When I was a kid, I would find new bands through the T-shirts other bands wore or thanked on their albums. That’s how I discovered new music.
When I was a kid, my dad would talk about the band as well. The band he was in opened for them at CBGB’s in New York. But I didn’t know the music at all.
I remember going to the record store and seeing the Famous Monsters album cover. It just seemed perfect to me. I loved Kiss and W.A.S.P. and theatrical bands that wore make-up and had that kind of horror movie aesthetic. So Misfits just fell right into pocket for me.
A lot of people started with the original line-up, but I started with the Michale Graves era. The first record I bought was American Psycho , and then I bought Famous Monsters , and I immediately fell in love with them. After that I went back and bought Walk Among Us , and their entire early catalogue.
But when I was a kid, there was no singer that I thought had a cooler voice, was more interesting or had a cooler look, than Michale Graves. So let’s start with one from his time in the band…
DIG UP HER BONES (American Psycho, 1997)
You can’t go wrong with this one! There’s such a fun, cheesy element to the Misfits, but they still sang songs about digging up dead bodies that have a much darker feel to them. The video for this one almost felt serious in a way. Graves wasn’t wearing the make-up, and he’s in a graveyard interspersed with footage of the band on stage from that Resurrection Tour  they did opening up for Megadeth. It was also a song that I loved singing along to, and that was always the thing for me as a kid – which records were fun to sing along to in my room. I used to sing this to myself in the mirror and believe in my heart that I had an audience.
SKULLS (Walk Among Us, 1982)
By and large, the entire Walk Among Us record is fun and great, and there’s lots of singable songs on it. I like this one because there’s an English soccer player called Paul Scholes who used to play for Manchester United, and in my head I would sing, ‘I want Paul Scholes’. I guess that’s an odd reference for an American kid, but my dad loves all sports and so I grew up in a household where all countries and styles of sport would be on the TV. So Paul Scholes, there you go!
SATURDAY NIGHT (Famous Monsters, 1999)
My mom’s name is Amy and her sister’s name is Julie, and those are the two names that are used in that song, so as a kid I’d find it really amusing when I’d sing this song in my room and my mum would be out in the living room on the phone to her sister. It was like I was singing it to them. It’s also the first song I sat down and figured out how to play. I love everything about it.
GHOULS NIGHT OUT (12 Hits from Hell, 2001)
This wasn’t an official release. It’s from the Hits from Hell record, which I believe was discontinued or is out of print. But it’s a great song. It’s very Misfits too, and it’s before Danzig turned everything into Satanic songs. It’s very much about monsters having fun, which at the end of the day is kind of the whole thing of what the Misfits were about.
DIE DIE MY DARLING (1984)
This song was was released as a single after the Danzig line-up broke up. It’s definitely one that everyone knows though, even if you’re not a fan of the Misfits – probably because of the Metallica cover. It’s an enjoyable Misfits track.
SOME KINDA HATE (Static Age, 1997)
Static Age wasn’t released properly until Caroline got the rights to their old catalogue, but it was initially released in New Jersey in the ‘70s to the 200 people that could buy it. I first heard it on the Box Set, and I love it.
SHINING (American Psycho, 1997)
This song is a misnomer because it’s actually about the movie Poltergeist, so I don’t know why they named it after The Shining. They’re singing about Carol Anne, who’s a character in Poltergeist, and the whole story is about that film. But it’s a good song. It’s actually one of my all-time favourites by the Misfits. And it’s kind of a heavier song for them, from that era of the band.
HORROR BUSINESS (1978)
I’ll add a caveat, but I actually prefer the Samhain version of Horror Business, which Danzig did after leaving the Misfits. I think it’s a little bit more aggressive. But for the purpose of this list I’ll choose the Misfits single version.
DON’T OPEN ‘TIL DOOMSDAY / HELL NIGHT (American Psycho, 1997)
Hell Night is the bonus hidden track at the end of American Psycho, and it’s one of my favourites ever. Don’t Open ‘Til Doomsday is the last song on that album, which leads into Hell Night. It’s probably one of the most complete Misfits songs ever written. So I’ll put those two together as my joint final entry to round things off.
Andy Biersack will tour the UK in May. He was talking to Matt Stocks.