Rob Zombie is one of rock’s busiest men, continually balancing recording, touring and a career as a movie director. During one of Zombie’s brief breaks in his schedule, he took a few minutes to chat with ‘Loudwire Nights’ host Full Metal Jackie about his upcoming DVD/Blu-Ray release ’The Zombie Horror Picture Show’ and its accompanying book, his plans regarding a Manson Family project and more. Check out Full Metal Jackie’s chat with Rob Zombie below.
On the show with us, the one and only Rob Zombie. How are you?
Fine and dandy, how are you?
Happy to have you on the show, really excited about this upcoming DVD and Blu Ray. ‘The Zombie Horror Picture Show,’ the concert DVD and Blu Ray, will be available May 19. Over the years, Rob, you’ve always resisted the idea of releasing a concert video. What changed?
I don’t know. I really hate being filmed, truthfully. That’s part of the reason and when I’m doing TV shows or anything, I never watch them back. I found having cameras around really, really annoying. But then I thought, we’re not getting any younger and the show isn’t going to get any bigger, so we better film it now before it’s us live at Joe’s Bar and Grill somewhere.
The band is as good as it’s ever been, the show is bigger than it’s ever been. Now is the time, now or never. Even when we did it, I was like goddamn they get on my nerves. But I sucked it up and went with it, and it turned out fantastic. I was really happy with it.
Rob, the live show overwhelms the senses. What is the trick to making the ‘Zombie Horror Picture Show’ still seem bigger than life while watching it in your living room?
It’s like anything else. The trick to us was the way you film it. There’s a certain way everyone films home videos for the most part. The camera to the type of lenses, everything. They’ll film a Willie Nelson concert and a Slayer concert the exact same way. I knew what I needed to do, I needed all the cameras hand held and I needed them in the crowd, so you’re always shooting through the people. So at all times you see the show like you’re there. Our shows are chaotic, they’re hot and nasty. They’re a big mess by the end of the night.
I needed the cameras to capture that. It’s too clean. So we had about 20 cameras, we had them everywhere of all different types and it worked out great. When you watching it, if you’re a fan of our concerts or you’ve been to one of our concerts, you’ll say that’s exactly what it felt like to be at that show. That was my goal. A lot of times, you remember a show being crazy and you watch the concert video live and say, “Wow it seems to tame, or different than I remember.” That was the key. Capturing the moment.
Rob, there’s going to be a photo book as a companion piece. What makes it a necessary important part of the experience?
It’s really different. The book kind of happened by accident, I got a request from a photographer Rob Feng, who was like, “Oh I want to come on the tour with you and shoot a whole book of photos,” and he pitched it to me and my first response was, “No f—ing way, I do not want a camera in my face for the next two months.” Then I thought about it, and I was looking at some photo books that I have and really love.
There’s a really good Elton John book that John 5 gave me from the ’70s. It was so cool and I said we had to do it. Yeah, we let him come on the road. He’s a really cool guy. We let him everywhere. We never let anyone backstage, we never let anyone on the bus, we never let anyone at the hotels, we never let anyone onstage. We let him go everywhere and it — it just captured everything. People say, “Oh I wonder what it would be like to…” It goes back to when I was a kid asking, “Oh, I wonder what it was like to be in a band.”
I wonder what it’s like to do all of this. This book really shows you. A lot of cool stuff happens during the course of the tour that you don’t expect. Like, Mick Mars came on stage one night, in Nashville and played ‘We’re an American Band.’ We got some cool pictures of that. Or the guys from Korn will wander on stage. We got pictures of that. People backstage, the chaos that happens on the road and it’s finally cool to have it captured really nice black and white photos.
You and ‘American Psycho’ author Bret Easton Ellis are developing a project based upon the Manson Family and the events of 1969. Why is Manson and those events still so compelling to you and everyone else over 40 years later?
When I first talked to Bret about it, we had the same thought. We’re the exact same age, so the events kind of resonated with us in the same fashion. It’s just a very bizarre situation. There’s nothing like it when you look at it. You have this sort of rock star wannabe guru guy who is an incredibly charismatic, manipulative person and he’s surrounded by these pretty young girls doing these horrible events, killing famous people in Hollywood. If it didn’t happen and you wrote a script you might say this is insane, it would never happen.
Just the time period, everything about it, it’s just fascinating. The more I read on it, every time I see a photo I’ve never seen before I go, “Oh my God, look at this!” I don’t know what it is, endlessly fascinating to me.
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