Rob Zombie: Music Man, 1998, In The Loder Files

Horror-metal star goes solo.

Where do old interviews go to die? Since 1988 they’ve gone into the MTV News vault, but we’ve been exhuming them to bring you these classic natterings. Here’s the latest in the series, which runs every Tuesday.

Back in his artsy early days, Rob Zombie had done a bit of production-design work for MTV, so it was sort of fitting that he should return in August of 1998, in the midst of officially vaporizing White Zombie — the New York horror-metal band he’d led for the previous 13 years — and striking out on his own with a solo album called Hellbilly Deluxe. Only two further studio albums have followed, but then Rob has been busy, mainly with movies.

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Zombie’s love of old schlock exploitation films was already clear in his music, in song and album titles like “Spiderbaby” and The Sinister Urge, and in the name White Zombie itself, which is also the title of an old Bela Lugosi fright flick. After lobbing a number of his songs onto the soundtracks of movies ranging from “The Matrix” to “Bride of Chucky,” Rob finally went totally Hollywood in 2003, writing, directing and scoring his own schlock epic, “House of 1000 Corpses.” This, as you know, was followed two years later by the similarly depraved “The Devil’s Rejects,” and by last year’s “Halloween” remake . Next up will be “The Haunted World of El Superbeasto,” an animated feature based on Zombie’s own comic book, and featuring Paul Giamatti voicing the villainous Dr. Satan.

Back in 1998, when we spoke to Rob on our own “Headbangers Ball” set, the emphasis was still on music. We learned, for instance, that he had little use for rock stars with messages in their music (“I don’t care what I’m thinkin’; why do I care what he’s thinkin’?”). In fact, his relationship to rock culture was ultra-basic in every regard. “You’re supposed to go to a show and get hurt,” he mumbled. Are you still allowed to say things like that on TV?

Enjoy digging through The Loder Files? You’ll find more here, and there’s much more to come from the vaults — check back every Tuesday!