Rob Zombie Shuts The Door On White Zombie, Talks New Solo LP; Plus God Forbid, Chimaira & More News That Rules, In Metal File

Five-disc box set 'is the last thing that will come from the band,' frontman says.

There are a lot of words you could use to describe Rob Zombie, but “indolent” isn’t one of them. The shock rocker’s always got a full plate, and is constantly working. Whether he’s thumbing through scripts or writing riffs, Zombie is always thinking about the next project. At the moment, it’s the follow-up to 2006′s Educated Horses that’s taking up most of his time.

“We’re almost finished,” Zombie told Metal File this week, about his forthcoming, still-untitled solo LP. “We’ll probably finish with the record completely before Christmas, and it’s great. The unique thing about this record is, it’s the first time since White Zombie broke up [in 1998] that I’ve actually recorded with a band, in the sense that these are the guys that I tour with, that I hang out with, and we’re a band, and we’ll record as a band.”

Zombie said he’s been working on his next album — which he hopes to release this spring and which will feature the tracks “Jesus Frankenstein” and “Sick Bubblegum” — for the last few months, alongside guitarist John 5, drummer Tommy Clufetos and bassist Piggy D.

“The record’s hard to describe, but it’s just got a much more solid vibe, and it’s going to be a much more intricate, interesting record just due to the fact that we have four people that are in the room all the time, contributing and working on it,” he explained. “For me, it’s great, because my solo records have been somewhat disjointed because there’s always a changing roster of people. Great things usually come out of situations where you have a great vibe and you can usually feel it. And that’s what’s going on here.”

The feel of the album, according to Zombie, is “all over the place.” He said he didn’t head into the studio with any specific goals in mind, other than to evolve his sound naturally.

“We just go into the studio and let it happen,” he said. “Having a band helps because we change things at the spur of the moment. We’ll start with something in the morning, and by the end of the day, it’s morphed into something completely different. The lyrics — I’m pretty loose with that, in how I approach it. You just bang your head against the wall until something comes out. But I’m always trying to do something [with my records] that sounds fresh without making it so different that it’s not you anymore. That’s the problem with anything you do, as time goes on. If it’s too different, everybody complains, and if it’s too much of the same, everybody complains. So I’m always trying to find that tight rope, that middle ground, where it’s your vibe and your thing, but it still sounds fresh.”

On November 25, Zombie releases Let Sleeping Corpses Lie, a career-spanning five-disc box set, featuring everything White Zombie ever recorded. Zombie said he compiled the entire package on his own, not seeking the help of any of his former bandmates, whom he said he hasn’t even spoken to since the group’s last gig. But putting the box set together was an interesting exercise that made Zombie appreciate his current setup that much more.

“It made me appreciate the new band more, because going back and putting the box set together brought up a lot of things that I had forgotten about, and unfortunately, some of it was negative,” he said. “So you really appreciate when you’re in a good situation with a good group of musicians and a good group of guys. It took 20-something years, but I feel like I’ve finally found the three perfect people to work with.”

Zombie, who claimed he’ll be touring the States after next summer, said the time was right to release a White Zombie box set, and that it’s been a project he had wanted to wrap up for years. “I would let everything take precedence over it — movies, records,” he said. “I’m not big into revisiting the past. I like to move forward all the time, so whenever anything else would come up, [the box set] would go on the backburner. I had a little bit of a window and just knocked it out, and I also figured, ‘If not now, when?’ If I’d waited any longer, CDs aren’t even going to exist.”

He said that, with Let Sleeping Corpses Lie, he’s essentially closing the door on White Zombie for good.

“There’s really nothing more to be done,” he said. “There’s other crappy demos and stuff we could release, but they’re probably not worth listening to. This is the last thing that will come from the band.

“The funny thing was, when I was putting it together, it seemed so long ago,” he explained. “It felt like I was putting together a box set of somebody else’s band, because even though it’s not that long ago, it just seemed like forever ago, and some of the early songs are 20 years old. It seemed weird. Most of the really old tracks I hadn’t listened to since we recorded them. It was just kind of weird. I found a lot of old flyers and junk. I was just happy I had saved a bunch of that stuff, because I was saving it for no apparent reason. Now, there’s a reason, so I can throw it all away.”

Zombie said he doesn’t really miss the White Zombie days at all, and is glad that this chapter in his life has finally reached its end.

“When the band started, everyone was so young, and then you go through a lot of changes,” Zombie said. “You start a band when you’re 18, and I don’t remember how old I was when it ended, but you’re basically right out of high school. So you’re not in a mind frame to sometimes handle what it takes to put that together, and then you do mature, and being in a band becomes a weird situation, because it’s almost like the situation hasn’t matured with you. So that band had a lot of growing pains and a lot of baggage all the way through. I think we did a lot of good stuff, and we were kind of ahead of the curve in the beginning, and we did some groundbreaking stuff. But it was a painful situation most of the time.”

The rest of the week’s metal news:

Deftones bassist Chi Cheng remains in a coma after sustaining injuries in a car accident two weeks ago. “Chi’s condition remains the same — serious, but stable,” the Deftones said in a statement. “He still lies in a coma, however his vitals (heart, lungs and blood pressure) all exhibit very stable functions and doctors have begun removing much of the excess monitoring equipment. Chi remains strong in his fight to recover.” …

The Dillinger Escape Plan are putting the finishing touches on a new DVD, as well as their next album. “We’re wrapping up a DVD — a documentary on early-years Dillinger, from the beginning, all the way through the end of the Calculating Infinity cycle, which is going to be really cool for the 10 of you out there who weren’t in elementary school when this band started,” the band said in a statement. “For everyone else, it’ll be a history lesson well worth watching, to see how this beast got started.” …

Is anyone else tired of these incessant Chimaira updates? The band’s been hard at work on their new album, and it feels like every week, they’re posting information about how that’s been going. According to the most recent update, they’re almost 40 percent finished with tracking the record, which will hit stores April 28. Hey, guys — how ’bout you save the next update for when the record’s actually finished? …

At last weekend’s Vision of Disorder reunion show, the band revealed that they’re eyeing a fall 2009 release for their next studio effort. Sweet! …

Unearth will be hitting the road early next year with Emmure, Impending Doom and Born of Osiris. The F— School, F— Work, Let’s Rage! Tour kicks off January 9 in Detroit, and dates are booked through January 30 in Portland, Maine. …

God Forbid will release their forthcoming album Earthsblood on February 24 through Century Media. Metal File has heard some of the disc, and it’s beyond brutal. …

Cattle Decapitation, Psyopus, Book of Black Earth and Gigan will be hitting the road together starting January 21 in Santa Barbara, California. Gigs are scheduled through February 13 in San Marcos, California. …

Extreme black metal outfit Satyricon have signed a North American recording deal with Koch Records. The band’s forthcoming seventh studio album, The Age of Nero, lands in stores January 13, and will feature the tracks “Black Crow on a Tombstone,” “My Skin Is Cold” and “Last Man Standing.”