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INTERVIEW: Ginger Fish of Rob Zombie, July 2013

072413-gingerfish

ToddStar: We really appreciate you taking time out of your busy schedule for us today. You’re out on Mayhem, what can you tell us about the tour so far, how’s it going?

Ginger: I was shocked actually when Justin Beiber walked out on stage in Chicago. Didn’t expect Rob to be pulling that out of the hat, you know, but that’s about the most shocking thing that’s happened on the tour, but it only happened in my mind. I’m not really shocked by much. I’m blessed each day, but I don’t know what day it is right now.

ToddStar: Sunday.

Ginger: I would have failed that if you’d bet me on that, that’s for sure.

ToddStar: How’s the stage show and the show that you guys have put together for this tour, how is it being received by the fans?

Ginger: That’s another good question, because I’m slightly near sighted and being behind everybody I don’t see two or three rows up what’s going on, unless Rob turns on the lights to see the crowd. I think it’s been good though. I haven’t seen anyone leaving, so that’s always a good sign. It blows my mind every day because every time I think it couldn’t get any bigger, Rob tops… so.

ToddStar: Well then from a near sighted drummer’s point of view, how do you think the tour is going, musically, the Rob Zombie show, how is that coming across from where you sit?

Ginger: I think it’s going well. I think I’m the screw up, of course. Everyone else is so perfect at everything they do. If there’s a missing beat, or a missing kick drum last night, somewhere in some song, somewhere in the night, everyone else will turn around a smile at me. They know it. The audience might not know it, but yeah, it’s a hard – what’s the word I’m looking for? Everyone is just so perfect it’s just hard to keep up with them.

ToddStar: You’ve got quite the repertoire yourself. You’ve been doing this a long time, I doubt you screw up a whole lot.

Ginger: I tend to say that I… and it sucks, because I’m the first one to admit it. I’ll go backstage and everyone will be like, ‘Great show!’ and I’ll be like, my god, I’m the damn Keith Moon of this band, and Rob will turn to John and go, ‘What did he screw up?’ and John will go, ‘Right here, this part here, this part here’. It’s like I am the mess up, and I hate to admit it. I just came to the realization a couple of days ago, whatever, that I was the Evil Knievel of the rock world. I always seem to screw up, I always go big and its always a big mess up; I’ll break my car, or break my knee, or back, or my arm. It’s like when I screw up, I screw up big, and it’s kind of funny because Evil’s more famous all of the disasters more than the successes, and I think I’m a pretty big disaster. It’s kind of my staple in life right now. People remember the disasters.

ToddStar: You’re a big disaster who’s compared to Keith Moon I don’t think that’s too far off being a great thing.

Ginger: I say that in the sense of like, I’ll go backstage and I’ll be like, ‘I’m the Keith Moon of the band and I don’t even drink!’ I don’t drink. I’m not doing drugs. Granted, he’ll be plastered, high on pills and jump into a pool and break his front teeth, but he had a slight excuse that he thought there was water in the pool. I don’t have an excuse! It’s like when I do something, when I screw up, there’s nothing to blame but myself. My own inadequacies of what is going on. I struggle every day to try and be perfect, but it’s a tough road.

ToddStar: I think we’re all striving for that at some point. Being the newest guy in the band, was it surreal, or did it just fit when you joined this band and started playing these songs, how did that feel?

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Ginger: I got the call from John 5, so playing with him is pretty normal because I’ve done it many, many times. So he gave me a call and said, ‘Hey, can you do some fill in gigs’ or whatever. Half the stuff I already knew because everyone knows the Zombie repertoire, so half the stuff I knew, the other stuff I had to learn or whatever, and that’s where my forgetful mind falls into play. Trying to eat as many almonds as I can and trying to get my brainwaves to focus, but Piggy and John will come over my house and we’ll jam through the whole thing. So when it came to the first day when Rob would show up, we pretty much had the show pretty good. I mean I think it’s totally different. I saw them on Halloween on the Cooper tour in 2010 when they first called and asked me to do it, and I went and it was a completely different show, and Joey Jordison plays completely different than me, so it’s so strange when you think of like, someone can play the same part and it can be so different. So when I came in and started playing everything changed, and it was like management and everyone else would be coming to the show and then it’s like [inhales], and I’ll be all… the groove feels so smooth, I feel like I’m sitting back watching an old soul band play, there’s a brotherhood going on. It’s good coming from them. I think I play in a serious pocket at night. I have a tendency of playing behind the beat. I don’t know how that all works out. I guess that’s where the magic happens. John plays above the beat, and I play kinda behind the beat. I’m not sure if that leaves Piggy falling right on the beat to put us all together, but for some reason it comes off and works.

ToddStar: Well you guys put out a new album this year. Looking back, anything you would change about the process for you as the drummer, and your part of the album process?

Ginger: They use this thing again, for a mess up. Like for me, they use this thing for me, they say ‘Let’s go into a room for six months, let’s work on the album. Let’s listen to it, let’s record it, let’s go back and change a few things, let’s go and play some live shows and jam it and see what people react to and what they don’t react to’, and you keep working at it, and working at it, and over time it builds, and builds, and becomes what it becomes. That’s from my standpoint as a drummer or whatever, but the album, in Rob’s working ethics, is so amazing and fast, that just boom bang, boom bang. That’s what true professionals, they don’t second guess themselves. Being the mess up I want to second guess myself and just practice and record, and practice and record, and listen and go back. I want to over analyse it. I’m a Libra and Libra’s are extremists in that realm or whatever. I’m trying to balance my life but I have a hard time because it’s either like all or nothing. I want to spend all the time or none of it. That’s the hardest thing for me. It’s like boom bang it’s done. Hats off to Rob for being so amazing at accomplishing that. He’s got a movie working on, he’s finishing that, he’d finished the album, and he’s already onto another movie and another album. It’s mind blowing to me, but it’s an honor to be part of the process.

ToddStar: Very cool. As a drummer, who made you want to sit behind a kit with a pair of sticks and just beat the shit out of it?

Ginger: That’s funny, my ex-girlfriend really wanted me to beat the hell out of my drums. I’m joking, because as a kid I didn’t have a girlfriend. I’m again a late bloomer. Didn’t have a girlfriend when I was young, so when I bang on drums it was a… I gotta go right off the bat, you know with kids obviously, I was twelve or thirteen watching Peter Chris in KISS and stuff like that. I actually met him a couple of nights ago. He came out to the show and hung out.

ToddStar: In Holmdel, I think, in Jersey?

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Ginger: Yeah, so he came out and hung out and stuff like that, and that was great. It’s humbling to sit there and play in front of your childhood idols. So that was a big deal. Rush, obviously. I used to go see Neil Peart when I was little. When we had days off on Ozzfest I would be lucky enough to be in the same town that Rush would be playing, so we’d get to go out and hang out and see Rush and stuff like that, so that was a big deal. Bill Ward, who is a legend, he doesn’t even have to be spoken of, other than the fact that he is Bill Ward. We did the first Ozzfest without him, and I wrote a sixteen page article about all the drummers on the tour, for Drum Magazine, and they edited down to seven pages. I did all the photos, all the write up of each drummer in each band and whatever on the tour, and the last paragraph was just a complete dedication to Bill Ward. Every drummer, everyone’s heart goes out to Bill Ward. Black Sabbath doesn’t exist without Bill Ward. Long live Bill Ward. That was the staple of the whole write up, and he wasn’t there. A couple of years later we went back out on Ozzfest and he was there, so I actually played with Bill. I told him about the article, gave him the magazine, because he had never seen the article. I gave him the magazine dedicated to him, and we hung out and told story after story. Bill is the greatest person in the world, I love him to death. I hope to see him soon. He’s in Southern California so hopefully I’ll go out and have lunch with him again, and spend some time with him.

ToddStar: I know you’re a busy man, so I’ve got one more for you Ginger, if you don’t mind. It’s 2013. You’re on the biggest tour of the year with the largest band out today, arguably, and you are playing drums and you’re playing your heart out every night, at this point, what is the meaning of life for you?

Ginger: That’s a good question. It’s simple. The meaning of life for me is keeping a roof over my head. Ultimately I have been homeless. I’ve lived in my car. I’ve slept on the beach before. I’ve gone through the rough years where I worked the day job, trying to get the original bands going. I played on the club circuit, and there was a time when I was working a day job and a night job and I never was at home, so I was like why am I paying for a place I’m never at? And I literally would go to work at seven in the morning, and work from seven to seven at night, drive my car to a Top 40 gig, and I would play from 10pm to 4am, get in my car and drive straight back to the shipping company, and I would sleep a couple of hours in the car and someone would knock on the door and wake me up again. So keeping a roof over my head at this time in my life, whatever, and not going back to that. Not having the idea of being on skid row, or being homeless. I’m not a big eater so that’s not a real big deal to me and stuff like that. I would say yeah, keeping a roof over my head, my wife’s head, and my dog. No home, no wife, no dog. There are a couple of homeless people on the LA river have dogs.

ToddStar: Sounds like a bad country song.

Ginger: Yeah, I hope my dog lives a long, long life, but he’s a big boy, he’s a big Rottweiler, and they don’t live that long. So hopefully I will be able to keep him happy in a home until his day comes.

ToddStar: Again, thank you so much, we appreciate you taking time out of your schedule for us today, Ginger. We really appreciate it, thank you. 

Category: Interviews

About the Author ()

ToddStar - that's me... just a rocking accountant who had dreams of being a rock star. I get to do the next best thing to rocking the globe - I get to take pictures of the lucky ones that do. I love to shoot all genres of music and different types of performers. If it is related to music, I love to photograph it. I get to shoot and hang with not only some of my friends and idols, but some of the coolest people around today.

Comments (1)

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  1. MichaelG says:

    What a great, down to earth guy! Let alone that he’s a great drummer. Thanks for the interview!

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