3.7 MAGAZINE #10, 11/96 ----------------------- Misfits Interview with Jerry Only- April 29,1996 at Twister's by Ryan Marsh 3.7- So first of all, why did you guys take so long to come back, I know you guys had a lot of legal trouble, but it's been 19 years since you formed and 12 years since you broke up, so why now? Jerry- Well this was pretty much was as quick as we could get it together once we knew we could get it together and you know we worked very hard to put it -as quickly as we could- together and it worked out very well. I think you will see tonight that we got a good line up and everything looks really good, so we're happy with what we got going here. 3.7- But why didn't you guys just call it quits period? Jerry- What else are we gonna do? 3.7- Okay, alright. Since you're the only founding member really still in the band, and you worked with about 12 other people that I counted on the home page (Misfits Central), are you happy with the current lineup? Jerry- Yeah, I am. 3.7- Would you say it is one of the best? Jerry- I would, yeah I would say this lineup has the most potential out of all of them. You know you had - back in the day- I mean if you go back into the late seventies when we played with people like Bobby (Steele), or even before that with Franche' Coma, they were good for the time because it was brand new. But as far as long term and being able to evolve into better things, I think that what you got out of the first round of the Misfits was all you were really gonna get out the first round. I think that the band that we're working on now, see a lot of people call me up and go oh I want to get tickets for the Misfits reunion, I try to tell them look this is not a Misfits reunion, this is us going and taking it to the next level and that is what this is about. We didn't come back to play the whole box set for you- if you know what I mean- we came back to make you a whole new box set so that in five to ten years you'll have a new box set with all new stuff and I think that the one thing that you're gonna find is that everybody pretty much evolved into a position where I'm doing a lot of writing now, Michale writes really well, Doc writes really well, I mean Doyle is throwing some stuff in. What you got going is everybody working together. And four guys pushing one way is always better than one guy pushing, and I think that is what your going to find here is that we got a team this time. And you know there was a part in the road where Glenn (Danzig) was a part of our team and when he overstepped his boundaries and didn't want to be part of that team anymore, that's when the band broke up. It only took us five minutes to decide that, I mean that's exactly how long it took. 3.7- Well once you know it has gone bad- it's bad. Jerry- Well that's just it, I mean you know once you see it slipping into the river, and you know, well look we can try and ride it out and try and pull it off or is it worth trying to pull it back out? I decided it wasn't and you know it was many years, like 13 years since the Misfits played the States- well anyways it's been a couple of months since we played Europe, but you look back and for 13 years it was really hard and you got a lot of really great ideas and a lot of things and times you miss, a lot of audiences would have really enjoyed us. But to really keep your morals and keep to what you believe in is really the most important part about it. I don't regret it and today it is easy to say we are going in to play in an hour. The hard part of it is, there was a long time where I didn't know we would ever play again. And even if we had never played again, I would have rather not ever play again then to play in something I didn't believe in. 3.7- I can really respect that. Jerry- Yeah, well that's the truth and- 3.7- Okay, Have you guys noticed a different scene, I know a lot of changes have occurred in the music business since you guys were last playing, what do you think about punk fusing into the mainstream? Jerry- Well it was inevitable. I mean if you look there was a point in the road where music was really dead and I know it because I grew up, like in my high school years at first bands like Queen were coming out and Kiss was coming out. It was new and it was fresh and it was good, then it ran into a level where all it was was a bunch of flash and it was pretty much record companies trying to cash in and it was very obvious. Then you had your days with Journey and stuff like that where bands like this were what everybody was into. A lot things that kids don't realize is that music is a business to 99% of the people out there, it's a money making thing. They run with trends, it's like betting on stock or betting on horses at the track. When you get a horse that's winning you put all your money on it. When the horse gets lame, you send it out to pasture and you try to find another horse. And you see music you know shouldn't be like that, music should be able to go all different ways and evolve. The Misfits were caught in that same thing too, but we ducked out long before it wound up becoming popular. I tell ya if you look at it, I think that the scene right now is better now than it was back then. Because back then, everybody thinks it was something great. The New York scene was full of junkies and jerks, the two j's you know what I mean? And we never really fit in there, and half of them are dead today. So, the scene you got now is a bunch of young kids. They're not really politically involved- I don't believe- You know politics is really like a dead issue. People were protesting against the Vietnam War, but if twenty years later you sang songs about Vietnam you're kind of like... 3.7- Lame. Jerry- Yeah lame and as time goes on you even get lamer. So I think that for us to stay away from politics and the whole scene to stay away from politics is better. And the nice thing about it is that I just saw a kid inside there (Twisters) who was walking across the street before, I was doing my vocal lesson, and I seen him walking with a red skull shirt on and he's gotta be 14-15 years old, and he was just being born when we broke up. 3.7 Yeah I was born in '77, so... Jerry- Okay, you were born when we first started, right. So you were seven when we broke up. If you look what we did then and compare it to today, it still holds water. I mean if you listen to the box set it is probably one of the best box sets out there. 3.7- And you guys basically have a cult following, almost. Jerry- Right, we're true to our people and we're not a bunch of pompous asses. 3.7- Well I know you guys are very fan based, and you have said in other recent interviews that the fans kept you alive, but do you guys think you can survive without any record label, MTV, and radio? Jerry- Uhh, sure. I mean the fact that we're still here proves we can, but at the same time I think that right now we're just starting back up. And I think that if we continue to tour, and we bring product to our shows, and then just distribute in small areas to really good places, we'll do just as well. 3.7- So no MTV? Jerry- Well, maybe. But I'm not gonna drop what I'm doing to do it. I mean if Rolling Stone came down tonight to do an interview and you walked in the bus first, they would have to wait. You know what I mean because who gives a shit, I mean they're Rolling Stone big fucking deal, their magazine sucks. I bought it to win the eleven million dollars because I figured that with that Ed Mcman thing, unless you're buying magazines they're not gonna let you win (laughs). So I bought it and I started reading it and it is nothing but advertisements for jeans so, I mean that's music for you. The Misfits probably have a quarter of a million fans out there, thing is, why can't I sell the quarter of a million fans records at the show instead of Sony selling them and giving me a dollar. When I sell them to you guys, I'm gonna make five or six bucks if Sony sells them I make a dollar. So I gotta sell a million records with Sony to make the same amount of money. 3.7- Well Fugazi did it. They started up with there own label and did everything themselves. Jerry- Well Ian is very headstrong, you know that. I don't know if Ian was very political or if he still is, I don't know. 3.7- He was. Jerry- Yeah he was, but I never liked the political stuff. I thought the political stuff didn't have any spot in music. But Ian is a perfect example of doing things correctly. I think that he undersells his product a little bit. Five dollars to get into a show, and all his other... 3.7- Actually he just did a free show here in Richmond a few weeks back. Jerry- I don't knock it because I agree with it. But at the same time there is a level money you need to come in to produce a level of produce a level of product going back out to the people. And if you look at our shirts and stuff, I hire artists that cost me five thousand dollars for one picture, and you know if you're making say five dollars profit on every shirt, you gotta sell shit, you gotta sell a thousand shirts to pay for the art. There is a level we've gotta do, we can't give you guys a five dollar ticket price because we're trying to give you guys a lot of really great stuff and we need that to propel what we are doing. 3.7- Okay, enough about the business, let's talk about the music. What kind of impressions do you guys try to make on your listeners because you guys aren't very artsy and you're not political, so what does that leave you? Jerry- Everything else (laughs). There are other things. We're trying to have aggressive music, music with bite. We're gonna try to be basically science fiction oriented, to come up with really strange ideas, different scenarios, different kinds of monsters and shit like that. 3.7 Well I was gonna ask you what you think sets you a side from other punk bands, is it the horror element, and if so wouldn't you think that people might think that it is a gimmick? Jerry- You know you would, but lets just look at the entertainment business as a whole. If you were to say that cinema and music is all entertainment and I don't want to get in to sporting events even though that is entertainment, but that's athletics. But if you look at cinema and music, the biggest selling things every year are the Batman when it comes out, and the Jaws, and the Terminator. All the biggest things are abstract creations to try and catch your curiosity, and the biggest curiosity comes from the unknown, and what you can develop in your mind is probably better then when they have a true to life story. People are more interested in seeing the shark eat somebody then they are in Gone with the Wind or some thing. That's what I think people like. 3.7- So what kind of new stuff are you going to be doing? It seems like you might have almost exhausted the old punk rock thing. You guys did a lot of stuff before. Are you guys going to expand the darker more metal side like Glenn turned out doing or ... Jerry- Well, we got some new songs tonight that we are gonna play for you , we got three of them in our set. And we got a few more that we're working on, because we're going into the studio as soon as we're off the road here. We're going back in to the studio and record a forty-five. But I wanted to record everything we had so that when one day we do make another box set we have some old tracks and earlier versions of stuff. Because it wounded up working in our favor that way, if you look at the box set, what makes interesting is that there are versions of like Vampira and Where Eagles Dare. But no one had heard them, and when I heard them I actually started laughing because they're like so preceding what actually ended up coming out . I think that we're actually a step above what we we're working on before. Because before we were very basic with a four-four beat, Doc does a lot of stuff on the drums that I don't think is metal but I think it is in other words bringing a forth dimension. If the old Misfits stuff was three dimensional then this is bring it into that forth dimension in which anything goes. And Michale's young, he's twenty-one, and his voice is gonna do things that hopefully no one else will ever even be able to pick up on. He writes pretty well, and we've got this whole thing going that is new and fresh and exciting. 3.7- That is one of the most important things to have that new and fresh feeling. Jerry- Exactly, that's what we lost when we had Glenn. When Glenn put down the Earth A.D. stuff we were in the position where Glenn was trying to fit into a groove, he knew what he wanted before he wrote it. Now the way we write material is we stumble into a riff or a melody or a harmony or something that we like and then we pick it up and say oh we like that and then we try to work with it. We're finding stuff that catches our fancy, we're not trying to be something that we can go on a blackboard and say okay look we want to look like this, we want to sound like this. We just pick it up if we think it is exciting, we try to throw tangents off it and write material around it. Now the Earth A.D. stuff, there is a lot of good stuff on there don't get me wrong, but it was designed to fit into a thrash movement. I thought that us trying to... 3.7- Concentrate. Jerry- Yeah, trying to concentrate on a certain style was missing the point of what we were about to begin with. 3.7- You were saying something about a lot of different versions of songs, that leads to a lot of bootlegging and pirating, I was wondering what your feelings on that were and also covering? Jerry- Well that is the biggest compliment someone can do you when they step up and do your stuff. You know Gun's and Roses did it (Attitude on the Spaghetti Incident) and I appreciate it, but I don't think it is a very good version of it, but that is their version of it. 3.7- Yeah I thought it was crap. Jerry- I did too, okay, but I guarantee you their fans think it was great and if they listen to ours they would think it was crap. So they're doing something, they like what we did and they think they can make it their own and they did and Metallica I feel the same way. I think that what you're gonna find is that with the new stuff we write that will happen too. People bootleg you when you don't cover your ass, I mean cover your ass by getting the material out to your people. 3.7- Yeah, I know you said in other interviews that you were buying stuff up like crazy because of all the bootlegging that was going on. Jerry- Yeah, I was buying tons of the stuff up. Now the only thing that aggravates me about bootlegging is one, you don't have any artistic control over it. They could put something that is really repulsive to you on the cover of it and sell it , something that I might look at it and go I don't support that at all. [There is a brief interruption when the singer from Sardonica drops in to say that they are leaving.] Jerry- So the thing is that bootlegging, they always get crappy recordings. We pay attention directly to the quality of the sound, whether or not that is making us sound like we want to sound. When bootleggers do that they don't ask. They are not going to call me up and say What do you think of this because I 'm gonna boot it (laughs) but I kind of wish they would because i would help them with it- [Michale comes in looking very confused with a boot in his hand.] Michale- Is there a boot in here? Jerry- Yeah, there is. (hands the boot to him) Michale- I'm the guy that loses everything in the band. Jerry- Yeah, he is the losing guy. Michale- I'm a loser Jerry- Well what happened was that there are a lot of bootlegs out there that are real shit, and I think that it is good that we got the web page and stuff because we always wanted to look at them and analyze them. And if you can get kids that will trade them through the mail or make tapes of them and keep it going, then the bootleggers they put something out and it is not very profitable to them and that would kind of curb them a little bit to bring up the quality of what they do. I mean it is not something that you can ever stop, I realize that now. 3.7- Okay I will close it out with this, do any of you have anything interesting you're doing on the side or is all your focus recently been on the band? Jerry- We're trying to make our focus like the head of a pin, you know what I mean? That much (squeezes finger together). Bring it right down to where it will be as sharp as it can be. We got a long way to go, right now it is the size of a quarter (laughs). So we gotta tighten it up and I am hoping that this tour will do that for us, I'm hoping that going into the studio and putting together this forty-five brings us a step closer. Because what I am hoping to do is get enough money from merchandising on this tour to put out our single, get enough money from our single to put out our album. And just keep rolling it into bigger and better product. What I hope to do is get the first album done, get the second one ready to be done, and then get a distribution deal from somebody after we have taken it to the people ourselves, because I do want to do different pressings. The first pressing of the album will in some way be different then the pressing that we sell to Sony but we're not gonna sell it, we're just gonna licenses it. And we're not gonna let them produce, we're gonna shift product to them. Like Walk Among Us, it used to have a lyric sheet. When people call me up and ask me what are the words to Vampira, I get pissed off. Now Glenn sat there and drew all the letters in. Glenn penned that lyric sheet, he did all the work so I don't have as much right to be pissed off as he does. The fact of the matter is we brought to them with the lyrics in it and all the photos on the inside of the sleeve. Why did they have to change it to the plain white sleeve? I know they sold a quarter of a million records, how much does it cost per unit to have that thing printed so everybody can enjoy what we put together. So I think that if we can keep a distribution entity away from producing the product we should be able to keep the level of the product where we want it , and if it sucks then it is on us and not them. That is something we would have to work on. 3.7- Well that is about all I had and I appreciate it, good luck on the show! Jerry- Thank you! I really hope you enjoy the show!