TWISTED SISTER's JAY JAY FRENCH: 'Where Are The 25-Year-Old Rock Stars?'
August 11, 2016
Kaaos TV conducted an interview with TWISTED SISTER guitarist Jay Jay French prior to the band's August 4 performance in Finland. You can now watch the chat below.
Asked if he thinks any of the newer hard rock artists have a shot at becoming arena-sized acts once the current crop of dinosaur bands are no longer around, Jay Jay said: "When I was 17 years old, when Jay Jay French was 17, THE BEATLES, THE [ROLLING] STONES, THE WHO, [LED ZEPPELIN], [PINK] FLOYD, Jimi Hendrix, Bob Dylan, Janis Joplin, THE GRATEFUL DEAD, JEFFERSON AIRPLANE, THE DOORS… none of them were older than 26 when I was 17. Now we, as 17-year-olds, never went to see bands that were 60; we saw bands that were all 25: THE BEATLES, THE STONES, THE WHO, ZEP, FLOYD, CREAM, Hendrix… They were all 25, 26 years old. If I told my mother I was gonna go see a band with 60-year-old guys, she'd look at me like I was crazy or I was going to some jazz band or some classical group. So now we play festivals where all the bands are 60 years old: us, WHITESNAKE, KISS, [BLACK] SABBATH, AC/DC… they're all 60. Maybe 50, with METALLICA.
"So I ask everybody out there: where's the 25-year-old rock stars? Where are they? You can't name them. Someone goes, 'MUSE.' They're not 25 years old; they're way older than that. AVENGED SEVENFOLD: they're not 25 years old; they're way older than that. SLIPKNOT: they're not 25 years old; they're way older than that. So the next generation doesn't seem to be there, and I don't know the reason why. I wish I knew the reason why. Because pop music is huge; female pop stars are huge, right? And hip-hop is huge, and rap is huge, and country music is huge. So where's rock? Rock is kind of not there."
French went on to say that the sales figures support his belief that the market for new rock music has weakened.
"Again, it's not Jay Jay saying rock is dead," he explained. "Look at the charts. Tell me where it is. It's not there. Radio doesn't play it, and it doesn't seem the kids are buying it. So if radio is not playing it, and the kids are not buying it, who's creating it?"
He continued: "Look, I am grateful; TWISTED SISTER is grateful that we have an audience, that we matter, that people love the band and they wanna see the band. IRON MAIDEN is grateful, and AC/DC is grateful, and JUDAS PRIEST is grateful. But we're all getting older. In five years, there'll be no more KISS and MAIDEN, and they'll all be retired. So who comes up? I don't know."
French added: "In South America, we have fans that are 17 to 22 years old; they fill soccer stadiums. And I say to them: who's your new band? 'Oh, we don't like our new bands.' Well, then… I don't know what to say then. Like, really? There's gotta be hundreds of them. You can't find one? Two? They'll put a couple on the shows with us, because they have to fill the gap a little bit. We just played Mexico, and there's a couple of bands there on the bill that are young and up-and-coming, but the enthusiasm isn't there for it. So I don't know. It's a strange time."
TWISTED SISTER last year announced its plans to call it quits after a final round of dates, dubbed "Forty And Fuck It - The Final Tour".
Drummer AJ Pero passed away in March 2015 at the age of 55. The rest of TWISTED SISTER has since recruited recruited Mike Portnoy (DREAM THEATER) to sit behind the kit for its farewell tour.
BLABBERMOUTH.NET uses the Facebook Comments plugin to let people comment on content on the site using their Facebook account. The comments reside on Facebook servers and are not stored on BLABBERMOUTH.NET. To comment on a BLABBERMOUTH.NET story or review, you must be logged in to an active personal account on Facebook. Once you're logged in, you will be able to comment. User comments or postings do not reflect the viewpoint of BLABBERMOUTH.NET and BLABBERMOUTH.NET does not endorse, or guarantee the accuracy of, any user comment. To report spam or any abusive, obscene, defamatory, racist, homophobic or threatening comments, or anything that may violate any applicable laws, use the "Report to Facebook" and "Mark as spam" links that appear next to the comments themselves. To do so, click the downward arrow on the top-right corner of the Facebook comment (the arrow is invisible until you roll over it) and select the appropriate action. You can also send an e-mail to blabbermouthinbox(@)gmail.com with pertinent details. BLABBERMOUTH.NET reserves the right to "hide" comments that may be considered offensive, illegal or inappropriate and to "ban" users that violate the site's Terms Of Service. Hidden comments will still appear to the user and to the user's Facebook friends. If a new comment is published from a "banned" user or contains a blacklisted word, this comment will automatically have limited visibility (the "banned" user's comments will only be visible to the user and the user's Facebook friends).