Interview with Danzig: He’s The One, He’s The One

Your vocal style is informed by Elvis, Jim Morrison, soul singers, and you’ve composed for Johnny Cash and Roy Orbison. Have you ever considered maybe doing a cover record, ‘50s songs or something? Your voice is perfect for it.

I don’t know about ‘50s covers, but I’ve been wanting to do a cover record since forever, since back in the Misfits days. I think after Black Aria, I might just do a cover record. That’s probably what I think I’ll work on then. There’s a whole bunch of songs, I’ll have to try to weed it down. Everything from old blues songs to ‘50s, ‘60s songs, things like that. Just totally tear them apart and put them back together. My take on doing covers is that unless you can bring a new element to it and make it your own and make it a little different, you shouldn’t even fuck with it, because it’s always going to be compared to the original. So unless you take it in a whole new direction and do something a little different with it, no one’s going to accept it.

So no Christmas record? It won’t have a theme.

No, there ain’t gonna be a Christmas record. I ain’t gonna do a fucking Christmas record. Is that all people can do when they are stumped? They say, ‘I’m gonna put out a Christmas record, make some money.’

For the new Danzig you’re working again with Tommy [Victor], Steve [Zing] and Johnny [Kelly] right?

Well, this is the first record Johnny’s actually gotten to be on. When we started Circle Of Snakes, he had a Type O tour and so I used Bevin. So this is the first time he’s actually been available to be on a Danzig record even though he’s been playing in Danzig since 2002. He was on the tour in Europe. 2002. Wow (laughs).

So it’s kind of cool to finally get Johnny on a record and his drums are just incredible. He told me until his last Type O record that he’d never appeared on a Type O record, they always used a drum machine. I was shocked (laughs). It’s their decision, but he’s such a great drummer. Everyone’s gonna hear him beating the hell out of his drums on this record.

He’s a great fast drummer too. You wouldn’t think it because of the Type O material.

I got him to do some double kick on here. Blastbeats. (laughs)

How collaborative are your writing sessions with those guys?

I come in with the songs and show ‘em to everybody, that’s the way it’s been since the Misfits. I just bring the songs in, say ‘Here’s your part, here’s your part.’ And then they get to take it and riff on it, you know what I mean? Stay within the framework. With Tommy’s leads, you just kind of give him a direction and he’s off and running and he’s just tracking and tracking. Wow. I think Tommy’s my favorite guitar player for Danzig.

Tell me about this Danzig lyric book. Is it available yet?

It’s not at the printer yet. It’s a little late because Simon [Bisley] was late with his drawings, but it’s scheduled to be at the printer either Monday or I guess Wednesday. So it will come out (laughs) hopefully. I don’t know if it will come out before Christmas, we’re hoping, but it will definitely be out, it won’t get bounced back. Each page has the lyrics and an illustration by Bisley for each song. It’s pretty wild. None of the songs have ever had the lyrics transcribed, so it’s pretty wild.

What’s been going on Verotik?

We just put out—it’s actually on the trucks going to stores this week—we put out Verotika Returns, which was our old staple comic. We did a new issue of it, and that just came out. And the lyric book will be a Verotik and Evilive, the comic company and the record label, a collaboration. That’s what Verotik’s doing, and I’m still working on the movie front.

We have a thing with Disney; I think they stole one of my characters. Ge Rouge’s character, they put him in The Princess And The Frog. Someone told me about it and then I saw the commercials and then I saw a couple of posters on a bus, so we’re looking into it right now.

Should fans expect you and Doyle to do a few numbers at the Starland show?

I don’t know. We haven’t talked about it much. Doyle’s actually working on his new record right now, so we’ll see when we get down to soundchecks and stuff whether we decide to do one or not.

Are you producing Doyle’s new record?

I don’t know yet. He sent me some stuff, I’ve listened to it. Some of the songs are pretty good so I told him stay on that kind of track, and so we’ll see.

Danzig performs at Starland Ballroom on Dec. 26.