Rob Zombie is a man of many talents, achieving success as a musician, film director, producer and screenwriter.
Over the course of more than 20 years he's released a succession of critically-acclaimed records; initially in White Zombie, then on his own terms as a solo artist. As a filmmaker, he's seen success in the horror genre, particularly with The Devil's Rejects and his successful 2007 remake of Halloween.
We spoke to Rob ahead of his appearance at this summer's Download festival at Donington Park to discover his Ultimate Playlist, and the stories behind the selections. Read on to discover his excellent choices.
Rob Zombie will be playing Download festival this June alongside headliners Aerosmith, Avenged Sevenfold and Linkin Park, for more information visit www.downloadfestival.co.uk. Rob Zombie’s first live DVD ‘The Zombie Horror Picture Show’ is out now via Zodiac Swan/T-Boy/Universal Music
Favourite Movie Soundtrack Song
"That was kind of a hard one, but I narrowed it down to Isaac Hayes, the Theme From Shaft. I mean, to me, that's everything that a movie song needs to be. The song is actually better than the movie, which then makes the movie seem better than it actually is."
Favourite Sad Song
"There's a Kinks song called Some Mother's Son, off the Arthur (Or the Decline and Fall of the British Empire) album, and that's probably my favourite. If someone wrote that song now, it'd probably get slagged, but it's a really powerful anti-war song. It states something very obvious, you know, 'some mother's son killed some mother's son and he's not coming home today' type of lyrics and it always reminds you of how powerful music can be."
Favourite Song From Your Childhood
"Well I think my favourite song from my childhood is kinda a goofy choice, but it's the first record I ever owned and it was a 7 inch of the Jackson 5 doing Dancing Machine. I still think it's a great song, and whenever I watch them perform it I'm like - I'm not like a big Michael Jackson fan - but when you see him at that age, whatever it was - 18 - y'know, fuck, that guy was insane, fucking amazing. I remember being, like, probably 5 years old and I had the 7 inch and a little crappy record player and I would literally just play it over and over and over and over. I never even flipped it over - I have no idea what's on the other side! I still don't! I didn't even know albums existed, it was like that moment when you're such a little kid, you go: 'wow, they put music on these black plastic discs, I wonder what this is all about?' You know, that'll always be somehow important."
Favourite Song that No-one Else Has Heard Of
"I've picked something that - now people seem to know about it - but when I put it one of my movies, everyone came up to me and was like, 'I've never heard of that, it's the greatest song ever'. It's a Terry Reid song, which is probably better known where you are [the UK]. It's a song called Seed of Memory, off the album of the same title, which I think is one of the greatest albums ever made. He's probably the most overlooked artist of all title and that song is such a phenomenal song and it's like, 'people don't even know it'. I'm just happy that I put it on my movie The Devil's Rejects and it's on the soundtrack which sold really well so, I feel like at least I got it out there in some respect. It's out there playing around the world, so people can discover it."
Favourite Club Anthem
"Well, I'm not like a guy that goes to clubs, hears a song start playing and says 'Oh my God: everybody on the dancefloor!', that's not me! But I would say, I was listening to this record the other day, I think Wild Cherry, Play That Funky Music, I think that could still work in a club, even today. Because those old 70s sort of funk songs, they're so much better than the shit people play now, I mean, you play some jackass rap song and you play some of that older stuff where people are actually playing instruments and there's so much more power behind it. So much so that everybody steals the beats, and steals the melodies and they steal the grooves: that just shows how powerful those songs are."
Favourite Wedding Song
"If I could go out of my way to avoid ever going to a wedding, I would, because they're pretty brutal. So I literally couldn't think of anything, because everybody plays the worst music ever at weddings. So I said to my wife, 'what's a wedding song that people play?' [laughs] and she said Baby Got Back and I thought, 'you're right!'. Sir Mix-a-lot, Baby Got Back, because that's when all the fat grandmas and the fat aunts and uncles get out there and they think it's OK to be 300 pounds and shaking their ass in front of everybody which is, y'know, pretty good: a bunch of drunk fat people shaking their butts, that makes the wedding a little more entertaining. 'Cos someone's ultimately gonna trip and fall back onto the cake or something, so it's worth it."
Favourite Lyric From A Song
"Well this one I thought of right away, because I love Rod Stewart and I love the album and the song Every Picture Tells a Story and there's one line in that song that, every time I hear it I go 'fuck, I wish I wrote that!'. And it's: "standing in front of my mirror, combed my hair a thousand ways but I came out looking just the same" and I thought, 'fuck, that's my life' [laughs]."
Favourite Song From Your Own Music
"I don't know if it's my favourite song, like it's the best song we wrote or whatever but we have this song called Pussy Liquor, which was a song I wrote in 5 minutes and put it on the House of 1000 Corpses soundtrack and over the years we never played it, never played it and everybody would always request it and I would always think it was a fluke; 'oh it's a fluke someone requested that'. And now we play it all the time and people go fucking crazy for it. But I guess if you put the word pussy in the title of any song people go crazy for it!"
Favourite Song You're Listening To At The Moment
"I used to really love the Butthole Surfers, y'know, back in the day, 20 years ago, when they would come to New York and I would go see them all the time, I've seen them a million times. And they've so many great songs, but they had this one song called Cherub and that would always bring the house down. So that's what I'll say."