Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Interview with Eerie Von


Eerie Von might be best known for his time as bass player for Samhain and Danzig. He has also recorded solo albums, photographed the Misfits in their early days and he is an artist. I recently got to check in with him and find out more about his career and his current projects.

MM-Hey, what are you currently working on music wise?
EV-I'm recording a Country record.

MM-Tell us some about your artwork.
EV-I've been painting and drawing since I was a kid, but I've been painting full time for about 10 years. It's mostly spooky stuff. Lots of Devils, and skulls, and just weird shit I have in my head.

MM-When did you first get into music and what were some of the first albums that really pulled you in?
EV-I grew up listening to a lot of 50's Rock and Roll, and Doo-Wop, along with Motown, and the Beatles. The first record I bought was an Elvis album when I was 8.

MM-You went to school with Doyle, how and when did you first find out about the Misfits? What did you think when you first heard them?
EV-Doyle and I became friends around 13 back in Junior High, but I didn't get into the Misfits until I was 14. He gave me some of their early Eps, and made me some tapes of the unreleased MSP, and Static Age sessions. I thought it was great that they were writing their own songs, and putting out records without a record company.

MM-You took a lot of pictures of the Misfits. How did that opportunity come about? Do you still have all these pictures? What are some of your favorites?
EV-I took pictures from about 1978 on, and did all the High School sports stuff. Doyle, and his brothers were all football players, so I shot them, and once Doyle joined the band, he just asked me to shoot them. I still have all the negatives, and my favorite stuff is the "Cave" Session we did.

MM-When did you start using the name Eerie Von? Where did the idea come from?
EV-I was Eerie in High School, and Von was a nickname from my family. It was my Punk Rock name. Everybody had a Punk Rock name.

MM-I am guessing you became closer with Glenn than the other members of the Misfits since he pulled you into Samhain. What do you remember when Samhain was first forming? Didn’t you briefly play drums early on?
EV-I was good friends with Doyle really, and me and Jerry played basketball together sometimes. I got to be friends with Glenn because I was making a lot of kool T-shirts, and we both collected toys. Once he started saying he was gonna leave the Misfits, we began talking about doing a new band, so we started rehearsing in my basement, he played guitar, and I was on drums.

MM-What was the writing and recording process like with Samhain? Did the ideas flow easily? Was Glenn trying very hard to steer clear of the Misfits’ sound?
EV-Glenn had some songs that he didn't want to give to the Misfits, like Blood Feast, and Death comes Ripping, but he needed them for Earth A.D. He knew what he wanted the band to sound like, and since the Misfits had turned into a Thrash type band, playing really fast, we went for a much slower more musical thing.It used to piss people off, that we weren't playing real fast.

MM-Was Samhain’s music difficult to reproduce live? What were some of the more memorable shows you played with Samhain?
EV-I remember Glenn saying, that there was the studio, and then there was the live show, we didn't worry about what extra stuff there was on the records, so we just played the songs in the format of a 3 piece band.The 1st show in NYC at the Rock Hotel, and the Chicago Bloodbath are 2 of my favorite shows, but they were all really kool.


MM-What are some of your favorite Samhain songs?
EV-I like a lot of the stuff on November Coming Fire the most, but Samhain, and All Murder, All Guts, All fun, and He who Cannot be Named, are also favorites.

MM-How did you guys come to meet Rick Rubin? What was it like working with him?
EV-We decided to play the "New Music Seminar" at the Ritz in NY, kinda like South by South west is today, and Rubin saw us there, and wanted to work with us right away.

MM-Why the band name change (to Danzig) and why the image change?
EV-Rick thought our image was too underground, and that we might scare off, a lot of people, so we decided to change. Once Chuck Biscuits, and John Christ joined, it wasn't Samhain anymore, so it seemed like a natural progression. The name change, made sense for the same reasons. It was a new band.

MM-In Danzig the music seemed to be more basic. Was this the band’s idea or was it recommended to you guys to head in that direction?
EV-John brought a lot of the Metal influence with him, but Glenn always liked Black Sabbath, so it wasn't a big deal. It was all new to me, because I had never listened to any of that stuff. Rubin brought in an AC/DC influence, plus Glenn was into Blues, so it all came from there.

MM-What is your favorite Danzig album that you played on? Why?
EV-I like "How the Gods Kill" the most I think, because the band was at the top of it's game. We recorded the basic tracks, in 4 days, mostly 1-2 takes. We were really tight.

MM-What were some of the more memorable moments about being in Danzig?
EV-The Irvine Meadows show in California, where they filmed the Live "Mother" stuff, was a great moment. For a band like us, that wasn't selling a lot of records, it was a real achievement to put 13,000 peole in that place. The first Europe Tour with Metallica in 1988, and some of the early shows with Slayer, were awesome as well. I enjoyed touring with Type O Negative, Soundgarden, White Zombie, and later, Marilyn Manson.The whole time was really terrific.

MM-Why did you leave the band?
EV-After Chuck left, a lot of the soul of the band went with him. It just wasn't as good. The magic was gone. It was time to move on.

MM-You have done some solo albums in recent years. How has the writing and recording process with these albums been different than when you were in Samhain and Danzig?
EV-In Samhain, we recorded very quickly. As long as we got a good take, with no mistakes, that was it. For Danzig, we spent a lot of time working out the songs, and rehearsing, until we could just go in and knock them out. We never took more than a few months to do a whole album. Since I record all the music on my solo stuff, it takes longer, but I just go for the feel rather than a perfect take.I learned a lot about song writing, arranging, and producing, in Danzig, and I think I've gotten pretty good at it all of them.

MM-What music are you currently listening to?
EV-I still listen to what I always have. Blues, Country, Elvis, Motown, The Beatles, the Stones, the Doors, lots of old stuff, plus new shit too.

MM-Is there anything else that you would like say about yourself, your music or your art?
EV-I'd like to thank all the people who have supported me, from my first band, thru Samhain, Danzig, and my solo stuff, and for checking out the Paintings.

Come see me at
www. myspace. com/eerievonart
or write me at EV777@AOL.COM
go to Eerievon. com, and look for my Fiend Art Paintings on Ebay.

***Thanks to Eerie Von for doing the interview.

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