they’ll bill you.

 

Back to videos, I heard you had some problems with your last one.

 

Yeah, our last video we made for the movie Airheads. We gave that to MTV, and they came back with all these corrections that were so outrageous. They were seeing things that weren’t even in there. Like, ‘All Satanic symbols must be removed.’ And I’m like, what? What are they talking about? What Satanic symbols? ‘All devils must be removed.’ They just had these things and they didn’t give any explanations. I didn’t know what they were talking about. It seems like things just became other things to them, and they were literally watching the video frame by frame. There was one live shot where the pyro goes off, and it lights up the backdrop and you can see really small like a 666 written on it, so small that if you froze it on that frame and stared at it, you could maybe find it, but that had to come out. We were literally timing things and it’s like, that’s one frame! That’s so fast your eye can’t even see it! Everything was like that, and it’s so weird. Then they’re all those scenes from the movie Airheads which they found offense to, like, ‘Girl throwing chair through a window.’ You can’t throw a chair through a window? It was like 25 things. ‘All butt shots must be removed.’ What butt shots? I think they gave us some of the notes on a Sir Mix-a-Lot video by mistake.

 

Any other movie things?

 

No, just that stupid Airheads fiasco. That was like one of those things we did it when we were starving and needed the money to keep touring. By the time it came out, we wished we had never done it, but we were broke, and we needed the money so it was like, ‘OK, we’ll stop touring and do this,’ but by the time a year later when it came out and we didn’t need the money, we’re like, ‘Oh man, tie this fuckin jack ass movie up.' Luckily no one saw it.

 

 

 

 

 

by your host, Rex Edhlund.

 

 

 


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