Glenn Danzig Dishes About His Upcoming 'Portlandia' Cameo and New Music on the Way

Courtesy Photo
Glenn Danzig on "Portlandia"

Irreverent sketch comedy Portlandia , which has featured such musicians as Aimee Mann, Sarah McLachlan and Eddie Vedder in cameos, has had another stroke of genius for the casting of “Weirdo Beach,” the fourth episode in the series’ sixth season. Metal rocker Glenn Danzig will appear in an episode featuring the Weirdos, a black-clad, corpse-painted goth couple played by series stars Fred Armisen and Carrie Brownstein (of Sleater-Kinney fame) whose outfits could have been cribbed from a Danzig concert audience. The singer-songwriter is in the dark about the final cut of the episode since he has yet to see it, so watching himself onscreen will be as much of a reveal for him as it is for the audience when the episode airs Feb. 11 on IFC. Watch a sneak peek from the episode below, where Danzig's character giving beach fashion advice to Armisen's bewildered, top-hatted Vincent:

Danzig is now working on an album of original material that will follow up his 2015 covers album, Skeletons, that featured his brooding take on classic songs like The Everly Brothers’ “Crying in the Rain” and Black Sabbath’s “N.I.B.” He has also finished his Danzig Sings Elvis project, which will be highly anticipated among those who long ago dubbed him “the evil Elvis” for his deep vocal croon. “I thought I [knew] last year, but I was wrong,” he says with a laugh when asked if he has an idea of when the albums will arrive. “Hopefully one of ’em will come out this year. The other will hopefully come out in 2017.” The singer spoke to Billboard about his Portlandia cameo -- and how he almost didn't get to play the role.

How were you approached for the Portlandia role?

I just came home from tour and I went and checked my emails, and there was an email from Fred Armisen. I guess they’d been trying to get in touch with me. They were asking if I wanted to come up and do this Portlandia episode they wrote for me, and it was pretty crazy because they wanted me to come up that evening. They were filming [the next day].

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You’re a fan of the show?

Yeah. I’m also not only just a fan of Portlandia, but I love Fred’s comedy, like all the stuff he did with Saturday Night Live.


Do you have any favorite episodes from the show?

I like a lot of the episodes so we’d be here forever [if I named them all]. I remember Fred and Carrie, I was talking with them in the trailer about one of the episodes where Matt Groening from The Simpsons [was in it]. (Laughs.) Basically Fred is this guy who creates a skanking Bartman and they’re in court, and it’s really Matt Groening [in the scene]. I guess they got him to come up because he’s a fan of the show. Basically Matt Groening is like, “This is my character,” and Fred is like, “But I created the skanking Bartman,” and the judge sides with Fred, and Matt Groening is like, “I can’t believe this!” It’s just pretty funny.

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They wrote this role specifically for you?

Yeah, they wrote it for me. It’s kind of crazy. I guess they’ve been trying to get in touch with me for a while and they couldn’t, so they actually hired somebody else. Then when they finally got in touch with me, I think they had to tell [the other guy], “We got Glenn, so you can’t do it anymore.” (Laughs.) I think something like that happened. But he understood.