JAY JAY FRENCH Says TWISTED SISTER Is One Of 'Only A Handful Of Bands' Promoters Will Trust To Perform In Front Of 100 Thousand People
October 26, 2021
In a new interview with MetalAsylum.net, Jay Jay French spoke about how TWISTED SISTER built its reputation as one of the best live acts on the planet. He said (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET): "When a fan comes to see the band, they expect certain songs — always. And when a band says, 'Here's some new stuff from our new album,' that just means they're not playing stuff that the public wants to hear. And we decided a long time ago, 'We wanna play exactly what they wanna hear.' That's one of the reasons why we were so successful — we played exactly what they wanted to hear. 'Here's 17 songs. We're gonna play these 17; they should make you very happy.' If you want us to replace a couple of 'em with some new stuff, let's vote.' You know what the vote would be? 99 to one not to do it. So when most classic bands come out with a new record, the mistake they make is [they say], 'Oh, we're gonna promote our new record.' No one gives a fuck about your new record. They really don't. So what happens is [the bands] fool themselves into thinking they do, and the first week they're playing five songs, and then the next week they're playing four songs, and the next [week] they're playing two, and then one month into the tour, they're playing one song from the new record. Why? Because nobody really cares. It doesn't mean the song isn't good; it doesn't mean the band isn't good — it doesn't mean any of that. The point is you're entertainers. So what's the point? Are you there to entertain or not? Now, there are some people who don't give a shit. Bob Dylan could care less whether you like the way he performs or not. He obviously turns his back against you; he mumbles; you don't even know what the fuck he's singing. And that's what he wants to do — that's his way of doing it. We don't work that way."
He continued: "Look, let me put it to you this clearly: whether you like TWISTED SISTER or you don't like TWISTED SISTER, here's an undeniable fact — we're one of the only handful of bands that a promoter will trust with a hundred thousand people. Simple as that. We've played a ton of those shows. A hundred thousand people close out these festivals. I'm not talking about the afternoon where you're playing in front of ten thousand or twenty thousand; I'm talking about a hundred thousand. When you are headlining a festival that holds anywhere from eighty to a hundred and ten thousand people and you're the headliner, you have to not suck; you have to be great; and you have to make sure you're great; and you have to make sure that everybody walks out and says, 'That was great, and that was a great festival.' That's the responsibility that KISS has, that JUDAS PRIEST has, that AC/DC has, that DEF LEPPARD has… These are the top-echelon bands that are going out there and are told… IRON MAIDEN; there's only maybe twenty of us that can go out there and can accept the responsibility of delivering happiness to a hundred thousand people. Well, you have to be really good to do that. And then, when you've reached and attained that ability to do it, you have to be grateful that you've reached that ability to do it, and you have to deliver it every time. And that's what I'm probably most proud of."
TWISTED SISTER called it quits in 2016 after completing a farewell 40th-anniversary tour. The band's last-ever concert took place in November of that year — 20 months after the passing of TWISTED's longtime drummer A.J. Pero.
French's new "bizoir" — part memoir and part business primer — "Twisted Business: Lessons From My Life In Rock 'N' Roll", was released last month via RosettaBooks.
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