Gathering the body parts with FRANKENSTEIN
This interview is made with Dave Grave,
Ghoulish evening, how are you doing?
- Bigger than life, and twice as ugly!
So what is Frankenstein doing at the moment?
- Working on material for the second album,
and trying to coordinate shows around
everybody's schedules. Stevyn has an
upcoming tour with The Last Dance,
and Mr. Jeremy may be going on
the road with 45 Grave, both in October.
It makes things a bit more complicated,
and can be a little frustrating, but that's the price
you pay when you believe in supporting your scene
You got back from Black Lung tour, how did that went?
- Even better than the first tour (which was great)!
This time, I fractured my elbow and tore a muscle
in my leg in Prague, the 4th show of the tour,
and everyone in the band got sick with
some kind of lung infection,
but we didn't cancel a single show, and managed to spread
our disease throughout Europe!
The audiences were great, we sold out of CDs and t-shirts in Vienna,
and had to have friends bring out more to Italy.
Just before the last show, in Turin, some half-wit slammed
the backstage door into my arm, and re-fractured my elbow!
Incredibly painful, but nothing can stop the monster,
and we gave them a show! I'd call that a pretty good tour!
Frankenstein is quite unknown here in Finland, how would you label your music to strangers of your music?
- The less Finland knows about Frankenstein, the better for Finland!
Seriously, though...Frankenstein has successfully avoided
being pinned down under any one specific label.
We attract a mixed crowd of mostly Horror Punk and Psychobilly types.
Goths seem to be intimidated by us...One particular Goth label
(whom I will not embarrass by naming)
claimed we were "too heavy" for them. I've always
just referred to our sound as "Swamp and Grind",
and let the audience figure it out for themselves.
Biggest influences musically and literally?
- Various 60s garage bands, Alice Cooper and Iggy (of course!),
personal experiences during the evolution
of the early Punk and Death Rock scenes...
Bands like The Screamers, Residents,
Cramps, Birthday Party, and Foetus all widened
my horizons to some extent. I grew up on a steady diet of
horror movies, late-night rock and roll radio,
and a fascination with the darker aspects of human history.
In the end, nothing is as dark, bizarre, and twisted,
as the real-life horrors that mankind creates for
itself. All very inspiring.
Frankenstein has been around for along time, shortly tell us best experiences so far?
- With the old 1990-92 line-up, there was the time
we played "A Day For Human Rights", and at the party
afterwards there was an armed standoff with 2 carloads of gangsters,
or the show where almost the entire audience was tripping on LSD.
In '96 we met Ike Turner after a show at the Whisky-A-Go-Go,
and he came to our next show, the following weekend (even took us out to breakfast!).
Other best experiences would be working with my good friend,
former guitarist Rev. Whitey Peckawood, hearing
Frankenstein played on a jukebox and the radio for the first time,
working in the studio with William Faith,
getting the current line-up together,
releasing the album, playing Las Vegas, touring Europe,
having our album and t-shirts included in a traveling exhibit
of the impact of the Frankenstein character on pop culture,
and being included in Tim Rochels' book, "Schwarze Szene".
You released your debut through Fiendforce, are you happy with them so far?
- I've been told that both the CD and 12-inch green vinyl
versions of our album,
"An Ugly Display Of Self-Preservation"
are in their second pressings, so I have no complaints.
Fiend Force's chief fiend, Thorsten,
did a lot of promotion for the album's release and our 2004 tour...
magazine ads,posters, etc. Fiend Force has grown since then,
and now includes Nim Vind, Shadow Reichenstein,
and Crimson Ghost, not to mention Thorsten's own band, The Other
( I hear they may have recently signed TheResurrex).
The bands' overlapping tours this last spring spread the promotion a little thin,
but Thorsten wiselychose Motherdance Productions
to keep things running smoothly on the road (Special Thanks to Delores Lokas!),
and the local club promoters
(with only a couple of exceptions) did more than their share promoting the
shows. We've done well with Fiend
Force, and I'm looking forward to having them release our next album!
You were touring in Europe, was it a good experience?
- Let's see...We arrived to a bomb threat at Frankfurt Airport,
played the Fiend Fest in Solingen, partied with
Provokator.org's Pam and Marika in Prague, and I "Tea-Bagged"
the audience at the Whitby Goth Weekend!
There was our sobering visit to the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp,
Heilbrunn's Stereo Total club (and the
beautiful Frau Klaudia!), the Terra Gotha festival, playing Nurnberg's Z-Bau,
5 or 6 encores in Vienna, reuniting with old friends in Italy
(and working with Alphonzo and Alberto in Napoli), my
after-tour visit to Amsterdam's
Vrolik Museum (an outstanding collection of human heads, parts, and malformed
children in jars!), all the great shows in between,
and all the great people we met along the way...
Yes, I'd say that touring Europe was a good experience.
Apathy Sucks 7" was just re-released, are you planning to release more old stuff?
- On "Ugly Display" we included the hidden 14th track "City Of People",
from the same 1996 session as the
Apathy Sucks track,"Bad Dog Blues". There are a few other tracks from that
session, as well as some earlier recordings, that I've thought about releasing.
I recently secured copyright to a number of "lost" recordings of my
earlier bands Zombie Legion (1979-81) and
the original Voodoo Church (1981-82).
A few CD copies were handed out during the Black Lung tour.
They may be released as limited editions
sometime next year on the Meathouse
Audiografik label, and a website history of both bands is going online this
winter. The former bassist for Voodoo
Church, Tina Winter, started using the name again in 2001, and has been
spreading all kinds of bullshit trying
to erase the true history of the band. She's even tried to trademark the name,
and has claimed "There are no
recordings of Dave with Voodoo Church", but the former guitarist for both bands
(and Tina's ex-husband), Rob
Reimer, recently admitted he destroyed the master tapes of the 1980 Zombie
Legion studio recordings, and
threatened to destroy the master recordings of our 1981 Voodoo Church studio
sessions as well. But this isn't the place to get into it. If you're in need of a cheap laugh,
you can check out a preview webpage at
Gotta to ask about your bands name, Frankenstein obliviously comes from the character
from Mary Shelley´s novel. But what else does it mean to you? I´ve always thought I could be a metafor for
bunch of similar guys finding each other and noticing that together they make a perfect match and you
created this band, the monster of Frankenstein. Am I close or is it just my imagination?
- "Frankenstein, or The Modern Prometheus"...Great imagery and symbols! The
scientist and the monster
he created, the reanimation of dead flesh by high voltage, the perfect excuse to
stumble around onstage and
scream loudly at an audience! Since I started Frankenstein in 1985, the band has
gone through various line-ups,
sometimes falling apart as some limbs rotted off, only to rise again, back from
the dead and bigger than ever.
This time around I managed to stitch together some quality parts!
Following the question above, favourite horror movies?
- That's like asking which grains of sand in the desert are your favorites!
Of the old classics, "The Cabinet Of Dr. Caligari", Murnau's "Nosferatu",
the old Universal Studios' Frankenstein films (obviously),
and Todd Browning's "Freaks".
There's the original version of "The Haunting" (best ghost film ever!),
Jacques Tournier's "Night Of The Demon", Mario Bava's "Black Sabbath",
Polanski's "Fearless Vampire Killers", Passolini's
"Salo", "Children Shouldn't Play With Dead Things", "Living Dead" films,
"Texas Chainsaw Massacre" 1 and 2, Fulci's "Zombie", "Cemetery Man", "Ed Gein"
...there are too many to mention!
Let´s go back to touring, any plans to visit Europe anytime soon? And please, come to Finland.
- I'm looking forward to touring Europe again, once the new album is finished,
hopefully before next summer. I'd like very much to come to Finland!
Any offers? I should warn you that, being half dead myself, while your
colder climate would keep me from decomposing any further, I would require
several beautiful Finnish girls to keep my blood warm and pumping. Any offers?
Any parts left over could be used to build a Franken-Finn!
About the present time, what does the future hold for Frankenstein?
- The new album, more stuff available from the website, another rampage
through Europe...If I told you any
more, I'd have to kill you!
I will leave the last words for you, thanks alot for the interview and good luck in the future!
- What good is being undead if you can't play live?
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