MIAMI - Imagine SpongeBob SquarePants beset by strippers, and you might have an idea what's coming next from the mind Rob Zombie.
The heavy-metal shock rocker has found new fame as the writer-director of slasher films, but Zombie is returning to music with a new album, "Educated Horses." Zombie took a break from tour rehearsals to talk to The Associated Press.
AP: Is this album going to be remarkably different from your past work?
Zombie: There are a lot of things on this record that are very different sonically, in a lot of ways.... Past records have incorporated a lot of technology and computer programming and different sort of techno-y, industrial aspects - none of that's present on this record. This whole record is very much, like, four people playing live.
AP: Sort of a back-to-basics approach?
Zombie: It was sort of that way this summer on Ozzfest, too. I usually take out this giant, insane stage show, and I didn't take anything. Zero. I mean, we literally would just walk on stage, on a blank stage in the bright sunlight, and play. Because, I thought that was the only way to start new again. I felt the music and the stage show and everything had become so extreme that it sort of wasn't even like a band anymore. It was this monstrous Broadway show. You know, kind of like when you go see a movie and there's so much computer effects that you feel like, 'I'm not really watching a movie anymore, I'm watching a video game.'
AP: Is either the music or the movies a side project now, or are they both sort of equal?
Zombie: They're both pretty equal at this point. With the first movie it was like the weird, little project and the music was the big thing, but now the movies have sort of caught up and it's sort of like 50-50 as far as what's happening. So I sort of have to do one, stop, and then do the other. There's no way to really juggle both. It's impossible, actually.
AP: What's your upcoming animated film - 'The Haunted World of El Superbeasto' - going to be about?
Zombie: It's a comedy, it's sort of a dark comedy for adults. El Superbeasto is a washed-up Mexican wrestler. Basically, in a nutshell, it's Austin Powers meets The Munsters. If that was rated X.
AP: The Spy who Scared Me?
Zombie: I don't know what they'd call it, but it's going to be pretty insane.
AP: 'House of 1,000 Corpses' and 'The Devil Rejects' had moments when they were funny, so... should we be expecting a gory, horror-type animated film, or-
Zombie: No, no, it's completely ridiculous. It's like if SpongeBob took place in a world full with monsters and strippers and was for adults. In fact, the director of the animation, Doug Lawrence, was one of the writers on 'SpongeBob (SquarePants)' so it's definitely like this wacky, insane animated movie. It's a comedy, everything in it is supposed to be funny.
AP: Your two big films really were on the cusp of the wave of retro-horror films that have come out recently - the 'Saw' films, 'Wolf Creek,' 'Hostel.' After the 'Scream' films, people were like, 'Horror films aren't going to be as scary any more, they're going to be all irony.' What do you think has been driving this wave or what's the appeal of these films now?
Zombie: Everything kind of goes in cycles.... Going back to the '30s, say, you had your original wave of horror like 'Frankenstein,' 'The Mummy,' 'Dracula.' Those films were, you know, at the time very scary for people and really well-made movies. But then they kind of degenerated until it literally became 'Abbott & Costello Meet Frankenstein.' You know, it's not scary anymore. But then in England, Hammer Studios started remaking the films in color and very bloody and very sexy and very scary for people again. And then, you know, that runs its course.... In the '80s you had 'Nightmare on Elm Street' and 'Friday the 13th' and 'Hellraiser' and these movies, in their original forms, are scary. By the time you get to 'Friday the 13th - Part 8' and 'Nightmare on Elm Street - Part 7' and whatnot, they've run its course and they're not scary anymore to anybody, and that's when 'Scream' steps in and starts making fun of everything. Then a new generation comes along and finds a new way to make them scary again.
On the Net:
Rob Zombie: http://www.robzombie.com
The Haunted World of El Superbeasto: http://www.elsuperbeasto.com