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I'm a longtime contributor to MTV, Billboard, Alternative Press and MovieWeb. I've worked as on-air reporter, host, writer and producer for MTV, MSNBC and E!. I have provided opinion and commentary to programs on VH1, IFC, G4, Fuse, Current and Oxygen. I have written for Huffington Post, Premiere, OC Weekly, SFGate.com, NextMovie.com, MTV's television and movie blogs and other publications. I am the founder of Superhero Productions, providing broadcast, online and aftermarket content for a number of clients including Lionsgate, Sony and Warner Bros. I personally handle artist management for a handful of bands. "Ryan Downey has established a history of breaking some good scoops in the last few years, and you could certainly do worse than bookmark [him] to check in on." -- Ain't It Cool

Sunday, September 03, 2006

Lunch with Glenn Danzig

A couple of days ago I had lunch with Glenn Danzig.

Let me back up. Anyone who knows me is well aware of the fact that Glenn Danzig has had the single most impact on me as a vocalist. The entire Misfits catalog, the entire Samhain catalog, and the first four Danzig albums are all nearlly flawless works, in my opinion. When my old band, Burn It Down, released our solitary full-length album, "Let the Dead Bury the Dead," comparisons abounded with my singing style and Danzig's and I was, to say the least, stoked.

While watching Metal Shop (ne Metal Skool) in Hollywood in 2003 a lightbulb went off: "I should make a band that does all Misfits songs in full costume." The seed was born for Die Die My Darling. We played our first show in Orange County on Halloween of that year opening for Bleeding Through & Throwdown. Mick and Ken from Eighteen Visions joined me (on bass and guitar, respectively) along with Ken's friend Alex, who played drums. We put the band back together again last year, this time with Brandan Schieppati on guitar, Ken on drums, Mick on bass and myself on vocals.

I had the opportunity to meet Glenn at a Cradle Of Filth show in Hollywood (his assistant is a friend of mine, and an even closer friend of mine actually fixes his computers). It was brief but he was polite and cordial. Bleeding Through opened for two of the Danzig/ Doyle shows in December, but neither the band nor their management (ie me) had occassion to speak with him.

Earlier this week I received an email from Bleeding Through's publicist stating that Revolver Magazine was interested in having Brandan interview Glenn for the "Rebel Meets Rebel" feature in their Halloween issue. While Brandan is quite the fanboy himself (he has a crimson ghost tattoo and a tattoo of a knife through a pumpkin with a banner that reads: "I remember Halloween," Bleeding Through used to cover "Mother," and he plays guitar in the Die Die My Darling tribute band with me) you could say that he was a bit blessed in this situation that his manager is a huge fan of the "Evil Elvis" and (*cough) a longtime music scribe.

Brandan and I met with his royal darkness at a restaurant in Hollywood, together with Revolver's West Coast Editor Dan Epstein (great dude) and longtime hard rock publicist Heidi Robinson, whose clients have included System Of A Down and Tom Petty.

Danzig pulled up in a black Jaguar and was polite, friendly and outgoing from the outset -- contrary to what many in the media would have you believe. When the interview started rolling, Brandan sheepishly told Glenn that he would be more than happy to keep the focus on Glenn's present activities. Danzig made it clear when we sat down that nothing was off limits.

"Listen, don't misunderstand," he began, or something to that affect. "I won't talk to Spin, I won't talk to Rolling Stone, and I won't talk to MTV about the Misfits, because they didn't care when the band was around. You? Revolver? I'll answer anything. I'll tell you whatever want to know."

From here, I don't think I should steal Revolver's thunder on the Internet in my blog, but I'll give you a preview of many of the topics covered: Glenn's childhood (!), his first records, his first instrument, the first few gigs, promoters with mafia ties, guns at shows, fights, Doyle, the "12 Hits From Hell" record that was nearly released by Caroline, Samhain, the movie he's making set in New Orleans that involves voodoo, comic books, Rick Rubin, the "lost tracks" double CD he's compiling...

I have interviewed a lot of bands in the last ten years. The average sitdown seems to last about 20 minutes.

This thing was two hours.

Pick up the Revolver Halloween issue!


TV News

Did you know there is an "Aquaman" pilot? The WB commissioned one from the folks behind "Smallville" with a similar vibe and tone. When UPN and The WB merged to become the CW, it failed to make the cut. The kid they casted in the lead moved on to play Green Arrow on, well, "Smallville." But now the pilot is on iTunes! I downloaded it. I still need to watch it.

I am sure this guy will make a better Aquaman than Vincent Chase.

Speaking of webisodes I am about to watch The Office shorts that were made inbetween seasons 2 and 3. LOVE that show.

The Terminator is coming to television! Get ready for "The Sarah Connor Chronicles." Heck yeah! Yes, I know, "The Crow" came to television also (along with countless other classic movies that were dumbed down for primetime), but this could be different: director David Nutter ("The Sopranos," "Entourage" and "The X-Files" aka three of the best shows of all time) and screenwriter Josh Friedman ("War of the Worlds," "The Black Dahlia") are both involved.


Movie News

The trailor for "Killshot" is online! It's a flick starring two of my favorite actors -- Mickey Rourke ("Sin City") and Tom Jane ("The Punisher") -- executive produced by Quentin Tarantino, directed by John Madden ("Shakespeare in Love") and based on a novel by Elmore Leonard ("Jackie Brown"). Check it out. In a perfect world, "Killshot" will turn out to be more "Get Shorty" than "Jackie Brown." In other words, here's hoping that incredible talent pool doesn't somehow screw it up:



Misc Notes

Normally at the gym (just started going again after wayyyy too long off) I listen to something like Machine Head, Motorhead, Living Sacrifice or old Fear Factory, anything with a driving beat and riffs that I will instantly recognize. This morning I tried something new: Enslaved. You know, dark, atmospheric, progressive, Norwegian Enslaved. It was weird, but cool.


Guav said...

Yeah, but Revolver won't print the whole 2 hour interview .... so I expect a transcript in my email :)

Johnny Folklorique said...

I'm jealous. I might just have to go to the bookstore and read the interview.

Anonymous said...

Hi. I have that issue of Revolver (it's not the Halloween issue--it's the Dec issue), and half of the subjects you listed that Glenn Danzig talked about was not printed, e.g. dealings with people with mafia ties. Now that is interesting. David Lee Roth has had to deal with the mafia. I wonder how Glenn Danzig had handled it. Go ahead and "steal Revolver's thunder." This and the thoughts on Doyle, early gigs and fights were subjects that were never printed in the article anyway.