Brent Simon: Your film touches on the Salem Witch trials, which always felt like the dirty part of history for me, like sneaking a glance in a porn mag, because there might be one or two lines about it in the officially approved school textbooks, but then you had to go off to the library and find some dusty old book to get more information. What was your first contact with the history as a kid?
Rob Zombie: I think for me I probably took it a little more for granted, because being from Massachusetts I remember going to Salem when I was really young. And funnily enough, the main thing that I remembered about Salem was that that was where the Milton Bradley factory was. I’d see the logo and be like, “Oh my God, that’s where they make all the toys!” We’d go there on school field trips; they used to do a thing where they’d re-enact the witch trials, and there’s a witch museum. I probably thought, “Does everybody have a witch museum in their town?”
BS: Heidi (the main character of your movie) is the co-host of a very voluble “morning zoo” radio show, so I have to admit I was amused by the idea of you selling this movie on exactly those types of radio shows, because it felt like a social statement.
RZ: That’s so funny. Yeah, the king of that is Howard Stern, who’s a genius of radio. But around the time that Howard really blew up gigantic, when Private Parts came out, it seemed like every deejay was just a tenth-rate crappy Stern knock-off. So when I would have to do radio interviews, it was almost literally unbearable to do those shows. They’re not really like that anymore. People have moved off that a little bit. But then it was like every show was hosted by Fart Man and Dog Breath! There’s one episode of Family Guy where Brian and Stewie have a radio show, and that’s exactly what it was like. So in the movie, I wanted to make them really, really annoying.
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