Rob Zombie | Rock ’n’ Roll and Bug Commercials

zombie2012 sqAfter writing and directing his next film The Lords of Salem, Zombie headed out for a co-headlining tour with Megadeth that kicked off in New Jersey on May 11.

 

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Who knew back in the early ’90s, when he was Thunder-Kissing across the globe with White Zombie, that Rob Zombie would become the multi-hyphenate entertainer he is today? These days it’s all about specialists, but it’s easy to forget there was a time when entering show business meant you had to be good at everything: The more feathers in your cap, the more options and avenues to success would be yours to build a career on. The fact is, there simply aren’t a lot of people who can stake claim to being an internationally renowned rock star as well as a screenwriter, director, and artist.

So how is this for a schedule? After writing and directing his next film The Lords of Salem, Zombie headed out for a co-headlining tour with Megadeth that kicked off in New Jersey on May 11. Once that wraps up, he starts June with another flurry of activity, heading right into the studio with guitarist John 5 to work on his next solo album. All of this while debuting a new web series and preparing to promote Lords. How the heck does this guy keep his head from spinning off his neck? “I’ve always been able to do that. I like working on several projects at once,” he says matter-of-factly. “If I only had one project to work on, I would go crazy, I think.”

Rob Zombie will be bringing his spectacular brand of Grand Guignol rock ’n’ roll theatrics to Verizon Wireless Amphitheater on Saturday, May 19 as part of Pointfest 2012. While Zombie is playing it close to his bloody vest regarding what fans can expect from the new show, he does say that it will be new sights and sounds that will rock ear sockets and tantalize eyeballs. “We did some festivals in Europe last year with our new stage, but I don’t think we’ve introduced it in the States. So the upcoming tour with Megadeth will be the first time our fans in the U.S. will see this show.”

So far, Zombie’s setlist hasn’t included any new tracks from the forthcoming record, though that doesn’t mean he doesn’t have a plan of attack for what he wants accomplished. “It’s kind of early in the process,” he says, “so I’m not sure exactly which direction it will go. What I do know is that it’s going to be very dark record, and I’ll be exploring some intense themes.” I mention that I’m particularly fond of his lyrical references to classic horror films, and I am assured that, “We’ll most likely be infusing it with some of that, as well.”

Many Zombie fans are also chomping at the bit to see footage from his next directorial effort, The Lords of Salem. Fans present at the tour kickoff in New Jersey were treated to the world premier of the trailer before Zombie’s encore, and it received an explosively positive reaction. How will this film differ from past efforts? “I actually worked really hard to do something different with this one,” Zombie explains. “Stylistically, it’s more of a Kubrick approach. Slow and steady, and a lot of wide shots. It’s a departure from my really violent stuff, and it’s more of a psychological slow-burn with a mind-fuck of an ending.” Though the film does not have an official release date, Zombie expects it to be “late 2012, more toward the end of the year. We’ll be announcing something soon.”

So beyond the whole “U.S. tour” and “recording an album and releasing a movie” stuff, Rob Zombie has added directing Woolite and Amdro commercials to his increasingly varied list of achievements. Hold on…what? “I never really had a desire to do any commercial work and I never sought it out,” he relates. “The bug commercial I did for Amdro was a lot of fun. They’re just something that fit into my schedule and gave me a chance to be creative and have free reign in a small amount of time. When opportunities come up, like when I directed CSI Miami, I like to take them on, because it’s new territory.”

With whatever free time he has left, there is also the web series he is creating for Chris Hardwicke’s Nerdist Channel. “The web series is something we’re going to be working on after the record’s done. It’s going to be a comedy thing, which people wouldn’t normally associate with me.” How was he tapped to do a web series, exactly? “Chris Hardwicke asked me about it, and I had an idea for it that I was kind of throwing around. It’s being developed now, so we’ll probably shoot in July.”

Before it’s time to get off of the phone, I tell Zombie that my friend’s newborn was brought into the world via the Hellbilly Deluxe album. The baby just didn’t feel like making its grand debut, but once Rob Zombie was cranked on the iPod, the little fella was ready enter the world rocking out to the strains of “Dragula.” “That,” stated Zombie “is going to be one cool kid.” | Jim Ousley

Pointfest takes place Saturday, May 19, and Sunday May 20, at Verizon Wireless Amphitheater in Maryland Heights, Mo. For more information, please visit www.1057thepoint.com/pointfest/.

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