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Hit Parader   August 1992

DANZIG Metal Muscle
By Rob Andrews

Sinister Rockers Preach Their Message On How The Gods Kill.

Glenn Danzig intimidates people... and he likes it. He's big,
real big, he's dark and he's brooding. Just one look at Danzig
and people get the distinct impression that this is a guy who
means business, and in Glenn's case that business is creating
some of the most intense, churning, burning heavy metal ever
heard. The music Danzig makes in the band that bears his last
name is certainly not for the faint of heart. This is metal with
a slightly demented twist; a far cry from the formulaic sounds
that pass for metal on radio and MTV. No, neither of those
mediums are very high on Danzig - in fact MTV has continually
turned a cold shoulder to the band's striking, sexy, often
controversial videos. But controversy is a word that follows
Glenn Danzig around like a badge of honor, and as proven on the
band's latest LP, How The Gods Kill, it certainly doesn't seem
like the band's controversial stance is about to change.
   "I kind of like being controversial," the surprisingly soft
spoken Danzig said. "We've never tried to fit into any particular
musical slot. We're certainly not your typical heavy metal band
that doesn't have anything to say. We say anything we feel like
saying, and if that causes some within the establishment to
cringe, that's great. Most of the music you hear today is just
preprocessed garbage designed to appeal to as many people as
possible. It's not very dangerous... but we are."
   Danger seems to be something near and dear to Danzig and
bandmates John Christ (guitar), Eerie Von (bass) and Chuck
Biscuits (drums). If "living on the edge" has become a cliched
phrase tossed out by seemingly every rocker who stays out past
midnight, then Danzig gives new meaning to the term. This is a
band determined to push heavy metal to new limits, or die trying.
They know not everyone is going to come along for the journey,
but as their success grows from album to album (already How The
Gods Kill has outsold the band's previous effort, Lucifuge), it
seems that nothing can stop this group's unusual path to the top.
   "We appeal to kids who are looking for a little danger,"
Danzig said. "I think they sense that with us it's real. Too many
bands act like they're doing something dangerous when it's just
an act, a game. It's no game with us. We don't care if MTV won't
deal with us. I think it's ridiculous that they won't, but that's
their business. We'll keep making our videos and releasing them
ourselves. The kids will see them. They'll get the message. I
know MTV is scared of us. We're very scary to the people who've
built a system where you're not encouraged to think for
   Love him or hate him, you've gotta give Glenn Danzig credit.
He's one of the few true originals left in rock and roll. From
his early days in New York as the leader of the classic cult band
The Misfits (a major influence on Metallica), Danzig has rebelled
against seemingly everything that normal society holds dear.
Money? Not important. Fame? Who cares. Religion? Well... that's
one subject sure to get Glenn started.
   "I guess you could say that I'm a guy who's always searching
for answers," he said. "I read all the time, everything from
comic books to books on the occult and werewolves. I've got a
thirst for information. A lot of people who listen to our albums
assume that I'm a Satanist. But that's really not important. The
fact is that people mistake believing in Satan for being a
Satanist. If you believe in God it's just natural that you have
to believe in Satan. People get upset when I say that, we
represent the fall of everything they've built up."
   So what are we to make of this guy who speaks so openly of
rebellion, Satan and the "evils" of MTV? Obviously more and more
fans find themselves attracted to the brooding masses of humanity
that comprise Danzig. This is a band that could probably start
their own N.F.L. franchise. One look at Glenn and his band
members and visions of a team of rock and roll Schwarzeneggers
spring to mind. It's not necessarily a pretty sight. How the hell
did any rocker get so big? It's a question that makes Glenn's
normally stoic countenance break into a smile.
   "It's my genetics," he said. "And I do work out. Some people
ask me about steroids, and whether I've used them to get this
big. The answer is no. If I used them with my genetic makeup, I'd
be HUGE. In fact, I've started doing different exercises to
loosen my muscles. We're playing for two hours on stage this
tour, and you've got to be in great shape for that. If your
muscles are tight, you can become exhausted very easily. It would
be rather embarrassing to collapse on stage after 20 minutes."
   It seems most unlikely that Danzig is about to pass out in
front of a packed concert hall at any time in the near future.
This guy's got too much going for him at the moment to let
anything stand in his way. In fact, unlike the majority of bands
that play metal with the intensity of Danzig, Glenn is quick to
note that half of the band's followers are women - though he's a
bit confused as to exactly what attracts such a large female
contingent to the group's cause.
   "Obviously, there's something about us, and about what we do,
that attracts them," he said. "It's a little strange, but I don't
see why women can't relate to what we're saying in our music as
much as men can. There is eroticism in our music. Maybe that's
what gets to 'em. Or maybe they just think we're cute."
   Yeah, right! "Cute" is a word better reserved for the likes of
Bon Jovi than for Glenn Danzig. Perhaps a better word to describe
his musical appeal is "integrity." In fact, that's a word that
seems to pop up quite often in his conversation, especially when
he discusses his attacks on the religious and political
establishment. He knows he's ruffling feathers. That's the way it
has to be. That's the only way Danzig will have it.
   "If religious or political groups question me, I'll bring the
entire system under fire with me," he said. "If they question my
integrity, then it also questions theirs. Everything I say is
drawn from what I read and what I know. So much of it comes from
the same history books that our politicians give our kids to
read. It's all there, you just have to know where to look. Adults
are so scared of kids rebelling. They should just relax about it.
Kids need to discover life for themselves. They need to look for
a little danger. And if that's what they're looking for when
they've come to us, they've come to the right place."