Rob Zombie: Lords of Salem Is My Last Horror Film "for a Really Long Time"
Rob Zombie is now a force to be reckoned with in the world of heavy metal and cinema, and his footing is only growing stronger. Starting with White Zombie and solo albums like Hellbilly Deluxe and Educated Horses and continuing with his decade as a film director and screenwriter, Rob Zombie has thrilled and influenced fans and fellow artists since the '80s.
His newest album, Venomous Rat Regeneration Vendor, was released on April 23, right alongside his newest film (and book), Lords of Salem, which hit theaters April 19. Recently we were able to talk to him about both.
When it comes to film, Rob Zombie has easily spent a decade doing the devil's work. His love for all things horror, particularly the down-and-dirty chillers from the '70s and early '80s, gives his films a unique stylistic experimentation. But Lords is a departure from cult classics like the lovably sadistic Devil's Rejects and the animated romp The Haunted World of El Superbeasto.
It's set in Salem, Massachusetts, where a flashback to witches being burned at the stake while cursing the town sets the tone for a radio DJ, Heidi (Zombie's wife, Sheri Moon), who plays a record and seals her fate as the portal for Satan's spawn.
Read More: Rob Zombie faces his fans and his art.
Up on the Sun spoke with Rob Zombie about his favorite scenes from Lords of Salem, his biggest creative challenges, and the possibility of his new album becoming a movie.
Last summer when we spoke, you said that this album is opening a new chapter in your life and it could be titled something like "The Final Act." So how did an outrageous title like Venomous Rat Regeneration Vendor come about?
I really don't remember. At some point during the recording of the record I came up with that and wrote it down. Then toward the end of the record . . . I usually title the record toward the end, because once I hear the music, I get the vibe of the album and come up with what it should be called. I saw that title, and I don't remember doing it or what made me think of it, but I just thought, "That's it! That's the title!"
So it must hint at some crazy concept.
Well, the concept is quite secretive at this point, and I can't get into it.
[Laughs] Well, I can't tell anyone. The band doesn't even know!
You also said this new album was possibly going to be a record that could turn into a movie. Do you see Venomous Rat Regeneration Vendor as that record?
I would love to, [but] I don't know when or how that's ever possible. It could be 20 years, who knows?
Is there a track that was more challenging than others to make, or is there a favorite you have?
Well, for some reason my favorite is "Ging Gang Gong." I just like that song for some reason. It was an easy song to do, and it was just a free-sounding song. There were a lot of mistakes and I left them in. It was just chaos.
The most difficult song, for some reason, was "White Trash Freaks." We came up with that groove and I thought it would be easy. But for some reason it just went on and on and on. We kept re-recording it, changing the vocals, changing the chorus. I was losing my mind writing that song; I don't know why, though.
I particularly love "Rock and Roll in a Black Hole," and the slower breakdown at the end of "The Girl Who Loved the Monsters."
"Rock and Roll" was the last song written for the record. The band had left and it was just me and the producer, and we had the studio for one more day. And I thought I wanted to do one more song. I knew we had this synth-y loop-type thing we'd never used that I'd always liked. And that whole song was put together and recorded one afternoon super- quick, just before they started packing up the studio and shipping off the equipment.
And sometimes . . . You know, you labor over songs that no one ever cares about, and then other times you whip one up in one afternoon and everyone loves it.