For years, Rob Zombie had kicked around the idea of doing a sequel to “Hellbilly Deluxe,” his debut solo album from 1998. But he didn’t go into the making of his recently released fourth studio CD knowing it would indeed become “Hellbilly Deluxe 2.”

“I’ve had the idea for many, many years, like, ‘Oh, that would be kind of cool to go back because people do it (sequels) with everything else, but not really records so much,’ ” Zombie said in a recent phone interview. “But I thought, well, I’m just not going to call the record that unless it seems like it makes sense.”

“We thought about it for a long time,” said Zombie (whose real name is Robert Cummings). “I just didn’t want it to seem like, ‘Oh well, they just slapped this title on there and it makes no sense, it doesn’t tie in with the other record, it doesn’t make sense.’ But when we were done, it really felt like a perfect companion piece for the first record.”

The original “Hellbilly Deluxe” CD was a pivotal album in Zombie’s career.

He had come onto the music scene as frontman for the band White Zombie in 1985. When that group fell apart in 1998, Zombie went solo, and “Hellbilly Deluxe,” released later that year, was a significant success, reaching No. 2 on Billboard magazine’s Canadian album chart.

He has released a pair of studio CDs since — “The Sinister Urge” in 2001 and “Educated Horses” in 2006 — and has continued to enjoy considerable popularity as a solo act.

One reason Zombie hasn’t released more studio albums is because he has also been building what is now a thriving career as a filmmaker.

He began his career as a writer/director with several low-budget films, including the horror flick “House Of 1000 Corpses” and a sequel of sorts to that film, “The Devil’s Rejects.”

He made a breakthrough on the film scene in 2007 by directing a remake of John Carpenter’s horror classic, “Halloween.” Although the film received mixed reviews, it did well at the box office, and Zombie went on to do a remake of “Halloween 2,” which of course, was the second film in the original series of “Halloween” movies.

Despite long gaps between his studio albums, Zombie appears to have retained his music audience.

But he knows he could have had a smoother launch of “Hellbilly Deluxe 2” and perhaps made more of an initial impact with the album.

Initially, the CD was going to be released to coincide with the start of a fall headlining tour, but at the 11th hour, Zombie changed record labels from Geffen to Roadrunner’s Loud & Proud imprint, which meant pushing back the release date from last fall to early this year.

“I had been on Geffen a long time, and Geffen Records had gone through many changes over those years, from going from basically the premier hard-rock label when I signed to them, to basically what they are now, which is a pop label,” Zombie explained. “And we were just a fish out of water there. What I do didn’t make sense. And I only owed them one more record, and this was the record. So (initially) I thought ‘OK, I’ll put out this one now and we’ll be done and that will be the end of it.’ But as the record was approaching the release date, I could just feel it was going to be a disaster staying on Geffen. So that’s why I thought it was worth taking the chance and moving to another label and going through all the hassle.”

“You try to line everything up so your record comes out, and your tour hits and everything is sort of happening at the same time,” he said. “Obviously, by doing that (switching record companies), it was kind of a calculated risk. We’ve sort of been playing catch-up ever since. But it is what it is, and you can’t go back in time. But I think at the end of the day, it proved itself to be the right move. It was just difficult.”

Zombie and “Hellbilly Deluxe 2” (which has just been re-released in a deluxe edition) should benefit from a fall tour with Alice Cooper, the artist who obviously has had a huge impact on Zombie and his own highly theatrical live show. The two toured in the spring, and Zombie said it was “probably the best tour” he’s ever done. Obviously, he’s psyched about doing more dates with Cooper.

“I’ve known Alice for a long time, for about 16 years, and we always talked about touring together,” Zombie said. “But every year, we just stood by and we never did it. And finally this year, we were both on the same schedule somehow, and it was great. As soon as we did one show, we were already talking about doing it again. And it was the perfect match.

“It’s hard to find touring partners that go together.”

Alan Sculley is a freelance writer.