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THE VIBE, 10/94
by Andreas Veneris, October 1994

   ---- 'First. This is not a rock record. It does not sound like
   anything I have done previously. Some people won't get it. That's ok.
   I'm used to that.
   But for those who will understand and appreciate the true power and
   majesty contained within, may this take you to someplace you have
   never been. But have always longed to be'
   Glenn Danzig 4/92
   (from 'Black Aria' inner notes album)
   I first met Glenn in September 1990. It was a Slayer 'Seasons in the
   Abyss' pre-release Def American party but the main guests were in NY
   for an in-store. At these events, people (i.e. journalists, label
   representatives and groupies that ... find their way there) prefer to
   enjoy the food and say that the album is good. The album was indeed
   good. Suddenly, the fuss of 80+ people eating, chating, dating, and
   gossiping stopped. I really wondered what happened, 'it is Glenn
   Danzig who entered the hall' they told me. The presense of a really
   short, but physically impressive man, brought an uncomfortable and
   unpredicatle pause to the small-talk party conversations. He kindly
   greeted some people, smiled to all of them the same way, and soon
   after left the same way he came. The party went on.
   Hollywood is a strange place. No bar is open after 2 in the morning, a
   reason why it's full of after-2am parties. It was Halloween '92, I
   remember, and I was invited to a dozen of them. I was faced with a
   dilemma, should I ditch my tickets to the Danzig show in Irvine
   Meadows, a close to two hours drive south of LA? Who would go to a
   show that far away on a beautiful Halloween night? Now, two years
   later, I consider myself lucky to have been blessed with such
   hindsight. Not only was the 12,000+ open-air amphitheatre sold out,
   not only the crowd there went nuts, but it was one of the best shows
   the band ever performed transforming that night to a real...
   hell-oween event!
   Andreas Veneris: won't be published in any British magazine.
   Why such an antipathy for English publications? 
   Glenn Danzig: They're scum...ha-ha (slowly, with an ironic tone in 
   his laughter).
   AV: Hmmm....well, I sometimes think that English people hate the fact
   they once ruled the world and also gave it so many great bands, two
   things they no longer do.
   AV: Well...sometimes they go even further, trying to slander what
   other people are doing, but this does not mean progression from their
   GD: Yes, exactly, that's why.
   AV: You get my word on that, although Metaverse is worldwide and I
   cannot do anything about that! Anyways, I've heard you're out for a
   new drummer, is that right?
   GD: That's correct.
   AV: What hapenned to Chuck Biscuits, who was an original member of the
   GD: He left us in the middle of the tour with Metallica. Then he
   wanted to come back, he asked for more money, and he wouldn't sign
   anything saying he wouldn't do drugs while being in the band, so...
   AV: That's part of the price you pay when you have a commercial
   breakthrough like the one last year with the 'Mother' video.
   GD: I very much think so.
   AV: Do you think that your life has changed a lot since last year's
   success of 'Mother' (first Danzig cut which received huge MTV-play
   GD: Drummers are always kind of a problem, to begin with. Samhain had
   two different drummers, Misfits had six different drummers...I don't
   know what it is this thing with drummers. That's what have changed,
   and me, Eerie (Von, bass) and John (Christ, guitars) are a little bit
   more closer all because of that Chuck thing
   AV: You have your fourth album coming out very soon, any personal
   GD: "Can't Speak", "Going Down to Die", "Bringer of Death", I like the
   stuff in there...
   AV: What's this track whose title does not appear in the track
   listing? The very last one, the Psalm with the Church organ (which by
   the way is numbered as track '66' on the CD!), that's what I'm
   speaking about.
   GD: It's a hidden track, that's what it is.
   Danzig has been repeatedly accused being a Satanist. Much of his
   lyrical context or infernal musical appearence has been the cause that
   his video clips refused airplay. I guess a hidden track will provide
   enough space for new rumours.
   AV: Do you have any title for it?
   GD: Yes, I call it 'Invocation'
   AV: You also had a classical album released in late 1992, 'Black
   Aria', do you listen to a lot of classical music, and which composer
   in particular?
   GD: I like the heavier classical stuff. My favorite composer is
   Wagner, I listen to a lot of Wagner, but that's about it, I really
   don't listen to the 'lighter' classical stuff.
   Commercial success is a two edge sword. History is full of examples of
   promising bands having a hit and radically change their attitude,
   music, and appearance. Sometimes it works, most of the times they
   disappear. The success of 'Mother', a song borrowed from his debut
   release in 1988 recorded live in Irvine Meadows, Halloween'92, gave
   Danzig a place in the cover of magazines as Rolling Stone and
   Musician. It would be nice to see how much all that have really
   influenced and directed the band at the dawn of 1994.
   AV: Congratulations on the new album. My impression is that 'Danzig 4'
   would sound the way it does regardless the commercial success of
   'Mother' a year ago.
   GD: This is a nice observation. The album was written before the
   success of 'Mother'. The video didn't take big gear until Xmas 93 and
   by that time we started recording the new album. All stuff was already
   written before that, and the release was delayed because of the
   Metallica tour this summer. The commercial success didn't have any
   impact on the music of the album.
   Misfits, the first band Glenn gave his voice to (late 70s), is a long
   gone hardcore legend. Soon after they seized to exist Glenn formed
   Samhain. The early hardcore performances vanished in melodic, mourning
   and gothic heavy rhythms, accompanied with seductive vocals and
   psychologically intruding lyrics. The name was changed to Danzig when
   Rick Rubin, owner of Def American (now just American) Recordings, saw
   them live in New York and invited Glenn to join his label. "It was me
   and Eerie that started Samhain. We tried out many people before ending
   up with John and Chuck", he explained to me. Rubin also proposed the
   change of name to Danzig. The owner of Def American was very
   enthusiastic about the man called Glenn Danzig, music or personality,
   whatever was hidden behind that name. Since then, Rubin co-produced
   most of his work, including 'Danzig 4', their fourth studio
   full-length release.
   AV: Did you have any vision when you started Samhain (which became
   GD: Yes, I wanted to become more real, I wanted to depend a little
   more on musicianship.
   AV: Hardcore does not give you this opportunity?
   GD: Well, it depends on who you play with, but I wanted more than
   AV: At a first sight, lyrics seem away from reality. They trully have
   a stong metaphorical essence. How much does this support what you said
   GD: They do represent reality, but they must be interpented, and
   everybody can give them the interpentation he thinks. People have to
   think, that's what I want to be the effect of my music on music.
   AV: Is this dark, melancholic mood what represents you better? 
   GD: Yes, it definitely does.
   AV: It has also been the reason you been labelled a 'Satanist', I
   GD: ?! Yes....ha-ha (spontaneous, ironic)
   AV: Why are you laughing? 
   GG: Because it's funny, because that's what MTV says to not playing 
   my new video (from his new album, 'Until you call on the dark').
   AV: Really? I don't watch MTV, I stopped watching MTV a while ago, I
   prefer to learn about new music from magazines I've chosen, press
   releases and ... listening!
   GD: Good for you....
   'What you see is what you get'. Glenn is not pretending to be
   something he is not. His character is dark, austere, seld-indulgant,
   and indeed imposing. He doesn't try to impress, he doesn't care less.
   He can be friendly if he believes you don't want to waste his time. He
   will treat you like a jerk if he thinks you treat yourself this way. I
   believe he has been mis-understood on many of the above. He is
   renowned for being a person who is hard to get along with. Back to the
   subject though...
   AV: Still I haven't got an answer, are you a Satanist?
   GD: Ahhhh.....
   AV: We can always define what Satanist might mean, if this will help
   answering the question. 
   GD: Yes! What is a Satanist?...I would just say probably to some 
   people because you like to rock the boat and when people say to you 
   to do this I would say ...'no' (with a very sharp and real way). 
   Maybe in that aspect, yeah. You know, the rebelliousness, the other 
   stuff ...But if there were some Satanists, they would say I'm not a 
   Satanist, so it really matters what definition you're giving to the 
   AV: Are you religious? 
   GD: Yes, I kind of have my own religion, my own beliefs, I don't know 
   what it is, if there's a name for that.
   AV: How are interviews different, how are people around you different?
   I speak about the recently exposed ones.
   GD: Usually I don't talk to them ... ha-ha (once again this uncommon
   AV: Have you been in 'strange' situations like that?
   GD: Yeah, but I decline to do interviews I think will go nowhere. In
   America I decline to speak to Circus, Spin and a few other magazines.
   I don't know what sense would it make speaing to them.
   AV: What do you expect from an interview?
   GD: I expect the journalist to know what the fuck he's talking about,
   and ... you know, to do a good interview. To make people read
   something new about me; the songs, the band, something you didn't read
   from somewhere else.
   Speaking on other publications, Glenn Danzig's voice and overall
   appearence has been strongly parallelized to that of Jim Morrison's.
   Every aspect of it: lyrically, musically and overall appearence. Songs
   as 'Godless', 'Sistinas' (Danzig 3), and 'Blood and Tears'(Danzig
   2,'Lucifuge') may provide a strong basis for the second case above.
   AV: Many like to compare you with Jim Morrison.
   GD: Ha-ha-ha...I hear this all the time. What can I say? My name is
   Glenn Danzig and that's who I am. If you like it fine, if you don't
   ... it's once again fine with me.
   AV: What has been the importance of American Recording owner, Rick
   Rubin? How much has he influenced or/and directed your career ?
   GD: It has been more like a collaboration in a long way, I would say.
   Mostly in a business level. The label has to put out the records, but
   it is us that we go out on the road and play. We have support our
   albums, because we don't get any airplay or any MTV play really....Now
   we get airplay, but we still don't get MTV play...
   AV: It's funny how MTV can still change people's mind!
   GD: Yes, it is.
   AV: At the same time it's frightening because music is meant to be
   rebelious and to represent the individual, not something brainwashed
   on him...
   GD: That's what's supposed to be. This is the reason we have been on
   the road all that time. For the past six or seven years we've been
   doing it, going out and playing and creating a strong fan base. Those
   people liked us because they saw us. Then they call the radio stations
   and request (I remember that all Danzig material played on radio in
   early 90s was by request). Unfortunately we don't play that
   kissy...ass happy pop music, we do write love songs, but it all
   depends what your perception of love is, you know.
   AV: Do you think the extremicity of the lyrics is a reason you don't
   get any MTV play?
   GD: Extremicity of the lyrics? What is that extreme with 'How the Gods
   Kill'? What is so extreme with 'Dirty Black Summer', the second video
   of the previous album they refused to play? What's so extreme with
   'Until you Call on the Dark' (the video of the new album, ed) or
   'Can't Speak' (the next video of 'Danzig 4', ed).
   AV: Has your survival been that difficult?
   GD: Yes, it's been, and is still an on-going process.
   While speaking with Glenn, one thing that really found me not prepared
   to speak, is the fact that some of his stuff have political
   extensions. We didn't speak about any song in particular "...there're
   some political songs in my albums, but I don't want to be too much
   political. My approach to politics is from a more sociological point
   of view, what effects has on people. Other than that politics is a
   fucked up situation. Goverments are having wars, and then stop the
   wars without eliminating the other guy because they still want to do
   business with him". On the way, discussion came back to the music, and
   specifically the new album.
   AV: I think the music of the new album is much more atmospheric than
   any of your previous works.
   GD: More atmosperic yes, I agree with that. That's a direction I
   wanted to have.
   AV: It keeps this doomy, mystic, mourning and dark armosphere. Is this
   a representation of yourself?
   GD: Ha-ha-ha...yes, in a sense it's pretty much alike!
   AV: So how would you describe a regular Glenn Danzig day? I know that
   you don't hang out in LA much.
   GD: No, I don't. It's difficult to describe it (he laughs while his
   voice becomes more thinkful), I'm not that much depressed as they
   would probably think, I'm very much in the martial arts, that takes a
   lot of time, body building, reading literature,... I would say that my
   day is pretty full.
   AV: I guess with a new album out, your day should be pretty full with
   the band! What are current plans like?
   GD: We will have a new tour by November. We will start with a big show
   on Halloween in Irvine Meadows (that's where the
   "Thrall-Demonsweatlive" recording came two years ago including the
   live version of 'Mother').
   AV: What about the remaining of the tour?
   GD: It will start by ealy November. It will be Type-O-Negative in the
   middle, with Godflesh opening.
   For people not familiar with the above bands, Type-O-Negative is
   another gothic-moody-heavy band, leaded by Pete Stele.
   Type-O-Negative's latest album ("Bloody Kisses", 1993, RoadRunner)
   received rave reviews and was characterized as a more industrial-heavy
   version of Danzig's work! Godflesh are a heavy, old 'n respected,
   industrial-metal band.
   AV: This is a pretty heavy line up!
   GD: Yes, it is. That's what we wanted to give to people, give them
   heavy, slow, and moody stuff. Not fake stuff. That's what they would
   come for, and they know they will enjoy it. I guarantee you it's going
   to be one of the heaviest tours ever from three bands who know what
   they're doing and what they do represent.
   Got me! When do you play Chicago?!
   -Andreas Veneris