Metal multi-tasker wishes he could do away with sleep

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There's nothing especially clean about Rob Zombie.

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Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 21/07/2011 (4216 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

There’s nothing especially clean about Rob Zombie.

The busy musician/director/screenwriter/artist has carved out a niche working in the horror genre, a topic he covers whether he’s fronting his industrial metal band or in gory films such as the Devil’s Rejects, House of 1,000 Corpses and remakes of the first two Halloween movies.

So it might have been a surprise to some of his fans when they heard the 46-year-old was tapped to direct a commercial for Woolite laundry detergent.

Of course, Zombie brought his own twist to the 30-second clip. Instead of a soccer mom getting grass stains out of her kid’s pants or some other done-to-death scenario, Zombie made it his own by with a masked “torturer” stretching, shrinking and fading clothes.

Truly terrifying.

“A lot of directors do TV commercials. They wanted something that seemed like a horror movie so it starts off with a guy dragging something through a field and you think it’s a dead body, but it’s a bag of laundry,” Zombie says with a laugh.

He initially turned down the project because of time constraints, but found a couple of days in Vancouver earlier this year and got it done.

Two days off for Zombie is a rarity.

He is involved in so many projects, his schedule is jam-packed; he can barely find time to fit everything in, he says.

“I don’t sleep much. If I could figure out how to not sleep at all, I wouldn’t. I’m not big on sleeping,” he says, echoing the thoughts of mad scientists everywhere.

His current itinerary finds him on the road with thrash legends Slayer and Exodus as part of the Hell on Earth tour, which stops at the MTS Centre Wednesday (tickets are $50 to $88 at Ticketmaster).

The tour is in support of his fifth solo album, Hellbilly Deluxe 2, a sequel to his 1998 solo debut, released after more than a decade fronting the acclaimed metal band White Zombie.

When the tour is finished, he’ll trade in the microphone for a director’s chair for his next movie project, The Lords of Salem, based on a song about witches from his 2006 album, Educated Horses.

“I had the idea for Lords of Salem, the movie, a long time ago, long before the song. I started writing the screenplay years ago and it was lost, packed away somewhere, but I thought that was a cool title so I used it for the song,” he says.

“I’m always coming up with stuff and packing it away. There’s stuff from 20 years ago I wrote that I still have. I don’t like to waste things, unless it’s a bad idea.”

When it comes to the difference between making music and movies, Zombie enjoys both, but when he’s recording an album there are fewer people to deal with than when he’s on a film set.

The more money that’s involved in a cinematic project, the more the studios want to butt in.

“I’m proud of everything. The thing I have the best feelings about is The Devil’s Rejects because it’s the least interfered-with project I did,” he says. “The Halloween projects were a big pain in the ass. The studio was notoriously difficult to deal with. Everything they do is detrimental to the creative process. You’re making it for them, but it seems like they are doing everything in their power to not make it.”

He’s got a good feeling about The Lords of Salem, though, since its being produced by Oren Peli, the writer/director of Paranormal Activity, who knows a thing or two about low-budget filmmaking.

The movie should be out sometime in 2012.

rob.williams@freepress.mb.ca

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