June 27, 2017 Interview – Doyle Wolfgang von Frankenstein
Rock-n-Roll is full of stereotypes and cliches, but if that is the case, what is the point? The entire being of the music is to defy trends, be your own person, and live life on your own terms. In that case, Doyle Wolfgang von Frankenstein is as Rock-n-Roll as they come, laughing in the face of preconceived notions and expectations. Beginning his legacy at a young age a part of adored Punk Rock heroes Misfits, von Frankenstein has gone on to big things with his own bands including Gorgeous Frankenstein and more recently, Doyle. Touring constantly, von Frankenstein knows just how to get a crowd going and looks to light up stages worldwide with his band’s latest offering, As We Die. As excited as ever to be rocking, recently we caught up with the high energy guitarist to talk his early begins with Misfits, the special 2016 reunion shows, the work behind As We Die, healthy living, and more.
CrypticRock.com – You have been involved in music professionally for over 35 years now and, in that time, have become one of the most recognized names in Punk and Metal. Beginning at a very young age, what has this journey been like for you?
Doyle – It’s fun, you just get better at what you do.
CrypticRock.com – It has to be a blast. As stated, you began at a very young age a part of the Misfits. You were an intricate part of the band for many years. In 2016, yourself and Glenn Danzig reunited for two special shows as a part of the Misfits. What was it like getting back together like that?
Doyle – Yeah, it was really cool to see those guys interact. They are both fun guys and we had a lot of laughs. A lot of people ask, “What is it like to be on stage with them?” It was pretty much normal because I’ve been playing with Glenn for about 9 or 10 years and I see my brother all the time. It was like where we left off, it didn’t seem weird. We had a great time and we laughed a lot. It was good to feel the love of a giant crowd like that. To actually have that giant crowd all be there to see us rather than play at a festival like we used to in the past when we weren’t sure if anyone knew who the fuck we were.
CrypticRock.com – Absolutely, and this was a really special event for a lot of people, they traveled from all over the country to come to these shows. It is definitely something that people are going to remember for years to come.
Doyle – We had people flying in from Japan, Australia, everywhere. I’d like to do a 100 show tour, make a record, blow this thing the fuck up, and give the people what they want!
CrypticRock.com – That would be something exciting to see in the future, we will see where the future takes us. Beyond the Misfits, you have been working solo for some time. You released your debut solo album back in 2013 and are back in 2017 with As We Die. What was the writing and recording process like for As We Die?
Doyle – It was all written at the same time we wrote the Abominator record. We actually have more songs written that we did not record. I’m constantly writing stuff and haven’t sat down and made them into songs yet. We will see if we are going to do any Misfits recording, if not, everything I have written will be the third Doyle record. You write constantly, that’s what you do. You pick up a guitar, and every time you do, you try and write something.
CrypticRock.com – This new record is quite good. It is interesting that you say it was written the same time as Abominator. One thing that stands out in this record particularly is the lyrical content. What can you tell us about the lyrics?
Doyle – Basically I write all the guitar, drums, and bass parts. I record those and arrange them into a song. Then I send them to our singer, Alex Wolfman Story. He makes all the vocal melodies and writes all the words to what I give him, and that’s how we do it.
CrypticRock.com – Very cool. You have been working with Alex for some time now. It seems to be that you guys fit really well together from seeing you on stage and obviously the way the music comes out. What is your working relationship like?
Doyle – He is one of the greatest songwriters who will ever live honestly. That guy can write 100 songs and it will all be great. He’s amazing, a genius. Everything I give him, he sends it back to me and I’m just like, “What the fuck, how the fuck do you do that? It is so great!” Every song that you hear from Abominator and As We Die went to him exactly how you hear it on there and he puts the stuff in there. He put in all the vocal melodies and all the words.
CrypticRock.com – That is great! You have a very good working relationship obviously. You are currently on the road for some shows prior to a full tour come June with Davey Suicide. With new album in hand, what can fans expect from a Doyle show?
Doyle – To be very entertained and to get brutalized. We come out there and we give it all we got. No matter if there is 5 people, or 1 person, or 500 people, we are just going to jam the fuck out of that thing. You are going to go home and say, “Wow, that was fucking great!” Most of the people say, “That’s the best show I’ve ever seen.” I just say, “Thank you, it is pretty cool.”
CrypticRock.com – You guys bring an energy to the stage no matter the size of the venue, that is what people want to see when they go to a show.
Doyle – When I go to a show, I don’t want to see the guys stand there and play it perfect, I want to see them go off! I don’t care if they hit every note. I am out there to give you a show. If you want to hear our shit played perfectly, go home and listen to it.
CrypticRock.com – It is about putting on a good show, and that is why people come out to the show. You have a past of Horror Punk. This is a style that few have replicated through the years. As time goes by, what are your thoughts of the Horror Punk scene in 2017?
Doyle – I don’t like Horror Punk, I like Metal. I’d say Horror Punk is mostly Rockabilly, which, for me, I don’t like. I haven’t heard a Horror Punk band that I’ve liked.
CrypticRock.com – Understood. As people, we like to put labels on things; labels can pigeonhole a band. Sometimes it cannot really be what the band is trying to convey; the term Horror Punk is broad to some people.
Doyle – They think it’s Horror Punk because of what I’ve come from, but to me, I can’t put a label on what we do. We just write love songs, we write whatever the fuck comes to our head. I can’t put a label on it. To me, we don’t sound like anybody but us.
CrypticRock.com – That is very true. Speaking of Horror, you actual are set to star in Death Ward 13, which is inspired by 1973’s Don’t Look in the Basement. How did this project come about for you and what can you tell us about your role?
Doyle – My manager Bruce Miyaki was talking to them, he was trying to get me in a movie for awhile. He made them change the script to what I would do and wouldn’t do. I’ve been in a couple of movies and the actors are unbelievably good. As soon as they say action they become someone else. It’s so believable it blows your mind. Then they say cut and they are the person they were a minute ago. I don’t know how the fuck they do that! I am up for the challenge. Those people are great. It’s brilliant art.
People say, “Oh, I can do that.” No you can’t, you don’t know what the fuck you are doing. People think they can do everything. You can’t teach someone to sing, you either can or you can’t, that is all there is to it. You can learn technique, but you have to be special to do those things like that, and hopefully I can do it.
CrypticRock.com – Well it will be exciting to see what happens with this project. As someone who spends an awful lot of time on the road, you certainly stay in fantastic shape. What are some keys for you to keep yourself health?
Doyle – I am sponsored by a company called PowerBlock Dumbbell. They send me whatever I need as far as gym equipment goes and I bring it with me. It is an adjustable dumbbell that goes from 2.5 lbs to 90 lbs, you can get ones that go up to 125 lbs or 175 lbs. They are the size of a pair of shoes, they don’t take up much room, they just weigh a lot. They are the last thing that goes on the bus and the first thing off the bus. I get up, I have my coffee, I have my cereal, and I go work out. It’s consistency, that’s how you stay in shape, that is how you do it.
CrypticRock.com – There is certainly a level of dedication over the years to keep in shape like that and I imagine a diet has a great deal to do with that as well.
Doyle – Yea, you don’t eat McDonalds, you don’t eat potato chips and garbage. Working out also gives you a higher metabolism, I’ve been working out since I was 10 years old every day. The only time I missed working out is if I have business to take care of or I’m hurt. Now I’m vegan. Since I became vegan, I’ve become a lot more leaner than ripped. All I eat is good food, healthy, real stuff.
CrypticRock.com – That is interesting to hear. You hear a lot of different things about a vegan diet, a lot of them are probably misconceived. They would think if someone is working out heavily, such as yourself, you would need meats, but that is not the case, right?
Doyle – There is as much or more protein in a plant based diet than a meat diet. The meat is full of hormones, steroids, and antibiotics, all it is, is giving everyone cancer. We are destroying this planet by feeding these animals – the water they drink, the gas driving them from here to there. All the food we are wasting on them could feed the whole world. It is a money making bullshit thing that is killing everyone and nobody can see that. It’s horrible the way they slaughter these innocent beings. If the whole world goes vegan, we are all going to live longer.
CrypticRock.com – Those are some very good points you bring up there. It is for moral and health reasons for people to consider a different eating lifestyle. It is so hard for so many people because of the way we live, this has been our society for so long.
Doyle – People don’t understand what vegan is and they don’t do the research of how their food is coming about. They are first handedly killing these animals. they think they are not, but you are actually paying someone to do it. You are buying the food they are making out of it, you buy leather products, so you are actually doing it yourself.
CrypticRock.com – As they say, out of sight, out of mind. Many of us are guilty of it. The first step is admitting it and trying to make a change.
Doyle – Yes, I heard about veganism in the late ’90s from my friend and I really didn’t grasp it until I met my girlfriend, who is vegan. The first time I ate with her, we were trying to get her on a plane and running around NYC. We were starving, I said we have to get something to eat. She said, “We can’t get me something to eat, we will get you something to eat.” I look at her and I said, “I would never eat something in front of you that disrespects you or grosses you out, we will eat whatever you eat.”
The first thing I ate vegan with her, I took one bite, looked at her, and said, “Holy shit, this is so good!” It’s so good and it’s so good for you. She showed me all these videos of how they get the meat. You have to be enlightened and you will get it. People don’t understand it so they are afraid it, they think it’s garbage, but it’s the best food you can have.
CrypticRock.com – Yes, it is about learning. There is certainly a lack of fiber in American diets, not proteins.
Doyle – I agree with that and a lot more obesity too because of the garbage that everybody is eating such as processed foods. A lot of people get mad as soon as you say the word vegan because they feel guilty and totally get defensive. I make a post on Instagram about a vegan thing, I won’t write the word vegan in the comment at all and they will get defensive.
CrypticRock.com – That brings up another point, it seems like, in our society, people have become ultrasensitive about everything. Everyone takes it as an attack on themselves, whether it be about their diet, lifestyle, or politics. What do you think about all that?
Doyle – You are right, it’s the truth. I don’t tell people what to do, you can’t even say that word around people. They go crazy and get so defensive about it. I don’t understand human beings (laughs).
CrypticRock.com – It is frustrating. We should not need to censor our opinions, but we often feel the need to tiptoe around certain people, otherwise you are going to tick them off.
Doyle – To me, a lot of people are like veganism isn’t Metal or Punk. You know what, it’s the most Metal or Punk thing you can do! It’s going against what everyone is doing. It pisses people off; I love to piss people off.
I was picking up some vegan sandwiches in this place we go to in NY. My girl was waiting in the car. I ordered them, was standing in line waiting to pick them up, and there were these two young girls that were 13 and 15 years old. I had a shirt on with no sleeves, they asked, “Are you vegan?” I was like, “Yeah, it makes you happy, don’t it?” and they were like “Yeah!” It does, it makes you a happy person, it makes you a positive person.
CrypticRock.com – There are a lot of things that we can do to change our diets, that could change our outlooks on things. Like you said, you do not eat McDonalds and that garbage. It is like a drug, there are additives in those foods which make you addicted, like drugs.
Doyle – Not even that, it’s not even food. There is so much garbage in there. Subway had foam rubber in their bread not too long ago. What McDonalds put in its fillers, I could imagine what it is.
CrypticRock.com – It is pretty crazy. My last question for you is pertaining to Horror films. What are some of your favorite Horror films?
Doyle – I like the 1933 King Kong starring Fay Wray with her delicate frame. That’s my favorite. I like John Carpenter’s The Thing (1982). You look at the graphics now, they may seem a little hocking, but back then, it was horrifying. Also, the first two Alien movies are pretty scary. I don’t like Slasher ones, with a mask and knife. I like monsters. I want to use my imagination with some guy in a mask. I also like the stuff Rob Zombie does, he does interesting stuff.