HARD TIMES Vol. 1 #1, p.1-4, August 1984 ---------------------------------------- SAMHAIN "WE DON'T WANT TO BE CALLED A HARDCORE BAND." LAST MINUTE: SAMHAIN will tour at the end of August. NYC, March 31st, the Rock Hotel. "From the ashes of the Misfits and Minor Threat--Samhain", so the ads said. It was a good show too, Lots of excitement and enthusiasm, but one show then nothing-zippo. What happened to Samhain? We found out from Glenn Danzig and Eerie Von (Pete and Steve were vacationing) in the confines of Glenn's basement apartment in a suburban town in NJ. His apartment is a menagerie of skulls, posters and other assorted Misfits paraphenalia, along with a myriad of records, unfolded album jackets, comic books, toy robots and submarines from Japanese cartoons, and what appeared to be an air raid siren. Ron: Does that thing work? Glenn: Yeah. It's part of my stereo, to show you how rich I am. Eerie: It's not bad for a hot item. Glenn: I robbed it from a little league field. Ron: That's pretty low-robbing from little kids. Eerie: Yeah, after that they couldn't make them do the Pledge of Allegiance or the National Anthem. Glenn: The just take some more money from the old timers, who drink a little less beer, and they buy another one. In town there's like a boy's club that the people pay dues to so they can buy equipment for the kids, but they buy booze and have parties instead, and they make the kids go home. Ron: So you're a Misfits fan? I see you have posters and stuff. Glenn: They were pretty good. Ron: I probably shouldn't ask this right off the bat because you said on the phone that you didn't want to talk about the Misfits and I don't want to start off on the the wrong foot, but-Why don't you want to talk about the Misfits? Glenn: Because that's old business. I could talk about Jerry and Doyle's drug habits. Ron: I'm just interested in what caused the break up. Glenn: There's 20 million reasons. The preoccupation with drugs was just one. The fact that they didn't care about the live performance; what it sounded like. Unprofessional attitude in general. The way they were treating fans. On the road you always meet people who are assholes and you put up with it, but some people are cool and they weren't making the distinction. They treat everyone like shit. "All you people get away from us," were Jerry and Doyle. Ron: What about the music? Were there problems in where you were headed? Glenn: A metal/punk thing is OK, but they wanted to get into a Van Halen kind of thing. Their father would tell me that I had to write commercial songs. They would give me this rap that if I didn't get the band lots of money, they wouldn't be able to do it anymore, but they would waste money on things like smashing guitars. They wouldn't tour because they had to work on Monday. They only wanted to play on Saturdays. It got to the point that the Misfits were in demand but we couldn't do it. It would have meant flying them back and forth to the shows, plus their equipment, which would be 4 or 4 Ampeg stacks- just for Doyle-then Jerry's stuff and the guitars. Eerie: Yeah, but on the way back you could leave half of it there because it would be wrecked anyway. You break one guitar, that's cool, but 3 or 4 just for the hell of it? It doesn't mean anything. It loses the impact. Glenn: I never thought it was cool. The only time I thought it was cool was when I said to Doyle, "If you're going to break your guitar, do it originally", so he broke it with his bare hands. He's the only one who could do it. He did one around his neck one night too. I could see the Misfits becoming exactly the things that I got in a punk band to avoid. It wasn't so much the music but the attitude. Jerry and Doyle got that rock star attitude. It's funny because in the beginning when we were accused of that, they weren't like that at all. Eventually, they did become that way. Ron: Did you see Spinal Tap? Glenn: Yeah. I thought it was pretty good. It kind of epitomizes what was going on in the Misfits, with the amps that go up to 11. Mike: Are you into the "Omen" movies? Glenn: I love the "Omen" movies. Did you see "Omen III"? You should read "Omen IV", that's even sicker. That's the best. Mike: Did you ever think of doing a video? Glenn: The Misfits have a bunch, you just don't see them on MTV. We had a live video, a promo for "Skulls" and "Braineaters". MTV told us that they were too harsh, but then they play Kraut. Slash is a bigger label than Faulty and they're distributed by Warner-Ammex which owns MTV. We (Misfits) were on Uncle Floyd. Jerry pulled his hat off, and Floyd said (in character) "Oh, oh, uh Take me to your leader." We were going wild. Ron: What's that Floyd guy like? Glenn: I don't know, he's just weird. They were afraid of us. We were in this little room and everybody's going crazy. Everything's smashed and cameras are flying. The TV guys are going "Holy shit, Oh my god, keep going, keep going." At the end of the song Floyd goes, "Whoa, hey, that was great!" Ron: It sounds like you guys had a lot of fun. What finally made you give up on the Misfits? Glenn: Robo left, and I had started talking to Eerie about drumming for us. Doyle and Jerry said they wanted Robo back and he agreed but only for big shows and we'd have to fly him back and forth to California so I said forget it. Then they wanted Googy and I wanted Eerie and we couldn't agree. They wanted someone who did drugs who would agree with everything they said. By then I had had enough. We did the Halloween show but I had already started with Eerie. I started on a solo album last August which became Samhain's album. Ron: What does Samhain mean? Glenn: It's the pagan Halloween. Ron: What's going on with Samhain? Have you been playing anywhere? Glenn: No. We're waiting for the album to come out, another couple of weeks I guess. We're working on the sleeve. Some of the stuff is about religion because I hate organized religion. I believe in God but I don't believe that God is this old man with a beard. Most of the album is love songs. Ron: At the Rock Hotel show I really couldn't catch the words. Glenn: The show we did at the Rock Hotel had only three rehearsals, and I was sick for the week before it. Some of the words I made up as we went along. It was pretty good that the people were singing along to songs that they never heard before. Some of the lines are real catchy so anyone with half of a brain could pick them up. Eerie: But that was tough for the New York crowd. Between the whole audience there wasn't half a brain. Glenn: We really wanted to make people hate us. In order to do something new that would be around for a while, we feel that people really have to hate us because we're not playing what they expect. The music is different but I don't think it's much different than if the Misfits evolved after "Walk Among Us." Ron: A lot of it has to do with your voice. Glenn: Yeah, but don't forget that I wrote all the songs for the Misfits and I write all the songs for Samhain. Ron: Where do you see your music heading? Glenn: We don't want to do hardcore music and we don't want to be called a hardcore band. As far as I'm concerned there are enough hardcore bands and we don't need any more. What I want to do is get back to the basic thing that made me want to do punk music in the first place, and as far as I'm concerned most of the new hardccre bands don't have it. Ron: What's that? Glenn: Energy ... (after thinking) A reason to do it other than to become part of a scene. You want to suport this music but not because it's something trendy to do until you're 19, but because you don't want to go to a club and hear a band doing covers of Billy Idol or Culture Club. Eerie: (mockingly) Culture Club? Glenn: Judas Priest, whoever. The point is that by kids not supporting the scene that's all that's going to be left. It used to be that people were willing to pay to see new bands, but a lot of the bands now---. I don't know how you feel but I wouldn't pay to see the bands because they all sounds the same, and they're all saying the same things. They're practically playing the same songs. Eerie: There are some good bands but there's a lot of bad ones. Glenn: Like the band that opened for Jerry's Kids. They were the epitome of generic hardcore. They could have been any band, any town USA. They should have been doing that stuff three years ago. We want to push the scene ahead. Nothing much has happened since '81. After the Misfits I had to decided whether I wanted to keep doing music and whether I still had something to say. I still had something to say. The reasons why I want to continue with Eerie is that we feel the same way about a lot of things. We're into power, that's basically what Samhain is about. Killing people and things like that. Ron: I have trouble getting into that. Glenn: You mean you've never wanted to kill someone? You've never walked down a street in NYC with your girlfriend and there's these five drunken assholes from either Long Island or New Jersey and they start giving you shit. It's only you and your girlfriend. Don't you want to kill those people? Eerie: Yeah! Like take their face and smash it into the sidewalk until there's nothing left but your hand and the concrete. Ron: I'd rather not. Eerie: There are people out there that think like us and those are the people we want. Glenn: I want anyone who's into our music. It should be available to everyone, and that's one thing that's wrong with the punk scene in New York. If you're not wearing the right clothes or the right haircut, you're not accepted. I look kind of normal now right? But if I go to a mall I still get shit. When I used to wear my hair down in front I would get in shouting fights with five or six guys. They'd say "Hey punk rock, heh heh, can you see out of there, heh heh?" and I'd be like "Fuck you jerkoff, I'll beat the shit out of all of you." But they'd never fight. They'd say to each other "Oh shit, that guy is fucked up." That's how this haircut came about. It's still real long, but if I comb to the side I get a little less shit. Ron: I conciously started to dress down because I'm sick and tired of dealing with that. Fashion shouldn't be that big an issue. Eerie: But then you get these people who will say "Well really guys, I'll come down and I'll play and I'll dress this way but I've got a date later, and I'll have to change." Glenn: Now this will blow a lot of peoples' image of Jerry, but you'll never see me go out on a date in a suit like Jerry. I'm a great believer in if you truly believe in something, you should do it all the wy. Better to be too extreme than to be too conservative. I might not agree with somebody but if they're wholehearted in what they're doing I can respect that. The people who are really fucked up are the ones that can be changed. If they realized that they were wrong that's cool, but if they change because of something else, like to get a girl, I have no respect for that. I wouldn't respect someone who told me that they didn't believe in what they had done. Ron: Would you respect a Nazi that said that he believed in what he had done? Glenn: Yes, because there have been dictators and tyrants through history, and that's never going to change. To single out Hitler is ridiculous. People will always abuse power, from Hitler to Stalin, Khomeni, Idi Amin; name any US president that ever got us into a war because of economics. Besides that, look at all these little guerilla wars going on in Afghanistan, El Salvador, the Middle East. I don't really like to think about it and that's why I don't go for bands like MDC, because they're not solving anything. They're just making everybody think about this stuff and it frustrates them because they can't do anything about it except go join a revolution and get shot. That's about it, and believe me you will get shot because for as many guns as you've got they've got twenty. That's why I want the bomb. "You all fucked with me, BOOM! You thought you had it all, but you've got nothing." A revolution does nothing to a big power, it doesn't matter who wins. What it does is that it helps the economy. "You want American aid, and you guys need Russian aid, here's fifty million dollars because we believe in your cause." The people fighting are going to have to pay that back one way or another whether its in money, land, raw materials, etc. Ron: But if you did press the button, wouldn't your soul burn in hell? You said before that you believe in God. Glenn: Somebody has to do it. Armageddon has been foretold, not only in the Bible, but by practically every religion. Besides, who says what I would do isn't merciful? Just watch the news for one hour, and that's just a small slice of what goes on every day. A lot of people don't think about it because it doesn't happen to them, but it happens to someone every 24 seconds. I saw it last night. In this country there is a violent assault every 24 seconds. Roughly three times a minute. Multiply that by how many minutes in a day, times seven days a week, times fifty-two weeks a year. Ron: If you divide that bv 220 million you can figure out the odds of being attacked in the next 24 seconds. Mike: And every 24 seconds the odds get greater! Now that's pretty mindboggling. Glenn: Life sucks, the world sucks, I really hate this place. Anything is better than this. Ron: If you really feel that way, why don't you end it all? Glenn; I don't want to just die, I want the whole world to end. Ron: Did you ever do a song about it? Glenn: Every song I ever wrote. For instance "Astrozombies." "Prime directive- exterminate the whole human race." It's that simple. Ron: I would pick up meaning in simple lines of certain songs you wrote and think it was profound but then I'd wonder if I wasn't reading too much into it. For example, "I Turned Into A Martian." What were you trying to convey? Glenn: Nothing. Ron: I read a lot into that. Glenn: Anything that's very simple can mean a lot. Ron: But you just said that song means nothing. Glenn: You don't understand. It's there for people who want it. A lot of the lyrics are left up to the listener to figure out so the song becomes an individual song for each person. If someone goes "This is just stupid", that just shows the limit of their intelligence. Some of my songs have direct meanings, but I try to do the song so that if someone wants to listen to the record without thinking about it and just enjoy the music, they can. Ron: Does that hold true for your new stuff? Glenn: Samhain is more real than the Misfits. Ron: Isn't your guitarist from Minor Threat? Glenn: Our ex-guitarist was from Minor Threat. We don't think too highly of Lyle, he's like Robo Jr. Eerie: He just didn't fit in and he didn't put out. He didn't want to do anything. He'd always wear his Minor Threat shirt. He made sure everyone knew who he was. His idea of getting into a song was moving the neck of the guitar around. (Glenn and Eerie go into their imitation of Lyle) "You guys are going to love me because I'm playing an A minor arpeggio. Later you're going to say that I was amazing." Glenn: We're not really into that. Lyle was a really nice guy when you talked to him, but he'd get this attitude like, "Well I'm a star and I'm doing you guy a big favor." The first rehearsal went well but the next time he came up from D.C. his attitude had changed. By then we already had the Rock Hotel show booked so we just played it cool, did the show, and never called him again. We got Pete from Mourning Noise on guitar now. (To Eerie) Hey, Those weights are too heavy for the cat! Be careful. Eerie: They're too heavy for you. Glenn: What are you talking about Mr. Scarecrow. I can put my hand around your arm. Eerie: Maybe I enjoy being skinny. Glenn: When I get some time I want to get back into wrestling. I wrestled in school. I'd like to get some bulk and some professional training so I can do wrestling holds on people when we tour. People who jump on stage and knock things over. Ron: You're not into stage diving? Glenn: Stage diving is OK as long as they don't mess up the equipment. I don't like slam dancing because too many people who'd rather not get involved end up getting hit. With stage diving, no one can get hurt unless everybody moves. Ron: (To Eerie) What do you do in your spare time? Eerie: I like the Mets. Glenn: Who cares about the Mets? Eerie: C'mon, the Mets are gods. I love Star Trek. I wait all day for it and if it's not on I get real mad. It's on every day and on Saturday it's on at 5:30, not 6:00 anymore. Ron: I haven't watched it in about a year. I have too much to do. Eerie: Well I have nothing to do. I went to get my permit today, finally. I got 7 wrong instead of 5. Glenn: You failed? That test is so simple. Eerie: No it's not. You want me to bring one home? Glenn: Yeah. Even Robo passed that test. Eerie: So what. That was a couple of years ago. It's harder now. I asked my old man a couple of the questions and he didn't know them either. Glenn: We'll have to put a dunce cap on him and sit him in the corner. Eerie: I'm going to punch you in the balls. Glenn: Are you recording all of this? Eerie: He'll probably listen to it later and say "I can't use this shit." Ron: You'd be surprised at what you can get out of this once it's edited. Maybe we'll get into something like before. Mike: Maybe we should leave. Glenn: Maybe I'll fall asleep. Ron: Ok, I guess we should get going. _____________________________________________________________________________ Below the article is a comic strip of three people heckling Glenn Danzig with the following captions: HOW MUCH CAN YOU TAKE? Based on a true story "Hey Punk Rock! Can you see outta there?" "Yo, Vinnie, check this guy out. heh, heh"