Metal Maniacs, 6/93 ------------------- DANZIG Honest at Heart By Ivette Ruiz Glenn Danzig is not your typical vocalist. Frontman and founder of his own self-titled union as well as a virtual icon in the punk world due to his stints with Samhain and The Misfits, Danzig has built a reputation and career on a solid foundation of integrity and pure resilience. Anyone who has ever seen the enigmatic vocalist in person can attest that he casts a rather imposing figure in his trademark black clothing and hair, which lie in direct contrast to his ashen white skin and discerning stance. Attitude is his shroud and he wears it with the distinct pride only a confident veteran can possess. His turbulent career has spawned a wave of responses that run the gamut from negative to absolute adoration, from both fans and critics alike. "We don't care when the critics say our album sucks or any of that shit but when people make stories as a personal attack-usually from behind a desk-you have to just blow them off," he begins. "I expose my true self all the time, that's why people will say this and that about us. But if I meet somebody I don't like I don't pretend that I like them and I don't care who they are. I won't be rude to them but if they're rude to me, whatever happens, happens. If I kick the shit out of you because you're rude to me, that's what I would have done on the street. That's my problem; a lot of bands act differently than they do on the street-I come from the street-I haven't changed. "Whatever they say, I've always been this way, that's me and if people can't deal with it, fine. I'm not going to change and that's the way the guys in the band are too." The much maligned vocalist has learned to take things in stride, concentrating on what he feels is most important-his music. The fact remains that Glenn Danzig is not a one-sided egoist as some would have you believe but a multi-faceted musician songwriter and performer who is comfortable with who he is and where he'd coming from. He has no qualms about exposing his true persona and his live performances prove that. "When you're in front of the audience-anyone can say whatever they want about you in the magazines but when you're in front of that audience-that's where it really happens. People can say whatever they want, but the kids know, they're there to see the band and that's what really matters." Honesty has always been at the heart of Danzig's music and attitude, with the band members themselves being the strongest advocates of the art they create. The outspoken vocalist has no inhibitions about the way he expresses himself, and feels that is the distinguishing factor between Danzig and other bands. "A lot of bands aren't giving in to the pressure of MTV and commercial guidelines; there are still a lot of bands that are very heavy and experimental. There are bands that will not give in and they don't care- they say Fuck you, we're the music, the real music. We're what's going on.' "There is a whole subculture in the music that exists mainly through word of mouth. I think a lot of kids have caught on to how the music industry works and they also know what they're looking for. Those records sell without MTV and without radio airplay and they sell a lot. "I just do what I do because we like doing it-there's a lot of bullshit attached to it, because of the business side but we enjoy what we do. It's just that feeling you get when you're on stage that I can't explain, it's something totally different-there's nothing else like it. The real fans know what's bullshit and what's not; you can't fool them." The ability to experiment can become a positive attribute and is sometimes directly related to the longevity of a band's existence. Danzig members have never been afraid to delve into new territories but as the singer explains, you can't forget where you came from. "I don't think there's anything wrong with expanding your sound but you should never sacrifice what you believe in; this is just my opinion, exploring is good but you always to come home. Our music will take you there but it will always come back. Most of our fans like the diversity... it's all a matter of being very objective and seeing what you're doing instead of telling yourself everything that you do is great." Hot on the heels of the band's latest effort, HOW THE GODS KILL, Danzig have once again entered a new realm, offering up their first ever EP, THRALL-DEMONSWEATLIVE, a collection of live tracks recorded on one of their most recent road jaunts. Being on the road is always a trying period for a band and the live experience is an extremely important one for the members of Danzig. That's where it all comes together and both sides meet-the band and the fan. "Going on tour can be really difficult, some bands go out for two years sometimes and honestly, I don't know how they do it," he begins. "Our shows are simple. We play music, that's what we do. I mean we've been getting reviews where people say we were like a Vegas show or whatever-I don't see where they can say that. I mean, there are times when I get sweaty and I take my shirt off-big deal, I've been doing that my whole career. Well, to them it's like an image or something. The fans know what's up, they know what we're all about. "The kids talk to us, like after shows, the fans line up at our bus and we sign stuff and talk to them-they tell us what they think an the stuff they're into. For us that's an up part of touring, along with being on stage, going crazy. "That's what we do, go crazy and get worked up about the music just like the audience. I just want people to think that we were a great band, just one of the best bands they'd ever seen. Not the best, one of the best."