DATE: October 1997
BY: Steven Blush
Some people scoff at Glenn because of his dour demeanor and dark offerings. His quasi-Satanic and Racialist philosophies have no doubt caused some problems for him and others. For example, according to his 1994 SECONDS interview with Michael Moynihan, Glenn spoke frankly about Race politics, saying that MTV wouldn't play his video of "Until You Call On The Dark" because they thought it was Satanic. Later that interview was reprinted, without our permission, in Tom Metzger's tabloid WAR, and we were soon thereafter contacted by the Anti-Defamation League. At least Danzig's big enough to express his opinions without fear of recrimination. Glenn ain't no Nazi Punk, he's just got pride and self-esteem. The muscle-bound Danzig is his own man.
Sociologically speaking, there isn't a whole lot of difference between The Misfits, Glenn's subsequent band SAMHAIN, or the later eponymous outfit Danzig; they were all maniacal bands that killed from the heart. The Misfits' mercurial lineups Glenn Danzig, Jerry Only, Bobby Steele, Doyle, Robo, Arthur Googy, Joey Image, Franche Coma, Mr. Jim, Manny, Brian Damage for a single song, even Necros and Laughing Hyenas alum Todd Swalla for half of a show played visceral, melodic Punk and dressed like a low-budget fusion of mad scientists, jock punks and cartoon superheroes. Perhaps their decline was precipitated by a particularly nasty April 1982 San Francisco performance in which Doyle used his axe to crack some kid's skull open.
When he disbanded The Misfits in 1983, Glenn had already graduated from Punk Rock Comic Book Geek to Heavy Metal Beelzebub incarnate. He went off to form one of the greatest bands that never achieved stardom, Samhain, which consisted of such characters as Eerie Von, London May, Lyle Presslar, Brian Baker, Steve Zing, C.A. Richie, Pete "Damien" Marshall, and Al Pike. Their music makes a lot more sense a dozen years after the fact; it's evocative of Alien Sex Fiend or Scraping Foetus Off The Wheel but with guitars blaring. The 1984 debut album Initium, on Glenn's Plan 9 label, was fucking brilliant. Samhain's heavy-handed Goth can still be heard today in bands like Type O Negative, Subarachnoid Space and Moonspell. Danzig, the band -- to date it has included Eerie, Chuck Biscuits, John Christ, Joey Castillo, Mark Chaussee, Tommy Victor and Josh Lazie -- has always been a full-on Rock experience. Their five albums and one live EP simply define "primal instinct" -- no makeup, no bullshit, just hair and muscle and male perspiration. Face it, you can't deny this guy.
The band's self-titled 1988 Def American debut album was a stripped-down affair containing the hits "Twist Of Cain," "Mother," "Am I Demon," and "She Rides." Danzig II -- Lucifuge (1990) was a dank, Delta Blues-driven opus with killer tracks like "Her Black Wings" and "I'm The One." Danzig III -- How The Gods Kill (1992) was perhaps best known for the cover, H.R. Giger's 1976 masterpiece painting "Meister And Margeritha." A feud over the use of that painting eventually erupted; during a noted New York performance, an ambitious process server allegedly crowdsurfed his way onto the stage to subpoena Glenn. Danzig 111 was uneven but had great songs like "Godless" and "Dirty Black Summer." Also,'92 saw the release of Glenn's symphonic outing, Black Aria.
The commercial pinnacle of Glenn's varied recording career was the Gold-certified 1993 live EP, Thrall Demonsweatlive, with "It's Coming Down" and the megaMTV hit "Mother." The following year came 4p, a runicinspired morass which obviously went way over my head.
Hooking up with Rick Rubin and the (Def) Am~rican Recordings label was a mixed blessing. On one hand, Glenn put out his most successful records with Rick. On the other hand, the music of Danzig became ghettoized due to its harsh AC/DC-isms. Then again, Glenn hasn't exactly excelled as self-producer and manager. The inevitable split between the two mega-egos was less than amicable, to put it politely.
Rubin tried to put the emphasis on Glenn's voice -- he saw the band Danzig as a vehicle for Glenn's powerful deliveries -- while Glenn curiously saw his Elvis-esque golden throat as just another instrument in the mix. On Blackacideuil, his trademark croon was obscured to the point of being unrecognizable (and on a remix of "Sacrifice," Industrial guru Jim Thirlwell only heightened the confusion).
Throughout his career, Glenn has promoted striking visual strategies; in other words, he knows a good skull when he sees one. He currently runs his own comic publishing company, Verotik, home of nasty popular titles like Devil Man, Jaguar God and Satanika. Judging by all the action at their headquarters, there's some nice coin to be made off racy renderings of heroic primates and sexy supervixens.
After all these years, I just don't know what to make of Glenn. He's alienated most of his friends from the early Hardcore scene, he's disavowed his Metal daze and, to put it bluntly, most Industrial kids could care less about Glenn Danzig. I spent two days with him conducting an in-depth interview and making extensive plans for a symbiotic relationship between SECONDS and Verotik -- only not to hear back from him since. According to Glenn's publicist, he was upset that I never came through with the "double cover story" I allegedly offered. Neither I nor anyone I know in the publishing business have ever heard of such a thing. Glenn, I apologize ...
SECONDS: What were you listening to before Punk?
DANZIG: Well, we always had Punk in America. Stuff was called "Punk" here way before it was called "Punk" in England. As a matter of fact, Malcolm McLaren got the great idea for his Punk band when he came over here and saw Television, Richard Hell and The Ramones. Even before that, in the Sixties, you could go in a record shop and there was a Punk section. It really meant Garage Bands but it said "Punk." SECONDS: So were you buying The New York Dolls and The Stooges? DANZIG: I remembering liking The Velvet Underground and went from there. Of course, I loved The New York Dolls -- always hated Kiss. I still hate Kiss, okay? I'm not on the Kiss bandwagon -- never have been, never will be. They were just this really bad version of The New York Dolls from Queens. The Dolls were about attitude and I've always been into attitude in music. When British Punk hit American shores it was loud and crazy and that's the kind of music I like. So I had versions of The Misfits going back around '76,'77.
SECONDS: Were you writing at this time?
DANZIG: Yeah, way before. I mean, I wrote "Bullet" in 1974 as a three-verse poem.
SECONDS: Was your family supportive of your music?
SECONDS: What was the vibe at these first shows?
DANZIG: We would shock people -- open mouths dripping. I remember one show at CBGB's. It was Jerry's first show and he showed up in glam clothes, like shoes with platforms and open toes, and I was like, "I'm not going onstage with you." It was hard getting people to understand what it was about.
SECONDS: When did the full-on Horror vibe arise in The Misfits?
DANZIG: The B-movie thing just started happening because I did this deal to get us into the studio where I sold off the rights to the name "Blank Records" to Cliff Bernstein for twenty hours at Mercury's recording studios. Finally, The Misfits could record a real record. People heard "Bullet" and that other stuff but we still recorded "Teenagers From Mars" and "Return Of The Fly." I was into the Mad Max movie and was trying to get those guys to see the movie -- I wasn't happy. I didn't like the way my songs were coming out and what was going on in the band. I mean, Doyle couldn't play guitar, Jerry didn't practice his bass at all. I was already disillusioned.
SECONDS: Was Doyle in the band because he was Jerry's brother?
DANZIG: As far as Doyle being in The Misfits, Jerry didn't want Bobby in the band anymore. Originally, I didn't want Bobby in the band at all, but he was in the band. They wanted Bobby out and Doyle in. I said, "Look, I don't really care but don't lead Bobby on anymore." I was teaching Doyle stuff on guitar and it wasn't working -- his hands were just too big. Eventually, they didn't tell Bobby, so I told Bobby. They wanted him to come down to the show and not know he was out of the band or something, which was not cool.
SECONDS: I always felt like The Misfits would have occurred whether or not there was Punk and Hardcore.
DANZIG: I had my own agenda with songs, style, and lyrics. It was coming from more of a literary standpoint. The whole Heavy Metal attitude I didn't like. I wanted out of The Misfits and decided to do a new band. Besides, those guys never wanted to play and were very happy working for their dad and making lots of money. I just didn't like a lot the bands they liked. They liked Van Halen and Judas Priest and I hated that shit -- couldn't stand it. I liked loud music but I liked Motorhead more. There's a big difference between Judas Priest and Motorhead.
SECONDS: You were outsiders to the Hardcore scene. Why were those people so rabid about you?
DANZIG: I think the songs spoke for themselves. Why does somebody like Johnny Cash? Because he's real. My problem was that while image is important, I thought that image was becoming too important. I wasn't into it and I'm still not. Everything's an image, even farmer shit. If you're not from anywhere there's a farm and you're wearing lumberjack shit, that's an image. What are you, cutting down trees for a living? My image is dark and somber. It fits my personality. The problem I always had with the people in The Misfits was that it was a put-on. You wouldn't see those guys walking around like that.
SECONDS: The Misfits had a tangential relationship with Black Flag.
DANZIG: Well, I know Spot always wanted to work with us and Robo loved the band, he wanted to be in The Misfits. Henry was just a big fan. Black Flag were, and still are, one of my favorite bands. There were a bunch of bands that came out of Punk that were different and did music that still lives on. That was us, Black Flag, Minor Threat, and the Bad Brains. I remember when the Bad Brains first came up to New York and they were all in Ska jackets and they were like fast Jazz-Punk. We were doing stuff that was way faster than anyone ever heard and they were like, "Is this Punk? What is this angry stuff that's really fast?" Out on the West Coast was Black Flag and a band people don't realize was important, Rhino 39. It was all happening at the same time but it wasn't getting covered. Of course, magazines in New York hated what we were doing, hated what Black Flag was doing, because it wasn't New Wave. It's still like that today where KROQ hates anything aggressive.
SECONDS: Is there a story of you and Henry Rollins chasing Motley Crue down a street ?
DANZIG: Not down the street, but we ran them out of The Whiskey when The Misfits first played there. It happened and it was pretty funny. You know, Motley Crue got a lot from The Misfits -- so did Rick James. Up until then, Motley Crue was a Dolls imitation and then all of a sudden they were into "the mark of the beast." So many bands have stolen from shit I've done -- I don't care anymore. The only one I really hate is Stone Temple Pilots. They out and out stole "Snakes Of Christ" and renamed it "Sex Type Thing." I did Lonn Friend's radio show and he goes, "You know this song?" and puts on what I think is "Snakes Of Christ" and all of a sudden I hear this doofus going, "I am, I am, I am," and I'm going "Who's this?" "Oh, this is Stone Temple Pilots. This song sounds familiar, doesn't it?" We played them back to back and they were exact.
SECONDS: What was the real deal with the notorious Misfits incident in San Francisco in 1982?
DANZIG: All night people were getting hit with bottles and beer cans. These kids had singled out Doyle and were hitting him with full beer cans. Finally, Googy jumped in the audience in the middle of a song and started a fight with one of the guys throwing beer cans at him. It was a big fight, Googy started getting his ass kicked, and Doyle saw one guy throwing beer and hit him in the head with his guitar. It just went crazy after that, a big riot basically. I remember when Maximum Rock N' Roll did their story, it was one-sided that everybody wanted The Misfits gone but that's bullshit because a lot of people had come there to see The Misfits play. It was typical yellow journalism from Maximum Rock N' Roll.
SECONDS: That magazine was sometimes seen as Communistic.
DANZIG: Isn't it still like that?
SECONDS: What were highlights and lowlights for The Misfits Obviously, there were some great highlights.
DANZIG: Not towards the end. Once '80 hit, that's when it got pretty bad. The band you're seeing right now as The Misfits is not The Misfits. It's one guy trying to relive something and make some money because Punk is fashionable again. It's not The Misfits and everyone who's seen them has called me and said, "What the fuck is this?" The high point was that I got to do all my songs. The low point was putting up with all the bullshit. Once I got out of that situation, my life became so much better and easier. Those guys could go through money like you wouldn't believe. You didn't make that much money back then to begin with. If we made $500, we were lucky.
SECONDS: Was Samhain a decision to do something different?
DANZIG: It was supposed to be what I wanted to do all along. Originally, we were going to call it Danzig. It was a blending of what people call Goth with some slower grooves and tribal drums. More progressive, for sure. Punk was getting boring.
SECONDS: Samhain was definitely the precursor to Gothic Metal. I'm trying to think what was going on then.
DANZIG: Bauhaus and Alien Sex Fiend. We were doing stuff that was mid-tempo and dirge-y, and at that time I was playing so many instruments on records, it was like The Misfits. Again, it was hard finding people. I listened to Sex Gang Children, March Violets, Foetus -- I like music that has the original Punk ethic, which is: as soon as it gets boring, change it. Music has always been revolutionary for me.
SECONDS: Samhain wasn't horror; it went farther.
DANZIG: It was a more real approach. That's what Earth A.D. was supposed to be; the other guys made it cartoon-y.
SECONDS: With Samhain, I got the idea people wanted you to do one thing and you were doing something else.
DANZIG: We played to way more people than The Misfits. People think The Misfits was a big band and it wasn't. We had big shows in New York or L.A. but anywhere else except Detroit -- you're looking at fifty to five hundred.
SECONDS: I saw Samhain at The Ritz and it was on a bigger level.
DANZIG: In the beginning of Samhain, we'd play places of all sizes. One night we'd be playing a thousand-seater and the next night a club. The money was much better in Samhain; the band was able to play five nights a week, as opposed to The Misfits, where the guys wanted to fly in, do three nights, and fly out to be back at work. That became two nights, and then one night. They wanted me and Robe to sleep in the van while they would just fly in. They were primadonnas. As a matter of fact, when I first saw Spinal Tap, I was like, "This is my old band." Anyway, Samhain was better. The first Samhain L.A. show we played at the Stardust Ballroom across the street from a big Metal bill at The Palladium. We did over fifteen hundred paid an Motorhead had three hundred people at their show. The Ramones were playing too in Long Beach and we did pretty good. Actually, at one show, Green River opened up. We had a direction and were moving. That's the band Rick Rubin saw at the New Music Seminar. We were representing the United States and Celtic Frost wa there, DOA was there, MDC ... Rubin had signed Slayer at the New Music Seminar the year before. He came down next year and came backstage and I didn't know who he was. I knew the Beastie Boys, but I didn't know he wa working with them. Here's this guy with a long ZZ Top beard going crazy backstage and I'm like, "Who the fuck is this guy?" He's telling me people he knows and I said, "I know Glen Friedman," and he said, "Call him, he'll tell you who I am."At that time, Samhain was getting to be too much for me to handle. I was looking for a label and we had interest from Elektra, Epic, and of course Rubin's label, which was Def Jam at the time. I decided Rubin's label would be the best to go with. That became a whole other nightmare, but it did get the band out there. The guitarist had been kicked out and I began a guitar search; we ended up using John Christ. Rick and I sat and talked. I said, "This isn't working." He said, "To be honest, I don't want any of these old guys. Eerie can't play, the drummer can't play. All I want to do is sign you. I never liked The Misfits; this band I like." I said, "Eerie comes, or it's not going to happen." I was going to call Samhain "Danzig" before and now it was clear. I was like, "I'm tired of changing names of bands. We should just call it Danzig. I'll never have to change the name again.
SECONDS: Do Samhain's records accurately represent the band?
DANZIG: To an extent. I think live, it was much different. It was always hard getting a good guitar sound on the budget we had to work with. In the Samhain box set, there will be two live CD's.
SECONDS: Danzig was different. Was that a matter of production or new ideas?
DANZIG: It was a combination of a bunch of things. What Rick wanted to do was strip my songs down. A lot of people don't understand what a producer is. Actually, a producer works with you as a fifth member and rearranges songs and gives ideas. I liked his ideas of stripping it all down and making it raw. Eventually, what happened is I started missing all those layers. Some of the songs on the first Danzig record just came off like Rock songs. Maybe they were more aggressive than other stuff going on -- and I guess they were, because no band would take us out for anything. As a matter of fact, to this day Danzig has only done a support slot on two tours: Metallica -- and they waited until "Mother" was a massive hit in '93 -- and Ozzy. Everybody was scared of our audience and what we did. AC/DC's management was scared to death. We were up for every tour and what happened is Danzig did their own tours. When we did our first full-scale tour for Lucifuge, Soundgarden and COC were the openers. The next tour we took White Zombie and Kyuss. The next tour after that was Proper Grounds and then Genitorturers. Later on, Type O Negative, Godflesh -- Streetcleaner was one of my favorite records -- and Marilyn Manson and Kern last year. I like to take out bands other bands wouldn't. Aside from Trent Reznor, we were the only people to take out Manson.
SECONDS: What do you think of those first few Danzig records?
DANZIG: I like them. I would have liked to see more mood on the first record. The second record Rick didn't have much to do with and you can hear the mood coming back in. How The Gods Kill is where it really starts changing and I'm producing because producers are scared to work with us. I added more keyboards and Eerie and Chuck both grew very unhappy with John as a guitar player. They hated his style and didn't want him in the band. We actually tried out Dez Cadena from Black Flag and I called my friend Pepper from COC to see if he would want to do it.
SECONDS: What was the problem with John Christ?
DANZIG: The feel wasn't there. It was becoming too stiff and Metal. They wanted a more loose, rhythmic guitarist. How Eerie put it was he wanted a more "soulful" guitarist. And a crazier one. I have no problem hitting my guitar and bending it and John would never do that. As a matter of fact, in "It's Coming Down," I was banging the fuck out of my guitar and John just put his guitar down and then he walked out.
SECONDS: He came from a different background?
DANZIG: Yes, he did. So, what happened was Chuck tried to kill himself in a hotel and whatever his problems were -- drugs, liquor, everything --Chuck had grown unhappy with Eerie. He didn't think he could play bass and by this time, Eerie hated Chuck. In retrospect, I should have changed the lineup sooner. Originally when Rick and I set the band up, I could have other musicians come in all the time --kind of like what Ozzy does. Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn't and Ozzy's new lineup is awesome with Mike Bordin on drums. He's probably one of the best drummers in the business and he doesn't get his due. I remember Faith No More played with Samhain at the Metroplex in Atlanta and those guys had no money. I let them sell Samhain t-shirts and gave them a hundred bucks each. Eventually, John found out about us trying other people out. So he had done the Danzig 4 record with me and asked if he could finish out the tour and I had no problem with that. There was definitely going to be more experimentation going on in Danzig 5. I wanted to get back to a lot of stuff I had done in Samhain which Rubin would discourage. He hated anything digital. You couldn't even put a digital harmonizer on vocals; Rubin would have a heart attack. That's one of the reasons Danzig III sounds so different is that I got to play with a lot of stuff. When we did Danzig 4, he used to come down at the end of the night for fifteen minutes -- that was his "production" -- and he'd go, "Wait a minute. Is that digital?" We'd show him a little fuzzbox but not show him all the other shit it was patched with. At that time, it was basically just me and John working in the studio and sometimes he wouldn't even come down at all and it was just me and the engineer.
SECONDS: And that was the end of Danzig part one.
DANZIG: On the Danzig 4 tour, Joey was the drummer. He's an in-demand drummer, he's turned down bands like Suicidal and Slayer, and was in Sugartooth and Wasted Youth. Immediately we clicked because of the Punk thing, he hated all the bands I hated, and liked Rap. That was cool because Eerie and John hated Rap, couldn't stand it. It got to the point where I couldn't even play Rap around Eerie. He was going in the opposite direction of Allman Brothers and Stevie Ray Vaughn -- they're the reason I started Punk bands. It got weird being around Eerie with him being into all this mellow, Hippie Potsmoking music and Country -- new Country Music, not even old Country.
SECONDS: As for artwork, you've always understood the whole package.
DANZIG: I went to art school, and after high school I went to photography school at the New York Institute Of Photography. Some of my favorite photographers are Man Ray and Helmut Newton. In the beginning of New York Punk, art was very much a part of it and art is still important to me. We used Anton Corbijn for videos and photo shoots and he's awesome; we even used Peter Christopherson people don't realize he was in Throbbing Gristle. Getting off the track, the thing I hate is this "Industrial" tag. Every time people hear treated vocals, they're like, "It's Industrial," but The Beatles treated vocals! Does that mean "Come Together" is Industrial? I don't know what people mean by "Industrial. To me, it's Throbbing Gristle and Neubauten.
SECONDS: You talk about the arty part of Punk but Hardcore was less arty.
DANZIG: I don't think Hardcore was less arty. It had a definite look and style and there's also an art to brutality. That's why certain boxers are better than others -- there's an art to it. People would ask me why I was always working out and I said I wanted to have the perfect synthesis between mind and body, to take my mind and body to the ultimate plateau. It may sound Nietzschean, but I remember people in the beginning of Punk talking about how Nietzsche had made them do what they wanted to do. Art was important because it placed a value on the music that wasn't on bands like Van Halen and Judas Priest. That's why you don't see pictures of Glenn Danzig hanging out with Sammy Hagar -- an abomination on this planet. You don't see pictures of Henry like that either. Don't confuse me with them. It's like the idiots are running the show again. With all this happy Pop-Punk, record companies finally found a way to make millions off Punk. It's Green Day and The Offspring. There's nothing angry about it. It's not doing anything except putting money in their pockets. It may have the sound, but not the attitude.
SECONDS: Tell us about Verotik.
DANZIG: I never thought I'd be doing a company like this but no one was doing it in America. I had the opportunity to do it and make a difference. Up until now, there's only been X-Men, Superman, Spiderman -- silly superheroes running around in spandex trying to save the world and the only female character you had is Wonder Woman. What we've done is get together some really good writers, painters and colorists and put together a mature, adult package. It's an uphill battle; there's censorship everywhere and companies are scared of you and trying to get you closed down because now you're making people re-think what their product is. All of a sudden, people are going, "Their stuff is for kids." We're not trying to get a expand people's minds. The Verotika book is by people who write novels; they don't do comic books. We also have female writers. Every other country has an adult comic market and I'm happy I did it.
SECONDS: What went down between you and H.R. Giger?
DANZIG: That was a problem with his management. After I negotiated the record deal, I thought we got t-shirt rights because it was pretty expensive. Somehow, the i management didn't give us t-shirt rights and we couldn't do a t-shirt of the How The Gods Kill album cover and we started getting bootlegged like crazy, especially in Germany. They thought we were doing the shirts and we told them we weren't and some lawsuit erupted. I don't know where it stands right now. SECONDS: Did they subpoena you onstage" DANZIG: No, that never happened. I met Giger and he was a real nice guy. He invited us to his museum in Zurich and we took photos with him. Then I heard him say some really fucked-up shit about me, which is really two-faced.
SECONDS: Why did you do an Electronic record, Blackacidevil?
DANZIG: It's not an Electronic record. There's guitars on it -- a lot of the noises you hear are me screwing up my guitar and sending it through fuzz boxes. There are no machines playing themselves on this record. Live, whatever can't be reproduced by an instrument has to be played by D-88s or whatever, but the vocals, guitar, bass and drums are live.
SECONDS: What inspired this record?
DANZIG: I really hate the state of music right now. The year 2000 is approaching and aside from a handful of bands, no one is really doing anything to further music. When I heard the Lords Of Acid record, it was exciting and the live show was like a Hardcore show, five slampits and people going crazy. A ritual, an experience beyond sitting there and clapping your hands. It was a synthesis of tribal drums and Hardcore mixed with Techno grooves. I'm not a big Techno fan but this was something different that reminded me of the early days of Punk. It was clear I was going to be changing shit up with my new record, but still keeping it hard. Bands like Pearl Jam tried to go all folky and I was going to go deep inside the belly and just rip. This album is the album I have no regrets on.
SECONDS: Labels put so much pressure on the artist and then don't come through.
DANZIG: I'd rather be in charge of the artwork than have them do it. My original deal with Rick was that I would have less to do, because I was running Plan 9 and everything. He said, "All you have to do is worry about writing songs and going on the road." Bullshit! I was doing everything down to producing the records because he was never there. He was off playing Hollywood producer, which he's still doing -- a millionaire living on the hill. Being on that label became a big joke. Verotik has been going for almost three years now and unless I'm on the road, I'm here all the time. I mean, Rubin was coming in for an hour on Wednesday for a lunch meeting and that was it. How could it be his vision anymore?
SECONDS: Isn't it true that Curtis from Taang got his start bootlegging Misfits singles?
DANZIG: Yes, and if I ever get ahold of him his face is going to be planted in a wall. I stopped him with Caroline and had him destroy all the bootlegs and he just started doing it again. He's going to be in a lot of trouble soon. He was a friend and for a friend to do that is not cool. There are givers and takers and somewhere along the line, Curtis decided he was going to be a taker. I also heard Tesco Vee bootlegs records. This is another person who got jealous his band didn't do anything. His band was a joke band and one day he told everyone "We're going to be bigger than Judas Priest," and believed it.
SECONDS: It's rumored Revelation got started through bootlegging, too.
DANZIG: I know they caught the guys from Youth Of Today bootlegging the SSD stuff. I heard from Jamie that Al wanted to demolish them. I see Springa all the time. He's loony as ever. SECONDS: Are you still involved with Jeet Kune DoZ DANZIG: Yes. Jeet Kune Do means "way of the intercepting fist." I train with one of Bruce Lee's original five disciples. They were all students of Ed Parker, the guy who used to train Elvis. He said, "I want you all to meet this guy doing an exhibition." They went to meet Bruce and the story is they didn't go back to Ed, they stayed with Bruce.
SECONDS: The discipline is about restraint.
DANZIG: It is and it isn't. It's knowing when there's a real threat and knowing when there's not a threat. A fight is only a fight when you're throwing down. People yelling at each other is just words. Until someone puts a hand on me, there's nothing.
SECONDS: Quentin Tarantino glorifies violence but doesn't seem to have experienced true violence.
DANZIG: Is he glorifying violence or just commenting on the world today? We've had wars forever, intrigue forever, people being framed for stuff they didn't do since the dawn of time. We've had genocide since the Christians were murdered by the Romans. We've had slavery forever. It kills me when everyone acts like Black people were the only slaves. Tell that to the Spanish people down in Mexico who were made slaves. Tell that to the families in Germany and England who were all slaves at one time. Tell that to the people in England who had to give up their wives the first night of their wedding because they weren't people, just part of the land, and the king could have any wife he wanted on the first night of her marriage.
SECONDS: There's Black-on-Black slavery in. Africa, today.
DANZIG: Reverend Farrakhan now finally admits that Black brothers in Africa sold Black brothers to Dutch traders. We all knew that but now he's admitting it. You can't rewrite history; everybody's family at one time was a slave. If there was a war and you were captured, you were a slave. The Romans had Greek slaves and the Greeks weren't Black. Historically, slavery is not just Black people in the United States. There's slavery going on right now with Asians and I don't see everyone freaking out. There's slavery where young blonde girls go over to Japan and are never heard of again. If we really want to comment on slavery, let's not just go back to the 1800s. Someone might say I'm being insensitive but I'm being realistic about it. It's an insensitive subject.
SECONDS: You've raised the question of what's wrong with being proud to be White.
DANZIG: Why would I not be proud of being White? "Look what all the White people have done --" Well, look what all the Black people have done. Look what all the Mexican people have done. Every race has a ahadaw east over it at some point in history. What race am I? I'm a mutt, I'm a mix of a bunch of different stuff and so is everybody else. There is no "original" race anymore. As far as me being an Aryan or a racist, anyone who knows me knows that's bullshit. But if there's a race war, what I am going to do? Twenty Black guys with guns aren't going to care that I'm not with anybody.
SECONDS: Is that in, our future?
DANZIG: Sure. Civil wars like that have always happened and are always going to happen. As much as you'd like to change it, the world will always take you back to what it is. You're just a speck on this planet and as the world evolves, it repeats itself.
SECONDS: There are cleansing processes.
DANZIG: Nature has its own cleansing processes -- AIDS may be one of them. Ebola, all these different things, nature controls what happens on this planet. The world always has its way of clarifying things.
SECONDS: If you stand for anything, you're considered a racist.
DANZIG: They can suck my dick and die. There's so many double standards. If you're proud and White, all of a sudden you're racist That's not the case and anyone with half a brain knows that. Unfortunately, we live in a world where a lot of people don't have half a brain. People try to acquiesce to certain groups and then that becomes a reverse inequality.
SECONDS: The ultimate racism is a White person saying to a Black person, "Hey man, you've got so much soul," and patting them on the back.
DANZIG: What is Black? To be honest, Black people aren't black. We're all different shades of brown. Calling yourself Black and calling somebody White has already set up a division. So don't moan about the division later, okay? As far as Black people talking White and White people talking Black, that's bullshit. English is English and different communities have different slang. In German and Spanish, there's different dialects. You're a product of where you grew up.
SECONDS: I feel we've reached a point in society where DANZIG: -- people think too much.
SECONDS: The racists aren't the problem anymore; it's the virulent anti-racists who cause trouble.
DANZIG: I'm going to say something very controversial: if you are African-American and you don't want to live by White people, that should be your choice. Where I grew up, there were areas White people weren't allowed to go in. If you did, you'd get your ass kicked or killed. The flipside of that is why shouldn't there be areas a Black person can't go? If a White person doesn't want to live with Black people, that's their decision. This is America; do what you want to do. The problem is that most people in this country aren't secure with themselves as people. Reverend Farrakhan would like to see Blacks and Whites separated. Fine, because the people that don't want to be separated will say,'You go do what you want to do and I'11 stay here. It might be better off, because we have these people here, those people there, and then all the people that want to be together. SECONDS: We teach everyone to love each other and maybe we're being disingenuous; maybe it's okay to hate. Why can't you dislike someone DANZIG: Maybe a Black guy breaks into my house, I catch him, he goes to jail. I'm not going to distrust all Black people because of that. If a White person broke in my house, would I hate all White people? No. But there are people who do. I'm just being logical about the whole situation and sometimes that's insensitive to people. I'm not saying I have all the answers, but I do have answers. I know in Idaho the Aryan Nation tried to form their own county. The problem was they tried to secede from the United States. But I don't see a problem setting up a town of people who all believe the same stuff. They're complaining that they have all these guns but everybody has guns. In L.A., the gangs have more guns than the police. Why isn't there a big National Guard raid on every gang house? Well, then who would sell the drugs for the government?
SECONDS: If you're not firm with people, they walk all over you anal we see this in society.
DANZIG: I don't let people walk all over me and immediately I'm branded an asshole and hard to deal with. Why am I hard to deal with? Because I don't want to do what you want me to do. I want to do what I want to do. Call me an asshole, fine. I'm still not doing anything you want me to do. The fact that I'm able to do what I do makes me successful. I have no regrets and I'm very happy. I would not change a thing about my life. Could I have been more successful? Sure, but I don't play the game. If you play the game, you lose because it's their game. I play my own game. I told you before I always hated Kiss and one thing that irritates me was when I saw this Gene Simmons article and all of sudden he was cocky again because Kiss are real popular. He was asked "How can you deny the success of the Velvet Underground?" "They were an abysmal failure. Kiss is the only successful band that ever came out of New York." "How can you say that? The Velvet Underground have gone on to influence tons of bands." "Oh, they sucked, they never had any success, and they're poor. They never sold out arenas, they never had any Gold records." That's success to him. They asked, "What is success to you?" "Selling out arenas and multi-Platinum records. I live the life of luxury." It's not, "Did I write a good song?" Did Kiss ever write a good song? Not in their whole fucking career. Did they write a lot of Pop trash? Sure. Did it sell a lot of records? Yeah. So did Captain And Tennille. Selling records has nothing to do with music. He says no other band came out of New York that was popular? The Shangri-Las came out of New York and sold millions of records. Dion came out of New York and sold millions of records, Danzig came out of New York and we have Platinum and Gold records. In fact, Kiss offered hefty amounts of money to go on tour opening for them and I turned them down every time, to the point where they were begging us.
SECONDS: People now aren't talking about the bands that sold a million records in 1982.
DANZIG: No, they're talking about Black Flag, The Misfits Bauhaus. Those are the bands people remember and talk about because they made a statement, and damn selling records. During the Summer Of Love, Lou Reed was writing about Heroin. It gets to the point where you have to remember why you do this and I keep making myself remember. I try to stay hungry and remember -- even when other people forget -- why I'm doing it.
SECONDS: There's a lot of confusion with you in terms of the dark side. First of all, people get confused between Satanism and the occult.
DANZIG: There is no occult. It's a word given to arcane things by Christians, Jews and whoever didn't want you to know about them. Religions, sciences, knowledges all became the occult. I don't like the word "occult"; it makes it sound like Satanism. To be honest, what's wrong with Satanism? Is it any worse than killing each other in religious wars like the Catholics and Islamics have been doing for centuries? How many years has it been going on in Bosnia? I don't think there's millions of Satanists boiling little children and using their fat for spells. That's silly. What makes Satanism any less of a religion than these other ones, and why is there so much hatred towards people who practice Satanism? Isn't that religious persecution? Isn't that grounds for a lawsuit in this country? No, because it's Satanism. There's so many hypocrisies among these organized religions that it's ridiculous. If you worship Satan, it's a valid religion and should be afforded all the freedoms and rights other religions are offered. According to our Constitution, you have the right to freedom of religion in this country. If your religion happens to be Satanism, you should be able to practice it.
SECONDS: Who is Satan?
DANZIG: Well, according to The New York Times, it's me. As soon as I say one thing about Satan, I'm Satan. One of the first authors I liked a lot when I was kid besides Edger Alien Poe was Beaudelaire. When Beaudelaire wrote about Satan being misunderstood, he was called a Satanist. Wagner, same thing.
SECONDS: Just for the record, is Glenn Danzig a Satanist?
DANZIG: No. I would have to say some of my thinking corresponds with some of the thinking of Satanism. There are parallels between the way I believe and the way other people believe and that does include some Satanists. I don't even know what religion I am. As far as my dark side, I embrace both my light and dark side. I don't feel bad about having a dark side, just as I don't feel bad about having a light side. The two must coexist for me to be myself. That's how I feel about the world. Without good, there is no evil. Without evil, there is no good. You wouldn't know the difference if we didn't have both polarities. If there's a dark and light side, I'11 take both their energy. My mind is open to all different possibilities.
SECONDS: Has the worship of Jesus slowed down society?
DANZIG: It's the whole messiah thing in general. Some people are waiting for the messiah to come back, some people are waiting for the anti-Christ -- who cares? Stop waiting. Live your life and have fun.
SECONDS: A bumper sticker says "God is coming."
DANZIG: Well, he's taking a long fucking time. Meanwhile, people are starving. If there's a god, it's a cruel god, that's for sure.
SECONDS: Where did you get the name Danzig from?
DANZIG: It's my family name. Somebody started a rumor a long time ago that it wasn't my name but it's not true. It's my name. My license says t. There is a story behind it but I don't want to tell you because it's a personal thing between me and my family. SECONDS: What would you like your real fans to know about you" DANZIG: I don't have to tell them, they already know. These people already know what's bullshit. Unfortunately, journalists in most cases don't buy records, they get them sent to them for free. They're a little jaded and they rarely go to live shows. There's very few journalists I know who go to live shows. Some of them don't even like the format of loud music. They get a record and go, "It's loud and obnoxious. I'm going to trash it. What can I write about this? Oh, it's that Glenn guy, he's a Satanist."
SECONDS: I've seen you sit and sign autographs for an hour after a show. Did you learn that from being a fan yourself? I'm sure you've seen bands that didn't treat their fans right...
DANZIG: There's still bands that do that. Kids will come up to us and say, "Candlebox played here last year and just walked right to the bus. They wouldn't even talk to us." When I was a kid, bands were never ever accessible to the fans. You have a personal side you want to keep private but there's a side you can give to them. If hearing what they have to tell about what your music means to them is the least you can do, then what the fuck? I've been lucky that the asshole ratio among my fans is not that high. I don't think journalists realize what it's like to have a real following of people who can relate to you. You can never please the critics. Never try, because then you're not pleasing yourself. Please yourself, it bears more fruit.