by Robert Dean
When you’re an artist that people are willing to support, it’s a blessing. There are millions of musicians in the world, and a minimal number of them make an impact that spans generations, let alone a few fleeting moments. When people are lined up to snap a photo with you, to get a moment to shake your hand and tell you what your music means to them, you should only be so lucky. While all things are finite, few things are everlasting and in the case of Doyle Wolfgang Von Frankenstein, otherwise known as Doyle who plays in the Misfits, he’s missed that memo.
Over the weekend The Liquid Conversations podcast dropped a new episode featuring Doyle and it was one cringe after another, showcasing just how out of touch the Herculean monster is with today’s music culture.
When asked about how people consume music in today’s market, it was clear that Doyle isn’t getting a significant slice of the Misfits pie because of his view of how music is consumed with streaming services taking up the lion's share of how someone wants to hear a track or album, “The thing that sucks the most about it is that everybody steals music,” he continued, “You spend thousands and thousands of dollars to make a record and all of these scumbags are just stealing it.”
I don’t know if Doyle understands much beyond punching at his guitar and doing crunches, because these days people want everything in one place, along with having music everywhere 24/7 is just now a part of the culture in comparison to downloading from a sketchy service like Limewire back in the early ’00s. Still, Doyle can’t exactly place his finger on how all of it works, saying, “You make nothing, it’s $9 a month [for a subscription], and you can listen to a song 10,000 times if you want.”
Again, I’m not sure if he’s making any pennies off of when “Skulls” gets a few spins considering Danzig wrote it.
Further not understanding how streaming platforms or really, the Internet as a whole work, adding, "They should really fucking police that shit. Shut the Internet down for a fucking day and fix it."
My guy, this is not a good look. I get that artists are scammed when it comes to making money via streaming services and there should be some kind of collective bargaining agreement. According to Blabbermouth’s numbers, “Songs streamed on the company's ad-supported tier last year earned $0.00014123 in mechanicals per play. This means that an artist would earn $100 in mechanical royalties after 703,581 streams. This number actually decreased from $0.00022288 in December 2016. For the premium tier, Spotify paid $0.00066481 per stream. An artist would, therefore, earn just $100 after 150,419 streams.”
That ratio isn’t fair and is a poor reflection of an artist’s worth and value. Doyle also went on to defend Metallica after going after Napster back in the day, "Lars Ulrich was right when he sued fucking Napster," he said. "And everybody thought he was a dick. He didn't do it for him. He's got the fucking money. He did it for fucking jerkoffs like me."
We’ve established the music streaming world isn’t the fairest, so because of this model, artists have had to find new ways to make money. Some offer VIP experiences, signed and exclusive merch, specialized content available only through their webstores, etc. This is just the new reality. The only platform making money right now is vinyl, which only true music lovers buy.
One thing Doyle doesn’t like is meeting his fans. It’s also clear that Doyle isn’t getting a significant payday from these multi-million dollar-earning Misfits gigs. If he’s crying about spending time with the very people who have given him a life so many musicians dream about, “And then they want more, and then you’re a dick because you’re doing a meet-and-greet for 50 fucking bucks to make up for it, which you don’t want to do. You think I want to meet all these fucking people? I don’t. When I’m done, I just want to take a shower and go to bed.”
And if a fan thinks paying $50 to meet the adult who paints his face and plays two-chord songs is a little steep, “They can kiss my ass. You want to steal shit? If I was making motorcycles and they came and took one, would that be a crime? Why can’t we punish people for stealing songs? There should be a $10,000 fine for that.”
Apparently, this music on the Internet thing really chaps his well-toned ass.
It’s sad someone of his caliber and level of industry respect has to punch down to the people that worship him. The only people attending a Doyle gig are Misfits die-hards who want the chance to meet a punk icon. Do you think people are dropping the coin to meet Johnny Rotten or anyone in Danzig’s band?
The majority of that room wants a photo with Doyle, and he’s robbing them of that experience thanks to his ego. Look, man you might be tired, but all of those people who’s gotten the Crimson Ghost tattooed on their bodies, or got the shit kicked out of them by jocks in middle school but kept the faith alive are now “some asshole” thanks to your inability to stand and smile while someone shells out $50 of their hard-earned cash for 10 minutes of your time.
You’re lucky that people care and want to see you. You’re lucky you get to live amongst the lore of the Misfits and it should be celebrated, but unfortunately, you’re too busy being mad about riding in a van when your band is on the road. That’s no offense to your legacy, but by no means should the fans who come to your gigs have to suffer a subpar experience because you couldn’t manage whatever money you’ve earned while probably signing away some kind of rights over the years.
Maybe the reason you’re not packing stadiums with your solo act is that it sucks and we’re humoring you. Does that sting? It should. You owe everything to those people sweating alongside you, and by vocalizing your dislike of the culture that effectively propped you up to this “rockstar” level, it’s bullshit.
Whatever the case may be, I’ll be at the April Misfits show in Chicago, singing along. I know Danzig and Jerry are far from perfect, but you know what? They at least understand their legacy and the role they play among the people willing to spend their monthly car payment to share their music.