KERRANG!, Spring 1990 --------------------- KONTENTZ (p.3) He's mean, he's moody, he's mysterious, he's menacing, he's undeniably magnificent... and he's releasing a new album in May. All hail the long-overdue return of the Master Of Dark Metal, Glenn Danzig! Steffan Chirazi gets the sinister scam. PAGE 28 DISPARATE DAN (p.28) 'Her Black Wings'... 'Snakes Of Christ'... '777'... these are just three of the terrifyingly tempting track titles from the fearsome new DANZIG opus, due for release in May. "Anyone who's looking for a pop album is not gonna find it. This is a real record from a real band," sez mainman GLENN DANZIG. STEFFAN CHIRAZI gets the dark details... Glenn Danzig takes his music very seriously. He does not suffer fools gladly - in fact, he doesn't suffer them at all! Glenn has been involved in the music biz for around seven years, first with the Misfits and then with his own band Samhain, which ultimately evolved into Danzig. He has his own record label, Plan 9, which enjoys healthy business, but it's the man's burgeoning career on the Def American label that we're gonna concentrate on here. The last Danzig album (released in September 1988) was a soulful and uncompromising piece of work that ended up selling 150,000 copies in the US alone. It didn't do too badly in the UK either, its sales no doubt bolstered by Danzig's appearance as support act on the last Metallica tour. And now, at last, there's a new LP due. This one is a heavier, more classic sounding record than the last, with Danzig really hammering out a gritty hard rock sound. John Christ's guitars sound deliciously fat and crunchy whilst Glenn's vocals are sweet to the ear... yet bitter at the core. Titles so far include '777', 'Her Black Wings', 'Snakes Of Christ' and 'The Other Side'. I've only heard five tracks so far, and I'm eagerly looking forward to sampling a few more. The album's title is yet to be decided.. Inside his superbly old and atmospheric residence, Glenn Danzig sits back in an old black leather armchair and we start out discussion. "The last album held more of my personality," Glenn begins. "This album has more of a 'band' stamp on it. I've written the lyrics and the music, of course, but the whole sound is much more of a 'band' sound. "This is what you get when you see Danzig live, the whole band is very powerful. We've toured together, and the rhythm section is much tighter now. The band is really starting to come about. "The new album's very bluesy," Glenn continues, "and I don't mean it just plods along... I wouldn't say that this was a happy album at all, OK? So anyone who's looking for pop album is not gonna find it (laughs). "This is a good, strong, traditional album as opposed to a trendy, Glam-like LP full of guys wearing make-up and looking to make money real quick - this is not that sort of record. "This is a real record from a real band," Glenn proclaims. "This is not about being crap! "Sure, everyone would love to hear another Misfits or Samhain record, but they're just not going to hear it," he says, a healthy grin breaking across his face. "If I wanted to do that I could've done it a long time ago and it just isn't gonna happen. I see us being in a category or class by ourselves now. I think that the people who came to our shows, the people that we speak to at gigs, the people that are into this band are all fans of good music and good records and not just trendy fans hooking up to a trendy band. "I suppose if we do get popular enough there will be people coming to our shows to be trendy, and I'm not gonna say that's a bad thing. I'm just gonna say that maybe I can change their heads around musically. That's the ultimate goal." Surely the only way to become a commercially big band in the US is to appeal to these fad-concious kids. "I don't see it that way. This band doesn't make any money right now anyway, so what I wanna do is turn a few heads and make good music. This is how I've always approached things, no matter what anyone says. "People who say that Danzig have sold out or whatever don't know what they're talking about. They know nothing about the music industry at all, the business side, the playing side, the interviews... they have no idea about any of that. So they're talking out of their ass! "All it really comes down to is that I do what I wanna do and no-one tells me what to do, and that's it!" The interview progresses. Somehow, we get around to talking about Motley Crue. I mention Nikki Sixx being an aspiring poet. Glenn laughs long and hard. "'Kickstart My Heart' pretty poetic? Yeah, OK! People can read my words and know that they aren't just any ordinary set of lyrics. One of the problems I sometimes have with Rick (Rubin, Def American head and Danzig producer) is that he wants me to rhyme my lyrics. It's not that big a deal at all, he'll just tell me that this or that should rhyme and I'll tell him that no, it shouldn't. He has no idea what I'm trying to say here." When Glenn writes a set of lyrics, is he trying to educate his listeners, or express his own inner feelings? "Everything. First, I'm trying to first satisfy my needs as a songwriter. Second, I'm trying to satisfy the needs of the guys in the band who have to play my stuff. Third, I have to satisfy my needs as a singer. And after that, of course, I hope my songs get the fans off in some way. "Music should always complement the lyrics, and vice-versa. It doesn't matter to me that there are people out there who don't read lyrics, that's their prerogative. But if they buy the album and the overall vibe gets them off then I've achieved what I set out to do. They'll just be getting it on one level." May will see the Danzig album released through Def American's UK parent label Phonogram, and we'll be doing a bigger, more substantial interview with Glenn himself around that time. Until then... NOW HEAR THIS [excerpt] By Steffan Chirazi Glenn Danzig is something of a baby adopted by [Rick] Rubin, who admits he "was never a Misfits fan, I didn't like them and I actually thought they were terrible. But I always knew that Glenn was a great singer and that he had great songwriting potential that hadn't been fully realised." Indeed, Danzig now sounds as true a rocker and as hard a roller as he ever did before, channeling the aggression of the Misfits and Samhain into more than just speed or stage shock. Whilst Danzig the man has always displayed the ability to perform as such, it's been a rare occasion in the past and one can't help feeling that Rubin has helped focus Danzig properly, leaving the diminutive frontman with a clearer objective and a sharper view of his own music. Danzig's album is the first official Def American release.