Thirty-four years after Glenn Danzig and Jerry Only recruited him for the Misfits to replace a flaky guitar player, guitarist Doyle Wolfgang Von Frankenstein still looks every inch a Misfit.
A tall, menacing, muscular figure, Doyle (as he’s known) left the band in 2001, but still sports the white face paint and signature Misfits’ devilock hair.
“I got a guitar for my eighth-grade graduation,” he says. “Glenn showed me how to play a barre chord. My brother (Only, the Misfits’ bassist) showed me the 12 notes on the bass string. I used to rehearse with them when their guitar player didn’t show up, and we got really tight. They were recording ‘Walk Among Us’ and their guitar player didn’t show up. They said, ‘You do it.’”
Doyle – who just released his first solo album, “Abominator” – is revisiting that era on the road now. He’s on tour with Danzig playing Misfits songs as the notorious metal frontman celebrates the 25th anniversary of the band that carries his name. They play the Fillmore Sunday.
Fans might be surprised how he created the heavy riffs used on the horror-metal “Abominator,” which is packed with death, blood and the dark subject matter one would expect of a former member of the Misfits.
“I just pick up my (11-year-old) daughter’s acoustic guitar and (mess) around with it until I come up with a riff and see where it could go,” he says. “I demo it out with drums and bass and send it to (Doyle vocalist) Alex Story in Alabama. He drops the words in and it’s written through the U.S. mail.”
Like Glenn Danzig, Story is a singer, not a screamer, so the words are decipherable.
“With Alex, if I send him a song a day, we’ll have a song day,” Doyle says. “I let him do what he wants. He’s one of my favorite singers. It’s an honor to work with him. Without him, there is no Doyle band.”
Doyle says there was never bad blood between him and Danzig, despite long-ago legal disputes and more recent stalled Misfits reunions. He doesn’t hold a grudge.
“You’d have to kill somebody I love before I’m going to hate you,” he says. “I have a great time with him. He’s funny and treats me great … and to hear him sing those songs. People go crazy.”
It’s certainly a long way from the Misfits’ humble beginning.
“There was nobody at our shows back in the day,” says Doyle, who noticed a shift once Metallica started wearing Misfits T-shirts.
“The funny thing is I meet guys like Rob Zombie and James Hetfield – they’re influenced by what I did, but when I’m making my stuff, I’m influenced by what they did,” he says. “It’s a circle.”
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