|Also known as: Glenn Danzig
Born on: 23.06.1955
Danzig was born in 1955 to a New Jersey Protestant family of Italian, German, and Scottish-American heritage. He has two older brothers and one younger brother. Their father was a strict Marine Corps veteran of World War II and the Korean War who worked as a television repairman. One of Danzig's brothers introduced him to heavy metal at an early age by playing him music by Blue Cheer.
Danzig became an avid collector of comic books (especially Golden Age comics), rare Japanese toys, occult books, horror related articles, b-movie posters, Japanese animation videos (especially Astro Boy, Black Jack, Captain Harlock and Devilman) and the skulls of deceased animals. He was an outsider in school.
Danzig is said to have worked in a comic book store in nearby New York City around the time he began writing music, but he has vehemently denied this in an interview with the Stalker website, saying, "No... that is all bullshit. I never said such bullshit. That's just fucking rumours of people who were unable to get an interview with me - so they created some." Danzig continued, stating that in his frustration with American comics, he began producing his own "crazy, violent, erotic comics."
Glenn Danzig graduated from Lodi High School in 1973, aspiring to become a comic book writer and/or photographer. (Danzig would eventually start an adult-oriented comic book company, Verotik, in the 1990s.)
Danzig started in the music business at the age of 11: first as a drum roadie and then as a bass player in local garage bands. He had never taken vocal lessons, but the first time he auditioned for the role of a vocalist, his vocal prowess gained him attention in the local scene. Throughout his teenage years he sang for several local bands, such as Talus and Whodat And Boojang, most of which played half original songs and half Black Sabbath songs.
In 1977, when he was 21, Danzig started The Misfits. The band's name comes from Marilyn Monroe's last film. The Misfits combined Danzig's harmonic vocals with camp-horror imagery and lyrics, backed by punk thrashing.
In 1983, after releasing several singles and three albums, and gaining a small underground following, Danzig disbanded The Misfits due to increasing animosity among the band members and his dissatisfaction with their musical abilities.
After The Misfits, he began work on a new band project: Samhain. Initially Samhain was conceived as a punk "super group" before work started in 1984 on the Samhain debut Initium. Extra guitar on the album is credited to Lyle Preslar.
In 1987, after two albums and an EP Samhain was signed to a major label by producer Rick Rubin and the name of the band was changed to Danzig to avoid legal problems. The band consisted of guitarist John Christ, bassist Eerie Von, and former Circle Jerks-D.O.A.-Black Flag drummer Chuck Biscuits.
In 1987, Danzig, owing to his association with Rubin, was asked to write a song for Roy Orbison. The result was "Life Fades Away", featured in the 1987 movie Less than Zero. Danzig also contributed to the film's soundtrack with "You and Me (Less than Zero)". Eerie Von has said that the song was a salute to the 1960s song "To Sir, with Love" by the Scottish singer Lulu, and the tracks have similar instrument changes. On the soundtrack's sleeve, the song is credited to "Glen Danzig and the Power and Fury Orchestra", which actually featured the same membership as the initial lineup of Danzig, the band, with the exception of Eerie Von. Since Von did not like the way producer Rubin wanted the bass played on the song, George Drakoulias played the bass instead. Had Von played the bass, this track would have marked the earliest official recording of the band Danzig, as the other three principal members, Danzig, Christ, and Biscuits, all took part.
In 1988, the newly formed band Danzig released their eponymous debut. Its sound showed a progression from the gothic-deathrock sound of Samhain, to a slower, heavier, more blues-based heavy metal sound. Stand-out tracks included "Twist of Cain", "Am I Demon", "Mother", and "She Rides". Songs such as "End of Time" and "Soul on Fire" displayed Danzig's prowess with softer, melodic vocalizations.
In 1990, their follow-up album Danzig II: Lucifuge marked an immediate change of musical direction. Featuring a strong blues influence, it has often been cited as the most popular Danzig album among fans. Stand-out tracks included the driving "Long Way Back From Hell", the bluegrass dobro of "777", the hard-rocking "Girl" and "Her Black Wings", as well as the lilting, Presley-inspired "I'm the One" and "Blood and Tears".
In 1990, Glenn released what was supposed to be Samhain's third album, Samhain Grim. Tracks 1-5 were previously unreleased songs, at least some of which had been intended for the Samhain Grim album before it was aborted. On the 2000 re-release tracks 6-9 were Samhain Grim Demos. This album was released as Final Descent.
In 1992, Danzig once again changed musical direction, releasing the fast, power-chord driven Danzig III: How the Gods Kill. Of the ten songs, only the sad and soft "Sistinas" diverges from the unrelenting, dominant guitar riffs and angry lyrical content of songs like "Left Hand Black", "Godless" and "Bodies".
Also in 1992 Glenn tried his hand at composing classical music with Black Aria.
In 1993-1994, Danzig broke into the mainstream when the live video of "Mother '93" became a hit on MTV, six years after the original song was recorded.
In 1994, the release of Danzig 4 saw a revisiting of the hard-blues sound and further development of his vocal range; most notable in songs like "Let It Be Captured" and the haunting "Cantspeak".
In 1996, the band underwent a complete overhaul. The original lineup had fallen apart, as had Glenn Danzig's relationship with their record label, American Recordings. He enlisted new bandmates, signed to a new label and recorded Blackacidevil. Once again, he explored a new musical direction; this time infusing heavy metal with industrial rock.
In 1999, during the U.S. touring for the album 6:66 Satan's Child Danzig reunited Samhain along with drummers Steve Zing and London May. Danzig guitarist Todd Youth was invited by Glenn Danzig to fill in the guitar position for the Samhain reunion tour, replacing Samhain's original guitarist, Pete "Damien" Marshall, who had opted out in order to tour with Iggy Pop. Erie Von was not invited to rejoin Samhain due to personal issues within the band. Both Zing and May handled bass duties, switching from drums to bass in between the "Blood Show".
Danzig's subsequent three albums, 6:66 Satan's Child (1999), I Luciferi (2002) and Circle of Snakes (2004), all musically and lyrically evolved to a more stripped down, heavier goth metal sound. The Danzig lineup continued to change with each album, while Danzig's voice started to show strain after years of touring.
Although Danzig's later releases never got the mainstream attention that the single "Mother" achieved, the band has maintained a worldwide following.
In 2005, Glenn Danzig's tours to support the Circle of Snakes album and the Blackest of the Black Tour were highlighted by the special guest appearance of Misfits guitarist Doyle Wolfgang von Frankenstein. Doyle joined Danzig on stage for a 20-minute set of classic Misfits songs. "To do this right, I invited Doyle to join Danzig on stage at 'Blackest Of The Black' for a special guest set. This is the first time we will be performing on stage together in 20 years. It's the closest thing to a Misfits reunion anyone is ever going to see", Danzig said in 2004 interview with KNAC.com. Despite this fact, Ram's Head Live of Baltimore, Maryland, advertised his 2007 tour show as "Playing classic Misfits and Danzig Songs", even though no Misfits songs were performed. Videos of outraged fans can be found on YouTube.
On October 17, 2006, he released his second solo album Black Aria II (the follow-up to his first classical album Black Aria).
In November 2006, Danzig toured the west coast with Samhain bassist Steve Zing. They played three Samhain songs including "All Murder All Guts All Fun". In Los Angeles and Las Vegas, Doyle joined the band onstage for the encore and played two Misfits songs, "Skulls" and "AstroZombies".
In October and November 2007, Danzig toured the western United States, along with ex-Misfits guitarist Doyle, who performed in his new metal-influenced band, Gorgeous Frankenstein. Danzig was also joined by psychobilly group the Horrorpops and Brooklyn punk rock group Suicide city. This "3 Weeks of Halloween" tour was in support of his most recent album, The Lost Tracks of Danzig, as well as the newest graphic novel release from his comic book company Verotik, Drukija: Countessa of Blood. On October 23, 2007, Danzig was performing the song "How the Gods Kill" in Baltimore and fell off the stage about four minutes into the piece, injuring his left arm. He did not perform the Misfits set that night, angering local fans, but he continued the tour and played classic Misfits tunes with Doyle onstage as an encore with a sling on his left arm after the injury. Todd Youth (as heard on the I Luciferi album) was chosen to perform on the guitar. Steve Zing was on bass. Danzig hopes to continue working on film and comic book projects and has said he'd rather leave extensive and exhaustive touring to the fresh new crop of bands bearing his mark such as Hank III, The Ghostwitch Family Band and Calabrese.