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Doyle and Wolfman Interview and Photo Gallery

1 May 2018 No Comment

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Doyle Wolfgang von Frankenstein has been the face, and chiseled body, of horror-punk since joining the Misfits as a New Jersey teenager in 1980. Now, almost 40 years later, as the guitarist for his eponymous band Doyle, von Frankenstein’s face continues to be masked in war-paint and blurred by a pendulating devilock, and he has no qualms about baring his torso while shredding his custom guitar on stage.

An unequivocally colossal, imposing force, Doyle’s dietary habits and workout routine are the subject of awe by fans and under scrutiny by those who refuse to believe that muscle mass can be achieved through a plant-based diet. But after 40-plus years of following a disciplined workout regime enhanced by an endorsement from PowerBlock dumbbells, a little pea protein is all he needs to maintain his image. “What do the animals eat that everybody’s eating?” Doyle asks rhetorically. Wolfman, lead singer of Doyle, adds, “People regurgitate what people say without any knowledge behind it. Honestly, your body can’t process all of the protein that you take in in a day anyway. There’s plenty of ways to get anything you need. And now they have supplements.” In response to those who may feel offended that he isn’t eating animals, Doyle says with a grin, “I love that it pisses them off. It makes it even better.”

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While von Frankenstein has a penchant for pissing off carnivores, what brings him and the other members of Doyle the most joy is getting a reaction from the crowd. Wolfman explains, “In the States, they want to make sure it’s cool; they want to make sure everyone else is into it. [They approach it as,] ‘Entertain me!’ Whereas overseas, people are still music fans. There’s a connection between the crowd and there’s an energy there. It’s not everybody but, as a rule, people seem more spoiled over here. They get more shows and it’s easy access, and they’re not grateful for it anymore.”

Some say apathy from American audiences has ruined the symbiotic relationship between performers and fans that used to prevail when punk first emerged. According to Doyle, American concert-goers “don’t say anything in between songs. I mean, that’s what we feed off of to perform: the crowd reaction. Swear at us! Throw shit at us! Call us names – anything! Do something! They don’t fucking do nothing, even clap. You go to other countries and they go fucking crazy.”

The changing landscape of the music industry and an increased dependence on technology is partly to blame. At many shows, you’ll see the majority of attendees holding up their phones and experiencing the show through their LCD screens. Our culture has become so obsessed with recording everything we do that many of us can’t appreciate being there in the moment. Fans “miss out on the experience,” says Wolfman. “A lot of these kids, they’ve grown up [with this] and they don’t know any different.” Doyle adds, “If it was the 70s and everybody had a camcorder, what would that be? It would be bootlegging, right? When we do those Misfits shows, you’re not allowed to have a phone. Everyone’s phone gets taken and gets put in a bag. It’s great! It’s a real concert.”

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Although staring out into a sea of phones and expressionless faces is a hurdle most bands want to overcome, there is also a silver lining: bands with small budgets are getting free publicity. “We’re broke, so we can’t afford promotion anyways,” laments Wolfman. “A lot of people don’t even know we have this band, so anything that spreads the word is good for us.” The best way to get people off their couches and into the pit is having proof that a live show is worth the cost of a ticket and the inconvenience of putting on pants. The more videos people post, the more likely the next stop on the tour will have better ticket sales, but fans are less likely to be fully engaged with the performance. Free publicity is a fickle mistress.

For a band like Doyle that’s selling out dive bars rather than arenas, it’s hard to earn financial backing from outside sources. “[Record labels] are not going to put money into an act unless they absolutely know that it’s going to make a return,” notes Wolfman. Because of this, “a lot of people aren’t getting into [playing] music, or they’ve got to work three jobs to be able to afford to do it, so they’re not just focusing on art. You’re losing a quality of art and a quality of artists that we used to have.”

Even with these roadblocks, Wolfman remains optimistic about the future of music industry: “Like anything else, it’s got to adapt to the modern times and we’ve got to find a new way to make it profitable for the artists to make art, and then it will work itself out. But right now it’s the Wild West. you’re going to have a lack of stuff with substance or quality.”

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