by David Necro
A deadly interview with with Danzig bassist Steve Zing
David Necro: Now we know you as the drummer of Samhain, how did you become the bass player for Danzig?
Steve Zing: Well, basically I got a phone call from Glenn, and he said that he needed a bass player, and would I be interested in doing it. I said to him, "you know, I'm really not a bass player." Glenn's like, "yeah, but you can do it." I'm like, "ok." That's how it happened. It was a simple phone call and a simple answer.
DN: Ok, you were excited by the fact that you would be working with Glenn again, correct?
SZ: Of course.
DN: For 'Blackest of the Black 2006,' Glenn included 3 Samhain tunes. Was that weird playing bass on 2 songs from 'Initium?'
SZ: Yes it was. You better believe it.
DN: And you weren't behind the drum kit...
DN: Well, how did Johnny Kelly do on the Samhain tunes?
SZ: Johnny is amazing.
DN: People are saying that this is one of the best Danzig lineups ever. Is there a reason why that is?
SZ: I think because all of us are fans. We're not just people who know of Danzig. Like for me, especially playing with Glenn before, I think that makes the whole thing click.
DN: What songs do you enjoy playing in particular?
SZ: "How the Gods Kill," "Left Hand Black." There's a lot of 'em, there really is.
DN: It's ironic that you're playing the bass parts that Eerie Von played. Have you talked to Eerie lately?
SZ: No, I haven't talked to Eerie in 9 years.
DN: Do you think Eerie will do anything with Glenn again?
SZ: I couldn't answer that. Never say never. I never thought I'd do anything with Glenn again.
DN: What were the best shows of 'Blackest of the Black 2008?'
SZ: I enjoyed all of them, you know? Vegas was great, I had a great time in Vegas. L.A. was superb, Portland, and Seattle.
DN: Do you consider Danzig heavy metal, because that's not a genre you've been associated with in the past.
SZ: I can't put a name to Danzig music.
DN: Of course there were the Misfits songs the last 2 years, but you've never played them with another member besides Glenn.
SZ: To do it Misfits way with Doyle was intense.
DN: It was kinda like a class reunion, you know?
SZ: You gotta understand that Doyle and I go back to Kindergarten. So, on stage he walked by me and threw out a name of a teacher we had in 1st glade. I'd yell one back from the 6th grade teacher, and it was pretty funny.
SZ: I didn't see any of your Cryptgirls while on tour...
DN: Yeah, they had an open invitation, and the only that I knew of that was there was Szandora. But in her case it's quality over quantity. I dunno where the rest were. Probably having their usual fun and games somewhere.I tried to put the spell on them, and it didn't work this time around.
SZ: Well, who knows.
DN: Well, that'll be another time. It seems like you're not that well known amongst the former and current colleagues of Glenn's. Like the Eerie Vons and John Christs.
SZ: It's very simple. I'm not saying I'm ex-this or ex-that. Like Eerie hasn't been in the band for 13 years. It's just like Bobby Steele, still going around calling himself ex-Misfit. The guy was in the band for a year and a half, 2 years, and he left the band in 1980,'81. That's 27-28 years. If people don't know you by now, you've got a problem. I wasn't looking to ride off of
anyone's success. I'm not online selling paintings.
DN: You should be up there with these other names from the past.
SZ: I'm gonna tell you another thing, I don't have an ego. Look man, I'm just no different
than you are. I'm fortunate enough to be up there. I enjoy people.
DN: My understanding is that at 'Blackest of the Black 2008,' Glenn was sick for a good portion of that.
SZ: It was a bad case of the flu. We almost cancelled a show, but Glenn didn't want to.
DN: Glenn puts the fans ahead of his own health.
SZ: Pretty much.
DN: That's what I get a lot when I get into discussion about Glenn with some of the naysayers out there. Is that you don't understand where he's coming from. That last statement you said tells me that he's not what people make him out to be.
SZ: Glenn is Glenn. He's consistent and the guy knows what he wants. He got where he is because of that.
DN: What is your influence that spawned off from Samhain, like goth-metal and goth-punk?
SZ: To really be honest, I didn't have one.
DN: All of these horror punk bands look at you like a god.
SZ: Well, I guess I feel honored. None of us (in Samhain) set to say that we were going to change anything. Take for instance Samhain; we got together and we did it. There was never like, we're doing this for thins, and we did it. It was a vision of Glenn's, and because it was a passion and not to devise up stuff.
DN: What are your thought on 'Blackest of the Black' as a festival, and the bands therein?
SZ: I think the selection of music was really good.
DN: How did the Danzig songs differ from the Samhain songs, now that you've been in both bands?
SZ: Samhain was a little more raw. One step above the Misfits. Danzig is more of a metal band than Samhain was. That differentiates the style of playing and the
songs itself. Then again, it's hard to put a label on Danzig.
DN: What is a common thread that runs through all of Glenn's projects?
SZ: It's just his style. Every song that Glenn has, has a hook. To be a songwriter, that's hard. He created a style.
DN: Did Johnny do the Samhain songs justice?
SZ: He did. In fact I didn't tell him at all how to play them. It sounded like Samhain. At one point, I'm like, "you're not playing that right." But that's ok. Then again, I'm not sure I was playing the bass parts right either. But, it worked.
DN: I heard you met with the fans a lot. Does that mean a lot to you?
SZ: Of course. These are people that supported you whether they bought a Samhain record or what have you. These are the people that appreciate your music and appreciate what you do. If I can show my appreciation by talking to them, or signing something, that cool.
DN: Will the Samhain box set be re-released?
SZ: Glenn was talking about it. I told him, "if you're gonna do that, redo the video and put it as a dvd and put some commentary in there."
DN: Will there be new liner notes, or will everything else be the same?
SZ: I'm not sure. I'm sure Glenn would want to make it a little different.
DN: People are hoping that the '99 tour shows will be on this possible new dvd for a possible new box set.
SZ: I would hope so because we have some good ones.
DN: Will that happen again? Another Samhain tour?
SZ: David, I told ya, you never know. That's my motto and I stick by it.
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