Horror-obsessed industrial-metal band White Zombie officially called it quits Wednesday (Sept. 23), one day after the group's members telephoned each other in a conference call to agree upon the split, according to an official statement from the group.
"White Zombie has been my entire life since the day we started the band," bassist Sean Yseult said in the statement. "It feels strange now to know it's over, but it's been 13 amazing years. I want to wish the other guys the best of luck, and I'd like to thank all of our fans for being the most kick-ass fans in the world."
The decision to break up the group comes as something of a surprise. As recently as last month, bandleader Rob Zombie (born Robert Straker) said that he planned to return to the studio with his bandmates -- who also include drummer John Tempesta and guitarist Jay "J." Yuenger -- as soon as he wound down from the tour for his recently released solo debut, Hellbilly Deluxe.
"There's stuff on this record that's not on any White Zombie records, not because it couldn't be," the 32-year-old Zombie said of such Hellbilly tracks as the first single, "Dragula" (RealAudio excerpt). "Maybe it could make it onto a future White Zombie album ... We plan on getting together sometime soon and working on some stuff."
Ironically, Zombie's solo album had a higher debut than any effort by his previous band, hitting the charts at the #5 position three weeks ago on sales of 120,000 copies.
The joint statement from the band, released by its label, Geffen Records, stated, "After 13 years, White Zombie has accomplished everything we set out to do ... and we all felt it was time to move on."
White Zombie's final full-length studio album was 1995's double-platinum Astro-Creep 2000: Songs of Love, Destruction and Other Synthetic Delusions of the Electric Head, which featured their hit "More Human Than Human" and was followed by a 1996 remix album, Supersexy Swingin' Sounds.
The group, which was founded in 1985 in New York, released its major-label debut in 1992, entitled La Sexorcisto: Devil Music Vol. 1, which garnered the act a Best Hard Rock Performance Grammy nomination for the song "Thunder Kiss '65," a feat the band repeated with "More Human Than Human."
Yseult will release In the Night, the debut by her masked surf-rock trio, Famous Monsters, on Oct. 20, while Tempesta will hit the road with Zombie on the singer's soon-to-launch solo tour. The drummer also appears on several Hellbilly tracks. It is unknown what guitarist J. will do in the wake of the band's demise.
Zombie, the band's namesake and the mastermind behind the group's degraded, post-apocalyptic, cartoony image (he directed many of its videos), said earlier this year that he approached his solo album no differently than he would a group record.
"I look at White Zombie as my thing and I'm not trying to get away from that," Zombie said. "I'm not trying to get away from myself because I have nowhere else to go."
Asked how the album is different from what he had previously done with White Zombie, the dreadlocked singer said, "I don't know if it is ... In the sense that it's what we would have done three years later and what I would have wanted the next Zombie record to sound like."