CoC interviews Glenn Danzig
by: Aaron McKay
The word "machine" brings to mind concepts of precision, well-timed movements and, for some reason, the late Harvard professor B.F. Skinner, known for his behaviorism school of psychology. Speaking of the science of mind and behavior, "machine" also consciously surfaces the movie "8mm", the shadowy thriller starring Nicholas Cage from Columbia TriStar Pictures. If you haven't seen the film, then you won't understand what "machine" has to do with Glenn Danzig. Without going into too much detail, Machine, a fundamental character in the movie, is a hulking beast of a psychopath who, evidenced by the irrefutable shrine to Mr. Danzig in his room, is a big fan of the band.

In spite of some -obviously huge- differences between Machine and myself (i.e. the "8mm" character is certifiable and I'm not!!), we do both seem to support one truly great musician. Having been informed of the Danzig / Six Feet Under / Disturbed show in Cedar Rapids later in the week, I hurriedly engineered an interview with Mr. Danzig for a pre-show critique on the Wednesday before the concert. Glenn was cordial and accommodating on the phone during our twenty-plus minute conversation. Attentive to the pressures of bringing on a new bassist, preparing for a two month US/Canada tour, all the while doing press for individuals like myself, I did my damnedest to smooth the interview into Mr. Danzig's schedule as easily as possible.

Very few artists seem as busy as Danzig right now. "I just came from mastering the Samhain box set", begins the incredibly congenial Glenn Danzig. "I have to go through tons of hours of live cassettes, DATs and tapes and pick the best of. It's real sloppy and a real pain in the ass." Set for a June release, the Samhain box set comes complete with the sometimes referenced comic of Danzig's second band. "It's going to be in the box set", the Master continues. "We put the cover up on the website." As you might imagine, as loyal CoC readers, having an artist as interested in putting things out there on the Internet is a true and sincere pleasure. Glenn elaborates: "Part of the reason we do it is so the fans can go on there and see the "real deal". Over the years, people have printed a lot of shit, not just me, but a lot of other artists, and this is a way for artists to say, "Hey! That's bullshit!""

Speaking of intense interest in the Internet, Glenn actually has two covers of the new album: one general release and one solely Internet. Mr. Danzig adds: "Marty [Edmond] did the original cover, came in and we looked at it -- it was awesome, but she's totally naked. I mean, he went into great detail on some parts of her anatomy." Simon Bisley (a.k.a. Biz) enters into the release cover discussion. "I called up Biz and he's like, "Yea, I'd love to do another cover"", Glenn chimes in, "you know, he did the _Thrall..._ cover." That one becomes the general release cover and subsequently Marty Edmond's design is relegated to the Internet site.

Contributing to demands on Mr. Danzig's time, there's been a recent line-up revision. New bassist, huh? "Yea, Lazie wanted to spend more time with his son Rocko, who's about four going on five years old", Glenn replies. "Howie's awesome. It's all really, really good. We've been rehearsing for the past three weeks and it is actually more solid -- not to dis Lazie or anything", the band's founder adds.

Also, B-sides of Danzig's material are on the docket for release. "Actually, I'm mixing all these European B-sides right now; they are new tracks", Glenn points out. "They're not leftover tracks or anything. There is an unreleased tracks record that'll be coming out next year", the undaunted Mr. Danzig assures. Glenn goes on: "That is just stuff from everything from Danzig One to Five; there might be some Danzig Six stuff on there. The stuff that I'm in the studio doing right now, besides the Samhain thing, is I'm mixing these tracks from European singles. There is a cover of [David] Bowie's "Catpeople" on there, and there is this song called "The Coldest Sun" on there. There are four original tracks and two cover tracks", Danzig verbally illustrates. Would you believe there was some trouble with a label not wanting to put out material by this quintessential outfit? Me either, but Disney was clued in that the sixth album ways slated for release on its Hollywood label. "We had a problem as soon as the record came out, about three weeks in", Glenn explains. "They freaked out and were getting protests or whatever via e-mail -- everything. Originally when we did go over there we were told that Disney would have nothing to do with us; we'd be autonomous. I was supposed to get my own label there, actually."

Finally distancing themselves from Hollywood and avoiding a lawsuit, the band settles on a newer, centric music company, E-magine Entertainment. "After I finished recording Danzig 6 and started talking to the major [labels] again, I go, "it's just going to be the same bullshit"", Glenn picks up on the story. "I started talking with Christoph [Ruecker, co-founder of E-magine and an ex-BMG executive] and he told me what he was starting. I decided this would be the best direction to go in." So it was, I think. Christoph additionally participated on _Satan's Child_, cited in the CD's liner notes as supplying executive direction. According to Glenn himself, the band's fans voted the gratifying new release as the finest of the group's history. Hence, I think it safe to say that Danzig, along with E-magine Entertainment, orchestrated a powerful new album primed for a huge North American tour. Vision of Disorder had their tour support pulled, however, fear not! Looking out for the fans' best interest, Hatebreed has been added for some East Coast and Canadian dates. Glenn Danzig, the multi-talented, pleasant and extremely affable artistic authority, finishes: "It's pretty crazy [right now]... It has never really been hard for me to do all the different things [at once]. I know what people are capable of; nothing shocks me."

This last comment leads me to speculate that Machine would be gratified. Look for many great things to come from metal's Man in Black.

(article submitted 12/8/2000)

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