Doyle Wolfgang von Frankenstein is just as menacing on the phone as he seems to be in person. His answers are short and to the point. He's got the kind of cold, monotone-ish voice that lets you know that he's not to be played with. In fact, you have to be careful that you don't accidentally offend him, or else you think that he might track you down rip your head from your shoulders with those massive fists of his.
But, would you expect or want anything else from this ghoul? A pivotal member of the Misfits, Doyle brought a massive, slamming guitar sound to the band during the second half of their original run. He doesn't so much pick the strings as slam down on them like King Kong crushing airplanes. He's recently killed off his last band, Gorgeous Frankenstein, and started the new group simply titled "Doyle," which includes Gorgeous Frankenstein members Alex Story and Dr. Chud.
Punknews contributing editor John Gentile spoke to Doyle (though the safety of about 3,000 miles) about the new band, the meaning of horror imagery, and well, The Misfits, of course.
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The new album seems to be the most metal release that you've made to date.
To me, it's just high voltage rock and roll. What I wrote is what I wrote.
Also, you are continuing to work with Alex Story, who was the vocalist in your last band Gorgeous Frankenstein. That's a good pick!
It's a great pick. That motherfucker is perfect. He's a beast. He's angry like me. He's pitch perfect. He's violent. He's a great songwriter. I think he should go down as one of the great songwriters of all time, to be honest.
So, you write the music and he writes the lyrics?
Yeah, I write the music and do the arrangement, and then I send it to him and the drummer. They do their thing and I do my thing and it's done.
Why did you choose to name this group "Doyle?"
Actually, Alex did. He texted me and was like "we have to talk when you get a chance." I was like "what's up?" He said "We should change the name. We should change it to Doyle. We should re-start the band and start fresh." I said, "Alright, let's do it." Our rule is the same as it was in Gorgeous Frankenstein- Kiss. Keep it simple, stupid. When we were Gorgeous Frankenstein, 50 people would show up at our sows and be like, "Wow, I didn't know that you were in the band." Now people are learning about the singer, learning about the drummer.
Is Doyle a continuation of Gorgeous Frankenstein, or does Doyle signify a new start?
Nah, no more Gorgeous Frankenstein material. That's done, it's in the can.
What's the title track, "Abominator," about?
Well, we didn't have a title for the record. I was just driving down the street one day, for no reason, one day, it just popped into my head. I slammed on the breaks and texted it to Alex. "What do you think of this for a song?" He was like "fuck yeah, I'll write a song." Then we had a song called "Abominator."
But what is the actual song about?
You have to ask him. I'm just the background noise. He's the singer.
Well, I think that's an understatement. Do you think the other guys are a little jealous that the band is called "Doyle" or do you think that they are just happy to be part of the band?
They're actually happy. They want to be in the Doyle project and they all want to make it happen. We're all exacted about it. My name is the biggest name? Fine, the let it be the vehicle to get us to where we gotta go.
What is the song "Mark of the Beast" about?
In that song, there was a woman who used to kill virgins and drink their blood. She thought it made her young.
That was a real thing?!
That's a real thing.
Crazy! A lot of your music uses horror imagery. Do you just like that kind of stuff, or does it represent a sort of philosophy for you?
I just like the imagery. The thought of dark people, monsters, horrifying things, is more interesting to look at than puppies, flowers, or rainbows.
How much of the Doyle persona is a character? Do you really think about those types of things all the time?
Horror related things, as opposed to say puppies, flowers, or rainbows. To rephrase it, are you a positive or negative person?
I am a positive person. The Doyle on the stage is pretty much the Superman to the Clark Kent. Once I step on the stage, that's what I am. What you see is what you get. It's a real release. I get out what I have to get out.
One of my all-time favorite shows was at Sayerville, New Jersey on December 26, 2009. At that show, after the Gorgeous Frankenstein set, "new" Misfits vocalist Michael Graves came out and did a set of "new" Misfits songs with you and Dr. Chud. Then, later, you and Glenn Danzig did a set of "original" Misfits songs." How did that come about?
I don't remember. I think I spoke to Michael on the phone. He's a friend, so I called him up and asked him if he wanted to come down and do a few numbers. He said "yeah." We didn't rehearse. We just showed up and did it. I think it was Christmas time so when wanted to give the fans something cool.
And Glenn Danzig didn't mind?
Oh, no, he didn't mind.
Is the Danzig with Doyle thing going to continue?
This tour goes until the end of August and then we have a show in Chicago. Then we start up again October 5th. You have to check the website. I just get on the place and go.
Do you think you'll ever record together, again?
We actually recorded a song; it might have been back in April. I don't know what it's called. I don't know when it's coming out, if it's coming out. But, we recorded it. He wrote it. Yeah, I would love to do a Misfits thing with him. I would love to play on a Danzig recording with him. But, if it goes that way it goes that way. If it doesn't go that way it doesn't go that way.
So then, do you think a Misfits reunion will ever happen?
I'm in. That's all I can say. I'm in.