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Knight of the living dead

Growing film interest almost killed Rob Zombie's music career


Rock stars dont hang out in the forest. Forests hang out - around rock stars.
  • Rock stars dont hang out in the forest. Forests hang out around rock stars.

About a year ago, it appeared that Rob Zombie's run of industrial heavy metal albums might come to an end not because of a dip in popularity, but because of a filmmaking career that was set for take-off with a new horror project, The Devil's Rejects.

Even Zombie says his days in music, essentially, were over.

"Basically, I was just burned out on music," Zombie says in a phone interview. "I had come off of the tour for [the 2001 platinum CD] The Sinister Urge, and the guys in the band weren't getting along. It just really was not that much fun. It was kind of a drag, and I was kind of sick of it.

"Then I went off to make The Devil's Rejects, and that was a great experience, 100 percent awesome. When that was over, I [didn't] really feel like getting back into music, because I really just didn't feel like dealing with it anymore."

Zombie's talk of a retirement from music ended up being premature; he's back with a new CD, Educated Horses, and a tour with Godsmack.

An invitation from former Jane's Addiction guitarist Dave Navarro to play a charity show last year changed Zombie's plans. That night, while playing his song "Thunder Kiss '65" with a guitarist named John 5, something clicked.

A short time later, the organizers of Ozzfest invited Zombie to headline the second stage of the annual traveling heavy metal festival. Zombie contacted John 5, added drummer Tommy Clufetos and bassist Rob "Blasko" Nicholson to round out a band, and accepted the offer to join the bill.

In short order, plans swung into motion for the writing and recording of Educated Horses. "I did Ozzfest as sort of a test, and it was great," Zombie says. "Everybody's been great. There hasn't ever been one second of a problem. And that changed everything."

The music on Educated Horses suggests that Zombie and his band were suitably inspired for the sessions.

It boasts perhaps the most consistently solid set of songs of any Zombie CD, with sinister songs like "American Witch" and "Let it all Bleed Out" mixing with sexier fare, such as the popular single, "Foxy, Foxy."

Fans can expect to hear a few of the new songs in the live set, plus a visual presentation that is a little less elaborate than past outings, Zombie says.

"I felt [that with] the last couple of tours for me, the show actually got too big and got a little ridiculous," Zombie says. "It sort of stopped feeling like a band [and more like] something like this Disney on Ice spectacular. So I scaled it back a little. It's still a big rock show, but I wanted to make sure the band never got lost in the craziness."

Zombie also has a few film projects in the works, the first of which figures to be his animated film, El Superbeasto, a project based on his comic book series, The Haunted World of El Superbeasto.

"El Superbeasto is sort of like an over-the-hill, washed-up monster-slash-hero," Zombie says. "It's very much like a weird superhero monster sex comedy."


Rob Zombie, with Godsmack

Red Rocks Amphitheatre, 18300 W. Alameda Pkwy., Morrison

Thursday, Sept. 21, 7 p.m.

Tickets: $49.50-$54.50; visit

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