Interview: Glenn Danzig

By DANIEL BROCKMAN  |  June 21, 2010

So for these songs, what was the process like in creating them, how long did these songs gestate--
Did you say “gestate”?

Are you a journalist?

[Laughs] Um, I guess …
You’re a real journalist! Oh, okay.

I suppose, I dunno …
Well, no one uses that word ever, at least not the people I talk to. Okay, this is cool. Well, I go into the studio now, and I’ll do a couple tracks, sit back and listen, start laying overdubs, do a few more tracks later, and that’s how I did this one. I kind of like it better that way. It’s even how I did all the Black Arias [note: Glenn Danzig’s classical music series] and stuff.

Right! It’s interesting, because you do all sorts of stuff -- classical albums, even. I’m just kind of curious how you approach each project, how you know “This is going to be a Danzig album” …
What happened was once I was done doing Lost Tracks— I’d been doing sporadic touring, but 2005, I stopped touring. So I just did some local shows -- a few East Coast shows, fly home. In between, I experimented with trying to find some way to be happy on the road and still do it, and started doing it for longer periods of time, and in between I started doing this thing where I’d listen to some songs that I laid down, and that’s the way I did this record. It worked out pretty good.

I had a specific idea to do an old school early-'70s kind of record, but with a contemporary feel to it. That’s what I set out to do—I even got some old gear, old phase shifters, and when I wanted to use reverb or tremolo, I’d go and get old amps that had reverb and tremolo in them, instead of using a computer plug-in because those things don’t sound right. They never sound right, especially if you want some kind of chamber reverb, you know what I mean, or a real tremolo, you have to get the real stuff, because the computer just sounds like crap.

What was your '70s influence? What were you going for?
Well, it comes back to what I always done with records, which is that I want to make records that people are going to listen to 20 years down the line, and that’s what I attempted to do. And so far everyone seems to be digging it, telling me how thick the sound is, how warm it sounds, and that’s good—I purposely went out and got these bass cabs to play through, even playing guitar through them: big old Kustom speakers with 15- and 18-inch speakers. And a lot of these new bands play bass through teeny speakers, 10-inch speakers, this tinny crap that sounds like guitar. I want a bass that, when you’re listening to those old songs, it rattles your dashboard -- you know, the bass hits certain notes, and the whole dashboard goes “brrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrmmmmmmmm,” and that’s what I want! And I think a lot of people listen to music while they're driving, anyway, you know?

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