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Editorial: Please, The Misfits, No New Material

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As you’ve probably heard, horror punk legends The Misfits reunited with original lead singer Glenn Danzig this weekend at Riot Fest Denver. The show was apparently an epic event, and I’m glad it happened — this has been too long coming. Now, the band has made it publicly known that they want to continue the reunion, most likely with a national tour. Which, again, is great. The Misfits and Danzig, together at last, rocking “Last Caress” onstage. Should be amazing.

That said, please, please, please, Glenn, Jerry, Doyle, don’t try to make a new album. Make this a reunion tour, and only that.

Don’t get me wrong, I understand the appeal of making a new Misfits record. The reunion shows do well, new generations of fans are getting into the classic material, shitloads of money is being moved around. And hey, it’s totally understandable if you don’t want to play the same songs you’ve been playing for forty-plus years over and over again. A new album’s a chance to show you’ve still got it. You could call it Back From The Grave or Return of the Fly or something like that! Cool, right?

But no. Danzig is over sixty. The last Only-only Misfits album, The Devil’s Rain, was just plain bad. The Michael Graves-era Misfits records were awesome, but that seemed to be specifically because the band was heading in a different direction, a little more metal, a little more entrenched in the horror fandom (I’ll never forget seeing them at the opening night of Madison Scare Garden). A new album by the original line-up of the Misfits would be an attempt to recapture that original sound, the sound that the band so perfectly crafted back in the late ’70s and early ’80s, and no matter what, the result won’t sound as good.

Because that’s the other thing: no one’s going to hear a brand new Misfits album and separate it from the band’s early music. The only band I can think of who did that really well was Celtic Frost, and that’s because Monotheist a) sounded entirely different from previous Frost output, and b) still sounded dark and creepy and killer enough to safely fall under the Celtic Frost banner. I cannot fathom that happening with The Misfits, partly because no previous combination of the band’s members have ever pulled that off convincingly (even Danzig’s solo material sounds like it could be Misfits material), and partly because I don’t want it to be. I don’t want The Misfits to not sound like The Misfits anymore.

Similarly, a new recording of classic material probably wouldn’t please me either. The Misfits’ raw, theatrical sound was, in my estimation, somewhat of a happy coincidence, a confluence of factors that came together excellently, but that maybe wasn’t all planned out from the get-go. Some of these factors include age, location, time period, and not yet being a legendary or seminal band. Walk Among Us sounds scrappy and weird and crazy and fed by momentum; today, Danzig and Only have tons of industry connections and will analyze what made “Death Comes Ripping” great rather than just playing “Death Comes Ripping.” Rick Rubin will probably produce the record. Boo-urns on that.

Who the fuck are you to tell The Misfits what to do? I hear some of you scholars ask. If they’re so legendary, it should be up to them. To which I say, sure, what the fuck ever. If The Misfits haven’t already ruined their legacy via infighting, latter-day incarnations, and stamping the Crimson Ghost on every possible merch item known to man, then they won’t do so by putting out new material or re-recording old material. My point is, they shouldn’t. It would be better if they didn’t. Leave that to all of the other money-hungry assholes who didn’t take ages to perform reunion shows. The Misfits should stay true to what they’re about and not get bogged down in too much horror business.

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