Rob Zombie: 'US Rock Has Never Recovered From the Grunge Movement'

"A whole generation of kids thought, 'F--k this! Rock is boring. Let's go listen to rap,'" the singer says.

Rob Zombie: 'US Rock Has Never Recovered From the Grunge Movement'
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Rob Zombie has recently stated that staging a festival similar to UK's Download would be an impossible task in the US, blaming the everlasting impact of the grunge movement for such state of affairs.

Chatting with Team Rock Radio, Rob has also seemingly praised rap artists as saviors of the rock spirit.

"In the '90s, when the grunge rock thing hit, with Nirvana and all that, everybody thought it was cool to be anti-rock star," the singer said. "But in a way they sort of anti-rock-starred themselves right out the door, because the rap guys came in and they said, 'F--k it. We'll be the rock stars then, if you guys are going to wear flannel shirts and stare at your feet.'

"And in the US, truthfully, rock music has never recovered from that," Zombie added (via Blabbermouth). "A whole generation of kids thought, 'F--k this! Rock music is boring. Let's go listen to rap music.' And it's never recovered. I mean, over [in the UK] it's different. You could never throw a festival like [Download] in the US and get this many people, with just rock music. Never."

The number of Download visitors typically goes around 100,000 fans, and went as far as 120,000 back in 2009. The festival features strictly guitar-driven performers, so a brief question for UG users from the States - is Rob right?

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    jaybrink10101
    I don't think it was grunge's fault, but there was a decline in the popularity of rock.It's not that it isn't there, because it is, but it's just a little less mainstream, and a little less popular. This recent trend towards indie music (not sure if it's global, but it's definitely a thing in New Zealand and the UK) has helped a little, but the real guitar-driven stuff isn't really flooding the radio. Part of that, I must say, is down to rock elitism. Korn was blasted for including electronic elements, the metalcore scene (which is flooded with good bands - August Burns Red, Converge, Killswitch Engage, The Agonist) get lumped in with synthy-autotuned-sh*t and crapped on, the new pop-metal thing spearheaded by Of Mice and Men and Escape The Fate is dismissed because it's kind of lyrically crap and musically unoriginal despite the cool songs that sit in that genre. Coldplay is apparentley flat out 'gay', along with U2 and Oasis, Avenged Sevenfold never recovered from the emo reputation they picked up with their first few albums, Linkin Park get insulted (by me, mostly) for choosing to go full pop, Fall Out Boy copped it with their latest, nobody can decide whether letlive. and that scene is okay or not, so we basically just want more Lamb Of God, Tool, Ghost, Devin Townsend, Metallica's first few albums, Jack White, Rage Against The Machine, Red Hot Chilli Peppers, Pink Floyd, Nirvana, Marilyn Manson, Slayer, Periphery, Meshuggah, old Guns n' Roses, Alter Bridge, and Foo Fighters. People need to open up a bit to new genres and artists. It's not all about troo br00talz Death Metal, old school hard rock/metal, djent, and blues. There are loads of good bands scattered throughout Nu-Metal, -core, modern rock, and middle-of the road stuff.
    AlexGreat123
    Thank you. I understand that not everyone is going to like the same stuff. Heck I like Escape The Fate and Falling in Reverse of all things as well as stuff like Nirvana, Alice In Chains, Sepultura, Pantera, Blur, Gorillaz etc etc. I can't be asked with black metal or most metalcore. But if someone likes it I say fair play to them. Sometimes there's some overlap with what bands people like and sometimes people who weren't interested in a particular genre may find one band from that genre that they like (like myself with metalcore and Killswitch Engage) At the end of the day if you truly want rock/metal to do well you'll let people like what they like without hounding them for why your musical taste is superior and there's isn't. You can say why you don't like it but move on afterward.
    HitmanJenkins
    You've nailed it on the head. Grunge had nothing to do with the "decline" of Rock, it's still going strong, albeit not as mainstream. Then again, loads of bands that people here revere weren't all that big either, they just had the best cult followings you could hope for in their situation. The Ramones' debut album just went gold, 38 years after it's release, Rush was despised by critics back in the day yet they play some pretty big venues and have been recognised as an important band.
    AlexGreat123
    I said this somewhere else but the point still stands. I'd argue it was Post-Grunge myself. That and Britpop. The thing is Grunge and the first wave of Britpop had bands which had personality. Most of the bands that came after didn't have the personality so they were creating the same music without the flair. Sort of like how copying a VHS repeatedly would degrade the quality. It's still technically the same thing but at a far lower quality.
    webber243
    Britpop made rockstars ROCKSTARS again in the UK, and churned out some great bands (Blur, Oasis, Pulp etc). Obviously there were a lot of terrible bands and posers too, but that can be expected with any movement
    sdbrown89
    I think this statement is nonsense, Ozzfest and Rockstar Energy Mayhem fest, and even Knotfest in recent years brought loads of metalheads together! The difference lies because the USA is ****ing massive and the UK is far smaller, in the UK people are ok with travelling to Download or Sonisphere because they know its the only festival of its type in the UK, whereas in the USA, a lot of people would have to travel much further for a festival! I think Zombie is talking nonsense here!
    iommi600
    Rock isn't that popular in the UK anymore either, most teenagers I know are into dubstep, rap and etc.
    razorback91
    Fair enough man. As for the UK and rock, yh i guess it has a large fanbase. I just wish extreme metal had more of a following, i live in Manchester and i don't know of one place that plays the dark side exclusively-_-
    EricSchC1
    Why does Rob Zombie think that it wasn't okay for grunge to challenge conventional hard rock & metal, when White Zombie was using synthesizers, samples & drum loops to challenge conventional hard rock & metal?
    entropicxdisson
    because grunge prevented his band from becoming the big thing. Grunge and Industrial really don't like each other.
    l0ld4v3
    I thought being an ******* got him out of white zombie, halting the bands potential.
    HitmanJenkins
    I call bullshit on that, Nine Inch Nails were incredibly big around the time Grunge kicked off and they still manage to be relevant even to this day.
    dedicatedhack
    Shit. I used to respect this guys take on things, if not his silly comic book musical act
    Jmoarguitar
    I think people just kind of grew tired of the sound of rock. I mean, rock n roll was a power house for multiple decades, and it's still doing quite well. Rock n roll will never die
    Freels
    And how successful were the numerous Ozzfest tours during these years?
    jgoletz74
    I disagree. The reason festivals of pure guitar never work is because the bands and promoters, organizers, the vendors all have their freaking hands out. Everyone wants to get paid which makes ticket prices stupidly expensive. If it were cheaper and gas prices around the world cheaper people would simply travel more to see good music. Plus there is so much competation for our entertainment money people are more selective.
    entropicxdisson
    Glam Metal -> Grunge -> Pop-Punk -> Post-Grunge -> Nu-Metal -> Pop-Punk 2nd Wave/Emo -> Melodic Metalcore -> ????? Post-Post-Grunge ????? It keeps getting worse...
    HitmanJenkins
    I think you've got your flow chart wrong there. Pop Punk started way back, with bands like The Buzzcocks. Emo grew out of 80's Post-Hardcore and on it's on it has very little (if anything) to do with Pop Punk beyond having more melodic tendencies, although the 2nd wave onwards did tend to mix it up a little.
    entropicxdisson
    I was talking about the mainstream shifts, Pop Punk in 94 with Green Day and The Offspring and the second wave in 2000 with Blink-182 and Jimmy-Eat World, I'd say that pop-punk definitively started with Bad Religion's Suffer. And the pop-emo stuff like MCR, Fall Out Boy and Dashboard Confessional, not the original Post-Hardcore derivative Emo like Rites of Spring, Sunny Day Real Estate and Jawbreaker.
    DickHardwood
    Rock was mainstream for decades. After the 90's, rap was more "new" and it took the forefront. Now rock and metal are back in the more underground but the indie comeback is kind of making it happen again. It all goes around in circles. What we need is a couple of brand new bands to bring it back. Heck, let's bring it back ourselves.
    Dani_G
    I'm not sure as to numbers, but Soundwave festival in Australia is a massive rock/metal festival. I know tickets have dwindled in recent years, but I blame that more on the reccession and people having to be more careful with their money rather than there not being the fans that there once was. I would go to Soundwave a lot more frequent, but truth be told, it's cheaper for me to see a band play their own show than pay $180 to go to the festival.
    medialint
    You kids these days are listening to nothing but noise! How can you listen to that garbage! When I was growing up we listened to real music, when people knew how to play their instruments and singers actually knew how to sing. Yes, your parents said the same thing and now when you find yourself saying this you should realize: you're old and in the way. Now excuse me I need to take my Geritol.
    vayle
    I have to admit I listen more to metal and progressive rock, but I like the music being more "underground", people who make the music I listen to do so to make the music and not to earn money by it, I think this greatly imrpoves the music quality, as well as it's better, I love concerts in smaller venues, they're more intimate and I generally have the idea you see more from the band more easily not to forget that generally the prices aren't too high compared to music that is commercially promoted. (although the bands that are commercially succesfull e.g. metallica, obviously do not fall in this category)
    jrodgers
    Sadly, I think the guitar itself is just becoming obsolete to popular music, just like the violin, harpsichord, piano, etc before it. The new generations grow up with shorter attention spans and their computers as extensions of themselves, so why would they take the time to learn real instruments if their computers provide them an already wider array of sounds and beats at their fingertips? I think it's kind of a sad and inevitable trend of de-humanization in society that is becoming glaringly apparent in popular music. Kids do still like music, but whether the sounds are made by a world class guitar player, or someone just clicking a button, they don't care, and they lack the ability to appreciate the visceral rush of music made by real musicians with real instruments.
    JFrankParnell
    Grunge tried to kill the metal Ha hahahahaha!! They failed, as they were thrown to the ground!!!
    rajdeep.saha.73
    I kinda grew up with three "P's" throughout my childhood and now I just covered a quarter of a century.....those three P's are....Pearl Jam,Porcupine Tree and Pink Floyd....I mean hell I love LED ZEP,Opeth,Black Sabath,Motorhead and so many more...they are not eveninthe same sub-genres....so Rock is not dead....never will it be.... They all accumulate what is known as to me .... ROCK !!!!!
    DaniArrow
    Bullshit. Grunge wasn't to blame for Rock dying. Rock just went down a dead end road when the 80s ended and the 90s began. There weren't even many good rock bands that had great stuff to offer, except for Guns N' Roses - but we know how that ended.
    john5ramirez
    The attempt to lose ego within music during the grunge movement didn't work as bands still exist that are named after the lead singer.
    SkepsisMetal
    "The number of Download visitors typically goes around 100,000 fans, and went as far as 120,000 back in 2009. The festival features strictly guitar-driven performers" No, not really. There's been plenty of electronic and otherwise not-guitar based acts there. Prodigy, Pendulum, Lethal Bizzle, Hollywood Undead, Chase and Status to name a few. And they went over fantastic each time. The Prodigy have been there several times and remain one of the best live acts I've seen. People need to just seriously open their minds and enjoy stuff a bit.
    miguelpdelgad
    Rock was a bunch of faggots before grunge cames, and make de music de important thing again, and no the fireworks or the make up. So maybe he has a part of reason, but imagine the situation without grunge. I prefer a good underground scene and not a big glam idiots rock stars. There's more in "rock music" world that the big festivals. Rob, shut up and go to make movies.
    iommi600
    To be fair, glam metal was dying on its own arse already. You can't even blame grunge for "killing" it.
    paulyg
    Good music has always and will always be available, sometimes you just have to search harder for it. Just because it's not mainstream doesn't mean it's not good. Some great american rock bands emerged in the 90's. Example - Buckcherry.
    klynch
    Now rap is the old and EDM double step music is the new thing now.
    Pit_
    No idea about America but Rob sounds as he knows better.
    0ld H1pp1e
    Back in 1972 Pete Townsend penned "Long Live Rock" with the lines "Rock is dead they say, Long Live Rock" and every decade or so somebody revives that theme. And here we are today playing and listening to rock. Enough said...
    Blitzkriegslap
    Metal is alive in well i did not like the grunge thing.I think Europe has taken the spot light with it .But all the bands i grew up with in the 80s are still around today and still putting out great music it just has become underground and maybe that is a good thing who gives a **** abot top 40 anyway