Rob Zombie wears many hats: metal icon, horror-film auteur, comic-book scribe and ... laundry detergent commercial director?
“I was not thinking about doing TV commercials. I was intrigued, but didn’t feel like pitching myself,” he said of the new spot he shot for Woolite, through the lens of his scary screen work. “An ad agency working with them wanted me specifically and gave me a storyboard. I added a few of my flourishes, and there you go. Sometimes the phone rings, and you get strange requests.”
A master of all things dark, devilish and demented, Zombie doesn’t shy away from strange, whether in lauded albums like “Hellbilly Deluxe,” movies like “The Devil’s Rejects” and comics like “The Haunted World of El Superbeasto” and “What Happened to Baron Von Shock?” He wears all these hats well, and his endless slate of projects is dictated by ardent scheduling to ensure quality.
“It’s hard to split attention sometimes, because it requires such different things from you,” Zombie said. “Just where you might start to feel a little burned-out, you jump into another project. I’m just finishing up two years of touring, but I’m about to start a movie that will keep me wrapped up.”
Housing a horror-movie collection that would fill several New York City studio apartments, his fondness for all things spooky might be best analyzed through his films, including “Halloween II” and his upcoming, witchy “The Lords of Salem.”
“The situation under which I’m making the film has me excited. One of the stipulations in my contract is total control and final cut, and that’s important because in the past — let’s say the last two films — you feel like the best version of the movie never made it to the theaters,” he said. “You might get the director’s cut on DVD, but that’s not the movie-theater experience. This time, I’m hoping this will solve that problem.”
Although his experience in music has some obvious benefits (he supervises the music of all his films), there are more unexpected and important implications, like knowing exactly what people want to see and hear. Touring is the key to that discovery, which is why he still approaches music with the same vigor.
The music isn’t about helping his film career, and never has been. Zombie said to expect a significant break following this current tour — including Sunday’s show in Tulsa — but you can expect a lifetime of opportunities to catch him again, because he likely won’t ever go away.
“The one thing that keeps me coming back is just playing in a band. It’s what I always wanted to do,” he said. “It’s playing live, and I don’t know how anyone could walk away from it.”