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Metal Maniacs, 6/93

Honest at Heart
By Ivette Ruiz

   Glenn Danzig is not your typical vocalist. Frontman and founder of 
his own self-titled union as well as a virtual icon in the punk world due 
to his stints with Samhain and The Misfits, Danzig has built a reputation 
and career on a solid foundation of integrity and pure resilience.
   Anyone who has ever seen the enigmatic vocalist in person can attest 
that he casts a rather imposing figure in his trademark black clothing 
and hair, which lie in direct contrast to his ashen white skin and 
discerning stance. Attitude is his shroud and he wears it with the 
distinct pride only a confident veteran can possess. His turbulent 
career has spawned a wave of responses that run the gamut from negative 
to absolute adoration, from both fans and critics alike.
   "We don't care when the critics say our album sucks or any of that 
shit but when people make stories as a personal attack-usually from behind 
a desk-you have to just blow them off," he begins.
   "I expose my true self all the time, that's why people will say this 
and that about us. But if I meet somebody I don't like I don't pretend 
that I like them and I don't care who they are. I won't be rude to them 
but if they're rude to me, whatever happens, happens. If I kick the shit 
out of you because you're rude to me, that's what I would have done on 
the street. That's my problem; a lot of bands act differently than they 
do on the street-I come from the street-I haven't changed.
   "Whatever they say, I've always been this way, that's me and if people 
can't deal with it, fine. I'm not going to change and that's the way the 
guys in the band are too."
   The much maligned vocalist has learned to take things in stride, 
concentrating on what he feels is most important-his music. The fact 
remains that Glenn Danzig is not a one-sided egoist as some would have 
you believe but a multi-faceted musician songwriter and performer who is
comfortable with who he is and where he'd coming from. He has no qualms 
about exposing his true persona and his live performances prove that.
   "When you're in front of the audience-anyone can say whatever they 
want about you in the magazines but when you're in front of that 
audience-that's where it really happens. People can say whatever they 
want, but the kids know, they're there to see the band and that's what 
really matters."
   Honesty has always been at the heart of Danzig's music and attitude, 
with the band members themselves being the strongest advocates of the 
art they create. The outspoken vocalist has no inhibitions about the way 
he expresses himself, and feels that is the distinguishing factor between
Danzig and other bands.
   "A lot of bands aren't giving in to the pressure of MTV and commercial 
guidelines; there are still a lot of bands that are very heavy and 
experimental. There are bands that will not give in and they don't care-
they say  Fuck you, we're the music, the real music. We're what's going on.'
   "There is a whole subculture in the music that exists mainly through 
word of mouth. I think a lot of kids have caught on to how the music 
industry works and they also know what they're looking for. Those records 
sell without MTV and without radio airplay and they sell a lot.
   "I just do what I do because we like doing it-there's a lot of bullshit 
attached to it, because of the business side but we enjoy what we do. It's 
just that feeling you get when you're on stage that I can't explain, it's 
something totally different-there's nothing else like it. The real fans 
know what's bullshit and what's not; you can't fool them."
   The ability to experiment can become a positive attribute and is 
sometimes directly related to the longevity of a band's existence. Danzig 
members have never been afraid to delve into new territories but as the 
singer explains, you can't forget where you came from.
   "I don't think there's anything wrong with expanding your sound but 
you should never sacrifice what you believe in; this is just my opinion, 
exploring is good but you always to come home. Our music will take you 
there but it will always come back. Most of our fans like the diversity...
it's all a matter of being very objective and seeing what you're doing 
instead of telling yourself everything that you do is great."
   Hot on the heels of the band's latest effort, HOW THE GODS KILL, 
Danzig have once again entered a new realm, offering up their first 
ever EP, THRALL-DEMONSWEATLIVE, a collection of live tracks recorded on 
one of their most recent road jaunts.
   Being on the road is always a trying period for a band and the live 
experience is an extremely important one for the members of Danzig. That's 
where it all comes together and both sides meet-the band and the fan.
   "Going on tour can be really difficult, some bands go out for two 
years sometimes and honestly, I don't know how they do it," he begins.
   "Our shows are simple. We play music, that's what we do. I mean we've 
been getting reviews where people say we were like a Vegas show or 
whatever-I don't see where they can say that. I mean, there are times when 
I get sweaty and I take my shirt off-big deal, I've been doing that my
whole career. Well, to them it's like an image or something. The fans know 
what's up, they know what we're all about.
   "The kids talk to us, like after shows, the fans line up at our bus and 
we sign stuff and talk to them-they tell us what they think an the stuff 
they're into. For us that's an up part of touring, along with being on 
stage, going crazy.            
   "That's what we do, go crazy and get worked up about the music just like 
the audience. I just want people to think that we were a great band, just 
one of the best bands they'd ever seen. Not the best, one of the best."