TWISTED SISTER Is 'Musically The Most Licensed Heavy Metal Band In History,' Says JAY JAY FRENCH
February 28, 2020
Jay Jay French says that TWISTED SISTER is "musically the most licensed heavy metal band in history."
The guitarist made the claim while discussing TWISTED SISTER's current status in a brand new interview with "80's Glam Metalcast".
Asked what has been going on with the TWISTED SISTER business since the "end" of the band more than three years ago, French said (hear audio below): "I think that's a misconception with people. We stopped playing live, but that's it. The business of TWISTED continues on. We're basically a licensing machine at this point.
"I don't know if you saw the Super Bowl ad with 'I Wanna Rock', but we just did a huge deal with Facebook to use 'I Wanna Rock'," he continued. "And we are now musically the most licensed heavy metal band in history. So this little band from Long Island that started 47 years ago now has its music in more TV shows, soundtracks, movies, movie trailers and commercials than any heavy metal band — more than AC/DC, KISS, GUNS N' ROSES. And, of course, these are wonderful bands."
"We're Not Gonna Take It" and "Stay Hungry" were the biggest hit single and album, respectively, in TWISTED SISTER's career. French believes that "We're Not Gonna Take It" is now part of America's cultural fabric.
"I have to say that 'I Wanna Rock' and 'We're Not Gonna Take It' are two landmark songs, and they have essentially stamped of the '80s everywhere, and people love this music and we benefit by it," the guitarist said. "But this is not an accident — this is something that I saw years ago. And all I can say is I'm grateful that it has worked out the way it's worked out, because, as you know, as you read the stories all the time how bands struggle with streaming and record royalties, with the drop of sales and the streaming not paying very much, you're stuck with touring. And we stopped touring, so we have been able to turn our attention completely to the marketing/licensing world. So I run the licensing division of the band, which is huge."
French went on to say that "TWISTED SISTER has, and always has been, a business. It's kind of counter to what most people think heavy metal bands, which are sex, drugs and rock and roll and fairy dust," he explained. "But it's also not Gene Simmons either. Gene gets a lot of heat from the cynical standpoint of he's always accused of talking KISS business, KISS business, KISS business and not enough about the music. Well, the music matters to TWISTED SISTER, but we also managed to figure out a way to make a thriving business. So it's all-encompassing."
"We're Not Gonna Take It" has been used in commercials for hotel chain Extended Stay America, Claritin, Walmart, Stanley Steamer and Yaz birth control.
The song's lyrics say in part "Oh you're so condescending/Your gall is never ending/We don't want nothin'/Not a thing from you."
"We're Not Gonna Take It" was first released as a single (with B-side song "You Can't Stop Rock 'N' Roll") on April 27, 1984. The "Stay Hungry" album was released two weeks later, on May 10, 1984. The single made No. 21 on the Billboard Hot 100 singles chart, making it TWISTED SISTER's only Top 40 single, and the song was ranked No. 47 on VH1's "100 Greatest '80s Songs".
"We're Not Gonna Take It" was written solely by singer Dee Snider. As influences for the song, he previously cited the glam rock band SLADE, the punk band SEX PISTOLS, and the Christmas carol "O Come, All Ye Faithful".
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.