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Scum of the Earth

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The strong White Zombie/Rob Zombie influence that permeates Scum of the Earth's material is no coincidence; the alternative metal outfit is led by Riggs, an in-your-face singer, guitarist, songwriter, and producer who is best known for the six years he spent in Rob Zombie's employ. Riggs joined forces with Rob Zombie in the '90s and stayed with him into the early 2000s, eventually leaving in 2004 (when Rob Zombie was largely focusing on films rather than music) to start a project of his own. Named after a song from Rob Zombie's Sinister Urge, Scum of the Earth favors the sort of rhythmic, industrial-influenced, mildly funky, hip-hop-minded alternative metal that Riggs honed during the White Zombie days. Further similarities to Rob Zombie's output include a decadent, over-the-top sense of fun, a dark sense of humor, and a fascination with horror films, the Occult, B-movies, and sleaze. But in contrast to such groups as Slayer -- who take their death metal outlook quite seriously -- Scum of the Earth's lyrics are very tongue-in-cheek. In addition to the aforementioned Rob Zombie influence, Scum of the Earth's forceful approach also owes something to Ministry, KMFDM, the seminal Alice Cooper, and Powerman 5000. Two of Riggs' collaborators in Scum of the Earth have played with Powerman: drummer Adrian Ost, (aka Seven), and guitarist Mike Tempesta (who is the brother of Rob Zombie drummer John Tempesta). In October 2004, Scum of the Earth's debut album, Blah...Blah...Blah...Love Songs for the New Millennium, was released by Eclipse Records; the infectious "Get Your Dead On" became the album's first single. The album's liner notes cite four memebers of Scum of the Earth -- Riggs (who co-produced the album with Ben Burkhardt), Mike Tempesta, Adrian "Seven" Ost, and bassist Clay Campbell -- while musical guests include John Tempesta and System of a Down's John Dolmayan. A new lineup was assembled for Scum of the Earth's sophomore effort, Sleaze Freak, which appeared in October 2007. ~ Alex Henderson

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