A horror punk tribute
If cover bands wear dresses, and original bands wear pinstripe suits, then The Misfritz are Reno’s own Beercan! in drag. Or maybe drag queens who play Misfits tunes, or transvestite men who secretly wish to be women so they can pursue lesbianism while playing ancient punk.
You may not remember The Misfits. Formed in 1977 by Glenn Danzig, their name was supposedly a tribute to Marilyn Monroe and the last film she made before she died. Think back. Really, really far back to thrashy punk sung by a gentleman apparently suffering from emphysema and singing from the bottom of a chemical tank. Musical folks say The Misfits were forerunners to both modern punk and metal. By this, those folks mean crude guitars and horror-film inspired lyrics. Perfect music for crushing liver cells, especially if you don’t see the value in showering. So, to say it simply, The Misfritz play tribute to The Misfits. Get it?
But what of Beercan!, the trans in our vestite? Beercan! also plays thrash punk, more melodic, original thrash punk though it be. Made up of 24-year-old bartender Riff Can, 26-year-old Bill Can and 25-year-old Jamie Can, Beercan has enough renown to open for biggish bands like Valient Thor.
The vestments in our rock transvestite come in the form of 35-year-old Fritz’s Bar & Grill owner and lead singer, Derek Morg, who, YouTube verifies, sounds just like Glenn Danzig in the old Misfits stuff. Too bad he looks more like Kurt Cobain than Danzig. Morg lives with the Cans and impressed them with his super duper baritone manliness. Deep intellectual discourse followed, and two years ago, The Misfritz were born.
But you might think the cover-band thing lets The Misfritz relax—they don’t have to think up their own songs after all. Riff Can says covers are rough stuff, like walking in high heels.
“It’s tougher to play covers because people expect perfection,” Morg says.
However, they do get more money for covers. Boatloads more.
“We make about 2.5 times more,” Morg says. “We don’t even have to ask to get paid.”
Also, they don’t have to practice much for their once a month, at most, shows.
That said, they draw well and please even the hardest-core Misfits fan. Playing at places like the Biltmore in Tahoe, they reliably draw hundreds of people.
“It’s so much fun,” Riff says. “It’s like a party with these guys.”
The top covers are “Bullet,” which is a thrashy song about President Kennedy’s cranial ventilation, “Skulls,” which is a thrashy song about lusting for other people’s craniums, and “Astro Zombies,” which is a thrashy song about Zombies from space.
Because the last of these songs came out 25 years ago, the crowds that show up to Misfritz shows are a little older than that of a typical punk show. For the most part, this simply means that they are more-seasoned alcoholics.
Perhaps Morg best explains the band’s philosophy.
“Shit goes wrong,” he says. “Drink more.”
Just like the Lady Chablis.