If you don’t know Glenn Danzig, you probably haven’t been paying attention to heavy music for the last 30-odd years. A character of epic proportion, Danzig first came on the scene with horror punk upstarts Misfits in the late ’70s. Danzig’s dark vision turned the Misfits’ blend of semi-competent punk and ghoulish imagery into a cult sensation, and the band served as a major influence on the nascent hardcore scene of the early ’80s. After the Misfits disbanded, Danzig went on to form Samhain and then Danzig, leaning ever closer to the heavy metal style of bands like his major influence, Black Sabbath. Both groups incorporated theatrical flair, classical flourishes, and mood-evoking instrumental passages, which Danzig developed into the dark, cinematic, brutal sound and style that has become synonymous with the man. Danzig released Deth Red Sabaoth earlier this year, after a six-year hiatus from new Danzig (the band) material. We caught up with Danzig (the man) to discuss the new record, heavy metal aquatics, and comic books.
Listening to the new record, it sounds like a return to that rawer, punk-meets-metal sound, to your earliest stuff. Was that intentional? Yeah, actually I wanted to do a very early-sounding record, so that’s what I did.
What’s the desire to return to that sound? Uh, well, I just wanted to do a record like that. I wanted to make sure that my guitars were pretty heavy.
What first got you interested in gothic imagery and the dark themes that have permeated your work? It’s just what I’m drawn to, you know? What makes people want to be preachers? I don’t know. To me, it’d be a shitty job, to lie to people all day. Luckily, there’s other people interested in the same stuff.
To what extent is the popular image of Glenn Danzig just that, an image? Do you really go around shirtless, wearing upside-down crosses all the time? Pretty much. The way you see me on stage is me. Maybe a little more crazy, but, you know, it’s me.
So the episode you co-starred in for Aqua-Teen Hunger Force, is that a pretty good slice of Glenn Danzig’s life? No, dude, that was tongue-in-cheek. We played off of a bunch of people’s misconceptions and things like that.
So no swimming pools full of blood in the backyard? I wish.
Between a robot chicken from the future, and a swimming pool of elf blood, which would you pick? Swimming pool of blood.
Does it make a difference what kind of blood? Is elf blood particularly valuable to you? I don’t really know. They hate elves on that show, is what I think. It doesn’t really matter. You know, elf blood is better than chicken blood. Yeah, it’s a little more rare.
Do you have anything in mind for what you’re going to be working on next? I’ve already started working on Black Aria III, and I think I’m finally gonna do my cover record.
Any hints as to what we might expect to see on that? It’s gonna be like oldies, like Elvis kind of stuff that I totally fuck up, to some Nuggets stuff, to maybe even some punk covers, maybe some ’70s early metal stuff. We’ll see.
I understand that you were invited to try out for Wolverine in the X Men movies a few years back. Yeah, I considered it. ... It was a year on set in Canada, and I couldn’t leave, and I was like “I can’t even read for this now, because I can’t do it.” I already had the Satan’s Child tour booked in Europe and in America, so it was a moot point.
If you were to choose any comic book character from history to portray on film, who would it be? Well, you know, you’ve got Jack Kirby’s Fourth World. If they would finally do that, I could be the bad guy character in that; it’d be great to do. It depends a lot on who’s doing it. Is it going to be really retardedly stupid and childish or is it going to be a cool movie? That’s the problem, now, is that most of them are geared to little kids, you know? I have no desire to be in a little kid movie.
Have you seen the underground spoof comic featuring you and Henry Rollins? Yeah, I heard about it, and I ain’t giving it no airtime here. If you want to talk about it, you can go fuck yourself. (laughs) •
Danzig with Possessed, Marduk, Withered, Toxic Holocaust
6pm Fri, Oct 29
1305 E Houston St (210) 224-2747