If you think about it, there aren’t too many bands that can be credited for starting an entire sub-genre, but that’s exactly what the legendary band the Misfits have done with horror punk. The band's career spans an impressive 40 years.
Originating from Lodi, N.J., the band became known for their in-your-face, aggressive lyrical content, with many songs being written from the perspective of a monster.After the albums Walk Among Us in 1982, their follow-up Earth A.D./Wolf’s Blood a year later, the band didn’t release another LP until 1997’s American Psycho, but their fans remained ultra loyal. In fact, some might argue the Misfits’ fanbase only strengthened during those years and despite some inner turmoil the band faced, their brand couldn’t be stronger these days.That was clearly evident when the original members Glenn Danzig, Jerry Only and guitarist Doyle Wolfgang von Frankenstein reunited at Riot Fest in 2016, and they’ll do it again this year at Las Vegas’ MGM Grand Garden Arena on Dec. 28. So be sure to get your tickets to that show right here on AXS.
Here are five things that you may not know about the Misfits:
1. Jerry Only has worked in a machine shop for most of his life
In an interview with 100 Percent Rock, Only said that he started working in a machine shop with his dad at 10 years old. This started him on a path of being hardworking and physically fit. This experience eventually led the rocker to take an interest in sports. When only joined Misfits, his ideas shifted about being both creative and a jock as the band helped him see that a person could be both. “I think we changed that,” he said. “I think maybe Manowar and the Misfits really put that into a different light.”
2. Danzig uses various forms of art to keep himself musically inspired
You probably know that Danzig writes more than songs. He has penned a series of books titled “Satanika.” What you may not know is that being an author, as well as a photographer, helps Only's songwriting process. More specifically, Danzig says that he needs a diversion from songwriting at times, so he can stay fully engaged when he comes back to it. But he wants people to know that music is still at the center of his artistic pursuits, and it fuels his other forms of creativity.“I think it’s all connected,” he told Loudwire. “One affects the other, and it can get you excited about the other thing. It’s good to step away, too, from music for a while and do something else so that you can come back to it fresh. At least in my case. But music for me, first and foremost, is what I do.”
3. Only played the bass for just under a year before starting the Misfits
The charismatic music man said that he started playing the bass one February during his senior year in high school. Then in April, he started the Misfits with Danzig and recorded the album Static Age in 1978, which was re-released in 1996.Only also said that starting the Misfits while being a novice allowed him to shape his own sound without mimicking anyone else. “I didn’t know anybody else’s music, and I didn’t even want to know anybody,” he told 100 Percent Rock.
4. After their 2016 reunion, Danzig wasn’t sure if the original Misfits would continue on
While promoting the album Black Laden Crown from his other self-named band Danzig, the veteran singer said that he doesn’t want to tour but will play one-off performances, hence the Dec. 26 show at Las Vegas’ MGM Grand Garden Arena. Danzig also stated that he loved the reunion show and was thrilled at the general feedback from the press.“Everyone seemed to have a great time,” he told the folks at Riot Fest. “I think it exceeded expectations, which is always good and the write-ups were just insane.”
5. Only doesn’t want to be placed in the horror punk category solely
It’s a feeling that many successful bands and musicians express at some point in their career, especially when their popularity grew from having a particular sound or presentation. While speaking to MTV News, Only said ‘Yes,’ the Misfits created horror punk and should get credit for anyone who was influenced by it, but they’ve done other styles of music, which should also be considered. “We’re not just a horror punk band,” he explained. “We might’ve got stuck in that category because we are probably the best horror punk band, but we’re much more than that. We do ballads, we do thrash, we do death metal, we do speed metal, we do it all.