The name Eerie Von has over time become synonymous with hardcore punk metal. You can’t think of bands like Danzig, The Misfits, Samhain, and Rosemary’s Babies without his name coming to mind. But if you think that he is “just” a musician then you would be wrong. His talent and versatility span across various forms of art including music, painting, drawing, and photography. He has at various times in his long career found ways to mix all of these talents together to make masterful pieces of work, both seen and heard. Eerie Von truly epitomizes the word “artist”.
From an early age, Eerie Von has had an interest in drawing, art, and rock-n-roll. He grew up playing the drums and listening to classic artists like Elvis Presley while practicing his own music and developing his own sound. It wasn’t until the ’70s when his talents grew to include a love of photography. By the time he made it to high school Eerie already had years of practice and experience behind him. It was while attending school in New Jersey that he met future Misfits guitarist, Doyle. The two became fast friends and bonded over their mutual love and appreciation of punk rock.
In the early 80s Eerie Von would go on to become the photographer for the Misfits while also drumming for legendary hardcore punk band Rosemary’s Babies. In 1986 Eerie played bass guitar and drums on several tracks for the Misfits which would later be featured on the band’s compilation album, Collection II, released in 1995. Due to Eerie’s friendships with the members of the Misfits, including Doyle and Glenn Danzig, he also produced liner notes to the Misfits box set which was released in 1996. After the Misfits broke up Eerie went on to become the original drummer for Glenn Danzig’s new band, Samhain. He eventually switched to bass guitar and the band changed their name to Danzig. Eerie remained a part of the group until 1995.
Eerie Von’s journey through music and art has remained constant. In 1996 Eerie went on to release a solo instrumental album, Uneasy Listening. He continued experimenting with his sound and art and later released two gothic rock albums, The Blood and the Body & Bad Dream No. 13. His sound continued to evolve and he created a country sound mixed with both darkness and soul with his release of Kinda Country in 2009. Not to mention he also lead a blues style rock band called Bighouse. But in true Eerie Von fashion he has not just been focusing his energy on his music. His art and photography are alive and well and include projects like Fiend Art, showcasing his creations in canvas paintings as well as his photography book Misery Obscura which includes a gritty and stunning collection of his photography through the years. Everything that he does from his music to his art is an inspiration. The best part of it all is that it is all done on his terms, in his own style. He doesn’t care if you like it or not. But that’s what makes his fans love it all the more.
I recently had the opportunity to speak with Eerie Von and ask him some questions about his life and career. As you can imagine he stays pretty busy with multiple projects. I was excited to not only find out about his thoughts on the music business as well as his time with various bands but to hear more about projects that he currently has in the works.
Interview With Eerie Von
TAMMY: How did you first get started in music and who were some of your earliest influences?
EERIE: My dad and my sister Sue were my biggest influences. Dad gave me R&B and Sue gave me punk, then there was Glenn [Danzig] giving me the blues, so I’m grateful for all that.
TAMMY: Would you be interested in reuniting with any old band mates for a tour? If so, who?
EERIE: I would do a Danzig reunion, if the other pricipals would be into it…and if we did a new record. I don’t wanna go out and play “Mother” every night.
TAMMY: You’ve really gone across the board with your sound playing everything from heavy metal to blues to country to Gothic rock. How would you personally describe your signature sound that you consider to be just Eerie Von?
EERIE: Blues and punk rock is always in there, with a little bit of country.
TAMMY: I’m a fan of not only your music but your photography and paintings as well. Misery Obscura is an amazing collection of work. How did you first become interested in photography and painting and what really lead to you wanting to pursue them further?
EERIE: Photography started at like eight years old… then in middle school at 13-14. It was a good way to meet girls and not get beat up by the football team.
TAMMY: I saw that you’ve been working on a children’s book as well. I saw the cover art for it and it looks amazing! Could you tell me more about it?
EERIE: Wanna try and corrupt the children as soon as possible. Still working on it.
TAMMY: Every time I come into contact with you you seem to always be busy working on either your art or music and now a possible children’s book. What keeps you inspired and motivated?
EERIE: I’m less motivated the older I get. I just try to keep painting and writing.
TAMMY: What advice do you have for musicians who are just starting out?
EERIE: Do what you love and do it because you need to. NOT to get girls, or to be famous, just because you have to. And work at it.
Eerie Von has had a long career through the music and arts. He has become one of the most well respected in his field not only because of his talent but because of his insistence on staying true to what is in his heart and mind. He produces art that is raw and honest and in turn inspires other artists to do the same. Nothing that he has ever done or ever will do throughout his continued career in art, photography, and music will ever be able to be recreated in quite the same way. He is ever evolving and creating for himself and no one else. We are just lucky enough to get to enjoy the results of his hard work. And we can continue to look forward to seeing more from him in the future through various forms of media and sound.