I’ve never shared this publicly but as a very young kid I struggled with obsession compulsive behaviors that were brought on from a crippling fear I had of death, the darkness and all things “spooky”. I would rationalize that if I were able to wash my hands enough times or run down the hall fast enough or count high enough quickly then I would in some way (don’t ask me how) stop the monsters or villains in my mind from getting to me and I’d be safe. This was something that was so constant and so difficult to deal with that I would completely withdraw from socialization with other kids and stay in my room..drawing, singing, creating. The odd thing is that despite my fear of the dark the only things I’d ever find myself wanting to draw were bats, ghouls, ghosts etc. And because of my deep love of KISS and in particular the Demon character that Gene Simmons portrayed I always associated rock music with “scary” imagery and in some way it attracted me to it even more. I was 11 years old when I found the Misfits and it changed my life. Here were these ghouls dressed in all black with scary makeup and costumes and yet they sang with fun and often doo wop style melodies…the combination of these things together was so profound that it changed my entire psyche. It made the dark FUN. It made all that I feared something that I wanted to sing along with. The Misfits changed my life. A few days ago I was able to get onstage and sing with Jerry, Dez and Eric and to say it was one of the greatest moments of my life would be an understatement. It meant everything to me. I am still that kid that doesn’t know exactly how to fit in and that is always made more obvious when the “popular” people (not unlike high school) poke fun at me or Black Veil Brides…in fact as I write this the singer in a band that many of you follow whom I don’t know personally has continued on that bully style teasing on his social media, but because of bands like the Misfits I learned that it’s okay to be misunderstood and weird. It’s okay to not always be well liked by your peers and it’s okay to sometimes be afraid of the unknown…often the greatest among us find themselves in that darkness and that is where they create their finest art.
Thank you Jerry, thank you Alternative Press and thank you to every one of you who reads this.
I wish you all a happy life, those who love me, hate me and in between because I know that have I found my way and it lead to me being on stage with my heroes, I know that you will all find yours as well.
We are the Fiend Club,
(photo by Matty Vogel)