ARTISTdirect.com caught up with ROB ZOMBIE recently to talk about The Lords of Salem, creating characters, writing and recording new material and much more. Check out an extract from that interview below:
The characters in your movies are always so vibrant. When you’re making a film, do the characters dictate the action?
Yeah, definitely! For the most part, if the characters are interesting, the audience will watch them. You want to give them something interesting to do, of course. A lot of times, I find if I get bored with a movie, I’m just bored with the characters that are onscreen. Nothing is worse than when you’re watching a movie and you’ve got four characters that basically look and talk the same. You start asking, “Wait, which guy is that?” I think defining the characters is probably the most important thing you can do.
Is there something particularly ominous about Salem?
I definitely think Salem is a great setting for a movie. I hadn’t been to Salem in a long time, since I was a kid. When I went back there location scouting, I was really struck by how interesting of an area it is. It’s really interesting architecturally and visually. From the little tiny streets and cobblestone sidewalks to the buildings, it’s a very specific look. That’s why shooting there was so important. I couldn’t fake it somewhere else because it had such a rich look. We shot there at the perfect time of year—for once. It was October so the leaves were changing and falling like a snowstorm from the trees. It was visually amazing.
Are there any horror authors you come back to?
There are some people I like. I’d read H.P. Lovecraft. I’d read a bunch of Stephen King books when I was a kid as well as Edgar Allan Poe and stuff. I really don’t read that much horror fiction at all.
Is this new record going to be another heavy one?
Yeah, that’s what we’re going to do. Usually, we don’t really have a focus when we make a record. We go in and start writing songs, and it goes where it’s going to go. We let it go that way. This time, we sort of made a pack that we’re going to make a heavy record on purpose and stick to that goal. We have been. We have a lot of songs that aren’t 100 percent finished but they’re pretty far along. We just want to make a dark, heavy, weird record and stick to that idea. If something comes up that isn’t, we won’t finish it. We’ll stick to the plan. You may say that when you start recording. Then other songs start happening that don’t really fit that and you go with it. This time, we’re really going to stay on task.
Can we expect those big grooves on the new album?
Definitely! That’s another great feature with Ginger on drums. He’s a phenomenal drummer. I didn’t know how fucking good he was. He doesn’t get the credit he deserves. His strong point is his groove playing, which is great. That’s really what we like to do. A lot of drummers can’t do that well. They can do other things, but you either have that or you don’t. He’s really good at that. There are certain songs we’ve played for years that have never quite sounded right. A song like “More Human Than Human” has a repetitive groove. If you don’t really get the groove down, the song can be really monotonous to listen to and he nailed it. That’s a really great feature.