Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Interview with former White Zombie drummer and Metalopolis host Ivan de Prume

Ivan de Prume is best known for his tenure as the drummer in White Zombie. He’s had a radio show Metalopolis in Portland, Oregon that I have listened to for the past few months. I’ve always wanted to interview the guy and ask him about his past projects but more importantly about what he’s doing now radio. He has a great voice for radio and his personality fits perfectly. He doesn’t over do it and he comes off like one of the guys. It works wonderfully. He filled my in on his new radio gig, the past and the future. Check this out and please support his radio show and support metal music.

Ivan you’re best known for being the original drummer in White Zombie. What was your experience during those years playing in White Zombie?

The experience was incredible, full of challenges and rewards, twists and turns.I was only seventeen when we started out and was ready to take over the world. I put everything I had into the band and took it all the way to the top! It was one of the greatest achievement I have been a part of. I am very proud of the work I did with them.

What is your best memory while in White Zombie and why?

The greatest moment in the band for me was finally getting Rob Zombie to appreciate heavy metal music! It was always a struggle for me because he would make fun of bands I appreciated and loved such as Metallica and Slayer. Then one day on tour he was driving and suddenly asked for my Metallica Ride The Lightning cassette tape. He played it all the way through and from then on he instantly changed. He played it over and over again! I was so floored. We quickly began writing songs with a fatter guitar sound and the band took a quick turn away from being a noise metal band and began shaping its metal flavor that quickly brought the attention of the metal scenes where ever we went. I was so happy to see my metalhead friends rocking out to us instead of the old Lower East Side art scene which really wasn't me. Chris Williamson from Rock Hotel Promotions placed us to open for Danzig and from there we opened for Slayer and their fans ate us up! What more can I ask for? We toured with many kick ass bands I loved to listen to such as Testament and Pantera. I must say my greatest memory was playing those shows with Pantera and hanging out backstage with Dimebag Darrell. What I loved about the band was all of our dedication to our common goal. That led to the creation of the album that hit the band big-time,La Sexorcisto Devil Music Vol. 1.

What do you think was the real reason that the band imploded?

I think what held the band together all the years was the fact that we all saw each other eye to eye. We had respect and trust for each other. That suddenly changed during the La Sexorcisto Tour and what caused that to change was stress and communication problems. One major change that occurred during this time was Rob and Sean's relationship. They have been in a romantic relationship long before this band has been was formed. I always knew them to be together. As soon as their relationship fell apart, I noticed Rob's communication with all of us completely changed. Rob and I had a few disagreements which caused us to stop talking to each other for about a month on the road which led to a blow out where I announced that I quit the band and walked off the tour.

Do you keep in touch with any of your former bandmates?

Yeah, A few of them.

You formed a couple of bands since your departure from White Zombie. Can you tell about them?

I had many projects that came and went since White Zombie. The two bands that are still at the forefront are Healer and Kreep. After leaving White Zombie, I began envisioning a new sound, musically, for many years but it wasn't easy to create until I took it upon myself to form the band Healer (
www.myspace.com/healer). I wanted to bridge some musical elements from different corners of the globe. This sound came into fruition with the album Awakening that I co-wrote, played drums/percussion, engineered, produced, mixed and financed in my own home recording studio and it was a fantastic experience. I also play with Kreep and we just released an album last year called "Lead Us Not" (www.myspace.com/kreep2)

You also went on to do some production work. How did you happen to get into that?

I've always have been into production equipment and projects as long as I can remember. Over the years technology allowed us all to achieve professional quality recordings at affordable prices. After leaving White Zombie, we have already entered the digital age and since then I have built up to full blown production services (

How did an East Coast guy wind up on The West Coast and Portland, Oregon of all places?

Because it kicks ass out here. The bottom line is that I find it fulfilling to all my needs and desires to stay alive and be happy. The most basic is cleaner water and cleaner air and after 15 years of being deprived of that in Los Angeles I am in heaven in this juicy land of life. I find an undercurrent of an incredible scene here, great talent and the level of creative, weird, wild and different energy is very much needed when you are an artist in a community. New York and Los Angeles has had that spark in the past but I just didn't see it anymore. I travel all over all the time for projects and I enjoy heading back to Los Angeles and New York and they are still great cities in my eyes.

You landed a radio gig on KUFO in Portland, Oregon your show is called Metalopolis. I have caught it on a number of occasions, it’s heavy, extreme and not for people who are fans of stuff on the lighter side. How did you get into radio? And how did you land the radio gig in Portland?

My wife Stephanie was making calls to radio stations to get my band Healer played and she landed on Chris Patyk, former operations manager at KUFO, who asked if I have ever been on the radio. She was confused and said “he is always on the radio with his band White Zombie.” He answered, no what I meant was, “has he ever hosted a show, do you think he would be into doing a metal show?” Se answered, “he would be great at that!” So, we set a start date for March 7, 2009 and it’s been awesome ever since. Metalopolis is a weekly radio show hosted by myself burning up the airwaves in Portland, Oregon on Rock 101.1 FM KUFO and you can catch the party streaming around the world online at
www.kufo.com/ every Saturday night from 10PM - Midnight Pacific Standard Time. You can hear exclusive interviews with the legends of metal such as Rob Halford from Judas Priest, Jason Newsted ex-Metallica, Max Cavalera from Soulfly and many more. Although the show plays a lot of metal on the harder side, we do play all styles of metal as long as its good music. We play bands that are on top of the world to the bands that are unsigned and starting out with a kick ass demo. We cover metal beginning from the late '60s to fresh new releases. As long as it falls in the metal genre and its just good music, I will play it.

What do have in store for listeners in the months to come? Anything you can share with us?

This Saturday March 6, which marks one year for the show, we have special guests, members of the bands Black Dahlia Murder and Killswitch Engage on the show. Metalopolis has really taken up most of my time yet I still find time to create music and produce bands every now and then. I just remixed a KMFDM song “Never Say Never” off their latest release Blitz. It has just been released on their new album called Krieg and the song has been titled “Never Say Never” (Naughty Habit Mix by Ivan de Prume). Healer and Kreep are in the writing stages at this time for future releases.

Currently the show is two hours long do plan expanding it? What has been the response to the show by listeners and the suits at the radio station?

The response has been fantastic, people are going nuts over the show. I have been getting calls and letters from listeners everywhere. Can you believe that from members of The Oregon State Penitentiary to lovers in different corners of the world sending messages to each other via song requests because they know this is the show they will always listen to together. We have been thinking about expanding the show to three hours. Just keep checking KUFO. We have recently expanded the show to Metalopolis video episodes where we catch all the touring bands on stage and back stage. Please check it out.

The music scene has changed a lot during the course of the last 20 years. Do you think it’s been for the better?

It’s changing all the time. I feel we are about to hit a new level in music. I think it has changed for the better as far as technique goes but not as far as creativity. I have never seen drummers playing so fast with these blast beats and double bass while staying in time and all. With technology bands over the past twenty years have the ability to sound perfect live and in the studio using click tracks and pitch correction but the song writing has suffered for most I have seen. I think this will change because nothing stays the same and aren't we dying for something new and fresh! We all know it and I think this band will come and will steal us all away and possibly take us to that far away planet!

What do you think of the Rob Zombie solo material? He kicked off a strong solo career but seems like with this last two records he’s just mailing it in so to speak.

He's a busy guy. The song "What" off the new record I found to be cool in a way. I liked it so; I promoted it on the show and interviewed John 5 a couple weeks ago. Some asked why am I helping someone who has caused so much negative energy in the past but see, although we had differences in the past, I let go of that because so much time has passed and I am all about letting that go and step up to plate to give him another chance. I help the guy out and that song stuck to me. Like I said, it’s all about good music. If the song sucked I wouldn't have played it. I don't care who you are.

Thanks so much for your time, I really appreciate it.

Thank you.

In closing let's plug Ivan's bands and the radio show shall we?

Join the Metalopolis network:

Watch weekly video episodes of Metalopolis:

A couple of bands that Ivan plays in:


1 comment:

katty said...

I love the drummer sound, i feel energizer every time that i listen music where the drummer is notable. i think any band could be sustainable itself without a drummer.
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