White Zombie

Biography

Members: Rob Zombie, J. Sean Yseult, John Tempesta

Active: 1985-1998

HISTORY

Founded by Rob Zombie (lyrics/ vocals/ art) after coming up with the band idea in 1985 while attending at Parsons in his Junior year. Rob's girlfriend at the time, Sean Yseult, was on bass. Eventually Rob found and hired a drummer, Peter Landau, and a guitarist, Paul Ena Kostabi. Based in New York City, White Zombie was originally a noise rock band in the vein of fellow New York band Sonic Youth; Sonic Youth's Thurston Moore and fellow alternative rock icon Kurt Cobain have professed to be fans of their early work. White Zombie's first release was an EP titled Gods on Voodoo Moon and was recorded on October 18, 1985. Only 300 copies were pressed, of which only 100 were sold ? Rob still retains possession of the remaining 200. Following disagreements, both Peter and Paul were fired.

In 1986, Rob hired Tim Jeffs as the second guitarist who only appeared on the first pressing of the band's second EP Pig Heaven and played during a few live shows. The guitarist was quickly replaced by Tom Guay later that year who would appear on the second pressing of Pig Heaven, play guitar on the bands third EP Psycho-Head Blowout in 1987, and their first full length 1987 album Soul-Crusher. John Ricci replaced Tom Guay shortly after the release of Soul-Crusher, only to quit in 1989 after the release of their second LP Make Them Die Slowly. Jay Yuenger or "J." then replaced Ricci for the remainder of the band's years, which saw them in a more metal-influenced direction.

After Peter Landau was fired, Ivan DePrume was hired for drums. His time in the band lasted until the ending of the La Sexorcisto tour, when he was fired and replaced by Phil Buerstatte or "Philo". Phil only appeared on various singles the band released between albums and was soon fired due to Rob's dislike for him. He was soon replaced by John Tempesta who had previously played for Exodus and Testament.

The band cut a number of semi-independent recordings in New York in the 1980s, these included the albums Soul-Crusher and Make Them Die Slowly, as well as the EPs Pig Heaven, Psycho-Head Blowout, and God of Thunder. White Zombie's first major-label album, La Sexorcisto: Devil Music, Vol. 1, was released in 1992, followed in 1995 by Astro Creep: 2000. In 1996, an album of remixes was released under the title Supersexy Swingin' Sounds.

White Zombie was known for combining heavy-metal music with driving lead guitar riffs (as on "Super-Charger Heaven"), overlayed with lyrics heavily influenced by horror films, with often nonsensical imagery. Unlike other metal bands of the 1990s, White Zombie was exclusively a "fantasy" band, one that wrote songs not about real life, but simply about surreal horror fantasies, backed by whimsical live tours.

The group officially disbanded in 1998 shortly after the release of Rob Zombie's solo album Hellbilly Deluxe.

AFTER DISBANDING

Sean Yseult, after the breakup of White Zombie, co-founded the surf rock band The Famous Monsters, and is currently playing for the horror-themed New Orleans-based band Rock City Morgue.

John Tempesta continued his musical relationship with Rob Zombie after the White Zombie breakup, drumming for Zombie on his first two solo albums, Hellbilly Deluxe and The Sinister Urge. He is no longer with Rob Zombie. Currently he plays for the Rob Zombie-esque band Scum of the Earth with his brother, Powerman 5000 guitarist Mike Tempesta, and ex-Rob Zombie guitarist Riggs, and has recently toured with Testament (as shown on Testament's DVD, Live In London). On February 14, 2006 he was hired as the new drummer for The Cult.

J. produced records for stoner rock band Fu Manchu and New York City rockers Puny Human, as well as lending his guitar skills to a few other bands after the breakup of White Zombie.

While Rob Zombie has mostly kept the image of his former band, fans of both White Zombie's and Rob Zombie's music have noted significant musical differences between the two, notably the absence of the heavy bass and lead guitar-playing that characterised White Zombie's musical style. Multiple layers and numerous samples are no longer used as often due to legal issues as the band's popularity grew to mainstream recognition.

In July 2006, original members Tom Five and Ivan DePrume reunited to peform with Healer at a concert in San Diego, California for The Vans Warped Tour.

ALBUMS

1988 - Soul-Crusher
1989 - Make Them Die Slowly
1992 - La Sexorcisto: Devil Music, Vol. 1
1995 - Astro-Creep: 2000

EP'S

1985 - Gods on Voodoo Moon
1986 - Pig Heaven
1987 - Psycho-Head Blowout
1989 - God of Thunder
1992 - Nightcrawlers: The KMFDM Remixes
1996 - Supersexy Swingin' Sounds

SINGLES

1992 - "Thunder Kiss '65" - La Sexorcisto: Devil Music, Vol. 1
1992 - "Black Sunshine" - La Sexorcisto: Devil Music, Vol. 1
1993 - "I Am Hell" - The Beavis and Butt-Head Experience Compilation Album
1994 - "Children of the Grave" (Black Sabbath Cover) Nativity in Black (Black Sabbath Tribute Album)
1994 - "Feed the Gods" - Airheads Soundtrack
1995 - "More Human Than Human" - Astro-Creep: 2000
1995 - "Electric Head Pt. 2 (The Ecstasy) - Astro-Creep: 2000
1995 - "Real Solution - Astro-Creep: 2000
1996 - "Super-Charger Heaven" - Astro-Creep: 2000
1996 - "El Phantasmo and the Chicken-Run Blast-O-Rama" - Astro-Creep: 2000
1996 - "Blood, Milk and Sky" - Astro-Creep: 2000
1996 - "The One" - Escape from L.A. Soundtrack
1996 - "I'm Your Boogie Man" - The Crow: City of Angels Soundtrack
1996 - "Ratfinks, Suicide Tanks and Cannibal Girls" - Beavis and Butt-head Do America Soundtrack

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OptimusPrime

Submitted by OptimusPrime at Thu 31 Aug, 2006 6:18 am

OptimusPrime

Last updated by OptimusPrime at Thu 31 Aug, 2006 6:18 am

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