Taking the Reins
The Misfits hit the scene in 1977 giving the public a ferocious dosage of their horror movie lyrics, hot and fast punk riffs and of course Danzig! Since the initial break-up of the Misfits in 1983, they had quite the revolving door of musicians and vocalists that included Jerry Only’s brother Doyle Wolfgang Von Frankenstein.
When Doyle left the band for good he went on to do Gorgeous Frankenstein. Gorgeous Frankenstein was a band named for himself and his ex-wife (Gorgeous George, WCW, ECW) who is also the ex-wife of the Hall of Fame wrestler, Randy “Macho Man” Savage. The band was a blistering mix of hard punk and horror movies. It was a sound that really wasn’t much of a departure from what the Misfits have been doing for several decades now.
Now with his new band Doyle, which is on his own label, Monsterman Records, he has opened a new door. Doyle is a real departure from the Misfits sound that embodies what creativity and Metal music can really be. Doyle is fronted by the newcomer, Alex Story, Doyle Von Frankenstein, Left Hand Graham Reaper, and Misfits alumni Dr. Chud. The unique blend of talent that Doyle has will make this a band to watch this year!
Kidman J. Williams: Let’s get this thing started shall we? I’m sure you’re pretty busy!
Doyle Wolfgang Von Frankenstein: I’m actually building a guitar right now. (laughs)
KW: You’re building a guitar?
DWVF: I just had my original one painted and now I’m putting it back together now.
KW: Did you ever go to school for that or did you just start fiddling?
DWVF: Well, we have a machine shop and I just started making them there.
KW: What I heard off of your new album “Abominator” sounds real good! Did you make a conscious effort to get away from the Misfits and Gorgeous Frankenstein sound?
DWVF: No, it was really just, whatever I wrote, I wrote and that was it.
KW: What was it that drew you to the vocalist Alex Story? What made you think, “YEAH, this is the guy I want?”
DWVF: He (Alex Story) sent me an audition a couple years earlier when I was looking for a singer for Gorgeous Frankenstein and it was the only one I kept; actually it was the only one that I listened to all the way through! The other ones I just listened quick to and was like, “that’s not the guy, that’s not the guy!” I wrote a bunch of songs, music actually. I said to myself, “Who am I going to get to finish these songs?” I have a hard time finishing songs after I write the music. All I can see after is me playing it; I can’t step away from it for some reason. Alex was the first person I thought of after and I called him!
Ironically enough, he walked into a Danzig concert in Houston! I asked, “Do you want to write with me?”
He said, “FUCK YEAH!” (Laughs)
I had 12 songs and I only sent him 3 so I didn’t overwhelm him. I wrote out what I thought the arrangement was and I told him to write whatever the fuck he wants, which is still the formula we use! He sent me back the song, “Mark of the Beast” and it was exactly the same as you hear it on the album. That was exactly what I wanted!
KW: Alex is an interesting singer!
DWVF: Yeah, he IS really good!
KW: I noticed that he doesn’t particularly sound like anyone. The way he structures his phrasing with the music is very unique! Is that something that grabbed you?
DWVF: Yeah! I think he is a great songwriter, I think he is one of the best songwriters of our time! He is really amazing! I would send him songs from on this record and the new one we are working on and he would be able to send them all back in a day; FUCKING PERFECT! What is wrong with this guy, how did he do it?
KW: The phrasing on “Valley of the Shadows” just blew my mind! The structure was…
KW: Yeah, absolutely!
DWVF: He is a fucking genius! He is one of the most retardedly insane people that I know! He is a genius when it comes to music. Me and him are like the two stupidest people I know!
KW: (laughs) What do you mean by that?
DWVF: This is the way he (Alex Story) puts it, “if there is a pile of dog shit in the yard; we are both stepping in it.” (laughs)
KW: (laughs) So, he is a pretty crazy guy, huh?
DWVF: Oh man, he believes every word he is saying man! He ain’t fucking around, that shit is real!
KW: It is good to have guys like that in your band.
DWVF: Yeah, especially when they are on your side. (laughs)
KW: (laughs) Right! You said you have more songs coming out?
DWVF: Yeah, we recorded 25 songs; we wrote 40 but recorded 25 of them. We put 18 songs on “Abominator” and we mixed it to 18. Dr. Chud and I went out to Long Island City to mix the record and Chud turns to me and said, “You know, you are giving them a half of an album away free here.” I said I just want to do something really good and I love that one Slipknot album. That one is over an hour long and that’s fucking great, ya know?
The economy sucks so do people a favor! Chud was like, “yeah, you’re right!” So, we put it out there, mixed and mastered it!
KW: Are you much happier in this band than previous bands?
DWVF: Yeah! This is the only album, just like my girlfriend, from Arch Enemy, the only album that both of us can hand to somebody and not have an excuse when we hand it to people. You know, this is my record, but this or but that. No, this one is like, here is my record!
KW: You know the Misfits questions are coming up.
KW: The Misfits have been around since 1977. Do you ever feel obligated to uphold the legacy of the Misfits?
DWVF: Umm, the way I hold it up is just the way I play guitar and perform. I don’t really think about anything. I just write what comes out.
KW: Everyone now knows that the Misfits were influenced by horror movies. What was your favorite horror movie back then?
DWVF: I always liked the old ones like King Kong, The Wolfman and Frankenstein. You know, shit like that! The slasher movies really weren’t that scary to me. They had no imagination.
KW: What is your favorite modern horror movie?
DWVF: The last one I watched was Dark Shadows, which really isn’t much of a horror movie. (laughs) I don’t really watch TV at all. The last thing I watched on TV was The Super Bowl.
KW: Don’t get a chance to or do you just not care to?
DWVF: Don’t care to.
KW: I thought this was interesting, I’d never heard this before. The Misfits started out sounding like the Doors. There was no guitar and had a keyboard.
DWVF: Yeah, there was a keyboard, that is true!
KW: How did the aggressive punk sound come about? There is quite a difference between the Doors and Misfits.
DWVF: Glenn was the one playing the piano and they got a guitarist then another one and I joined the band.
KW: So, it was a natural progression then?
DWVF: Yeah, it was a natural progression!
KW: Are your kids aware of who you are and what the Misfits have done for music?
DWVF: I’m not even aware of it! When I meet famous people and they know my name, my mind is just blown! The year I was at the Golden Gods Awards, last year and they pulled my name out and I was just like, holy shit, WOW!
KW: So, you aren’t aware of just what kind of influence you have had?
DWVF: I don’t know how you could be? How do you know how big something is? I mean, every time we went to Europe or play a festival I just wondered if any of the 100,000 people knew who the Hell we were.
KW: (laughs) Yeah, but what about bands like Metallica and others. Not to mention the thousands of unsigned bands that would list you as an influence.
DWVF: Well yeah, Glenn was a great writer and singer; he still is. The songs are great! You could take the whole Misfits catalog, pre-Graves era, and every song was fucking great! You can’t take one song and say it blows! You can’t, it was great!
KW: Are you saying that you weren’t particularly fond of the Graves era of the Misfits?
DWVF: It was a little soft. I just like it heavier you know? I like what I’m doing now!
KW: You said Alex wrote the words. Did you write any of the lyrics on this album?
DWVF: Yeah, I wrote one word, abominator.
KW: One word?
DWVF: Just the word. We had no title and I was going down the street, so I pulled over and text him the word “abominator” and was like what you think about this? He said that was great and we had to make a song. So, the next song we wrote was that and the only thing I came up with was the word abominator.
KW: Why was it that you actually left the Misfits?
DWVF: Well, I showed up to practice one day and Jerry hired another guitarist and he didn’t want to get another singer. I just don’t like playing with another guitarist and I wanted a good singer.
KW: So, do you and your brother (Jerry Only) not talk anymore?
DWVF: We do! He just has different tastes than I do and I wanted a real band.
KW: Does it cause any kind of strife between you and your brother that you are still friends with Glenn (Danzig)?
DWVF: It doesn’t to me. Jerry is still his friend; they just don’t see eye to eye right now.
KW: There have been difficulties with doing a Misfits reunion. What do you think it will take to get a full Misfits reunion?
DWVF: Well, I’m in! All of the differences have to be put aside to be able to move forward.
KW: Are there a lot of problems to work out?
DWVF: I really have no idea.
KW: Are there any future plans for your record label [Monsterman Records]? Do you have other bands on the label?
DWVF: Not yet, no. We just need to do it right and how we can help other bands. We have a few other bands that we are looking at right now.
KW: Any bands that you can mention?
DWVF: Well, my girlfriend has a side project that is an all girl band. It is like a punk band and I’m writing a song with her right now. It is really, really great!
KW: What is the band called?
DWVF: I can’t tell you that! (laughs)
KW: (laughs) That’s great to hear though! I saw Arch Enemy a while back in Tampa and they were great!
DWVF: Yeah, and their new record is great! Have you heard it yet?
KW: No, not yet.
DWVF: It is called “War Eternal,” on Central Media. It is fucking great!
KW: How long have you and her [Alissa White-Gluz] been together?
DWVF: Since April 2013.
KW: Any future plans there?
DWVF: Uh, keep going. (laughs) Just keep going; that is the future plan.
KW: I read that you were actually married to Gorgeous George [WCW, ECW]. I didn’t know that. This is probably a pretty obscure question, especially since you don’t really watch TV, but we will see. Who had the better music career, Randy Savage or Jeff Hardy?
DWVF: I don’t really know.
KW: That’s kind of what I figured. Well, if you ever get bored and you want a good laugh, look up Randy Savage rapping on YouTube for a good laugh.
DWVF: I don’t think I will ever get that bored. (laughs)
KW: What do you have to say to your fans?
DWVF: Stop stealing music! When you steal music you put us all out of business and you don’t get anymore music. That’s why we all have day jobs.
KW: So, you have a day job?
DWVF: I’ve had one my whole career! I’m a machinist. I make all kinds of different shit. It is hard work, standing all day and stuff.
KW: How do you balance out your day job with your band and now running your new label?
DWVF: Hmm, you just do it man (laughs). It is hard!
KW: Do your kids get upset when Daddy leaves?
DWVF: They’re used to it by now. I’ve been doing it for years.
KW: Was it harder when they were young?
DWVF: Well, yeah. People don’t understand how hard the life is. People think it is just a party, but it is really hard work.
KW: You said you don’t watch much TV, what about music?
DWVF: I don’t really seek out new music. I find it better to not listen to music when you’re writing music. If you are listening to somebody else you are not writing. If you are going to sit there and listen to other music you could be writing your own.
KW: That makes sense.
DWVF: Now, when I workout, I listen to music.
KW: Musically, who influenced you the most?
DWVF: Umm, when I first started playing it was the Misfits, because they rehearsed at my house. Of course, Johnny Ramone; I thought Steve Jones was really good! I really liked the guitar playing on the Generation X album; the original one. Then I got into metal with Eddie Van Halen. He got me back into playing guitar after the Misfits broke up. Dimebag, Slayer and John 5 is just insane!
KW: You guys are doing a great job with this album. It sounds real good!
DWVF: Thank you man, I appreciate it!