Rob Zombie Points to Grunge Era as the End of the ‘Larger Than Life Rock Star’
Where have all our rock stars gone? It's a topic that's been debated more frequently in recent years as the musicians with a certain special mystique about them appear to be less in prominence. While speaking with HNGN, Rob Zombie delved into the topic and he traced the shift away from the larger than life rock star to the beginning of the grunge era of the early '90s.
He explains, "I think the death of that became with grunge, truthfully. There seemed to be a trend in the '90s, when Nirvana came out and these bands, everybody got confused by it and thought we need all our rock stars to look just like us. So what happened is was everybody started not looking different, acting different and being larger than life. Everyone was like, oh, all the rock stars are so boring, I don't care anymore (laughs)."
He continued, "People go, 'Oh my God, Prince; oh my God, Bowie; oh my God, Lemmy.' Why is that? Because they were all larger than life. They weren't just like you. They weren't like you at all. That's the goal. I don't think anybody ever goes to a concert -- I never did -- and 'Boy I hope the guy that comes out onstage is just like me!' I didn't see anybody that was just like me as a kid. Alice Cooper and Gene Simmons and Elton John might as well have been from another f--kin' planet as far as I was concerned, and that's the way I liked it, and that's the way it's supposed to be."
When asked if he's seen exceptions since the grunge era, Zombie singled out Slipknot for mention. "Once in a while something happens. The last rock band or metal band that I can think of that really had a powerful look was Slipknot, you know? They didn't go onstage like, we're like everybody else. They came up with something that was fresh and new, and everybody was like, 'Yes! Something different!' But it's very rare these days," remarked the singer.
Zombie concluded, "Sometimes I feel like younger bands are afraid to stand out. They think they're supposed to adhere to some code of what they're supposed to wear and how they're supposed to act and what they're supposed to sound like. It's f--kin' stupid. There's no rules."
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