Glenn Danzig: ‘We’re Not Gonna Do Many More’ Misfits Shows
Glenn Danzig was the guest on Full Metal Jackie's weekend radio show. It's been a busy time for the musician of late, as he's directed a dark new film called Verotika while also polishing off his long anticipated Elvis covers album, Danzig Sings Elvis.
Jackie spoke with Glenn about both projects, as well as his continued run of Misfits reunion shows, his thoughts on touring and also gets a positive message from the rocker on mortality. Check out the chat in full below.
Let's talk about your directorial debut premiering at Cinepocalypse. What similarly, though telling stories through songs, do you notice while making a movie?
It's not a lot. It's much different. Doing a feature film is a lot of work. So, if you do a feature film, you really gotta love doing films because it's a lot of work, and it's a big chunk outta your life. So, pretty much, since last July, I've been working on this film.
Well, yeah. Doing all the pre-production and then filming it. We filmed for about three weeks, and then it's all the editing after that, and then the effects, and then going in to post and doing color and sound and all the other stuff. It's just a long process.
Now that you've gone through all of it and it's at this point would you do it again? Did you enjoy it?
There are things I enjoyed about it, and there are things I didn't enjoy about it. But, I said I think I'm gonna do three movies and then decide if I want to keep doing it.
So you're not going to take it from just the first one that you're doing.
I'm gonna do three. I'm already getting ready to do my next one which is a vampire spaghetti western. Everybody's vampires in it. So after that I'll see what I wanna do. Then I'm gonna sit and decide if I wanna keep doing it or not.
Glenn, visual arts have always been an important part of what you do. What aspects of that background were helpful in making Verotika?
I started out doing art and then doing photography when I was a kid and then just moved into eventually directing music videos and documentary kinda stuff. So it was always there, but eventually, I got the opportunity to do it. A lot of the movies I like are very visual movies and it's a story being told besides what the dialogue is doing, so that's important to me. Visual is really important. I don't think there's enough importance placed on visuals in a lot of new movies. Lighting is important in effect. Lighting can create an effect in your mind when you look at it, so it's a lot of that.
Rather than doing a tour, Glenn, Misfits shows are happening more selectively. Why is it important to you to keep them standalone events?
Well, I don't tour anymore anyway. Maybe I'll put together like a week or two shows here on the West Coast, or maybe on the East Coast and that's it. With the Misfits thing, we just kinda got back together and just decided we'd do it here or there, and just not make it a grind kinda tour. We just want to make each event special. We're not gonna do many more. I know we just announced Seattle and Denver, but I'm pretty sure there's not gonna be many more of them.
So people should see it while they can because, I know, next year I go out with Danzig again for Europe and may do some dates here in the States. I gotta do a Danzig Sings Elvis thing - select shows maybe around the country. Those will be more special. There's no seating. It's all tables. It's gonna be a very cool kind of old school vibe. This year I've got some time off in between working on the movie, so we decided to do a couple extra shows. Then, that'll be it I think for a while.
The Misfits were a part of the second wave of punk back in New York City. What's different about the way people react to those songs now?
I don't know. Our shows were pretty violent. You said we were part of the second wave, and I didn't really know what to call it. It was fast and it was angry, and it was violent, and people didn't know what to call it. So, eventually it became called hardcore, and then a lot of people started lifting stuff that we had done. So, I think if it wasn't for those bands, you wouldn't have speed metal for sure. I know I'm right. I don't think I'm right. I know I'm right.
We touched on the Elvis covers. The album is due out later this year, correct?
Yeah, in the fall.
Can you talk about what impact Elvis made on you as a kid, and how it still effects you now?
Yeah, I'm still a big Elvis fan. I still like discovering Elvis stuff I haven't heard before cause he recorded so much, and then all the outtakes that they released now on his label are great. I don't have a screechy high metal voice. I have a deeper voice. So the stuff that I like listening to a lot of times was that kinda stuff. I've said it before, but after seeing Jailhouse Rock when I cut school, 'cause school was boring for me. I'd just stay home and watch movies. I saw Jailhouse Rock, and I was like, that's what I wanna do. It ended up working out okay.
So that was the defining moment?
Yeah, that was where I was like this is what I wanna do. If I could do something like this, that'll be cool.
So the album is coming out later this year and then you said that the tour or few dates would happen early next year?
Yeah, not gonna do a tour. We'll probably do like L.A. or San Francisco, or New York, or maybe we'll go to Austin or maybe we'll go to Houston or something like that. I'm not gonna hop on a bus and do a bunch of Elvis dates. It's not gonna happen, you know.
That'll make it more special.
Yeah, so we'll probably do Vegas, for sure, and that's what I have slated for 2020 is Danzig going to Europe, and some of these Danzig Elvis shows here and there and working on this next film. So, I don't think there'll be much time for any OG Misfits shows.
So get out to those shows until there are no more.
And you never know ... look how crazy the world is right now. It's just so ...
What are you getting at Glenn, are you getting morbid about life?
I'm not morbid about it. If it happens, it happens. I just live my life every day and enjoy it.
I like that, but you are right. We all could die two weeks from now.
Just in the last year, so many crazy things with people I know and things that have happened. It's like you never know what's gonna happen tomorrow, so enjoy today.
Those are words to live by. Positive words to live by, just unexpected.
Is it positive? Yeah.
It is. I think it is. Live your life, enjoy it, you don't know how long you've got left.
Yeah, get off the computer and go out and experience the real world.
Speaking of computers, I have to say, if it wasn't possible for me to love Glenn Danzig any more, but now I do because he has a flip phone and that brings it all full circle and I just love that.
Yeah, the phone tracking, and listening in and everything and all the hacking. I don't need it. I don't really want the flip phone. I don't want people to get in touch with me when I'm out and about.
What if you're out and about and your car breaks down?
Well, probably, your cell phone's not gonna work in the middle of the desert anyway. [laughs]
Also, what if you're someplace and you need an excuse to have to go and you call your friend and say, "Hey make the call so I can get out of here?"
I don't do that. I just say, "I'm getting out of here, bye." [laughs]
Glenn, your career continues to be extremely prolific. What's been the biggest sacrifice you've made to be able to do everything that you've done?
A personal life.
You don't feel like you have one?
Not as much as I would like to. I mean, I'm always working and always doing stuff. It's a lot of responsibility sometimes.
Do you say, "OK I'm only going to work until 11PM tonight." Or when you feel inspired, you just ...
No, part of that. When I get inspired I'll do it until I am exhausted. But other times I'll know I have to do stuff and I make sure I will get it done. If something good is happening, I'll just drop and just burn the candle and finish it later.
Do you find yourself having to cancel plans a lot because you're inspired and you don't want to stop what you're doing?
That's a good excuse. Who can say, "But Glenn, you promised"?
I explain it to them and if they understand, great. And if they don't, then that's life.
Get out and see these shows because you might not live long enough to see if they happen again. [laughs]
Thanks to Glenn Danzig for the interview. Keep an eye out for the 'Danzig Sings Elvis' album coming this fall and stay tuned for future 'Verotika' screenings following its recent Cinepocalypse premiere. As for the Misfits, get ticket info on their Los Angeles, Denver and Seattle stops here, and stay up to date on all Glenn Danzig's happenings here. Find out where you can hear Full Metal Jackie’s weekend show here.
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