Live at the Webster Underground in Hartford Ct. 10/09/18
By John E.
With guitarist Doyle Wolfgang Von Frankenstein what you see is what you get.
Tonight is the first of a balls out seventy plus dates before Xmas. Doyle, the band, is primed and ready.
Before they took the stage in Hartford we got to sit and shoot the shit with Doyle and Singer Alex Story.
Anyone who chases these guys on YouTube knows this is never boring.
“Have you seen the tour shirts?” Alex asks. “I’ve never seen that many dates on a tour shirt. We had to make the font so little you have to have a magnifying glass on the back of the shirt to see all the dates.”
Do you guys enjoy touring like that? Machine gun dates?
Doyle: “It’s the longest one I’ve ever done. I’m not too happy about to be honest.” He says with a laugh.
Alex: “Once we get rolling it’ll go quick. The starts always the motherfucker. Once we start knocking the dates off it goes quick.”
Doyle: “That’s my favorite part. Wiping the dates off.”
Alex: “The shell shock, the hard part after doing a three monther is coming off it. It’s like getting out of jail or something. Getting re-acclimated to society or something.”
About the second CD Doyle- As We Die.
The first disc, Abominator, is great but it’s got kind of rawer sound, As We Die is tighter and sounds smoother.
ALEX: “We had a killer drummer on the second one. (Brandon Pertborn)
I’ve seen him live.
Alex: “He’s amazing.”
When you guys are writing are you sitting in a room together or how do you do it?
Doyle: I send him music and he finishes it.
Alex: “Yeah. We’ve been doing that from the start. He’ll send me pretty much complete pieces and I’ll just run free flow on it. On the first record we hadn’t really been touring and stuff yet so we were still trying to figure out our sound and exactly what we’re doing as a band but by the second we had been touring and we had really started to come into our own sound. Even when we play stuff off the first one now, it’s got kind of a different feel, a different groove.”
Alex is spot on with this. After the show I felt my biggest mistake was interviewing them and never having seen them live. The songs from the first disc sounded great live as if they’ve caught fire from the new material.
Alex: We’re always working on stuff. We have so many ideas. We’re always frankensteining stuff together. It’s been like that since we met.
Technical Issues on the road?
Doyle: “If we can’t give them a good show I’m leaving.”
Alex: “We give them a list of requirements we need to do our show when we’re booking them. Sometimes you show up and they just don’t have the right stuff and it’s like, we didn’t send you that list as a joke, that’s literally what we need to do our show. These people paid the same money as the fans somewhere else paid and these people deserve to get the same show everybody else got. And they try to throw the Punk Rock Police at you like “well can’t you just throw some half stacks up there and do it old school?” or something and we’re like NO. We’re doing this show. The show people are coming to see and this is what it takes to get this show. And calling us names isn’t going to hurt us.”
I’ve seen a vid on YouTube where you mention you get a charge out of people giving you shit online (of course) about the Vegan thing.
Doyle: “Oh it’s great.” He says with a laugh.
I have to say at first, sitting in close proximity with him, with the makeup and size of the man, and in the tight quarters of the bus, Doyle can be quite intimidating but honestly he’s quite funny and a blast to hang with. He’s no bullshit though and I was personally interested in and was curious about the how to’s of The Vegan Monster on highways that seem to be owned by McDonalds and Dunkin.
Is it difficult to stick with on the road?
Doyle: “No. Its avocados and bananas and oatmeal. I mean what do cows eat?
Doyle: “We’re also sponsored by a company called Trifecta. Every Friday they send us a box of food, all vegan
that we can microwave.”
I’m totally checking that out.
Have you seen how big John Joseph (CroMags) is getting in that world?
Doyle: “He’s mental.” He jokes. “But he’s awesome.”
He’s a great guy to sit and talk that stuff with.
Doyle: “He’s great and funny. I read his whole book, Meat is for Pussies.”
And working out on the road? Is that tricky?
Doyle: (with a grin) “No. We’re sponsored by Powerblock dumb bells. Got a set right over there.”
And obviously he’s the prime example. Guys on the road constantly but still, literally, in monster shape. Fuck I couldn’t resist. Sorry.
Alex: “We have our Instagrams and what not. Bruce, our manager, handles some of the other platforms. We’re probably not as present on social media as we should be. We try to be.”
Doyle: “We just do Instagram. I don’t have a fucking facebook page. Whoever’s talking to me on facebook is not talking to me.”
So the records moving well and things are going in the right direction?
Doyle: Yeah! Its triple fucking platinum! We flew in here on our jet!
Alex: Yeah, people know the songs.
That was what I meant.
Alex: “Yeah. We’ve been playing all over, even these little tiny places in Europe, where we’re like oh god no one’s going to know us here, but the kids are singing along. Lately we’ve just been playing the stuff off the first two albums and everyone knows the songs and is singing along.”
Doyle: We played some place in Switzerland. Little place. They’re not going to know who the fuck we are we thought. Everybody sang every fucking word. And we gave them the show. The stage was only this high (fucking small). It was crazy.
Alex: Yeah we went over to play these festivals but then it’s like five days off in between and rather than that we asked them to get us some shows and they did. In all of these out of the way, middle of nowhere towns but the kids showed up.
Doyle: That show in Switzerland? There was this one kid, (points at Alex) he was laying on the floor singing, and this little boy starts crawling towards him and I was thinking “oh no little boy don’t touch him!”
Alex: “I was on my best behavior.”
Doyle: “Yeah, I was glad!”
The Underground had a nice crowd. The Sadists, whom I’m sorry I missed, and Soldiers Of Solace, the killer Connecticut band, opened the show and around 930 Doyle took the stage. Drummer Wade Murff and bassist Brandon Strate join Doyle and fall into the pit bringing Abominator back with them. The song rides through the crowd and the kids come alive. This band is a well-oiled machine. The kids know what they want and they get it but maybe not how they expected. Which is really what’s so great about rock n roll. That thrill of being alive. All of your first times.
The band rip through Beast Like Me, Valley Of Shadows, Darkside, Witchcraft, the set is a perfect mix of the band’s first two Cd’s played with passion and balls. The pit starts and stops and starts again and stays. The crowd is alive and you can tell because most of the phones are put away. The band plays as if it’s as much for them as it is for us. Murff is like a machine gun on the kit and he makes it look effortless. Brandon Strate, whom I got to speak with a little before the set, is the coolest, seemingly most down to earth guy outside but when he gets that bass and climbs on stage that kid is a savage. He brings a presence to the stage that enhances everything that’s going on and his bass playing is killer. Alex Wolfman Story handles the stage like he was born there. He throws himself into the songs and is completely possessed by them. He doesn’t move or even sound much like Iggy Pop but he feels as though he’s cut from the same cloth. He delivers the songs with his entire being. Doyle is the big monster on stage. He stomps the stage and his guitars into submission and his riffs fill all the empty space in the room. He’s like a Monster Shaman. The band continues to drive the room off a cliff with Dreaming Dead Girls, We Belong Dead, Learn To Bleed. The show brings you to the edge of mayhem, rips open its mouth and lets you look down its throat! When it’s over it’s like a hurricane has left the room. The Doyle band’s live shows are packed with what your hoping to get from a Misfits show. Every night. Power and mayhem, passion and madness. A damn great Rock N Roll show.