M.E.A.T Magazine, 7/92 ---------------------- METAL ON THE RISE By Metal Tim Henderson Danzig's underlying interest in, or fear of, the unknown--that dark and silent entity--keeps frontman Glenn Danzig and his band--guitarist John Christ, bassist Eerie Von, and Canadian-born drummer Chuck Biscuits--remaining mysteriously attractive, and successful. The shroud of mystery and presupposition that bestows this act left me feeling like the proverbial lamb going to the slaughter while doing this interview. As Danzig approaches worldwide status, the anticipation surrounding DANZIG III--HOW THE GODS KILL has been truly stunning. Yet this Def American/Warner release was slated for early spring, but delayed, as their US label is currently busy with the latest hit from the Black Crowes. Will this affect the Danzig album? "It's hard to tell exactly," states John Christ. "Timing is a tricky thing because originally we wanted the record out in April, so we could tour in the summer. Even though it got pushed back, it's not necessarily a bad thing." From the grinding Sabbath-esque intro of "Godless" to the psychedelic grittyness of "Bodies", How The Gods Kill is an electrifying album that will throw a dark shadow on your brightest day. Danzig have managed to distance themselves away from the listener, as Glenn has, in his eerie and diabolical writing style, left many holes for the imagination to fill. A more intense and evil record than its two predecessors, its hidden mysteries are unleashed around a spectacle of raw guitars, drooling bass, and Glenn's deep-throated vocals. Christ revels in it's gloominess. "I think the dark feel is intentional.When we're writing songs we want dark tones, dark chords and melodies. Our thing is to capture the essence of what we are, and what we're all about. Each song is its own entity, its own certain thing. Fortunately, Glenn produced the record, so he gave us a lot of freedom, especially in the mixing and stuff. There's a lot of playing around, trying stuff that we've never done before to make it sound bigger, louder, and closer to what we sound like live. We added a bit more keyboard this time for mood and effect to enhance the harmony, but I think it falls well within the boundaries." Is the band happy with the final product? "I'm satisfied with it," states Chist, "but every time I listen to it I'm always being critical of my performance. But this is much closer to what we wanted to do when Danzig was formed five years ago. We're really happy with the power and aggressiveness. It's like a heavy rock album. "We wanted this to be an electric album," Christ continues. "The first two albums did pretty well, but we wanted this to be the heavy Danzig album that everybody was going to get to hear--we know that this is a pivotal album for us. We wanted it to be different from everything that was going on out there, but still retain the same mood that we've been holding since the beginning." And the same religious overtones, for which they're known. "There are some religious references and stuff like that with the dark side of man," says Chist. "We have a history with that type of thing, as Glenn is fascinated with the Old Testament--angels, arc angels, and Satan. But Glenn puts out titles and lyrics that are ambiguous so they're open to interpretation. I find with Glenn that it's often helpful to know the lyrics pretty well, then listen to the way that he sings them-- that's where he leaves clues for you. Then you're on your own." As for the direct admission, Christ manages to deflect the bands connection with the demonic. "The more specific the answer you want, the more specific the question must be," Christ challenges me. "Obviously we do get asked our beliefs. If you want to know if we're really psychos or devil-worshippers and all that kind of stuff...well, no. But I can tell you this--when you put the band together as a unit, especially in a performance or public situation, sometimes things can happen. I'm going to sort of leave it at that. If people have a problem with it, that's not our problem. "We have a lot of interests," continues Christ, "that I'm not about to tell you that may freak people out. But we aren't about flaunt our philosophies and beliefs. If you want to know what we're about then analyze the lyrics and music 'cause it's all in there. I don't have to explain myself to anybody." At present, Danzig are slated for a few US dates with Black Sabbath in July/August, with a headlining North American tour following. Primarily a live concert act, Christ describes their show as "a barely contained power--a tension ready to blow wide open at any second. You're never quite sure when it's going to happen, but it always does. Sometimes it explodes right from the very first note. It's very intense. Glenn has a real charismatic and aggressive personality. The fans just feed off that. The music just enhances the whole vibe." As their radio/video potential becomes more imminent, (the first release is the straight-ahead rocker "Dirty Black Summer") the ultimate success of the band doesn't seem to phase them. "Superstardom is not a major priority on our list," Christ says. "We, historically, haven't gotten any easy breaks. So we're going to continue to slug it out like we've been doing, and we appreciate our fans behind us. So all the people who had problems with us in the past won't have any choice but to conform to our fans desire. We're not going away."