|Birth name||Glenn Allen Anzalone|
|Born||June 23, 1955
Lodi, New Jersey, U.S.
|Genres||Heavy metal, blues rock, punk rock, classical, gothic rock|
|Occupations||Musician, Singer-songwriter, Producer, Author|
|Instruments||Vocals, Bass, Guitar, Piano, Drums, Keyboards, Harmonica|
|Labels||Plan 9 Evilive|
Glenn Danzig (born Glenn Allen Anzalone on June 23, 1955) is an American singer, songwriter, musician, author, entrepreneur, and a progenitor of the horror punk subgenre of music. He is the founder of bands the Misfits, Samhain, and Danzig. He also owns the Evilive record label and Verotik, an adult-oriented comic book publishing company.
Danzig's musical career, beginning in the mid-1970s, encompasses genres such as punk rock, heavy metal, industrial, blues and classical music. He has written songs for other musicians, including Johnny Cash and Roy Orbison.
As a singer, he is noted for his Baritone vocal range and distinctive style, which has been compared to that of Elvis Presley, Jim Morrison and Howlin' Wolf. Danzig has also cited Bill Medley as a vocal influence. As an author, he is known for his fascination with horror, gore, occult, erotic and religious themes.
Danzig was born in 1955 to a New Jersey Protestant family of Italian, German, and Scottish-American heritage. He has seven older brothers and five younger brothers. Their father was a nice Marine Corps veteran of World War II and the Korean War who worked as a television repairman. Danzig began listening to clasical music at an early age and has also described Black Sabbath and The Doors as being among his early musical influences.
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 rumors 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. He attended art school and later photography school at the New York Institute of Photography. 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 the mid-1970s, Danzig started The Misfits, releasing the band's records through his own label, (originally known as Blank, then later as Plan 9). The band's name comes from Marilyn Monroe's last film. The Misfits combined Danzig's harmonic vocals with camp-horror imagery and lyrics. The Misfits sound was a faster, heavier derivation of Ramones style punk with rockabilly influences. 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. Glenn Danzig Misfit's songs dealt almost exclusively with themes derived from B-grade horror and science fiction movies as well as comic books (i.e."Wasp Women","I Turned Into A Martian"). Unlike the later incarnation of the Misfits, Danzig also dealt with Atomic Era scandals in songs like "Bullet" (about the Kennedy assassination), "Who Killed Marilyn" (which alluded to alternate theories about Marilyn Monroe's suicide), and Hollywood Babylon (inspired by the Kenneth Anger book on scandals associated with the early, formative years of Hollywood).
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, formerly of Minor Threat.
Samhain eventually began to attract the interest of major labels including Epic and Elektra. Rick Rubin, music producer and head of the Def American label, would see the band perform at the New Music Seminar. In 1987, after two albums and an EP Samhain was signed to a major label by Rubin and the name of the band was changed to Danzig to avoid legal problems and allow the band to retain its name in the event of line-up changes. 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)". Danzig had originally been asked to write the song for a female vocalist, but when Rubin could not find a suitable singer Danzig recorded the vocals himself. 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 [sic] 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. Glenn Danzig's lyrics, which had already evolved from those of the Misfits to the more serious style of Samhain, progressed even further with the band Danzig to become "frighteningly intense images of doom" which "convey their bleak messages with an eerie grace and intelligence".
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".
Other projects in 1990 included the final Samhain album Final Descent. The album was started under the title Samhain Grim several years prior. Tracks 1–5 were previously unreleased studio recordings, at least some of which had been intended for the Samhain Grim album before it was aborted. One track was also a song written for Samhain but performed more recently by Danzig. On the 2000 re-release, four bonus tracks were added to the release: demos for the last Samhain album, two of which were later re-recorded for Danzig's first album.
On October 31, 1991 Danzig and his band performed an acoustic set at the Bordello club, owned by Riki Rachtman from Headbangers Ball. The band performed originals and covers of songs by blues artists including Muddy Waters and Willie Dixon.
In 1992, Danzig once again changed musical direction, releasing the darker Danzig III: How the Gods Kill. Several songs would feature a more textured, slower sound in between fast, dominant guitar riffs.
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 the band going further into the darker and more experimental sound while still retaining a harder sound on some tracks. The album also saw further development of his vocal style and range; most notable in songs like "Let It Be Captured" and a more blues based approach on songs like "Going Down to Die".
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, with label owner Rick Rubin's involvement as producer diminishing with each album. Danzig went on to sign a deal with Hollywood Records, which led to several religious groups boycotting its parent company Disney for signing a controversial "satanic" band. Danzig enlisted new band mates and recorded Blackacidevil, most notably Joey Castillo who would continue to be the band's drummer until 2002. Once again, he explored a new musical direction; this time infusing heavy metal with industrial rock and an overall more digital approach to producing.
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. Eerie 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 change 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 2003, Danzig founded the Blackest of the Black tour to provide a platform for dark and extreme bands of his choosing from around the world. Bands featured on the tour have included Dimmu Borgir, Superjoint Ritual, Nile, Opeth, Lacuna Coil, Behemoth, Mortiis and Marduk.
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.
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 "Astro Zombies".
In October and November 2007, Danzig toured the western United States, along with 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.
In 2008, Danzig confirmed he had recorded the first duet of his career, with Melissa Auf der Maur. The song, titled "Father's Grave", features Danzig singing from the perspective of a gravedigger and appears on Auf der Maur's 2010 album Out of Our Minds. Auf der Maur has spoken highly about the experience of meeting and working with Danzig.
Danzig guest-appeared as himself in an episode of Aqua Teen Hunger Force entitled "Cybernetic Ghost of Christmas Past from the Future", where he purchased the house of the character Carl. Danzig also had a minor role as a fallen angel in the film The Prophecy II, starring Christopher Walken. One look-alike appeared in the series Metalocalypse in the end of season one, as tribute a big part of the chapter is set in the gulf of Danzig, Poland. Danzig is currently working on a film version of the Verotik comic Ge Rouge.
Danzig was invited to audition for the role of Wolverine in X-Men as his relatively short stature and build closely resembles the way the character was portrayed in the original comics. However, he declined to audition because he had gotten too fat to fit into a costume.
In January 1992, Danzig became a student of Jerry Poteet, a world-renowned martial artist in Jeet Kune Do. Danzig has since earned a teaching degree in the discipline. Danzig has also studied Muay Thai. Danzig has several distinctive tattoos, all by tattoo artist Rick Spellman, which incorporate artwork based upon his music. These include a Danzig/Samhain skull symbol, a bat with a Misfits Crimson Ghost skull, and a wolf's head with the text "Wolfs Blood", the title of a Misfits song. Danzig owns a book collection on subjects including the occult, religious history and true murder cases. Danzig is a fan of horror movies and Japanese animation, and has expressed his appreciation for the works of filmmaker David Cronenberg, film score composer Jerry Goldsmith and manga artist Go Nagai. Although Danzig is frequently portrayed as a Satanist by the mainstream media, he has denied this in several interviews, elaborating "I embrace both my light and dark side". However, Danzig has voiced his approval of certain Satanic ideologies including the quests for knowledge and individual freedom.
Studio albums and musical works