The 11 best Misfits songs according to Discharge's JJ
Discharge vocalist JJ picks his essential Misfits playlist
The Misfits are from New Jersey and that’s where I grew up.
My mother raised me on horror films and for Christmas, I’d get Hallowe’en props as a present. I’d open it up and find a plastic severed head! So a band like the Misfits appealed to me immediately. Everything about them just spoke to me: the music, the imagery and their love of B-movie artwork.
Here then are my 11 favourite songs…
HATEBREEDERS (Walk Among Us, 1982)
I’ve always loved the lyrics to this song: ‘They bred the hate right in your bones’. I think that’s very true. Hate is something that is taught, it’s a learned behaviour. I was inspired by those lyrics, like ‘strength is all you gotta know’. You have to be strong enough to make your own mind up about things, and not be persuaded by other people.
HORROR HOTEL (3 Hits From Hell, 1981)
I chose this song because it’s one of my favourite horror films! I think it was originally titled The City Of The Dead, but it ended up being called Horror Hotel. Misfits do such a good job of capturing the style and the feel of those films. I think that’s why they appeal to people so much; you can feel the horror in everything they do.
HALLOWEEN (Halloween single, 1981)
My favourite holiday! I remember being a kid and going trick or treating and there was this big scare about finding razorblades in apples. We had to rip apart our candy to check that people weren’t poisoning the treats. The lyrics to this song was such a grim reality.
DIE, DIE MY DARLING (Earth A.D./Wolfs Blood, 1983)
The sound and low budget production really captures the band at their very best. But I think Metallica destroyed this song – their version is fucking awful. I guess that’s the version that most people would know, but it’s not my cup of tea. Misfits own that song.
SKULLS (Walk Among Us, 1982)
Skulls is nothing amazing lyrically but it’s just a great tune. It’s so insanely catchy. Everyone pays homage to the Misfits and these days they've become a brand, like the Ramones. But maybe people forget about the brilliantly simple songs they wrote. And this is one of them.
COME BACK (Static Age, 1996)
I think that is one of Glenn Danzig’s best vocal moments. I think this is where he earned his nickname, The Evil Elvis. He really does sound like Elvis on this track! It’s just the droning and his voice together. The lyrics are really disturbing too ['Come back little raven and bite my face'].
LONDON DUNGEON (3 Hits From Hell, 1981)
I really love the creepy feel on this track. The guitar feedback as you go into it sounds like it’s bringing you in this abyss. And I think the song is about them getting locked up when they first came over to the UK on their first tour.
HYBRID MOMENTS (Static Age, 1996)
The overall feel of this track is great. The music is great, but the lyrics are really fucked – he sings about creatures raping your face.
GREEN HELL (Earth A.D./Wolfs Blood, 1983)
It’s just a fucking proper thrasher, isn’t it? It’s a hard, heavy song, that makes you want to just get up and trash the whole room. Simple punk rock pleasures. And I think Metallica actually did quite a good job on this one – I’ll give them that.
BLOODFEAST (Earth A.D./Wolfs Blood, 1983)
There's some morbid lyrics on Bloodfeast. It's off Earth A.D. and probably isn’t the most popular Misfits song. It has some dark production and the backing vocals just drone in the background. But that gives the song a real eerie element.
LAST CARESS (Beware, 1980)
Last Caress has disturbing lyrics, but they're done with a sense of humour. It's probably their best-known song, and with lyrics like that… fucking hell. You can see why. The production makes it sound like it was recorded in the 50s. You’d never think that they recorded it in the late 70s. I think that’s what they were going for and they managed it, so good job!
Discharge's new album End Of Days is out now through Nuclear Blast.