Rob Zombie is a founding member of the band White Zombie, and an accomplished heavy metal solo artist. Zombie is also known for his directing, producing, and screenwriting credits in movies like Halloween, The Lords of Salem, House of 1000 Corpses, and The Devil’s Rejects. For his music, he is best known for his albums Astro Creep: 2000, Hellbilly Deluxe, and The Sinister Urge, along with the songs “More Human Than Human,” “Dragula,” “Living Dead Girl,” “Superbeast,” “Thunderkiss ’65,” and “Never Gonna Stop.”
Photo right: Rolling Stone Rob Zombie cover, February 1999.
Rob Zombie was born in Haverhill, MA, and is the older brother of Powerman 5000 frontman SpiderOne. Zombie met his future girlfriend and White Zombie co-founder, bassist Sean Yseult, while attending the Parsons School of Design in New York City. The two had a long relationship, ending in 1994 after the release of their third album.
Formed in 1985, White Zombie was a heavy metal band based in New York City, incorporating elements of groove metal, industrial, alternative metal, and shock rock into one unique sound. The band’s first full length album was released in 1987, Soul Crusher. It incorporated vintage movie clips, thrash influenced guitars, and punk rock elements. Make Them Die Slowly, their sophomore album, was released in 1989. Both albums didn’t receive much radio attention, and stalled short of making any significant sales.
White Zombie were signed to Geffen Records following their second album, resulting in their first successful album, La Sexorcisto: Devil Music Volume One. The album received notable attention from appearing on the hit MTV show, Beavis and Butt-Head, who critiqued the song “Thunderkiss ’65.” The song received major radio airplay, and was White Zombie’s first big hit. On the show, Beavis and Butt-Head were big fans of White Zombie, playing “Black Sunshine,” “Thunderkiss ’65,” and “Welcome to Planet Motherfucker.” The band developed a following for their album La Sexorcisto, which went platinum.
The band continued to work on their fourth full album, double platinum certified Astro Creep: 2000 – Songs of Love, Destruction and Other Synthetic Delusions of the Electric Head, released in 1995. The album was their most commercially successful, peaking at number 6 on the Billboard 200, driven by the hit single “More Human Than Human.” The song received significant MTV airplay, along with the video “Super Charger Heaven” and “Electric Head Part 2.” In 1996, the band released a remix album, titled Supersexy Swingin’ Sounds, which proved to be their last as a group. The band disbanded in 1998 upon the release of Rob Zombie’s solo album, Hellbilly Deluxe.
Hellbilly Deluxe proved to a be a massive hit album for Rob Zombie, outperforming the last White Zombie album Astro Creep: 2000, going triple platinum, and debuting at #5 on the Billboard 200. Hellbilly Deluxe contained the hit rock radio single “Dragula,” which proved to be a long-lasting hit from 1998, as well as “Living Dead Girl” and “Superbeast.” All three videos received heavy rotation on MTV, which at the time was embracing the nu metal movement, while Zombie focused more on electronic, industrial, horror, and groove metal sounds. A remix album, American Made Music to Strip By, was released in 1999.
The follow up album, The Sinister Urge, received positive reviews and response from fans, selling 150,000 copies in its first week of release. The singles “Never Gonna Stop (The Red, Red Kroovy), “Feel So Numb,” and “Dead Girl Superstar” were released throughout 2001-2002. The album achieved Platinum status from the RIAA, Zombie’s third album to do so. The album is largely regarded as Zombie’s best.
In 2002, Zombie married longtime girlfriend Sherri Moon, who was featured in many Zombie videos and films like House of 1000 Corpses.
The third Rob Zombie album was an experimental one, with a glam rock feel. Educated Horses, released on March 28, 2006, debuted at #5 on the Billboard 200, and featured the single “Foxy Foxy.” It was a different sound for Zombie, and resulted in mixed reviews for the album. Educated Horses was the first album to feature acclaimed guitarist John 5, formerly of Marilyn Manson.
After several film projects, Zombie returned to music with his 2010 release, Hellbilly Deluxe 2. “Sick Bubblegum” and “What?” were released as singles. The album debuted at #8, selling 49,000 copies in first week sales.
Zombie’s fifth album, Venomous Rat Regeneration Vendor, was released on April 23, 2013, with mixed to positive reviews. It debuted at number 7 on the Billboard 200, and featured the singles “Dead City Radio and the New Gods of Supertown,” as well as the cover “We’re an American Band.” In 2013, Zombie will tour with Korn on The Living Dreads Tour.
White Zombie Discography:
- Soul-Crusher (1987)
- Make Them Die Slowly (1989)
- La Sexorcisto: Devil Music Volume One (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)
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