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Metal Hammer   Spring 1989

By Andrea Nieradzik

   Everyone needs a challenge, otherwise life would be only half
as interesting. Glenn Danzig loves a challenge himself but I'd
heard that interviewing him could also be described as one! At
least for people called music journalists who are pretty keen on
having a chat with this living legend. Apparently the former
Misfit hates talking to the press, and when he does lower himself
to do an interview, he likes to talk as little as possible - if
you can get him to talk at all! So I wasn't quite sure what I was
letting myself in for. Anyway, Glenn Danzig has released a new
album ('Danzig') with his new band (Danzig) and one thing I did
know was that this was one of the most unusual LP's I've heard
for quite a while.
   "I hate interviews simply because most of the people who call
themselves music journalists and try and do interviews aren't
   A simple sentence, although if you look at the other side of
the coin, quite a few people call themselves musicians although
they're hardly able to hold an instrument...
   "Hahaha! That's true, but I don't really see myself as simply
a musician, I put my whole soul into my music. I don't care what
people think about me, I do what I wanna do, and I say what I
wanna say."
   Saying that, he was actually extremely talkative, and not at
all as unfriendly as one would have expected. And even if he had
been rude, this man is a cult figure, his first band were the
legendary Misfits, and since Metallica even every heavy metal fan
must have heard of them. He's been in the biz for more than
fifteen years now, he released his first records on his own
labels (first Blank, later Plan 9), and one can assume that he
knows what he's talking about. When the Misfits went their
separate ways in the early eighties, he formed his follow up band
Samhain, who even managed to exceed the Misfits popularity in the
States and in the UK. Samhain played a major gig at the Ritz in
New York about three years ago, and Rick Rubin owner of the Def
American label was present. He liked what he saw, and he wanted
to sign up the band to his label, but only if the band promised
to change their name to Danzig, and get rid of two of its
members. Glenn Danzig remained, with Eerie Von (b). The line-up
was completed with Chuck Biscuits (ex-Black Flag and Circle
Jerks) and John Christ (g).
   "Chuck is a good mate of mine, and I only had to give him a
ring, but it took six months to find a suitable guitarist. It was
Rick's idea to call the band Danzig, but Eerie and I had had the
idea when we formed Samhain, but we left it because we didn't
want to be associated with Billy Idol at all."
   It was in this line-up that the band recorded the new LP under
their new name, an unusual record with an extremely intense
feeling that you either love or hate.
   "That's the way we want it to be. We're not one of these
factory bands who all sound the same and look identical, you only
have to look at the magazines! They're interchangable. If that's
what the people want, they should steer clear of us."
   'Danzig', the album, sounds really rough and wild, despite the
superb production and the fact that it's not played fast. It
seems as though producer Rick Rubin has achieved a perfect
feeling of what the band's about.
   "Rick Rubin is a really good producer, probably one of the
best at the moment. He understood exactly what we were all about.
On the other hand it's his job, isn't it? Anyway, it was really
difficult for me to find a suitable producer, because I've always
produced my own material until now."
   Although Glenn claims not to care whether the band release a
video or not, two are available in the States, for the tracks
'Twist Of Cain' and 'Mother'.
   "MTV only plays 'Twist Of Cain', and it's only made up of live
clips, nothing dodgy. It's different with 'Mother', they seem to
be worried that it could be censored. Ridiculous, I know, but
that's the way things go."
   Glenn Danzig sees Danzig simply as a continuation of Samhain,
and the fact that a lot of people view him as the father of the
American hardcore movement appeals to him about at least as
little as other comparisons the press have made with a different
Rick Rubin band, The Cult.
   "I hate the press! They started off describing us as a punk or
a hardcore band, although we've never seen us that way, and the
people believed it. Then there was this comparison to The Cult, I
can't see what the connection is. I can't imagine Ian Astbury
ever having to sing for his life if you know what I mean. I don't
even he's think good. It drives me crazy when people give all
that bulls**t, just because they don't know what to write about
the band."
   He's less annoyed about the comparisons with Jim Morrison, as
Jim's one of his favorite singers. "Jim Morrison is OK, but I
absolutely hate Frank Sinatra and it was completely ridiculous
when I recently read that some asshole compared me to him, I
can't imagine anything worse."
   His ultimate fave is Elvis Presley though, someone who doesn't
actually appeal to me much - he's more my mum's cup of tea.
   "Then your mum's got really good taste. We're releasing a 12"
soon, and it will include the track 'She Rides', as well as a few
songs that aren't on the album one of them's an Elvis cover
version. You should tell her to take a listen to it!"
   Let's leave Glenn Danzig dreaming about Elvis. I was more
interested in finding out whether we'd be witnessing Glenn and
Danzig live this year. His answer was: he doesn't know. Even
worse: He couldn't give a damn, but at least he didn't pretend
that he was desperate to come over to Europe.