Rob Zombie doesn’t do covers, but when he does, they’re a harpy-winged juggernaut flaming down Route 66.
“When I think I’m being subtle, it’s really like a sledgehammer,” he chuckles.
That’s why the demonoid phenomenon has revved up Grand Funk Railroad’s rocktastic anthem “We’re an American Band” and sent it steaming through his new disc, Venomous Rat Regeneration Vendor.
“I wanted to pick a song that was bigger than the band. There’s something so ridiculous about them singing, ‘We’re coming to your town/we’ll help you party it down’ that we just couldn’t resist,” he adds.
New album? Didn’t he say 2010’s Hellbilly Deluxe 2 might be his last physical release?
“I thought that by the time I made the next record, they physically wouldn’t be making CDs.”
Now Zombie leads the legions at the Austin stop for the Mayhem Festival, summoning Swedish berserkers Amon Amarth, eye burners Machine Head, and cosmic metalers Mastodon. Expect the king of psychosleaze to deliver nothing less than a fire-and-brimstone extravaganza, even when mauling an American classic.
“We don’t do it in a subtle way,” he cracks.
In the three years since last headlining the tour, Zombie directed his fifth film, supernatural shocker The Lords of Salem, and donned death mask face paint as the flick’s filthy black metalers, Leviathan the Fleeing Serpent. The sometimes humorless, extreme-metal community turned a stern eye to his graveyard experiment.
“I didn’t do it to make fun of it,” says Zombie. “When it’s the lo-fi stuff, it’s great.”– Richard Whittaker