Interview: Rob Zombie

rob zombie

Playboy.com: I’m really anxious to hear your new album; anything I’ve heard so far is good. You’ve said that it will make both White Zombie and Rob Zombie fans happy. What sets this record apart?

Zombie: It’s hard to say, who knows! Maybe it will make nobody happy. Maybe it will make both sets of fans unhappy, I don’t know. [laughs] I didn’t have that in mind when I was making it; I never have anything like that in mind when I’m creating, but when I played it for a few people who had been around for a long time that was their response, that it sounded like the perfect mesh of both worlds. It was never something I set out to do, but I suppose there’s somewhere where it’s all in my mind. I guess part of it is that back in the days with White Zombie we were an up-and-coming band, you’re not really thinking about writing hit songs. You don’t think about that stuff because you’re just trying to be a band. You’re doing whatever crazy thing that comes into your head. Plus you’re young so you don’t think about that stuff. And I think now, MTV doesn’t really play music and radio is sort of changed and everything is on the internet and you don’t really sell records the way you used to; as much as that has destroyed a certain aspect of the music business, which it surely has, it has also opened up a bit of freedom because you don’t think of things the way you used to. It doesn’t matter how spectacular your record is, you’re not going to sell three million copies anymore because it just doesn’t happen. So I guess for that reason you just don’t think about it. It’s kind of like the freedom of making a movie, the same thing as Lords of Salem. It was a fairly inexpensive movie shot on a quick schedule; you don’t have to try to make a movie that’s going to appeal to everybody. If you’re spending a hundred million dollars on all this, you have to come up with a movie that everyone is going to love, from little kids to grandparents. But what’s nice about doing it like this is you can be more specific with what you’re doing and it’s okay that it’s weird and a lot of people don’t get it. It doesn’t fucking matter, you know?

Playboy.com: I’m kind of obsessed with the whole internet changing music thing. I hear sometimes that this new form of social interaction with fans makes them much more present in your life.

Zombie: People are more present in your life, but I think sometimes that you’re more present in their lives than they are in yours. I find that sometimes people, if you have a Facebook page or whatever, people will write a comment on something and they just assume that—in a thread with a thousand other comments—that you saw it. And since you didn’t respond to their specific comment, you’re a fucking asshole. They don’t think. They think, “Oh well I put it there, he’s just ignoring me!” as opposed to “How the fuck would he see this comment amongst a thousand others.” So it has created this weird thing. And as far as writing, it’s no insult to the fans, but I don’t think on any level that you can let your fans dictate what you do. Because it’s always your job to give the fans what’s next and what they didn’t think about But what I’ve found over the years and what I’ve found more now is that there’s this funny dynamic that’s happened on every record I’ve ever done and every movie I’ve ever done: as soon as something is old, everyone loves it and as soon as something is new, everybody hates it. Everything is like, “why the new record is not as good as the last record and why that record wasn’t as good as the one before. And why the new movie isn’t as good as the old movie until the new movie is not the new movie but now the old movie and now we love it and we don’t like the new…” you know, it just never ends! [laughs] I think people forget. Of course you think that record is better, you’ve had that record for five years, you know every song! You’ve had this record for the past five minutes. It’s funny, 25 years ago that used to freak me out, but now I see that it’s such a predictable pattern, probably a mathematical equation that we can chalk it all up to.

Read the rest of our conversation on Playboy.com

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