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Sinister Urge

Sinister Urge
The Life and Times of Rob Zombie

By Joel McIver


The definitive biography of Renaissance man Rob Zombie – the King of Macabre

“Nobody knows anything about me, which is kind of good. I keep it that way. Everybody thinks that they know everything, but they don’t know anything, and that’s the way to be.”

That’s what Rob Zombie told an interviewer from Aquarian Weekly in 2012. As an attempt to remedy this, Sinister Urge by Joel McIver (November 2015, Backbeat Books, $29.99) is the first in-depth, career-spanning biography of the heavy-metal musician and filmmaker.

Born Robert Cummings in Massachusetts in 1965, Zombie is now as well known for his movies as he is for his music, which he has released and performed both as a solo artist and as part of his early band White Zombie. In both fields, he imbues his art with the vivid sense of macabre theater that has thrilled his millions of disciples since he and his band first emerged with Soul-Crusher in 1987.

Although he has sold millions of albums and generated many more millions of dollars at the box office, Zombie has never taken the easy option or the predictable route. Indeed, while the music industry—and many of his peers—have fallen to their knees in the last decade or so, Zombie has found a new edge, his work undiluted by success or middle age.

Drawing on original research and new interviews with bandmates and associates, Sinister Urge takes a detailed look at Zombie’s challenging oeuvre, offering close analysis of his albums and films alongside tales of his life and work on and offstage.

As McIver writes in his foreword, “Whether you appreciate Rob for his music, his films, or—as I have strived to summarize—his overall aesthetic vision, you’ll enjoy this curious tale….Rob is a modern everyman: a Goethe for the modern world. The fact that he chooses to express his talents through the medium of horror makes his story even more compelling.”

6.0″ x 9.0″
288 pages
Books, an imprint of Hal Leonard Corporation


Joel McIver is the author of 26 books on music. In addition to writing biographies of leading figures in rock and metal music, he co-writes musicians’ memoirs, including those for members of Megadeth, Deep Purple, Soulfly, and the Sex Pistols. He contributes regularly to magazines and newspapers, such as Classic Rock, Metal Hammer, the Guardian, and the Daily Telegraph. He lives in London.