So I got to participate in a teleconference with Rob Zombie yesterday. It’s kind of a weird concept- a bunch of interviewers call in and are allowed one question with the man himself. I get it- they want to kill a bunch of interviews with one stone, but I also kinda don’t- there’s no flow or opportunity for follow up questions. But still, I TALKED TO ROB ZOMBIE ON THE PHONE YESTERDAY. But I don’t think he liked my question.
The teleconference would last one hour. For the first 20 minutes, he seemed happy to give rich answers to some not so deep questions. Then, answers started getting shorter, and delivered with a less pleasant manner. Mine came at the 45 minute mark.
It was funny that Trent Reznor and Nine Inch Nails were cited in two different questions regarding record companies and developing a TV show- AND NEITHER WERE MY QUESTION! Both times, RZ was like ‘I was not aware that he was doing that’. My takeaway from this interview, and he even said it himself, was that Rob Zombie lives in “a bubble”, albeit a very cool, creative one.
So what was my question? Well, I was starting to tire from tour and album and film news, and I could tell he was, too. So I asked him what the last thing that scared him was and why.
Looonnnnggg pause. I thought he wasn’t going to answer! I think I heard him roll his eyes. And then he gave a ‘dude answer': nothing. He said that people ask him if he has any phobias or anything and he doesn’t, and that being scared means that your life is out of control, and apparently he never feels like that. The only example he could cite was the Northridge Earthquake…..which happened in 1994….ROB ZOMBIE HASN’T BEEN SCARED SINCE 1994! He leads a charmed life…..I dunno, I guess I thought in the spirit of Halloween that something interesting might come out of this…..I mean, I could list about 10 societal things that scare the hell out of me right now: global warming, nuclear threat, healthcare, genocide, etc…..but that’s just me I guess. OH YEAH, AND I FORGOT, ROB ZOMBIE IS A DUDE AND DUDES DON’T GET SCARED.
Anyhoo, here’s a synopsis of what I learned from listening to everyone’s questions on the upcoming album and tour:
The HBD2 Tour:
-He’ll play a couple of new songs, specifically calling out ‘Werewolf Women of the S.S’.
-There will be songs played from his back catalog that have never been played before
-The tour will utilize some digital technology that wasn’t around the last time he toured
-The LA Halloween show will be different from all of the other shows. It’s the closest thing to a hometown show for them. The Art Director from H2 will be art directing the venue. They will be utilizing pyro and will recreate the club scene from H2, complete with the house band and host. It will be an “event”.
-This is just a warm up tour. Once the album releases, they will tour for most of next year
-Don’t expect to see the guys sightseeing while they are on tour- between shows they “do nothing”.
Hellbilly Deluxe 2:
-It became a sequel, or “companion piece” to the 1998 album because it made sense with the content
-It took 3 years to make
-The delay was really “just a few weeks”. It sounds like more of a record label issue- there was no time from when it was finished to when tour rehearsals started to promote it properly and make a music video. They felt like they were “cutting corners”. The big announcement that was promised with the delay announcement should be coming any minute now…
-This is his last album obligation with Geffen, who he has been tied to since ’91 with White Zombie, renegotiating in the late ’90s when he went solo.
-His other band members are “fast on their feet” and were able to write and record quickly. For instance, the single ‘What?’ was completed in a few hours. No one expected it to be the single since it happened so fast, but after listening to everything it was always people’s favorite or second favorite track.
-RZ and John 5 remain the main song writers for this album. RZ comments that you will hear some of John 5’s playing on the album and will think it is a sample or sequencer until you see him play it live- comparing this to Morello’s work in RATM.
-They don’t have a writing process- but RZ used this question to make some interesting comments on the heavy metal sound. He said that sometimes low production sounds good- when you clean things up too much it sometimes loses something. Also, he commented on how some bands set out to sound “heavy”, which is “limiting”.
-While he hopes this won’t be his last physical album, he believes things will move to a focus on singles, citing iTunes stats to back this up.
-The H2 Director’s Cut should be available by Xmas. He likes this version much better. It has a different ending.
-There’s “some truth” to The Blob remake rumors
-He has no doubt someone will remake his films, especially House of 1000 Corpses. He imagines it will be like when someone covers one of his songs- “fun even if you don’t like it”
-His next film will be outside the horror genre, and people “will be shocked as to what it is”.
-He like Candy Corn, but apparently feels bad about eating it
-Did he ever in his wildest dreams imagine that he would be doing what he’s doing? “Yes, absolutely”. He talked about how every kid paints and draws, but drifts away from it at some point. Two of the quotes of the interview were made here: “The definition of being miserable is being an adult” and “If you don’t have a vision for your life, you’ll be working for someone who does.”
-Band documentaries: he likes them, but don’t expect to see him direct one or have one made about his band. He prefers for some things to remain “behind the scenes”.
-If he had extra time to take on another project, he would essentially want to curate a theme park attraction around Halloween.
I’ll be covering the LA Halloween show and the San Jose show- so stay tuned for my adventures with Rob Zombie over the next week!