Headbangers’ Brawl is a weekly column where Metal Insider’sBram and Zach take a moment to debate and analyze two opposing sides of a topical issue occurring in the world of metal and/or the music industry.
It’s been a few months since drummer Tommy Clufetos suddenly left Rob Zombie’s band to join Ozzy Osbourne’s, and four years since bassist Blasko did the same. While he’s kept quiet for the most part, Zombie let it be known that he’s still pissed about it. In an interview with Artisan News Service last week, Zombie said “there’s ways to do things and I think there’s ways to not do things and I think the way they’ve chosen to do things is not how I would do things; I think it’s kind of rude,” and then further said that “I thought the drummer I had before [Tommy Clufetos] was a good guy, but you find out some people are just phony. But the greatest thing that ever happened was him hitting the road and Joey coming in and replacing him, ’cause it’s always great to replace somebody with a better drummer.” As if that wasn’t enough of a jab, in a recent interview with Revolver TV, Zombie goes further to say “Once you leave our group, you’re pretty much dead to us, so we’re fine.”
With Zombie venting about the lineup changes, and getting a bit ugly about it, we propose the following question for us to debate in this week’s Headbangers’ Brawl’: Should Rob Zombie be that annoyed and upset?
Bram: Who would have thought? They seemed to get along so well a few years ago. I think Rob’s definitely got the right to be pissed, but I feel like it’s a little sour grapes on his part. What self respecting musician wouldn’t leave whatever band he was in to play with Ozzy Osbourne? That’s royalty, man. Let’s do some comparisons, shall we? “Thunder Kiss ’65” or “Paranoid?” “Dragula” or “War Pigs?” “Mars Needs Women” or “I Don’t Know?” I DO know. Ozzy wins every time, even if Rob’s current/new material might be better than anything Ozzy’s done for a while.
That said, there’s a protocol to be followed. Ozzy’s a preferable situation, band-wise, but there’s a way to leave and a way to not leave. I don’t know the specifics, but it sounds like Tommy was like “Great Rob, we’ll open with this song and – oh wait, Ozzy wants me, I’m out!”
Zach: Ozzy (or his camp…aka Sharon) might have broken protocol, but that shouldn’t allow Zombie to act so pissed off. Especially since he himself admits to finding better fits for the band. Even Zombie bassist Piggy D. told Metal Insider in an interview that it wasn’t difficult to reshape the band after Tommy left. “In fact, as soon as we played the first song with Joey we went ‘This is exactly where we need to be!’ because he makes us play harder and I know we’re a better band because of him,” Piggy further told me. Again, this isn’t about who’s the better drummer or bassist, but when you have new members that you feel make you stronger, then why dwell on the drama? It’s one thing to question how one goes about doing business, but it’s another to talk shit about them.
B: Zombie’s a guy that holds a grudge, though. Remember when he got Bullet For My Valentine kicked off their tour for complaining about him on a message board? Sure, he might come off as a whiny bitch, but the guy’s had a career for 20-odd years now. He’s entitled to his opinion, and if he wants to take it public, it’s his prerogative. Being in a band with someone is like being in a relationship with someone. Some end amicably, and some end with you bitching to a camera crew about that girl you thought was a sweet innocent angel that wound up blowing the football team. Wait, what was the question again?
At the end of the day, it’s a win for Rob. He’s obviously getting lots of press about this, as evidenced by all the internet we’re wasting on this. And if he winds up pissing off the mighty Sharon Osbourne in the process, then guess what? More publicity. It’s a self-fulfilling prophecy. Circle of life. Hakuna Matata.
Z: Sure, he’s getting press out of this from Metal Insider , but that doesn’t equal good press. Hell, if he had left it with Sharon being an asshole, then he’d be seen as preaching the truth. But going after his former band mates so viciously (especially in the Revolver TV interview) just makes him look like a bigger jerk. He may be a senior in the business, but his album sales don’t need any more bad press. If we all went about yelling at our ex’s on TV after watching them dry hump a random dude in a sweaty bar, we’d be no better than The Jersey Shore. Don’t be The Situation, Rob.
B: GTL, baby! Personally, I’m pretty glad there’s some drama happening. At least he’s not bowing down to the almighty Sharon, and he doesn’t need to. I mean, it doesn’t look like Zombie’s going to be invited to Ozzfest next year, but do you think he really cares? As long as there’s substandard remakes of ’70s horror movies or “edgy” episodes of CSI: Miami to be done, Rob doesn’t need to suckle the teat of the music industry. And as long as he continues to play live, there will be people lining up to see him regardless. He’s not much of a singer, but he puts on a great show, much like his tourmate Alice Cooper. And also like Cooper, who he has playing in the band is secondary to the man himself and the production lined up behind it. And I’m pretty sure Blasko and Tommy aren’t losing much sleep over their former band leader talking smack.