Faces Magazine June 1991 -------------------------- By Lee Sherman The necessary evil known as a music video can be dealt with in a few different ways. You can give up and play the game - like Warrant and Poison. You can refuse to do them entirely - like most hardcore rock groups. Or you can subvert the medium to your own ends. On their new longform video, Lucifuge - The Video, Danzig take the latter course, interspersing raw live footage with their own idiosyncratic music videos, and new material designed to tie it all together. This home video, even more than the band's previous effort, shows that Danzig is not the group of one-dimensional devil worshippers that their detractors would have you believe. >From drummer Chuck Biscuits' informed discussion of breakfast cereals (yes, breakfast cereals) to Glenn Danzig himself reading a passage from Milton's Paradise Lost, there's a wide latitude to consider. "There's another side to Chuck, too," comments Glenns. "He reads a lot, but he's also a character." Unlike their first video compilation, this isn't a documentary. And rather than attempting to paint a portrait of the charismatic Glenn Danzig alone, Lucifuge - The Video reflects the entire band. As with everything else he does, Glenn plays a personal role in the production of the band's videos, suggesting ideas, composing incidental music to flesh them out, and even directing them himself. "When I hear the directors talking and they want John (Christ, guitarist) or Chuck to do something that'll look stupid, I tell them that they're not going to do that. It's just not in character with the band. Sometimes when a band does something that's not expected of them it looks cool but it should be in character, it shouldn't be fake because that comes right across on the screen." Danzig worked with producer Vincent Giordano and famed photographer Anton Corbijn to achieve a quality unlike that of any video shown on MTV. The "Killer Wolf" clip, shot on film in black & white, is particularly effective. "The good thing about Anton is he won't work with a band unless he likes the music they do and he happened to like Danzig so it worked out well," according to Glenn. "I liked a lot of his ideas. He takes chances and he's very experimental." Surprisingly, though it hasn't gone into regular rotation on MTV, "Killer Wolf" has received a few plays on "Headbangers Ball" and 120 Minutes." Surprising, because about the only thing this video has in common with the other clips shown on the station is a sexy blonde. For once though, the girl is there for a reason. "With Danzig, they don't want girls in the video because it's almost like a perversion," explains Glenn. "'Killer Wolf' is about the seduction of youth. I don't think the girls in our videos are fluff and I don't think that girls shouldn't be in videos. It's how you use them. I know a lot of metal people don't want girls in their videos but that's because no girls go to their shows. I have nothing against women. They're a very integral part of life and I think they should be there." Unlike other groups, who are intimidated into creating generic videos, Danzig work hard to maintain a certain integrity. "If you're going for the commercial thing, MTV is the way to go," says John Christ. "But we're not about that. We want to do videos because they are a form of visual expression but for us, the records and the live show are more important." Despite the lack of MTV airplay, the band's first home video went gold and this second one is likely to do even better. "It shows how much people want to see them because they have to buy them to see them," notes Glenn. "The fans want to see our videos the way we want to do them," adds John. "They don't want to see some hopped up, edited down MTV version that's made for every little schoolboy and Catholic girl." Danzig's lack of compromise has brought the wrath of the censors down upon the group. But as usual there are double standards at work. "We've never done anything that was higher than a PG rating anyway," says Glenn. "I've seen worse on T.V. In one video, 'Like A Prayer,' Madonna got away with rape, murder, fornication on a church pew, the interracial thing, and the burning crosses. (Danzig's) 'Her Black Wings' wasn't shown because the girl's clothes were wrinkled and it looked like her nipple was showwing!" Glenn (who has three cats) demonstrates his rapport with animals in the new video package, wrestling a 600-pound alligator, and accompanying a pack of wolves on their travels atop a mountain. Although he prefers the company of wolves to certain humans, the alligator was definitely not Glenn's idea. "Originally Rick Rubin said we should have an alligator scene in ('I'm The One'). Vinnie (Giordano) said, yeah, that'd be pretty cool. And then I said, 'oh, we should film one of those Indian guys who wrestles an alligator like three times a day.' And then Rick said, 'no, you should wrestle the alligator' and Vinnie said, 'yeah, that'd be a great idea!' I was like 'uh...'" In the end, Glenn was convinced, but it wasn't the easiest of shots to get. "I said if it's like 5 or 6-foot alligator, I'll do it, and it has to be drugged. What happened was, we got this 10 or 12-foot alligator, it was 650 pounds, it wasn't drugged. It was supposed to have a rubber thing that goes over the mouth so that it can't bite you, but it just had masking tape which was wearing off. "I was on there 7 or 8 minutes wrestling this guy and I felt like I'd played full-court basketball for a night. I was beat," says Glenn. "The wolves were another matter entirely. "The wolves were cool," he says. "I just treated 'em like dogs. I know a few things about how to handle them so it was easier. You let 'em smell you, let 'em get aquainted with you. You don't do stupid things around them, like make sharp moves and jump. You can't be afraid of them." One problem with videos is they lock you into a certain interpretation of a song, whereas with music in the past, you'd make your own movies in your mind. "We haven't had that problem with our fans," explains Glenn. "Despite the video, most people have their own ideas about what the song's about. I'll talk to a hundred different kids and none of them have the same idea. It's still a very personal thing." Personally, I'd recommend Danzig Lucifuge - The Video to the adventurous of heart fed up with having their video viewing dictated by MTV.