by Jonathan Williams
Photos by Evil Jim
From the October 2005 issue of Prick Magazine.

Countless metalheads and punks have been tattooed as a result of Glenn Danzig's many creative endeavors. Whether it's the Misfits fiend skull (aka The Crimson Ghost) or the Samhain/Danzig demon skull from his legendary musical projects, or characters from his X-rated horror comic company, Verotik, the satanic visions of Danzig have gotten under the skin of many of his fans. In fact, Danzig's own tattoos represent some of the manifestations of his imagination as well.

"They're just all different phases in my life," he says of the "Wolf's Blood," Misfits and Samhain ink on his left arm. "When I was getting tattoos, not everybody had a tattoo and not a lot of people wanted tattoos. A lot of dorks started getting them so I stopped getting them. It used to be a symbol of something and now it's... very mainstream.

"I see a lot of people getting tattooed and then later on they want to get rid of them," he continues. "The tattoos I have I'm never going to get rid of. I didn't get them because I wanted to be on MTV or some ink show or something. I did it because it's a part of me."

Danzig live.
Danzig's tattoos.
Photo courtesy of Danzig.

But that's not the only reason Danzig hasn't committed to getting more tattoos. He's remained friends with Rick Spellman, the artist who did all of his ink, and has seen the gruesome lengths that people have gone to have unwanted tattoos removed.

"[Spellman] used to have a tattoo chair in his dad's old parlor," he recalls. "One showcase they had just cut skin [off] people who wanted their tattoos off. They were so dark and big that they had to actually cut down to two layers of skin and peel the skin off. They had all the dried skin in this showcase of all these tattoos of people who had decided to get their tattoos off. It was pretty cool."

Although this all sounds like a scene from one of Danzig's gore-filled comics or the lyrics from a song like "SkinCarver" off last year's Circle of Snakes album, he says these are the real life consequences of getting tattoos for the wrong reasons.

"This is just stuff I used to see when I would to go into tattoo parlors," he says. "It makes you ask, 'Do I really want this?' Especially if somebody's getting a really, really big piece. If you got some big elaborate backpiece and then decided you wanted it off, you're out of your mind because it's going to cost you so much money to get it taken off you might as well just leave it."

Glenn Danzig with PRICK Music Editor Jonathan Williams.
Jonathan Williams with Tommy Victor (guitar) of Prong.

Even though Danzig hasn't gone under the needle in a while, he obviously hasn't had any creative blocks when it comes to his own demonic output. He toured earlier this year to support Circle of Snakes – an album featuring Tommy Victor of Prong on guitar, former Nothingface and Skrape bassist Jerry Montano and current Jerry Cantrell drummer Bevan Davies – that returned to the bluesy dark metal Danzig became known for in the early '90s. He recently released Il Demonio Nera, a DVD of videos from the Danzig 4 and Danzig 5: Blackacidevil albums, and a live (and very raw) Samhain DVD from the band’s first L.A. performance in 1984 will be available Oct. 25.

He has also completed Black Aria II, a cinematic classical work based on the mythology of Lilith, and will be releasing it in the next few months. Like Rob Zombie, Danzig is delving into movies based on some of his Verotik characters. A porno version of Edward Lee's corpse hooker adventure Grub Girl recently finished filming and Danzig is writing and directing a film version of Gerouge, a "live action, turn-of-the-century New Orleans voodoo" story.

Danzig is also currently headlining the Blackest of the Black tour with Montano on bass, Type O Negative's Johnny Kelly on drums and Deconstruct guitarist Joe Fraulob. And aside from opening acts The Agony Scene, Mortiis, Himsa, Behemoth, and Chimaira, former Misfits guitarist Doyle is joining Danzig for a short set of Misfits songs each night.

Jerry Montano (bass).
Jerry Montano with PRICK.
Doyle (guitar).
Photo by Ron Logan.

"He'd left the Misfits and he was talking about how he wasn't happy with all that and eventually we started talking and it all just came about," says Danzig of the shows he did with Doyle earlier this year. "He didn't want to stop performing, he just didn't want to perform with the karaoke thing that was going out.

"This time around he's going to be on the whole tour," he continues. "If it's anything like the handful of shows we did before, the kids are going to go crazy. First you get the full Danzig set, but then when Doyle comes out and we do those old songs, it's pretty pure. It's pretty much what it was."

With each Danzig tour, there are rumors that it might be his last. And while making a movie will obviously be somewhat of a distraction from his music career, one can only imagine that this Danzig/Doyle reunion will likely lead to more collaborations in the future. Maybe he'll even consider getting another tattoo to document it.

Danzig live.
Samhain DVD cover.

For more information, visit www.danzig-verotik.com or www.mvdb2b.com.

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