Horror punk (sometimes called horror rock) is a music genre that mixes proto-gothic and punk rock sounds with morbid and violent imagery and lyrics, which are often influenced by horror films or science fiction B-movies. The genre is similar to and sometimes overlaps with deathrock, although deathrock leans more towards an atmospheric gothic rock sound while horror punk leans towards a 1950s-influenced doo-wop and rockabilly sound. Horror punk music is typically more aggressive and melodic than deathrock.
The Misfits and their first lead vocalist Glenn Danzig are recognized as the progenitors of horror punk. Bands like The Undead (founded by ex-Misfits guitarist, Bobby Steele), Screaming Dead, The Damned, The Cramps, T.S.O.L, 45 Grave and Rosemary's Babies are also considered old school horror punk bands.
Horror punk is generally apolitical in comparison to other punk rock subgenres, although some songs do refer to political events (e.g. the Misfits' "Bullet", which discusses the assassination of John F. Kennedy), and some artists like Jack Grisham (on the left) and Michale Graves (on the right) have espoused their own political views.
Horror hardcore, refers to a hybrid of horror punk and hardcore punk. The Misfits' 1983 album Earth A.D. inaugurated this style and the bands Septic Death, The Banner, and Integrity have also been categorized into this subgenre.
Horror punk pioneers Misfits live in 1998
|Cultural origins||Late 1970s, United States|
Acey Slade (born Emil John Schmidt IV; December 15, 1974) is the lead singer and guitarist of the band Acey Slade & the Dark Party, the bassist of Dope, and the rhythm guitarist of Misfits. Previous to this, he was the former bassist in Joan Jett & the Blackhearts and the former lead vocalist and guitarist in the punk rock band Trashlight Vision, which broke up September 12, 2007. Slade is perhaps best known as the former guitarist in the horror punk and glam metal act the Murderdolls. He lives in Brooklyn, New York.Beware (EP)
Beware was the fifth release from the Lodi, New Jersey, horror punk band The Misfits. Since it was originally intended to be available for the group's 1979 UK tour, it combined two earlier, out of print releases, with the substitution of one new track.Cuts from the Crypt
Cuts From the Crypt is a collection of demos, formerly unreleased tracks and cover songs by the second line-up of the horror punk band Misfits. The enhanced version also contains the music video for the song "Scream!."Devilock
The devilock is a hairstyle created by Misfits bassist Jerry Only in the late 1970s. In an early 1980s interview, Only claimed that the devilock was based on a "tidal wave" hairstyle seen among the 1970s skateboarding communities. In the same interview, former Misfits vocalist Glenn Danzig explains that his version of the hairstyle developed from an imitation of Eddie Munster's hairstyle. A style similar to the Devilock was sported earlier - for instance the Surfari's cover picture of 'Gum-dipped Slicks' (1964) shows a member of the band with a devilock-like quiff.In a devilock, the sides and back of the hair are kept short, while the front is kept long and combed forward. In the late 1990s, the devilock experienced a resurgence of popularity in Asian markets that saw the hairstyle spread from punk rock to mainstream culture. Following popularization in Japanese and Chinese rock groups, the hairstyle's name was appropriated by Noriaki Endo in his chain of retail clothing stores. The "Devilock" brand currently sponsors music events called "Devilock Nights" throughout Southeast Asia.Die, Die My Darling
"Die, Die, My Darling" is a song by American horror punk band the Misfits. It was released in May 1984 on singer Glenn Danzig's label Plan 9 Records, seven months after the band's breakup. The song is titled after the 1965 horror film Fanatic, which had been released in the United States under the title Die! Die! My Darling! The cover of the single is derived from the cover of the September 1953 issue number 19 of the comic book Chamber of Chills. The back cover artwork was created by artist Pushead.Doyle Wolfgang von Frankenstein
Doyle Wolfgang von Frankenstein (born Paul Caiafa on September 15, 1964) is an American guitarist best known for his material with the horror punk band the Misfits and his own band eponymously named Doyle.
Raised in Lodi, New Jersey, he attended Lodi High School two years behind his brother Jerry. He played on the school's football team for all four years and graduated in 1982.Dr. Chud
Dr. Chud (born David Calabrese on April 4, 1964 in Lodi, New Jersey) is an American horror punk drummer, singer and producer.Gothabilly
Gothabilly (sometimes hellbilly) is an offshoot of psychobilly influenced by the goth subculture. The name is a portmanteau word that combines gothic and rockabilly, first used by the Cramps in the late 1970s to describe their somber blend of rockabilly and punk rock. Since then the term has come to describe a fashion style influenced by gothic fashion, as seen in its use of black silks, satins, lace and velvet, corsets, top hats, antique jewellery, PVC, and leather.Graves (band)
Graves is an American horror punk/pop punk band formed in 2000 by Michale Graves and Dr. Chud after they left the Misfits. Graves recorded and released one album, Web of Dharma, that was produced by Dr. Chud.Hellcat Records
Hellcat Records is an independent record label based in Los Angeles, California, United States. The label, an offshoot of Epitaph Records, was started as a partnership between Brett Gurewitz of Bad Religion, the owner of Epitaph, and Tim Armstrong of Rancid, the latter of whom is generally responsible for signing bands.The label specializes in ska, punk, oi!, psychobilly and hardcore bands. Give 'Em the Boot, a Hellcat label sampler which also includes tracks from other up-and-coming independent bands, has been issued every other year since 1997, with the exceptions of the third release, which was released three years after the second, and the last one, which was released one year after the one before it.Joe Letz
Joe Letz is an American drummer and DJ best known as the former drummer for the electro-industrial band Combichrist. Letz has also drummed for Amen, Mortiis, horror punk band Wednesday 13, Genitorturers, Hanzel und Gretyl, Imperative Reaction, Emigrate, and Aesthetic Perfection.
Letz DJs in his downtime between tours and supported Rammstein as a DJ on their US Tour in 2012. He has also remixed the song Sinematic for the American gothic metalcore band Motionless in White.Misfits (band)
The Misfits are an American punk rock band often recognized as the progenitors of the horror punk subgenre, blending punk and other musical influences with horror film themes and imagery. Founded in 1977 in Lodi, New Jersey, the original lineup consisted of vocalist and keyboardist Glenn Danzig, bassist Jerry Only, and drummer Manny Martínez. Danzig and Only were the only consistent members throughout the next six years, during which 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 had several 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, and alternative rock. 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 move on to become the sole guitarist for the band.
On September 2016, for the first time in 33 years, Danzig, Only, and Doyle reunited for two headlining shows at the Riot Fest, along with drummer Dave Lombardo and second guitarist Acey Slade. They also reunited for two New Year's Eve shows in Las Vegas and Los Angeles in December 2017, and later performed again at the Prudential Center in Newark, New Jersey on May 19, 2018.Misfits Records
Misfits Records is an independent record label conceived of in 2002 by founders Jerry Only of the Misfits and John Cafiero of Osaka Popstar. Intended to release Misfits material after the band's contractual obligations to Roadrunner Records were fulfilled by 2001's Cuts from the Crypt, the label's first non-Misfits signing was Japanese horror punk band Balzac, and its first release was the Misfits/Balzac split single "Day the Earth Caught Fire". In 2003 the label became a formal company and launched worldwide with its first full-length releases. Misfits Records has also released material by The Nutley Brass, Osaka Popstar, and JuiceheaD.Night of the Living Dead (song)
"Night of the Living Dead" is the fourth single by the horror punk band the Misfits. It was released on October 31, 1979, on singer Glenn Danzig's label Plan 9 Records. 2,000 copies of the single were pressed on black 7" vinyl. The night of its release the band performed at Irving Plaza in New York City and sold the single at the door."Night of the Living Dead" is titled after the 1968 horror film of the same name, and the song's lyrics address the zombie plot of the film: "You think you're a zombie, you think it's a scene/from some monster magazine/Open your eyes too late/This ain't no fantasy boy". "Where Eagles Dare" shares its title with a 1968 World War II spy film. "Rat Fink" is a cover of a song by Allan Sherman from his 1963 album My Son, the Nut, which itself is a parody of "Rag Mop". It was the only cover song that the Misfits recorded during their early era, though it was credited on the single itself, and on later releases, to Danzig.Nitro Records
Nitro Records is an American independent record label, created and operated by Dexter Holland (from 1994 to 2013) (lead singer and founder of The Offspring) and fellow Offspring bassist Greg K. They started the label in 1994. Nitro is famous for being an incubator for punk rock artists who have subsequently become successful, most notably AFI. The label has also released albums from classic punk bands, including The Damned and T.S.O.L.
In July 2013, Bicycle Music acquired Nitro Records. Despite this, Nitro was reactivated in 2014, and has been releasing mostly vinyl reissues. of AFI, The Vandals and The Offspring.Samhain (band)
Samhain is an American rock band formed by singer Glenn Danzig in 1983, immediately following his departure from Misfits. Samhain played in more of a deathrock and heavy metal-infused style of horror punk than Danzig's previous band. Glenn Danzig originally planned Samhain as a side project with Eerie Von. After his earlier group, the Misfits, contentiously dissolved, Samhain became his full-time band. Samhain is the least-celebrated of Danzig's major musical outlets and catalogs a transitional period in his musical career, bridging the gap between the punk rock of the Misfits and the dark, heavy metal and blues-influenced sound of Danzig. Both Samhain and its successor, Danzig, use the same horned skull image originally drawn by artist Michael Golden for the cover of the 1984 comic book The Saga of Crystar No. 8, published by Marvel Comics. The font often used in the name logo of Samhain, and later Danzig, is taken from the film The Giant Gila Monster.
Danzig took the name of the band from the ancient Celtic New Year: Samhain, the origin of the modern Halloween. The band's name is typically pronounced "sam-hane", though when the word occurs in song lyrics, Danzig himself pronounces it "sah-win", in conformity with the generally accepted pronunciation of the eponymous ancient holiday.
Samhain's lyrics were much darker than those of the Misfits, with themes rooted in paganism and the occult and eventually the horrors of reality, as opposed to the sometimes cartoonish ghouls and ghosts of the Misfits. Samhain's musical style was a dark, gritty, and experimental combination of punk, gothic rock, and on the last album, heavy metal.
Samhain released two full-length albums and one EP during their three-year career as an active band.
Danzig has said that he wrote two songs ("Death Comes Ripping" and "Bloodfeast") with the intention of using them on the first Samhain album, but instead recorded them with the Misfits for the Earth A.D./Wolfs Blood album in order to round out that band's final series of recordings and release a full album.T.S.O.L.
T.S.O.L. (True Sounds of Liberty) is an American punk rock band formed in 1978 in Long Beach, California. Although most commonly associated with hardcore punk, T.S.O.L.'s music has varied on each release, including such styles as deathrock, art punk, horror punk and other varieties of punk music.The Rocky Horror Punk Rock Show
The Rocky Horror Punk Rock Show is an album featuring the soundtrack of the 1975 cult film The Rocky Horror Picture Show as performed by modern punk rock bands. The album was released in 2003 on Springman Records.The Undead
The Undead is an American horror punk band formed in 1980 in the East Village, New York City by Bobby Steele (vocals and guitar), Chris "Jack" Natz (bass) and Patrick Blanck (drums). They were one of the pioneers in the New York hardcore scene.
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