No one expects doom-metal icon Glenn Danzig to be beauty-pageant congenial, but speaking with the muscular singer-Satanist (he shuns this affiliation, although an article in the late heavy-metal mag RIP, that bastion of accuracy, outed him as such) is enough to make one’s white shorts brown. Funny questions are of little use; if he laughs, it’ll be at you. The first scent of Christianity puts him in rant mode. Likening his new album, I Luciferi (Spitfire), to his older work—and there is a distinct similarity, even if its methodology differs—is like insinuating he hasn’t grown as an artist. Proceed with caution.
City Weekly: When I was in high school, I was listening to a lot of Christian rock, Stryper and stuff.
Glenn Danzig: Did you have to have sex with any priests?
CW: Luckily, no. I remember in the late ’80s seeing a flyer for a Danzig show at the Speedway Café and getting freaked out, ’cause my dad had me thinking if I listened to secular music, whether it was Huey Lewis or Danzig, that I’d go to hell. So you really scared the shit out of me.
GD: [Evil cackle]
CW: But I got over it and actually started digging Danzig. Now, we all know Christians rejoice in saving a soul, so how do you feel when you win one for Satan?
GD: [Pauses] Ah, I don’t know that I won one for Satan. I’m not out to win anything for Satan. Satan wins things on his own. If there even is a Satan. See, I don’t even believe in Christianity. [And] the only thing I dig about Satan is he tells people to go fuck off and fights for individual freedom. That’s the thing I hate about Christianity is that it tries to enslave people, which is what all organized religions try to do.
CW: On I, Luciferi, the number 777 is part of the logo. I know Stryper used it as the Jesus fans’ answer to 666. What significance does the number hold for you?
GD: Well, it doesn’t hold that significance for me. [Occultist] Aleister Crowley has a book called 777. Maybe Stryper were losers just trying to find a gimmick to make money off of. You should read that book.
CW: Does being a Satanist get you discounts on any goods or services?
GD: I just told you I wasn’t a Satanist.
CW: OK … how about telling me about your Blackest of the Black festival?
GD: It’s just going to be the most dark, extreme bands that have either been ostracized or prejudiced against by certain media, labels and you know, MTV-style stations and radio stations that only accept payola and stuff like that. Very crazy, extreme, rebellious bands with their middle fingers in the air toward the establishment in the music industry.
CW: Does Glenn Danzig have nightmares? Does anything frighten you?
GD: No. I’m not scared of anything.
CW: Your new album is kind of a return to the classic Danzig sound. What prompted you to abandon the industrial/electronic elements that were on your last album?
GD: Uh … they’re not ditched. And I don’t even know that I used industrial elements. What you just said, “return to the blah-blah-blah,” it sounds like you’re reading off of Spitfire’s bio that they sent out [laughs].
CW: Well, listening to it, I hear …
GD: Nah, this record has so many tuned-down guitars, and that’s never, ever appeared on any Danzig record. And this was recorded with ProTools and Danzig records never had ProTools, including on Blackaciddevil. Have to shoot you down on that one.
CW: OK, thank you. One last thing: I let my grandma listen to 6:66 Satan’s Child …
GD: [Laughs] And she had a heart attack. Why would you do that to your grandmother?
CW: Because she’s a good sport. Want to hear what she had to say?
CW: “I started listening to the one about Satan and I didn’t get far. It just repulses me. I just think that it has such evil, you know? They just seem evil to me. I just see someone who has a talent … how can I put it? A talent where they could sing something that could be good for people. It almost makes me feel like I’ve got on somebody’s dirty shirt …”
GD: How does she know that it’s not good for some people? It’s a very tunnel vision Christian viewpoint, which is a problem. It’s okay for Christians throughout centuries to exterminate races and for their priests to rape little kids throughout decades, but trying to give the people the power to think and be individual, that’s evil? Any atrocity committed by an organized religion is fine and dandy, just as long as it’s the religion [the perpetrator] believes in. That’s Christianity and that’s Islam and that’s Mormons, right there in a nutshell. Never be accountable for what you do, but always make other people accountable for what they do. There you go.