The Cornuzine Interviews: Ivan de Prume

Cornuzine [korn-yew-zeen] -noun. 1. A subpar Internet music magazine created by JG2 in 1999; folded 2003. 2. An 18th Century Russian performance artist.

Here’s another example of an interview subject I was completely in awe of, so I didn’t ask too many questions or press too hard. That’s why I flunked out of my journalism program in college—I always felt like I was violating people’s privacy when I had to “get the story.” If someone doesn’t want to talk about something, fine, I’ll move on. I don’t care how many children Don Knotts secretly ate on the set of The Apple Dumpling Gang. It’s his cannibalism; he has every right to keep it to himself.

Well, at the very least, I got Ivan de Prume to cop to being a tree-hugging, whale-kissing, recycle-happy Democrat. Also, he dropped that astute and totally sensible explanation as to why he doesn’t have any guilty pleasures. I still think about that every time I see some dumb-ass article in Entertainment Weekly about how cool people like uncool stuff (both ironically and non-ironically).

Regarding the “compatibility” quote: I didn’t think much of it at the time, but last month (in this far more in-depth and insightful interview) Rob Zombie laid out just how crappy it was to be in White Zombie. Apparently, WZ was “a painful situation most of the time,” one that required the band members to travel on separate buses and not really hang out until show time. It’s always lousy to hear that your favorite bands were like that.

I speculate the specifics of this “painful situation” had something to do with Rob and bassist Sean Yseult, who were at some time romantically involved (and then not). I can see how those kind of vibes could effect the entire band situation. Whether or not that had anything to do with Ivan de Prume’s departure, we’ll never know, because I was too much of a pussy willow to bring it up in this interview and there’s no way I could ever interview him again. That would just be ridiculous. He’s not Harry Shearer.

DIGGING UP IVAN DE PRUME

ivan-de-prume

What can be said about White Zombie that hasn’t already been said a hundred million times? Equal parts Black Sabbath and Alice In Wonderland, WZ created some of the most memorable ghoulish hard rock/heavy metal humankind ever heard. La Sexorcista alone is worthy enough to be worshipped along side the Scripts of Koran and the Dead Sea Scrolls. Only one question lingers from their thirteen year run: who was that bearded guy behind the drums? It was none other than Ivan de Prume, and even though he parted ways with White Zombie right before Astro Creep 2000 (replaced by one Mr. John Tempesta), he is still loved by all who throw up the devil horns when “Thunderkiss ’65” blasts out a stereo. Somehow I tracked Ivan down and this is what he had to say to me…

JAMES GREENE, JR: Right off the bat, I have to ask you: is Ivan de Prume your real name?

IVAN DE PRUME: Yes, it’s Ivan de Prume.

JG2: What nationality is that?

IDP: Russian/French.

JG2: I see. If White Zombie is remembered for anything, it’s “Thunderkiss ’65”. Do you find it an odd feeling that you contributed to a song that is in many ways considered a contemporary classic?

IDP: Yeah, it’s a real trip when I think about that.

JG2: Was your split with WZ an amicable one?

IDP: [It] was tough…but we had to because we just weren’t compatible any longer.

JG2: Do you still keep in touch with any of them?

IDP: On and off.

JG2: What have you been working on as of late?

IDP: I joined a metal/industrial band call Society 1. Check it out at Society1.com.

JG2: Do you have a day job or are you a full-time musician?

IDP: Full-time musician.

JG2: Describe your wildest encounter involving a celebrity.

IDP: Oh God, I don’t want to get sued.

JG2: Yikes. Name a record you own that you consider a guilty pleasure.

IDP: I have and love all kinds of music from around the world, from underground hardcore to Mid-Eastern Indian chant. Why should I be guilty about any of it?

JG2: True dat. “The Munsters” or “The Addams Family?”

IDP: Both.

JG2: Touché. The elections are in a week. Who are you going to vote for and why?

IDP: Al Gore, because he is about taking action to help save the planet by cutting pollution and opposes further oil drilling and logging, while Bush seeks to destroy it further by tearing down more forests and drilling oil in Arctic Refuge.

JG2: Hmmm, I see. Finally, Mr. de Prume, White Zombie was named for the classic Bela Lugosi film. Were any other Lugosi flicks in the running for the band’s name?

IDP: No.

JG2: Well, that’s that, I guess. Thanks!

– Cornuzine.com, 10/31/00

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