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Friday, December 16, 2011

For That Die-hard White Zombie Fan in Your Life

Posted by on Fri, Dec 16, 2011 at 8:35 AM

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.


Comments (18) RSS

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piojin 1
Whoa, Tulsa? Really? Definitely gonna check out this book. Thanks for putting it on my radar
Posted by piojin on December 16, 2011 at 9:33 AM · Report this
I was such a ridiculous White Zombie fan. Need to read!
Posted by Kelly O on December 16, 2011 at 10:48 AM · Report this
Awesome, thanks for the heads up! I've always loved Sean's bass playing and I've always been curious as to what happened with her and the band. She's got some seriously mean, beefy grooves. It's amazing (and sad) how much shit stays the same. Bassist and band leader Thelma Terry was written out of the Gene Krupa Story despite the fact that he got his break in her band. Whenever there was a problem on tour with Artie Shaw's band, the problem "had to be" that Billy Holiday was sleeping with everyone despite the fact that she was sleeping with no one.

I'm glad to see that she's keepin' it real with Star and Dagger.
Posted by bassplayerguy on December 16, 2011 at 11:25 AM · Report this
T 4
White Zombie was one of the first bands I really got into. I definitely need to check this out, thanks for the heads up!
Posted by T on December 16, 2011 at 11:39 AM · Report this
Ooh, I loved White Zombie, and I love women who are more than willing to talk about the sexist bullshit they've faced in the music industry. This might be the perfect book for me.

Posted by virginia mason on December 16, 2011 at 11:40 AM · Report this
corey j brewer 6
If loving Pantera is wrong, I don't wanna be right.
Posted by corey j brewer on December 16, 2011 at 11:58 AM · Report this
Dougsf 7
I've absolutely hated White Zombie since the 80's, but am nonetheless considering this book for my next flight.
Posted by Dougsf on December 16, 2011 at 12:00 PM · Report this
Sean used the run the bar the Saint in New Orleans and play in Rock City Morgue after White Zombie. I never got into WZ but liked Rock City.
Posted by miss chris on December 16, 2011 at 12:07 PM · Report this
@6 - I almost want to put that on a t-shirt
Posted by Kelly O on December 16, 2011 at 12:09 PM · Report this
Westlake, son! 10
I'm still sad my parents wouldn't let me go see the White Zombie & Pantera tour around 1993. Sean does make a brief appearance in the Vulgar Videos from Hell series FYI, I think she only says a half dozen words though.
Posted by Westlake, son! on December 16, 2011 at 12:31 PM · Report this
One of my favorite concerts ever was White Zombie with Monster Magnet opening. While I still dig Rob Zombie as an artist, he hasn't made any music nearly as great as the music he with Sean. Sexorcisto is still a classic album.
Posted by jellob1976 on December 16, 2011 at 12:33 PM · Report this
Bree Mckenna 12
@6 haha my views on Pantera have changed since graduating high school.
Posted by Bree Mckenna on December 16, 2011 at 1:48 PM · Report this
tallchris 13
I've still got my tapes of "Make 'Em Die Slowly" and "La Sexorcisto". When my band was driving down to SF a couple of years back we put on "La Sexorcisto" and it held up surprisingly well. This eventually lead us down the road of covering "Thunder Kiss '65" with a fairly different rearrangement:…
Posted by tallchris on December 16, 2011 at 2:08 PM · Report this
bunnypuncher 14
I was also a huge teenage White Zombie fan, and still spin their records from time to time!

For anyone interested, the first thing Sean did after WZ was a surf-rock band called Famous Monsters. They had at least one album, I have the CD version on Bongload Records.

@10 - I think the WZ/Pantera tour was later, as I also remember my parents not letting me go to it. I think it was after Astro-Creep, so maybe 95?
Posted by bunnypuncher on December 16, 2011 at 2:51 PM · Report this
This book is really great. I love that she saved all of the photos, stubs, laminates, etc...
Posted by itsneverthateasy on December 16, 2011 at 4:00 PM · Report this
Travis Ritter 16
I loved White Zombie in 6th Grade. My mom made me return the Route 666 shirt I bought because I wouldn't be allowed to wear it to school. I don't even think the big-bosomed cartoon ladies flanking the road sign were much of an issue.
Posted by Travis Ritter on December 16, 2011 at 4:33 PM · Report this
Emily Nokes 17
Someone better get me this for Christmas.
Posted by Emily Nokes on December 19, 2011 at 12:19 PM · Report this
Amazing book. This is the real gift to the fans that Rob never had the guts/respect to put out there. Better than anything that's come out of Rob's camp since the breakup.

@14 - not that it matters, but Pantera and WZ went on many tours together over the years. I saw them together in 1992, 1995 & 1996.
Posted by jabuhrer on December 19, 2011 at 3:17 PM · Report this

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