Doyle, Abomination Across the Nation
(written by Scott Schoenkopf) Abomination Across the Nation, Doyle Wolfgang Von Frankenstein (DWVF) is ready to unleash his unblemished brand that he created during his time with legendary horrorpunk band The Misfits on the country with his Annihilate America Tour. The tour is the first the band eponymously named Doyle will do in support of their debut album “Abominator” that was released last October.
I spoke to Doyle recently and aside from being a super chill guy, what you get is that he is chomping at the bit to get out there, touring, playing and the adrenaline he gets from the fans. The project of Doyle was the brainchild of his along with his band mate and songwriting partner, vocalist Alex Story (Cancerslug). Doyle and Alex started writing songs as far back as 2008. The writing process continued for 3 years until they were ready to record. All self-funded, engineering the recording themselves was a learning curve but they got it down.
In listening to a couple of songs including the title track from the album, they certainly did. Doyle’s guitars are crunching and punishing in a metal vein and lyrically fuse the horror imagery of a genre that was created by his former band, The Misfits as well as Danzig, with whom he has played with including on their 25th Anniversary tour and have created their own sub-genre of Monster Metal.
Doyle and Alex have this uncanny chemistry when it comes to songwriting that can’t be explained. Given that Doyle lives in New Jersey and Story in Alabama, it isn’t 2 guys sitting in a room or a studio bouncing ideas off each other. One sends the other their ideas whether it be lyrics or music and the other adds to it and it just works. It is that chemistry that makes the pairing the core of the band obviously, but is rounded out with Dr. CHUD (Misfits) on drums and Left Hand Graham playing bass.
Alex Story conveyed his excitement over the long awaited tour along with Ashyius. Although the album was released last year and the plan was to tour immediately in support of “Abominator,” Alex related that unforeseen tragic events threw a monkey wrench in the plans. First their booking agent was shot, which put the tour back to square one and then earlier this year, three days before they were going to announce a tour with GWAR, Dave “Oderus Urungus” Brockie died.
This is the first headlining tour for Doyle and the first they have done together as a band under the Doyle moniker. Without label backing and promotion, relying on social media and promotion on a smaller scale, the natural reaction is that of intrepidness as to if anyone will actually show up to their shows. However; as Story and I discussed there is the branding of Doyle that attracts, the connection to the Misfits and Danzig, etc. However, it is clear that this project is not the Misfits, nor is it Doyle’s previous project, Gorgeous Frankenstein. After doing a couple of shows filling in on vocals for Gorgeous Frankenstein, Story and Doyle continued their friendship and collaboration and moving towards the current project. Somewhere along the line, Alex texted Doyle to call him, which Doyle pulled over while driving and did immediately so that Alex could tell him that he felt strongly that the name of the band should be Doyle.
The image, the character of Doyle, the man, is well established and he has no intentions of shedding that character, the devilock and horror imagery and starting from scratch. Sure he is a talented guitarist, which I think he is very modest about, but he also recognizes that the makeup and image and his physical prowess is also what the fans come to see in addition to the music. He acknowledges proudly that the branding of the Misfits or even Danzig and the fact that people associate him with them is a draw in itself. Whatever gets them in the door provides an opportunity to unveil the music that the band Doyle is creating and an opportunity to gain new fans. It is after all…a show.
In talking to them separately, Doyle and Story share some common traits, aside from their musical background. While, each is a performer, it isn’t like they thirst for the spotlight on them individually when they aren’t performing. This is their outlet, where they can be the individual characters they have created whether Doyle through his image or Story through his lyrics and vocals.
Doyle lives for the show, the crowd; bigger, better, more adrenaline and it is never a challenge to get pumped up every night. He always wants to deliver for the fans and for himself. If the music and the show are not something he can be proud of, he wants no part of it which is exemplified by his departure from the Misfits and the incarnation of the band that featured his brother, Jerry Only, singing. Doyle didn’t believe in that formation so he chose not to participate any longer and what led to the logical decision to pursue his own projects.
Make no mistake, nobody wants to see a reunion of the old Misfits with Glenn Danzig and his brother more than Doyle, to the point of frustration. After a long-running storied legal battle between Glenn and Jerry over use of The Misfits name, it is time to put down the swords for an hour and a half at a time and just do this. This is their livelihood and there is a ton of money to be made for all of them if they can put any differences aside, not get everybody else involved in the decision like managers, lawyers, etc. and re-visit a period of their life and the lives of droves of people that shaped who they are and a reunion of that early version of the Misfits for which people have been clamoring.
There was a topical message that Doyle did want to convey to fans. He is a strong advocate against the illegal downloading of artist’s music, although not of Lars proportions. Aside from the creative property argument that Lars rallied around, the creating of music, albums, songs, doing shows is their job and livelihood. The illegal downloading of their music is going to end up forcing people like Doyle to get a real job. Do we want to see Doyle Wolfgang Von Frankenstein bagging our groceries at Safeway or up on stage delivering his powerful guitar riffs with the towering presence and character that we have known for 30 years?
Regarding the same topic we discussed what is also lost in the downloading of music, legal or illegal, that of quality and packaging. The younger audience doesn’t understand the different mediums of audio that older fans have born witness to from vinyl to 8-Track, cassettes to CD’s and the current MP3 formats. Musicians for the most part, Doyle included, still maintain that vinyl is the best platform, but downloading music is undeniably the medium where the sound quality is lost for the most part. Aside from the money loss to the artist, the quality of sound on a downloaded MP3 file versus the quality of a .wav file on a professionally produced CD is like comparing apples to oranges. The artwork, packaging and liner notes that are also lost which is one way that artist connect with fans.
In closing, I would like to thank Doyle and Alex for chatting it up with me as both turned out to be awesome, down to earth guys. I’d also like to thank Robin Takizawa of Insane Management for giving Hollywood Music the opportunity to do the interviews and help promote what is certain to be a great tour that all will want to attend and will appeal to more than just punks or metalheads. So check out the dates and cities and mark your calendar!