What a band they were. Well, for one and a bit albums anyway. Astro Creep 2000: Songs of Love Destruction and Other Synthetic Delusions of The Electric Head has to be one of my all time favourites. As my tastes have changed i listen to it less, but i think it still holds up today as an incredible 45 minutes of music.
I remember buying this when i was 15 on a family holiday to America from a small Sam Goody's in the rocky mountains. I knew nothing of the band, but had seen an article in i think Kerrang and just loved the look and what they said so bought it without checking it out first. Actually that was how i bought most music back then, just saw that they might sound like a band i was already into and took a chance. Do people still do that? Anyway, i didn't have a CD player, but my friend who was with us did. I got about 15 minutes to myself to quickly listen and just felt like i was opening the door to another world. Before this music to me was Metallica, Van Halen, Skid Row and anything my parents listened to. Suddenly i had taken 20 steps forward in my search for musical excitement. It sounded weird, relentless, psychedelic and just plain cool. Plus they had a girl playing bass, i mean what?! back in those days it was as rare as a hereterosexual at a musical. I was in love in every possible way. I poured over the artwork in lessons at school, i learned every riff on my guitar and tried to make sense of the acid trip lyrics. I even sought out the films the samples had been taken from.
Listening back now i still think they did something no other metal band did and that was to make metal 'cool'. Now i'm not a big fan of 'cool' usually, but i didn't feel like i was in a rugby team when listening to White Zombie, i felt like i was in some massive moonshine fuelled dance around a camp fire with my hair dyed green and a light sabre in my hand. It felt inclusive.
Rob Zombie;s solo stuff just doesn't do it for me and so far no other metal band has managed to grab me in the same way and just fire my imagination. So even though my band are in a totally different genre i still try and remind myself of the lessons i learned from White Zombie and that was to take your idea to its extreme, to not dilute it and to be as weird as you like.
RIP White Zombie.