Rob Zombie's idea of summer fun isn't lounging in a hammock on some Caribbean beach and sucking down a colorful drink with a cocktail umbrella. In fact, this summer the founder of heavy metal band White Zombie and cult director of such memorable cinema offerings as "The Haunted World of El Superbeasto" is putting out a new remix collection ("Mondo Sex Head"), recording an all-new studio album, finishing one movie (the bewitching "Lords of Salem"), lining up another (a non-horror docudrama about the brutal 1970s Philadelphia Flyers hockey team) and gearing up to tour with fellow shock rocker Marilyn Manson. And that's not all. "I have other things I want to do, too," Zombie says. Now that's some monstrous ambition.
It's been 25 years since White Zombie debuted with Soul Crusher. Does it feel like you started out yesterday, or another lifetime ago?
It feels like both. That record seems so long ago it doesn't even seem like me, or that I had anything to do with it. On the other hand, it doesn't seem long at all, because I feel just as much intensity and passion for what I'm doing now as I did then, if not more so. I'm not big on looking back, but if I ever do for some reason, it seems like another lifetime.
"Mondo Sex Head" is your third remix album. Why do another one?
I always like making them. I think they're kind of cool, holdover records until I can get back into the studio. At one point I felt like they had run their course and people weren't into them anymore, but the DJ culture has been exploding so big in this country recently, and I've heard people saying, "Oh, I went to see so-and-so and they played your song in their show" - that's what brought it back up and inspired making another one.
Would you like to try the DJ/remixer thing, like Jonathan Davis does with J Devil?
Not really. I never really thought about it. I don't really have the desire to work with other artists in that capacity. I've been offered that before, but I have so many other projects of my own I'm trying to get done that I just never found it plausible.
You've got a new album in the works. How's it going?
It's pretty far along. Most of the music's written. I'm doing vocals, working on arrangements with a new producer [Bob Marlette]. We'll probably finish it some time in September. I don't know if we'll put it out for Christmas or just afterwards, but it'll be some time around then. It's the most creatively free record I've made in a long time, with different kinds of sounds and everything. I want someone to hear it and go, "Wow, I haven't heard that before."
Putting you on the road with Marilyn Manson is the theatrical rock equivalent of a Mixed Martial Arts championship. Is there pressure for you to get even more extreme onstage?
I don't have any idea what he's going to do, so I haven't really thought about it. For me, it's always more. I never really have something and then take it away before adding something else; I keep what I have and then add more on top of it. So that's really what I'm in the process of doing. I'm just building a better mousetrap.
Since you directed a Woolite ad last year, you're getting more advertising offers, too. What's the appeal of that kind of work?
For one thing, they're quick. They don't involve a lot of time, and it's a good way to keep up your directing chops. You make a movie and years might go by before you get back behind the camera to make the next one, and that's always been kind of jarring for me. So it's nice if, every couple of months, you can shoot a TV commercial to just sort of stay in the groove. I've been offered a lot of commercials lately, but I've turned them all down, just because I'm too busy with music.