Reno, NV 89501
Glenn Danzig is an icon, the guy who brought crooning to punk rock with his bands The Misfits and Samhain, and revitalized metal with the band Danzig and the early ’90s hit song “Mother.” Danzig performs at the Knitting Factory, 211 N. Virginia St., on June 25. For more information: www.Danzig-verotik.com.
Let’s talk about the new album, Deth Red Sabaoth. It has a bit of a blues feel …
I think everything I do has some kind of blues feeling to it here or there, you know? I don’t know if this has an overall blues feeling. Certainly a song like “Ju Ju Bone” is definitely an old, dirty, swampy blues song.
For this record, I wanted to do an older, like early ’70s-ish-sounding record but with a more contemporary feel. Make sure it still sounds like Danzig, of course. That’s what I went for.
You produced the record yourself, right?
Yeah, I produced pretty much all of them.
All the albums? I thought you worked with Rick Rubin a lot in the early days …
He produced the first record. Second record he wasn’t even really there, but he got credit for it, but the third record says “produced by Glenn Danzig.” I produced How the Gods Kill and everything after that.
Why do you prefer to produce yourself?
Well, you know, if you want it to come out right, you’ve got to do it yourself.
Even if the other option is working with Rick Rubin?
Yeah, well, like I said, he was M.I.A. for the second record. That’s why he got fired on the third record. He was just in an executive producer position. It really means he put up the money. When outsiders are talking to you about producing and stuff, they don’t really understand what a producer does. Even when he was producing the first or second record, I was there doing certain things that a producer would do.
Ten or 12 years ago, there were rumors that you were going to be Wolverine in the X-Men movie. Was there any truth to that?
Yeah, I met with all the different producers over the years, and they mentioned me when they were finally ready to make it. I went in and met with them. I was getting ready to leave for Europe for the Satan’s Child tour, and then go out in America for about two months after that. And there were like, well, if you get this, you can’t go anywhere for like a year. So I didn’t end up doing it. I had to go on tour. They would have had to pay me crazy money, just to pay my guys to sit around and do nothing, and they didn’t want to sit around and do nothing. They really wanted to get back out on the road.
Were you disappointed?
I’m glad. The movie sucked. [Laughs.]
How would you have done it?
Well, you can’t do it the way you want, you have to do it the way the director wants, and the director wanted to make kind of like a gay movie, and that’s what he did.
Johnny Cash covered one of your songs …
I actually wrote it for him. He called me and asked me if I’d write him a song, because he’d heard the song I wrote for Roy Orbison. He asked if I knew who he was, and I was like, fuck yeah, I know who you are, I’ll write you a song right now! And I wrote him a song in literally a half hour. It was really my interpretation of him. He’s been through so much shit, so many phases, and seen so many different styles of music come and go, and there he was, still Johnny Cash, and people were still interested in who he was and what he was doing. That’s a musician, man. You can weather that many years and that many things? That’s a real musician, dude.