Two days ago, when Riot Fest posted a teaser with a Misfits logo and a friend asked if I thought that meant a proper reunion with Danzig and bassist Jerry Only, I said no way, no how. They hate each other and both sued the other recently. But it turns out that the pending lawsuits are ultimately what got the two punk icons in the same room together talking, and how the reunion came out.
Only spoke to Rolling Stone and said of his relationship to Danzig, "we were never not friends, we were just adversaries." He also revealed a meeting between the two and their lawyers in January sparked reunion talks:
The reunion, which includes longtime guitarist and Only's brother Doyle, stemmed from a legal meeting that Danzig had with Only and Misfits management in January. The pair have had a long history of lawsuits, over the rights to the band's name and merchandising, and they wanted to get on the same page before more litigation. "We went in there wanting to cut each other's throats," Only says. "It was turning into another court battle and it turned into a reunion. We walked out the door knowing we were going to play together. It's a very cool thing."
Only remains vague about the exact details of the meeting – who reached out to whom first ("Who gives a shit," he says) – but he says that everyone agreed that if a reunion were to happen, it should be when all of the members are "in their prime."
Of course, it could be argued how true that last statement is, but regardless, all parties are alive, and Danzig can still belt out the tunes with the best of them, so ultimately I'm excited to see what happens at Riot Fest.
As for the potential for a tour or more dates, Only is taking it one show at a time…
Next year will mark Misfits' 40th anniversary, but for now Only has his sights on the Riot Fest shows, the first of which will take place Labor Day weekend in Denver. The second – and only other date scheduled – will take place two weeks later in Chicago. "If we make it to the second show, I'm a happy fucking guy," Only says. "I'll guarantee you I'm keeping to myself, I'm going to do my job, I'm going to work out every day, I'm going to play. Glenn likes my manager, John [Cafiero], so if I keep John right there in the middle and make sure that me and Glenn both get what we want, then there's absolutely no problem. When you put two tigers in the cage, it's an issue. It took me 39 years to realize that." (Cafiero, on the line, later repeats that Only and Danzig enjoy each other's company.)
More info on the Riot Fest reunion here.