Rob Zombie isn’t holding back on his first ever tour with Marilyn Manson.
The ghoulish rocker and film director is known for his elaborate stage setups, influenced as always by his obsession with horror films and culture. For this tour, appropriately dubbed “Twins of Evil,” Zombie will have animatronic robots, a full light show, pyrotechnics and multimedia screens, according to a tour press release.
But Zombie — born Robert Cummings in Haverhill, Mass. — doesn’t want to give too much away. Capital Region fans will just have to wait for the tour stop at the Glens Falls Civic Center on Tuesday night to experience it for themselves.
“This is our biggest show we’ve ever taken out,” Zombie said recently from Chicago, about two weeks into the U.S. leg of the tour. “There’s so much craziness, nonstop. It’s a monstrous production. There’s a couple things in particular — but I’ll just leave it for people to be surprised when it happens.”
Rob Zombie and Marilyn Manson ‘Twins of Evil’ tour
with J Devil (Jonathan Davis of Korn)
Where: Glens Falls Civic Center, 1 Civic Center Plaza, Glens Falls
When: 7 p.m. Tuesday
How Much: $49.50-$34.50
More Info: 798-0366, www.glensfallscc.com
The tour, which hits Eastern, Southern and central U.S. cities in October before heading to Europe in late November and early December, has been a long time coming for fans of both Zombie and Manson (born Brian Warner). The two metallic shock rockers, who both made their careers in the ’90s in the new alternative metal scene, have shared stages before in their career but have never done a full tour together.
It’s also a reunion of sorts for Zombie’s current band members and Manson. Longtime Zombie guitarist John Lowery, better known as John 5, was in Manson’s band from 1998 to 2004, during which time he acquired his stage name. He then joined Zombie’s group in 2005, and has been with them ever since. Zombie’s drummer since 2011, Ginger Fish (born Kenneth Wilson), is also a Manson alum, having played with that band from 1995 to 2011.
“I mean, it’s fine — it doesn’t seem to be awkward for anybody,” Zombie said. “It would be incredibly awkward if I, for some reason, had stolen those guys out of that band — but John 5 has been in my band longer than he was ever in Manson’s band, and he was already out of that band when I got him. Same for Ginger — they had already quit his band and been gone, so there’s really no hard feelings — there can’t be. There’s nothing fishy about it; it’s just kind of weird the way that it worked out.”
Manson is supporting his eighth studio album, “Born Villain,” released in May. Zombie also has a new release, a modern electronic music-influenced remix album titled “Mondo Sex Head” that covers Zombie’s four solo albums as well as songs from his first band, White Zombie. This is the third remix album Zombie has released.
“I think they’re cool — it’s kind of a cool niche thing,” Zombie said. “I like to hand out my songs to a bunch of remixers, and if I like them I use them; if I don’t like them I don’t. Some fans probably hate it and some love it; it’s just there for whoever wants it.”
Album on the way
Fans won’t have too much longer to wait for new Zombie material, however. An as-yet-untitled fifth studio album is currently in the final mixing stages, for an early 2013 release. It’s Zombie’s first new studio album since 2010’s “Hellbilly Deluxe 2,” a sequel to his 1998 solo debut “Hellbilly Deluxe.”
Zombie drew more influence from his early years with White Zombie this time around. That band, formed in New York City in 1985, first introduced the metal world to his mix of horror culture and hard rock, eventually hitting mainstream success with its third album “La Sexorcisto: Devil Music, Vol. 1” (1992) and single “Thunder Kiss ’65.” The band also gave Zombie his stage name, which officially became his legal name in 1996.
However, the influence on his new album was more circumstantial than musical. According to Zombie, the process behind the recording reminded him of his early years in the underground rock scene, with less pressure to create hit singles or a high-selling album thanks to today’s changing music industry.
“I felt really free on this record because — I don’t know why, but looking back, record sales are now very irrelevant in the process of a band,” he said. “Back in the day, it wasn’t about trying to sell a million or two million records, and now that’s a tiny aspect of what being in a band is all about. When you’re doing it just to make a record, and you’re not all caught up writing hit songs — when you don’t care about that, it seems like you just write better music. It was sort of like the early days, when you just have a band and you can do crazy and creative things, and most of the time people don’t even know who you are.”
Music isn’t the only thing keeping him busy. His film directing career, which kicked off in 2003 with “House of 1000 Corpses” and has included his successful 2007 “Halloween” remake and its 2009 sequel, will continue with two films next year. His original horror project, “Lords of Salem,” will be released early next year, and has already received accolades at this year’s Toronto International Film Festival.
Next year, Zombie will also begin filming his first non-horror film, “The Broad Street Bullies,” based on the 1970s Philadelphia Flyers hockey team. For Zombie, the process will be the same as on his horror films.
“What’s great about it is the people who own the rights to the story came to me and said, ‘We love your movies, we love the sensibility you have,’ and they could see beyond the subject matter,” he said.
“A lot of people can’t — they see the subject matter, and that’s what it is. Movies are movies — it doesn’t matter what people are doing or saying, the process is the same. I’m excited — with anything, I always want to try to have new challenges. That’s what’s exciting to me.”
His musical and film endeavours have always gone hand in hand — he directed most of White Zombie’s early music videos. Initially, music came first because it seemed like the most feasible option at the time.
“Truthfully, as a kid it didn’t seem like you could really do either,” Zombie said. “It seemed so outrageous to be part of either. For me as a kid, I didn’t think it was possible to be part of it. And then the band came first — back then, it seemed easier to have a band, bring your friends together — we were not going on thinking we would be a million-selling arena band; it was just fun. It was just a million tiny steps over the years. . . . I know the things that I liked and the things that I didn’t like, the things that I didn’t want to waste my life doing, and it sort of evolved over the years.”