The Misfits are an American punk rock band often recognized as the pioneers of the horror punk subgenre, blending punk and other musical influences with horror film themes and imagery. The group was founded in 1977 in Lodi, New Jersey, by vocalist, songwriter and keyboardist Glenn Danzig. Danzig's first recruit to the Misfits was drummer Mr. Jim and bassist Diane DiPazza, however, DiPiazza never showed up. Mr. Jim was replaced by Manny Martinez shortly after. Jerry Only joined on bass guitar shortly after. Over the next six years, membership would change frequently, with Danzig and Only being the sole consistent members. During this time period, they released several EPs and singles, and with Only's brother Doyle as guitarist, the albums Walk Among Us (1982) and Earth A.D./Wolfs Blood (1983), both considered touchstones of the early-1980s hardcore punk movement. The band has gone through many lineup changes over the years, with bassist Jerry Only being the only constant member in the group.
The Misfits disbanded in 1983, and Glenn Danzig went on to form Samhain and then Danzig. Several albums of reissued and previously unreleased material were issued after the group's dissolution, and their music later became influential to punk rock, heavy metal, hard rock, and alternative rock, including high-profile acts such as Metallica, Guns N' Roses, Marilyn Manson, Green Day, the Offspring, NOFX, AFI and My Chemical Romance. After a series of legal battles with Danzig, Only and Doyle regained the rights to record and perform as the Misfits. They formed a new version of the band in 1995 with singer Michale Graves and drummer Dr. Chud. This incarnation of Misfits had more of a heavy metal sound, and released the albums American Psycho (1997) and Famous Monsters (1999) before dissolving in 2000. Jerry Only then took over lead vocals and recruited former Black Flag guitarist Dez Cadena and former Ramones drummer Marky Ramone for a Misfits 25th anniversary tour.
This lineup released an album of cover songs titled Project 1950 and toured for several years. In 2005, Marky was replaced by Robo, who had played with Black Flag in the early 1980s and had also previously been Misfits' drummer from 1982 to 1983. This lineup released a single titled "Land of the Dead" in 2009. The Misfits' lineup of Only, Cadena, and drummer Eric "Chupacabra" Arce released a new album titled The Devil's Rain in October 2011. In 2015, it was announced that Cadena would be taking a break from music after receiving a cancer diagnosis, and was replaced by Only's son Jerry Caiafa II, presented as Jerry Other. That same year Soulfly's Marc Rizzo joined the band, also playing guitar. He filled in for Cadena, before Caiafa would become the sole guitarist for the band.
In September 2016, for the first time in 33 years, Danzig, Only, and Doyle reunited for two headlining shows as the Original Misfits at that year's edition of Riot Fest, along with drummer Dave Lombardo and second guitarist Acey Slade. The Original Misfits lineup has continued performing sporadically.
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