Besides having one of the most imposing monikers in all of heavy metal, ex-Misfits guitarist Doyle Wolfgang von Frankenstein exudes a matter-of-fact solemnity proven to make even seasoned journalists squirm before dangling the next question out on the rope.
He speaks in a resolute baritone befitting someone of his musical ilk, which, if you’ve been listening long enough, you already know is an approach predicated on trouncing riffs and aesthetic grotesqueries inspired by his love for classic horror cinema.
In other words, he talks the talk, walks the walk, and acknowledges flat-out that he doesn’t follow anything outside of his own universe.
Now, it should be every rock writer’s worst nightmare to come across a subject whose responses boil down to the bare minimum of elucidation, but, with Doyle, his brevity serves only to supplement the reputation he’s spent more than 30 years cultivating.
He’s honest, brooding, and driven to deliver a strand of old-school thrash that wastes no time differentiating itself from the metal-by-numbers manner in which many modern bands construct their sound.
His latest release, “Abominator,” follows through on that determination throughout its 11 tracks, as he and resident screamer Alex Story, aka Cancerslug, dive headfirst into a pool of dread involving death, mythical beasts, and having sex in a cemetery.
It’s one of the best metal albums of 2013, and I recommend picking up a copy if you really want to put the fear of God into your trick-or-treaters come Oct. 31.
If you can’t wait that long, Doyle will be invading The Rapids Theatre on Oct. 17 to help Glenn Danzig celebrate the twenty-fifth anniversary of his namesake band. The pair will perform a set of Misfits anthems guaranteed to have every inch of the floor covered in alcohol and assorted bodily fluids.
I had the pleasure of speaking with Doyle recently about what he’s been up to, and, when I asked him for his opinion of the current metal scene, he uttered a line that earned him my eternal respect.
He said, “I don’t really follow today’s music. I listen to Black Sabbath.”
Question: What was the inspiration for the new record?
Doyle: Gettin’ laid, essentially. I had been writing some heavy riffs and throwing some ideas around, so it felt like the right time to put something together. I had the idea of Abominator while I was driving down the street one day and I called Alex (Story) to talk about it. He had the song finished in about two days, and it’s probably my favorite song on the album. I just wanted something heavy that would be fun to play.
Question: How did you assemble the band that plays on the album?
Doyle: I was placing ads in newspapers and magazines for $2200 a month around New York City and the majority of stuff I was getting was garbage. Alex answered an ad and, after listening to the songs he wrote, I was like ‘Wow, this is the guy.’ I called him and we immediately began working together.
Question: What is it about Alex Story that makes him such a perfect fit for your music?
Doyle: He’s just great to work with, he’s the real deal. He can sing, he can scream, and I believe everything he’s saying. He’s also an incredible writer, so he’s just a beast all around.
Question: What initially attracted you to the horror imagery?
Doyle: When I was a little kid, I watched The Munsters a lot, and was fascinated by the makeup and how they got Grandpa Munster to look like that. Also, Glenn and I were always into making monster models and watching The Twilight Zone, creature features, or any other classic horror films that got our attention. It’s just something that has always attracted me.
Question: How does it feel to be back on the road with Danzig?
Doyle: We’re having a good time. It’s been really fun, because we still have the same connection and we’re playing the songs the same way we did at the beginning. As far as a full-on Misfits reunion goes, I’m in, so it’s something we’re going to have work on getting accomplished.
You can catch Doyle with Danzig, Butcher Babies, Texas Hippie Coalition, and A Pale Horse Named Death on Oct. 17 at The Rapids Theatre.
See www.rapidstheatre.com for details.