Whenever I think of The Misfits and Doyle, I cannot help but think of drummer Dr. Chud, and riding a mechanical bull with him in a small New Orleans pub on Decatur Street, before Hurricane Katrina. Playing alongside him is the main man, which Doyle is named for, Doyle Wolfgang von Frankenstein. Though he is currently out on the road touring in support of Danzig's 25th anniversary, which will be stopping in Chicago for Riotfest on September 13, and Grand Rapids on October 23 at the Orbit Room; Doyle's self-named band will be out on the road just after the Halloween season.
Author Marisa Williams: What is your home town, and is that where you live now?
Doyle Wolfgang von Frankenstein: The bus.
Marisa: How did you get started in music? Did you come from a musical family? What were your early musical influences?
Doyle: My brother played bass and influenced me. I think I got my first guitar for my 8th grade graduation. I learned my first strings and kept practicing with Jerry (Only, his older brother and bassist for The Misfits. Doyle and Jerry later formed Kryst the Conqueror, releasing select tracks on Jerry's label Cyclopian Music, some including guest guitarist Dave “The Snake” Sabo of Skid Row). Early influences include Led Zeppelin, David Bowie, Alice Cooper, and Black Sabbath.
Marisa: What instruments do you play, and how old were you when you learned to play them?
Doyle: I dabble with guitar and bass, which are pretty much the same. I know how to play drums, but not fluently, drums for Doyle stuff. I started at around 12 or 13, but I'm still taking lessons. The only stuff I know how to play is what I'm playing now, nothing else.
Marisa: What was your first concert that you attended, and how did that compare to the first concert that you played?
Doyle: It was probably The Misfits. Queen and Thin Lizzy was the first big one. Compared to my first concert I played, I was 16, and it was in Irving Plaza in New York. It was Halloween, so everyone in the crowd had on a costume. There was a giant cock and all kinds of crazy things. Screaming Jay Hawkins opened for us, and it was 1980.
Marisa: How do you go about writing music? What comes first for you: drums, guitars, vocals or something else? Has the process of writing changed for you over the years at all?
Doyle: It's mostly 99.999% guitar riffs first, then we put them all together. Very rarely do we put the vocal part together first, but the singer is good at that. I work with people who are good at what they do, and that's what you should do, let them do what they are better at than you.
Marisa: What's your favorite musical technique?
Doyle: Punching my guitar as hard as I can.
Marisa: You went from Misfits to playing with Danzig and your own project. What has been the most unexpected part of your musical journey up to this point?
Doyle: I don't think there is an unexpected one; I play guitar.
Marisa: What's the coolest thing about your latest project and what can people expect in the future?
Doyle: Coolest thing is that everyone who hears it, loves it. We've had no bad reviews. Everybody has liked it. I don't know what it sounds like. Old school. As far as the future, we actually created two records in one. I was guna put 18 songs on the album, but when I was driving over to mix it in New York, I was told, “you know you're giving away half an album for free,” so I said let's do more songs and do another album. We have three songs mixed for that.
Marisa: What is the scariest thing about being on the road?
Doyle: Scariest thing is if I have to take dump, and we're in middle of highway, and I can't shit on the bus. It's true. It's like you have to shit on cue when we stop. Or, even worse, is eating something fucked up that gives you the runs when you're playing.
Marisa: Career high and lows?
Doyle: Playing with Black Sabbath in Belgium, that was cool. Meeting really cool people is really cool. Low? I don't know. Stopping.
Marisa: Unfortunately, that happens to everyone eventually. What's your favorite way to travel and why?
Doyle: Sleeping on the bus. Once the thing starts rolling, you're done. You're out.
Marisa: What's your favorite place to travel to, and is there anywhere you have not been to that you would like to go to?
Doyle: I like Japan. I like to go to Japan, but I'd like to got to Hawaii with a beautiful girl.
Marisa: What's your biggest musical fantasy?
Doyle: The singer from The Agonist, in the bedroom.
Marisa: I have three personality questions that I ask everyone. They might sound like hogwash, but I promise, there is a psychological basis to the answers ;-) First, if you were an unicorn, and you could be any color but white, what color would you be and would you have any special powers?
Doyle: I'd be invisible. That's my color. Invisible.
Marisa: If you were yogurt, would you be mixed fruit, fruit on the bottom, what flavor and why?
Doyle: Ravioli flavored, and I'd be served in a bathtub with maggots.
Marisa: Describe yourself as either a dog, a cat or a cartoon.
Doyle: I'm more of a Herman Munster; everything I touch tends to break.
Marisa: Do you collect anything?
Doyle: Just debt.
Marisa: What's your biggest guilty pleasure?
Doyle: I watch football and eat pizza.
Marisa: Do you have any hidden talents or special skills?
Marisa: What's the most important thing to remember?
Marisa: What was your most influential moment?
Doyle: I was thinking of The Agonist singer.
Marisa: If you were not doing music, what would you be doing?
Doyle: Hopefully, the singer for The Agonist.
Marisa: What are three things you must have with you when you are on the road?
Doyle: Finger tape, gorilla snot, and bubble gum.
Marisa: Any advice for musicians starting out?
Doyle: Play good songs. Be a good musician. It's not about being a musician; it's about having a good time.
Marisa: Where can people find your music?
Marisa: Closing thoughts and additional comments?
Doyle: Well, I'm playing the Danzig 25th anniversary tour, so we will be continuing with that, playing Riot Fest in Chicago September 13th, and we will start again Oct 5 – 31 in the States. After, we will be booking my band for November.
The author of more than 100 books, Marisa Williams earned her Master's in Writing from the Johns Hopkins University; for more on Marisa, visit www.lulu.com/spotlight/thorisaz.