The Lunar Injection Kool Aid Eclipse Conspiracy

Rob Zombie

The Lunar Injection Kool Aid Eclipse Conspiracy

Ask Rob Zombie what inspired the characteristically lengthy title of his seventh solo album, and he’ll tell you this: “I’m never really sure what inspires anything, to be honest. I’m always just taking things in all the time, and little pieces of phrases stick in my head. So I say it as a joke, but I also mean it: The title means the sounds coming off the record.” Propelled by Zombie’s signature blend of metallic grooves, trashy movie samples, and horror-inspired lyrics, The Lunar Injection Kool Aid Eclipse Conspiracy is an apt description of this delirious and often danceable collection of songs and sample-driven interludes. “When I’m recording, there is no plan—ever,” Zombie tells Apple Music. “I never go in thinking, ‘I want it to be catchy. I want it to be heavy.’ We just start, and the weirdness creates itself.” Below, Zombie discusses each of the album’s non-interlude tracks.
The Triumph of King Freak (A Crypt of Preservation and Superstition) “This song was written toward the end of the album. And the songs are always being created as we record. We don’t jam. We don’t rehearse. So I record everything as we’re writing. And usually when I do vocals on a song, the first couple of times doesn’t sound right. But when I did this song, the first pass fit so perfectly that in my headphones it felt like I was lip-syncing to my own voice. So it just had a spark to it right out of the gate. I remember thinking, ‘Shit, man—I wish they all came this easy.’”
The Ballad of Sleazy Rider “That was the first song written for the record, so it was real fresh and fun. We put the backwards guitars on there, and that really gave it its own life. That’s one of the reasons I like to record over a long period of time—you always have a certain amount of energy. I never want to go into the studio and hammer out 18 songs in a row, because by the time you get to the end, you’re just beating a dead horse.”
Shadow of the Cemetery ManCemetery Man is a good movie, and it was really funny. This song isn’t based on the movie or anything—I kind of realized afterwards that the movie title was in the song title. This song started with a drumbeat. A lot of times, all I need is a beat. I’ll lay the vocals down over the beat and then we’ll build everything else around the vocals—instead of conventionally, where you lay down the guitars and sing to those.”
18th Century Cannibals, Excitable Morlocks and a One-Way Ticket on the Ghost Train “This is another one that was very much done to just a drumbeat, because I wanted to do something that was sort of like ‘Subterranean Homesick Blues,’ one of those Dylan songs where it's just kind of going and going. So I freestyled the wacky vocals over the beat, and then John 5 came in and laid down some really good chicken pickin’ and banjo playing and it sort of morphed into a country tune. And then I got really into cutting and pasting dynamically opposing parts, like with the chorus here—it just slams in. You wouldn’t logically write a song like that. You have to experiment to write that song.”
The Eternal Struggles of the Howling Man “To me, this feels like a throwback metal song—almost like Deep Purple at times. I’ll always write parts separately from themselves and then force them to go together, because you can make it work. And it’s amazing how people can wrap their minds around it. That's why I like putting in a lot of weird changes, and I like doing it in a short amount of time. Some of these songs aren't that long, but the arrangements are complicated for two and a half minutes. It almost became like a science experiment in the studio.”
The Satanic Rites of Blacula “I remember we wrote this around Halloween. I always have a TV going in the studio with movies playing, and sometimes I’ll even play other music in the studio while we’re recording—not to inspire us, but just so that there’s noise in the air all the time. There have been times if you could isolate my vocal track, you’d probably hear the TV playing in the background. And at the time, I was watching Blacula or Scream Blacula Scream—so that’s how the song started morphing into this.”
Shake Your Ass-Smoke Your Grass “We were listening to a bunch of English glam rock, like Slade, The Sweet, and especially T. Rex, where they always have that particular drumbeat. So, again, we found that beat and built the whole song around it. It’s infectious. With the title, I can picture the font on that bumper sticker, ‘Gas, Grass, or Ass—No One Rides for Free,’ just because of the age that I am. As a kid, I was just surrounded by that stuff, and it’s still burned in my brain.”
Boom-Boom-Boom “Sometimes you come up with a piece of music that has kind of a cool groove and then you figure out what to do with it. It sounds like it would be in a horrible strip club at a truck stop somewhere. It’s a very simple song, but it goes along with everything else on the record in the sense that I try my best not to make songs sound like each other.”
Get Loose “We got ahold of a sitar guitar, which just sounds so amazing, and then it’s a pretty straight-ahead kind of metal chunk song. This was one of those situations where I knew the riff was cool but I wasn’t sure what to do with it at first. Sometimes we’ll take a riff and slow it down or speed it up or play it backwards, because you’re just struggling for a way to connect with it. In this case, we slowed it way down and now it makes sense.”
Crow Killer Blues “This song starts as this big, heavy thing, and by the time it ends, it’s like ‘Riders on the Storm.’ We’re always trying to find some new instrumentation to give each song its own signature. One’s got a sitar. One’s got turntables and a scratch. And this one has some cool-sounding keyboards. I never want to have just guitar, bass, and drums. There’s nothing wrong with that, but as a kid, growing up with later Beatles stuff like the White Album or Magical Mystery Tour, where the music is crazy and all over the place and experimental, that’s what we like to do.”

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