Interview: Nerdist catches up with Rob Zombie

Rob Zombie, Rob Fenn

Nerdist’s Matt Grosinger, catches up with Rob Zombie, whom is described as “this guy has no time for anything except being creative“, to “talk shop about zombie culture, performing in the digital age, and how he befriended Fred Armisen.”

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Nerdist: How did you foray into other ventures outside of music?

Rob Zombie: It happened organically in the sense that I always liked doing all sorts of different things. As a kid growing up, I was always drawing and painting—always doing art. But I also loved movies and music, so as I started doing everything, I liked every aspect. It’s not really that I am a control freak; it’s just that is what I love. Even in the early days of the band, in addition to the music—the look of the band, the design of the band, drawing artwork for the flyers–every part of it was just exciting to me. As the years have gone on, that just keeps amplifying, because there is so much to do. The biggest problem I have is just having enough time to get everything done.

N: How long did it take  to get The Zombie Horror Picture Show and photo book together?

RZ: The film was more about planning. We shot the last two nights of our tour in Texas, and then it was editing down all that footage—and I directed all that footage. But that is a lot of prep work like where you want each camera to be and what you want each person to capture; and then you see what you get the first night and you identify what isn’t right and what adjustments you need to make. But that wasn’t so bad.

And then for the photo book, we had [photographer Rob Fenn] with us for the last six months just shooting everything all the time, and that was a matter of taking 100,000 pictures and dwindling them down to 300. It’s not hard work, but it becomes numbing at times to go through it—but its always nice when you are done and you have it. All the work that went into it—you kinda forget and then all you remember is the final product.

N: What was the central theme or goal for The Zombie Horror Picture Show?

RZ: The central theme was about the larger-than-life elements of the music that I loved when I was growing up. Rock music seems to be disappearing, and  the goal with the band and the tour and the shows was to capture that. It is about the kid in me–thirty years ago–when I was like this is it, this is what I want to do. I wanted to capture the feeling I had when I was a kid listening to Alice Cooper.

N: Have you ever considered yourself a forerunner to pop culture’s current zombie obsession?

RZ: People will always ask me, “Why don’t you do a zombie movie or something zombie related?” But I always get a feeling, like once something is such a mass media culture thing, that it kind of hit its peak. Not to say that anything that comes out isn’t good, but anything that comes out now is really pulling up the rear.

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