The typical plan for a band with a new album is to drop the single, maybe get a video out there, put the album in stores and then hit the road for a tour. But because of a last-minute decision to move from Geffen Records — the label he had been with since he fronted White Zombie in the early '90s — to Roadrunner, Rob Zombie's new album, Hellbilly Deluxe 2, has been pushed from its intended release date of November 17, 2009, to February 2, 2010, even though Zombie is already on tour.
Though two singles have made their way onto the Internet and radio ("What?" and "Sick Bubble-Gum"), Zombie has refrained from playing much of the new album while on the road. But he hasn't let that get him down. If anything, he's building even more anticipation for the record.
"What I'm discovering is that the songs we have been playing from the new album are connecting in an amazing way, considering that most of the audience doesn't know the songs," he told MTV News in the bowels of New York's Hammerstein Ballroom, where he played a show Tuesday night. "There are certain songs — 'Sick Bubble-Gum' in particular — that if you didn't know anything about us and you just came to the show, from the crowd reaction you would assume that was an old favorite we were playing. Sometimes you play new songs and people think, 'Maybe I'll like it later,' but people are digging it now, which is nice."
There are plenty of tracks that Zombie wishes he could unleash, but the age of information is holding him back. "One song that we've been doing at sound check is 'Mars Needs Women.' I'm really looking forward to playing it because it's got such a great groove," he said. "We would already play it if everybody didn't bootleg every little thing you do. The whole album would be online if we played any more."
Hellbilly represents an interesting shift for Zombie, who is used to making albums without a permanent band. But this time around, he and his touring squad — former Marilyn Manson guitarist John 5, bassist Piggy D. and drummer Tommy Clufetos — worked like clockwork. "Maybe now I've gotten spoiled, but the guys I've got in the band can really think fast on their feet," he said. "We don't really 'jam,' because jamming seems like you meander through lots of nonsense. We come up with an idea in the morning, by lunch the song is done, and by dinnertime we've already left and it's put to bed."
Zombie remains on tour through Saturday, December 5. He'll then take some time off before heading back out again as a lead-up to the record's release on February 2.