What Would Jesus Enriquez-Hernandez Do?

Welcome to the fiend club.

Flower Mazanarez

Welcome to the fiend club.

Jesus Enriquez-Hernandez '14, Staff Writer

Go To a Misfits Concert!

The Misfits have been playing for the last 36 years, and changed the world as many see it today. Their logo, the Crimson Ghost, (their iconic skull) was actually gotten from a 1940’s movie with the same title. The Misfits have created and inspired pop culture as we see it today; they created a hairstyle called Devilock and a new subgenre of punk rock called Horror Punk. The Crimson Ghost has even been seen on students’ t-shirts here at Wakefield.

During their last concert run two months ago, I had the honor to interview this legendary punk band. I was invited to join them inside their tour bus by their bass player, Jerry Only. While he finished a podcast, I started getting nervous and shaking as I waited to start the biggest interview of my short journalistic career. Eavesdropping on the podcast gave me some insight into Jerry Only’s character. He talked about Marilyn Monroe and politics in South America and Mexico; the protests and riots they have against the government. The podcast came to a close, as everything does, and it was time for my big interview.

My first question was about the origin of the punk scene. According to Only, it was just a bunch of guys shooting dope that thankfully turned into something more significant; a subgenre of punk called Hardcore. He is thankful that this switch occurred. He mentioned a local band from DC, Minor Threat, having a song called Straight Edge that explains it all; the song talks about being completely drug free. Only remarked, “Thank god it turned into hardcore, and everybody got healthy. Those who are still here keep doing it and those who didn’t pay attention are either gone or dead.” He also explained how, luckily, he was never judged for looking different, as some other punk musicians experienced.

Only created the Devilock hairstyle when he was young and imitating Superman by pulling a wavy strand onto his forehead. It got too long, and instead of cutting it, he just pulled it all the way down the middle of his face. He remarked, “It says a lot when you come up with something as simple as that, and it has such an impact.”

I also wanted to know Only’s thoughts about the messages in punk music. Mainly, how a lot of songs talk about growing up alone and without a father figure. “One thing that hardcore brought about in the punk scene was the brotherhood. When you can’t lean on your father, you lean on your brother. The family unity is something that has been beaten on, over the last couple of generations, and as a whole we lean on our friends. And that’s why it’s important you pick good friends!” He went on to say, “You could look into drugs and gangs and all that [explicit] up [explicit], and we’ll be burying you in a couple of years. You accomplish nothing. Or you could be strong about it, and you could be productive. You can find something [to] find strength in.”

The next set of questions were about the “punk revival’ that happened in the 90’s after Nirvana came up selling millions of records. To Only, Nirvana is not punk. Bands like Green Day are punk. Green Day even helped the Misfits get a record deal. He ended this round of questioning with the statement, “Punk is not something that can die, it’s an ideal.”

Only never imagined how much the Misfits were going to influence punk music. He expressed his views on how “the punk look” is now being sold at Urban Outfitters. To him, there’s nothing to worry about. It’s better than them wearing something that he does not like; he left that section of the interview with the thought that people just view things differently. Only went on to talk about commercials that use punk songs, and how today the music  isn’t as shocking as it was in the 70’s and 80’s when Punk was viewed as a threat to society. He said with a smile, “Culture is catching up, it’s catching up! It’s about time!”

The Misfits as we know them today are a very theatrical band. The story behind this is that Only got into David Bowie and saw him perform Diamond Dogs; he wanted to perform like that and not just be standing on a stage.

"If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer." -Thoreau
“If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer.”

We then moved on to CBGB. It is known as the club where Punk Rock was born. According to Jerry, even though CBGB was a very grown breaking place, it was also pretty much a rathole. It has impacted everything, without CBGB, punk would most likely have had more corporations involved.

As I got off the bus, we talked about the west coast scene. The band remarked it ain’t got nothing on the east coast. We’re faster, more violent, and have an in your face attitude. Even Dez Cadina, guitarist of Misfits, whom is from California, agreed to this statement.

This legendary punk band has influence the music and fashion of today. You might not think that you like punk music, but most likely the artists you do listen to were influenced by the Misfits and other punk bands.

I turned and walked away from the most significant interview of my Journalist career. Only left me with some great life advice, “YOU GOTTA BE CAREFUL WHEN YOU’RE AT THE LOW POINTS; WHEN YOU’RE ON TOP, ITS HARD TO DROWN.”