Rob Zombie’s recent and upcoming sinister urges include a remix album, a new solo record, a film that looks positively terrifying and an eerie commercial for a laundry detergent. Zombie’s work as a successful filmmaker and fright-metal recording artist didn’t quite eat up all his time, so he’s going back to doing one of the things he does best: putting on a really big show. Befitting its title, the Twins of Evil tour will pair Zombie with another veteran shock-rocker in Marilyn Manson and comes to Houston one night before Halloween. Zombie talked with us about the tour, his schedule and Woolite.
Q: You have a lot going on these days. Were you this driven and organized as a kid?
A:No. I mostly remember being lazy when I was younger. I don’t think I accomplished a hell of a lot. (Laughs.) I’m not kidding. In fact, I think if you checked every single one of my report cards from school they’d all read, “Has ability, will not apply himself.” That could’ve been my motto.
Q: Are you just better with time now? It seems like a lot of work.
A:Yeah, it is really hectic. Sometimes it’s the nightmare, devilish sort of busy. But projects present themselves that I want to do. And I’m excited to do them all. Truthfully, there’s not enough time. But if you take on too many things. you start to sacrifice quality, and I try to never do that. Inevitably, it can happen, but I battle against it. Still, there’s a paranoia about finding work. When an opportunity is there, you’re always afraid to say no because it may not be there next year. So I commit to things all the time.
Q: Are you and Manson old friends? Seems like if you were, this tour would’ve happened long ago.
A: Yeah, we’ve crossed paths many times. We met about 20 years ago. I’m not sure why it never happened earlier. It seems like an obvious tour. But most of the time it’s scheduling conflicts. My schedule has gotten much more screwy since I started making movies. But with this one we were both looking to do some touring at the same moment, and it made sense to do it together.
Q: Do you get to watch any of his set? Or are you too busy preparing to look evil for your own show?
A:That’s really it. Our show takes a lot of work. So I usually get to watch a little of their show, maybe four or five songs. But then I really have to get ready for our show.
Q: You’ve always put on a pretty big show. Have you ever had a Spinal Tap moment where a stage prop malfunctions?
A: There’s probably something that goes wrong every single night. But no one notices. That’s the funny thing about it. There’s so much going on between the band and the stage show, if something happens, the crowd just thinks it’s a funny part of the show. You know, “Clearly, they meant to do that ...”
Q: For “Mondo Sex Head”: Do you seek out remixers for specific songs? Or do the remixers come to you?
A: It’s kind of a both. What it was is we sort of gathered a master list of DJs and remixers. We contacted them and let them pick whatever they wanted to do. We got the remixes back and sorted and picked the best ones that made the most solid record. It’s a pretty simple process. I didn’t really get involved, otherwise it’d be me making an album instead of somebody doing a remix.
Q: I heard album number five is in the works. How’s that coming along?
A:The record is pretty much finished. We just have to finish the mixing. We mixed half before the tour but then ran out of time. It’s slated for early next year.
Q: And as far as films, what’s up with “The Lords of Salem”?
A: We’re trying to figure that out. I’m trying to coordinate the album and movie so they come out at the same time. Both things as best I can tell should come out early next year.
Q: It was a return to a tighter budget after the “Halloween” movies. Is there a benefit to having to work without the benefit of a huge amount of money?
A: Well, yes and no. It’s a weird sliding scale. You want to have enough to do things right. There’s no right answer. There are lots of movies that have too much money and they waste it. They don’t put it on the screen, they dump it elsewhere. You want enough where it’s not detrimental to the process. You want enough so you can pay for it if you want to mix the sound another day. But there are people who will tell you $250 million isn’t enough to make a movie. I guess that’s a non-answer.
Q: Can you talk a bit about the Philadelphia Flyers film? There should be some great characters in that one.
A: Yeah, it’s a great story. One of those sports stories that you don’t have to be a fan of the sport to enjoy the movie. That’s what appeals to me. If it was just for hockey fans, that’s not too interesting. It’s more about these crazy characters. Crazy character-driven rather than something about sports. We’re just working on the script now. I assume we’ll shoot next year.
Q: I dug the Woolite commercial. Did that earn you a free supply of Woolite? Seems like it could come in handy for a guy who does bloody movies.
A: No, actually I don’t think I got any free Woolite. I didn’t really ask them. In fact, it didn’t even cross my mind. I guess I should’ve thought about that.