Only months after dark-industrial rocker Rob Zombie dropped off Korn's Family Values Tour amid unkind words from that band's management, the metal-funk act and ghoulish artist apparently have put aside differences for a joint arena tour early next year.
In July, Korn's manager, Jeff Kwatinetz, was quoted in a press release as saying that Zombie's music as a solo artist was "substantially less attractive" than his work with his former band, White Zombie.
"It was one of those things where I think people talked," Zombie's Geffen Records publicist, Dennis Dennehy, said. "I think the Korn guys realized it was a big misunderstanding, and it was squashed."
Now, the double billing is slated to kick off its tour Feb. 25 at an unannounced location and to play shows through April 11.
In a press release announcing the 1999 tour, Zombie was quoted as saying, "The wait is over. Zombie and Korn will definitely be the most hardcore, explosive tour of the year."
Korn drummer David Silveria seconded that, adding, "There's no bad blood between us and Rob. We know that the two of us can create one of the best rock shows ever -- so it's on!"
The surprise pairing comes five months after Zombie and the Korn camp's highly publicized falling-out. Zombie had been expected to join the Family Values bill -- which also featured Korn protégés and fellow latter-day metal-rockers Limp Bizkit and Orgy, along with rapper Ice Cube -- until it was announced in late July that he had been asked to leave.
An August statement from the Mitch Schneider Organization (MSO) -- the publicity firm that promoted the fall package-tour's debut -- announced that Zombie was off the tour. It went on to say that the musician, who made his name with a lurid, hyperbolic mix of industrial rock and heavy metal, was dropped because he was "not exemplifying the community spirit of the trek."
At the time, MSO stated that representatives for Korn's management company, The Firm, felt that Zombie did not have the same "level of cooperation and excitement" as the other bands.
Additionally, the publicists claimed that Zombie, speaking through his manager, repeatedly had expressed dissatisfaction with touring with a hip-hop act on the bill, and that his representatives allegedly lectured The Firm on several occasions that "rock kids don't like hip-hop."
Zombie -- who was replaced on the fall tour by flame-throwing, industrial-rock German band Rammstein -- said at the time he was shocked by the allegations, which he denied.
Korn, whose most recent album, Follow the Leader, features such hip-hop/metal hybrids as "It's On" (RealAudio excerpt), wrapped up the highly successful Family Values tour Oct. 31.
Representatives for The Firm were not available for comment for this story.
At the time of the split between the Korn and Zombie camps, Kwatinetz, co-producer of Family Values and Korn's co-manager, said, "It's unfortunate, and we have nothing against Rob Zombie personally."
Geffen's Dennehy said he believed that the barbed press release of August seemed to represent the mindset of management, not of the group members themselves. "It was more like a weird management thing, and I think once that was out of the way and the bad blood was vented, it cleared the air for negotiations," Dennehy said.
Zombie's debut solo album, Hellbilly Deluxe, released in late August, has sold more than 700,000 copies, according to Dennehy. It spawned such heavy-rotation radio hits as "Dragula" (RealAudio excerpt).
Dennehy said his understanding was that Korn and Zombie would co-headline the tour. "I think Rob will take out his full stage show," Dennehy said, "and if anything, he'll probably take out an even bigger show, because it's an arena tour."