Glenn Danzig: Democrats are fascists disguised as liberals

Categories: Q&A
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Photo courtesy of the artist

The name Glenn Danzig has lived in metal and punk fans' vocabularies since 1977, when he started the legendary horror-punk group Misfits. But to music fans who didn't dwell in the underground, Danzig became Danzig in 1988, with the release of his eponymous band's self-titled debut. That album was a direct punch in the face to all hair metal bands, and a departure from the reverb-heavy goth punk of Samhain, Glenn's band between the Misfits and Danzig -- thanks to some crisp, direct production by producer extraordinaire Rick Rubin and a focused, bluesy metal sound. It featured the irrepressible "Mother," which didn't become a hit until MTV put the 1993 live version of the song in its Buzz Bin. Thanks to heavy touring and Metallica talking about the band, having just covered Misfits' "Last Caress," Danzig became an unstoppable force that year.

Now, Danzig is celebrating the milestone of their 25th anniversary with a special tour that stops at Myth on Saturday. "When you go onstage, the energy from the people and from the audience changes a lot of it," he explains. "When I go out there, I just take their energy and send it back fiftyfold." Gimme Noise caught up with Danzig to talk about his legacy and his forthcoming covers record, which features a duet he did with Cherie Currie of Lee Hazlewood and Nancy Sinatra's "Some Velvet Morning." Luckily for us, he didn't mind looking back.

See Also:
Concert Review: Danzig at Myth, 8/17/13
Danzig pulls out of Cabooze show at last minute


What do you remember about the beginning of Danzig?

There wasn't really bands like Danzig. There were a lot of big poofy, poseury hair bands. And Danzig was just, like, T-shirts with cut-off sleeves. [Laughs] We had no poofy hair. And we were loud, like metal-punk, I guess you would call it. And most people just said, "This is going to be gone in a week." And here I am 25 years later. It's great. [Laughs] And all the hair bands are pretty much a joke, so that's great, too.

The first Danzig album sounded pretty different from your previous band, Samhain. Why did you tighten it up?

Rick [Rubin] was probably important in that. He helped focus some of my ideas. Of course he had his own ideas about producing. Half those tracks were songs I was writing for Samhain anyway.

What songs evolved from the Samhain demos?

"Twist of Cain" was pretty different. "Mother" was a song I wrote about the PMRC [the Parents Music Resource Center, spearheaded by Tipper Gore]. But I think we'd already been working with Rick when I wrote it. So it was much different. We tore it apart and put it back together.

Metallica's James Hetfield made some uncredited appearances on the album. How did that come about?

He was hanging out with us in L.A. I had to go back to the studio. He said he wanted to come along. I was like, "Oh, sure! Don't worry about it." [Laughs] It was much different then. Because everybody hung out a lot. As bands get bigger and stuff, I don't think there's enough time, or people get families and things. And they don't hang out as much anymore.

I've read that he did some howling on "Possession." Is that what you asked him to do?

I'm pretty sure he just sang the "possession" parts. [Laughs] Yeah, he's on "Possession," "Twist of Cain" and probably one other one. He's not on "Mother." But he's on probably one other track.

You mentioned that "Mother" was about the PMRC. Were they a problem for you specifically?

Yeah, you know, Al Gore wanted to tell people what they could listen to and what they couldn't, what they could record. It was basically coming down to the idea that he wouldn't let anybody record any music that he didn't think you should be doing. There was going to be an organization that would tell you what you could and couldn't record. And certainly if you couldn't record it, you couldn't put it out. It was really fascist.

My view on Democrats is that they're fascists disguised as liberals, or liberal moderates. You're not allowed to say anything that they don't agree with. You're not allowed to do anything. Also, the whole Obama, "I can kill anybody with a drone with no trial," is kind of disturbing. I'm surprised that more people who are supposedly liberal aren't more disturbed by it. I think whatever Obama does is OK with them, because he's Obama. It's bullshit.

It's the same thing with the PMRC telling you, "Bands can go on trial for their music." What's next, Wagner is going to get arrested? What? He's dead. [Laughs]

Why did the album come out with a "Parental Advisory" sticker, but without any F-words?

That's because of its content. We're making people think. You're not allowed to make people think in the United States. You're not allowed to have them question the government or authority.


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33 comments
fieldy_14
fieldy_14

Danzig is a Satanist...so what does that mean about his statements?

Kurlis
Kurlis

Danzig is absolutely right. Modern Liberalism is illiberal and intolerant. Jonah Goldberg wrote about this apparently contradictory phenomenon in a book called Liberal Fascism.  Modern Liberalism is indeed an authoritarian creed that presupposes the government knows what's best for you better than you do and that individual liberties including freedom of expression are over-rated and indeed, dangerous.

swmnguy
swmnguy topcommenter

It's entirely possible Glenn Danzig is a raving asshole as a human being.  I don't care; I don't know him personally.  I've like a lot of his work, and that's all I know about him.

Obviously, he's not the most sophisticated of political thinkers.  Fascism isn't much about punishing people for saying naughty words, or controlling access to media.  It can certainly involve that, but so can all sorts of authoritarianism which are not fascist.  What makes a person or movement or political system Fascist is the synthesis of State and Corporate power, with a veneer of militaristic Nationalism, xenophobia, aggressive self-pity, and a culture of militant ignorance that pits the nearly-destitute against the truly-destitute, to the advantage of the Elites and the destruction of the Middle Class.

As it happens, Danzig is right, though for the wrong reasons.  The pro-corporate Democrats, often called "Neo-Liberal," are Fascists for sure.  And so are the pro-military "Neo-Conservatives," of either party.  And most of the Republicans, too.  

If America grouped politicians by ideology rather than by claimed team allegiance, most of our politicians would be Fascists.  I don't think most Americans are actually Fascists, but that's what our system have provided us with as choices.

As far as that goes, Glenn Danzig is right.

Mary Kit Frei
Mary Kit Frei

and we should care what this guy thinks because......???? LOL I know that SOME dems are a little more on the controlling side, and way to PC for even my taste. But what would you call Repulicans then..?? If dems are fascists then reps are Nazi's? lol to much fun

Becky Kotera
Becky Kotera

What? I had no idea he was coming to town!

Becca Hudson
Becca Hudson

Sure, he looks like he could be the head of Slytherin House, but I've gotta agree with his political points here.

LuxSeeker Renascentus
LuxSeeker Renascentus

There is a certain attitude that you either fit your mind into talking points or your ignorant. Government is seen as a way to coerce - see IRS

Nathan David Teegarden
Nathan David Teegarden

Pretty much. Al's OK. Betty and Amy I'm not sure about. But our delegation isn't representative of the national party.

david.steenhoek
david.steenhoek

Liberals don't know how to handle criticism, so this should go over well. (E.g.Comment below ) 

Gerald Nelson
Gerald Nelson

So what would that make republicans? Fascists poorly disguised as bigots and zealots?

redxiv
redxiv

@Kurlis Jonah Goldberg is a spectacularly stupid and dishonest man.

redxiv
redxiv

@swmnguy  

So-called "neo-liberalism" is actually just economic conservatism. Ronald Reagan was a neo-liberal, for God's sake!

calvinemporio
calvinemporio

@Mary Kit Frei why should you listen to him ? You shouldn't if you don't want to but he does happen to be one of your fellow Americans and you shouldn't judge him on the way he looks!We all have a voice and they should be heard politicians have blown it for themselves they no longer deserve a voice or a position they all need to answer to their crimes against the people Danzig happens to be one of the people with a voice who deserves to be heard just as you should be!

jareddmi
jareddmi

@Mary Kit Frei Don't pretend to be an idiot. Obviously political parties are bullshit. There is no ethical way to dominant other people. Political parties are made up social dogmas meant to attract the masses to rally behind in support so they don't notice they are being rammed in the backside by government coercion and brown people are getting blown up and shot overseas. But you should already know that so maybe I'm just speaking to the choir here. 

conspiracy.carrot
conspiracy.carrot

@Chad Liljegren Which one is it? They can't be both. You need to go back and read your 9th grade history book, moron.

digitaIprotocol
digitaIprotocol

@Gerald NelsonThey are the same as democrats, just the democrats are more PC when they speak and republicans don't try and sugarcoat what they say.

helmmatthews
helmmatthews

@Gerald Nelson I think they're fascists disguised as...fascists?

gmgaetz
gmgaetz

@jareddmi @jareddmi That's great except the little fact is that some sense of order needs to be there.  The people rising up and taking over the government probably isn't the greatest of ideas also.  The bottom line is selecting the lesser of two evils until someone gets a clue and works for the people and the better good of this country instead of working to promote one political party or another.  In my opinion, Obama, although far from perfect, nobody is, is doing a damn good job trying to make this country better for ALL of it's citizens rather than better for the top 10% of the wealthy.  If that's choosing liberals and democracy over conservative bull shit, then count me in.

fishingblues
fishingblues topcommenter

@conspiracy.carrot      Gosh darn carrot, it always amuses me when morons call others morons.  Although fascism typically employs a mix of capitalism and socialism, who's to say they can't lean one way?  If you can have democracy and capitalism or communism and socialism, you can certainly have fascism and socialism.  "How"?  the nimrod asks.  Well carrot, one is a  form of government while the other is an economic system.

You went to public school, didn't you carrot?  That explains it.     

redxiv
redxiv

@Kurlis I repeat, Jonah Goldberg is a spectacularly stupid and dishonest man.

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