Is it really any surprise that Rob Zombie is calling his new album "The Electric Warlock Acid Witch Satanic Orgy Celebration Dispenser"? No, the title doesn't exactly roll off the tongue, but it's a perfectly dark piece of work fans of the master of macabre have come to demand, complete with hard-driving rhythms, heavy, hypnotic, guitars and bizarre songs like "Well Everybody's F---in' in a UFO."

The over-the-top, Alice Cooper-influenced rocker and former White Zombie frontman has become just as renowned for his film career, directing the rebooted "Halloween" franchise as well as horror entries like "House Of 1000 Corpses" and "31," released earlier this year. Next up is a Groucho Marx biopic, "Raised Eyebrows." But the multifaceted Zombie is focused on his new album, which will be released tomorrow, and the ensuing tour dates, some with Korn and others with Disturbed (see below for the full schedule).

On the eve of the advance of "The Electric Warlock...," Headlines & Global News chatted with Zombie about finding the right crew to make his musical mania a reality, why icons like Lemmy, David Bowie and Prince are the last of their kind, and which recent package tour of his didn't exactly click for the audiences.

"The Electric Warlock Acid Witch Satanic Orgy Celebration Dispenser" comes out tomorrow. Even though you've been through this process for years, do you still have a sense of excitement before you release an album?

Yeah, totally. I mean, the music business has changed a lot so what transpires on the day of release is very different now than what it was, say, 20 years ago, but what is still exciting is getting it out there to the fans. That's still exciting as it ever was.

What was your intention going into this album?

My intention is always the same. We don't have a set of guidelines. My intention was to create new songs that I can add into the set. You never want to become an oldies act where you just go out there slammin' songs from 20 years ago. What I've realized over the past bunch of years is our fanbase is getting very young, so you want to create something that's just as new and fresh for them right now as a record you made 20 years ago was to those people at that moment. So that's really the goal: how do you make it fresh and new for right now?

Most rock artists tend to see their fanbases age along with them, but it sounds like you are experiencing the opposite. Why do you think that is?

I don't know. In general, if you notice hard rock and heavy metal tends to do that. We'll have fans that are like 50 years old, "I've seen you like 100 times," but then the whole front row will be 14 and it's their first concert ever. There's something strangely ageless about it. There's bands that have been around a lot longer than us like Iron Maiden and Black Sabbath, and there's young kids wearing Black Sabbath T-shirts. There's a youthfulness to the music no matter how old it is, I guess. Kids just find an attraction no matter what decade it is, where pop music is very of that moment. If there's a pop song from the '80s, it's not going to attract kids from the 2000s, but rock music has kind of a timeless quality to it.

Let's talk about "Well Everybody's F---in' in a UFO." How did you come up with that idea?

You know, it's really funny because I don't remember at all. I should be able to remember because it's kind of a wacky title and a wacky idea, but I don't remember how that came up. We made the record over a long period of time where we'd work for a couple weeks, go back on tour, come back and work for a couple weeks and go back on tour, a really fragmented process. I don't really like recording for long stretches of time because your ideas tend to be the same if you're in the same headspace and you never leave the studio. With a song like that, I really don't remember. I barely remember recording it. I don't know what the hell I was thinking that day.

There's a lot of over-the-top, campy humor in the song and the video. Obviously your music is pretty dark, but is it important for you to inject humor into it?

I think any artist I've ever loved, they have a humorousness to them. It doesn't matter if it's The Beatles or Frank Zappa. There's humor in there. Because if you're so serious, it becomes unintentionally humorous to me. You watch and go, Give me a break. Really? You're that serious? It's ridiculous. So it's not that the music is a joke or you're not taking it seriously, but you have to ride that line because if you start taking yourself and everything you do so seriously, it seems unintentionally funny (laughs).

Rob Zombie
(Photo : Rob Fenn)
Rob Zombie will release his latest album, 'The Electric Warlock Acid Witch Satanic Orgy Celebration Dispenser,' on Friday.

When you are writing a song, do you picture visuals for a video or imagery for your concerts?

I think visually in terms of the song itself in the sense that we always start with the music first, not complete songs but musical ideas. And those musical ideas - the sound of the drums, the sound of the guitar - will start me thinking visually in my mind, oh, that sounds like this to me, and that's what will start creating themes for the songs. There's been times where it will go all the way to where I can already see what I'll do in the video, but not that often. Usually it thematically informs the song itself, and from there, I'll go, now, how will the song translate to the video? How will the video translate to the stage? How does it all fit together as one big piece of art?

You have John 5 (Guitar), Piggy D (Bass) and Ginger Fish (Drums) on this album again. What do those guys in particular bring to your music?

The main thing that I think this group of people bring to everything is the same level of enthusiasm, and basically everyone is down for the project in the same manner. Because in the past, I've never been able to find that. If there are four people, at least one of them wasn't on board, one of them doesn't get it, and that's all it takes to make it not work properly. You need all four people to go, Yes, I get it, this is exactly what it's about, from start to finish. In the past that's been a struggle, finding the whole group, because it's only been on this record and the last record that it's been these four people, and I feel that the last record and this record are the best records because of that. All it takes is one person to drag it down; they don't derail the whole thing, but they do drag it down, and these guys are all of the same mindset, and I think that's the main thing.

How have you changed as a writer and performer over the years?

Well, I think everything's gotten better, truthfully. When you first start, you don't know how to write songs necessarily. You kind of find your way, and you have moments of good ideas, but they're not all great. You don't really know what you're doing, and it seems so haphazard. Now I feel I know what we're doing. The songs on this record are very short, because that's the key to me. When I go back and listen to the music that I really like and the records that I've listened to hundreds of times, I go, well, these Beatles songs are really short, I never realized how short they are, or Stones or anybody, because within that two and a half minutes, it's such an epic journey. It doesn't have to be eight minutes long. If you're going to write a song that gets like that it has to be "Stairway To Heaven" or "Freebird" or "Bohemian Rhapsody." You better have a journey in mind. But for me the most important part is how do you make that take place in such a short time? That's a skill that I've honed over the years. That's not the easiest part.

Since your career started, society has changed thanks to the internet. With everyone having access to information at their fingertips and shorter attention spans, has it become harder to get people's attention?

Everything's always changing. The hardest thing these days I think is everything moves so fast. It's a good problem to have I guess. They always want more, more, more. Back in the day you put out your album, and for years you tour on the record, and that sort of keeps everyone happy, but now they just want more, they devour whatever you're doing so much faster because they expect to go to your Facebook page and find something new and exciting every day, every hour, they get into that mindset of now what, now what, now what? Which is fine. It's showing their desire for it. But sometimes it's hard to keep up with the demand. That's the trickiest part. It's not a bad thing, it's just a new way of thinking.

Rob Zombie
(Photo : Piggy D)
Zombie has tour dates scheduled with both Disturbed and Korn.

How have the losses of Lemmy, David Bowie and Prince affected you? What influence did they have on you?

David Bowie was probably the most - I don't know if it was influential, there's nothing in my music that would be influenced by Bowie - but as a figure, someone who I've listened to my whole my life. I've always liked him because he was following is own muse. He wasn't following a trend, oh, this is what I should be doing. He made his own rules. All three of them, actually. That's what's great about all of them. You could say the same thing about Prince, and you could say the same thing about Lemmy. The thing about Lemmy, look at Lemmy in Hawkwind, and look at Lemmy on the last Motorhead tour, and it seems like the same f-kin' guy. Totally unaffected by the world around him. He knew what he was going to do, and that's what he was going to do. And that's how I feel. I don't feel affected by what's going on around me. And that's what I admire most about all three of those people. Their creativity was its own vacuum. Disco didn't affect Motorhead (laughs).

That said, is the larger-than-life rock star going extinct?

I think it's been happening for a long time, and I think the death of that became with grunge, truthfully. There seemed to be a trend in the '90s, when Nirvana came out and these bands, everybody got confused by it and thought we need all our rock stars to look just like us. So what happened is was everybody started not looking different, acting different and being larger than life. Everyone was like, oh, all the rock stars are so boring, I don't care anymore (laughs). People go, oh my God, Prince; oh my God, Bowie; oh my God, Lemmy. Why is that? Because they were all larger than life. They weren't just like you. They weren't like you at all. That's the goal. I don't think anybody ever goes to a concert - I never did - boy I hope the guy that comes out on stage is just like me! I didn't see anybody that was just like me as a kid. Alice Cooper and Gene Simmons and Elton John might as well have been from another f-kin' planet as far as I was concerned, and that's the way I liked it, and that's the way it's supposed to be.

That said, have there been any exceptions over the past 10 or 15 years that you feel did achieve that larger-than-life status?

Once and a while something happens. The last rock band or metal band that I can think of that really had a powerful look was Slipknot, you know? They didn't go on stage like, we're like everybody else. They came up with something that was fresh and new, and everybody was like, Yes! Something different! But it's very rare these days. In fact sometimes I feel like younger bands are afraid to stand out. They think they're supposed to adhere to some code of what they're supposed to wear and how they're supposed to act and what they're supposed to sound like. It's f-kin' stupid. There's no rules.

You have tour dates coming up with Disturbed as well as Korn. Why do you think those bands fit well on a bill with Zombie?

Well, we haven't done tours with Disturbed before so I don't know how that's going to be. I think it will be fine. We wouldn't do it if I didn't think it would be a good match, but I haven't done it. Korn, we've done at least four tours together before, and it's great. Our audience, their audience, it's a great mesh. Everything about it is a perfect mixture, so that's why we love doing it. It's hard to say. We did a tour with Marilyn Manson a few years ago and that was a really good match, Alice Cooper was a really good match, but sometimes you tour with a band you like, and you're good friends with the guys, but the crowds just don't match. You can really see the division in the crowd.

What are some examples of pairings that didn't work?

We did the tour before that was us and Slayer. We're good friends with Slayer, they're all great guys, but for some reason on that tour it really felt like it's our fans, and it's their fans. Backstage was great and the vibe was great, there was nothing between the bands, but you could feel it wasn't one solid crowd. It wasn't horrible, but it wasn't the perfect match.

Can you give us an update on "Raised Eyebrows," the Groucho Marx documentary you're directing?

"Raised Eyebrows" is in the script phase. The script is basically done, a brilliant script written by Oren Moverman who most recently wrote the Brian Wilson movie, "Love And Mercy." We're looking at beginning early shooting next year.

What drew you to the project?

I've always been a huge Groucho Marx fan. Ever since I was a little kid I loved Groucho Marx as much as I loved anything in life. About seven years ago I read the book "Raised Eyebrows" which really isn't about Groucho's life, it's really about the last three years of his life as seen through a UCLA college student who was his assistant at the time. The last three years of Groucho's life were fairly miserable. He was abused by the people who took care of him, he had strokes, he was very old and weak, and it's a really dark, weird story, but it really drew me in. The point of view from this kid Steve [Stoliar], his assistant, Steve's still around, I talk to him all the time and he's a big part of the movie...It's a fascinating story. It's like "Sunset Boulevard" but it was true, and it's going to make a great movie.

Rob Zombie / Korn Tour Dates

7/19 - Englewood, CO at Fiddler's Green Amphitheatre

7/20 - Salt Lake City, UT at USANA Amphitheater

7/22 - Albuquerque, NM at Isleta Amphitheater

7/23 - Phoenix, AZ at Ak-Chin Pavilion

7/24 - Irvine, CA at Irvine Meadows Amphitheatre

7/26 - Nampa (Boise), ID at Idaho Center Amphitheater

7/27 - Auburn, WA at White River Amphitheatre

7/29 - Mountain View, CA at Shoreline Amphitheatre

7/30 - Las Vegas, NV at Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino

8/2 - Austin, TX at Austin 360 Amphitheater

8/3 - The Woodlands, TX at Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion

8/4 - Dallas TX at Gexa Energy Pavilion

8/6 - Noblesville, IN at Klipsch Music Center

8/7 - Cincinnati, OH at Riverbend Music Center

8/9 - Maryland Heights, MO at Hollywood Casino Amphitheatre

8/10 - Kansas City, MO at Sandstone

8/21 - Clarkston, MI at DTE Energy Music Theatre

8/23 - West Toronto, ON at Molson Canadian Amphitheatre

8/24 - Cuyahoga Falls, OH at Blossom Music Center

8/25 - Burgettstown, PA First Niagara Pavilion

8/27 - Syracuse, NY at Lakeview Amphitheater

8/28 - Boston, MA at Xfinity Center

8/30 - Holmdel, NJ at PNC Bank Arts Center

9/1 - Hartford, CT at Xfinity Theatre

9/2 - Camden, NJ at BB&T Pavilion

9/3 - Bristow, VA at Jiffy Lube Live

Additional Dates

4/30 - Fort Myers, FL at Fort Rock

5/1 - Jacksonville, FL at Welcome to Rockville

5/3 - Biloxi, MS at Mississippi Coast Coliseum*

5/4 - Pelham, AL at Oak Mountain Amphitheater*

5/6 - Atlanta, GA at Aaron's Amphitheater at Lakewood*

5/7 - Nashville, TN at Ascend Amphitheater*

5/8 - Concord, NC at Carolina Rebellion

5/10 - Lafayette, LA at Cajundome*

5/11 - Bossier City, LA at CenturyLink Center*

5/13 - Council Bluffs, IA at KIWR Festival

5/14 - Somerset, WI at Northern Invasion

5/15 - Fargo, ND at Fargo Civic Center

5/17 - Cedar Rapids, IA at US Cellular Center*

5/18 - Bloomington, IL at U.S. Cellular Coliseum

5/19 - Saginaw, MI at FirstMerit Bank Event Park

5/20-5/21 - Columbus, OH at Rock On The Range

5/22 - Hershey, PA at Giant Center*

5/24 - Grand Rapids, MI at Van Andel Arena*

5/25 - Fort Wayne, IN at Allen County War Memorial Coliseum*

5/27-5/29 - Pryor, OK at Rocklahoma

 

* Co-Headlined with Disturbed

Festival