Every once in a while I get ahead of a big curve. It's usually more out of curiosity and luck than because of any sort of genius, but, what the hell, it works. Like, I was listening to Metallica the week that Kill 'Em All came out, while most of the public didn't know they existed until the video for "One" came out years 'n' years later. And I was waaay ahead of the White Zombie curve; I picked up their first LP, Soul Crusher, pretty soon after it came out. I'm still amazed that a record store here in Podunk had a copy, and it may even be one of the originals, I'm not sure - it just says "Silent Explosion" and doesn't mention Caroline on it. Back then I was trying to buy anything that looked punk/metal/heavy/noisy, and Soul Crusher had a really freaky cover. In those days I didn't know anybody who was into metal or punk at all, so everything was on a "buy it and see" basis.
And this album... wow. Big payoff. Nobody else sounded like early White Zombie. That may be a good thing, because songs like "Shack of Hate" aren't exactly a thing to be imitated by the unqualified.
Anyway, I liked it and was impressed with the scary noisy-craziness of it. I was also intrigued by the bass player, who looked kinda female-ish, but you couldn't be sure 'cuz the pics were fuzzy and the name was "Sean." I hoped it was female, anyway, since I found it disturbingly cute. Below are pictures from the sleeve, with as much lyrical content as would fit in the scanner just so you can get an idea how insane the early shit was if you haven't heard anything but "Thunder Kiss 65" or "Black Sunshine." Note that Rob Zombie (real name: Rob Cummings) is going by the name Rob "Dirt" Straker at the time. I still think that's a much cooler name than "Rob Zombie," but, whatchagonnado, nobody ever consults me before they just do stuff.
And here's the other side of the sleeve, for what's still my favorite Rob Zombie art ("Give Me Some Stuff!"):
A couple of years later, Make Them Die Slowly came out. Sean hated the album, but anything that includes the ungodly-fucking-badass "Demonspeed" can't be all bad:
If you can get through the first minutes of that song without a chill running down your spine, check yo' pulse, 'cuz, honey, you dead!
By the time that came out I knew that, yep, Sean was indeed female, and I safely had a lil' crush going. I'd heard of the "Psycho-Head Blow Out" EP by then, so I wrote the band, just a very short note asking if it was still available and if they had any other mersh, T-shirts or whatever. I didn't really expect a reply since in my experience bands didn't write back much (about the only bands I ever got replies from were a forgotten thrash band called Executioner, whose very-cool guitarist wrote me a really nice letter (complete with phone number!), and Kinghorse. The Dead Kennedys would send you merchandise lists and the Meatmen would send you vaguely-pornographic comics and lyrics, but just about everyone else would ignore ya). Imagine my surprise when I not only got a nice handwritten letter back from White Zombie, but from Sean herself! What a sweetheart. I was impressed that she'd taken that kind of time for my tiny lil' note and wished I'd spent more time heaping praise on the band instead of the bare-bones note.
It was on the back of a flier, so here's that, too.
Anyway, a couple years after that they hit it big with MTV and you all know the rest. But here's what you may not know, 'cuz I didn't until a week or two ago: Sean has a book out: I'm In The Band: Backstage Notes From The Chick in White Zombie. It's a big photo history of White Zombie, loads of pictures of Sean with people from Pantera, The Cramps, Marilyn Manson, Monster Magnet, and about any band you can think of, plus stories of drunken antics (White Zombie didn't mess with drugs much but Sean could match Pantera's post-show drinking, apparently) and various injuries (she once held off an emergency appendectomy to finish a gig). Plus it's a look into what it's like to be one of the few females in the metal world at the time (there were others, but you have to dig into obscurity - like Jo Bench from Bolt Thrower, etc. - to find 'em). And she was far from just eye-candy... that's some badass bass-ism she's throwing on those albums.
Because she is kind, she doesn't mention her ex-boyfriend Rob Zombie overmuch in the book. Rob is apparently a childish, vindictive sort of guy, and for the last two years or so of White Zombie's existence, he traveled separately from the rest of the band and didn't speak to them. J (who is apparently also a very cool person - never heard a bad word about 'im) used to have to repeat things Sean would say to him even when she was in the room, because he'd refuse to even acknowledge her existence. Excellent taste in women aside, I think Mr. Zombie's a bit of a douche, but those are my words, not hers.
Anyway, your interest in this book will vary according to your interest in Sean and/or White Zombie, but since I adore this lady about as much as it's possible to adore anybody you don't actually know, it's the coolest thing I've snagged in quite a while and I fully recommend it, and I'm glad I get a chance to repay her kindness for the letter she sent by plugging her book.
You now buy it!
Because you know you want more pics like this...
Also, you should check out her other bands, Rock City Morgue, and new project Star & Dagger, both of which are killer.
And if big pounding crunchy loudmusic isn't your thing, multitalented Sean also designs scarves.
More Sean-age from YouTube:
Sean's art collection:
Sean meets Coffin Joe:
One guy's tribute video:
And if absolutely none of this interests you, something's terribly wrong with ya and you should get it checked out before your limbs fall off and your innards liquify. But, you can still follow me on Twitter anyway and count how many references to bodily fluids I make before you succumb to your horrific maladies. I don't think Sean has a Twitter account or I'd be following that like a baby duckling.