By LA Weekly
By Henry Rollins
By Weekly Photographers
By Shea Serrano
By Nate "Igor" Smith
By Dan Weiss
By Erica E. Phillips
By Kai Flanders
”This is the first time I recorded my vocals digitally,“ says Danzig. ”For the first time, I hear the voice that I hear when I sing in the shower or in the car.“ It‘s a voice some might prefer to keep out of their shower.
The road to the millennium has been a long one. Raised mostly in the industrial town of Lodi, New Jersey (known for its floods and exploding chemical factories), the youthful Danzig regularly escaped to Manhattan, where he was drawn to the chapbooks of Charles Bukowski and Patti Smith. He formed the horror-punk band the Misfits with local friends in 1977, then was hitting a rise with his next coven, Samhain (named after the pagan Halloween), when Run-D.M.C. producer Rubin spotted them at a New York show and signed them to American Recordings, his offshoot of Def American. After some personnel changes, Rubin persuaded Glenn to switch the name of the band to Danzig. Despite limited airplay and scanty MTV exposure (or maybe because of such credibility-enhancing facts), it’s become one of the most fanatically followed names in the hard-rock biz.
”I appreciate it,“ says Danzig, ”and I think the fans know I appreciate it.“
Maybe the real reason Disney didn‘t want Danzig was that he was competition: The singer’s also a comix publisher, distributing and producing quality animation through his Verotik company. A glance through his colorful ”Satanika“ series, for which he writes the stories himself, finds the titular naked demon woman slashing a bloody path through the upper world while evading infernal pursuers.
”Verotik is something I‘ve spent the last five, six years doing. I want to change the comix industry in America, because it’s so infantile and geekified. But I wasn‘t prepared for the comix industry being dirtier than the recording industry. Every comix company wants to destroy the other. And they’ll do anything they have to -- cut off your distribution channels . . . Right now there is one distributor. One. The fact that they haven‘t been hit by an antitrust suit is mind-boggling.“
So -- as a boss, how does he rate? ”I’m an okay businessman. I think sometimes, though, I‘d rather do what’s right than what‘s good business.“
As a musician and a publisher, Danzig feels just fine about his exile from megacorporate heaven. And he feels there’s plenty of room for more souls in his adopted Erebus.
”If you‘re scared of going this route and getting out of the whole crazy music-industry maze, I don’t know if you should be that scared. This is fantastic. You have more control, and if nothing happens you have no one to blame but yourself. And you‘re paying yourself, so if you’re getting ripped off . . . I dunno, you have to kill yourself. It‘s exciting, and I’m happy. Of course, it took a fucked-up road to get here.“
Danzig performs with his current band and with a specially reunited Samhain at the Palladium, Monday, November 1 (All Saints‘ Day). The Danzig hot line is (213) 694-0009. Satans Child, in stores Tuesday, can also be ordered through www.emaginemusic.com and through www.danzig-verotik.com, which offers Verotik comix as well.