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INTERVIEW: Glenn Danzig
Jamie Thomson , May 28th, 2013 05:34

The founder of the Misfits and Danzig tells us about his upcoming UK tour, a new covers album and Dolly Parton

Over thirty years since the Misfits' first ill-fated UK tour, which saw singer Glenn Danzig and guitarist Bobby Steele jailed for two nights after a fight outside a Jam gig (and in turn inspired their song 'London Dungeon'), the iconic frontman returns to the capital next month to perform a set of Misfits songs with the band's long-time guitarist Doyle. The three-date tour, which takes in Manchester and Wolverhampton, also celebrates the 25th anniversary of Danzig, his solo band whose nine albums have enjoyed far more commercial success than the Misfits output, but, to a certain extent, lack their forebears' cult cachet.

Danzig, known as a taciturn and occasionally belligerent interviewee, refused to be drawn on much of the details of the Misfits set: will he be performing London Dungeon? "Possibly. We'll see." Does he ever envisage a time when he again would share a stage with estranged colleague Jerry Only [founding member of the Misfits whose own incarnation of the band will return to London later this year]: "Never!" But when the Quietus asked him about his extra-curricular activities, he spoke passionately about his forthcoming covers album, his dream to work with Dolly Parton, his move into acting and plans for an autobiography (of sorts).

So you have a covers album in the works, when's that coming out?

Glenn Danzig: It's pretty much ready to go. I fuck with some other people's songs and then put it out there. I'll probably do the vinyl through my website. There's no point in dealing with major labels as they are all assholes that just take a huge cut of money for no real reason. I've had my own label since I was a kid [Plan 9 Records, which released the Misfits' early material], so being DIY, like everyone else is doing now, is nothing new to me.

I read that you cover a Lee and Nancy song for it – which one?

GD: Some Velvet Morning – it's very dark. Cherie Currie [of The Runaways] came down and did the Nancy Sinatra vocal part. She's got an amazing voice, and is really talented, so it was really great to work with her.

You've had your songs sung by Roy Orbison and Johnny Cash – that's a pretty elite group of songwriters you belong to.

GD: Well, I actually wrote that song for Roy Orbison, but I've been covered a bunch of times, by Metallica, of course – and a bunch of black metal bands or bands with eight words in their names.

Is there anyone in particular that you'd like to write for, or work with?

GD: I'd love to write for Dolly Parton or someone like Ozzy. I love Dolly – 'Jolene' is one of the greatest songs ever written.

You've recently moved into acting, with a part in the biopic of porn star Vanessa Del Rio?

GD: [cryptically] I actually did some acting before, but I had to get away from that for a while. There's a lot of bullshit surrounding it.

What drew you to the Vanessa Del Rio story?

GD: My friend's directing it [Thomas Mignone], he asked me to be in it, so I agreed. It's pretty dark – it was described to me as Boogie Nights meets Taxi Driver [laughs], so it's pretty dark and violent, as is my part, of course.

Your musical career speaks for itself, you've had comics published, and you're appearing in a film. Any plans to move into writing? A novel or something perhaps?

GD: I was asked to do a Danzig autobiography a couple of years ago, but I hate that tell-all crap. But recently I saw a great Johnny Cash book which had a lot of different pictures of him hanging out with people, and little anecdotes attached to them, or ticket stubs, posters and that kind of stuff, all with stories to go along with them. So I thought, that's the kind of thing I'd like to do - a more pictorial history, so we're putting that together right now, with a lot of old photos and flyers and different stories. That interests me way more – I like words and pictures. I don't like just words on their own.

The Danzig 25th Anniversary tour dates are:

Wed 19 - Academy, Manchester
Thu 20 - Civic Hall, Wolverhampton
Mon 24 - Roundhouse, London