The popularity of the Misfits’ reunion took some observers by surprise. How could a punk band with a cult following suddenly become of the biggest live draws in modern music. But was it indeed sudden? Let’s take a look at how this New York band’s popularity steadily increased through the years. Here are the main five reasons why the Misfits are today a highly celebrated band
1. Their influence on numerous other bands
The Misfits began in the wake of the punk rock explosion taking place in New York, in the late 70’s. Much like their contemporaries, the Ramones, the sound of the band owed a great deal to 1950’s music. While the music was usually featured fast and heavy dynamics, it was also characterized by songwriting rich with hooky melodies. It’s one of the reasons why the Misfits’ songs have continued to be covered through the decades by a variety of artists from different genres. Evan Dando, AFI, Brody Dalle, Green Day and others have covered the Misfits’ catchy, horror themed songs.
Speaking of horror themed, the Misfts are also responsible for rise of the subgenre known as horror punk. The band’s initial members all shared a love of horror movies and comic books. These supplied singer Glenn Danzig with much of the themes to his lyrics. It also helped establish the groups’ image.The band introduced a horror influenced manner of presenting themselves that included face paint and the, now famous, devillock haircut. It’s a style that has garnered some disciples and plenty of imitators.
2. The success of Glenn Danzig’s subsequent projects
In many ways, in a commercial sense, Glenn Danzig’s projects that followed the initial breakup of the Misfits, were more successful than the horror punk band. Working towards his advantage were a good deal ambition, tight songwriting skills and very good singing abilities.
His first post-Misfits band was the punk and metal melting pot of Samhain. It was a band that foundmany fans. However, it was Danzig’s next project that would make him internationally successful. With the Black Sabbath and blues inspired Danzig, the singer enjoyed platinum albums, hit singles and radio airplay. The fact that despite its success, the sound of the band shared few similarities with the Misfits, only increased the fans’ desire to see a reunited version of the punk band.
3. Success of later versions of the Misfits
While Glenn Danzig was busy being featured on radio and MTV, the other Misfits members were planning their comeback. Jerry Only and Doyle von Frankenstein, brothers outside of the band, resurrected the Misfits in the 1980’s.
They enjoyed a good deal of success in the mid 1990’s, with Michale Graves taking over vocal duties. Big singles like Dig out her bones won the band a host of new fans with the videos on heavy TV rotation, spliced between those of alternative rock bands of the day . The group’s lineup then went through several changes. Until recently Jerry Only was the band’s sole original member. Despite all of this, the Misfits remained a popular touring act until the present day.
4. Entering popular culture
In many ways the Misfits were one of the biggest cult bands of the late 1970’s. That is to say that the band was unknown to a mainstream audience, who had little connection to punk, and were beloved by a thankful few. However, the band’s myth increased at a steady pace through the years.
Their logo, for example, was an element that has showed up more and more in popular culture in recent years. Retail stores sell Misfits t-shirts. Badges with the logo are highly present in urban ares. Much like Nirvana or the Ramones, the Misfits entered the consciousness of a segment of public otherwise uninterested in rock music.
The band’s fascination with sci-fi and horror imagery, which itself grew in the public’s interest, has been of great help. Of course, the biggest asset to the band’s increased fame have been the high number of original, great songs.
5. The public loves reunions and the Misfits come equipped with a great body of work
The chance of a Misfits reunion seemed highly unlikely until 2016. The band’s members were known to be at odds with one another. It was public knowledge that legal disputes had put extra strain on relations. Besides this, bassist Jerry Only was for years the single original member of the Misfits, an active band that continued to have some success.
Therefore the news that the band was to reunite came as a shock to many. Fans, old and new, were anxious to catch the band live in , what seemed at the time, likely to be a rare opportunity. Many were surprised when the band announced plans to continue playing live shows after 2016, signaling that relations between members had finally mended.
A great asset to the band were also the members chosen to help the group live. Acey Slade joined on guitar. And legendary drummer Dave Lombardo (formely of Slayer) helped roundup a stellar band lineup.
Add to this the fact the Misfits come a catalog of songs that has aged very well and seems tailor made to be played to a large audience. The melodic, lively songs were generally received well. The audiencesmay have come for the name, but more than likely stuck for the music.
The Misfits, an important band in the development of alternative rock, are getting their due and few that have followed their career are surprised. Whether this will result in a long lasting collaboration, or even perhaps a new album, remains to be seen. For now, audiences are simply glad to welcome the reunited band back.
The Misfits starter pack should include the following: