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Sounds   June 30, 1990


Glenn Danzig is a man of few words, but get him going and it's
evil all the way, as Paul Elliott

"If you want to hear evil, just come a little bit closer."
   Danzig are contemporary rock's ultimate dark power, sweating
menace and mystique.
   The power of Glenn Danzig's poetry is the power of suggestion.
The title of the new record, 'Lucifuge - Danzig II', suggests the
light of the fallen angel. Glenn offers no illumination.
   "I can't think for everybody."
   If Italia 90 anchorman Des Lynam thinks it's tough coaxing a
post-match analysis out of Kenny 'Runners-Up 1989' Dalglish, he
should talk to Glenn Danzig.
   "I get some letters where the kid is totally focused in on
what I'm talking about. I wouldn't say it's a large percentage
that understand, but it's more than I would have thought. A lot
of people draw their own conclusions, which is good, because I
want the songs to mean something personal to each person. I think
I leave 'em open enough that they do."
   Danzig's music is iron-hard but not plain metal. Blues is at
its core. '777' slides like a swamp-thing, 'Blood & Tears' evokes
Orbison, 'Lucifuge' has a slightly looser feel to the first
   "No. This one was worked on much more than the first one."
   "That's because we have a different guitar sound, and it's
mixed much better - that sort of thing."
   The guitars sound so much more fluid, spontaneous.
   "It's good that they sound like that. They're supposed to
sound like that. But we worked on 'em. They should sound
spontaneous, not worked-on, y'know?"
   'Danzig' was the flagship release for Rick Rubin's Def
American label. Rubin has produced both Danzig LPs.
   "Traditionally, I've always written a song and then brought it
to the band," explains Glenn across a heavy conference table at
Def Am's Sunset Strip base. "When Rick comes down we tear
it apart and put it back together, if need be. Sometimes, it's
just fine the way it is and we don't f**k with it. I would say
Rick had a tougher time on this record than before. He's crazy
already but I made him a little crazier. On 'Danzig' Rick helped
us to focus. He saw things that we overlooked because we were so
used to seeing them."
   And all he had to do on 'Lucifuge' was get the sounds right?
   "No, there was more to it than that. Some of the songs needed
radical fixing-up. A producer's job is really hard. Rick just got
it harder this time. Y'know, sometimes there's just something
that bugs you. You're thinking, What the f**k is bugging me about
this song? Sometimes it's so close to perfection you just don't
know what's wrong. There'll be just this little thing. This
record was a tough one.
   "Rick'll tell me to change a lyric here and there. He won't
change an idea, he'll just say, maybe this word'll sound better
than that word. If he's right he's right, but if he's not...' He
smiles a killer's smile. "I like having Rick there. Another voice
keeps it from getting too ego-ed out."
   Glenn Danzig is a great songwriter. Gore-flecked, the Misfits
played some classic rock 'n' roll songs. Glenn wrote a tune for
Roy Orbison too; it features on the Less Than Zero soundtrack.
'Lucifuge' has eleven more originals. 'Killer Wolf', though,
sounds like a standard.
   "It's a blues song!" Danzig puffs. "It's hip all of a sudden
to be blues-influenced. I've always been influenced by the blues.
You can pick up any of my records and hear it."
   Danzig's blues are the black-hearted kind.
   "A lot of people don't understand that darkness and evil in
blues. Just listen to 'Seventh Son', 'Hoochie Coochie Man', the
words to that stuff. And the older stuff, Robert Johnson's
'Crossroads', about the devil, Howlin' Wolf I like a lot, some
Muddy Waters, Willie Dixon, some Son House."
   Chris and Rich Robinson of The Black Crowes reckon Danzig
"knows shit about the blues", that he's no more than a horror ham
out to frighten middle America with visions of pagan sacrifice: a
fowl is slaughtered above a naked girl in the promo flick for
   "I don't know if that caused a real lot of controversy. Kids
really liked it. They want it. My whole thing is, You can't keep
it from the kids. MTV censored the video for 'She Rides' which is
much tamer than Paula Abdul or Madonna.
   "'She Rides' has a stripper girl dancing. On our home video
she just has a G-string, in the MTV one, she has a dress on. They
censored us, and then they show a Paula Abdul video where people
are f**king each other, Madonna's nude in a shower, there's
   "I think they just have a problem with us. We didn't set out
to make something provocative, we just didn't do an MTV video.
With the home video we're circumventing MTV and going direct to
the people."
   Religion is still Glenn's greatest fascination.
   "I've read a lotta good books. Also, I think a lotta people
are starting to wake up as the Catholic church loses more
followers every year because of its hypocrisies."
   Gospel-rockers Stryper have worn '777' badges.
   "Yeah," he chuckles. "They got it all wrong. That's a typical
example of Stryper not knowing what they're doing."
   Danzig are the classic outsiders, even within the context of
rock 'n' roll.
   "I feel that we go out on a limb whereas a lotta bands don't.
They play it safe. Their whole trip is stupid; they just want
blowjobs and quick money. That's not us. There aren't a lotta
bands we could tour with without wanting to rip their heads off.
I wouldn't mind going on tour with Ozzy. I think that'd be fun. I
still like the first Ozzy record, 'Blizzard Of Ozz'. I think
that's great. 'Crazy Train', I love that!"
   Incredibly, he drops his sour demeanour and hums a couple of
bars from that hoary old Randy Rhoads riff.
   "And I still like the old Sabbath albums. Someone once asked
me what metal was - I said, Sabbath and Motorhead with a little
Blue Cheer thrown in. Metal. I thought Metallica and Ozzy
was a great double-bill."
   Isn't the Big Double-O a touch Vegas for your tastes?
   "As far as the stage thing goes, yeah, but it's still Ozzy.
There's not a big list of people we'd like to tour with, but of
all the evils, Ozzy's the best."
   With Danzig, it always comes back to evils.