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Twisted Sister: Touring Vs. Festival Gigs

I recently interviewed guitarist Jay Jay French of Twisted Sister for Noisecreep. Twisted is a great band - one of my favorite live acts, actually. They always bring the energy - when Dee Snider runs on stage, you know you're in for a rock show. I talked to Jay Jay about playing Rock n' America but I asked him about touring in general and he basically said the band would never tour again. That wasn't news to me: the guys in Twisted have been vocal about not wanting to do a long tour anytime soon. Still, the article seemed to surprise some music fans (which in turn, surprised me). Anyway, Blabbermouth picked up the article and extracted Jay Jay's comments about not touring again and this got a lot of negative comments.


Why can't a band make a smart business decision based on their own lives?

Jay Jay wasn't being a jerk when he said this to me on the phone recently:

"I know what these [other legacy] bands make, I know their lifestyle, I know what they do. I can't function that way. I don't believe it's viable for them. I believe they [tour] because they really have no other options on this planet. And by going out on the road constantly, they devalue themselves because they're out there all the time. We work in a completely separate business model. If I don't play, guess what? My value increases, doesn't it? So the less I play, the more valuable I become. So I work completely opposite. I'll bet you I make more money playing 12 shows than most [other] bands make playing 50 shows."

Now, some readers around the Internet took this as an insult - that Jay Jay was attacking other bands. He wasn't. He was saying some bands will take any gig they can get because that is how they earn their money, but that is not the business model of Twisted Sister.

Let's be honest: if you see a band do the same set 10 summers in a row, are you as excited to see them on the 10th time as you were the first? You can't be. You can lie to yourself and say you are, but you can't be. You already know what to expect. You know the set. But, say you only get to see the band once in awhile and always at a big show. It's an event then, right?

Jay Jay is right.

And for the record, he didn't name names of bands "that have no other options" but I don't think he was talking about AC/DC or Motley Crue as some have assumed. Just like everything in life, music goes in tiers of popularity. The Sleeze Beez are not on the same touring level as AC/DC. That doesn't mean the Sleeze Beez are a bad band - I love them actually - but they are just not as popular as AC/DC.

Sometimes reality and brass tacks makes sense in music. After all, it is a business.

So what would you prefer: to see a band over and over on a traditional tour...or at a special event like a festival?




Reader Comments (7)

Good business sense. Great band! Personally one of my favorites and if given the chance I would follow them like a deadhead watching them play every night.

Secondly, are the Sleaze Beez touring right now???? I would like to see them and check them off my list of bands I hsve yet to see.
May 11, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterreptileblvd
I gotta agree with Jay Jay. It's like any business, if there is a glut in product, the price will drop.Take diamonds for instance.They fetch insane prices because the DeBeers family was smart enough to realize that less is more, thus driving up the price...
May 11, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterGary
I have to agree with Jay Jay as well but simply because he is saying "look we dont have to tour that much so we don't" that simple. Touring I can imagine loses its fun once your become older and have done it for years. I dont fault Twisted Sister at all. Also its a very smart business move in a world where artist may not get the upperhand in the business since,
May 11, 2010 | Unregistered Commenteralmostluckymick
Twisted Sister are "Metal" troopers and can do what they want. What's the problem with that? everybody is just waaaaaaaay too sensitive these days. Esp. online where human emotion, tone of voice and intent can get all screwed up and mis-construed very easily!

Whoever extracted the comments probably knew it would
stir up some sh** and did it on purpose perhaps to drive traffic and or hits. Some peeps in this industry think there is no such thing as bad publicity.

I think they are all just jealous of TWISTED SISTER and or want/need to ride on their coat tails.

Nice piece...rock on!

Curt King
Demolish Fanzine

"All things rock/metal from the late 80's"
May 11, 2010 | Unregistered Commentercurt king
I've never seen TS live. Almost did last year, until the debacle in Iowa got canceled. Perhaps the negativity comes from those who (like me) may never get the chance to see some of their favorite bands from ages ago because they don't tour.

Personally, I would rather have a new CD than a tour, but I do like going to concerts. I've been fortunate to have seen several of the legacy acts - both big names like Motley and Poison and the smaller acts like Pretty Boy Floyd and Britny Fox - but Twisted is one I haven't had the opportunity yet. I'm not a big fan of festivals. I will be going to M3 this year, but that is such a LOOOONG day (I know, I'm getting old!), and I may never do a festival again. So I may never have the chance to see Twisted. Which makes me a little negative, but it's not really directed toward the band. I understand the business decision.
May 11, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterJT
I like them and agree with JJ. Just feel their self-promoting outshines their overall work. I don't think they're headliner material - sort of in the same vane as Lita Ford. Again, liked seeing them, but Dee thinks he's Gene Jr. He's not and TS had no catalog anywhere near KISS.
May 11, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterJC
Though I admit I have some of their stuff, I can only take Twisted Sister's particular brand of Neanderthal Metal in small doses.

So thank the Metal Gawdz, TS only want to stick to a limited touring schedule.

p.s. Curt! Just looked at your site! Awesome! I highly recommend this site to those who want to travel back in time to The 80's Metal World thru old pix, ads from all the Metal mags, Curt's old concert tix, the works! What a trip! Phenomenal!
May 11, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterMetalboy!

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