The Misfits are a Punk Rock band formed by
Glenn Allen Anzalone Glenn Danzig in 1977 in Lodi, New Jersey. The line-up was constantly in flux for most of its existence, with its main members consisting of Glenn Danzig and the bassist Jerry Only. Eventually the classic line-up of Glenn, Jerry, Doyle Wolfgang von Frankenstein (Jerry's younger brother) and Arthur Googy was settled upon to record Walk Among Us.
The band made a distinct sound combining the buzz saw guitar of Buzzcocks with lyrical content mostly about B-Horror movies, Pulp Novels, and trashy pop culture in general. They are the progenitors and still reigning kings of Horror Punk.
The Misfits are commonly considered one of the most influential underground bands of their generations; laying the groundwork for continuing trends in Punk Rock, Goth Rock, Thrash Metal, and Post-Hardcore style Emo (especially My Chemical Romance who share the same fascination with horror and the undead, but apply it in a much more emotional and theatrical way).
On May 12, 2016 it was announced that Glenn Danzig, Jerry Only, and Doyle Wolfgang von Frankenstein will perform together for the first time in 33 years in September 2016. Since then, they've been playing together alongside new members Dave Lombardo and Acey Slade whenever they have any free time, and Jerry has stated he's open to making an album.
Current members in bold. Members who performed on a full-length studio release in italic.
- Glenn Danzig - Vocals, keyboards, studio guitar (1977-1983, 2016-present)
- Diane DiPiazza - Bass (1977)
- Jimmy Battle - Guitar (1977)
- Manny Martinez - Drums (1977)
- Jerry Only - Bass (1977-1983, 1995-present), vocals (2001-2016)
- Franche Coma - Guitar (1977-1978)
- Mr. Jim - Drums (1978)
- Bobby Steele - Guitar (1978-1980)
- Joey Image - Drums (1978-1979)
- Arthur Googy - Drums (1980-1982)
- Doyle - Guitar (1980-1983, 1995-2001, 2016-present)
- Robo - Drums (1982-1983, 2005-2010)
- Brian Damage - Drums (1983)
- Dr. Chud - Drums (1995-2000)
- Michale Graves - Vocals (1995-2000)
- Dez Cadena - Guitar (2001-2015)
- Marky Ramone - Drums (2001-2005)
- Eric Arce - Drums (2010-2016)
- Jerry Caiafa Jr. - Guitar (2014-2016)
- Acey Slade - Guitar (2016-present)
- Dave Lombardo - Drums (2016-present)
- Static Age: Recorded in 1978, released in 1997.
- 12 Hits from Hell: Recorded in 1980, released in 2001. note
- Walk Among Us (1982)
- Earth A.D. (1983) note
- American Psycho (1997)
- Famous Monsters (1999)
- Project 1950 (2003)
- The Devil's Rain (2011)
"Mommy, Can I Go Out and Trope Tonight?:"
- Anti-Love Song: "Die Die My Darling."
- Big Guy, Little Guy: Ripped, 6'3 Doyle, and 5'3 Danzig... who's admittedly also ripped.
- Cluster F-Bomb: From the chorus of "Where Eagles Dare":"I ain't no goddamned son of a bitch"
- Cover Version: They have an album dedicated to this — Project 1950. Aside from that, they also recorded "Rat Fink" and "Day the Earth Caught Fire."
- Darker and Edgier: Glenn Danzig's Samhaim was darker and not as "fun" as The Misfits.
- Also the final first era album, Earth A.D., which took on a more intense Hardcore Punk sound and actually featured a couple of songs originally written for Samhain.
- Dark Is Not Evil: Despite having pretty gruesome lyrics, the songs can be remarkably poppy and fun.
- Dead Baby Comedy: Literally, in "Last Caress":"I got something to say
I killed your baby today"
- Dem Bones: Their logo.
- Downer Ending: Their first run ended with their new drummer getting so shitfaced he couldn't finish half the set, Glenn so fed up he broke up the band on stage then and there, and then a several-year legal battle when he rerecorded Jerry and Doyle's parts for a compilation album rather than actually pay them royalties.
- Early-Installment Weirdness: Their first single, "Cough / Cool" b/w "She:" Both songs were stylistically similar to later material, but featured Glenn Danzig on both vocals and electric piano, as they lacked a lead guitarist at the time.
- Emo Music: Unbuilt version. Horror lyrics intermixed with Silly Love Songs with pop-punk/hardcore punk tones as The Misfits started were later something emo bands like AFI and My Chemical Romance would be influenced by.
- Extra Eyes: "20 Eyes"
- Gentle Giant: Despite his imposing appearance, Doyle comes across as a very laid-back and well-spoken individual in interviews. Don't you dare mess with him on stage, though. He'll make sure you never make that mistake again.
- Halloween Songs: They have practically made a career of making Halloween-themed punk music, which makes sense considering they are often held as the progenitors of the horror punk subgenre.
- Hardcore Punk: At least Earth A.D.
- Heroic Build: Doyle, even into his fifties the man is one of the most ripped guys in the whole music business
- Danzig as well, although not so much these days.
- Hell Hotel: Horror Hotel.
- Pun: Ghouls Night Out.
- Iconic Item: Doyle's signature guitars. Which of course look like huge, spiky bat wings.
- Indecipherable Lyrics: It's impossible to understand Danzig on Earth A.D. without having lyrics in front of you. Other albums have this too, just not as much. The fact, that lyrics, that circulated the web prior to Danzig releasing Lyrics of the Left Hand Vol. II book was incorrect, doesn't help. For example, lyrics to "Devilock" are often written as:"So make this demon offering
Best demon offering
Curious about the eye of death, oh...
But the actual correct lyrics, according to LotLH are:
- "Don't mess with demon offspring
The virgin's demon offering
Their fury has no master
I am cancer
- Lighter and Softer: The '90s era had better production values and therefore was easier on the ears. They no longer wrote songs about sex and senseless violence (though violent horror movies were still the primary theme to sing about), and a handful of songs were inspired by Jerry Only and Doyle's Christian faith.
- Lyrical Dissonance: Most of their lyrics are about murder, rape, and destruction (sometimes inspired by B-sci-fi / horror movies), but had rockabilly influenced beats and Glenn Danzig's deep baritone bluesy voice.
- Metal Scream: Inverted. While most of his contemporaries in punk scream, Glenn has a pleasant and powerful baritone.
- Murder Ballad: "Mommy Can I Go Out and Kill Tonight?"
- Nothing but Skulls: "Skulls."
- Non-Indicative Title: Usually their songs about horror movies are also titled after the movie itself, so you would think "Shining" would be a song about The Shining... It's about Poltergeist.
- Our Zombies Are Different: In "Night of the Living Dead" it describes zombies and later criticizes people's fascination with them.
- Pint-Sized Powerhouse: Glenn Danzig is 5Ft2In, and in his younger years he was quite buff.
- The Power of Hate: Actually deconstructed by "Hatebreeders," which aims to show how destructive being raised to hate really is."Murder one inborn into your every cell (whoa oh oh)
It's in your blood and you can't shake it
Because you were bred to take it
Next stop annihilation
They bred the hate right in your bones"
- Red Oni, Blue Oni: Constantly angry occultist Danzig, and relatively mellow Christian Jerry, with Doyle being the required Surrounded by Idiots Only Sane Man stopping them from killing and/or suing each other.
- Revolving Door Band: Classic era Misfits.
- To clarify, the band has had 19 members total, with 13 of those during the "classic" era (1977-1983).
- Although "new" Misfits also change their members, just not as constantly as "classic" Misfits.
- Shout-Out: Mostly involving horror movies:
- Rock Trio: They became this since Jerry took over lead vocals position.
- Sequel Song: "Dying On Sunday Night", from Michele Graves' solo project is a sequel to "Saturday Night".
- Silly Love Songs: In a way, quite a few:
- Spiritual Successor: Glenn Danzig's Samhain was his continuation of exploring the darker themes and sound on the Earth A.D. album. The Misfits themselves can be considered a punk version of Alice Cooper or Screaming Lord Sutch.
- Michale Graves' solo works are essentially darker and more socially relevant successors to his works with The Misfits, with songs about among other things, the Columbine tragedy, and on his latest album, Elon Musk's creations becoming sentient and monstrous.
- The 90s era of Misfits could be considered one to Jerry and Doyle's spiritually themed punk metal band Kryst the Konqueror.
- Pop Punk: The Michale Graves era Misfits definitely counts, although with a much heavier edge
- Stage Names: Most of them.
- Gerald Caiafa Jr turned into "Jerry Only" after they misspelled his name on an early single, so he just wanted "Jerry, Only Jerry."
- Doyle is named after the family dog.
- Gerald Caiafa III was known as "Jerry Other"
- Glenn "Danzig" Anzalone
- Step Up to the Microphone: Prior to becoming lead vocalist, Jerry sang on their cover of "Monster Mash" (later re-recorded for Project 1950).
- Dez Cadena sings on "Jack the Ripper" and "Death Ray."
- The Theme Park Version: The more disturbing and violent features of the original band are shorn off in the revived version, which features a more cartoonish image and has lyrics focused almost exclusively on vintage horror and science fiction films.
- Three Chords and the Truth: Some of their earlier records are so raw that they sound as if they were recorded in a public bathroom.
- Doyle states that all he knows are downstrokes and power chords. Some would assume that he's ripping off Johnny Ramone's playing style, but Doyle openly admits that he he knew nothing about playing guitar.
- Ironically, Doyle later turned into a guitar nerd, and built his own guitar to help maintain his style of playing by borderline punching the strings without it constantly going out of tune on him or slicing his hand open.
- Title Track: Present on Static Age, Earth A.D., American Psycho, and The Devil's Rain. Averted with Walk Among Us, while they have both an album and a song by that name, the song would not be written and recorded until several years later (it appears on American Psycho).
- The Von Trope Family: Doyle Wolfgang Von Frankenstein is a Type 2.
- Walking Shirtless Scene: Doyle is very rarely seen wearing a shirt. Most likely to show off how ripped he is.
- Danzig infamously so