I never got into White Zombie, mostly because in 9th grade this total jerk who rode my bus was always wearing a White Zombie hot topic tee and was always picking on me and calling me a virgin. That made me immediately dismiss the band as part of the agro-jerky Pantera lovin’ metal-bro scene that I wanted nothing to do with. But the other day I was flipping through the band bio section of Elliot Bay and a title caught my eye. I'm in the Band (a jab at the memoir of the famous groupie Pamela de Barre’s tell all ultra-depressing, embarrassing bummer of a memoir I’m With the Band.)
The book is a visual history of the bassist Sean Yseult, who co-founded White Zombie in 1985 as an east village arty noise-rock band. As they gained notoriety with their mainstream breakout album "La Sexorcisto" and morphed into the pyrotechnic-laden world of a popular heavy metal, Sean describes dealing with the sexism that came along with touring with testosterone packed bands like Megadeth, Anthrax, and Danzig and playing to a 99 percent male stadium audience. Through a clever assortment of tour diaries, drawings, and photographs she describes being the sole female musician in '90s arena metal scene; being forever dubbed by Beavis and Butthead as the "chick in White Zombie," getting shut out of the backstage areas before her show when club bouncers would mistake her for a groupie and the awkward lack of female peers since the only women backstage were often tagged with a “Tulsa” badge to get backstage (that's “A Slut” backwards). She keeps a level-headed sense of humor about the whole experience, not even talking much shit about the tumultuous breakup (with both the band and the singer Rob Zombie) and the disappointment at her glaring omission of her contributions to the White Zombie box set. Anyway, its a pretty smart and funny perspective on the whole '90s metal scene, and it's made me a huge Sean Yseult fan, even if I'm not going to be listening to "La Sexorcisto" on repeat.