After working as photographer for the legendary horror punk band The Misfits, Eerie Von founded the equally legendary band “Samhain” with Misfits frontman Glenn Danzig. After changing its name to “Danzig” the band was signed to American Records where they would work with producer extraordinaire Rick Rubin on their first several records. We were lucky enough to have Eerie Von answer a few questions for us here at BLANKMANinc.com as part of our “Wicked Awesome Halloween Hubbub”!
BLANKMANinc: How did you first get involved with the misfits?
Eerie Von: “Doyle and I were friends since jr. high. When we got to high school, we hung out everyday. At 15 he joined the Misfits, and one day asked me to take pictures of them, and that’s how it all started.”
BMi: As the band photographer what were some of the challenges of getting good shots of the band?
EV: “Glenn was/is very particular about the image, so once I figured out what he liked it was pretty easy to shoot them. They looked so kool anyway. Getting them to stand still or look into the camera was the only challenge. Shooting them Live was more difficult, so I shot them like it was a sporting event, and had to anticipate what their moves would be.”
BMi: I read in an interview that Glenn Danzig would trade you rare Misfits records for arcade money… that sounds like an awesome story, are there any other early stories you’d like to share?
EV: “That’s true. We hung out quite a bit back then. He didn’t have a car, so I might take him to a show me and my friends were going to, or I’d take him to NYC for business, or to pick up records somewhere, and he’d buy me lunch, or we might just hang down in his basement apt. and talk about horror movies and our toy collection. Sometimes we might go to the toy shop Forbidden Planet, or to one of his fav. books stores Passaic books. We were just friends hanging out.”
EV: “Glenn and I first started working on the songs at my house, and originally it was just gonna be the 2 of us recording, with some guest musicians, that were friends, and whoever could go on tour would go, but the drum stuff he wanted was too hard for me, so he suggested I play bass and we get another drummer. He was playing guitar then. Playing the bass was not too hard, but it took me a while to know where all the notes were. He thought I had too big of a personality to be stuck behind the drums anyway.”
BMi: How did the whole idea of playing while covered in blood come about?
EV: “After we did the first record cover covered in Blood we always wanted to do a show like that. The live thing might have been inspired by “Carrie” more likely the whole Samhain ritual of blood sacrifices.”
BMi: After the band changed sound and name did the chemistry of the band change?
EV: “Whenever you get new band members the chemistry is gonna change. That’s sometimes a good thing. That’s why some bands stay together and some don’t, and why some bands are special.”
BMi:What was it like working for Rick Rubin?
EV: “At first he was very heavy handed, and involved, and we hung out. After we saw what he liked, and his production style, we could anticipate his ideas, and work them out b4 he got to the sessions, and by then we kinda had developed our own style, so eventually we didn’t need him, and he was so busy with other bands by then anyway.”
BMi:What led to your departure from Danzig?
EV: “After Chuck Biscuits left it wasn’t as good a band, then John said he was leaving, so I figured it was time to move on, and let Glenn go the direction he wanted to with some other guys. I think it was good for Glenn, he was wanting to go more underground anyway.”
BMi: Out of your time with Rosemarie’s Babies, Samhain and Danzig what would you consider your favorite moments?
EV: “The first time in a recording studio with RB, and then Samhain were great, and the BIG Halloween Show, in Cali, at Irvine Meadows, was fantastic. I enjoyed touring with Bands like Metallica, Soundgarden White Zombie, Type O, Manson. There were a lot of good times.”
BMi: Why weren’t you part of the Samhain reunion
EV: “What reunion? Glenn and 2 drummers? I said if the Guitar player Damian wasn’t involved I wasn’t interested.”
BMi: What do you think about Jerry Only’s continued version of the Misfits?
EV: “That’s Jerry’s thing. He’s keeping the name alive, and playing the songs for the kids who never saw the old band. I only saw them when they first got back together, and had Graves as a singer. I thought they were pretty good. I haven’t seen Jerry and the others guys since.
BMi: Knowing all the guys in the band personally, what do you think the chances are of a full-fledged Misfits reunion?
BMi: What have you been up lately?
EV: “I’m always Painting. Full time since 1999. Working on a new record, demoing songs, getting players together, always writing, and painting. I do a few appearances, now and then, some art/photography shows, horror cons, whatever….”
BMi: Can you say something about our web site blankmaninc.dev in five words?
EV: “I Think it looks Kool.”
Special thanks again to Eerie Von for taking the time to speak with us, Eerie’s book “Misery Obscura” is available at amazon.com and you can keep up with Eerie and his happenings at www.Eerie777.com.