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Rob Zombie

For 13 years Rob Zombie has been carving out a strange legacy of music in the world of rock, beginning in 1985 with the formation of his brainchild, shock metal superstars White Zombie. That year, Zombie rallied his fixations and passions for classic horror/sci-fi films, trash hot rod culture and generally, all things on the dark side, and formed White Zombie soon after moving to New York City. He subsequently worked as a bike messenger, porn magazine art director and production assistant for the classic children's TV series Pee-wee's Playhouse, concurrently overseeing every aspect of the band's journey. He created the band's unique visual style, designing everything Zombie: album art, T-shirts, stage shows and music videos. After a series of five cult-favorite indie releases, Zombie's efforts paid off in 1990 when the band signed with Geffen Records. La Sexorcisto: Devil Music Vol. 1 spawned a hit single, the Grammy-nominated Thunder Kiss '65, and went on to sell two million copies.

In 1995, White Zombie returned with Astro-Creep: 2000. The album sat in Billboard's Top Ten for two months, and on the Top 200 for 89 weeks, eventually being certified triple platinum. Astro-Creep: 2000 gave the world More Human Than Human, an infectious, Grammy-nominated hit (the Zombie-directed video clip won a 1995 MTV Video Music Award for Best Hard Rock Video). Supersexy Swingin' Sounds, a full album of Astro-Creep: 2000 remixes, followed quickly on the heels of that success: The disc went platinum.

These successes launched Zombie to new prominence, and allowed him latitude to explore other opportunities. First was a duet with his childhood idol, Alice Cooper, for the soundtrack to the hit TV series The X-Files. The song, entitled The Hands of Death, was nominated for a Grammy Award, ironically facing off against another Zombie offering, I'm Your Boogieman, from the platinum soundtrack to The Crow: City of Angeles. Zombie also tried his hand at animation (collaborating with Mike Judge to create a hallucinatory sequence for the feature Beavis & Butt-Head Do America) and directing (he was slated to helm the third chapter of The Crow franchise, working from his own screenplay, but Miramax Films eventually pulled out of the deal). After his Butthead experience, Zombie was recruited by longtime fan Howard Stern to duet on a track for the shock jock's film Private Parts. The thumping The Great American Nightmare resulted; it became a theme song for both Stern and Zombie. Private Parts, meanwhile hit #1 at the box office, as did the soundtrack, which has been certified platinum.

Zombie made his solo recording debut on August 25, 1998 with the release of Hellbilly Deluxe. The album entered the Billboard charts at #5 and went on to sell over three million copies. A track from the album, Superbeast, also chalked up yet another Grammy nomination for Best Hard Rock performance. After watching Hellbilly Deluxe sell more copies in its first week of release than any White Zombie record before it, he disbanded the group to forge ahead as a full-time solo act, issuing in the fall of 1999 American Made Music to Strip By, a collection of remixes of songs from his solo debut.

Starting his own label, Zombie-A-Go-Go Records, in 1998, he gave bands like the Ghastly Ones a home while creating demented mix CDs like Halloween Hootenanny. He delivered remixes to a number of soundtracks while recording Scum of the Earth, for the Mission Impossible: 2 soundtrack, and he rounded out his first major solo run with a Rob Zombie toy produced by Todd McFarlane. In April of 2000, he began working on writing and directing a feature film, funded by Universal Studios after he designed a horror display for their amusement parks. The film, entitled House of 1000 Corpses, was produced and edited, but the studio backed out due to their own corporate standards (Universal deemed the film "too dark and disturbing for release under their corporate releasing guidelines"). Zombie wrangled the rights to the film from the studio while taking out his frustrations on his next solo record, The Sinister Urge. Again working with collaborator Scott Humphrey (who had produced his first record and who collaborates with Rob on music for House), he drafted in a metal superstar cast including Ozzy Osbourne, Slayer guitarist Kerry King, Motley Crue/Methods of Mayhem drummer Tommy Lee, and Limp Bizkit's DJ Lethal. The record was another great success. He sold House of 1000 Corpses to MGM for a Halloween release, although offers from several smaller studios had to be refused because of the financial loss Zombie would have taken. Once again, missteps resulted in the film sitting on the proverbial shelf. In 2002, the progressive film studio Lions Gate Entertainment stepped into the breach.

Note: This profile was written in or before 2003.

Rob Zombie Facts

Birth NameRobert Cummings
OccupationMusician, Director
BandWhite Zombie
BirthdayJanuary 12, 1966 (58)
BirthplaceHaverhill, Massachusetts, USA
Height6' 2" (1m88)  How tall is Rob Zombie compared to you?
Social Media RWZombie

Selected Filmography

The Other Side
The Devil's Rejects
House of 1,000 Corpses
The Lords of Salem
The Devil's Rejects / House of 1000 Corpses
Rob Zombie: The Zombie Horror Picture Show
Rob Zombie Boxset
The Zombie Horror Picture Show
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