White Zombie laid to rest on boxed set

Sun Dec 21, 2008 6:26pm EST
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By Gary Graff

DETROIT (Billboard) - Assembling the White Zombie boxed set "Let Sleeping Corpses Lie" was "weird" and somewhat bittersweet for Rob Zombie, the frontman for the defunct metal group that broke up in 1996.

"The funny thing was when I was putting it together, it seemed so long ago," Zombie told Billboard.com. "It felt like I was putting together a box set of someone else's band. It just seemed like forever ago, and some of the early songs are, like, 20 years ago or something. It just seemed weird."

The Geffen Records set, which boasts four CDs and one DVD, came out on November 26. Zombie, whose real name is Rob Cummings, said gathering the 63 tracks and a wealth of rare video footage "brought up a lot of things I'd forgotten about -- unfortunately, some of it was negative."

He was particularly reminded of the waning days of the band, when the group members would tour in separate vehicles and not see each other except at shows. None of the other band members were involved in the set.

"The main reason White Zombie ended was the people who were White Zombie didn't get along anymore," said Zombie, adding that he finished the group's final show in 1996, walked off stage, into a car, went to the airport and "didn't look back.

"That band had a lot of growing pains and a lot of baggage all the way through. I think we did a lot of good stuff and we were ahead of the curve in the beginning and did some groundbreaking stuff. But it was a painful situation most of the time, actually."

Nevertheless, Zombie hopes "Let Sleeping Corpses Lie" -- pointedly titled, he acknowledged, for those who might wonder about a White Zombie reunion -- will feed the appetites of younger generations of fans that continue to come along.

"I can see it, strangely enough, in the royalty checks. Every year the band makes more money," Zombie said. "(Retail chain) Hot Topic is doing a new line of White Zombie merch(andise). It's just one of those things that happens, I think. There's always a new wave of kids that gets super-jazzed on a band that's not around anymore."

Zombie, meanwhile, is working on his next studio album, which he predicts will be out in 2009. Zombie also hopes to get cracking on his fourth feature film, "Tyrannosaurus Rex," in the new year. He was last in theaters with 2007's "Halloween."