Congrats to our own Dee Snider, who was honored with the Harry Chapin Memorial Humanitarian Award at this week’s Music Business Association convention (formerly known as NARM and DigitalMusic.org).
Dee’s philanthropic efforts include Dee Snider’s Ride (his annual motorcycle ride benefiting Long Island Cares, Inc.), the Jam For Autism, established by Dee in 2012 to benefit the Sid Jacobson Jewish Community Center’s special needs program; the March Of Dimes, where Dee served as Grand Marshal of the famed Bikers For Babies ride and to which he donated his earnings from The Celebrity Apprentice; and the Gibson Girl Foundation and Station Family Fund, for which he performed at benefit concerts.
Elsewhere in the world of Twisted Sister, guitarist Jay Jay French was recently interviewed by FullThrottleRock.com and asked about his band’s decision to only do occasional tour dates rather than record new Twisted Sister studio albums. Said Jay Jay, “Well, there is no point recording. I think that is an old-school idea. Why? No one buys it. I mean, no one is yet to make a case for any reason to record. I do not see any reason in the world to record. The fans who come see you do not care.” He continued, “You have nothing to promote and nobody buys it and nobody listens to it, so it’s contrary to any logic whatsoever that it matters. Now it only matters if you care that it matters, so if you want to write the stuff because you feel you have a need to express it, then you write it and record it. [With the exception of the tune “30”] Dee hasn’t written a [new Twisted Sister] song in 20 years. He has no need to express it, and so therefore we do not do it, and we do not play enough for it to matter, since we only play one show in one country every couple of years. It is not like people say, ‘Wow, man! When is the new tour coming? I saw you on the last tour.’ We do not get a chance to play that often, so I just think for bands like Kiss and Judas Priest and all these bands who make all these new records that nobody buys…When I say ‘nobody buys,’ I mean in their heyday, bands were selling 2 or 3 million copies, and now they are selling 100,000 records, alright? If you’re touring, it may make some sense. I just do not see the logic behind it. We are happy playing these 17 songs and we are a great live act and we do them really well. Does anybody care if AC/DC makes a new record? I mean, they have made the same record for the last 30 years. AC/DC is one of my all-time favorite bands, all time, they are one of the only bands I will stand up for two hours to watch, but if I see them, do you think I want to hear a new record? Of course not.”
Jay Jay’s forthrightness caused some fans to speak out in various online forums, noting that bands like Judas Priest, Kiss, Van Halen and more have all recorded and released new studio efforts while touring. Jay Jay posted to the comments section of Blabbermouth.net, addressing the comments. “I really enjoy seeing people discuss this issue of new recordings,” he wrote. “The much larger picture that no one is seeing is this: Up until the band reformed to play [a benefit show] after the 9/11 disaster in November 2001, I never thought that we would ever have played another show. Since then, the band has become one of the biggest concert attractions on the worldwide festival circuit. We have released six DVDs and the biggest-selling metal Christmas album of all time. We released a full bonus CD of new material with the re-record of Stay Hungry. ‘We’re Not Gonna Take It’ is the most licensed song in the world for TV commercials, movie soundtracks and TV shows. None of this was supposed to happen. I look at this as the glass half full, not half empty. We accomplished way more than I ever thought we would and our tour schedule works for us. We do enough to play to an average audience of 60,000 per show in 33 countries. The worldwide popularity has only grown and we are offered way more shows then we choose to play. This is our choice, our decision. This is how we choose to survive. It could have been nothing. Instead, it is our version of survival. The fact that Kiss, Priest, Van Halen, etc. choose to release new material is important to the business model that they need to survive. To each his own.”
And since we’re on a roll with Jay Jay’s comments…he had more than a few good things to say about working with Dee Snider during his interview with FullThrottleRock.com: “He is certainly, I think, one of the most underrated frontmen,” he said of the Twisted Sister frontman. “I do not think he gets the respect he deserves. I think he is better than David Lee Roth, and no question better than Ozzy. I mean, he’s better than all of them. In terms of an entertainer, he is more responsible; he understands what he is supposed to do better than these other bands and that’s really an important factor. He really gets what you are supposed to do as a singer, as being an entertainer, and he takes his job very seriously. He does his vocal exercises every day for, like, two hours before he goes onstage. He has done this from the day I met him and he has always taken a very professional approach to the fact that ‘I am a performer and I get paid to perform and I am going to be on that stage at this time and I am going to deliver.’ I mean, how many frontmen just do not do it? They take their audience for granted. He does not take his audience for granted, so he works really hard at what he does. He wrote some great, great songs, although he has not written, by his own admission, except for the song “30”, he has not really written a song in about 20 years. I think he just decided he did not have anything to say anymore, I believe that is what he has said in interviews. But when I am on stage with him, I do not think there is a better frontman out there. That is just my opinion. I just do not see a better frontman than Dee.”
Michael Sweet, frontman for Christian rockers Stryper, recently talked with Music Enthusiast magazine about his upcoming autobiography, Honestly: My Life And Stryper Revealed. In the interview, he took a few swipes at Mötley Crue’s biography The Dirt – Confessions of the World’s Most Notorious Rock Band, and bassist Nikki Sixx’s own memoir, The Heroin Diaries: A Year In The Life Of A Shattered Rock Star, calling them “stretched” and “B.S.”
Said Sweet of his own book, “Is it as controversial as Mötley Crue? No, but I think half of what we hear about Mötley Crüe is B.S. anyway, like when you hear stories about Nikki Sixx dying three times and whatnot. It’s, like, how stretched is that? I don’t know, man! Nothing against Nikki Sixx.” He added, “Half of the stuff I read in these autobiographies I just kind of roll my eyes at, because I just think that a lot of these guys just did so many drugs and drank so much booze that their minds aren’t too clear in terms of remembering the past exactly as it went down. I hope that doesn’t come across as me being a jerk, but I guess the big point I’m trying to make here is my book…these are good or bad, boring or exciting, these are the true stories of my life…you’re probably not going to find in my book what you might find in a Mötley Crüe book, and that’s a good thing!”
Not surprisingly, the Crüe’s Nikki Sixx took to his Facebook page to address Sweet’s comments.
In more Nikki news..a few weeks back, the bassist was quoted as saying that singer Sebastian Bach shouldn’t refer to himself as the “former Skid Row singer” and that he should just drop the Skid Row reference for good. Said Sixx, “I mean, at this point, dude, you’ve been out of Skid Row long than Skid Row was even alive. Like, let it go!”
When asked about Nikki’s comments in a recent interview, Bach joked, “I actually just [dropped the “former Skid Row singer” moniker] this morning. I dropped it, so now I feel amazing. I just feel myself better as a human, ’cause I made the decision after I read him tell me that I should do that, ’cause I was wondering what to do and then I read that and I was, like, ‘Oh, now I know!’ I can’t believe it took me so long. As soon as I read that interview, I was, like, ‘Man, what would I do without somebody else telling me what I should do?’ Because I was waiting for somebody to tell me what to do with my life and now, oh, thank… now I’m okay. Now I feel great.”
Check out the Tesla’s new tune, “So Divine.”
It’s off the band’s upcoming studio album, Simplicity, due out on June 10.
Is AC/DC keeping it in the family? Rumors are swirling that Stevie Young, nephew of guitarists Angus and Malcolm Young, may be in line to assume Malcolm’s place for the recording of the next album.
Malcolm, as we recently reported, has taken a leave from the band due to ongoing health concerns.