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M.E.A.T. #15   August 1990


M.E.A.T. exclusive by: Harris Rosen

   How can you tell Glen Danzig from the rest of the vocalists on
today's scene? Well, he's the bandleader who sounds like he's
carrying the intensity of the whole band on his back, that is
until you see them live. He's the composer who has fronted the
legendary punk group The Misfits, and went on to form the
'dirgelike' and evil Samhain, with friend, and Misfits
photographer, Eerie Von. Now fronting his own band, Danzig, he
has the only new album out, in a market full of hairspray poseur
glam fag bands, that is saying anything.
   Most people who write lyrics nowadays are writing stupid
throwaway lyrics, and the same holds true for their songs. "I
think that the problem with music now," summizes Glen, "is a lot
of people are playing music not because they like playing music,
but because they want to scam on girls, do lots of drugs, and be
on MTV. I think that's the wrong reason to do music. That's not
what we do."
   On the bands second album, Danzig II-Lucifuge, the sound of
their self-titled first album has been beefed up. The tracks are
not as basic as the last album. The blues takes the driver seat
this time around, adding an extra flavour to the songs. When they
choose to strip down a song, as on the acoustic "I'm The One", it
is done in a way that borders on what has been accomplished with
an electric guitar. Without a doubt, this album places more
emphasis on the music. It is a natural progression. Glen Danzig
finally has a band that must be taken seriously.
   Glen bases all his lyrics on research and personal
experiences. He likes to write good songs with interesting
stories. "I don't want to get up there and go 'Rock n' roll,
baby'. Okay, I'm offstage give me money, give me drugs. That's
not my deal. There are tons of bands for kids if they want that.
I think that judging from this record, and the response that
we've been getting on this, and the last, tour, there's a growing
number of kids out there that want a little more than a live show
with their music."
   Finding the meaning behind all of the imagery and darkness in
his words and lyrics is confusing, specifically the quote from
the bio, 'Some people mistake believing in Satan for being a
Satanist'. I asked Glen for an explanation. He started off by
asking me if I believed in God, to which I replied, 'No'.
   "You don't believe in a higher form?" Glen responded. "Well
then, who created you? What created you? How did your existence
come into being? You must have some theory. If you really just
don't know, and you don't want to make an assumption, you can't
discount someone else's interpretation, because you don't have
the knowledge to make that assumption. I can understand a lot of
people not believing in God. There are a lot of people who don't,
they just reject the theory. But there does have to be some
explanation as to how this all began. I'm not saying God is an
old man or whatever. He could be a total energy force, which
probably makes more sense than an old man, or an old lady. In a
lot of religions God is a lady.
   "In the end," continues Glen, "whether you believe in God or
not, you ultimately control your own destiny. That's definate. If
you do believe in God, you have to believe also that God created
Satan because he did. What I'm saying is a lot of people will
come up to you and say "Do you believe in Satan? Do you believe
in God?" And you say 'Of course I do', and they try to assume you
worship Satan just because you say you believe in it. It's a
typical person not understanding the English language very well."
   So, what Glen is saying is that Satan and God are two
different words for good versus evil? "Maybe, maybe not. Who says
Satan is evil? There are religions that believe Satan is the good
side and God is the bad side. Satan is the guy who said 'No, I'm
not going to do it that way', the rebel, the whole deal. "I think
that the way you're doing it is wrong. Why don't you try it my
way." The guy who dared to stand up and be heard. Satan is the
liberal. I think that in the beginning of the revolutionary war,
I'm not positive, I'm pretty sure, the British thought that the
people in the colonies were Satanists. I'm not positive, I've
been researching that a little and there actually might be some
basis and fact to some of that. I'm trying to find out more about
that. That's something I've been interested in lately.
   "It's basically in the original forms of the bible, which have
been abridged and fucked up by all different types of religious
groups. Satan was God's right hand man. He was an angel, the top
angel. What happened was he eventually led a revolt of the angels
which is....I guess you don't do that."
   Is he using the bible as a guideline, or telling an entirely
different story altogether?
   "Both. I know that sounds inaccurate, but it's not. A lot of
it may sound like supposition, but I don't think it is. Take it
as you will. Eventually, in the bible, Satan will sit again with
God. Also a lot of people would understand that if there was a
God, and he's as powerful as Satan says, he could have done away
with Satan ages ago. There are passages in the bible that states
where God is speaking, and He says that the Earth is Satan, this
is His domain, and He will have free reign here to do as He
pleases, pretty much. It is not a common misconception about the
Earth that it is God's planet. Pretty much it's not, God has
given it away to Satan as his domain. If you follow biblical
teachings it is basically God's preparation for whatever, for
   "I don't think there are such things as sin," states Glen. "I
mean, there is a word, and there is a meaning for it, but I don't
know. In the end, when if everything does end, like if there is
going to be an Armageddon, if there is actually going to be a
word called 'sin', then I think everything will be forgotten, as
long as you wish it so."
   Glen may have a significant amount of imagery in his songs,
but that is not what he wants projected. The music comes first.
"It's pretty much a very powerful band. It's a no nonsense band
that just comes on and does a great show, and we go in the studio
and do a great record. That's what we do. Anything else is just
whatever people see. You can talk to ten different people at a
show, and they all have a different idea about what the band is
about. People see you the way they want to see you."
   The show is extremely intense. A few years back I saw Danzig
open up for Slayer in Detroit. This was before the first album
was released. The show was nothing short of a riot with Glen,
Eerie, and guitarist John Christ punching and kicking anyone who
got in their way. Glen says that the show is now twenty times
more intense and tight.
   The requests for Misfits and Samhain songs have almost died.
Most of the people coming to the shows now are completely
oblivious to the fact there even were ealier bands. Last tour the
band played two Misfits and three Samhain songs, now there will
be none. "As a matter of fact," says Glen, "the guys in the band
are very happy about it. Chuck (Biscuits, drums) and John
especially, Eerie doesn't care. I don't want to be like an oldies
band, which I'm not into at all, like all those bands that broke
up in the late '70s and early '80s that are getting back together
for this punk nostalgia thing that's going on right now. They're
trying to regain some glimpse of fame that they never had, or
that they might have had, or think that they had. It's just
really embarrassing because they get up and they...I don't know,
I think the excitement is gone, or something is gone out of them.
They're doing it for the wrong reasons, whatever, and it's just
not there. It's very enbarrassing. It just kind of dims the
shining glow that I have about that period. It was exciting then,
and it was really vibrant. It was changing music. A lot of people
said it didn't change music, but there would be no speed metal
right now, and a lot of bands wouldn't have the attitude they
have right now, if the whole thing didn't happen."
   Danzig are set to embark on a 26-date tour with Soundgarden.
They will head over to Europe, then return to America and all the
places they missed the first time out. A warning to all you
collectors of Misfits, Samhain, and Danzig bootleg material. When
you show up and ask for an autograph, Glen will refuse to even
look at it. "If you got a real record I'll sign it. I'm not
signing any of that crap."

Monday August 13th, Concert Hall, TO