Interview with Doyle Wolfgang Von Frankenstein and Alex “Wolfman” Story by Jeremy Saffer
Photographs by Jeremy Saffer
Here’s what happens when you speak to the legendary Doyle Wolfgang Von Frankenstein and Alex “Wolfman” Story, along with a special appearance from Alissa White-Gluz, in a single interview. Doyle was on a coast to coast 3 month US tour, so we wanted to find out how it was going halfway through, talk about the Doyle band and how things have changed since the first album, and what’s in store for Doyle, Alex, and even a little hint of something that may happen in the future from Doyle and Alissa.
You’re on a very long tour. Now that you’re at about the halfway point, how is the tour going?
Alex: Have you seen the back of the tour shirt? It looks like it was written with a typewriter. It’s so many columns of shows. I’ve never seen the back of a tour shirt look quite like that. It’s pretty stupid (laughs).
Doyle: It’s pretty stupid, yeah.
Are you guys at least having fun?
Alex: Oh, we always have fun. We have Trixi-Lu [Alex’s puppy/tour dog]
Doyle: Yeah, we have fun. We have Trixi.
How has the Doyle live show changed from when you first started touring to now?
Alex: There’s usually at least some people there now, and they know the songs that we do. And sometimes they dance, and that’s cool.
Doyle: You can hear them singing now. That’s always fun.
Alex: Yeah, it’s really cool. I think we’re better now because we care less, if that’s possible, and it makes us better.
Doyle: Yeah, we never really gave a fuck, but now I think we give even less of a fuck, if that’s possible. I don’t know the physics behind that. I’m not good at math.
Having seen the first tour, the set used to be only half Doyle songs. How does it feel to now play full sets of all original material?
Doyle: It feels better.
What can fans expect from a show?
Alex: It’s Doyle’s amore, so they can expect an overwhelming sea of love to flow right over them, and probably the greatest single concert experience of their life, as that sea of love splashes all against their face and makes them our bitch. By that, I mean, in the best possible way.
How many Doyle songs are love songs that people should dance to?
Alex: Well, our whole thing is writing love songs that are quite danceable, because I like to boogie and Doyle has trouble boogieing because of them big boots, but he still shakes that big ass of his throughout. You have to tell them or they don’t know, and eventually they’ll know and I won’t have to tell ‘em no more.
What are your favorite songs to perform live?
Doyle: The last one. It always makes me happy when he says, “It’s the last song.” Then I’m like, “Okay, yeah.” (laughs)
Alex: (laughs) I like the groovy stuff. I like when he plays them sassy licks like “Cemetery Sexxx.” You know, “Valley of Shadows,” that kind of stuff, that’s what I like.
Doyle: It’s groovy, yeah.
Alex: He starts throwing down them stripper jams, and it’s a good time because I’m a filthy little whore of a stripper (laughs).
How do you go about choosing a set list? What songs make the cut and what songs get cut?
Alex: I’ll just copy and paste the set list from the night before and change two or three songs. And then that’s the set list we’ll play (laughs).
So, you change the set as the tour goes on?
Alex: Yeah, every day we change it.
Doyle: He picks it out. I don’t want nothing to do with it. I don’t even read it. I have my guy tell me what the fuck I’m playing.
Alex: We do a different set every night so it don’t get boring. That’s the cool thing about having the two albums now. We can change it up all the time. We’re playing two shows in LA, and we’re going to do Abominator one night and As We Die the next night. It’s just going to be a good time.
Alex, would there ever be a Cancerslug/Doyle tour, or would double duty be too much?
Alex: Oh my god, depends on how long it was. If it was like a month, I could handle it. If we did it like this, I would be dead. I would be deceased. You’d have to prop me up. I’d be like that Rolling Stones drummer. He’d been dead for like 10 years, and they’d still prop him up and pretend he’s playing drums. You’d have to just glue me to the mic.
Doyle: (laughs) It’s true.
Would you ever consider doing a support tour and opening for another band?
Doyle: Oh, yeah, sure.
Alex: Absolutely. We would love to do that, because then shit would be a lot easier and better for us than doing this.
Doyle: It would be nice to play to a bigger crowd.
Alex: Yeah, and to win over people like we do. Because they will hate us at first, as per usual, but then midway through the set, we’ll make them fall in love with us. That’s our way.
What would be some bands you would want to tour with?
Doyle: (laughs and points to Alissa White-Gluz of Arch Enemy)
Alex: I’d tour with anybody. I’d tour with goddamn Britney Spears. I don’t give a fuck. Fuckin put me in with the Migos or somebody. I don’t care. Lets turn it out. I think there’s no point preaching to the converted. You gotta go out there and shake some trees around. I say let us play for people that would never ever come to a show like this. That would be cool to me.
What were the biggest changes between the first album, Abominator,and the new album, As We Die?
Doyle: The names of the songs. I’ve noticed that.
Alex: (laughs) We really didn’t know our sound when we did Abominator. We were just like, “Yeah, don’t make it sound exactly like The Misfits. Just do our own thing.” We talked about some stuff, some thrash and doom, but we never heard it until we started playing live. We didn’t know our sound, and we didn’t start playing live until after Abominator. By the time we did As We Die, we really knew what we sounded like as a band and what we were doing. And we have a killer drummer, which helps. We had a lot of fun in the studio just wanking off, we had some fun guests, and it was a beautiful album that came out of it.
It seems even heavier and harder. Is that the direction you see the band following in the future, going heavier?
Alex: We go heavier, we go harder, we go deeper, we go every kind of way that we can. That’s all we know how to do.
What was the writing and recording process like? Are you able to write on the road?
Doyle: I try. It doesn’t really happen much. I try to get it out.
Alex: (laughs) He’s pulling his eyeball out trying to figure it out. He writes all the music, so I just wait on him. Sometimes he’ll show me a riff or something he’s got, some jam, and he’s just, “Check this out.” But I just wait on him to have something he’s happy with, then I just, “La de da de da,” over it.
As We Die has two different covers. Is there one you like more than the other?
Doyle: I like the black one better. I took it on my iPhone 5. The price was right, and I wanted people to recognize that face. Then the label came up with one, and I was like, “Get the fuck out of here.” So, we did both.
Who does the song themes and lyrics? Is that Alex?
Alex: Yeah. When we first started talking about writing together, he gave me a little torn off notebook paper sheet that he was like, “This is what I like songs about.” It was just a bunch of random words like strippers, zombies, killing, serial killers, and whatever. So, I was just like, “I’m going to take each one of these words and every song is going to check off one of those things.” (laughs) This is that song and this is that song, so I was just literally, “Here you go.” And that’s how Abominator came out.
How did you guys first end up meeting up and working together?
Alex: We met on Tinder, no it was Grinder, no AdamforAdam. I think it was Christian Mingle. Maybe it was one of them sites. We were looking around, and we hit it off because we were like, “I hate everybody and everything. What’s up?” He’s like, “I like to lift weights sometimes.” I was like, “Shit bitch, where you get your protein from?” Then we were besties after that.
Doyle: (laughs) That’s right, that’s the story.
Alex: And I’m sticking to it.
How did you first feel when getting the Doyle gig and starting to write and record?
Alex: It was awesome. I was like, “I bet I can piss off a lot of people doing this,” and I like to piss off people, so that worked for me.
Doyle: Yeah, that’s one of my favorite things to do.
You have a few guests on the new record. Are there any guests that you would want on your album in the future?
Doyle: Yeah, tons of guests. We’ll figure it out, whatever we feel like at that moment.
Alex: Yeah, we’ll throw Post Malone on there. We’re getting Nicki Minaj to do a little guest box with me. It’s going to be sick. Yeah, we got some sick ideas.
Doyle is very different from the bands you’ve both been in before. Was it difficult to find your sound, or has this always been your musical voice?
Doyle: Whatever comes out of my hands when I’m writing, I don’t think about it. I just move my hands, and then he makes it a song.
Alex: Yeah, I think it was real organic, like most of those lyrics and stuff was literally freestyled the first take. He’d send me some music, and I’d just hit record and say, “Okay, let’s do this fucking shit.” Sometimes I wouldn’t even listen to the whole song, just start free flowing whatever, and most of that is exactly what’s on the fucking record. I think the final version of “God of Flies,” I didn’t know what the fuck we were going to do. We just went in the studio, and I scribbled some stuff on paper. It was just like there it is. I think it’s more organic like that. It’s more fun, it’s more real, too. If you overthink it, it just turns into a bunch of horseshit.
Do you think the bands you came from influenced the music you’re making now?
Doyle: Everything influences me. This dog laying on my lap influences me (points to Trixi-Lu).
Alex: We knew we wanted at least one toe in The Misfits pool, or else everybody’d get pissed off. He’s not going to come out with his face all painted up and the hair pulled up and the KY and not be a toe in the fucking Misfits pool. It had to have a little bit of that spooky spook, but we wanted it to be our own thing, and I think we pulled it off. We got our own sound.
Do you have anything else going on musically aside from Doyle, like Metal Allegiance?
Doyle: Yeah, I’m only doing it because she’s doing it (points to Alissa on the couch). I wrote her some music for her thing. If she’s gonna use it, she’s gonna use it, but I dunno.
Will we ever see a full project of Doyle on guitar and Alissa on vocals?
Doyle: That’s a lot of work (laughs). Plus, she’s got that other project.
Doyle: Yeah, a cover album. We might do that. We could do singles.
Alex: That would be sassy. I like it.
Doyle: Yeah, I’d like to do that.
Can you tell us about your infamous Annihilator guitar? You handmade it yourself, right?
Alex: He designed it in high school on a notebook.
Doyle: Yeah, I drew it on a notebook, like the paper bag when your mom covers your books and I saved it. Then I was making guitars with this guy at my shop. I had an Iceman, and I laid it on the ground and I held the fucking picture right up to it and it was right to scale. I was like, “Holy shit, this fucking thing lines up perfect.” Then we made it.
How do you guys stay in shape on the road?
Doyle: We do shows (laughs).
Alex: I watch him workout. It’s crazy, man. I bust a sweat. I’m like, “Dang, dude, that looks heavy.” Then he does those crunches, and shit I’m like, “Whew, goddamn feel the burn son.”
Doyle: We’re sponsored by PowerBlock dumbbells.
You’re vegan and straightedge now. How did that come about. and how has it impacted your life?
Doyle: I became vegan because of Alissa. We went out to eat, and the food was just so good. Then she told me all the other things about it, about the environment and the animals, and to me it was a no brainer. The food is just fucking great.
You’re very protective of your off stage persona and identity, not to be photographed out of makeup. Is there a reason behind that?
Doyle: Because I hate people and I don’t want them to recognize me cause I don’t want to deal with them.
When you first started, who were your main influences as musicians and how has that changed?
Doyle: Johnny Ramone, Jimmy Page, Joe Perry, Brian May.
Alex: I still like a lot of the same shit I liked when I was 12. I’ve listened to the same bullshit my whole life.
There is definitely some Black Sabbath in your riffs.
Doyle: I didn’t really listen to Sabbath until about the year 2000 (laughs). I’d be working out and listening to Sabbath, and be like, “Oh wait, I have to change my riff on one of these songs,” while I was recording. So, I would go change it after listening—I’d get an idea. I like Dimebag, and there’s so many it’s retarded. It’s not fair. You’re going to leave everybody out. Plus, my brain is not operating, so I’d have to go look through my phone (laughs).
Alex: I like Dax Riggs and Waylon Jennings.
How does it feel seeing all of these people you’ve inspired—kids playing your songs, dressing up like you, people learning your riffs and looking up to your music?
Doyle: I like it. On Instagram, I must get 20 messages a day from people. “I work out because of you.” “I play guitar.” “I’m vegan because of you.” I like when the little kids come and they’re really excited.
Pick up Doyle’s new album “As We Die” and keep your eyes open for tour dates on his Official Website
Follow Doyle on Instagram
Check out our live review/live gallery from the first date of the tour here: