7 Questions with Eerie Von
We all know EV for his intense bass playing in DANZIG from '88 - '95 and we thank him for taking time out to answer some questions for the 7thHouse. Hope you enjoy.....
7th: When did your passion for music begin?
EV: I really got into music when I was 8 years old. I listened to Elvis, Motown, my Mom and Dad's 50s music, The Beatles and whatever was on AM radio at the time.
7th: You are well known for your bass playing in Samhain and Danzig, but what other bands have you played in?
EV: The Misfits were always looking for a drummer, so I decided to take up the drums. So when the time came I'd be ready. When the time did come, I was already doing Rosemary's Babies (my first band) and decided not to join the Misfits.
7th: How did you first encounter the music of the Misfits?
Doyle and I used to eat lunch togther in middle school,
around 1977. One day he showed up with spikey hair and a leather jacket talking
about the Sex Pistols and other punk bands. So I found that interesting, but
still had not heard any of it.
I knew his brother Jerry was in a band called The Misfits and that they did shows in the city.
The only time I had seen Jerry was at our 8th grade graduation where he walked Doyle up the isle giving everybody the finger after Doyle got kicked out of graduation for having pink hair (Jerry's was blue at the time). It wasn't till we got into highschool '78 - '79 that Doyle brought in some of the stuff like the "Beware" 12 inch and some singles. We played the "Beware" record over the P.A. in gym class. Doyle gave me some singles and made me a couple of 8 track tapes to check out. By 1980 the word was that the Misfits didn't play as much except for an occasional Halloween gig, so I never got to see them until Jerry decided Doyle was going to be in the band. I went to his first show at Irving Plaza on Halloween, and I was hooked from then on.
7th: These days Misfits and Samhain records are widely sought by collectors and can go for some crazy money. Did you know these would one day become as collectible as they are now? Were the records, fiend club items, etc difficult to acquire back then?
Since we all were collectors in one way or another, (I
had been going to second hand shops and flea markets since I was 8 years old)
we considered the Plan9 stuff and other rare punk singles to be very collectible.
Since most of these records were made in limited quantities, they were rare
If you were friends with Glenn and hung out at his house, it was easy to look through stacks of Misfits stuff, like Static Age era stuff, on big metal shelves he had in the basement.
If something was really kool, and he had mutiple copies, he would always say "take one". I remember stacks of unused "Horror Business" sleeves that he considered inferior quality or other Fiend Club type items that he didn't think were good enough to represent the band. It was very important for him to maintain quality control, and wanted the fans to have the best possible stuff.
Glenn always had the best records stashed under the bed, and would drag the boxes out to show you the latest pressings and if you were lucky, you might go home with a few. If we were out playing video games at the arcades and he ran out of cash, he would ask me for a loan and ask me if I had a purple "Marilyn" or "Night Of The Living Dead" stuff like that, and said he would give me those for whatever video game money I could front him. Those were the days.
7th: What was it like growing up liking and knowing the Misfits, then joining Samhain, and finally playing bass for Danzig? Was it a seamless progression?
I never really thought about it, knowing the guys in the
band. Doyle and I were friends and hung out at school, and Jerry was always
cruising around town in his black Corvette with the big red bat on the hood.
So everybody knew him and liked him. We played basketball together on several
occasions. Those guys were into sports, except for Glenn, so you never saw him
much outside of a band situation.
I thought the band was really kool, I really liked the whole horror business and always thought it would be kool to be in a real band, and make records, and go on the road. After highschool I kept in touch with Glenn more than Doyle and Jerry, and would ask him for help and phone numbers when putting out my first record. As my band was winding down, he was deciding he wanted to leave the Misfits and I guess he liked my opinions on what "being in a band" should be, and a lot of my musical tastes were similar to his. So he said he wanted to do a new band and asked me if I wanted to do it. I started out on drums and we had 2 or 3 rehersals with the guitar player from Rosemary's Babies to flesh out song ideas. The drum stuff Glenn wanted was not easy for me at the time, lots of tom stuff and weird timing, so one day he said "do you know that guy Steve from Mourning Noise? He plays drums, why don't you play bass I can teach you?" That was it.
We rehearsed for like a month (a couple of times with Lyle from Minor Threat) and did our first show at The Rock Hotel in NYC (3/31/84).
Making the transition to Danzig from Samhain wasn't that big of a deal because the band was still going to be called Samhain as far as we were concerned, and we were just getting 2 other guys. It wasn't until Rick Rubin came along that the name change was suggested and he thought the makeup and Devilocks might alienate a larger audience and that we should try to appeal to as may people as possible. We felt the music was the most important thing and should be heard by as many people as possible. As far as the makeup and stuff, it was time for a change anyway.
7th: Will we see any future musical releases such as "Uneasy Listening" and "The Blood And The Body", and do you have any other artistic outlets?
EV: I have a new cd coming out sometime early this year called "Bad Dream No 13" on Ghastly Records (ghastlyrecords.com). I played real drums and all the other instruments on this one too. And it's still spooky like "The Blood and the Body", but the drums make a big difference. I've also been doing a lot of paintings and my "Fiend Art" is getting a great response so I will continue to do that and plan to work on another album this year.
7th: You are known to have taken many photos of the Misfits over the years before you began in Samhain, will you ever put out a photo book of your work?
No immediate plans on a photo book, but you never know.
Because I was 15 when I first shot the Misfits and hadn't met Glenn yet, I was very nervous at our first session (the Cave shoot). Jerry and Doyle were very good subjects and loved the camera, but Glenn wasn't as easy, but I was 15 so what the Hell did I know? I wish I had shot more film or done a few things differently, but it was my first band shoot.
Shooting the Misfits live was a lot like shooting a sporting event (which I did a lot of in highschool) you had to anticipate what they were going to do, where they were gonna end up and be ready. I had no auto-drive on the camera so I had to make my shots count.
Glenn used to say, try to shoot us in the first three songs cause after that we get all messed up. It was a very crazy atmosphere and was hard to concentrate on taking pictures when you wanted to stage dive. The shows were always out of control. When I did travel with the band, if I wasn't taking pictures then I did whatever was needed, like a crew guy. I was glad to be there and be a part of the whole thing. It was a great time.
7th: Of the Danzig albums you played bass on, what is your favorite?
EV: I like #3 because most of the stuff was done in one or two takes, because we knew the songs so well. We recorded 14 songs in 4 days and it was the band at it's best. I also like #4 because I think I was the only one besides Glenn who really knew what we were going for, and the songs are different from the other records in a nice wierd way. Danzig was a great band and I had a lot of fun. I'm very proud of the records we made.
Feel free to email Eerie Von here: EV777@aol.com~THE END~