The Misfits are a perfect example of a band more popular in death than in life. Since their first official break-up in 1983, when then-frontman Glenn Danzig left to pursue his own projects, the backlog catalog of Misfits material has been released on various CD compilations and in one four-disc box set.
In 1996, former Misfits’ members Jerry and Doyle Caiafa (a.k.a. Jerry Only and Doyle von Frankenstein) reformed the Misfits, choosing Michale Graves to take up Danzig’s former position and bringing in Dr. Chud on drums. Currently on tour with GWAR and with a new record out in stores, the Misfits have a host of new projects aimed at the public: a line of Misfits action figures, a guest appearance in the upcoming George Romero film, “Bruiser,” and a music video, also directed by Romero. Maximum Ink spoke to bassist—and only original Misfit’s member-Jerry Only during a break in the tour.
Maximum Ink: Where did you all meet and when did you first start playing together?
J: The original Misfits all met in high school, in New Jersey. I was 17, Doyle was 12, and Mom wouldn’t let him play him play until he was out of grammar school. We had to wait until he was 14, and he and I have been pretty much been playing together ever since.
MI: Did you have any other career plans outside of music?
J: Not really-we have a family business that Doyle and I run, so I have a job. I work as a rule, we’re always at work. It’s a machine shop. We make a hobby knife line called Proedge-X-Acto’s our main competition. We sell to Sears and Stanley Tools, so we have some pretty big accounts. We also make our guitars and drums and everything else at the shop. We’ve got a whole monster factory out in the country.
MI: How often do you go on tour?
J: Well, we’ve got a new album out, so we’ve got to bang the hell out of this for about a year. But the thing is, Doyle has two little boys-his youngest was just born last New Year’s Eve, so this New Year’s Eve he’ll be one. So he needs to spend some time home around then. It’s no fun when you can’t be around your kids. My daughter’s going into college next year, and my son’s a freshman in high school . So for us,. This is kind of like a make or break album. In my opinion, this band will either make it in the next year or it’ll just continue to be at the level it’s at forever, which is an unsatisfactory level for me. We’re just at the point right now where we need to be playing big shows or I need to be hanging out with my kids-one of the two. So if I’m at a position where I can go out and tour with the Misfits and maybe put my daughter through college doing it, then I’ll go out and tour. But if I’ve got to do this and then come back home and go right to work, then it’s just not going to happen. If I need to, I can quit playing until my kids are out of school and then pick up the Misfits when they’re out of the house-I have that power. I did it once already. I’m like a cat-I just keep coming back.