It wasn't that long ago — around this same time last year, maybe — that rocker/horror king Rob Zombie decided he was done touring. Zombie was content to turn his back on music so that he could focus on churning out films, like last summer's "The Devil's Rejects." But he hadn't yet met former Marilyn Manson guitarist John 5.
"I'd played this one-off charity event with Camp Freddy," former Jane's Addiction guitarist Dave Navarro's celebrity-laden cover band, "and John 5 played with me," Zombie recalled. "We did 'Thunder Kiss '65,' and we just hit it off real big. And then one thing led to another."
What came next was an offer from the Ozzfest camp to headline the second stage on last summer's festival. Zombie assembled himself a band (John 5, drummer Tommy Clufetos and bassist Rob "Blasko" Nicholson), and was back on the old touring bus.
"Before Ozzfest, I didn't have any plans to tour again at all. I was sort of sick of it, truthfully. Everything with my last band started to turn ugly and it wasn't that fun," he explained. "With the new band, I just had such a good time that really, as corny as it sounds, it seemed like the old days — we're having a band, we're playing and it's just fun. Once being in a band turns stressful, you go, 'What the f--- am I doing?' It was really fun, and we came off the tour and started making a record and it just clicked. The record ... we were like, 'These are the best songs ever. It would be stupid not to finish it.' "
Back in October, Zombie and the band entered Los Angeles' Chop Shop Studios to write and record the follow-up to 2001's The Sinister Urge; Zombie co-produced the album with Scott Humphrey. On Friday, the guys put the finishing touches on the LP, called Educated Horses. Zombie said the disc will include 11 tracks — including an acoustic number called "Death of It All," "Seventeen Year Locusts" and the album's first single, "Foxy, Foxy" — and should land in stores on March 28.
"We were just very inspired this time," Zombie said. "It's amazing how different things can be when you work with people who are excited and energetic and just so into it, that they just really inspire you to create things."
Educated Horses' release will be preceded by the launch of a North American tour, Zombie said. Italian Goth metallers Lacuna Coil, whose album Karmacode lands in stores April 4, have been tapped to open all of the trek's dates. British metal act Bullet for My Valentine have also been named as a support act for the run.
"The whole band is dying to get on tour," Zombie said. "Ozzfest was the first time we'd worked together, but now we've done a tour and we've made a record together. So now it feels like we're a tight band."
Rob Zombie tour dates, according to his publicist:
- 3/16 - Jacksonville, FL @ Plush
- 3/19 - Lake Buena Vista, FL @ House of Blues
- 3/22 - Atlanta, GA @ Tabernacle
- 3/24 - Myrtle Beach, SC @ House of Blues
- 3/25 - Norfolk, VA @ The NorVa
- 3/26 - Washington, DC @ 9:30 Club
- 3/28 - New York, NY @ Nokia Theatre
- 3/29 - New York, NY @ Nokia Theatre
- 3/30 - Philadelphia, PA @ Electric Factory
- 4/1 - Worcester, MA @ The Palladium
- 4/3 - Montreal, QC @ The Metropolis
- 4/4 - Toronto, ON @ Kool Haus
- 4/6 - Columbus, OH @ Lifestyle Communities Pavilion
- 4/7 - Detroit, MI @ State Theatre
- 4/8 - Chicago, IL @ Riviera Theatre
- 4/9 - Indianapolis, IN @ Egyptian Room
- 4/11 - Milwaukee, WI @ The Rave/ Eagles Club
- 4/13 - Des Moines, IA @ Val Air
- 4/14 - Maplewood, MN @ Myth
- 4/15 - Kansas City, KS @ Memorial Hall
- 4/17 - Denver, CO @ Fillmore Auditorium
- 4/18 - Salt Lake City, UT @ Great Salt Air
- 4/20 - San Francisco, CA @ The Warfield
- 4/21 - San Diego, CA @ SOMA
- 4/22 - Las Vegas, NV @ House of Blues
- 4/24 - Los Angeles, CA @ Wiltern
- 4/25 - Los Angeles, CA @ Wiltern
- 5/1 - Grand Prairie, TX @ Nokia Theatre
- 5/4 - Houston, TX @ Verizon Wireless Theater