Artist, Photographer, Musician, and Author, EERIE VON, is known as the Bass player from the Goth Punk band Samhain, and the Gothic rock/metal band Danzig. Born in 1964 in New Jersey, Eerie Von spent his formative years in Lodi and graduated from Lodi High in 1982. His former classmates included Doyle from The Misfits.
EERIE VON recently released his first book and continues to have much underground success with his solo recordings and "Fiend Art." His book, titled Misery Obscura: The Photography of Eerie Von 1981-2006, released thru Dark Horse Publications, is a 160 page near career spanning book of photographs and memoirs. Showcasing a behind the scenes look at the "Horror Business," it's a mere "glimpse" of his photographic archives.
EERIE VON'S lens documented everything from The Misfits' humble beginnings...to the heights of Danzig's stadium-rock glory alongside metal superstars Metallica. These essential photographs historically document some of the most influential bands of punk, goth, and rock. Eerie's road stories of triumph and damnation bring to life an era “the likes of which will never again be seen.”
As of 2012, Eerie has contributed to 27 commercially released recordings since 1983, which includes 5 solo releases. With his current release "Kinda Country), his music has evolved into “an intriguing blend of rockabilly, blues, and goth.” Further described, “The Darkness, the Blues, the strong vocals are still there, only now it seems more natural.” Von continues in whatever direction his mood, and the songs take him. But, as he states, “I'll be a Punk Rock guy until I die, and there will always be blues in everything I do. It'll always be dark, that's just how it is.”
His FIEND ART, which was more publicly introduced in Misery Obscura, showcases “...all things Dark, from Classic Horror Films, to the sub conscience, to the Horrors inspired by real Life experiences.” Working with acrylics, abstracts, and free form expressionism, Von also creates the occasional portrait of some famous monster, actor, musician, or nostalgic childrens storyboard character. As Eerie stated in a recent interview, “Subject matter mostly comes right out of my head, just like the songs do, that's why the paintings are so different sometimes, and why I have a few styles.”
As an artist, Eerie started drawing and painting at age 5, when he would copy images from a local newspaper. By age 9, he moved on to painting on the walls of his parent's house. Further developing his versatility as an artist, around age 12, Von started taking and developing photos. Initially shooting High School sports events and bands in Live and formal settings, by 1978/79 he pursued photography as a full time endeavor. He later went on to Graduate from the Germain School of Photography in New York City in 1984.
EERIE VON'S musical and artistic abilities seemed to merge in 1981, when Doyle suggested that he revisit the drums and also take photographs for The Misfits. It was at this time that Eerie met Glenn Danzig and Arthur Googy. This introduction sparked the now famous “Cave Session” which took place in upstate New York, as the band's unofficial photographer (See "Misfits Walk Among Us").
By his senior year in high school, Von formed his first band, a hardcore punk outfit, named Rosemary's Babies with other Lodi High graduates. A year later, they released a 7" 45 EP called “Blood Lust.” By 1984, Von formed Samhain with X-Misfits singer Glenn Danzig, as the drummer, he soon switched over to Bass guitar, and Steve Zing took over on drums. With Samhain's dark, gritty, and experimental combination of punk, Gothic rock, and later, heavy metal music, it was an underground music community which continually fueled Von's creativity. As Eerie had done for Rosemary's Babies and The Misfits, he continually crafted his designs onto band t-shirts, he dabbled in graphic arts for record cover designs, as well as, performance flyers.
As a compelling, passionate interest, VON instinctually shot behind the scenes, essentially "capturing the dark heart of rock's most vital and bleeding-edge periods." In 1984, he furthermore graduated from The Germain School of Photography.
Between 1986/87, Samhain was discovered by Rick Rubin (of Def Jam Records). In 1988 the band changed its name to Danzig. They recorded their first self-titled release, “Danzig I,” which went platinum. And by 1993, as one of the most heard bands in the country, Danzig’s “Thrall Demonsweat Live” was certified gold.
Possibly in an effort to summarize the extent of Danzig's touring success over the years, Von has frequently been asked which acts were among his favorite to tour with, his response, “We did the most shows with Metallica, but when you're talking about Slayer, Soundgarden, White Zombie, Manson, Type O Negative, and Black Sabbath, you can't go wrong. I enjoyed all of them, but would have to place Metallica, White Zombie, and Type O as some of my favorites.”
In 1995, most of the official Danzig line-up had disbanded, including both Eerie Von and John Christ. Although he appears uncredited, in '95 Eerie contributed to 6 songs released on “Collection II” by The Misfits, and in 1996 collaborated on The Misfits “Box set.”
It's hard to say where Eerie will venture artistically, but one thing is for sure, “ ...I figure if you're going to be around and put out records for twenty-seven years, you have keep it interesting. I don't know what the next record, or next painting is gonna be like. I do what I wanna do, and try to please myself first, and If people like it, that's great, but I'll do it whether anyone buys it or not.”