Music / Rob Zombie
"Dig through the ditches
And burn through the witches
And slam in the back of my Dragula"
— Rob Zombie, "Dragula"
, born Robert Bartleh Cummings
on January 12, 1965, is a Grammy-nominated American musician, film director, screenwriter and film producer.
He first attracted attention as the frontman of the band White Zombie, whose members included:
- Rob - guitar, vocals
- Sean Yseult - bass
- Ena Kostabi - guitar (1985-1986)
- Tim Jeffs - guitar (1986)
- Tom Guay - guitar (1986-1988)
- John Ricci - guitar (1988-1989)
- Jay Noel Yuenger - guitar (1989-1998), always credited as "J."
- Peter Landau - drums (1985-1986)
- Ivan de Prume - drums (1986-1992)
- Phil Buerstatte - drums (1992-1994)
- John Tempesta - drums (1994-1998)
White Zombie (its name taken from a 1932 Bela Lugosi zombie flick White Zombie
) was initially a Noise Rock
band signed to an independent label. In this incarnation, they released two EPs and two albums, Soul-Crusher
and Make Them Die Slowly
. The latter album showed them moving away somewhat from their noise rock sound in favour of Heavy Metal
Eventually, once The '90s
rolled around, the band signed with Geffen Records
, recruited a new guitarist named Jay Noel Yuenger and re-fashioned themselves as a Industrial-influenced Groove Metal
band that used lots of samples
from old B-movies and trashy, surreal horror-movie aesthetics. This incarnation put out two well-received albums, La Sexorcisto: Devil Music, Vol. 1
and Astro Creep: 2000
White Zombie disbanded in 1998, and Rob became a borderline solo artist. He still had a full band, though. Its members are:
- John 5 - guitars (formerly of Marilyn Manson)
- Piggy D - bass
- Ginger Fish - drums (also formerly of Marilyn Manson)
- Tommy Clufetos - drums (2005-2010)
- John Tempesta - drums (1994-2003)
- Blasko - bass (1997-2006)
- Riggs - guitar (1997-2003)
He produced his most successful album, Hellbilly Deluxe
, in 1998. He followed it up in 2001 with The Sinister Urge
. Since then, Rob has divided his attention between a solo career and directing the sort of trashy, B-movie horror films that he loves so much. He recently attracted a lot of negative attention for his remake of Halloween
and its sequel
. Riggs and Tempesta, tired of waiting around while Rob worked on films, left the band and started Scum of the Earth, a band whose sound is most similar to Hellbilly Deluxe
-era Rob Zombie.
Rob's younger brother Michael is also a musician, leading Powerman 5000
under the Stage Name
White Zombie discography:
- Soul-Crusher (1987)
- Make Them Die Slowly (1989)
- La Sexorcisto: Devil Music, Vol. 1 (1992)
- Astro Creep: 2000 (1995)
- Hellbilly Deluxe: 13 Tales Of Cadaverous Cavorting Inside The Spookshow International (1998)
- The Sinister Urge (2001)
- Educated Horses (2006)
- Hellbilly Deluxe 2: Noble Jackals, Penny Dreadfuls and the Systematic Dehumanization of Cool (2010)
- Venomous Rat Regeneration Vendor (2013)
- The Electric Warlock Acid Witch Satanic Orgy Celebration Dispenser (2016)
- American Made Music To Strip By (1999)
- Mondo Sex Head (2012)
Rob Zombie uses the following tropes:
- Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking: Has sampled dialogue from Faster, Pussycat! Kill! Kill!, Night of the Living Dead (1968) and...the 1960s Batman series.
- As Himself: Rob Zombie was a playable character in Twisted Metal 4 (a game for which he did most of the music)
- Ballad of X: "The Ballad of Resurrection Joe and Rosa Whore". Try and guess if it's actually a ballad.
- Becoming the Mask: Had his name legally changed to Rob Zombie
- Big "YES!": He uses "yeah" A LOT. "Spiderbaby (Yeah-Yeah-Yeah)" is only the tip of the iceberg.
- Chronological Album Title: Hellbilly Deluxe 2
- Circus of Fear: "Grease Paint and Monkey Brains"
- Cluster F-Bomb: Throughout his music.
- Continuity Nod: "My Durango 95," first mentioned in "Soul-Crusher" on La Sexorcisto: Devil Music Vol. 1," later resurfaced in "Never Gonna Stop (The Red, Red Kroovy)", on Rob's second solo album The Sinister Urge.
- Contemptible Cover: The original artwork for Mondo Sex Head featured Sheri Moon Zombie's bare behind. Distributors refused to sell it, so the original design was made exclusive to the vinyl version, with all other formats using totally different artwork (a closeup of a kitten) instead. Rob Zombie explained this by saying "instead of censoring that cover and ruining it, I just removed the ass shot and replaced it with a pussy shot".
- Cool Car: "Black Sunshine", "Dragula".
- Cover Version: KC and the Sunshine Band's "I'm Your Boogieman".
- The Ramones' "Blitzkrieg Bop," for the Tribute Album We're A Happy Family. Crossed with Rearrange the Song since, instead of trying to match the pace of the original (which the Ramones would speed up live), he slowed it down instead.
- The Commodores' "Brick House," with Lionel Richie and the female rapper Trina.
- Grand Funk Railroad "We're and American Band" from 2013's Venomous Rat Regeneration Vendor.
- Black Sabbath's "Children of the Grave" for the first Nativity In Black compilation.
- Kiss' "God of Thunder" as a non-album single.
- Creepy Child: One recites the lyrics to "Call of the Zombie"
- Drives Like Crazy: During the video for "Dragula". All of it!
- Excited Show Title!: "Thrust!"
- Filk Song:
"Goldfoot's machine creates another fiend
So beautiful it'll make you kill"
- "Dragula" is named for one of the two cars created by Grandpa Munster in the episode "Hot Rod Herman."
- "Creature of the Wheel" is full of references to, and samples dialogue from, The Omega Man.
- Gender-Blender Name: Sean Yseult. Deliberate on her part as she wanted to be known for her bass playing rather than her (quite good) looks. Her real name is Shauna Reynolds.
- Greatest Hits Album: Past, Present and Future, combining both White Zombie and his own work.
- Guttural Growler: On most of his songs. He's actually rather soft-spoken otherwise.
- I, Noun: "I, Zombie"
- Intercourse with You: "Pussy Liquor"
- Mohs Scale of Rock and Metal Hardness: Both his solo work and his White Zombie work are generally in the 6-8 range, with the odd song dipping below.
- Ominous Pipe Organ: On "Return of the Phantom Stranger" and "Electric Head Pt. 1 (The Agony)
- One-Letter Name: J
- Our Demons Are Different: "Demonoid Phenomenon"
- Premature Encapsulation: The White Zombie album Soul-Crusher came out in 1987, but the song of that name came out in 1992. There's no evidence that the song "Soul-Crusher" was written that early, so it's possible they just reused the title.
- Real Song Theme Tune: Various White Zombie and Rob Zombie tracks have been used by professional wrestlers as theme songs.
- Edge used "Never Gonna Stop" for several years in WWE
- Chris Jericho used "Electric Head Part II: The Ecstasy" during his ECW run.
- Lance Storm used "El Phantasmo and the Chicken Run Blast-o-Rama" in ECW.
- Linda "Shaniqua" Miles very briefly used "Feel So Numb".
- Refrain from Assuming: The White Zombie song "Super-Charger Heaven" is also unofficially known as "Devilman" after the chorus.
- Revenant Zombie: "I, Zombie" would seem to be this:
I, zombie cancer raging; I, zombie fascinating
I, zombie crucify; I, zombie do not die
I, zombie kill machine; I, zombie never seen
I, zombie never you; I, zombie coming through
I, zombie duplicating; I, zombie eliminating
I, zombie fucking you; I, zombie never through
- Shout-Out: His song "The Man Who Laughs" from Hellbilly Deluxe 2 is about... The Man Who Laughs. The rest of his lyrics are full of references to Science Fiction and/or Horror films, to the point that Yseult lampshaded it in an interview when "El Phantasmo and The Chicken Run Blast-O-Rama" was brought up, saying that "You kinda know what it means if you live in Zombie world."
- Single Stanza Song: "Call of the Zombie," "I, Zombie"
- Stage Names: Rob Zombie, Sean Yseult, J., and almost everyone in the Rob Zombie solo act band.
- Trope 2000: Astro-Creep 2000
- Word Salad Lyrics: All the time. From "Thunder Kiss '65":
"Well sweet little sista's high in hell cheat'n on a halo
grind in a odyssey holocaust heart kick on tomorrow
breakdown, agony, said "ectasy" in overdrive
she come a riding on the world"
- A review of "The Sinister Urge" accused him of getting his lyrics from a random word generator. Yseult, in the same interview, said that when fans asked her what songs meant, her standard reply was "Don't fuckin' ask me, I don't know."
- Word Salad Title:
- You Gotta Have Green Hair: Sean Yseult