A Renaissance man for the skull-and-crossbones set, the 52-year-old singer-songwriter -- first for the "horror punk" Misfits, then for goth/blues/metal outfits Samhain and Danzig -- is also a photographer, classical composer and the owner of a record label and an adult-comic publishing imprint. We chatted him up on the eve of a Danzig mini-tour, including a Halloween gig at the Greek.
-- Michael Flaherty
DO YOU BRING A LITTLE EXTRA TO L.A. SHOWS?
I try to treat every show like it's my hometown, but in L.A. the crowds are bigger and crazy. We'll mostly be doing Danzig stuff at the Greek, but if the crowd is really crazy we'll have (former Misfits guitarist) Doyle (von Frankenstein) and we might do some Misfits encores.
YOUR TWO "BLACK ARIA" CLASSICAL ALBUMS HAVE BEEN CHART-TOPPERS. WHO ARE YOUR FAVORITE COMPOSERS?
Oh man, I have a ton. Wagner, of course, and Prokofiev and Saint-Saens, Carl Orff's "Carmina Burana" is incredible. But I also like guys like Jerry Goldsmith, who did "The Omen" soundtracks.
WHERE'D THE FASCINATION WITH GOTH AND DARK FANTASY COME FROM?
As a kid I read Edgar Allan Poe and Baudelaire, so it grew from that, and the stuff I like to watch on TV -- crime and horror, mystery and suspense.
IS IT TRUE YOU WERE OFFERED THE ROLE OF WOLVERINE IN "X-MEN"?
Yes, but the shoot was like eight months up in Canada and my band was touring. So, even if I'd gotten the role, I couldn't do it. I'm kinda glad because the movie was pretty gay. It wasn't the Wolverine I knew; it was some kind of weird Christopher Street "X-Men."
YOU'RE A NATIVE NEW JERSEYITE. WHAT APPEALS TO YOU ABOUT L.A.?
I moved here 20 years ago. I'd been working in L.A. a lot and there wasn't much for me in New York anymore. It had become . . . taken over by yuppies and preps and rap music was gigantic. Out here there was tons of different stuff to do.
I'VE NOTICED YOU DON'T SMILE MUCH. WHY THE LONG FACE?
I don't know. Maybe I don't like photographers.