Until earlier this year, White Zombie’s 1992 album, La Sexorcisto: Devil Music Vol. 1, had sold a mere 75,000 copies; the band’s metal-grunge just wasn’t connecting. On the road, though, lead ranter Rob Zombie kept hearing that the video for its song ”Welcome to Planet Motherf—-er” was being aired on MTV-on something called Beavis and Butt-head. And not only did America’s leading metal couch midgets like the song (”Yes! Yes!” yells Beavis whenever it airs), but according to the dreadlocked Zombie, ”The record immediately started picking up in markets where we never played, like Wyoming and Missouri-places where Beavis and Butt-head was the only thing happening, where it’s just cows. It always seemed we needed something to give the album a kick in the butt, and I guess this was the thing.”
Since then, La Sexorcisto has sold more than 300,000 copies and is No. 37 with a bullet on last week’s Billboard album chart. Idiocy has always played a role in the music industry, but never before like this. White Zombie isn’t alone, either; other favorites of the channel-surfing lugheads, such as Babes in Toyland, have seen a rise in record sales since their clips were given the duo’s remote-chafed thumbs up. ”It’s definitely an indication of how hot the show is,” says Abby Terkuhle, B and B‘s executive producer. Terkuhle says the criteria for selecting clips for the show from the MTV vaults remain the same—”videos that are funny because we haven’t seen them in 10 years, ones that totally suck, and ones that fit into the type of music they like—they’re definitely metalheads.”
Some of the latter bands will appear on an upcoming Beavis and Butt-head album to be released in November. The disc will include new songs by Nirvana (”I Hate Myself and I Want to Die,” an outtake from In Utero), White Zombie (a new track, ”I Am Hell”), and other bands that have passed the B and B test—plus, of course, between-song comments from the imbeciles themselves. ”Beavis and Butt-head are the Siskel and Ebert of the retarded generation,” says Zombie, ”but I guess kids really do care what they say.” Tell it to the pop-metal band Winger, whose career may never be the same now that the duo’s nerdy friend Stewart wears their T-shirt on the show.