Rob Zombie talks Flyers' 'Broad Street Bullies' movie, tour with Marilyn Manson, & Mondo Sex Head
Rob Zombie has had quite a varied career. From the success of his band, White Zombie to his solo career and filmmaking, Zombie is not shy about taking chances. It was recently announced that Zombie’s next film project will be a movie based on the Philadelphia Flyers “Broad Street Bullies” teams from the 1970’s. We talked with Zombie to discuss the early stages of the Flyers' movie, as well as his fall tour with Marilyn Manson and his first remix album in 13 years, Mondo Sex Head.
Joe Vallee: Your primarily known as a musician and a filmmaker, but how big of a sports fan are you?
Rob Zombie: I’ve always been a hockey fan. As a kid growing up on the east coast in the early 70’s, if it wasn’t the Flyers, it was the Bruins you were talking about, and I was a huge hockey fan as a kid. I like sports, but it was really hockey I was obsessed with, which is the one sport nobody ever seems to be obsessed with (laughs).
JV: Being that you hail from Massachusetts, were you a Bruins fan growing up? If so, I would have imagined this is something you wouldn’t want to rehash, being that the Flyers beat them to win the Stanley Cup!
RZ: Yeah but the funny thing was I was so little. In my kindergarten photo I was wearing a Bruins shirt and I was five years old. But I loved the Flyers too because at that age, I didn’t know about rivalries. I loved Bobby Orr and Phil Esposito, but I also loved Bobby Clarke and Bernie Parent. I was way into it.
JV: It’s always good to see Philadelphia represented in motion pictures. The Broad Street Bullies is arguably the most beloved Philadelphia sports team of all time, but outside of this general area, hockey purists in general despise them. Will this be an “Us against the world” type of film?
RZ: Yeah it’s pretty much safe to say that everyone outside of Philadelphia hates them (laughs). I just find the whole formation of the team, from the time they started, from Ed Snider’s decision to make the Flyers tough after they got run over by the St. Louis Blues, from the time it took them to win the Cup just fascinating. It’s an incredible story. But then again, when they beat the Russians, they sort of got everyone on board with them- briefly. I know (former NHL Commissioner) Clarence Campbell hated their guts. When he handed them the Stanley Cup, he looked like he wanted to vomit (laughs). He looked just miserable. Then when the Russians came, he’s like “Come on guys, you’ve gotta save our asses.” It’s so great. I love movies where the bad guys are somehow the heroes. It’s just the best. For people who don’t know this story, they’re gonna think it’s all bullsh*t because it’s so nuts. The reality is just so crazy.
JV: What years will the film span?
RZ: For the movie’s sake, and without giving it away, I’d say the journey to the first Stanley Cup is really the movie. The fact that they won it again is the icing on the cake, but the real story is the first time. At least I think so, anyway.
JV: Can you give us any casting hints?
RZ: Nah I can’t at this point, it’s too early (laughs).
JV: Do you plan on having any of the Bullies featured in the movie?
RZ: Not yet. The thing I’m doing now is all research. I’ve read every book I can find that exists on the Flyers, and I’m tracking down through the team, NHL, and Canadian TV stations every interview possible with anyone every one of those guys and everyone who is associated with them: Bobby Clarke, Fred Shero, Dave Schultz, to get their vibe down as people. The hockey on the ice is interesting, but the people who they were makes half of this story, too. That’s the part you don’t hear about.
JV: Would you plan to have the premiere in Philly?
RZ: It seems like the logical thing to do, but I don’t know what’s gonna happen, so I don’t wanna promise anybody.
JV: Let’s shift gears over to your music career. You're teamed up with Marilyn Manson for the “Twins of Evil Tour" this fall. We’ve been lucky as far as having a nice number of rock shows to choose from around the area in 2012. Van Halen played here in March, we had Metallica in Atlantic City a few weeks back, KISS and Motley Crue will be here in September, and now you guys on October 19th in Camden.
RZ: Yeah it was just announced. It’s a good time for this tour because comes right in the fall, and the last US show will be in Texas on Halloween. Then we go to Europe.
JV: Your new album, Mondo Sex Head, is a remix of 13 songs in your catalog and will be released August 7th. Jonathan Davis from KoRn mixed some of the album’s songs. Being that he’ll be touring with you on select dates, will you play any of the remix versions on tour?
RZ: I actually won’t be playing songs off the remix record. They’re just these wacky mixes, and if I played them, my fans would be like “What the fu*k is gong on?! “ (laughs). I haven’t talked with Jonathan about what he wants to do. He’s opening up for us. As of right now, we’re just sticking to the classic versions of the songs.
JV: Do you have a favorite song that was remixed for the album?
RZ: I like a bunch of them. I like Jonathan’s a lot because it’s very interesting to take a song like ‘Thunderkiss ‘65’ that’s a 20-year old song and really give it a new facelift, turn it around, and turn it into something that sounds really fresh. I really like the mix on ‘Living Dead Girl’ just because it’s a seven-minute crazy hypnotic jam.
At first I didn’t like it, but then I was driving one night in LA and I was playing it at night and the lights were going by, and I thought it was really cool. I got really into it. But sometimes, it depends on how and where you hear them. Some of these songs work best when you’re doing something else, if you’re in a club and it’s in the background booming. It works really well in that scenario.
JV: You’ve done some other remix albums back in the day. Why the long wait in between previous albums?
RZ: Yeah it’s been over ten years since the last one (1999’s American Made Music to Strip By), then I did in ‘96. This will be the third full album of remixes. I hadn’t done it in a long time because I just felt like this type of music had kind of gone out of fashion and that people really didn’t like it anymore. But in the last few years, it’s really made a big comeback with the DJs and that culture in general. It’s just exploding and it’s huge, so I think people are really into it again.
JV: Did you give them the direction you wanted the mixes to go? Or did you just let them do their thing?
RZ: I pretty much let them do their own thing. I didn’t have any particular guidelines. I let them run wild and picked the ones I liked best.
JV: The tracks from Mondo Sex Head will be released on two separate, digital-only EPs?
RZ: iTunes is going to break it up, but eventually it will all be available as one full album.
Contact Joe Vallee at email@example.com
Rob Zombie photo: halloweenmovie.wikia
Bullies photo: Bleacherreport.com
Tour poster: MarilynManson.com