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RAW   June 13, 1990


GLENN DANZIG on religion, music and the life and times of
As unearthed by MALCOLM DOME

   "If someone fucks with me, then I'll fuck with them. It's as
simple as that..."
   Meet Glenn Danzig, vocalist with the formidable band that
bears his name. One of the most uncompromising personages in Hard
Rock today. Glenn Danzig isn't a man to be messed with. Not a
character who suffer fools gladly, if at all. Not a
run-of-the-mill Rock star out to gun out a fast reputation and
rake in a quick buck. Through his work with cult heroes The
Misfits and Samhain, he proved himself to have an individual
approach to music. Now Danzig carries on that tradition.
   "If someone respects me, then I'll show them the same respect
back. That is part of the code by which I live."
   Danzig isn't an expert in guerilla warfare, forever fighting
for reasons long lost in a cloud of insignificance. Rather, he
wishes to be left alone to pursue his chosen craft without being
subjected to constant, misinformed media attention. Yet such is
his position and attitude that this seemingly mild request is
usually ignored by the jackboot stride of printmedia and the
desire to corner all possible sensationalist degrees. For
instance, there's the legend that claims Danzig is a Satanist.
   "I dunno, what is a Satanist? I have no idea where I stand in
a religious sense. As I said, I do hold certain universal values.
I have always had an interest in religion and read extensively,
for instance, about Babylonian and Sumerian religions. I have
also taken an active interest in the political side of organised
religion. Just one example: It's not very well known but one of
the main reasons that Martin Luther was excommunicated from the
Catholic church was because he and his followers had worked out,
through use of numerology, that the Pope was in fact the
Anti-Christ, which was an act of heresy!
   "Personally I don't have much time for the Catholic church
because they believe theirs is the only true religion. Everybody
should be allowed to worship as they please, even if it is
What should matter are those universal truths, such as respecting
life and each other."
   Danzig's disinclination towards Catholicism isn't alleviated
by this organisation's constant attacks on Metal music as being
the work of Satan.
   "Each year the Catholic church loses a certain percentage of
its 'flock', so they launch these 'ad campaigns' to try and
combat this. That's also the reason the Pope undertakes such
extensive tours. Let's face it, the Pope is following in Jesus'
footsteps, acting as a field rep for God. Going out and talking
to the masses. But attacking people like Ozzy Osbourne and
calling him a Satanist is nonsense. Yet it's designed to appeal
to the inbred, nine-to-five people who inhabit the American
mid-west; they take it seriously. What no-one mentions in all of
this is that the Catholic church has killed many people over the
centuries in the name of religion. Yet they are allowed to get
away with it.
   "You know, I can understand why certain kids find Satan so
fascinating. He's an anti-establishment figure. The fella who
went up against the big power and challenged authority. Some
would consider him a hero. And a lot of young people would find
the concept of Satanism appealing because they are also in a
rebellious state. They can identify with him. But this has
nothing to do with Rock music."
   Unlike others, who use supposed religious values to promote
their musical career ("I won't even talk about King Diamond. I
have a philosophy that if you have nothing nice to say about
someone then don't talk about them. All I'll state is that since
he claims to be a follower of the Satanic Bible, you should ask
its author Anton Le Vey what he thinks of King Diamond. That
would really be interesting.") Danzig is an avid student of the
   "I'm currently reading a book called The Prince Of Darkness.
It was written by someone who has published a number of works on
the subject of 'Evil', all of which are logical, thorough works
on this subject. And, contrary to popular belief, there is such a
thing as 'Evil' in this world. It's not merely mental insanity,
but a genuine desire to do things just to fuck everything up.
It's a force to be reckoned with."
   Musically? Danzig have a new album out on the streets called
'Lucifage'. It's a lot harder than the previous 'Danzig' effort,
proferring a better production, something Glenn himself puts down
to "the fact that last time our producer Rick Rubin got the sound
he wanted, not necessarily our own. Now, though, he understands
what we're all about.
   "I believe I have my own place in the Rock sphere. And no-one
else can really occupy it. You see you can't be anything else but
yourself and carve out your own niche. People have influenced
me sure, but what i do doesn't sound like anyone else. I realised
a long time ago that you have to be selective when it comes to
songwriting. Just because you write something doesn't necessarily
mean that it's good. You must be prepared to accept that some
stuff is shit, weed this out and find your own direction. Too
many bands believe that if they write a song it must go on their
album. That's part of the reason why so many awful LPs are
   As for the state of Metal currently...
   "I don't listen to Metal really, at least not what I'd call
HM, which is Motorhead and early Black Sabbath. No, I tend to
play albums featuring Wagner, Carl Orff and Christopher Young
(composer of the soundtracks for both Hellraiser and The Fly II).
However I have to say that in my opinion Speed Metal is finished,
as is Hardcore. The sad thing is that the record labels have to
shoulder much of the blame for this. They have tended to sign up
any band in this style, whether they had any ability or not. It
was a case of throwing a lot of shit against the wall and hoping
some would stick. That sort of thing ends up killing music. I
have fought to get what I've now got. I quickly learnt that if
you want anything in this world then you have to fight for it."