JERSEY BEAT #40, Summer 1990 ---------------------------- KRYST THE CONQUEROR: EX-MISFITS METAL MELTDOWN by Sal Cannestra Old punk rockers never die. They just change their look and go metal. So now in the tradition of Brian Baker, Glenn Danzig, Gang Green, Social Distortion, et. al. comes Kryst The Conqueror, featuring ex-Misfits Jerry Only (now known as "Mo The Great") and Doyle (still known as "Doyle"). Before you take that opening statement as harsh or critical, let me explain that I still enjoy Danzig and Social Distortion, and even some of Junkyard's tuneage is thoroughly listenable in a L.A. cock-rock sort of way. It just seems the longer people stay in the business (and it IS a business, kids) the more aware they become of where the money's going. So how can I begrudge Jerry and Doyle their share of the pie? They've been playing the game too long not to want some of the glory their ex-bandmate is getting. So with a 5-song EP under their belts, Kryst The Conqueror begins their quest for world domination, the first step of course being the all-important Jersey Beat interview. After speaking with Mo, I came away with newfound respect for the guy, if not an all-consuming love for his music. He believes in what he's doing and puts a high level of importance on being honest with his fans. And honesty is something sorely missing in heavy metal today. Q: So, do you prefer Jerry or Mo? Mo: Uh... Mo's what everybody calls me. Always did. Q: All right, Mo. I've been seeing Kryst The Conqueror ads for a year now but I still haven't seen the record in stores. What gives? Mo: Well, basically, the thing is .... distributors suck. That's it really. I won't deal with assholes. So what happens is that the EP winds up opening doors for us. It's not there for us to get it out to everyone and make money. If people want it, they call me on the phone. Distributors want 60-day terms, they want to take 200... I tell 'em I'm not gonna nickel 'n dime it. If you want it, bite it. If you don't, then fuckin' swim away. Now you've got it, what do you think of the way it sounds? Q: I was really surprised by it actually. The stuff is really Metallic sounding. There isn't anything on it I'd call punk rock. Was this a conscious effort to move away from punk? Mo: Well, in a way, but to be honest this is just what came out when we sat down. I mean, me and Jerry didn't know if we could write music or not because in the Misfits, we never did. Glenn wrote the stuff and he'd bring it down and we'd jazz it up. Put in all the fancy cuts and slides and all that shit. The best thing about the EP is that it's the Hardest substance out there. We got the muscle, the pure brute force to do the job. Q: There are a lot of rumors flying around as to who Kryst The Conqueror (vocals) really is. Mo: Well, let me hear 'em and I'll tell you the truth. Q: One is that the guy used to sing for Yngwie Malsteem a few years ago... Mo: l'm not at liberty to say. I gave the man my word. You see, he was on the top. of our list, but he's under contract to somebody else. He was happy to do the job [sing on the EP]. Q: So will you be working with this guy in the future? Mo: I made him a substantial offer for the beginning of next year. If his project doesn't happen, he's mine. Q: So we're not going to see any live Kryst The Conqueror untiI at least 1991? Mo: No. First we want to shoot a couple of tremendous videos because we have the ultimate futuristic/barbarian look. Q: How different is it from your old Misfits look? Mo: These guys could eat the Misfits for breakfast. The Misfits were sort of like a bikers-type deal. But these guys are just savages. Q: Do you think you'll get a big crossover of Misfits fans to the new stuff? Mo: I think we'll get 'em all . Unless they're into the Devil, in which case they'll listen to Glenn. That's the only problem wee got, people who ... uh, want to wind up in Hell. Q: Will you guys put out an album on your own or will you wait to see if there is any label interest? Mo: We will be releasing this record Halloween come hell or high water. This band will only sign a deal that is substantial. It's gotta have big money for videos, big money for merchandise. I don't want anything that sucks for the rest of my life. I mean, those [Misfits] bootlegs out there... you look at 'em, you hear 'em, you throw up. I wouldn't mind if they were great quality but they're crap. Kids call me up and tell me they spent 40 or 50 bucks on a record and I tell them they got ripped off. I played in the band, I know. They bought garbage for 50 bucks. Q: Well, you know, James Hetfield's got all of them. Mo: Well, maybe James Hetfield's got 50 bucks to blow on a record. Q: Now you know I have to ask you a question about Glenn. Mo: Shoot. Q: When's the last time you spoke to him? Do you know if he's heard your new stuff? Mo: I haven't spoken to Glenn since the Misifts' last show on Halloween, 1983. Q: Really? Mo: We've got no reason to talk. Glenn forgot the first rule: The music comes first and all the bullshit is for later. You don't sacrifice your music for a look. We went out to Detroit to do and he wouldn't pay Googy, so Googy quit and we got Robo. But Glenn would pick on Robo, act tough around him. So then Robo quit. So here we are with a German tour and a Halloween show in Detroit with the Necros and no drummer. I told Glenn to get Googy back but instead he picks up this kid because he likes his haircut! You don't pick someone to be in your band on the basis of what the fuck he looks like. We went to Detroit, the kid played one song. Doyle went over, tapped him on the shoulder, and led him off the stage. The guy from the Necros jammed the rest of the set. And that was that. We said, "cancel the German tour." It was then that I realized he wasn't competent enough to run things. He just wants to be on the cover of some magazine. Q: What do you think of his new stuff (Danzig, on Def Jam Records)? Mo: I think he's way off track. He has caused us more damage by being the FLOP that he is. Atlantic was really interested in us until Glenn flopped. Then Glenn bombed, everyone backed out. You try to explain that this is a different type of music, but they don't care. They only care about dollars and cents. The first question the guy from Atlantic asked was, "Do you own the rights to the Misfits stuff?" They immediately wanted to jump on that but I'm washing my hands on it. Glenn and Bobby (Steele) are trying to bank off the Misfits, but I'm not interested. We're beyond that. I mean, you have to have some responsibility for your audience. You can't lead people into destruction. That's what I never liked about Glenn and the whole Satanic trip. He's dragging people down and he doesn't care as long as he's making a buck. Q: One last question: You and Doyle have been plugging away at this for so long but you still work out of Jersey. Why haven't you relocated to New York or Los Angeles? Mo: We don't play music to eat. I mean, we pay to play. That's the difference between an artist and a parasite.