It was a happy journey for me to find my inner albino.
So, now that "House of 1,000 Corpses" is finally out and it's doing better than everyone expected, how does it feel?
Feels pretty damn good! I've seen it four times, and it just kinda grows on you! It's so much fun to see it as it is- hard to believe that Rob Zombie had to cut 20-30 minutes of footage just to satisfy the ratings board, the get that "R" instead of an "NC-17"! You know that that footage is going to be included on the DVD!
Your character of Otis does a lot of crazy stuff in the movie, did rob give you a lot of room to improv with Otis? how did Otis' personality evolve?
There wasn't a whole lot of improvising with Otis because the character was pretty well defined. I just stuck with the script, and that worked out just fine. sometimes, when your character isn't filled in enough, you're doing the production a favor by bringing some color to it. And sometimes you just get inspired to add a few things here and there. Choptop was a lot of improv; Choptop was also really well-written by Tobe Hooper & Kit Carson. so it was a happy marriage of actor & writer each bringing something to the plate-headed one. Otis was pretty clear in Rob's mind, and it was a happy journey for me to find the inner albino. My instincts were true, but when I was unsure, I had confidence that Rob would show me the way. By the end of the shoot, I was quite comfortable in Otis' skin. And I suspect that if we ever do a sequel, I'll pop right out of the box and hit the ground gunning!
You're in a band called "Cornbugs" with new Guns 'N Roses guitarist "Buckethead". Is he really as crazy a guy as he seems, or is it an act?
He's pretty crazy, but he's a gentle cyborg. It's Always fun hanging out with him, even if we haven't made music for awhile. He's a busy Bucket, what with Axyl running him into the ground. Sure hope GNR finally puts out "Chinese Democracy" someday! Buck and I have 3 CDs for sale at my website, ChopTopsBBQ.com , and they're all weird wonderful valentines from our dark hearts.
Ya, I'm a huge GNR fan, what's your music like?
Well, I guess it's rock music. I sell Cornbugs on ebay under "rock: alternative." Alternative to what, you might ask? I dunno, to Britney Spears, to Everclear, to Grandmaster Flash? Bucket wails on guitar, operates the drum machine when Pinchface isn't banging on the skins. Buck also cues the weird samples- voices, bells, animal grunts, etc. I do the vocals, come up with the words. Most of our songs are first takes - we make em up as we go along. Sometimes Buck has a musical idea, and I sing to it; other times, it's lyrics first and then the music. I have a lot of poetry lying around that I've written over the years, so on occasion that's the source of the lyrics. I wrote Pokerface, on our Halloween tribute CD Cemetery Pinch, at my older kid's school as I waited for her in carpool line! So ya never know! We're not really a band - we don't tour, never have performed live anywhere. We make the music in Buckethead's crowded little apartment, or in a rehearsal studio. Cemetery Pinch was recorded in about six hours, mostly in Buckethead's tiny kitchen. He doesn't cook for himself, so his kitchen is stuffed with machines.
It seems now you have two characters that people are going to remember you as. When it's all said and done, who would you rather be remembered as, Otis? Or Choptop?
What does that mean? You mean, when I'm dead and gone? Well, I've got a long life ahead of me, so I'm not sure that I don't have another memorable character or two left in me. That'll make the decision even harder. I love Choptop and Otis- it's like trying to decide which of your kids you like better! Choptop came first, so I've had longer to love him. Otis is his own man, distinct from the Choptster, not as funny or skitchy; he really sucks the air out of a scene, really scares people. Yeah, I like em both. And I've just done a new movie called Home Sick," a kind of "Gummo"/slasher film down in Alabama. I play a crazy motivational speaker called Mr Suitcase- a whole new character compared to Chopper & Otis. You can see a picture of Mr Suitcase at sonicmonkeyfilms.com with my arm around the beautiful Tiffany Shepis! Plus I've written a cool screenplay, working on another one, so I ain't ready to rest on my thorns just yet!