Alternative rock for metalheads, White Zombie popularized horror imagery welded onto groovy metal and industrial rock riffs and made a star of leader Rob Zombie. Formerly known as production designer Robert Cummings, Zombie formed his band in 1985 with his then-girlfriend, bassist Sean Yseult. At first, their sound was strictly New York Underground Noise Rock a la Sonic Youth, and a flurry of indie releases came between 1985-89, along with a veritable revolving door of band members. Finally, Zombie settled on drummer John Tempesta and guitarist J., who steered the band towards the metal and industrial rock sounds that would make the band famous. Geffen released their major label debut, La Sexorcisto: Devil Music, Vol. 1 in 1992, and the album slowly became a phenomenon, thanks to touring and shout-outs from a pair of popular animated fans by the names of Beavis and Butthead. The follow-up, 1995's Astro-Creep: 2000 launched them into worldwide stardom, but found Zombie itching to pursue a solo career. He disbanded the band in 1998 and went on to pursue basically the same horror-rock formula in his subsequent work. He also added screenwriter and director to his resume in 2002, with the release of House of 1000 Corpses, which was followed by its sequel, The Devil's Rejects in 2005.
Rob Zombie combined the industrial rock of bands like Ministry with the ghoulish theatrics of Alice Cooper and Kiss, and amplified them for '90s consumption, making an over-the-top, groovy horror-fest that all the kids and corpses can get down to. Check out his busy cover of K.C. and the Sunshine Band's "I'm Your Boogieman" (from that classic of the cinema "Jason X"), in which he inverts the friendly invitation of the original and makes himself into a playfully threatening, vocally-distorted rock bogeyman. And punk rock forebear Iggy Pop contributes tongue-in-cheek spoken word vocals to early hit "Black Sunshine," before being upstaged by a typically growling, shrieking Zombie performance.