Thursday, April 7, 2022

Revenge of the Vegan Monster: DOYLE Returns to the Road

Doyle and Alex Story of DOYLE

How many guys do you know are three years shy of 60, in better physical shape now than they were in their thirties and have the balls to go on tour during a pandemic?

Welcome to the world of Doyle Wolfgang Von Frankenstein – legendary Misfits guitar beater, devout vegan and one of the most no-bullshit guys in music. While some acts are still reluctant to return to the road, Doyle and his eponymous solo band are currently blazing through the east coast of America and have upcoming dates planned in Spain and London. In addition to keeping his entrepreneurial ball in the air via his own lines of hot sauce and protein powder, Doyle will soon jump in the music equipment game with the official launch of his new company, Von Frankenstein Monster Gear. That’s a helluva lot of plates to spin, but such a hefty work ethic is nothing new for a blue-collar guy from Jersey who was already recording and gigging with The Misfits by the time he was 16.

Anyone who ventures into a Doyle show in 2022 will witness someone who has kept healthy – and stayed built like a brick shithouse – in the age of COVID-19. A vegan for years, he passed his lockdown-imposed time off the road by maintaining his daily workout routine and strict no-animal diet.

“I haven’t been sick since – fuck, man – 2017.”

Although Doyle is always ready to pummel audiences from the stage, fans shouldn’t expect to chat with him after the gig this time around. Meet-and-greets – a long-running staple of Doyle tours despite the guitarist’s outspoken discomfort with the practice – are now off the table in favor of social distancing.

“I like it better, honestly. I do them after the show, and now I don’t have to. That’s so great!”

When not hitting the stage or his weights, Doyle (joined in his band by singer Alex Story, bassist Brandon “Izzy” Strate and drummer Wade Murff) is prepping his first music since 2017’s Doyle II: As We Die. Twenty-five new songs are currently in the works, but the listening public will have to put up or shut up if they want to hear them.

“I think we’re going to do a Patreon and just put out singles,” he reveals. “We’ll do an album after we put out like maybe 10 [songs], and put two more on and put it out, but you’re not going to get our stuff [unless] you buy it on Patreon. I’ve had enough of this streaming bullshit. We don’t make any money with streaming – like, nothing.”

At a time when fewer music sales means less gas in the tank to make the next gig, Doyle sees crowdsourcing platforms as the way to go.

“[Patreon] is a good idea because, number one, you’re gonna get paid for it. Number two, you can just keep touring while you’re putting the singles out because you have a new song out, you know? And if you don’t join the Patreon, you don’t fucking hear it. So, there you go.”

When Doyle rolls into Poughkeepsie, NY this Saturday to play at The Chance on a bill pairing him with the fantastic Wednesday 13, it will be his latest performance at a venue that has a more significant place in Misfits lore than some may realize. On the night of October 30, 1995, Doyle joined his brother, bassist Jerry Only, there for the first onstage appearance of The Misfits since 1983. The historic moment occurred during an encore of a Type O Negative show and also served as the official introduction of then-new Misfits singer Michale Graves. The surprise performance was incredible (as were the backstage antics that followed – read my recollections here) and kickstarted the second phase of Doyle’s career. Nearly 27 years later, the man’s coming back to the joint to show the rest of us how it’s done.

Forty years after the release of The Misfits’ Walk Among Us, Doyle is still charging ahead with enough musical and physical muscle to stay at the top of his game. Few people can say they’ve survived the music industry for 42 years and have gone from playing Punk dives to headlining Madison Square Garden. In Doyle’s mind, success comes down to never giving up on what he was meant to do.

“It’s just a drive; you never feel like you’ve made it yet. You keep going and going and going. It’s fun.”

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