There’s no denying the power of having a leader in hard rock. In the great tradition of the likes of Led Zeppelin’s Robert Plant, the singer was normally seen as the band’s de facto spokesperson, belting out his heart night after night and becoming the go-to personality every time he left the stage. So… where do you go when this guy walks through the door?
While the loss of a lead singer would normally mean the death of any budding rock star, these bands continued to do their thing and hired a new lead singer in their place. And obviously, it actually worked. Going through each of these acts, each of them managed to find success with the new voice up front, integrating them into the group in a natural way and changing their style to suit the voice of the new guy.
Hell, in some cases there have been arguments that replacing the vocalist in each of these acts was actually an improvement, improving their musicianship in the process and even managing to get heavier with age in some cases. The vocalist can be considered the center of the whole operation, but if you have a strong enough base, you can make it work with anyone behind the mic.
The whole Misfits legacy almost seems to go hand in hand with what Glenn Danzig was doing. Becoming known as the metal version of Elvis Presley, the magnetic stage presence he brought to the punk gods of horror became one of their main calling cards early on, from direct crooning in parts of ‘Hybrid Moments to Mommy’s Screams. Can I go out and kill tonight?. So when the black king of rock and roll walked through the door, it looked like the Misfits were pretty much going to die with him.
From day one, Glenn was only ever the lead singer of the band, still writing most of the songs and bringing them to the band to play and arrange to classic Misfits tunes. Given that his later projects like Samhain seemed to be him exploiting the same kind of dark aesthetic, it was time for someone else to take the reins, and Jerry Only ended up becoming the band’s de facto frontman, recruiting Michale. Graves to sing behind the microphone.
While you could definitely tell that Graves tries his best Danzig impression on the majority of his songs, the quality was still there on every track, like the sticky hook from Dig Up Her Bones. Glenn was now MIA, but the Misfits were reducing their sound to a science now, with guitars blaring and sounding like the best hard rock joint to come out of the crypt.