Editor’s Note: Lesson learned on my part. It was one of those things where I was thinking, “how in the world do I ask a legend about his career and his craft, while touching on the new record before showtime”. I hope I pulled it off, I gotta be honest, I was incredibly nervous for this interview for several reasons. 1. Doyle Wolfgang von Frankenstein is an imposing figure and basically a legend in the punk and metal world(I MEAN METALLICA COVERED MISFITS). 2. With my personality as it is, I sometimes feel like a fish out of water and this case was one of those cases. 3. This is practically the biggest interview on the music industry side of my career. Calm, cool, and collected while dying on the inside was how I would describe this experience with Doyle. They were getting ready to destroy Spicoli’s Rockade in Waterloo, Iowa and it was after Davey Suicide finished their set. My mindset was to get in there, let’s do this, and get out hopefully alive. Well, I’m typing this as we speak. Without further delay, here is my conversation with Alex Story and Doyle Wolfgang von Frankenstein of Doyle.
M.T.C.: How’s it going tonight? (Yes I asked this question twice)
Alex: Good man, I like them kicks!
M.T.C.: Thanks man, got them on sale! So, how’s it going?
Doyle: Good man, you didn’t shave for this interview.
M.T.C.: Story of my life, five o’clock shadow 24/7
Doyle: Do ya man, that sucks! *laughs*
Alex: I gotta shave twice a day! *Doyle is still laughing*
M.T.C.: I just want to congratulate you guys on the release and success so far of “As We Die”
Doyle: Hell yeah, did you listen to it?
M.T.C.: Yeah, I loved it, and thank you guys for sharing the review on your Facebook page!
Alex: No worries man!
M.T.C.: Give me a day in the life of the writing process and creating “As We Die”?
Doyle: It was spread out over a long distance, and we just kept going back and sending shit back and forth to each other and writing more shit.
Alex: That’s the thing of it, if we lived next door, we could be like, “hey come over, we gotta knock this shit out real quick”, but we were mailing shit back and forth and coming up with more ideas and it took a long time but we got it right.
M.T.C.: How did you guys evolve it from the last record to this one?
Doyle: We did it the same way.
Alex: For this one, a lot of it was just demos that we already had, it was just a matter of fine tuning it from doing “Abominator” and stuff, but some of it changed a lot by the time it made it to the album, but the biggest difference was we recorded “Abominator” all by ourselves in our house and shit and in the shop and stuff, and we just mixed it in the studio. With this one, other than the guitar tracks, we recorded everything in-house and studio in order to have that more fuller studio sound.
M.T.C.: What equipment do you all use for this?
M.T.C.: What’s so special about that equipment?
Alex: That motherf***** has done us right
Doyle: It’s affordable, it’s easy to operate, and they started sponsoring us. I told that them I used it, and they go, “okay, here’s some more shit”.
Alex: It’s digital so doing it ourselves, you get a good clean sound, and once you run it through the board, it stands out in the studio. Even in “Abominator”, we recorded all of that at the f****** house! I was in my underwear and in Chewbacca slippers knocking that shit out while sipping on f****** Jagermeister, and it f****** comes out, and we’re like, “wow, it sounds like it was made in the studio”.
Doyle: Yeah, you get a good tone and you get a good tone on digital, you’re gonna get it in order to mix it and make it better.
M.T.C.: What is the most gratifying thing about creating “As We Die”, what is one thing that you can take away from this experience?
Doyle: Two things, I like finishing writing a song, it’s my favorite thing out of all of this shit, and once that motherf***** was done, I was like f*** this! *laughs*.
Alex: I like it when Doyle is finally happy with the mix because he is such a perfectionist to where it’s not even a point of me making a comment on the mix (Doyle laughs), and he’s happy with it, I might put in maybe this or that, but it’s like I see our poor sound guy and our engineer (Doyle laughs), I’ve seen his hair turn white, I’ve seem him look gaunt and lose weight, and I’ve seen a far off look in his eyes where the life he once enjoyed was off in the distance because this man, Doyle, has taken him to the very reaches of sanity.
Doyle: He went there for me. He’s insane now. *laughs* The man is crazy as hell now.
Alex: That’s okay man, cause he owns grease!
M.T.C.: If you could legalize one thing what would you legalize and why?
Alex: I would legalize all drugs, that’s because when that happens all drug use goes down, drug crime goes down, everything negative related to it goes down, it’s like the availability of it makes the taboo of it go away and a lot of people wouldn’t f*** with it, or be like, “yeah, I’m doing something wrong” or whatever, and the people that actually need to self-medicate or whatever, wouldn’t be demonized about it anymore than someone taking a drink of booze or f****** smoking weed or doing anything else, it’s just a lot of f****** politics and horseshit that f****** got it illegal anyway so stick that in the hat or whatever.
M.T.C.: Can you tell us anything about “Death Ward 13”? I heard it was a dream come true for you Doyle! *laughs*
Doyle: *laughs* We haven’t done anything with that yet, I’m not quite sure of the thought process so far of it.
Alex: We haven’t gotten no scripts for it yet, it’s still the early stages so far.
M.T.C.: Any approach that you’re going to have in terms of acting and will it be a different approach than the music?
Doyle: All I got man, I’ll do my best.
Alex: Just like with anything else, we’re going to put out the best product that we can and do what we can do.
Doyle: Definitely can’t skimp on the product.
M.T.C.: Switching gears back to the music, how did the recent European tour go?
Alex: European tour was fantastic, they’re still fans of the music, over here in the States, it’s become uncool to be a fan of something or to like something, you gotta critique it, bash it or put it down and find a million things wrong with it, that’s it. People that are fans are nerds now, you put them down for liking something. In Europe, they’re okay to still have fun at a show and to enjoy it, we had a lot of fun in Europe.
M.T.C.: Why do you think it’s that way?
Alex: I think it started with the whole Internet and stuff, blogs and different things where everybody is a critic, and like Facebook and social media and stuff, where everybody thinks they have an audience for their opinion on every f****** thing, and they notice they get more response with negativity than positivity, so if I tear something down, all of a sudden I get more likes, or I get more comments than if I lift something up, that has built a society of critics, where everybody is a critic, nobody is an actual artist. Nobody is producing an art, they’re just critiquing art, and people complain about these big budget movies, that it’s just a bunch of explosions, and CGI or whatever, that’s because you have these corporate entities putting out things with market research that says “x will make a certain amount of money” and not the independent film by the artist that is going to like actually have soul and actually have life to it, they’re not going to put money into that, and nobody is going to put it out of their pocket for anything like that, and the same thing is with music. You got these big corporate bands that they know will sell x amount and pop artists, and even in metal and different things, and corporate pushes where they know I can do this, this, and this in this formula and it will sell x amount, that’s the safe bet, they’re not going to put money into the independent artists or the f****** artist that is going to put some soul or some life into something, and then you ask why does music suck now, why do movies suck now, it’s because you did that to it. You the fan by not being a fan, by not supporting true art and true artists, you destroyed music, you destroyed movies, you destroyed all of art and that is the f****** American society and capitalist society based upon money, based on what can make the bottom dollar, and that’s what it is. The corporations have taken over all art.
Doyle: *nods head in agreement* That was good! *laughs*
M.T.C.: Question for anyone who wants to answer this, whether its in Cancerslug, Misfits, or Doyle now, what can local bands and that independent artist learn from you all?
Doyle: Advice would be to not sit in your room and listen to arpeggios, G clefs, and all of that other horseshit or learn “Eruption” (by Van Halen), just play, learn how to write a f****** song, and get a great singer. That’s it man. Have a f****** stage presence and just learn how to f****** rock man, just play shows.
Alex: Play shows and get girls, or get boys, and just have a good time. Live life and let that express through your art, make the album that you want to hear, make the song that you want to listen to, don’t try to impress people, just try to impress yourself with life and with life lived, and if you’re an artist, that’s going to come through. 30 people can play the same song, and it’ll sound different every f****** time, it’s the heart of the person that’s playing it that is going to make it good or not and just put your heart into it.
M.T.C.: Thank you for the advice. Back to the European tour, what was the best and most embarrassing moment of the tour?
Alex: The best was just being in Europe for me because I have never been there before.
Doyle: We went to the Roman Colleseum, that was so sick!
Alex: Yeah man, it was like Spartacus and s***, we were in the same place as Spartacus!
M.T.C.: I bet you all took out a couple of lions!
Doyle: I tell you what, that f***** is as big as some NFL stadiums, seriously, I couldn’t f****** believe it.
Alex: Seriously, you get the chills thinking about the history of that place, and we all had our jaws down. Doyle here doesn’t take a picture of nothing and his ass was taking pictures like crazy.
Doyle: It is so insane that they could have built that back then, in that size and just the thought of making something like that was just awesome.
M.T.C.: Do you guys consider yourselves history buffs?
Alex: Doyle here knew about the aqueducts.
Doyle: While we were there, I was like, “is that the aqueducts”? *laughs* Saw it on The History Channel! *laughs*
M.T.C.: Favorite TV show to watch?
Doyle: I do not watch f****** TV at all man.
Alex: Same here.
M.T.C.: I honestly don’t either, its a waste of time for me,
Doyle: I do watch the Super Bowl though, I can’t watch the Giants anymore because I can’t take the f****** stress.
M.T.C.: For the sake of keeping this going, I won’t tell you who I like.
Doyle: Cowboys, right?
M.T.C.: Packers actually. *Doyle rolls his eyes and laughs*
Alex: I don’t really watch TV because I feel like it’s one big commercial. There are a few shows, I got a few guys that I trust and they know what I like, and they’re like, you gotta watch “True Detective”, and I’ll sit down and binge watch it, or Netflix.
Doyle: That’s where I watch shit. My girl will find a series or something on Netflix and watch Rupaul’s Drag Race and we’ll watch ten episodes, or we’ll watch American Horror Story and we’ll watch the whole motherf*****.
Alex: Every once in a while, there’s a good show, but I don’t want to spend all that time surfing through the shit in order to f****** find that one good show or something. I usually watch it like three years after it’s been off the air.
Doyle: Me too man, everything I’m watching happened already.
M.T.C.: It’s funny you all say that because I just got into Seinfeld. *Doyle and Alex laugh*
Doyle: I’ll binge watch Seinfeld too! Everyone is like “come on man”! *laughs*
M.T.C.: I sent a demo to Monsterman Records, what do you look for to be a part of Monsterman?
Doyle: Did you, I’ll have to listen to it.
M.T.C.: Just a hypothetical question. I only sang choir in school.
Doyle: All good man! It doesn’t have to be metal or it doesn’t have to be horror.
Alex: It doesn’t have to be any bulls*** that connects to us in any type of way. It’s just gotta be real and something that sounds genuine, something that sounds new and exciting. There’s no formula, it’s not one thing, it’s just gotta be good.
Doyle: It’s gotta have love songs man. I like love songs.
M.T.C.: Favorite love song Doyle?
Doyle: Every one of our songs. Every one of our songs is a f****** love song man.
Alex: We’re about love, we’re about dancing. We’re about having a good time, f*** all of that tough guy shit, and having your arms crossed trying to look cool at the show, I want to see motherf****** dancing, having a good time, with smiles on their faces, to have a f****** ball, it’s at a show. F*** that sadsack bullshit where everyone is trying to look tough. Who in the f*** cares about that, who in the f*** cares if you’re a tough guy. Have fun, life’s short.
M.T.C.: Let’s say I’m in the middle of the floor at the front of the stage, I decide to text and Facebook the whole time you all are playing? How do you react?
Alex: I just ignore you cause you’re ignoring me man. That’s your experience and you’re missing out on the experience, the show is fun, it’s exciting, it’s interactive, just f****** interact with it.
M.T.C.: I just saw the time and crap, you guys have to be on stage in a few minutes. Anything else you want to add in regards to the record or the band.
Alex: Go to www.officialdoyle.com to check out all the merch, to buy the record. Check out EMP Label Group, Dave Ellefson from Megadeth’s label. It’s available everywhere, pick it up, it’s a great record. We have some really good guests on there, if you like this kind of music, you’ll really like it.
Doyle: Check out Randy Blythe from Lamb Of God on a song called “Virgin Sacrifice”, and Alissa White-Gluz of Arch Enemy on the title track “Kiss Me As We Die”. We let them do what they f****** do and it turned out great.
Alex: Also, check out the single “Run For Your Life” and the music video!
M.T.C.: It’s been an honor, thank you so much!
Doyle: Thanks man!
Alex: Thanks man, this was fun!
And there you have it. I can’t thank Doyle and Alex of Doyle enough for giving my little corner of the web time to interview with me. Go pick up “As We Die” wherever music is sold. Here is the single to “Run For Your Life”.
“Run For Your Life” Doyle
Check out Doyle at the following locations:
ICYMI: Check out Madness To Creation’s review on “As We Die” here!