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White Zombie

White Zombie

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White Zombie was a Grammy Award
Grammy Award
A Grammy Award — or Grammy — is an accolade by the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences of the United States to recognize outstanding achievement in the music industry...

-nominated American
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

 heavy metal
Heavy metal music
Heavy metal is a genre of rock music that developed in the late 1960s and early 1970s, largely in the Midlands of the United Kingdom and the United States...

 band. Based in New York City
New York City
New York is the most populous city in the United States and the center of the New York Metropolitan Area, one of the most populous metropolitan areas in the world. New York exerts a significant impact upon global commerce, finance, media, art, fashion, research, technology, education, and...

, White Zombie was originally a noise rock
Noise rock
Noise rock describes a style of post-punk rock music that became prominent in the 1980s. Noise rock makes use of the traditional instrumentation and iconography of rock, but incorporates atonality and especially dissonance, and also frequently discards usual songwriting conventions.-Style:Noise...

 band. White Zombie are better-known for their later heavy metal-oriented sound. Unlike other metal bands of the 1990s, White Zombie was almost exclusively a "fantasy" band, writing songs not based on their aspirations or experiences, but about surreal fantasies.

The group officially disbanded in 1998 shortly after the release of singer Rob Zombie
Rob Zombie
Rob Zombie is an American musician, film director, screenwriter and film producer. He founded the heavy metal band White Zombie and has been nominated three times as a solo artist for the Grammy Award for Best Metal Performance.Zombie has also established a career as a film director, creating the...

's solo album Hellbilly Deluxe
Hellbilly Deluxe
* Danny Lohner - Additional Guitar on Meet the Creeper.* Tommy Lee - Drums on Meet the Creeper.-Chart positions:AlbumSingles...

. In 2000, White Zombie was included on VH1's 100 Greatest Artists of Hard Rock, ranking at No. 56.

Early years


White Zombie was founded by writer, vocalist, and graphic artist Rob Zombie
Rob Zombie
Rob Zombie is an American musician, film director, screenwriter and film producer. He founded the heavy metal band White Zombie and has been nominated three times as a solo artist for the Grammy Award for Best Metal Performance.Zombie has also established a career as a film director, creating the...

, after coming up with the band idea in 1985 while attending Parsons School of Design in his junior year. Zombie's girlfriend at the time, Sean Yseult
Sean Yseult
Sean Yseult is an American rock musician. She has played various instruments with different bands over the years, most notably her bass work with the band White Zombie. Her father, Michael S. Reynolds, was a noted biographer of Ernest Hemingway...

, was playing the farfisa
Farfisa
Farfisa is a manufacturer of electronics based in Osimo, Italy.The Farfisa brand name is commonly associated with a series of compact electronic organs, and later, a series of multi-timbral synthesizers. At the height of its production, Farfisa operated three factories to produce instruments, in...

 keyboard in the band LIFE with Ivan de Prume
Ivan de Prume
Ivan de Prume is a heavy metal drummer whose music became famous in the groove metal band White Zombie.Born in Brooklyn, New York City, de Prume comes from a rich history of artists. Ivan's sister, Cathryn is a successful actress and they have collaborated on two short films together. But it is...

 but the band soon broke up. Ena Kostabi
Paul Kostabi
Paul Indrek Kostabi is an American artist, musician, music producer and audio engineer. He is the brother of artist Mark Kostabi....

 owned a recording studio
Recording studio
A recording studio is a facility for sound recording and mixing. Ideally both the recording and monitoring spaces are specially designed by an acoustician to achieve optimum acoustic properties...

, which he would rent out to different bands. When he met Yseult, she asked if he could teach her to play bass. They then recruited Peter Landau to play drums and began to write and record songs. White Zombie's first release Gods on Voodoo Moon
Gods on Voodoo Moon
Gods on Voodoo Moon is the first recording and release by White Zombie, released as an EP in 1985 under their own indie label Silent Explosion.-Production:...

was an EP
Extended play
An EP is a musical recording which contains more music than a single, but is too short to qualify as a full album or LP. The term EP originally referred only to specific types of vinyl records other than 78 rpm standard play records and LP records, but it is now applied to mid-length Compact...

 and was recorded on October 18, 1985. It was released under the band's own label Silent Explosion
Silent Explosion
Silent Explosion was an independent record label founded by the band White Zombie in 1985 and discontinued in 1987.-History:The record label was started in order for the few indie albums that the band White Zombie recorded to be released under. White Zombie's albums were the only releases to bear...

, under which they would release most of their early work. Only 300 copies were pressed, of which only 100 were sold; the band members still retain possession of the remaining 200.

In 1986, Zombie hired Tim Jeffs
Tim Jeffs
Tim Jeffs is an artist, musician, and Art Director. He was born in Rockville, Maryland. He currently lives in Dumont, New Jersey with his wife Jane Jeffs, daughter Jenna and, son Harrison....

, his Parsons School of Design roommate, to play guitar to replace Ena Kostabi, and Yseult brought in de Prume from their days in the band LIFE as the replacement for Landau. It was at this time the band started touring, making their live performance debut at CBGB's
CBGB
CBGB was a music club at 315 Bowery at Bleecker Street in the borough of Manhattan in New York City.Founded by Hilly Kristal in 1973, it was originally intended to feature its namesake musical styles, but became a forum for American punk and New Wave bands like Ramones, Misfits, Television, the...

 on April 28, 1986. White Zombie released their second EP Pig Heaven that year. The release contained two songs, "Pig Heaven" and "Slaughter the Grey". The EP was recorded at 6/8 Studios on Houston St and Bleecker St in NoHo in New York City. Other songs that were recorded during the session but never released were titled "Follow Wild", "Rain Insane", "Paradise Fireball", and "Red River Flow". After touring for a year in the band, Tim Jeffs left and was replaced by Tom Guay
Tom Guay
Tom Guay is a guitar player who joined White Zombie while studying art at Parsons School of Design which he attended from 1985 to 1989. Guay was usually credited as Tom Five, reportedly because his style sounded like five guitarists playing at once...

, often known as Tom Five. The band released a second pressing of Pig Heaven with different cover art, but retained the same recording with Jeffs on guitar. Only 500 copies of each pressing were released on vinyl.

In 1987, the band released their third EP, Psycho-Head Blowout. Later that year, the band released their first full-length album, Soul-Crusher
Soul-Crusher
The reception of the album, at the time, was somewhat positive. A significant amount of praise was directed at Rob's creative and bizarre lyrical contributions. Sean recalls that "Critics seemed to enjoy Rob's psychotic lyrics, so much so that their entire review would try to emulate his style,...

, which was their first release to feature sound clips from movies in the songs, a trademark that would continue for the remainder of the band's lifespan. John Ricci replaced Tom Guay shortly after the release of Soul-Crusher.

In 1988, the band signed to Caroline Records
Caroline Records
Caroline Records started out as a subsidiary of Richard Branson's Virgin Records label during the early to mid 1970s. The label originally specialized in putting out budget price LPs by mainly progressive rock and jazz artists generally not considered to have a great deal of 'mainstream' or...

, permanently discontinuing their old indie label. Their second album Make Them Die Slowly
Make Them Die Slowly (album)
Make Them Die Slowly is the second album by White Zombie released in 1989. It is presumably named after the 1981 cannibal movie Cannibal Ferox, which was originally released in the US as Make Them Die Slowly...

was released in February 1989. The album was a musical shift for White Zombie. While their previous releases had been strictly punk-influenced noise rock, Make Them Die Slowly had more of a heavy metal
Heavy metal music
Heavy metal is a genre of rock music that developed in the late 1960s and early 1970s, largely in the Midlands of the United Kingdom and the United States...

 sound. This is also the first album crediting 'Rob Zombie' instead of his previous stage name
Stage name
A stage name, also called a showbiz name or screen name, is a pseudonym used by performers and entertainers such as actors, wrestlers, comedians, and musicians.-Motivation to use a stage name:...

, 'Rob 'Dirt' Straker.'

Ricci's carpal tunnel syndrome
Carpal tunnel syndrome
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome is an entrapment idiopathic median neuropathy, causing paresthesia, pain, and other symptoms in the distribution of the median nerve due to its compression at the wrist in the carpal tunnel. The pathophysiology is not completely understood but can be considered compression...

 severely affected his ability to play guitar, forcing him to leave the band when Make Them Die Slowly was finished. Jay Yuenger
Jay Noel Yuenger
Jay Noel Yuenger , also known simply as "J.", is a rock guitarist best known for his work with the Grammy nominated groove metal/alternative metal band White Zombie.-Early life:...

, or "J", replaced him before the album's release, affecting their future sound. One of the most obvious examples of this direction is the difference between the songs "Disaster Blaster" on Make Them Die Slowly and the re-worked version, "Disaster Blaster 2", on the God of Thunder
God of Thunder (album)
-God of Thunder:A cover of the Kiss song originally from their 1976 album Destroyer.-Audio samples:* "You wanted the best and you got the best...the hottest band in the world" is from the song Detroit Rock City on the album Kiss Alive II ....

EP.

Major label years


After searching for a record label and being turned down multiple times, the band turned towards RCA Records
RCA Records
RCA Records is one of the flagship labels of Sony Music Entertainment. The RCA initials stand for Radio Corporation of America , which was the parent corporation from 1929 to 1985 and a partner from 1985 to 1986.RCA's Canadian unit is Sony's oldest label...

. However, Zombie opted more for a recording contract
Recording contract
A recording contract is a legal agreement between a record label and a recording artist , where the artist makes a record for the label to sell and promote...

 with Geffen Records
Geffen Records
Geffen Records is an American record label, owned by Universal Music Group, and operated as one third of UMG's Interscope-Geffen-A&M label group.-Beginnings:...

. Michael Alago, a representative of Geffen, became interested after hearing God of Thunder and watched one of their shows at Pyramid Club and liked them, mostly for their song "Soul-Crusher". The band produced a demo
Demo (music)
A demo version or demo of a song is one recorded for reference rather than for release. A demo is a way for a musician to approximate their ideas on tape or disc, and provide an example of those ideas to record labels, producers or other artists...

 with the help of J. G. Thirlwell
J. G. Thirlwell
James George Thirlwell , aka Clint Ruin, aka Frank Want, aka Foetus, is an Australian vocalist, composer and record producer...

 of Foetus and were signed to Geffen.

On March 17, 1992, White Zombie released La Sexorcisto: Devil Music, Vol. 1
La Sexorcisto: Devil Music, Vol. 1
Some pressings of the CD incorrectly divide tracks 12 and 13, beginning track 13 at 3:31 of "Grindhouse ."-"Welcome to Planet Motherfucker/Psychoholic Slag":"Welcome to Planet Motherfucker/Psychoholic Slag" is the first track on the album...

, the album which launched them into mainstream recognition. White Zombie began a two and a half year long tour for the album soon after its release, during which the band gained a large cult following
Cult following
A cult following is a group of fans who are highly dedicated to a specific area of pop culture. A film, book, band, or video game, among other things, will be said to have a cult following when it has a small but very passionate fan base...

. During the tour, Ivan de Prume
Ivan de Prume
Ivan de Prume is a heavy metal drummer whose music became famous in the groove metal band White Zombie.Born in Brooklyn, New York City, de Prume comes from a rich history of artists. Ivan's sister, Cathryn is a successful actress and they have collaborated on two short films together. But it is...

 left the band to pursue a successful career as a producer/engineer as well as drummer/percussionist and opened his own studio, Burningsound. He was replaced by Phil Buerstatte. The music video
Music video
A music video or song video is a short film integrating a song and imagery, produced for promotional or artistic purposes. Modern music videos are primarily made and used as a marketing device intended to promote the sale of music recordings...

 for the song "Thunder Kiss '65
Thunder Kiss '65
"Thunder Kiss '65" is the first and only official single off the album La Sexorcisto: Devil Music, Vol. 1 by White Zombie. The song can also be found on Rob Zombie's Past, Present & Future and the greatest hits album The Best of Rob Zombie.-Music:...

" went into heavy rotation on MTV
MTV
MTV, formerly an initialism of Music Television, is an American network based in New York City that launched on August 1, 1981. The original purpose of the channel was to play music videos guided by on-air hosts known as VJs....

 in 1993. The popular TV show Beavis and Butt-head
Beavis and Butt-Head
Beavis and Butt-head is an American animated television series created by Mike Judge. The series originated from Frog Baseball, a 1992 short film by Judge. After seeing the short, MTV signed Judge to develop the concept. Beavis and Butt-head originally aired from March 8, 1993 to November 28, 1997...

began reviewing the band's music videos, boosting the band's popularity. By the end of 1993, the album had been certified gold
RIAA certification
In the United States, the Recording Industry Association of America awards certification based on the number of albums and singles sold through retail and other ancillary markets. Other countries have similar awards...

 by the RIAA. By the time the tour ended in December 1994, Zombie and Yseult had broken up, and La Sexorcisto had gone platinum
RIAA certification
In the United States, the Recording Industry Association of America awards certification based on the number of albums and singles sold through retail and other ancillary markets. Other countries have similar awards...

. Due to artistic differences, Buerstatte was let go, and John Tempesta
John Tempesta
John Tempesta is a heavy metal drummer who has worked several bands including: Exodus, Testament and White Zombie. He also played with former White Zombie singer Rob Zombie as a solo artist and served as drum technician for heavy metal band Anthrax earlier in his career...

, who had previously worked with Exodus
Exodus (band)
Exodus is an American thrash metal band formed in 1980 in Richmond, California. Spanning a career of over 30 years, Exodus has gone through numerous lineup changes, two extended hiatuses, and the deaths of two former band members. Guitarist Gary Holt remains the only constant member of the band,...

 and Testament
Testament (band)
Testament is an American metal band from Berkeley, California, formed in 1983. They are often credited as one of the most popular bands of the 1980s thrash metal scene...

, was hired to record White Zombie's second major label album. In 1995, Astro Creep: 2000 was released, featuring the hit single "More Human than Human
More Human Than Human
"More Human than Human" is the second official single off the Astro-Creep: 2000 album by White Zombie. The song can also be found on Rob Zombie's Past, Present & Future, the greatest hits album The Best of Rob Zombie, and a remix is included on Supersexy Swingin' Sounds.-Music and lyrics:The title,...

". In 1996, an album of remixes was released under the title Supersexy Swingin' Sounds
Supersexy Swingin' Sounds
Supersexy Swingin' Sounds is a remix album by White Zombie. It was released through Geffen Records in 1996 and was the band's final album. The Wal-Mart and K-Mart clean version of the album depict the cover model in a blue bikini rather than totally nude....

, but the band broke up in 1998.

After disbanding


After the breakup of White Zombie, Yseult joined the surf rock band The Famous Monsters, and started playing bass for horror-themed New Orleans
New Orleans, Louisiana
New Orleans is a major United States port and the largest city and metropolitan area in the state of Louisiana. The New Orleans metropolitan area has a population of 1,235,650 as of 2009, the 46th largest in the USA. The New Orleans – Metairie – Bogalusa combined statistical area has a population...

-based band, Rock City Morgue. She also briefly played bass for The Cramps
The Cramps
The Cramps were an American rock band, formed in 1976 and active until 2009. The band split after the death of lead singer Lux Interior. Their line-up rotated much over their existence, with the husband and wife duo of Interior and lead guitarist Poison Ivy the only permanent members...

.

Tempesta continued his musical relationship with Zombie, drumming for him on his first two solo albums, Hellbilly Deluxe
Hellbilly Deluxe
* Danny Lohner - Additional Guitar on Meet the Creeper.* Tommy Lee - Drums on Meet the Creeper.-Chart positions:AlbumSingles...

and The Sinister Urge
The Sinister Urge (album)
-Credits:* Tom Baker - Mastering* Evelyne Bennu - Female Vocals* Blasko - Bass* Dan Burns - Assistant Engineer* Chris Chaney - Additional Bass* Marina Chavez - Photos* Josh Freese - Additional Drums* Gary Grant - Horns* Emm Gryner - Female Vocals...

. He is no longer with Zombie, and has gone on to play for Scum of the Earth with his brother, Powerman 5000
Powerman 5000
Powerman 5000 is an American Metal band formed in 1991. Through the span of over two decades, the group has released several albums and gained their highest commercial success with 1999's science fiction themed Tonight the Stars Revolt!...

 guitarist Mike Tempesta, and ex-Zombie guitarist Mike Riggs
Mike Riggs
Mike Riggs, a.k.a. Riggs, is a heavy-metal guitarist born April 23, 1971 in Ozark, Arkansas. Highlights in career include his guitar work for Rob Zombie's first two solo albums and currently his skills as a guitarist, vocalist, and producer for Scum of the Earth.-Career history:His career as a...

. Tempesta has 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
The Cult
The Cult are a British rock band that was formed in 1983. They gained a dedicated following in Britain in the mid 1980s as a post-punk band with singles such as "She Sells Sanctuary", before breaking mainstream in the United States in the late 1980s as a hard rock band with singles such as "Love...

, before which, he played with Helmet
Helmet (band)
Helmet is an alternative metal band from New York City formed in 1989. Founded by vocalist and lead guitarist Page Hamilton, Helmet has had numerous lineup changes, and Hamilton has been the only constant member....

.

J.
Jay Noel Yuenger
Jay Noel Yuenger , also known simply as "J.", is a rock guitarist best known for his work with the Grammy nominated groove metal/alternative metal band White Zombie.-Early life:...

 produced records for Fu Manchu
Fu Manchu (band)
Fu Manchu is a Southern Californian stoner rock band, who released their debut single "Kept Between Trees" in 1990. They have been featured on compilations put together by Tony Hawk and ESPN's X Games, and invited to perform on the US television program Monster Garage...

 and New York
New York City
New York is the most populous city in the United States and the center of the New York Metropolitan Area, one of the most populous metropolitan areas in the world. New York exerts a significant impact upon global commerce, finance, media, art, fashion, research, technology, education, and...

 based Puny Human.

In July 2006, original members Tom Five and de Prume reunited to perform with de Prume's band, Healer, a middle eastern infused metal band, for several concerts in Southern California for The Vans Warped Tour
Warped Tour
The Warped Tour is a touring music and extreme sports festival. The tour is held in venues such as parking lots or fields upon which the stages and other structures are erected. The BMX/skateboarding shoe manufacturer Vans, among others, has sponsored the tour every year since 1995, and it is...

. De Prume continues to write and record music with Healer, as well as recording, producing, and engineering for special projects in his studio, Burningsound. His drums and percussion work can also be heard on Sony's "Ghost Rider" score. In 2009, de Prume began hosting the weekly radio show, "Metalopolis". His studio guests have included Rob Halford
Rob Halford
Robert John Arthur "Rob" Halford is an English singer-songwriter, who is best known as the lead vocalist for the Grammy Award-winning heavy metal band Judas Priest. He is nicknamed the "Metal God" as a tribute to his influence on metal, and after the Judas Priest song of the same name from 1980's...

, Dave Mustaine
Dave Mustaine
David Scott "Dave" Mustaine is the founder, main songwriter, guitarist, and lead vocalist for the American heavy metal band Megadeth. Prior to Megadeth, Mustaine was the first lead guitarist and a co-songwriter of the heavy metal band Metallica until he was fired from the band in 1983. In 2009, he...

, Max Cavalera
Max Cavalera
Massimiliano Antonio "Max" Cavalera is a Brazilian singer, guitarist, and songwriter. He was the lead singer and rhythm guitarist for the heavy metal band Sepultura, before forming Soulfly in the late 1990s...

, Vinnie Paul
Vinnie Paul
Vincent Paul Abbott, also known as "Vinnie Paul" is a heavy metal drummer and producer who is currently a member of supergroup Hellyeah, but is best known for being a member, and co-founder, of the heavy metal band Pantera...

, and Tom Araya
Tom Araya
Tom Araya is a Chilean musician, best known as the bassist and vocalist of the American thrash metal band Slayer...

. De Prume is also a member of the band KREEP, and has completed a West Coast tour in spring 2010, and is planning an East Coast tour in fall, 2010.

In November 2008 Geffen/UME released Let Sleeping Corpses Lie
Let Sleeping Corpses Lie
Let Sleeping Corpses Lie , also known as The Living Dead at The Manchester Morgue is a Spanish/Italian horror film from 1974 written and directed by Jorge Grau and starring Ray Lovelock, Arthur Kennedy and Cristina Galbó.-Plot summary:The film begins with George on a trip from his Antique shop in...

, a boxed set
Boxed set
A box set is a compilation of various musical recordings, films, television programs, or other collection of related items that are contained in a box.-Music box sets:...

 which includes sixty four tracks. The package also contained nine music videos (including their breakthrough Grammy-nominated hit "Thunder Kiss '65"), and ten live performances. In an interview to promote the release of Let Sleeping Corpses Lie, Zombie made it clear that a reunion with his White Zombie band mates was unlikely, saying, "I don't want fans to think it's the beginning of anything."

In December 2010 Yseult released "I'm in the Band", a book containing tour diaries and photos as well as detailing her eleven years spent as a member of White Zombie.

Band members


Final lineup
  • Rob Zombie
    Rob Zombie
    Rob Zombie is an American musician, film director, screenwriter and film producer. He founded the heavy metal band White Zombie and has been nominated three times as a solo artist for the Grammy Award for Best Metal Performance.Zombie has also established a career as a film director, creating the...

     (Rob Cummings) – lead vocals (1985–1998)
  • Sean Yseult
    Sean Yseult
    Sean Yseult is an American rock musician. She has played various instruments with different bands over the years, most notably her bass work with the band White Zombie. Her father, Michael S. Reynolds, was a noted biographer of Ernest Hemingway...

     – bass (1985–1998)
  • Jay Yuenger – guitars (1989–1998)
  • John Tempesta
    John Tempesta
    John Tempesta is a heavy metal drummer who has worked several bands including: Exodus, Testament and White Zombie. He also played with former White Zombie singer Rob Zombie as a solo artist and served as drum technician for heavy metal band Anthrax earlier in his career...

     – drums, percussion (1994–1998)

Former members
  • Ena Kostabi
    Paul Kostabi
    Paul Indrek Kostabi is an American artist, musician, music producer and audio engineer. He is the brother of artist Mark Kostabi....

     – guitars (1985–1986)
  • Tim Jeffs
    Tim Jeffs
    Tim Jeffs is an artist, musician, and Art Director. He was born in Rockville, Maryland. He currently lives in Dumont, New Jersey with his wife Jane Jeffs, daughter Jenna and, son Harrison....

     – guitars (1986)
  • Tom Guay
    Tom Guay
    Tom Guay is a guitar player who joined White Zombie while studying art at Parsons School of Design which he attended from 1985 to 1989. Guay was usually credited as Tom Five, reportedly because his style sounded like five guitarists playing at once...

     (Tom Five) – guitars (1986–1988)
  • John Ricci – guitars (1988–1989)
  • Peter Landau – drums, percussion (1985–1986)
  • Ivan de Prume
    Ivan de Prume
    Ivan de Prume is a heavy metal drummer whose music became famous in the groove metal band White Zombie.Born in Brooklyn, New York City, de Prume comes from a rich history of artists. Ivan's sister, Cathryn is a successful actress and they have collaborated on two short films together. But it is...

     – drums, percussion (1986–1992)
  • Phil Buerstatte – drums, percussion (1992–1994)


Discography


  • Soul-Crusher
    Soul-Crusher
    The reception of the album, at the time, was somewhat positive. A significant amount of praise was directed at Rob's creative and bizarre lyrical contributions. Sean recalls that "Critics seemed to enjoy Rob's psychotic lyrics, so much so that their entire review would try to emulate his style,...

    (1987)
  • Make Them Die Slowly
    Make Them Die Slowly (album)
    Make Them Die Slowly is the second album by White Zombie released in 1989. It is presumably named after the 1981 cannibal movie Cannibal Ferox, which was originally released in the US as Make Them Die Slowly...

    (1989)
  • La Sexorcisto: Devil Music, Vol. 1
    La Sexorcisto: Devil Music, Vol. 1
    Some pressings of the CD incorrectly divide tracks 12 and 13, beginning track 13 at 3:31 of "Grindhouse ."-"Welcome to Planet Motherfucker/Psychoholic Slag":"Welcome to Planet Motherfucker/Psychoholic Slag" is the first track on the album...

    (1992)
  • Astro Creep: 2000 (1995)

External links