If T-shirts sold are any indication, the Misfits truly no longer require any introduction. However, the band -- which is still active as an incarnation led by bassist Jerry Only -- has a very specific timeline of relevant records, and the potent mix of dense churning guitars, pummeling drums, melodic whoa-whoa-whoas, and fantastic sci-fi/horror themes found on those early albums have informed the direction of countless bands since. Without the Misfits' flare for cinematically themed punk and aesthetic, punk and metal would be a far less fun place today.
While we have our doubts that we'll ever see a proper early lineup reunion, thanks to the lawsuits and other such behavior odd for working class punks from the 'burbs of Jersey, Glenn Danzig has been touring with original Misfits guitarist Doyle Wolfgang von Frankenstein (also known as Paul Caiafa, and brother of Jerry Only [born Gerald Caiafa]). The tour includes a set of Misfits classics performed by the pair.
We spoke with Doyle, who recently released a solo album entitled Abominator, about his history with the Misfits, lawsuits in punk rock, and hot sauce.
New Times: Throughout all of the fallout that has characterized the Misfits, would you still characterize your relationship with Glenn Danzig as remaining one of friendship at this point? It would appear no one quite gets along anymore within that circle.
Doyle: Yeah, it's one of friendship, absolutely. I think everybody likes each other, they're just hard to work with, you know? People don't want to get aggravated, they'd rather not. I'm in for a reunion. You've got my vote!
Are you still excited about playing the classic Misfits songs this far down the line?
Sure. It's fun for the people who want to see it, so that's what we want to give them.
So you see it as being more for the fans at this point?
Well, actually, it's kind of for both. It's to enlighten everybody that I have my own band and I have a new record. It's a pretty good promotional tour for me, it came at a the right time, exactly at the right time, actually. I like doing it. The fans like it, they deserve to see what they want to see, you know?
I've heard rumors that you and Danzig recently did a track together. Could you tell me any more about it, where and when it might be released, perhaps?
All I know is that I recorded it, and I know nothing else about it. I don't know the name, I've never heard the vocals, I didn't understand it when I was playing it and I don't know what he's doing (laughs).
The Fiend logo has become such a mainstream thing these days. Do you feel like the marketing has gotten away from the origins of the band?
Well, I was watching the Super Bowl, and a Cadillac commercial came on and Led Zeppelin's "Rock 'n' Roll" was playing, and I thought, "Wow, it must be really cool to have your band in a commercial on the Super Bowl." The very next commercial, I think it was a Vans commercial for sneakers, the kid has got a Misfits shirt on and he's riding a skateboard. A while later during the game, there was another commercial with the same kid. So, I don't know, I don't give a fuck.
OK. So on the same token, you guys have been through a lot with lawsuits in the past and now Black Flag is in a major lawsuit with one another. Do you think it kind of betrays the essence of punk rock?
You know, it's not the "music hangout and have a good time." What's it called? It's called the music business. And if you're not going to get paid to do it, then you've got to go get another job and people don't understand that when you steal music off of the computer rather than to pay for it, you're jerking your favorite band off because now if they can't afford to feed their family and pay their bills, they gotta go get a job and they can't write no fuckin' songs, and that's all we should be doing: Writing songs and performing. We're not wandering minstrels, you know? This is the fuckin' real deal here. This is the business.
Well, as far as other business ventures go, I've sampled your hot sauce and it's really great. Have you tried any other celebrity musician hot sauce lines? Joe Perry from Aerosmith's mango habanero sauce is fantastic!
I want to try that, but I don't go shopping, everything I buy I call up and order, so I haven't yet. I like the guy from the Offspring's sauce. I usually eat it everyday because it's a fat burner!
Danzig with with Doyle, Butcher Babies, Texas Hippie Coalition, and A Pale Horse Named Death. 6 p.m., October 8, at Revolution Live, 100 SW 3rd Ave., Fort Lauderdale. Tickets cost $30.50 in advance and $33 day of show. All ages. Visit jointherevolution.net.