Glenn Danzig Talks Samhain Shows, Next Danzig Album + More
Glenn Danzig was the guest on Full Metal Jackie's weekend radio show, and those who've followed him over the years know that he always has his hands in several projects. Jackie spoke with Danzig about the upcoming Samhaim shows, the status of his band Danzig and his future plans. Check out the chat below:
Happy to say on the show with us once again, the one and only Glenn Danzig. How ya doing?
Good. How are you doing, Jackie?
I’m great. Thanks for being on the show. Obviously so much to talk about. There’s Samhain shows, Knotfest, Riot Fest. So much going on. First off, what made you decide to do the Samhain shows?
We got an offer from the people at Riot Fest for a Samhain show. It just came out of the blue. They were doing their ten-year anniversary and they were doing the ten essential albums and they wanted Samhain to be a part of it with Slayer and Jane's Addiction. A lot of bands. Just the fact that they would include the Samhain 'Initium' record as one of ten essential records, that’s pretty cool. So I talked to Steve in London and they were like, "Yeah let’s do it." So we’re going to perform the whole 'Initium' record front-to-back. I think that’s the first time we’ve ever done it.
Where’s the best place that people can go that has everything listed that you have coming up?
We only added five other Samhain shows because we were getting together for Riot Fest anyway, and we’re going to be out here in L.A. rehearsing, so we just added those and then we decided we would add two or three on the East Coast and that’s it, really, it’s not a tour. It turns out, Steve called me and said that when we do these shows it’ll be 30 years since the first Samhain record. I was like, "Really?" He’s like, "Yeah" [laughs]. Time has gone by. So we decided we’ll do a handful of shows since we’re getting together rehearsing anyway. That’s how this all came about. [See the dates here.]
Looking back, Samhain was clearly an integral link in your evolution from the Misfits to Danzig. At the time, was that the specific purpose of Samhain? Was the band meant to musically and creatively carry you to the place where Danzig the band could begin?
I know that it was meant to go into the next direction, which was a direction I couldn’t go with the other band, The Misfits, so it clearly marked a change -- more mature lyrics, songwriting, everything, stage attitude. It just kept on going from there. I’ve said before, originally I was going to call it Danzig but I thought it was too much Billy Idol or something, things like that. So I decided on Samhain. Later, when I hooked up with Rick, he said I should have called it Danzig. That’s what I’d like to do if we worked together, that’s how it all, the whole evolution went.
So much of what you’ve done throughout your career is regarded as innovative. Were you consciously ahead of the curve? Or did you simply do what you thought was cool and everyone else just caught up to you?
I think both. I always want to do -- take everything and take it to the next step, I don’t want to just keep doing something the same ol’ thing. Obviously I could have wrote 'Mother' 20 times and made tons of money and be playing gigantic arenas and whatever, but that’s not really what I want to do [laughs]. I wrote it once, and once is enough. It’s time to move on and explore other areas and I hope that there’s other bands coming up keep that same mindset and try to expand what this genre is. I’ve always tried to expand what heavy or loud music was and where it can go, and what it can do.
You’re playing Knotfest. What do you think of the lineup and being a part of that weekend?
It’s pretty cool. [laughs] To be asked to be the main support on a show like that, it’s a pretty big show, is a very cool thing. They got a lot of great bands on the bill, I guess it’s two or three days. You can come and you’ll get to see a lot of great bands.
It’s been four years since the last Danzig album. What’s the timeline on the next one?
I’m working on that right now. It seems like time slips out of your hands. You wake up and 2-3 years have passed. Danzig did a lot of touring on this last record, I think more touring than I’ve ever done before. It was spaced out over X amount of years but I think it’s time to sit back a little after these shows in the fall and try and get everything I’ve been doing out.
Always seems like you’re doing 400 different things.
It does, doesn’t it?
Does it feel that way to you?
Yeah it is. [laughs] I like staying busy. I’m lucky that I can stay busy and people are interested in what I do. I have fantastic people that are into whatever I do, which is great. I try to keep myself happy and them happy.
The Danzig, Samhain and Misfits fans are total diehards. How did it feel for you when you started seeing people tattooing your band names on their bodies?
[laughs] I don’t know. If that’s what they want, I always say, "That stuff doesn’t come off with soap and water. Make sure it’s something you want for the rest of your life." People are like, "Yeah I definitely want this for the rest of my life" and I’m like, "OK. It’s pretty wild."
Creatively you’ve expressed yourself in various ways over the years. Music, comics, film. What art forms appeal to you that you’ve yet to try and are there plans to try them?
Yeah, actually I’m going to start moving into features. Movies. Directing, producing, the whole thing. One of the things I’m doing now and hopefully I’ll have some news for everybody in the future maybe next month or two.
Appreciate you being on the show.
Yeah, I’d like to do a shoutout to one show we’re doing, which is a friend of mine, do you know Phil Anselmo from Pantera?
I’ve heard of him. Yes.
Good. We’re doing a show for him. He has a thing he does every year down in Austin, a horror film fest. Housecore Festival and we’re going to do that. We’re actually going to do a Samhain set during that. It’s definitely something people should check out, if you like it, support it. Phil is a cool guy.
Good luck for all that’s to come!
Thanks to Glenn Danzig for the interview. Check out his upcoming dates for both Samhaim and Danzig here. Full Metal Jackie can be heard on radio stations around the country — for a full list of stations, go to fullmetaljackieradio.com.