Dee Snider and Jay Jay French Interview
One of the more unusual acts to surface in rock today, is a group from Long Island, called "Twisted Sister." Recording for Atlantic Records, the group is out on tour in support of their album, "You Can't Stop Rock 'n Roll."
Making a stop over here in Syracuse at The Lost Horizon, we talked with lead singer Dee Snider and guitarist Jay Jay French.
Q. Were you guys influenced by Alice Cooper at all?
Jay: We played Billion Dollar Babies with Michael Bruce. Neal Smith's wife spilled a drink on me about a year after we met Michael Bruce, one night in a bar. Neal Smith, by the way is a great guy.
Q. Am I right in saying "Twisted Sister" is
the hottest group in Europe at this time?
Q. Did "Twisted Sister" enter that Miller
High Life Rock To Riches Talent Hunt?
Dee: In order to be on the album when they wanted us on the album, ‘cause we were popular, we would sell copies, is that you go through the formality of being an "entrant", and if you win you will turn down the prize, because you are already an album band. We didn't realize Miller was going to use that in every one of their advertisements. But there's no real hard feelings over at Miller, because Miller is very interested in our band, possible sponsorship or whatever in the future.
Q. Pete Townshend has remarked, "Behind every band is some sort of
mentor figure, some Svengali." Is there a Svengali figure behind "Twisted
Jay: We are a new generation of rock 'n roll bands. I have to hope we are, because we have seen and heard so many horror stories, that we will never live that.
Q. Promoter Larry Magid had this to say on violence
at rock concerts, "It
started with groups using theatrics, flash pods and so forth. Now you get
the audience mimicking the groups." Is that really a valid explanation
of rock concert violence?
Jay: I think more people die trying to mimic real people, than try to mimic a rock 'n roll band, and you hear it all the time. Soccer stadiums riot. I mean, if you're gonna have a lot of people stuck in an uncomfortable situation, you may have a problem. That kind of blanket statement is the kind of statement that can hurt a band like "Twisted Sister" that wants to be able to play in front of a lot of people. Yet, this guy has made money off of careless and irresponsible handling of that many people.
Q. It's been said that people who become successful find a way to destroy
themselves. Why do you suppose that is?
Jay: People have a lot of trouble dealing with failure. We've been through so much rejection we've got a thick hide. So, it's not going to happen to "Twisted Sister." That question you ask pertains to so many movie stars and so many entertainers that the public loves to know about, how they destroy themselves. The public hates the fact that someone made so much money, so they like to see someone not be able to cope with it and destroy themselves from the inside, because they've been overwhelmed by it. It depends on your outlook on it, if you get overwhelmed by it, it's one thing. If you get overwhelmed by rejection, if you get easily sucked into someone else's scene, but that is not Twisted Sister. So, that may happen to a lot of other people, but it will not happen to us.
Official Website: www.twistedsister.com
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