EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW: Ex-Misfits guitar player, DOYLE
LOS ANGELES, January 22, 2014 — The Misfits, founded by Glenn Danzig and Jerry Only in Lodi, N.J. are punk rock legends. Their influence can be seen almost everywhere you look in punk music. Doyle Wolfgang von Frankenstein, the younger brother of Jerry Only, joined as the guitar player a few years after the band started. Doyle no has his own band simply called, DOYLE. Wells On Music spoke to Doyle last September regarding his time in the Misfits, the new DOYLE record and playing Misfits songs on the Danzig 25 tour.
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Kevin Wells: What bands did you grow up listening to?
Doyle: Misfits. Umm, all kinds of stuff; Alice Cooper, Ramones, Sex Pistols, you know, Zeppelin. Good stuff.
KW: Did you always know you would be in the Misfits once you were old enough?
Doyle: I wanted to. I joined because my dear friend, Bobby Steele, didn’t show up in the studio and I had all my gear there so he could use it. I used to practice with them all the time when he wasn’t coming to practice because he lived far away, you know? Glenn said, “You just play it.” So I just stepped in and played it. I was like 15.
KW: I heard you and Jerry Only used to hit people over the head with your guitars at shows. Any truth to that?
Doyle: Only by accident, never to hurt somebody. Maybe to scoop ‘em up so we could punch ‘em, but that’s about it.
KW: Did the Misfits really chase Motley Crüe down Sunset Blvd.?
Doyle: I don’t recall that. That sounds like a farce to me.
Doyle: I really don’t remember. It was probably over a drummer or something, you know? They couldn’t agree on drummers and, I don’t know. I think that’s about it.
KW: Do you still make any money off the old Misfits recordings you played on?
Doyle: I get a royalty.
KW: What made you and Jerry Only start the religious band, Kryst the Conqueror?
Doyle: [laughs] It wasn’t a religious band. It was just an attempt at writing songs. We didn’t write the songs with the Misfits. We wanted a project, so, you know, we wrote a bunch of music, pretty much Jerry wrote all the words. We learned how to write some songs, kind of, a little bit.
KW: Are you a religious man?
KW: How did you finally get Danzig to let you use the Misfits name?
Doyle: It was a court settlement.
KW: Why did you quit the Misfits in 2001?
Doyle: It wasn’t any good. I don’t like my brother’s singing, for one, and I didn’t want to play with the guys he wanted to play with.
KW: Did you really quit by unplugging in the middle of a song and walking off the stage?
KW: Are you and Jerry Only still close?
KW: Did you quitting make Thanksgiving awkward?
Doyle: There is no Thanksgiving.
KW: When did you and Danzig start talking again?
Doyle: I started talking to him [in 2002]. I met his personal assistant, Crazy Craig, and I told him, “Hey, tell Glenn I said hello.” He says, “I’m not telling him that.” I said, “Tell him I f**king said hello.” [laughs] So he finally did and Glenn started calling me for different things. That’s how it happened.
KW: When you do the Misfits live sets now with Danzig, who decides which Misfits songs to play?
Doyle: I don’t know how many we learned. We learned 12, I would imagine. After the first three, he starts calling out to ask the crowd to see what they want to hear. I wish we could learn 30 of ‘em and do a different set every night and have everybody going crazy.
KW: You said in an interview a while back that everyone was ready to sign on for a new Misfits album and tour back in 2002, but Jerry Only messed it up. What happened back then?
Doyle: I really don’t know. All I know is that I was prepared to do it and I still am. So, if you guys want that, you have to talk to the other two guys.
KW: Has Danzig expressed any interest to you in doing the Misfits again?
Doyle: No, he doesn’t say anything. [laughs] I’m sure he’s got a plan. What that plan is, only he knows. Everything he does is so top secret.
KW: Do you ever make fun of Danzig for not wearing a devilock anymore?
Doyle: No. I’m jealous because this f**kin’ thing’s in my face all the time. I’m a one trick pony, man. That’s what the kids pay to see. That’s what they pay for. They pay for the rock show. I gotta give it to ‘em.
KW: Is it true that you can’t look Danzig in the eye?
Doyle: Who me?
KW: No, the random people that may find their way backstage.
Doyle: I really don’t know.
KW: What happened to Gorgeous Frankenstein?
Doyle: Well, I was driving down the street one day and I get a text from my singer, Alex Story. He says, “I got an idea. Give me a call when you get a chance.” So, I pulled over. Whenever this kid’s got an idea, he’s nuts, I gotta here it right now. He says, “Let’s change the name of the band. Let’s change it to DOYLE.” I said it was a good idea because I didn’t have the money to promote the other name and nobody could put one and one together. We went with the KISS rule; Keep It Simple, Stupid. [laughs] For real. I was trying to be creative. At the same time, if you don’t have the money to put that in everybody’s face, they don’t know. We did a tour and had maybe 50 people a night and the people who came in were like, “Wow, we didn’t even know you had a band. We just happened to come out tonight.” When we opened for Danzig, during the after show we were signing and people said, “You were playing? We didn’t know you were playing.” It was right on the bill. It didn’t work.
KW: Your new album, Abominator, was released digitally on July 30 and it is available at the Danzig 25th Anniversary shows. When can fans see it in their local record stores?
Doyle: I think it comes out on October 29 everywhere, including all the other countries. It’s a digipak, it’s a three-fold out, it’s got a 16 page booklet, it’s got an extra song called, Drawn Down the Middle, which you can’t get on digital, and it’s got a bunch of pictures in it.
KW: Why did you start your own label, Monsterman?
Doyle: When you sign a deal with a company, you’ve got to pay back the money they spent on recording the record. So we bought all the gear ourselves, we recorded it ourselves. CHUD recorded the drums, I recorded the guitars and bass, Alex did the vocals. Why am I gonna wait 10 years to recoup and make 70 cents a record when I can make $7 a record right now? You’re only gonna sell so many records, might as well take it all.
KW: Danzig helped out with Gorgeous Frankenstein, did he help out again with the production of this album?
Doyle: No. All me.
KW: Will you be doing any touring in support of this album?
Doyle: Yeah. We’re talking to big bands. We’re talking to Rob Zombie, talking to Slipknot and Lamb of God, bands like that. We want to go out with bigger bands until we can see we’re drawing a crowd ourselves and headline. I don’t care if it takes two or three records. I don’t really care. I want to play big shows and big venues to a lot of people.
KW: Did Dr. CHUD help in writing this album as he did on the Misfits albums he played on?
Doyle: That was just the Misfits. I write all the music and Alex writes all the vocals, melodies and words.
KW: You are also already working on your second and third DOYLE albums?
Doyle: Yeah, [for] the second one, I am just waiting for me to do a couple of guitar tracks and it’s ready to be mixed. We were actually going to put 18 on the first record and it was about 70 minutes long. Me and CHUD were on our way to the city to see the Misfits and he goes, “You know, we’re giving away half an album here.” I said, “Yeah, you’re right. Why don’t we just do another six songs real quick and put another one out?” But, it’s not going real quick because of the Danzig tour.
KW: When can people expect to hear those songs?
Doyle: I would say probably a year after this one comes out. We’ve got about half of the third one done. When I finish the second one, I’m gonna start writing again. I’m one of those guys who’s got to empty his brain before I can continue.
KW: Is there anything else you would like fans to know about you or anything else you may be working on?
Doyle: I got a new hot sauce coming out. I don’t know when it’s coming out. I’m gonna sample it at the Atlanta show. It’s called Abominator. It’s gonna rip your a**hole out. Everybody was complaining the other one wasn’t hot enough. So, now we gotta kill you. That’s about it, man.
Kevin J. Wells is the Sports Editor for Communities Digital News and also writes about Major League Baseball, punk rock music, and food. Follow him on Twitter @WellsOnBaseball