Rob Zombie
The Making of “Educated Horses”

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Educated Horses

The biggest difference with the new Rob Zombie album is its distinct veering away from the trend of previous releases to be computer-heavy and immersed in a sea of programmed drums and loops. “There’s none of that on this record because I’m sick of it,” says Zombie. “I’ve been there, done that. It just seems tired. And this time, I have a new band and John 5 has been very instrumental because he’s the best guitar player I’ve ever worked with. And for me, that was always the missing link — never really having that great guitar player to work with.”

And having an actual band in the studio defined the tone of the new record as well. “This record is pretty much live,” explains Humphrey. “It’s a lot more guitar and live drum driven. He has Marilyn Manson’s ex-guitar player, John 5, who is amazing, so that’s really helped a lot for this record. Tommy Lee played drums on two tracks and Rob’s drummer Tommy played on 3 or 4 of them.”

Ampex, Pro Tools and SSL
The sessions were recorded to 2” tape using an Ampex MM1200 modified 16-track tape machine, then ported into a Power Mac dual 2.5 GHz G5 running Pro Tools 6.9.2 software. The tracks were brought in from the Ampex using a Pro Tools HD 192 interface with I/O Sync.

The tracks were then edited using a Pro Tools HD rig with 6 HD Accel cards for a total of 64 inputs and 72 outputs which Humphrey ported out to his SSL 4064G+ console for final mixing. Humphrey and his engineering team (headed up by Chris Baseford) relied on KRK E8Ts and industry-standard Yamaha NS-10s for monitoring the mixes.

Plug-ins like the Eventide 3000 Factory bundle, GRM Tools, Izotope Vinyl and Trash, SoundToys Echo and Trem and the Waves DeEsser and L1 came into play for the Rob Zombie mixes, as did outboard Mercury Analog EQs and Compressors from Marquette Audio.

A False Start, and a Quick Recovery
Initial efforts to do a new Rob Zombie record originally started two years ago, but Zombie was distracted by his focus on making “The Devil’s Rejects” film. Zombie and Humphrey had generated about 30 song ideas, with potential collaborators Wes Borland (Limp Bizkit) and Danny Lohner (Nine Inch Nails) brought into the mix, but all of those 30 original song ideas were canned when the new studio sessions produced 9 great new tracks.

“It’s not that the stuff from way back sounded old — it’s just that I wasn’t in the groove back then because my head was on the movie,” he says. “After I went on Ozzfest with a new band — that’s when I got back in the groove to do music. And when I came off of Ozzfest, we started the record up again. But we didn’t use anything from two years ago. So really, in reality we’ve only been working on this record since October 2005, which is kind of nice. And it’s really come together.”

Although they wrote all new songs for the record over the course of just two months, some parts of the old tracks still came into creative play. “Josh Freese played on some tracks back in March or April before Rob had put a new band together,” says Humphrey. “When Rob came off of Ozzfest and we started working on this new record, elements from some stuff that we started last year, like some of Josh’s drum tracks, have come into the new songs.”

Unlike some Rob Zombie records of the past, the sessions for the current Rob Zombie record didn’t get that crazy in magnitude. “I think a lot of the time you’ll end up using a lot of tracks when you’re not really sure what you want or what you’re going to keep,” says Humphrey. “But I think the decisions for this record were made really quickly. There wasn’t a lot of indecision — it came together really quickly. It was written and recorded within just two months.”

The Songwriting Process
How long a song will take to write is sometimes difficult to gauge. “Songs come together in the weirdest way,” says Humphrey. “You just never know how a song is going to happen,” he says. “Sometimes it can come together in like 10 minutes. Or other times — like when I think back to writing ‘Dragula’ with Rob — I mean we re-wrote and re-wrote and re-wrote that song.”

Songwriting can be like a puzzle. “You’re trying to put it together,” says Humphrey. “But there are no pictures on the pieces. And all the pieces look like they almost might fit together, but then they don’t, but then they do — but you’re not really sure. So you keep trying, going this way and then that way and you get little clues along the way. But for the most part, you’re kind of on your own. You just have to try it every way, shape and form to see if it fits. And on that note, it doesn’t matter if you’re doing metal or pop music.”

Next page: How “The Devil’s Rejects” Made the Record

Rob Zombie

1. On Making Films and Records
2. Zombie’s World Takeover
3. The Making of “Educated Horses”
4. How “The Devil’s Rejects” Made the Record
5. How Filmmaking is Like Songwriting


Rob Zombie
Educated Horses

October 2005 -
December 2005

The Chop Shop
Hollywood, CA

March 28, 2006

Rob Zombie
Scott Humphrey

Scott Humphrey

Chris Baseford

Will Thompson
Todd Harapiak

Gary Meyerberg

Useful Links

Rob Zombie Music and Films
The Chop Shop

Power Mac

Digidesign Pro Tools
GRM Tools
Izotope Trash
Waves DeEsser and L1

Audio Interfaces
Pro Tools HD 192

Aguilar Bass Amp
Vox AC30

Moog Voyager



Get the “Foxy” Song
Download the first single off Rob Zombie’s “Educated Horses” CD: “Foxy, Foxy.”

Get the “Foxy” Video
Check out the new video for “Foxy, Foxy” now on Yahoo.

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