An e-mail Interview with Jay Jay French

'Twisted Sister' Fame'

Glenn Milligan

BA Hons CS (Received 25th September 2001)

When Twisted Sister first got together 'Christmas week '72' what covers did you perform?

The first covers we did were several songs from Ziggy Stardust, 'Sucker' , 'All The Young Dudes' and others from Mott's 'All The Young Dudes' and various songs from Lou Reed's Transformer. Also 'Sympathy For Devil' from the Rolling Stones

What was it that turned Twisted Sister into what the band are today? Was it various band members? Or was it was the music that was around at the time?

We evolved over the years from glam/pop to glam/metal to all metal because of the personnel and their abilities.

Who came up with the bands image? Where did the idea come from?, especially Dee's and what was the initial crowd reaction to it?

The band was extreme glam in the beginning (almost female impersonators). We evolved into a several different forms of images in response to who came in the band and what felt right at the time. As the band went through 11 line-up changes (4 lead singers) we kept altering our look.


What's the story behind the Twisted Sister 'TS' logo/pin?

The TS logo that is best known was the forth one in the bands history. I believe a professional graphic design company created it.


Which bands did you support when you released the 'Under the Blade' album? What was the headliners reaction? How did they feel having to follow you guys?

We never toured the UK or the US after the release of 'Blade'. Secret went bankrupt and, other then playing a couple of local shows in NY during the fall of '82, we did not play live until the release of 'Can't Stop R & R.


What great stories are worth telling that you can recollect in Twisted Sister or as a producer?

There are far too many stories and I can't type well enough to go over them.


What is your favourite Twisted Sister material and why?

Shoot 'em Down, We're Gonna Make It and You Can't Stop R & R. I just like them a lot.


What made you decide to record 'Leader of the Pack' by The Shangri-La's? What was the reaction at the time ?
We performed 'Leader' in the clubs for years and people loved it. It was, however, a huge mistake to release it as a single following 'Stay Hungry'.


Did you know at the time or have a feeling that 'We're not gonna take it!' was going to be as big as it became?

I had no feel that We're Not Gonna Take It' would be huge.


How did you feel when you were offered the gig at Donington Monsters of Rock in the 1983? How was the gig? It sounds pretty good on tape !!!

The Donington show was expected due to the nature of the rise in our popularity. I remember that the show was great.


How come it has been many years before the release of the material on Club Daze Vol. 1?

It takes time and a lot of work to find a label and acquire rights to release an album like 'Club Daze'.


Do you plan a volume 2, if so what's planned to be on it?

Between my schedule and Marks', It was an effort to get it out period. Club
Daze 2 will be out in October. It will have live versions of many of the songs on '1' plus never released sought after live tracks and 2 new studio tracks, 'Never Say Never' and Blastin' Fast And Loud.


Will there be a reunion - since there has been talk of it? If so when? Will it be a full-on TS in all the costumes as Dee says?

There are no plans for a reunion yet but we have been rehearsing regularly.

Is new material a possibility?

We have no plans to record a new album.


Where did the idea of the 'Twisted Forever' tribute album come from?

The tribute idea was pitched to me by Phil Carson, the guy who signed us to Atlantic records and Dave Suillante at Koch Records, which released it.


Which do you prefer - studio work as a producer etc or being in the band doing the whole shbang?

I loved being in a band and touring when I did it. I enjoy producing as well. I can't say if one is better then the other.


What do you miss most about being in Twisted Sister?

For years after TS ended I did not miss anything about it at all. Now however, the thought of playing again seems right.

Thanks so much for your time Jay Jay - Special thanks also to Roland at Work Hard PR for setting up the interview.