La Sexorcisto: Devil Music, Vol. 1 (Geffen)
An interview with guitarist Jay Yuenger
by Paul Lee
Hold me down, I feel like bouncing about and thrashing in my chair. I’m possessed!! Satan is inside of me and he won’t get out, at least not while I’m listening to White Zombie. It’s such sweet pain to be saturated by their warped grooves. Yes, White Zombie is a band that can out-grungify absolutely anyone. They feast their attentions and passions upon dark and twisted nature of our nature.
White Zombie has been around a while, originating in grime and grunge central NYC, but I won’t bore you with details of their lurid origins. They’re frighteningly amazing (biased a tad, I know) and have demon-conjuring riffs and B-movie sound bites aplenty (not to mention great, mind warping lyrics) that most bands would make a pact with Satan to get.
White Zombie are on tour again (they’ve been immersed in touring for the past year or more) with Anthrax and hit Fitchburg on August 12. I was chained down in a quiet room in one of my usual fits of madness and missed the show. I’ve been altered and twisted by two of their shows already and know how phenomenal they are, so all was not lost.
I had a chance to talk to Zombie guitarist Jay Yuenger and couldn’t have asked for a more talkative and interesting guy. And my god, he seemed so “normal” and lucid for a Satanic sort of fellow!!! I wanted to find out when the hell WZ are going to make a follow up to their monumental record La Sexorcisto: Devil Music Vol. 1. As luck would have it, J. told me that part of a Zombie video appeared on the intellectual show Beavis and Butthead and increased the sales of La Sexorcisto. This forced them to become road bound once again.
“It’s a really weird time because our record, which is really, really old, decided to take off. And yesterday, Billboard came out and we moved up again and cracked the top 100. The shows have been huge because there are all these kids, that besides having been everywhere a million times with Pantera, there are all these new kids that saw us on Beavis and Butthead.”
Thus, WZ took off on tour again even though they were supposed to be making their follow-up opus to Sexorcisto. For lack of a more creative and eloquent response, this sucks!! It may be months until they get into a studio, and I want some new shit (are we journalists supposed to restrain our biases in print? C’est la vie!). J. said that all the new songs on the album are written, and they’re playing some of them on this tour. There is hope that in the next millennia, we may be blessed (or damned) with a new album.
As quirky fate would have it, La Sexorcisto placed on the billboard charts right above Kathy Lee Gifford’s (of Regis and Kathie Lee fame on TV) latest crazed creation.
“Kathie Lee Gifford put out a record, and our record (according to Billboard) was one above hers, so they started talking about us on the show. “What’s a White Zombie?”
“Our manager heard about it and sent them a package of posters and promotional stuff. The next day on Regis and Kathy Lee, they talked about us for the whole show. It was the strangest thing.”
For you t-shirt gotta-havers, you may know that WZ have some amazing and bizarre shirts that are not to be missed. J. told me about the new one they have out,
“We’ve got a new one that is black and white shirt and says in big words ‘Die Fucker Die!!’ One of the little pot-bellied demons say ‘Let’s just kill everybody.'”
With Rob Zombie’s outlandish artwork, these shirts definitely sound like appropriate wear for church or the Ritz Carlton.
Some interesting Zombie tidbits: Did you know that singer Rob Zombie listens to lots of Frank Sinatra? J. admits to listening to “kooky beatnik jazz like Bird and Coltrane. I also listen to Hank Williams, old cool stuff and stuff people would expect me to listen to like Biohazard and Cypress Hill.”
Now, before you go and bury yourself in a grave because of the lack of a new Zombie album, J. tells me that they perform in a new comedy flick called Airheads. WZ has also gotten a chance to record a new song for the Beavis and Butthead soundtrack coming out in December. Now, hold on to your aorta as I tell you the really big news: J. tells me that there is going to be a tribute to Black Sabbath and WZ are covering “Children of the Grave.” Pantera, Sepultura, Ministry, and others will be appearing as well. Flay me alive!
If you got to see White Zombie in Fitchburg, you are truly fortunate. If not, it may be a while ’til they tear back into our area. Until then, keep your eyes peeled and bloody and your ears pricked-up and lacerated until White Zombie makes they’re really long awaited reentry into the madness of twisto-grungo. Fear not, they will be back.