Born Eric Stellmann in Lodi, New Jersey Stellmann took on the moniker Eerie Von in high school, with future Misfits guitarist Doyle, during the late 1970s. He would take up the drums at age 8 and joined the hardcore band Rosemary’s Babies (1980-1983) in his teens. An artist through and through, Eerie Von took up photography and would befriend Glenn Danzig and the Misfits. After turning down the Misfits to be their drummer, Eerie Von became the band’s photographer. In 1986 Eerie Von did record bass and drums on several tracks which would end up on Misfits ‘Collection II’ compilation (1995). He would also pen the liner notes to the bands self titled box set in 1996.
After the breakup of the Misfits, Eerie Von and Danzig would go on to form the metal band Samhain where Eerie Von would play drums then switching over to bass. From 1983 to 1987, Eerie Von was in Samhain and when the band would go under the name Danzig he would continue with his friend Glenn Danzig in the band from 1987 to 1995.
For the duration, he was with these three seminal bands, Eerie Von always had his camera with him taking photos backstage, from the stage, in the studio, and on tour. Many of his photos have recently been reissued in this riveting 160-page hardcover book “Misery Obscura: The Photography of Eerie Von (1981-2009).”
From the leather to the metal studs and weird hair, eerie Von was there for it all, including the legendary 1985 “Bloodbath” show at the Metro in Chicago. There are shots of his bands opening for Metallica, touring with Soundgarden and White Zombie. The photo collection also shows time spent with Black Sabbath’s Tony Iommi, artist HR Giger, Marilyn Manson, Slayer’s Tom Araya, and many more.
With forewords by Minor Threat guitarist Lyle Preslar and Killswitch Engage bassist Mike D’Antonio, “Misery Obscura: The Photography of Eerie Von” is a time capsule of a time when the New Jersey punks took hardcore and metal to a whole new level influencing countless in the process.