This holiday season, won’t you give the gift of Glenn Danzig? The quick-tempered, long-in-sideburn rocker has scads of merchandise on the horizon, including a 10-inch-tall Danzig doll scheduled to surface right before Christmas. The doll is the first in a series Japanese toy manufacturer Medicom is calling “The Three Faces of Danzig.”
“That first one’s going to be the Misfits-era Danzig,” explained Danzig, the former/founding frontman for the hardcore-punk cult favorites. “The second one’ll be the Samhain version of Danzig, all covered in blood, and the third one will be [Danzig II: Lucifuge-era] Danzig, with the upside-down medallion and the belt buckle. They debuted at the San Diego Comic-Con this summer, and Medicom’s booth was mobbed.”
First, though, there’s Danzig’s Blackest of the Black Tour, which features a lineup handpicked by Glenn himself: Chimaira, Behemoth, Himsa, Mortiis and the Agony Scene, with Danzig headlining. Former Misfits guitarist Doyle Von Frankenstein is joining him onstage each night for a special 30-minute set of Misfits classics. The 22-date trek runs through October 29 in Los Angeles.
“It’s something I’ve been working on for a long time, and we’re finally getting to take it all over the place,” Danzig said. “But I don’t want it to be like Ozzfest. It’s for bands that get ignored by radio and television but sell out venues that are either the same size or bigger than venues that, say, bands that get played a lot on the radio can’t sell a ticket to save their lives. It’s exactly like when Danzig and Slayer came up. No one would play us, but we would go in and sell out venues, to everyone’s shock. The Ozzfest is a corporate buy-on, and this is my answer to it.
“The first year we did Blackest, it was Superjoint Ritual, Opeth, Nile, Behemoth, Lacuna Coil,” he continued. “The next year on Ozzfest, a bunch of those bands were on the bill — that’s no coincidence. I’m hoping [Blackest] will maybe expose these bands and help them get on some of those other mainstream festivals. But, again, it’s not going to be like Ozzfest. I’m not going to be on it every year.”
In fact, Danzig said Blackest of the Black will be his last tour — well, maybe. It’s possible but not definite. We think.
“I’m done after this tour,” he said. “Maybe I’ll change my mind and do some local shows. I don’t want to tour anymore. Unless I change my mind — I might just take a break for two or three years. I’m just burned out on it. I don’t enjoy it anymore. I love being onstage. But the other 22 hours of the day, spent bouncing around on a bus — I don’t know anymore. I’ll still be doing music, because that’s my first love. But no more tours. This is it.”
Of course, Danzig’s a man of many loves: He’s a determined weight lifter and a certified teacher of Jeet Kune Do. And he’s just finished penning the third draft for “Ge Rouge,” a “voodoo zombie” flick he’ll also direct, which is based on the comic he publishes through his Verotika firm; Rainstorm Productions will release the project. The film is set in New Orleans at the turn of the 20th century, and Danzig says he plans to shoot part of the movie in the storm-ravaged city.
“We had scheduled at least seven to 10 days down there before this whole Hurricane Katrina thing happened,” he said. “But there is a light at the end of the tunnel. The French Quarter is not underwater, and that’s where I need to shoot. Everything else I can fake here in Hollywood. But you can’t re-create those French Quarter houses. So we’ll have to go down there to do that.”
Later this year, Danzig will release Black Aria 2, the sequel to 1993’s Black Aria. He said it’s been written for years but wasn’t recorded until last year. “It’s [a classical, operatic piece] based on Lilith,” the mythological first wife of Adam, Danzig said. “It’s different from the first record but similar in a lot of ways.”
He’s also been working on a two-disc Danzig box set. The collection will feature all unreleased material recorded between 1988’s Danzig up to now.
“It’s called The Lost Tracks of Danzig, and it’s incredible,” he said. “There’ll be tons of old photos inside. There’s a cover of Bowie’s ’Cat People’ that no one’s ever heard. There’s a cover of [T. Rex’s] Marc Bolan’s ’Buick Mackane’ no one’s ever heard, from the Danzig III sessions. Just tons of songs no one’s ever heard, like ’Bound by Blood’ and some other tracks. People will just be blown away.” That should surface sometime next year and contain 25 tracks.
The two things Danzig’s not planning on undertaking: Samhain and Misfits reunions.
“That’s not going to happen,” he said, laughing. As for the Misfits, “there’s too much bad blood between [bassist] Jerry [Only] and me, and I think there’s some problems between Doyle and Jerry that would have to be worked out as well. I don’t keep in touch with any of those guys anymore. If I see [drummer Ron Reyes], he’s a nice guy. I haven’t seen [drummer Arthur] Googy in a while, but we don’t have any problems with each other. I don’t know about any of the other guys. I don’t even know where the f— they are.”