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Faces Magazine, 12/90

By Lee Sherman

   The history is so well documented that Glenn Danzig refuses to even 
discuss it, and though there are legions of fans that grew up on the 
horror-rock obsessions of the Misfits and the later more experimental 
Samhain, he prefers to dwell on the present. Danzig, the band, is the 
ultimate expression of Glenn's obsessions, obsessions sometimes so 
personal that to express them in public seems almost a sacrilege. Which 
is why Danzig has developed a reputation as somewhat of a "dark" individual. 
Like any rock legend, his reputation precedes him. But vocalist/songwriter 
Glenn Danzig is a complex person who isn't summed up by anything as 
pre-determined as a reputation.
   The scariest thing about Danzig is the band's perversion of the 
traditional death-metal stereotype. Sure, they're pale, they've got jet 
black hair, and sullen facial expressions but they've also got bulging 
biceps that indicate that they're not quite ready to die just yet 
(despite the presence of a song called "Tired Of Bein' Alive" on the 
recent LUCIFUGE album). These guys are more into exercise than exorcism. 
That physical strength can be seen as the outside manifestation of the 
band's inner strength. Danzig forces its critics to put up or shut up.
   Most bands of this ilk (the Misfits included), deal with arcane 
subject matter on a very superficial basis. But the forbidden fruit has 
ripened with Danzig and for once there is a so-called "satanic" heavy 
metal band that the moral majority has legitimate cause to be afraid of. 
Social forces that seek to control place themselves in direct confrontation 
with a band that believes in thinking for itself. To his considerable 
credit, Glenn Danzig backs up his personal beliefs with a knowledge which 
turns out to be his ultimate weapon, even given his proclivity for physical 
   Though his band has never appealed to many critics, Glenn's early 
appearances at comic book conventions and the numerous in-store appearances 
the band is doing on their current tour are proof of Danzig's burgeoning 
underground following.
   "It's an integral part of the whole deal," explains Glenn. "I don't do 
it out of a sense of obligation because you shouldn't do something that 
you feel obliged to do and that's the only reason you do it. You do it 
because you want to do it.  " The in-stores also serve as a way to 
connect with the fans, a base that has sustained the band during these 
times of critical neglect. "It's good to hear what they have to say. 
That's the stuff I like to hear, when kids tell you the personal meaning 
that they got out of the song. We have the greatest fans and they really 
appreciate it if we go out of our way to do something like put out a great 
record instead of being a posey-ass glam band. There's not many bands left 
like [this]."
   Danzig is a band of superior musicians who flesh out Glenn's ideas. 
"They help carry out the vision," he says. "They're an incredible band. 
Me and Eerie (Von, bassist) handpicked John (Christ, guitarist) and Chuck 
(Biscuits, drummer). We were looking for great musicians that could also 
carry themselves onstage. Chuck's a great drummer in that regard. He 
really sets himself apart from other drummers because he puts on a show 
while he's playing drums."
   There aren't many heavy metal bands around today who would be secure 
enough to pull off a ballad like "Blood and Tears." And albeit Glenn has 
written songs for Roy Orbison and Metallica, DANZIG II: LUCIFUGE is a 
testament to his craft that should crush the doubting critics once and 
for all. With influences tracing to Elvis Presley, the Doors, and Howlin' 
Wolf, Danzig's music is so much more than heavy metal that it seems a 
crying shame that he gets lumped in with a band like Slayer.
   "I don't want to slag all these bands," Glenn says, well aware that 
his doing so lends those bands a credibility they don't deserve. What 
Danzig is doing is so far removed from the Slayers and King Diamonds of 
the world that they don't even rate a mention. "In one way it's sad if a 
little kid who doesn't know any better kind of latches onto it, but in 
another way it's kind of fun for these little kids. The fact that they're 
not supposed to listen to it is so enticing. The more their parents tell 
'em not to listen to it, the more they're gonna wanna listen to it. That's 
the nature of growing up."
   And rock'n'roll.
   "Exactly," he says.
   "What I'm trying to do is make it as powerful as possible, lyrically, 
musically, and when you see us live."
   If any thing, Danzig could be accused of being too intense. But there's 
another side that is often overlooked in the preoccupation with the occult 
   "It's a very simple thing what I'm saying and the kids don't really have 
to get it," says Glenn. "If they don't wanna, that's great too. It's not 
just about lyrics--what we're doing is about an attitude and the music. A 
lot of kids just like the song, it doesn't matter what's being said and 
that's great because it's music and that's what it's supposed to do. It's 
an outlet for whatever you need it for.
   I've never been a preachy guy and I never will be. We get all this crap 
about it being too obtuse...'what's "Girl" about?' It's just about a fucking 
girl. 'Blood And Tears,' too, and 'She Rides.' They're simple songs.
   "We got all this crap about the new record saying it was more satanic 
than the last record. Most reviewers don't have any journalistic ability to 
save their lives and they take the easy way out. If anything, the new record 
is more biblical. I hate it that a person that's a really bad journalist has 
a forum to take a very childish approach to reviewing a record as opposed to 
a literary approach.  We do what we do regardless of whoever's gonna like it 
or not. This is our course. It's just like pebbles bouncing off of us."
   For the music industry, Danzig is a marketing nightmare. Neither Bauhaus 
nor Black Sabbath, the band doesn't fit neatly into any of the established 
categories. Add to that the band's willingness to contribute to the hype and
you've got a band that frightens even Guns N' Roses' record label.  (Geffen 
distributes Danzig's music but refuses to put its name on the packaging.)
   "We stay as outside of the record industry as we can. That's one of the 
reasons we're on Def American. We don't get any of that from Rick (Rubin). 
I think people are finally catching on and we'll see what happens. Maybe 
things can change. We're one of the bands that is saying 'enough is enough, 
we're not doing that crap and we don't care if we sell a couple of million 
records.' We're just coming from a different area, we're coming from a 
musical area."
   Danzig is the ultimate cult band. Outsiders can't understand the group's 
appeal while initiates worship it. But the divisions between the believers 
and the non-believers are lessening with each new record. That might present 
a problem for a band whose appeal rests on its rebel posture--but not so for
   "The way it's going now, it's not gonna stay a cult status and there's 
nothing wrong with that either," says Glenn. "Lots of good people come out 
of a cult status. A lot of the underground press, when any of their favorite 
bands get recognition, they automatically hate them, which is so funny 
because most of them really haven't changed much at all. In that instance, 
I think the underground press is a very hypocritical thing."
   What's this? An interview with Glenn Danzig that doesn't dwell on 
Satanism? Precisely. Come back next month as Glenn continues with his views 
on religion (and not just Christianity), the blues, and the mysterious 
connection between the two.

Also from Faces Magazine, 12/90:


Last year a lucky FACES reader won a genuine skull from Glenn Danzig's 
personal collection as the grand prize in our Danzig contest.  Now we've
got Glenn's trademark black leather gloves, the very ones you've seen him
wear onstage in concert.  And winning them could be just a postcard away!
Don't miss your chance!

Our first place winer will receive:
 * The black leather gloves Glenn Danzig is known for wearing in concert
 * A copy of the Danzig II: Lucifuge CD
 * A copy of the Danzig home video
 * A Danzig poster
 * An official Danzig logo pin
 * A two-year subscription to FACES Magazine
 * A FACES t-shirt

Ten runner-up winners will receive:
 * A cassette copy of DAnzig II: Lucifuge
 * A copy of the Danzig home video
 * A one-year subscription to FACE Magazine
 * A FACES t-shirt

TO ENTER: All it takes is a postcard with your name, address, telepone
number, age and t-shirt size (S-M-L-XL).  PLEASE PRINT (OR TYPE) LEGIBLY
and mail to: Danzig Gloves Giveaway, c/o FACES Magazine, 63 Grand Avenue,
Suiitte #115, River Edge, NJ 07661.  NO PURCHASE NECESSARY.  All entries
must be received by midnight Friday, December 14th, 1990 to qualify for
the grand prize drawing to be held on December 17, 1990.

Join the Danzig fan club by writing:
P.O. Box 3608
Los Angeles, CA 91407

Sponsored by FACES Magazine and Def American Recorsd in cooperation with

Also from Faces Magazine, 12/90:

By Rich Maloof


(Def American)
   We've come to expect the most from Glenn Danzig, and that's what he 
consistently delivers.  Here, from the first full-moon howl on the 
opener "Long Way Back From Hell," the willing are lured back into his 
dark lair. LUCIFUGE is a twist of black magic not completely unlike the 
first Danzig album, but it seems a few demons were sacrificed to make 
room for the blues. Always a subtle element in Danzig's music, the blues 
are more prominent than ever before.
   The threatening drive is still there--you'll know that from the outset 
of thick power chords, and tracks like "Snakes of Christ" and "Her Black 
Wings" won't let you forget it. "Killer Wolf" and "777" are similarly 
impending while still proudly exposing their blues roots. "Tired of Being
Alive" features most everything great about this band, including Chuck 
Biscuits' flawlessly solid drumming and a chorus that will stick with you 
until Judgement Day. But getting back to the blues, as this album does...
   Glenn Danzig has never been one to hide his vocal influences, 
incorporating legendary crooners like Elvis Presley, Roy Orbison, and Jim 
Morrison while developing a sound uniquely his own.  Morrison is reserved 
for the more raucous selections, while "Devil's Plaything" leans toward
Orbison at first, soon bursting back into characteristic Danzig thunder. 
"I'm The One" is slow, Elvis rockabilly blues with just one acoustic and 
one grungy electric guitar, and the vocals do the King justice. But even 
while singing over the simple, bouncing changes, Glenn somehow manages
to make it haunting. Likewise, the serene ballad "Blood and Tears" is at 
once enchanting and frightening, the slow dance at a surreal fifties hop. 
Glenn's vibrato makes you wish he didn't have to go to the next note. And 
again, there's something chilling and timeless about his delivery that
approaches the macabre.
   The lyrics are not simply sung, but their sounds shaped to suit 
Glenn's voice; the secret to their alluring power is understatement. They 
have an unsettling way of making pain enticing, a seduction to "wake the 
softest soul up." This is not, by the way, an album of devil worship--it
invites you, dares you, to recognize the darkness surrounding and 
inhabiting your life, and asks if you want to cross that line.
   Rick Rubin's production is appropriately stark and dry, aurally 
simulating the four Danzig members standing in front of a backdrop of 
endless black. This bare approach leaves it up to the band to create the 
moods themselves, from the most brutal to the most tender.
   Elvis is in hell--and he sounds as good as ever.

Songwriting 101.
  May Glenn Danzig's exquisite "Blood And Tears" teach the metal masses
  a thing or two about ballads, that a beautiful song can be plenty
  powerful without falling into the done-to-death power ballad formula.

Also from Faces Magazine, 12/90:

Video News by Frank Lovece (p.68)

Interview and backstage footage, plus unedited/uncensored clips of 
"Am I Demon," "Twist Of Cain," "She Rides," and "Mother." 
(Def American Home Video, 40 min., $19.98)