Bad band relationships and movie career stopped Rob touring, not aerophobia – but he’s out to make amends for absence

Rob Zombie

No fear: Rob Zombie

Rob Zombie insists he’s not scared of flying, and says the reason he hasn’t toured much in recent years is his bad experiences with bandmates coupled with his movie career.

The former White Zombie mainman is partway through his biggest live schedule in years, returning to places he hasn’t played in over a decade with a new-look solo band including Slipknot drummer Joey Jordison. He says the vibe inside the act is the best it’s been in many years.

Zombie tells Rock AAA: “The band I had after Hellbilly Deluxe in 1998 was wonderful and we did a lot of touring – but then it started falling apart.

“It always happens. People just start disliking each other, and before you know it the bass player won’t talk to the drummer, the drummer won’t talk to the guitar player and so on.

“You can tour under those circumstances, but after a couple of years it gets pretty miserable. When it fell apart I’d just made a movie and I decided, ‘Fuck it.’ I was sick of the hate and I decided to concentrate on movies.

“But I always missed music, and when I started playing with guitarist John 5 it was cool and professional, and we assembled more people. It took 25 years but I think I’ve finally found the right band.”

Zombie has made seven feature-length movies including two re-imaginings from the Halloween slasher series and this year’s Lords of Salem. He says that’s why he hasn’t toured much in recent years and it’s got nothing to do with the “urban myth” that he’s scared of flying.

He explains: “Once I started making movies, touring the world just sort of slipped away. We’ve toured the US a lot but I haven’t really been anywhere else in 13 years. I haven’t been to France in 20 years.

“We’re trying to rectify that now. We’ve done more this year than in the past ten years. You’ll be sick of us by the end of it.”

White Zombie bassist Sean Yseult recently published a book about her time in the band, in which she says things went downhill when drummer Tempesta joined. But Zombie says that’s not the case: “I’ve not seen the book so I can’t comment, but I don’t think that’s fair. Ivan DePrume left, John came in and the band sounded better than ever. We kept playing, we made bigger records and did more tours so I don’t see how that had anything to do with it.”

And he says there’s no chance of a White Zombie reunion – because it wouldn’t live up to fans’ expectations.

“Most people have memories like, ‘I saw them when I was 14 years old and it was the greatest thing ever’,” he comments. “But if they saw us now they’d probably go, ‘I wish I hadn’t seen that reunion – it was awful’. I haven’t talked to anyone from the band except John Tempesta in about 15 years. It’s better to leave it alone.”

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