In a recent conversation with Talk Toomey, Twisted Sister’s Jay Jay French talked about grunge music, AC/DC and more.
Here’s what the guitarist said:
“The danger to the promoters is that they say that there’s no value in the grunge acts.
“And by the way, it has nothing to do with do I like grunge or don’t like grunge… Nothing to do with it whatsoever.
“Just being said, for some reason, it doesn’t seem to have the same connectivity, especially in South America and especially in Europe.
“And by the way, that band with one original member, that’s something Twisted Sister will never be. I mean, the reason why Twisted came back is because we came back with all five original guys.
“That’s why it has value. Simple as that.
“A.J. [Pero, drums] died, and we got Mike Portnoy, who is one of the greatest drummers in the history of all time, right? Who’s a huge fan of the band, so is Steve Vai, a massive fan.
“They used to sneak in the clubs to see us when they were 15 years old. Portnoy replaced A.J., and we could’ve continued with the four members up-front because that’s Twisted Sister. People used to say, ‘Jay Jay French, Dee Snider, Eddie Ojeda, Mark Mendoza,‘ they got them.
“But once you start watering it down, you start affecting the credibility a little bit. Now, whether that’s good or bad is not for me to determine, it’s whether the audience buys it.
“So, Priest is out, except they just stopped because their guitar player collapsed on stage, but taking that aside was Rob [Halford], and I think Ian [Hill], the bass player, the only two original [classic] guys at this point.
“I’m having dinner with their manager in England next month, Jane. I think people still consider them Judas Priest.
“I haven’t seen them, so I don’t know if people thought they were getting ‘not’ the Judas Priest they expected, I don’t know.
“I certainly have played with Priest many, many, many times, and with K.K. [Downing] and Glenn [Tipton] and know the band quite well.
“AC/DC, I mean, as long as you have Angus [Young] and Brian, that’s all you need. Obviously, the drummers have come and gone, I believe Cliff Williams is still there – the bass player’s still there, he came back.
“So I think Cliff being back, and Angus and Brian, well f*ck, they went out without Brian, they went out with Axl [Rose], and people still bought it.
“But AC/DC is another animal, I mean, they’re like one of the best things that ever happened on the planet Earth. I love AC/DC.
“AC/DC and Priest are what Twisted Sister kinda sounds like. As we evolved as a band and Dee evolved as a writer – if you have to look at which bands have the greatest impact besides Alice Cooper because he wrote anthems and Dee loved Alice.
“I think AC/DC and Priest – there are enough songs that we’ve done with those bands, the sounds of those bands made the most sense to Twisted for sure.
“I love them, I always will, and Motorhead and Lemmy, without him, they would never have broken England, so we’ll always love Lemmy.
“And UFO and Pete Way, these are our-era bands that we emotionally connected with, that we love.”