Rob Zombie Says Slayer’s “Retirement” Won’t Stick
Every band that breaks up will get back together sooner or later, or so the saying goes.
Rob Zombie agrees: in a recent interview with Montreal’s CHOM 97.7 (embedded below), Zombie explains why he doesn’t think Slayer’s “retirement” will stick. The tl;dr version is this: touring is all they know how to do, so they’ll grow restless and bored after some time off.
Here’s a key detail I’m not sure if Zombie is aware of: while Slayer’s current North American tour (and subsequent European one) have been billed as the band’s “farewell tour,” they’ve left open the possibility of one-off festival appearances in the future. They’ve even announced one already, an appearance at next year’s Hellfest. That little loophole could allow the members of the band to scratch that performance itch (and scratch that bank account balance itch, too) while still keeping true to their word of no more “tours” to stay home and spend more time with their families, etc.
Anyway, here was Rob’s response when he was asked if he still thought he’d be performing this far along into his career, 30 years after the formation of White Zombie:
“I don’t think anyone ever thought they would be doing it this long. Just a couple of days ago, I was hanging out with Alice Cooper, ’cause he was at the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame and I just dropped by to say hi. He’s 70, and he has no plans of retiring. I mean, Jesus Christ, Jerry Lee Lewis hasn’t even retired yet.
“No rock guys have ever retired — they just… they died; that’s why they retired. And when I hear, ‘Oh, Slayer are retiring,’ I go, ‘No fucking way! No way!’ They think they wanna be home and have a life. After two years, they’re gonna go cuckoo and they’re gonna be back on the road. That’s what we’re all built for — we’re all crazy and we need to do this. And I don’t know why. And I don’t see any retirement ever. We’ll keep going until we can’t go anymore.
“The only time I said I would retire is when I thought I just can’t do it anymore and you know you’re not good — you know the shows aren’t good, you know you can’t bring it. But until then, yeah. And time goes by fast, too.
Zombie later added:
“I don’t even get tired anymore. It’s fine. I mean, I would feel more wiped out 20 years ago playing than I do now.
“I think when you’re young, because you are young, you can treat yourself like shit and still do the show. But now, everything I do is with being fit and healthy to do the show, so we actually can do it better.
“I was watching some footage of Mick Jagger from a recent show. He’s 74, and he’s amazing. Of course, he looks old. Who gives a shit? And you look at Ron Wood — he looks like the same guy, except he looks like an old version [of himself]. It’s kind of cool. And Iggy Pop.”
I’m inclined to agree, if history is any indication. Shit, here we are 25 years after Ozzy Osbourne’s “No More Tours” run which didn’t stick at all, the man just did a two-year “farewell” tour with Black Sabbath, is currently pushing “No More Tours 2” for his solo band and STILL he’s out there booking more dates. I wager for most musicians with any kind of solid income from their craft, death (or physical incapacitation) will be the only end.