The heavy metal and blues rock musician Glenn Danzig formed the band Danzig in 1987 upon request of producer Rick Rubin of the famous Def American label. Although Glenn Danzig was originally a vocalist and lyricist for the hardcore punk ensemble Misfits, he later created his own intense metal group named Samhain. The band was performing at The Ritz in New York when producer Rubin offered Danzig to sign as a solo singer on his label. On Denzig’s insistence, Rubin also signed Samhain’s bassist Eerie Von. After inducting Chuck Biscuits as the drummer and John Christ as the guitarist, Glenn Danzig was asked to change Samhain’s name to his last name, Danzig.
The band gave Glenn Danzig a chance to delve into his obsession with hardcore death metal and amplify the cold dark feel of his songs. The transition from Samhain to Danzig marked subtle changes in the band’s genre as it shifted from plain blue-based riffs to distinctively evocative sonics that complemented the coldly haunting lyrics. In 1988 Danzig released its debut self-titled album “Danzig” under the Def American label. The release marked the start of a new era for the troupe, which was to go a long way forward.
Initial Musical Feats
Danzig’s debut album was an emblem of satanic metal music and paved way for more forays into the genre. The band’s sophomore titled “Danzig II: Lucifuge” was released in 1990 and proved to be a bolder endeavor at death metal. The band was now expanding its music palette which was epitomized in its third album “Danzig III: How the Gods Kill”. The album was a matured attempt at gothic romanticism which aimed at creating moods rather than just producing metal music. The songs “How the Gods Kill” and “Dirty Black Summer” became quite popular and were staples on MTV’s rotation.
The band came up with an EP titled “Thrall: Demonsweatlive” in 1993 which contained live versions of the band’s songs from previous shows and albums. The EP garnered phenomenal success owing to the live version of the song “Mother” which became a huge commercial hit. The song was then recreated with a live footage and became the band’s only other single to hit the Billboard Hot 100 apart from “Cantspeak”. In 1994, the quartet released what was to be its last album together, “Danzig 4”. The album received modest acclaim and was followed by controversy and disputes that were to break the seven-year association.
End of a Classic Lineup
Danzig’s first lineup, often referred to as the ‘classic’ lineup produced four studio albums together. By the time the band released its fourth album, it had already gotten into clashes with Rick Rubin over royalty payments and broken commitments. Danzig left the Def American label and was soon to witness the deterioration of its original lineup as well. Drummer Chuck Biscuits quit after unresolved royalty issues in 1994, and was replaced by Joey Castillo who would later leave to join Queens of the Stone Age. The next year bassist Eerie Von and guitarist John Christ also left, leaving Glenn the solo member in the band.
The band released its fifth album “Danzig 5: Blackacidevil” in October 1996 and was more of a solo shot by Glenn. Danzig successfully released its sixth album “Danzig 6:66: Satan’s Child” in November 1999 and solidified the lineup with the addition of bassist and drummer Steve Zing, guitarist Tommy Victor and drummer and percussionist Johnny Kelly. The band released its album “Danzig 7: 77: I Luciferi” in 2002 followed by “Circles of Snakes” in 2004. “Deth Red Sabaoth” in 2010, is the band’s last of albums to date.
Danzig in Live Concert
Having the reputation of phenomenal onstage performers, Danzig commands a devoted fan following that never misses the chance to catch it live. With 9 studio albums under its belt, it won’t be long before Danzig bags its first music award. Don’t forget to witness Danzig in a thrilling performance closer to your home.