Grumpy Ole Glenn Danzig Is Angry About Everything

Categories: Danzig

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Back in the late '80s, Glenn Danzig (born Glenn Anzalone) had no idea his eponymously named band was going to be his most enduring musical project. Longevity was probably the furthest thing from his mind.

"Rick [Rubin, founder of Def American] was looking for bands that were not the conventional rock band....contrary to what the major labels were signing," Danzig explains over the phone.

With their sleeveless t-shirts, black clothes leather jackets and perma-scowls, the members of Danzig were a far cry aesthetically from the poodle-permed hair farmers that dominated the late '80s musical landscape. With its bluesy rock, distinctive vocals and lyrics that flirted with the occult, Danzig was also musically distinctive from the crop of radio-friendly hair metal of say, Poison or Motley Crue.

See also: Will Oldham Finds Blissful Surrender in Danzig and R. Kelly

As commercial rock evolved through it's varying permutations, from grunge to pop punk and nu-metal, Glenn remained largely unimpressed.

"I would just see the cycle over and over again," says Danzig. "Terrible pop crap radio bands trying to have a hit and then you don't hear from them again."

Although Danzig's work with the late '70s/early '80s punk outfit The Misfits has inspired generations of kids to discover punk rock and start their own bands, he doesn't have much regard for the current crop of bands he inspired. And he certainly isn't afraid to be vocal about it.

"There is no punk," Danzig laughs before repeating this sentiment for added emphasis. "Punk is a time and a period and an attitude. And a lot of the bands that think they're punk are missing that attitude. They're concerned with getting their song on the radio. With punk, it was never about getting your song on the radio."

So, what is his secret when it comes to enduring with the same band, give or take some significant line-up changes, for 25 years?

"For me it's about not forcing yourself to do a record when you don't want to and only doing a record when you have something to says," he explains. "If I have something to say, I just say it."

It sounds simple enough. That philosophy has yielded nine studio albums in the band's 25 years. That's not including 1992's Black Aria and 2006's Black Aria II, Glenn Danzig's classical albums, the former of which had debuted at number one on Billboard's classical charts. It will also yield a covers record and another studio album at some time in the near future.

His covers album gives Danzig the chance to explore some of his influences, the most obvious being Elvis and Black Sabbath with some more surprising selections from ZZ Top, Aerosmith and The Troggs.

Those who attended Danzig's send-off show for the Universal Gibson Amphitheater in L.A. got a taste of what the covers record has in store when Glenn was joined onstage by The Runaways' Cherrie Currie. She recorded a dirgy rendition of the Lee Hazlewood/Nancy Sinatra "Some Velvet Morning" with the diminutive frontman.

Given Currie's unassailable history as a hard rock pioneer and the fact that The Runaways came to prominence in the same era as The Misfits, Currie seems like a logical, if not obvious choice. However, Danzig's manager had other ideas.

"When I said I wanted to do a duet, I had a manager at the time who wanted me to do it with some alternative chick. "I'm not gonna say who it is. I don't want to degrade those chicks any more than they degrade themselves," says Danzig, proving once and for all that chivalry is not, in fact, dead.

He dismisses his manager's candidates as "here today, gone tomorrow" flavors of the moment before revealing that he was looking for "...someone cooler, someone with a little more credibility."

Of course, these unwelcome creative suggestions are part of what has turned many of Danzig's managers former managers.

Maybe the fact that he's never quite gelled with managers has less to do with their questionable motives and more to do with the fact that Danzig is, quite notoriously, the kind of artist that needs to to be in charge of every aspect of his career. He's no stranger to putting out his own records, including the The Misfits' imprint Plan 9 records and Evilive Records through which he put out some of the latter day Danzig albums.

Danzig is also a multi-instrumentalist and if any of his hired guns can't nail a part within the first few takes, he'll just play it himself. He's also the sole songwriter for his bands and eventually took on the mantle of producer after Rick Rubin's role in the studio diminished during the recording of Danzig III: How The Gods Kill.

See also: Live: Danzig Takes A Halloween Tour Through His Legacy

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Roseland Ballroom

239 W. 52nd St., New York, NY

Category: General

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16 comments
whbooking
whbooking

I like how people just follow these artists blindly. Danzig is an asshole and probably a hyprocite.

midnightrebelkevin
midnightrebelkevin

in the eighties gay had an alternate meaning in which it meant boring lame silly and unappealing!!and as for his antics,he doesnt want to talk about certain things and he doesnt see himself as a joke and those who are comfortable with being a punchline are offended because he takes himself and the integrity of what he does so seriously.he refuses to become accommodating to the mass population,who believe he should be what they want instead of being who he wants to be,simply to kiss the ass of the public to sell records he has been selling records long before commercial success and he did that by being himself not kissing the publics ass,so what if he doesnt want to compromise his vision these are commendable traits not personality flaws!!sure he could stand to light up a bit and enjoy what he has created but if he doesnt want to who has the right to say that he is wrong!!

midnightrebelkevin
midnightrebelkevin

in the eighties gay had an alternate meaning in which it meant boring lame silly and unappealing!!and as for his antics,he doesnt want to talk about certain things and he doesnt see himself as a joke and those who are comfortable with being a punchline are offended because he takes himself and the integrity of what he does so seriously.he refuses to become accommodating to the mass population,who believe he should be what they want instead of being who he wants to be,simply to kiss the ass of the public to sell records he has been selling records long before commercial success and he did that by being himself not kissing the publics ass,so what if he doesnt want to compromise his vision these are commendable traits not personality flaws!!sure he could stand to light up a bit and enjoy what he has created but if he doesnt want to who has the right to say that he is wrong!!

brokenbones_13
brokenbones_13

Danzig rules! No better way to end the interview than by telling the pissy little Village Voice reporter to f-off! Danzig 1, Village Voice 0.

xXDeathXx
xXDeathXx

Damn dude, did Danzig fuck your woman? This piece turned from a somewhat interesting article to a bunch of pot shots and whining. He's just like the vast majority of celebrities, self centered and spoiled. What a surprise.... now how about we talk more about his music (why I'm here in the first place) and exactly when his newest album is coming out or maybe his plans after this covers album.

August R. Preston
August R. Preston

Who takes Danzig seriously? He's always been a joke, a caricature.

Harriet Vinson
Harriet Vinson

OK, but he's also a photographer, so there's a bit of redemption.

Thomas M. Angelli
Thomas M. Angelli

All the digs at his height, weight and going bald seemed pretty... unnecessary, no? (Especially so close to Halloween which is Danzig's favorite holiday!)

Kevin Black
Kevin Black

Danzig is just an asshole. Or so I've heard.

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