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Ripping it up with Rock Vegas headliner Rob Zombie

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Rob Zombie has a new film out and a new album on the way. “You never just want to give the fans what they expect.”
Chris Bitonti

Your August release, Mondo Sex Head, remixes tracks from your catalog. Where did that concept come from? I just thought the music I made had enough of a groove that it worked for remixes. I’ve always liked that sort of music—electronic music—even though I don’t play it. And I liked having them take my songs and rip them apart and see what they come up with.

Did you oversee any of the remixes? No, I didn’t want to have anything to do with it, because it kind of defeats the purpose. We would farm out the songs to the mixers—I would just let them run wild—and I would pick the ones I liked.

You’ve got a new album coming out soon. Did Mondo help inspire the songs or styles for that? Strangely enough, no. I thought, “Maybe some of these mixers will get involved with this record,” but it just didn’t happen that way. It’s actually a very band-oriented, live-sounding raw record—a crazy record. So yeah, sort of the exact opposite of the remix record.

The Details

Rock Vegas featuring Rob Zombie, Marilyn Manson, Shinedown, Godsmack and more.
September 28 & 29, doors 1 p.m., two-day $78-$400, one-day $39-$200.
Mandalay Bay Events Center, rockvegasfest.com.

Is any of the new material ready to play on tour? It could be, but we’re not going to, because I don’t see the point. I really don’t think people put down money for a concert ticket so they can hear new songs. We’re playing songs that we haven’t played in a really long time. We won’t play any new material until the record’s out.

You recently directed a new film [The Lords of Salem]. Are there any similarities in the way you approaching making a record and making a movie? The actual work is obviously very different … but the creative process is the same. I mean, when you just boil it down, it’s just you and your brain trying to think of stuff, whether it’s lyrics or a script or just how to visualize anything. So there’s a basic element that’s exactly the same.

How did making a low-budget film like The Lords of Salem compare to making large-production films like Halloween? The funny thing is, when you see the movie, it doesn’t appear to be a low-budget movie. In fact, in a lot of ways it looks like we had more money than we did on Halloween. With each film, I become craftier on how to stretch a buck. Money equals time on a movie—less money means you have less time, and it’s harder because you have less leeway for mistakes. On a movie like Halloween, I think we shot it in 40 days, whereas Lords of Salem we shot in 23 days. And 23 days is pretty fast, especially for a movie of this scope. It’s almost as if every decision has to be right the first time, so there’s a lot pressure in that sense.

What keeps you switching up what you do as much as you do? You never just want to give the fans what they expect. You should always be challenging them, because that’s what makes it interesting. You’re supposed to be the one that takes them on a journey to somewhere else; you don’t want to just keep giving them the same thing, because they will get bored with that. So that’s why I like to mix it up. Sometimes it may upset them for a while, but eventually it always works out. You don’t want 10 albums that are exactly the same and 10 movies that are exactly the same; you’d lose interest. I’ve seen it with a million bands. You just come to expect the same thing all the time and people get bored with it.

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