Mother, tell your children not to walk this way…Glenn Danzig is back in town.
The former Misfits and Samhain frontman is hitting the road for a nine-date outing, starting June 15 at the NorVa in Norfolk, Va. The shows will support Danzig newest album, “Deth Red Sabaoth,” arriving June 22 on Evilive/the End Records. Show dates include a June 16 stop at the Fillmore in Charlotte, N.C., and another June 26 at Nokia Theater in Los Angeles. The East Coast dates will be supported by Gorgeous Frankenstein, a group that includes Danzig’s former Misfits bandmate Doyle.
“Sabaoth,” Danzig’s first studio album in six years, follows 2004’s “Circle of Snakes,” the final project in a seven-album arc that Danzig conceived when he founded his namesake band in the late 1980s. The 11-song set blends together the style of his solo output with the sounds of punk/horror-comic inspired Misfits and the darker Samhain. Cuts like “On a Wicked Night,” “Black Candy” and “Left Hand Rise Above” show Danzig remains in full command of his song craft —a mixture of sultry blues, bare-yet-soulful rock and dirgy melodies wrapped up in dark and evil imagery.
Danzig laughs when asked if the melding of his past bands’ styles on the album was intentional. “All I do is get a basic direction for the records starting with ‘Circle of Snakes,’ kind of starting over after I did my seven-record arc,” he explains. “I want it to feel like an old-school kind of ’70s record but with a very contemporary feel to it…I just
made sure it sounded like a Danzig record and went from there.” Striving for that sound included retaining the warm tones often lost when an album is digitally recorded; Danzig avoided using computer plug-ins while recording and utilized analogue equipment like old amplifiers to replicate the sound he was seeking.
Danzig also recently published “Hidden Lyrics of the Left Hand” through his adult-themed comic book company, Verotik. The book, which has already sold out of its first printing of 10,000 copies, contains previously unpublished lyrics from throughout his career.
“They’re all songs that the lyrics had never previously been transcribed for, like there wasn’t even a booklet for the record, or there wasn’t enough room in the CD booklet, or [the album was released] before that kind of stuff [existed],” Danzig explains. Among the contents are the words to the songs “Lady Lucifera,” “Cold, Cold Rain” and “Unholy Passion.” Artist Simon Bisley, who has been commissioned for artwork for past Danzig projects, again provided illustrations. “So instead of just printing lyrics, it’s a much cooler package,” the singer says. “The fans are really digging it.”
On tour Danzig will be joined by Tommy Victor of Prong/Ministry fame, former Samhaim bandmate Steve Zing and Type O Negative
drummer Johnny Kelly. Danzig observes that the shock of the sudden April 14 death of Type O frontman Peter Steele hit the drummer hard. “It changed their whole life. The thing Johnny told me was, ‘Really hard just wrapping my head around that this thing that I’ve done for over 20 years is now gone.” ‘ The band hasn’t made an official announcement about its status, but Danzig ventured that in the wake of losing such a distinctive frontman, “there could be no Type O without Peter.”
Metal has also recently suffered the losses of Ronnie James Dio on May 16 and Slipknot bassist Paul Gray on May 24. Dio’s passing after a decades-long career raises the question of what artists will earn the mantle of icon status-aside from Slipknot, few hard rock or metal bands that achieved major commercial success in the first decade new millennium have maintained strong mainstream presence.
Asked why he thinks more bands aren’t achieving bigger reputations, Danzig says, “Some bands just want to sell records and make money. Some people want to do great records that last forever.” He recounts how he paired with producer Rick Rubin in the 1980s because they shared a vision for a lifelong career, and Danzig wanted to make albums that people would still buy decades after they were first released. “You have to be prepared for the ups and downs of your career, but every great artist has that. And it could be anybody from Frank Sinatra to Elvis to whoever, even Black Sabbath . . . [but] I just do what I do. People seem to dig it.”