It’s been almost a decade since The Misfits brought us their last album, Project 1950, but according to founder and frontman Jerry Only, it’s better to make ‘em wait 10 years for something brilliant, rather than bombard them with crap on an annual basis. After almost 35 years as a band, Only claims The Misfits are bringing us their best record yet with The Devil’s Rain.

“I’m very confident in saying that and I think all you need to do is just hear the new album and anybody would agree,” Only reckons. “I think what makes a band work is that you never take the risk of sounding shit. I would rather release an album every 10 years which is flawless from beginning to end and is the greatest thing I’ve heard all decade – than release an album of shit songs every year. Dez [Cadena, guitar] is actually the longest [serving] guitar player in the band now since 2001 and I’m the longest [serving] singer. Eric [Chupacabra] has been working with us since last year and this is the first time in a long time that it’s such a good feeling in the band. I’m afraid that for a long, long time I wasn’t actually able to say that about this band.”

According to Only, The Misfits as a band have always been and always will be his “baby” – contrary to some people’s opinions. With the departure of infamous former frontman Glenn Danzig, it was Only who took over the reigns of The Misfits, initially recruiting an all-star line-up also featuring Marky Ramone at one point.

“If The Misfits had been Glenn’s baby, he wouldn’t have left it,” Only states. “It was always my baby from the start! This is a great band and I do pay respect to everyone who’s had anything to do with it over the years, but at the end of the day I really feel that it was my baby and I came up with the entire image related to The Misfits.

I’m so proud to say that this band changed music in many ways and we spawned the hardcore and metal scenes of the ‘80s like Pantera and Guns’N’Roses and Metallica. I think when you’re in that kind of position, there’s no shame in admitting that you believe your band was a legendary band or that you were true pioneers of a particular genre. I’m not the one to brag but I think all you need to do is ask other bands who some of their biggest influences were, and I mean the big bands. I wouldn’t go as far as to say that The Misfits invented punk rock but we definitely took it to a new level and we certainly bridged the gap between metal and hardcore!”

According to Only, the secret was to blend speed and thrash metal with beautiful ballads and punk-like anthems – a formula the bassist claims other bands could only wish they had in their arsenal at the time.

“We took a chance on combining the two styles and we came up with something that really changed music forever,” Only states. “I think there are only few and far between bands who get to do something like that in their career. For me, Pantera was the last band that blew me away – they took double-bass drumming to a different level and that’s a weapon nobody else used at the time. They changed the game. They did something nobody else had done, even if people went on to do it afterwards. On the new album we have a song that has a bit of that going on.

But I think it’s phenomenal that a band like Metallica will play one of your songs [“Die, Die My Darling”] and it’ll be the biggest song of the entire night! From what I hear, that’s all that people end up talking about at the end of the night when they go to one of their shows. I suppose it would be kind of like the Pope giving you a blessing in the middle of the Vatican in some ways. I think that song really resonates with people because it’s such a catchy tune that really sticks in your head, and it’s really in your face, but it’s also from this band that is still more or less underground and cool in many ways. That’s what The Misfits pride ourselves on.”

– Nina Bertok

The Misfits kick off the Australian leg of The Devil’s Rain tour this week.