ROB ZOMBIE: 'I Do Everything By My Gut Reaction'

ROB ZOMBIE: 'I Do Everything By My Gut Reaction'

Peter Hodgson of recently conducted an interview with Rob Zombie. A couple of excerpts from the chat follow below. One of the great things about my job is getting to talk with people about what drives them creatively and I've always wondered with you — you've been able to make a career for yourself, which both celebrates and participates what you've always loved, whereas a lot of people might consume things — "I'll watch that, I'll listen to that…" Was it always a matter of "I'm going to make it happen as a career" for you, or did it just kind of lead this way because you were so passionate about it?

Rob: Well, everything that I love, that I now do, it never seemed feasible that you could do it for a living, you know what I mean? When I was a kid, being a fan of ALICE COOPER and KISS, it didn't seem like you could do that, I didn't think. It just seemed like this larger-than-life personality. I loved it, but it didn't seem like you could do it. Same thing with movies: you'd go see "Raiders Of The Lost Ark" or "Close Encounters Of The Third Kind" and it didn't seem like you could do that. It seemed like, "Oh, special people do that." And I didn't live in Hollywood, I didn't live in New York City, I didn't live anywhere or have any access to anybody connected to show business in any way at all. And many, many people have told this same story, but it really wasn't until I really discovered punk rock around 1981 or so and started listening to the RAMONES and the DEAD KENNEDYS: punk rock made me think, "Oh I could do that." And Johnny Ramone would tell the same story: you'd watch LED ZEPPELIN and say, "I could never play like that but I could play like this…" And then it just becomes baby steps. Every day you see new possibilities of where you can go to it. To get from Point A to Point B seems like an impossible journey, but there are a million steps in between. I know for me I grew up in a tiny, tiny town and I loved guitar but I didn't think I'd ever do anything with it, but now it's my job. And I literally never thought it was possible.

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Rob: And it's totally possible! The funny thing is that most of the people who do these things that we're talking about are from tiny towns somewhere! I swear, if you have the passion for something, it will happen. That is the main thing. Most people don't make their dreams come true because they're not passionate enough about it and they quit. Not because they weren't good enough at it, they just quit! Yeah, it's that thing of waiting for something to happen to you instead of going out to get it.

Rob: Yeah! Okay, as soon as somebody asks me — this is the number one question — as soon as someone asks me, "What's your advice for someone trying to do…" y'know, whatever, becoming a writer, making movies, fill in the blank — I go, "The fact that you asked me that question tells me you're never going to do it because you're already looking for a shortcut." The person who's gonna do it is already doing it. They're not asking anyone's advice. I never asked anyone's advice. I didn't give a shit what anyone thought. I just do my own crazy thing because I love it. I still don't ask people advice. Nobody's ever really given you any real advice anyway — they learned it all the hard way and they're not going to give you anything for free. So what's the creative process like for you? How do you communicate ideas to the other guys?

Rob: I do everything by my gut reaction. Like now, when we're working on songs, we'll be playing something and I'll go, "Yeah, that's it, I like it but it needs to be more like this, do this and this…" or someone else will be playing something and I'll go, "Eh, I don't hear it. It sounds too typical to me." As the years go on, you just get this gut reaction to it. It doesn't mean that you're right, it just means it's what's right to you, that you feel it. Someone else can sit there all day long and go, "No, man, this part fuckin' rocks," and I'll go, "I don't like it!" Well you're the orchestrator of everything and it's being released under your name.

Rob: Yeah, because you can never stand behind something if you don't feel it, because then it's not a part of you.

Read the entire interview at


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