Rob Zombie talks to Inked Magazine

Rob Zombie Inked Magazine

Inked Magazine interviews Rob Zombie about horror, forthcoming movie projects – including ’31’ – as well as teasing on another future project.  He talks extensively about his personal ink-work, his affinity for 60’s and 70’s pop culture and how The Lords of Salem has become a big seller on DVD; “I wish my records would sell the way Lords of Salem sells. It’s huge.”

Photo above by Jason Goodrich

To read excerpts from the interview, click >> 

Inked Magazine: ROB ZOMBIE Author: Bryan Reesman 

Rob Zombie has become ubiquitous with horror. After first achieving international fame with White Zombie then going solo, the hard rocking vocalist has made movies, written comic books, composed video game soundtracks, done voice acting work, and designed theme park rides. He always has his hands in something spooky. When he sat down to chat with Inked, Zombie was finishing up his sixth solo album with his songwriting partner, guitarist John 5, and their bandmates from the previous album. Expect it out in early 2015. While fans await that, Zombie’s Great American Nightmare theme park rides, each featuring three twisted haunted houses inspired by his macabre movies, migrate this Halloween season from California to Scottsdale, Arizona and Villa Park, Illinois. Meanwhile, he is also crowdfunding his next movie 31. Life’s a perpetual terror train for Zombie, and he still loves the ride.

I was listening to Educated Horses today, which I think is your most interesting album so far. Will any elements from that album creep into the new one?
Not really. I really like that record, and sometimes I think that might be the best record. But this one is very, very different from that. This record is really dark all the way through and really melodic sounding. That record was really tight sounding. I want this to be very raw and chaotic sounding.

After working together for four albums, do you and John 5 have a Vulcan mind meld at this point?
Pretty much. We work really well together. We don’t have the same tastes on everything, but we have enough similar tastes. The important thing is that we think the same way, let’s put it that way, so writing together is really easy and just fun. It used to be that writing songs wasn’t fun, sometimes it was just a drag and very painful with certain people. But with John it’s super easy.

We’re curious, what kind of crowds are coming to your Great American Nightmare theme park attractions?
The type of people who go to my concerts are the main people you see, and you get people who like Halloween events.

It’s cool that you’re doing your Great American Nightmare theme parks this year outside of the obvious places like New York or LA.
The goal every year is to expand it to more cities, but I didn’t want to do too many at once because if you bite off more than you can chew to start off, then it’s doomed to fail and it’s hard to keep any sort of quality control over if you’re trying to do it in 20 different places at once.

You work in two genres, horror and metal, both of which have very high fan expectations, but ironically many times very limited fan expectations. They want you to deliver what they love without going too far outside what they’re thinking or what you have established. Is it ever frustrating knowing that there are things you want to do that the fans might not appreciate?
Not really. I’m kind of used to that. I don’t ever not do something because I think that’s going to happen. I just do what I want to do, and sometimes you know you’re doing something that the fans may not accept right out of the box. If you’ve been around long enough, you do things that may freak your fan base out at first and then will become accepted. Sometimes people just take time. I understand it. If somebody has an album and they’ve been jamming it every day for five years and it’s their favorite record, when you make a new record they always say it’s not as good. How could it be as good? You’ve loved this record to death for five years, and you have this new record for five minutes and don’t like it as much. How could you? Things take time. Everything grows. I’ve gone through that with all the records. Every time I’ve made a new record, [many people say] it’s not as good as the last one. It’s the same thing with every movie. I’m the same way. There are new records and movies that I bought and didn’t like them, but then I go back to them years later and think, Fuck, this record or this movie is incredible. I just wasn’t in the mind space at the time to accept it or to deal with it.

The Lords of Salem didn’t seem to get the same audience as your previous movies.
In a funny way, it did. Everybody says they love House Of 1,000 Corpses [now], but that movie was hated when it came out by everybody. Every review was terrible, and everybody hated it. People like it now, but if you compare them, Lords of Salem got great reviews, some mainstream stuff, and people in European countries love it because it has kind of a European pacing and sensibility to it. They especially love it in Italy. Sometimes it’s a case of perspective. Sometimes people know and love a movie and thought it was a big movie and popular when it came out, but not necessarily. Out of all the movies, this thing is the biggest seller on video. It’s fucking out of control, believe it or not. I wish my records would sell the way Lords of Salem sells. It’s huge.

It sounds like 31 could tap into the audience that The Purge has with its basic concept.
I don’t know. I don’t even think about that stuff. It’s more to me like The Devil’s Rejects, this gritty, nasty, in-your-face movie, which sometimes in a weird sort of way is more commercial. But I never do anything for that reason. I have these conversations all the time, and it probably drives my manager crazy, but I never think about that stuff.

31 chronicles a brutal game during Halloween, correct?
People are abducted, kidnapped off the street, and taken to a place and forced to take place in The Most Dangerous Game [scenario]. What I was trying to come up with was a very simple, self-contained idea because I really like those types of movies. I’ve wanted to make a movie like that, where everything is one location, very self-contained, very claustrophobic, but I never do that.

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