Sean Yseult, best known as the bass player from the multi-platinum and twice Grammy-nominated band WHITE ZOMBIE, was interviewed by rock journalist Mitch Lafon for a recent edition of the "One On One With Mitch Lafon" podcast (Facebook page). You can now listen to the chat using the Spreaker widget below.
Asked what her reaction was when she first found out former WHITE ZOMBIE frontman Rob Zombie was pursuing a solo career after the band's 1997 split, Sean said: "First of all, I knew that we were breaking up — it wasn't a big surprise — but it was a little bit of a slap in the face to me and Jay [Yuenger, former WHITE ZOMBIE guitarist] when we had our… After one year, we were supposed to be taking a break, and then we were gonna have a call and talk about getting back together and making a record. I knew that we weren't getting back together, but literally the next… Jay and I both said, 'We have more riffs. We'd love to write some more music.' And Rob kept saying, 'No, no, no. I think we're done.' And what are you gonna say? You can't tell the singer that he has to sing. [Laughs] Even though our manager told Jay and I that we should go on and continue on with WHITE ZOMBIE and get a new singer, we both refused that. But the slap in the face was that [Rob's] solo record came out, like, the next day, so he spent that year making a record, knowing that [WHITE ZOMBIE wasn't] gonna be a band again. So that was a little… you know… whatever. But, like, who cares? You know, really. I didn't care. I moved to New Orleans. I knew that we'd already broke up anyway."
On June 3, Numero resurrected WHITE ZOMBIE's eternally out-of-print early EPs and LPs as "It Came From N.Y.C.". Spread across five LPs or three compact discs, all 39 tracks have been remastered by Yuenger and packaged alongside the original lurid artwork. The accompanying 108-page book painstakingly documents WHITE ZOMBIE's punishing progression through scores of unpublished photos, period discography, a T-shirtography, and tales from the terrifying early years that stitch together the sordid story of a band whose true power eclipsed its mainstream heyday.
Rob Zombie told England's RockAAA in a 2011 interview that WHITE ZOMBIE will never reunite. Zombie explained, "I don't see the point. I think as with most things people have a memory of something like, 'I saw them when I was 14 years old and it was the greatest thing ever,' but if they saw us now they'd probably go, 'I wish I hadn't seen that reunion, it was awful.' The singer added, "It is better to leave it alone and I haven't talked to anyone from the band except [drummer] John Tempesta in about 15 years."
WHITE ZOMBIE broke up in 1997 and Rob Zombie went on to launch a successful solo career in 1998. He told The Pulse Of Radio that nowadays a lot of his audience isn't even familiar with the old WHITE ZOMBIE songs. "The crowds are really, really young and I've been noticing that with the set list too, because, you know, as the time has gone on, we've really worked the WHITE ZOMBIE material more out of the set, because we've been finding that it's not working like it used to," he said. "It seems like that those songs just seem now old to people and it's very strange."
The history of WHITE ZOMBIE came up when Rob Zombie was asked to comment on the publication of "I'm In The Band", a memoir from Yseult, who is also Rob's former girlfriend.
In the book, Yseult claimed that the departure of drummer Ivan DePrume led to the eventual disintegration of the group.
Zombie said, "I have not seen it [the book] so I can't comment. I can barely remember those days, so I'm glad somebody can."
He added, "Everybody likes to make up stories which aren't true. I don't think that's fair. Ivan left the band, John Tempesta came in and the band sounded better than ever, we kept playing and made bigger records and did more tours, so I don't see how that had anything to do with it."
Yuenger admitted to Crawdaddy! back in 2010 that he still harbored some resentment over WHITE ZOMBIE's demise. He said: "I would have liked to make another record, but it wasn't in the cards. On Rob's solo albums, you can see what he wanted to do, where he wanted to go. I always wanted to be in a rock 'n' roll band, where the primary instruments are guitar, bass, and drums, you know? We were living in New York City for all those years, hearing all the rap and techno coming out — my favorite bands back then were SLAYER and PUBLIC ENEMY. I was really all about sampling, and we put out 'La Sexorcisto' with all those samples, and it blew people away. We were like, the first rock band to do that. And it was great, I loved it. But as time went on, the sampling and techno stuff started to dominate everything, and I really hated it. Now you can hear how little humanity is in Rob's stuff."