New details have emerged concerning Glenn Danzig’s new spring event, aptly called the Blackest of the Black Festival, which will be held in May. Is anyone surprised that a Danzig festival would include a sacrificial altar, a castle, a bondage stage and a “bloodbath” — which we might assume is a dunk tank filled with red “blood….”
To the uninformed, hearing about such horrific things like a sacrificial altar or a bondage stage at a music festival might seem pretty out there. But if you are a fan of Danzig or one of the other bands listed to play the Blackest of the Black Festival, then you probably consider something like a bloodbath all in good fun.
And believe it or not, most of Danzig’s career has been about fun.
When Glenn Danzig started his horror punk band, The Misfits, in the late 1970s, he gave all the visuals that went with it a distinctly horrific feel. However, when you think about it, Danzig didn’t go for the authentic horror. Danzig wasn’t really trying to “scare” you with the crimson skull logo… he was having fun with it, and not only with the visuals. Think about the majority of The Misfits songs that Glenn Danzig penned, songs with titles like “Teenagers from Mars,” “Braineaters,” “Vampira,” and “Nike a Go Go.” Danzig hasn’t always been about genuine horror, Danzig has been about schlock or “B” movie horror. The visuals for The Misfits stay true to Danzig’s love of “B” movie madness. Take, for instance, the cover of The Misfits legendary album, Walk Among Us. The cover features a screen print of the band standing in front of some sort of giant spider. The artwork that went along with “Who Killed Marilyn?” features a screen print of Marilyn Monroe holding up a wine glass that effectively covers half of her face. The part of Marilyn’s face that we can see through the glass is a cartoonish skull.
Those same visuals have followed Danzig through his entire career. The Samhain cover for the album November Coming Fire features a demon and skeletons within a wall of fire that has outlandish arms and legs. The classic Danzig skull that has become synonymous with Danzig is incredibly striking… and yet still cartoonish. Danzig went a bit more high brow for How the Gods Kill, using an H.R. Geiger Painting, but he eventually came back to a more fun feel with The Lost Tracks of Danzig and Deth Red Sabbaoth, and now with the cover of Danzig’s newest album (due out in May) Black Laden Crown.
The same could really be said of Danzig’s music in addition to the visuals that accompany them. Yes, to say that the music of Danzig carries some dark overtones would be an understatement, but let’s remember that at the core of it all is a certain degree of fun. And maybe that’s what many of the critics of metal and hard rock haven’t really understood over the years. Yes, the Danzig song might be about zombies searching to suck out your brains, or the song might be about a guy that collects skulls, or the song might be about someone or something eating your soul, but at the root of it all, on top of connecting with feelings of insecurity, anger, and resentment (as most metal does), the music is about connectivity with your mates, and about having fun.
Danzig’s Blackest of the Black Festival will be a two-day event (May 26th and 27th) in Long Beach, California. Music will be provided by Suicidal Tendencies, Ministry, Atreyu, Corrosion of Conformity, and, of course, by Danzig.
[Featured Image by Greg Campbell/Getty Images]