Twisted Sister Guitarist: Rock Is Dead

While Twisted Sister defiantly claimed that "You Can't Stop Rock And Roll", guitarist Jay Jay French seems to think that this is no longer the case.

Twisted Sister Guitarist: Rock Is Dead
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While Twisted Sister defiantly claimed that "You Can't Stop Rock And Roll" back in their 1980s heyday, guitarist Jay Jay French seems to think that this is no longer the case. Speaking in an interview with Greek website Rock Overdose (translation provided by RockAAA), French offers a pretty grim prognosis for rock music: "In the United States it's dead. There are almost no rock bands anymore on the charts if you look. Foo Fighters maybe once in a while but the fact is the heavy rock scene is completely dead from a commercial stance as the charts are all dance music... the symbol of Keith Richards or Axl Rose or Led Zeppelin or of excess and all that on the rock side is almost invisible at this point. So yes the Rolling Stones, ACDC or Judas Priest can still go on tour and Twisted Sister can go on tour and be more popular than we've ever been but young people who listen to new music? It's not that popular just now and I think that's just the cycle we are going through." What's more, fans expecting new material from the band are set to be disappointed. According to the guitarist, the group has no plans to record material in the near future because there isn't the demand for it: "We don't really see a reason why to record. When a new one comes out you maybe play one song from it because nobody cares so it's pointless. I'd rather play what everybody wants to hear than play something they are not familiar with... That just happens to be the way the situation is these days. It doesn't pay and nobody buys the material anyway so it doesn't make any sense to do it. Most bands are never honest enough to say it and want to say they are still making new material but nobody really cares." Twisted Sister are set for a series of international festival appearances this summer. Based on Jay Jay's comments, it would seem that a greatest hits set is on the cards for those shows.

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    steveo54
    i think rock will come back soon. last time dance music was popular was disco, and after that rock and heavy metal ruled the world
    pugachev
    GrungeHippie26 wrote: in the words of metallica "sad but true"
    /thread...ish...whatever this is.
    rockguitar314
    argentotenebre wrote: that's the way it is for pretty well any band from the 70s or 80s, the new stuff is never as popular as the old stuff. The only exception I can think of is U2
    the other guys i can think of is Aerosmith
    crisheat9
    TJ1991 wrote: Rock isn't dead at all. You just have to know where to look. It's not all about being in the charts.
    You deserve a cookie. The words that supposedly came out of his mouth are words of greed.
    DAR/RYL
    rock is not dead there are new bands like airbourne, the answer, bullet.....look up these "Skull Fist - Heavier than Metal", "Steelwing - Roadkill", "Enforcer - Katana", "Colossus - The Mountain That Rides", "Cauldron - All or Nothing", "Crowning Glory - Sea of Dead Dreams", "Neuronspoiler - Words, Words, Words", "Christian Mistress - Riding on the Edges", "Helvetet's Port - Lightning Rod Avenger", "Holy Grail - Call of Valhalla", "Volture - Heavy Metal Machine", "White Wizzard - Over the Top", "Wolf - Speed On", and "Cast Iron - Running from the law".
    JoeVro/BCRich
    The underground metal scene is thriving right now and just keeps growing. Just because you can't hear it on the radio doesn't mean it's not a huge and still growing genre
    starsky133
    A member of TWISTED SISTER thinks ROCK is DEAD!? Damn, open your eyes. Rock isn't dead, it's busy puking its guts out in the bar bathroom while hip hop and rap is taking over. Rock will be done in a few minutes to kick some more ass. Rock can never die.
    rodrattlehead
    It's one of the most ignorant coments that i've ever read, seriously, the rock n roll don't rule the charts anymore... so what ? there's more music than the famous, like lamb of god, sylosis, unearth, airbuirne, as i lay dying, machine head, holy grail etc... there's a lot of genres and more talented musician, more than the 80's and 70's, i respect twisted sister but jay jay is a douchebag
    rattleurhead
    Just sounds to me like this guy is money hungry. Rock 'n roll is supposed to be about the music, but he doesn't want to record because it won't sell? Can anyone say sellout?
    Year Zero
    I agree with him it's dead, and so is good music. It's the same reason why people elect George W Bush and Sara Palin as their representatives and why Reality Tv dominates all channels.
    gapazian
    Year Zero wrote: I agree with him it's dead, and so is good music. It's the same reason why people elect George W Bush and Sara Palin as their representatives and why Reality Tv dominates all channels.
    Good music is dead? Were you on prescribing meds when you wrote this? Did they affect your common sense? I could easily name you 100 bands/artists in a variety of genres that make fantastic music. Stop being ignorant and look for good music.
    kmcharger21
    I hate it when people say that it is dead. As long as there are still a few people listening to rock in the world its not dead. Thats a slap in the face to people like us who do like good rock. Yea the whole music scene is changing but not everyone is a crazed lady gaga fan.
    DanielN
    TJ1991 wrote: Rock isn't dead at all. You just have to know where to look. It's not all about being in the charts.
    This is it... particularly the part of "you just have to know where to look"... most of the comments posted in this article are unnecessary if you read this one.
    DanielN
    Duke_Lukem wrote: So no one likes you anymore, it was bound to happen. Butthurt much?
    Also THIS! lol (sorry for double posting)
    gapazian
    So basically because bands like Led Zeppelin aren't around no more and rock music doesn't happen to have the highest record sales right now, it's dead? Interesting. Even if only one guy played Rock 'n' Roll, it'd still be alive. Nothing can die as long as someone is keeping it alive.
    shred_wizzard
    death metal is still kicking in various forms, and some hardcore/hard emo music gets decent attention. Its not dead
    Lost Dog
    No its not. It just happens that Twisted Sister is no longer relevant, and hasn't been for a long time. And you're jelly.
    demonomania
    all this bitching about how evil and soulless pop music is amuses me. did anyone ever stop to think that some people may not like rock, and instead, enjoy pop, rap or what ever other genre people claim is poisoning music? i personally don't listen to much top 40 type stuff, but i know plenty of people that do, and it doesn't bother me like it seems to bother some. people have different tastes, get over it. btw, im not meaning to sound all pissed or anything, just saying
    Imptheshrimp
    rockstarbear wrote: Is anyone else feeling incredibly insulted that Jay Jay says they have no interest to record because there's no demand for it? It says to me that to many "professionals", rock music is a product, not an art form and they have NO interest in creating music unless it's going to pay them more than their artist management job (Jay Jay French) or their building manager job (Fee Waybill). Rather cheapens their music overall, actually.
    Oh my god, this completely. I don't care if some old glam metal fart things rock is dead, charts are mostly garbage. But no, WE'RE NOT MAKING MATERIAL BECAUSE THERE IS NO DEMAND. That is one of the worst things I've heard a professional musician say. That is so incredibly awful. Honestly.
    DrumVillain
    Rock's not dead, it's just not that popular.. which I actually enjoy. I definitely feel special about being part of a not-that-mainstream yet kickass community of rock and metal fans. I feel there's something much nicer about the music I like when I know not everyone around me is into it. And there are still artists coming out with good rock music, both the old ones and even some of the new ones. Plus it's a pretty douche move on Twisted Sister's part to not feel enthusiasm for their music just because they're so goddamn pecimistic about the music industry. Saying you don't want to make music because you think it won't get that much fame and money is as bad as saying you want to make music for the sole purpose of getting fame and money.
    emphaticleech
    SumFX wrote: scguitarking927 wrote: counter culture always has been excess in the form of sex and drugs. It's not the modern way of life, it's just now on the front page of these new things called tabloids where you see it. Billy Joe down the street isn't F***ing girls every night and getting stoned out of his mind it's the Keshas and and other pop stars that are doing these things. And you also don't see too many bands stand up politically and write some very controversial tunes against the government now a days. Where as back then you were hailed as heros to stand up and scream F*** the government. Everybody tries to play it safe in the fear of upsetting people... Well maybe the UK is different to the USA?
    It's not. Most of the biggest burnouts listen to rock genres. People just like to complain and blame pop and rap for talking about sex... which is something rock would NEVER do. /sarcasm.
    CrawlingHorror
    I think what Jay Jay said has been totally misconstrued because he happens to be absolutely right and here's why: First, there is no demand for a Twisted Sister record. And that 50k you think it would cost for them to do an album? Try about ten times that. Hell, when TS came out with "Come Out and Play" in 1985, despite being a more than solid record, they had to cancel their tour due to a lack of ticket sales. Back then they were getting radio and MTV support, too. Moreover, unless that radio and MTV support was there to basically power rotate new songs into the national collective unconscious people at concerts really did get bored by new songs because they didn't know them. Humans tend to like that which is familiar to them after all. Moreover, due to the fact that Twisted Sister is a nostalgia act now, they basically become a greatest hits roadshow where geezers like me can relive our youth. But now radio playlists are constricted like never before by monstrous media conglomerates with lots of backdoor payola involved for acts that the labels effectively control like puppets *cough Good Charlotte *cough. TS ain't gonna get played on a Clear Channel or Citadel station and the band members, who all have families to care for aren't going to put up their own money to either record or tour behind a new record that has a limited audience, one that is at an age at which it stops consuming music and heads into retirement. Now one car ague over just what constitutes rock. It is true that there have been great bands over the last 15 years (Stratovarius, Symphony X and Children of Bodom are big favorites of mine), but they have largely been ignored in America by the labels/radio/MTV and usually have to try to make their living in Europe and Japan. One of the above commenters enumerated what he thought were good bands, but both Megadeth and Exodus are 80's acts. And therein lies the problem with the record industry: because so many clubs have closed or have gone corporate (where only signed acts are allowed to play), there isn't the kind of breeding ground for new acts like there used to be. The proof of that is in what you see on the concert scene, where the biggest grossing acts are inevitably 70's and 80's warhorses like Rush, the Eagles, U2 and Ozzy. Nobody can sell out six nights at a 15,000 seater like the old days who has started their career in the 1990's. The result is that the concert industry, for all intents and purposes, is dead. The professionals in the industry will admit that. And while there are boatloads of kids trying to play good music here in the states, the fact remains that they have almost no chance of being signed since the labels are too busy chasing the next Britney Spears, Lady Gaga and Katy Perry (Ugh, what a complete fraud she is). A hot chick is a more facile sell than a groups composed of five ugly metalheads you can't sell to a female audience. There has also been a generational change in the A&R departments where you now have them staffed not by rock and roll people, but by alternafags. This has resulted in bands who, well, let's bring in Don McLean to tell the story: "We sang dirges in the dark The day the music died" Rock in America doesn't really soar anymore, it mopes and plays to its shoes. There is none of the old glamour or glory, the rebellious aspect of it has been completely co-opted and made safe for corporate exploitation and bands aren't given several years to develop before they hit like Rush, Kiss, Iron Maiden and UFO were. Now it's one or two albums and unless one of them goes platinum it's see you later. This is exacerbated by high ticket prices hindering people from being able to go to more than a couple of concerts a year, which means fewer people are seeing the opening acts and that results in less of a chance for a previously unheralded band to get exposure. And because of the depressed tone of the music going to a show isn't really a party anymore, but like a huge encounter group where whingers go to commiserate with each other. What a bummer that is! Consequently, since MTV and VH1 are so personality driven, unless you have a media friendly persona (like a lot of rap acts, for example) that will bring folks to the carnival, it is tough sledding to get your act on the air. Yes, you can find good bands if you look for them. But the natural fact remains that America is a "give me convenience or give me death" society (h/t to Jello Biafra) and people want to be spoon fed their entertainment without having to put any real work into it. That is why radio is so powerful a medium (though it is dead as any kind of artistic force) for music. And since radio sucks hard right now so does what is in the charts.
    Molomono
    No demand? Fuck, I agree that rock has lost a lot of it's former fame and is becoming less profitable to play as a band. But why would you need demand to make music? I demand myself everyday to write something awesome, since when did money become the motivation that drives the songs being written by big name bands. If i could i'd lock myself up for days doing nothing but writing music. Why is he complaining about economical demand? I think he lost as much spirit as the scene lost commercial value. With a mindset like his no wonder rock is dying.
    Human371
    I read the title as "Twisted Sister's Guitarist is Dead". Anyway like some have you have said, rock isn't dead, it's just not on the top 40 anymore. But who gives a sack of ***** about those anyways? I sure as ***** don't.
    TheIceCreamMan
    Rock as it was in the past is dead and good ****ing riddance. The fact is music evolves. There's still rock music out there, it's just very different than what it was 30 years ago. And really, how many of you would really be happy or okay if rock music was the stagnant norm for 30 years, with everyone still singing about their precious Nightrain or ballads to chicks they ****ed one time?
    Patriot1zzy
    Who gives a flying **** if rock is dead. Honestly, I think heavy metal/rock is coming back as strong as before. Just look at Megadeth and Metallica, they've returned to their roots. New bands like Black Tide, and other bands that blend heavy metal with experimentation like A7X are only making this industry all the more popular. Even if it were dead, does that mean that you should drop what you love doing because it won't sell as much as before? This guy obviously only does this for the money, because if he loved what he was doing, then he would be more than happy making music. Metallica and Megadeth are true heroes in this, they continued making music they wanted because it's what they love doing.
    shikkaka
    rockstarbear wrote: Is anyone else feeling incredibly insulted that Jay Jay says they have no interest to record because there's no demand for it? It says to me that to many "professionals", rock music is a product, not an art form and they have NO interest in creating music unless it's going to pay them more than their artist management job (Jay Jay French) or their building manager job (Fee Waybill). Rather cheapens their music overall, actually.
    I dont disagree with you, but when you are a not a professional musician, its a lot easier to call it 'art'. They all have families to feed and commitments with their jobs. Does that mean they shouldn't make music? It depends on if they really want to or not.
    scguitarking927
    SumFX wrote: scguitarking927 wrote: Those soulless pop artists singing about excess lol??? In my mind that's why rap and pop music is so popular, they adopted the mentality of rock stars and made it their own. That's one of the reasons I listen to it. I for one just think rock needs to get back to it's roots. Rock and roll is about counter culture, generally not giving a flying F*** about anything and living in excess, parties, women, and big sound. There's a few artist trying to repave the road, cage the elephant, Jet, Hinder, bands like that. Hopefully there will be many more to come. Good grief....are you serious? Living life to excess is not the "counter culture" these days. The "counter culture" nowadays would be criticising the modern way of life which is predominantly sex,drugs & terrible music.
    I'd beg to differ. Culture now a days would be the closest it has been to what was being experienced in the 60s and 70s. Politically, socially, and economically. counter culture always has been excess in the form of sex and drugs. It's not the modern way of life, it's just now on the front page of these new things called tabloids where you see it. Billy Joe down the street isn't F***ing girls every night and getting stoned out of his mind it's the Keshas and and other pop stars that are doing these things. And you also don't see too many bands stand up politically and write some very controversial tunes against the government now a days. Where as back then you were hailed as heros to stand up and scream F*** the government. Everybody tries to play it safe in the fear of upsetting people...
    ledzep426
    Twisted Sister may be dead, but rock isn't. Remember how everyone thought rock was dead when the White Stripes broke up? Now the Foos are the face of rock music today. We can't give up, ROCK WILL ROLL AGAIN!
    emphaticleech
    There are almost no rock bands anymore on the charts if you look.
    Sorry. What? Since when did charts matter to real rock n' rollers? Sounds like mr. French is just butthurt he's not on top of the world like he was (undeservedly) in the 80s. Hell, rock didn't even have a foothold on the charts until Bill Haley and the Comets covered Rock Around the Clock. Rock n' roll had been around for close to ten years before that (circa early 40s). Doesn't mean the genre was dead. I think the genre is getting new life into it. The newer bands that don't make the charts as often as the generic rock, metal, metalcore, etc acts are the ones pushing the envelope... and are about a million times better than anything that came out in this ignoramus' heyday. Who cares if you're not on the charts? Doesn't mean you're not popular, or the genre you play is dead. It ain't about the fame and money, doofus.
    fuzzthedog
    The rock legends only went downhill when one of them died or when they sobered up. If Aerosmith would just go into a week of getting high, they'd probably be producing some decent music again. AC/DC is still pretty solid, but they've never been sober, just drug-free (for a while).
    CaliforniaKid
    Rock isn't dead... I've got it tied up and ball-gagged in my basement. "It puts the lotion on its skin or forced to listen to Gaga again."
    Revolution_87
    I like T.S but thiats bullshit, Like others have said its not all about the charts. aside from the hundreds of bands in every town in every country busting their balls every night chasing a dream, There's hundreds of exciting new rock bands/musicians! As for MOST of these older bands, Their times well past. Only a few like Maiden and AC/DC can still hold their own. Maybe Jay Jay needs to pull his head out his ass and look at successful modern bands like Foo Fighters, DOWN, Alter Bridge, BFMV, Avenged Sevenfold to see nothings changed...It just isnt style over substance anymore making T.S a relic.
    SumFX
    scguitarking927 wrote: counter culture always has been excess in the form of sex and drugs. It's not the modern way of life, it's just now on the front page of these new things called tabloids where you see it. Billy Joe down the street isn't F***ing girls every night and getting stoned out of his mind it's the Keshas and and other pop stars that are doing these things. And you also don't see too many bands stand up politically and write some very controversial tunes against the government now a days. Where as back then you were hailed as heros to stand up and scream F*** the government. Everybody tries to play it safe in the fear of upsetting people...
    Well maybe the UK is different to the USA? Over here (UK) there are so many skets & chavs sitting aroud doing jack shit, procreating, getting high, causing senseless violence, getting pissed all hours of the day, neglecting their children, blah, blah, blah. Point is in the UK sex, drugs and terrible music is our culture, why? Because of all the terrible role models (pop/rock stars/footballers/reality t.v "stars",etc) being shown to us day by day by the media (newspapers/gossip magazines, t.v, etc) Sure if you are lucky enough to live in a nice and quiet part of the UK the people will generally be more conservative but that isn't the 'youth' culture. To be part of the counter culture these days (in the UK) would be to abstain from drugs & alcohol. As for your other point, bands that say "**** you" to the goverment are not shown in the mass media. It's the useless unintelligent crap about sex, drugs & terrible music thats shown in the media constantly. The counter culture is no longer sex, drugs & rock n roll, the majority of people are not super right wing these days. So the counter culture would be writing songs against racism, homophobia, sexism, rock n roll life, politics, media saturation,etc. You get where im coming from? Bands that write about intelligent topics will not be popular on a large scale (as people can't relate to their different views/culture), so they don't get the attention, which in turn makes them the counter culture.
    emphaticleech
    CrawlingHorror wrote: wall of text
    No. Just plain, no. For one, America isn't the only place where generic, boring music is popular. Another, the music business has ALWAYS been about what's popular at the moment. The 60s.. if you didn't sound like Hendrix or Zeppelin, nobody wanted you. The 70s; Disco, bad prog clones and generic "classic" rock bored the airwaves. The 80s; Hair metal/glam metal/whatever... you can't tell me that wasn't marketed about the look much like the Sex Pistols in the 70s. The 90s; nothing but crap Nirvana clones and post-grunge boredom dominating the airwaves. The 00's; lots of bad metalcore and pop country... etc etc. Point is, this is NOT a new thing. Music has been a business ever since Elvis became a marketable face.
    Tripazoidal1
    rockstarbear : Is anyone else feeling incredibly insulted that Jay Jay says they have no interest to record because there's no demand for it? It says to me that to many "professionals", rock music is a product, not an art form and they have NO interest in creating music unless it's going to pay them more than their artist management job (Jay Jay French) or their building manager job (Fee Waybill). Rather cheapens their music overall, actually. I agree completely!
    jrcsgtpeppers
    how can rock be dead? did you guys not read about kesha? shes the future of rock and roll, and as long as i know we are in good hands, i can sleep with my giant blue squid safely at night
    Fenderexpx50
    Rock supposedly has been dead since the 70's. So it doesn't rule the charts. You see what's on the charts these days? Who cares about what's popular. There are still a lot of rock artists making a living to this day. The focus has just shifted off of it.