The Glenn Danzig Interview

This interview took place over the phone in 2013 and was originally published by Artvoice.com, which no longer maintains archives online. I’ve also included extended quotes from this interview, where Glenn talks about wrestling and more.

By KIP DOYLE

Heavy metal powerhouse Danzig closes out their 25th anniversary tour this month, highlighting favorites from Danzig’s career as well as classics from singer and band leader Glenn Danzig’s legendary punk band, The Misfits. 
The Misfits portion of the set is supported by the guitar work of hulking Misfits’ guitarist Doyle Wolfgang von Frankenstein, making the shows a reunion of sorts and perhaps the last chance for fans to see Doyle and Danzig play together, as the singer says he plans to stop touring for the foreseeable future.
Glenn Danzig spoke with Artvoice about giving fans one more shot at indulging in his earliest works, as well as the challenges faced by a metal band crossing the Canadian border.
“The 25th Anniversary of Danzig with Doyle” tour comes to the Rapids Theatre in Niagara Falls on October 17, with supporting acts Butcher Babies, Texas Hippie Coalition and A Pale Horse Named Death.

Q: Can you describe what Doyle’s presence brings to the live show? 
A: Since this is going to be my last tour, we figured we’d bring (Doyle) out, and it’s the 25th anniversary. He wanted to do it and it works out great.
You know, you get to see Doyle and me do a bunch of old Misfits tracks. You get to see Danzig, the old songs, and you get to see Doyle and me just tear up the stage. Everyone usually goes home very happy.

Q: How do you go about selecting the bands you bring on tour?
A. Sometimes I just think this band is good and I would like for the people to hear them. And, they might not necessarily be a band that a lot of people had heard about, but I think that it’s a band that deserves a chance to be heard at least. You know, I remember with Danzig and Samhain, and even the Misfits, no one ever gave us an opening slot opportunity. (It happened) very rarely. 

Q: You’ve recently recorded a covers album. What do you think makes a cover worth recording?
A: For me, I don’t want to do a cover unless I can give it my own stamp. I don’t like when people do a cover of a song and they don’t really change it. People do it exactly the same and it’s not going to work because it’s going to be judged against the original a million times and it’s “Oh, I like the original better.”

Q:The idea of you working on a blues project with Jerry Cantrell (of Alice and Chains) has been tossed around for awhile.
A: You know, Jerry Cantrell and I have run into each other a bunch of times in Europe. Maybe it will actually happen someday. Maybe him and I will both be off the road and not working on a record so we will finally get it done.

Q: There are a lot of weird places to visit in Niagara Falls. Will you get a chance to see the Criminals Hall of Fame in Niagara Falls? It has wax figures of people like John Wayne Gacy and stuff like that.
A: 
Yeah, no one’s ever told me about that. Where is that? Is that in Buffalo or Niagara Falls?

Q: That’s actually on the Canadian side of Niagara Falls, so you have to bring your passport.
A: Nah, nah, nah. It’s really hard for me to get across the border. This last August we went up (to Canada) and, of course, me and a few others in our crew got pulled aside and we almost didn’t get in. I’ve been denied before.

Q: Canada is serious about bands crossing their borders.
A: A lot of times they will just ask you for money after they deny you from coming in and sometimes they will just send you away which has happened to Danzig lots of times. They just say, “Nope, you can’t come up.”

Q:Why wouldn’t they want to promote business by having bands come up there?
A: I have no idea, and, you know what, we don’t go up there that much anymore and I imagine that’s why a lot of other bands don’t go up there that much anymore. 

Q: At least some Canadians have the opportunity to come see you in Niagara Falls if they just come across the border.
A: Yeah, so anybody who is from over the border, if they are allowed to come into the States, then come down to the show.

Q: What is the status of your covers album?

A: I’m in between labels so hopefully when I get done with this (tour) I can go and do a new deal and that will come out and I’ve already started working on the new Danzig record, too, among tons of projects like soundtracks for movies projects I’m involved in and the next Black Aria and a lot of other stuff.
So, that’s another reason I’m going to take some time off so I can do a lot of these projects and pay attention to my record label and get this covers record out.
I like to stay busy I’m a workaholic. That’s probably never going to change, too.

Q: I see you recorded a Black Sabbath song. Can I ask Sabbath song did you decide to do?

A: Yeah, “NIB.”

Q: Did you stay true to the original or did you take a new approach to it?

A: I took a new approach. Actually, we were asked to do a “Nativity in Black” (Black Sabbath tribute) record a long time ago, but they couldn’t reach a deal with (producer and record executive) Rick Ruben at the time because Danzig was on American (Records).
We couldn’t reach a deal with him for the songs so we never recorded it with them. So it’s my arrangement for “NIB.” It’s pretty cool.

Q: Since doing the career-spanning Danzig Legacy shows and and even during the Samhain (Danzig’s post Misfits outfit) tour in 1999 you’ve given younger fans a chance to go back and experience your classics properly live. Was offering that opportunity part of what inspired these gigs?

A: Yeah I think the Samhain thing with Danzig in 1999 we thought it would be cool to do it, and like you said, a lot of people didn’t get a chance to see it back then, you know.
The Legacy thing, yeah, we did like six or seven of those shows and that was pretty much like a trip through my career you know and a lot of the guys were available and we ended up doing it. It was a lot of work and a long show for me over two hours so, you know, it was brutal.

Q: You seemed to hand pick the support bands that you brought along during the “Blackest of The Black” tours a few years back. Was that pretty much your responsibility?

A: That’s my tour. I take bands and we make offers to whoever is available on the road. And we go through the bands and pick who we want on the tour.
Of course there are a lot of bands that we never got, whether they were on tour or didn’t have the finances to tour in the states, you know, a lot of the European and Scandinavian bands, but we got a lot of the bands that we wanted to get.

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Q: The roots of hard rock and classic heavy metal seem to be ignored by newer artists for the sake of speed and heaviness. Do you feel like it’s time for metal to go back to it’s roots?

A: I think, just (that) bands should do what they want to do. If that’s the direction you want to to go, that’s cool. I just do what I do and I don’t care what you do. Just do what you want to do. Make yourself happy and make your fans happy and it will all work out.

Q: Do you still follow pro wrestling?

A: Yeah, of course. (Laughs)

Q: Do you have an all-time favorite wrestling finisher?

A: You know what, there are so many cool finishers and you see new ones everyday, which is really cool. I don’t know, some of the new wrestlers that the WWE have brought in have some really cool finishers that are just crazy.
Pick one, they are all devastating.

Q: I like the running knee that Daniel Bryan has been using.

A: I like Antonio Cesaro’s shoulder European uppercut, that’s pretty devastating.

DDT’s are pretty good, too. So everyone from the Wyatts to all these other wrestlers have a really good DDT.

Q: What do you think about the Wyatt Family, they seem like they would be right up your alley.

D:
Yeah, I like they Wyatt Family. I think that’s Mike Rotunda’s kid.

Q: You always seem to have other film, comic or literary projects in the pipeline. Is there anything we should be looking out for?

A: We have a new Verotik Comic in February. I think I’m going to be doing a horror convention, Kirk Hammett (from Metallica) is starting a horror convention in San Francisco and asked me to do it, I’m pretty sure I’m going to do it.

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