Interview by Alan Snodgrass
Doyle Wolfgang von Frankenstein … sure it’s a mouthful but you can just call him Doyle. Undoubtedly the most iconic guitarist the Misfits ever had, Doyle is now on the road for Danzig’s 25th Anniversary Tour, joining Glenn on stage each night for a mini Misfits set that invariably sets the room spinning at a velocity previously unimagined as he stomps a swath across the stage. Ripped like a body builder and imposing as none-other, Doyle plays so hard that he bleeds and his equipment crumbles in his massive hands.
We caught up Doyle before the August 30th Danzig show at the Gibson Amphitheater in Universal City, California where he was happy to not only discuss the Misfits legacy, but his plans for “world abomination” with his latest release, Abominator. For a guy that’s not normally one for a lot of words, he’s clearly pumped for what lies ahead.
I heard that you did an in-store signing at Guitar Center down in Hollywood yesterday.
What was the coolest thing that you signed?
Some kid had a picture of me, I think it was from one of the festivals in Europe, it was a great shot. I’d never seen it.
Did he take it?
No, he said he got it off the internet.
Misfits fans are pretty enthusiastic collectors as I’m probably sure you know.
Oh my God. Thank God.
What do you have stashed away that would blow …
What happened to it all?
I moved around a lot and carried it around, carried it around, and I’m like, “What the … I’m never going to … what am I going to do with this shit?” So I sold it. That’s what happened to it.
Right now you’re on the road with Glenn Danzig, playing a bunch of Misfits songs. How does it compare being on stage with him now versus back in the eighties?
From Glenn? From the crowd?
What do you think it is about those songs that makes people go crazy?
They’re good songs. They don’t suck.
Speaking of Misfits songs, have you heard The Devil’s Rain?
And what do you think?
It’s not my taste in music.
Do you think if you were playing guitar on it that it might have turned out differently?
No, I would never play guitar in that. I don’t like the songs, I don’t like the style of music it is. I think it’s ballsy to change the style of what the Misfits are. Not many artists can actually change the whole style of what they’re doing and keep going. Like David Bowie always changed what he was doing and not many people can do that.
It’s difficult for a band to reinvent itself.
Fuck yeah. Especially when you’ve got a fan base that wants one thing, then you give them something that’s totally NOT that.
What does Jerry think about you doing the old Misfits stuff with Glenn?
I’ve never asked him.
He never said?
I didn’t ask.
What do you think he thinks? Do you talk to him?
Yeah, I talk to him. I don’t know. He asks “Hey, how did it go?” you know, “Great …!”
So you guys keep it on a brotherly level as opposed to a professional level?
Do you ever think that you, Glenn, and Jerry would ever reunite?
I’m in. It’s not me. I’m not the problem.
Who’s the problem?
One of the shows that you did with Glenn was at the Golden Gods Awards and if you look closely your guitar basically falls apart into pieces right at the end of the last song. What happened there?
I hit it too hard.
Was that one of your hand-made models, or was it one of the October [Guitar] models?
It was one that I made.
And what happened to the pieces?
They’re sitting in my studio in a case all apart.
Can it be fixed?
It’s looking tough man.
Can it be sold? Remember I asked that question about collectors.
I could sell it. I’m going to look at it again. I gotta just look at it and come up with a brain storm to fix it.
I noticed that one of the older guitars looked like one of the wings had broken off and you kind of bolted it on.
Yeah, I played it off. I played through the wood and it just … just like the one you see on the TV show, it just fell apart.
You and Steve Zing [Danzig bassist] go way back. I think he posted something on Facebook or Instagram the other day saying you’ve been friends for 43 years.
Do you remember the first time you met him?
It had to be in Kindergarten. I don’t really remember the actual moment. He’s always been there, you know.
Did you ever think that you guys would be playing music together someday?
No, but the funny thing is all the kids in high school used to make fun of me and him cause we were in punk rock bands. Like all the kids who were in bands who thought they were fucking rockers, you know. Playing Led Zeppelin covers and whatever the fuck they were playing. It was the seventies and the kids were like “Oh, punk rock. You guys suck. Blahblahblahblah.” We’re the only two still playing and we’re making a lot of money doing it so you can all suck my dick.
Steve tells stories about how when you were playing with the Misfits, he was the kid sitting there watching you guys rehearse. Do you remember those days?
Yeah, he used to sit on the garage roof next to where we would rehearse.
I guess the big news in your world is that you’ve got a new record out. Abominator.
Tell me about it.
Sure. We recorded it ourselves. I bought all the equipment we needed, and we learned how to use it, and we recorded for about six months and we realized we were doing it wrong and had to start over.
What was wrong about it?
We were having problems with just certain little things that we couldn’t fix because we didn’t have the right ProTool program. We needed a couple extra ones and then we got those and thank god Dr. Chud [drums] could figure all that shit out and he recorded the drums, I recorded the guitars and bass, and my singer did the vocals.
So, you actually played bass on the album?
Yes I did.
It’s been six years since the Gorgeous Frankenstein record came out for Abominator to come out. What took so long?
We wrote three records.
I was going to get there next. I heard that there were three records worth of material. What’s the plan with the other two records worth?
This is what happened … we recorded eighteen [songs] for this record, and we were going to mix it because we can’t mix it, you know. We can record it, you get good tones and good sounds, you bring it to a guy who can mix it … you’re good. So we went to Spin Studios in Long Island City and on the way to the studio, Chud just says to me, “You know, we’re giving them a half an album away for free.” And I say, “Yeah, you’re right. Just trying to do a good deed.” Because you know I got that Slipknot record and it’s sixty minutes long. I thought that was great. You know what I mean? It’s like, this is great! I love listening to this. That’s really cool. Ours was almost seventy. So I said, “Ok, tell you what … let’s just record six more of the songs and we’ll make another one, and we’ll have it ready to go.” They [the band] were waiting on me to finish because I’ve been doing this [Danzig tour]… I don’t have time. Plus, he’s [Danzig] got all my equipment with all his equipment and it’s flying all over the fucking place, so I don’t have nothing left at home to fucking record with. Everything’s out here. I gotta do I think between three and five tracks of guitar and bass and that one’s ready to be mixed. And it’s just as good as this one. We just took the songs and we split them up.
How’d you choose which ones went on which record?
I wrote them all down and we just kind of paired them up. We paired them up to the same vibe, same tempo, you know what I mean.
So you didn’t go for the heavy album and the light album…
…you tried to mix it … kind of balance them out?
No, we just did it. It took a minute. We were like, “What are we going to do? What are we going to do?” And we just fucking [makes writing noises]. We were like, “that looks good.”
And do you have a working title?
Any of the songs would be a great title. I think the best one so far is either … I like “Kiss Me As We Die” and I like a song called “Night of Sin.” Yeah, it’s got some really good stuff on there man.
Any idea when it will come out?
This one really hasn’t come out yet, so…
We want to start touring and not have to stop to go make a record. Just keep touring, and put it out and just keep going.
So, what is the touring plan?
We are looking at different booking agents right now. We want to open for Rob Zombie, Marilyn Manson, Slipknot … you know, bigger bands … and go out with them for a while until we see that the crowd is our crowd too, and then we can jump off.
So hopefully this year?
We’re looking at November. We’re trying to get something for November. I’m done with Glenn on the thirty-first of October. And then we’re going to try and get something going.
As far as the touring line up, you’ve got Alex [Story] on vocals, you’ve got Chud on drums. What about bass?
If Graham is available we’ll use him because he’s solid, man. He’s a great player.
Is he out with Marky [Ramone] right now?
I think he is. I doubt he’ll stop doing that to do what I’m doing because I don’t know if I could pay him as much as Marky. Plus he’s got some business that he runs that, “Oh, I can only go for two weeks,” or whatever. It doesn’t matter. We’ll go without one. I’ll plug the guitar …
Yeah. If Steve could play that stuff. I mean Danzig’s stuff is one note on bass. But yeah, I mean… but Steve’s gotta make good money too. Steve’s got a lot of shit he’s gotta pay for.
And a day job as well.
Unfortunately, yeah. You know why we’ve got day jobs, right?
Tell me why.
… because everybody steals music online. It’s like, you like this band and you steal all their shit and they’ve gotta go get fucking jobs because you’re stealing all their fucking shit they’re supposed to be selling. Just pay for it. If you want more songs, pay for it. I always say this … If I had a motorcycle shop and I was making motorcycles and some dude came in and took one, is that a crime?
If you take our song, which is our product without paying for it, that’s a fucking crime. It’s bullshit. Give us a dollar. What the fuck?!
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