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.
Theres none of that on this record because Im sick of it,
says Zombie. Ive been there, done that. It just seems tired. And this
time, I have a new band and John 5 has been very instrumental because hes
the best guitar player Ive ever worked with. And for me, that was always
the missing link never really having that great guitar player to work
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.
Its a lot more guitar and live drum driven. He has Marilyn
Mansons ex-guitar player, John 5, who is amazing, so thats really
helped a lot for this record. Tommy Lee played drums on two tracks and Robs
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
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 Devils 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
Its not that the stuff from way back sounded old
its just that I wasnt in the groove back then because my head was on
the movie, he says. After I went on Ozzfest with a new band
thats 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 didnt use anything from two
years ago. So really, in reality weve only been working on this record
since October 2005, which is kind of nice. And its really come
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 Joshs drum tracks, have come into the new
Unlike some Rob Zombie records of the past, the sessions for the
current Rob Zombie record didnt get that crazy in magnitude. I think
a lot of the time youll end up using a lot of tracks when youre not
really sure what you want or what youre going to keep, says Humphrey.
But I think the decisions for this record were made really quickly. There
wasnt a lot of indecision it came together really quickly. It was
written and recorded within just two months.
The Songwriting Process
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. Youre
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 dont, but then they do but youre 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, youre 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
doesnt matter if youre doing metal or pop music.
Next page: How The Devils Rejects Made the Record