This theatrical metal band was formed in 1985 in the Lower East Side of New York City, New York, USA, and were named after a horror movie. Led by Rob Zombie (b. Robert Cummings) and female bass player Sean Yseult, with drummer Ivan DePlume and guitarist Tom Guay, White Zombie released two albums of noisy metal on their own label while they played chaotic shows around local clubs to increasing acclaim from the underground press. John Ricci replaced Guay on guitar for Make Them Die Slowly, and the band's more focused approach helped rid them of the art-noise label that had been placed upon their earlier albums. However, Bill Laswell's production still failed to capture the band's raw onstage power. Musical differences meant that Ricci was replaced by Jay Yuenger, who made his debut on the God Of Thunder EP, a cover of the Kiss classic (rumoured legal action from Gene Simmons over the use of his copyrighted make-up image on the sleeve never materialized). The Andy Wallace production on their major label debut, La Sexorcisto: Devil Music Vol. 1, finally did White Zombie justice, with Rob Zombie sounding positively demonic as he roared his bizarre stream-of-consciousness lyrics against a monstrous instrumental barrage punctuated by sampled B-movie dialogue.
This also proved to be their breakthrough album as White Zombie toured the USA ceaselessly, extending their tours continually as MTV played 'Thunder Kiss 65' and 'Black Sunshine' regularly, with further support coming from cartoon critics Beavis And Butthead. As La Sexorcisto took off, Philo replaced DePlume, only to be sacked as the touring finally ended, reinstated, and then replaced by ex-Exodus/Testament drummer John Tempesta as White Zombie returned to the studio. The long-delayed Astro Creep 2000 was greeted with enthusiasm in the American rock community, selling over a million copies in a few weeks. The single, 'More Human Than Human', also became a major hit, with plays on mainstream radio stations that had previously shunned the band. They continued to tour widely, now with a Rob Zombie-designed stage set designed as a replica of a junkyard. Yuenger also involved himself in two notable collaborative projects. The first, with bandmate Yseult, was work with Dave Navarro (Red Hot Chili Peppers), Keith Morris (Circle Jerks) and Greg Rogers (ex-Obsessed), masquerading as Zombie All Stars for a Germs tribute album. He also formed a punk-inspired side project, Bull Taco, with Morris, Navarro, Chad Smith (Red Hot Chili Peppers) and Zander Schloss (Circle Jerks). Supersexy Swingin' Sounds in 1996 was very well received, although as a marketing tool the 60s easy listening hammock style cover was a total contradiction to the music within. Rob Zombie released his solo debut, Hellbilly Deluxe, in 1998, retaining Tempesta on drums. The album debuted at US number 5 in September, shortly before White Zombie announced they were splitting-up.
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