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Faces Magazine, 3/89

Danzig The Legacy Continues (p. 34)

By Lorena Alexander & Greg Fasolino

Danzig is power unleashed. It is a bridge between the supernatural and the 
carnal. It is also the most ferocious rock'n'roll your primal nightmares ever 
could have dreamed up, and all packed into one individual of unequalled 
intensity: Glenn Danzig.  Lodi, New Jersey's favorite son, Glenn first brought 
forth his inner demons with punk pioneers The Misfits some 12 years hence. 
Fusing roaring guitars with his melodic lionlike vocals and horror-movie 
obsessions, Danzig powered the band through one classic single ("Horror 
Business," "Bullet," and "Night Of The Living Dead" to name a few) after 
another, culminating in their Walk Among Us LP masterpiece. When he 
disintegrated The Misfits in 1983, he took the heart, soul and voice gave it 
a new, more sinister body, and named it Samhain, after the pagan Halloween.
   Samhain gave Glenn the chance to explore more complex musical ideas. More 
importantly, it freed his imagination to revel in mankind's ancient theories 
of the occult, via albums like November-Coming-Fire. Yet it too succumbed.
   From the still-pulsing ashes has arisen the ultimate musical incarnation 
of this unman, the band Danzig. Richly metallic, a condensation of aggression, 
they are fated to awaken the mass conciousness to the frightening brilliance 
that bands such as Metallica have been adoring for years. Now is indeed the 
time for Glenn Danzig to reign, but in frenzied flesh... not just blood.
Stephen King would perhaps call him"The Interloper," noting his alien gaze and 
the dark pools of the macabre that well up inside his mind. I, however, just 
call him genius. -G.F.
   Although it's nearing Halloween at the time of this encounter (how 
appropriate!), Greg and yours truly must resemble a pair of rambunctious kids 
waiting in line to meet Santa Claus. But this is no Macy's, and the dark, 
brawny figure stepping from the elevator and approaching us is no jolly old 
man with a white beard and red suit. It's Glenn Danzig - the infamous Glenn 
Danzig some might say. The legendary Glenn Danzig is more like it.  
   This is the man whose penetrating countenance some journalists have called 
monstrous, grim, frightening... whose lyrical fascination with the macabre 
fans the flames of intrigue that shroud him... whose musical legacy is filled 
with violent, lurid imagery. There are those who are wont to see Glenn Danzig 
as an angry creature born not of this earth, who tore his way out of the dank
bowels of some rabid beast, a demon among us. But Glenn Danzig just happens 
to be a passionate singer whose songs show that he is a man who thinks about 
mortality, who thinks about worlds before and beyond the here and now, things 
on the dark side (perhaps exorcising a darker side of his own). Danzig is 
someone who thinks - period. He is a lone wolf, but the power that rages in 
his magnificent voice is not that of a heart filled with evil, but rather one 
that beats with an intensity which perhaps our numb and shallow world does not 
understand or accept.
   Now at last we are face-to-face with the enigma himself. Even here in the 
reception area at Geffen Records the man has presence that could coax the 
wings off an angel. I recall the impact of that very first time these ears 
were seduced by his mighty vocal prowess. You see, Glenn Danzig's songs don't 
give me nightmares... but the thought of what rock music would be without
him does. -L.A.

GF: How did the change from Samhain to Danzig come about - how did you shift 
GD: Rick (Rubin, the band's producer) came down to the New Music Seminar 
which we (Samhain) were doing (1986) and he saw the band and he wanted to 
sign us and at the time we were talking to bunch of labels. We decided to go 
with Def Jam (Rubin's label) cause we really liked the way Rick approached the 
band. He knew a lot of stuff about the band that the other labels didn't and 
there was really good commitment there. Eventually we knew we needed a new
guitar player and I wanted to get rid of the drummer. We tried to make do with 
the drummer but it just couldn't happen so we got (Chuck) Biscuits. And then 
decided to do a name change because it wasn't Samhain any more. But we wanted 
to keep the style and some of the other stuff because it still had a relevance 
to what we were doing.

LA: What do you consider the biggest difference between Samhain and Danzig?
GD: I don't know. I wouldn't say there's that much difference. I think the 
songs are... I won't say less experimental  cause we're experimenting with 
a lot of different stuff, it's just different. But I'd say there's a bigger 
difference between The Misfits and Danzig. There you can see a real big
difference. The stuff on the new record is more roots-oriented, and there's 
some of that in Samhain, but if you go back to the Misfits, it's just fast, 
crazy. It's still brutal and dark but it's got an up-tempo feel to it. With 
the melody and all that stuff. You just have to take The Misfits and Danzig 
and, phew! Night and day.

LA: Did you ever feel like The Misfits became an albatross, that people would 
never let you go beyond that phase?
GD: No.

GF: Do you see the Danzig project as more of a showcase for your voice than 
with previous ones? Now your voice has more prominence, but if you listen to 
old Misfits' live tapes, sometimes your voice got drowned out.
GD: Yeah, that was a problem in The Misfits. A lot of people were coming back 
and saying it just sounds like noise and we can't hear the vocals. I don't 
know what song you're doing. Stuff like that. The guys in the band didn't 
care really; I mean they weren't tuning their guitars before they went 
onstage, and they didn't really care about any of that stuff. Somebody put it 
really well, they said the last year of The Misfits it was like watching an 
industrial band do The Misfits' songs.  Cause it was. The amps were superloud, 
you couldn't tell what was what and there was something kind of like a vocal 
somewhere in there. And that's one of the reasons that the band just 
eventually (makes fizzling sound), it was gone. With the new band, what we 
wanted is that people should be hearing what you're saying. And I agree.
   A lot of people are really tuning into the whole band (bassist Eerie Von 
Stehlman, ex-Circle Jerks/Black Flag/DOA drummer Chuck Biscuits, and guitarist 
John Christ). The buzz that I'm getting is that for once we have a real guitar 
player in the band and a real drummer, too. A great drummer, it's like a real 
band, you can't deny it. It doesn't rely on "Death! Murder! Destuction! Mosh!"
(He imitates speed riffs.) People relate to that.

LA: Does it matter to you whether commercial radio plays your stuff?
GD: Well, I'd rather let people hear us than f**kin' Foreigner! Any station 
that wants to play our stuff, fine by me. Music is made for people to hear it, 
not to be buried somewhere. That's the thing I never liked about the punk 
thing - it was just like "This is punk and it's just for us." Well, who's us? 
It's everybody, it's not just for "these" people.

GF: With regard to your lyrics, what I like most about the lyrics on this 
album - I've noticed it on your work in the past - is how you have this 
persona of someone who's in the world but barely into it and somehow greater 
than human. Is that something that interests you, to be looking out at the 
world and being stronger than that?
GD: Yeah. Well, songwriting is a lot of storytelling. But also, your world 
isn't my world. I don't know your world really, but it's not my world. This 
world isn't my idea of a world, so I just live in my own world. And I come 
into your world once in a while. And I bring my own reality with me. Your 
reality is not my reality. I don't want that reality, whatever the physical 
world out here is, I just don't like it so it just doesn't become my world 
any more. I create my own world for myself that I'm happy with.

GF: How do you feel about the way Metallica has championed you? Lots of 
kids who never knew The Misfits or Samhain and now Danzig see them wearing 
the shirts and covering your songs.  How does that make you feel?
GD: (laughs) I don't really care. I mean it's great - those guys are great 
guys, I'm friends with them. And they've always wanted to do those covers.

LA: Do you like their covers of "Last Caress" and "Green Hell"?
GD: Yeah. Two nights in England (where Danzig was opening act on the Metallica
tour) I went up and sang with  em, which was kind of wild.

GF: People went crazy?
GD: Yeah!

LA: Have you considered writing something specifically for Metallica to do?
GD: No.

GF: Is being a songwriter something that means a lot to you? Do your songs 
just come out or do you take a lot of time on them?
GD: I do. For every song that makes it to a record, there's probably about 
five to ten that get thrown out.

GF: When some people hear the Danzig record they hear a lot more Doors 
influence than on your previous records. Would you refute that?
GD: Spin thought it sounded like Elvis.

LA: You always sound like Elvis.
GD: My three favorite singers are Jim Morrison, Elvis Presley mainly, and Bill 
Medley from the Righteous Brothers, he's a great singer. So if anyone makes 
a connection there, that's fine.

GF: There really aren't too many people in rock-
GD: That can sing! Because every heavy metal band, don't forget, their main 
influence is Dio! (We all laugh.) That sounds like Ethel Merman to me! 
(Imitates high-pitched Ethel Merman voice singing) "There's no business like 
show business!" It's the same f**kin' thing!

GF: Now that your avenues are more open for this band, do you have any kind of 
longterm plan for it?
GD: Yeah, we want to be really successful at what we do and put out great 
albums, albums that'll just live forever.


Also from Faces Magazine 3/89


*From Glenn Danzig's very own collection, a genuine skull autographed by 
 Glenn, Eerie, John and Chuck
*An autogrphed copy of the "Danzig" CD
*A limited edition Danzig t-shirt
*An autographed Danzig poster
*A two-year subscription to FACES Magazine
*A FACES t-shirt

*An autographed cassette copy of "Danzig"
*A limited edition Danzig t-shirt
*An autographed Danzig poster
*A one-year subscription to FACES Magazine
*A FACES t-shirt

   Tell us why you want to be the recipient of a skull from Glenn Danzig's 
personal collection.  Keep it brief (under 30 words) and we'll have Glenn 
himself judge the most imaginative entries and decide who should be the 
grand prize winner. (Runner-up winners will be determined by a random 
drawing.) Please type or print your entry to ensure legibility. Don't forget 
to include your name, address, phone number and T-shirt size (S-M-L-XL). Mail
to: Danzig Contest, FACES Magazine, 63 Grand Avenue, Suite 230, River Edge, 
NJ 07661. ONLY ONE ENTRY PER PERSON. All entries must be recieved by midnight 
March 3rd, 1989 to qualify. Prizewinners will be selected on March 6th, 1989.

(No purchase necessary.)