Dee Snider has defended Jay Jay French after the TWISTED SISTER guitarist was slammed by fans and fellow musicians for criticizing other bands for continuing to perform well past their prime.
As this past April's Spooky Empire convention in Orlando, Florida, Jay Jay said that the members of SAXON are "80 fucking years old" and called the current touring lineup of JUDAS PRIEST "a cover band." Jay Jay went on to say that TWISTED SISTER called it quits in 2016 because the members of the band wanted to go out while they could still deliver the kind of performances that earned them the reputation as one of the strongest live acts around.
When asked by Metal Wani in a new interview for his thoughts on French's comments, the TWISTED SISTER singer said (hear audio below): "Oh, me and Jay Jay see eye to eye on that one hundred percent. And Jay Jay is getting a lot of flak, because they took a lot of what he said out of context.
"First of all, I know Jay Jay — obviously. And I also listened to the tape of [what he said], and he was being comedic when he said, 'Rob Halford is, like, 90 years old' — whatever he said — and THE [ROLLING] STONES are a hundred. Obviously, they're not. It was one of those comedic gross exaggerations, like, 'Oh my God! [Mick] Jagger looks like a cadaver up there.' He's a comedic… He's a New Yorker, and we're very sarcastic, and we make fun of everybody."
He added: "I agree that people should know when to leave. But then again, the other side of me says that that's not my decision to make. Alice Cooper told me he can't wait to sing 'I'm 80'. I said, 'Dude, when are you retiring?' He goes, 'Well, Jagger is four years older than me. So when Jagger retires, I've got four more years.' That's what he said. And you know what I said? 'God love you. If that's what you wanna do, if that makes you happy, God love you.' But, I do think, like Jay Jay, that sometimes seeing your heroes in shambles, so to speak, shadows of their former selves, it just sort of makes you feel kind of old and sad. But that's why I don't go to those reunion shows."
TWISTED SISTER retired from the road less than two years ago after completing a farewell 40th-anniversary tour.
Snider recently said that he had no regrets about putting the group to rest, explaining that he wanted to "step away gracefully" before it was too late.
"Honestly, I can't do today what I did at the last TWISTED SISTER show — physically," he said. "I'm not getting any younger, and stuff is deteriorating, things are deteriorating, and there's things that I knew… I was thrashing like a lunatic, throwing my body on the ground, and I said, 'I can't go much longer.'
"Nobody gets to beat gravity," Snider continued. "When somebody defeats gravity, when somebody beats gravity, let me know. Because eventually it takes everybody out and we're all pulled into the ground. So I said, 'I've got to draw a line somewhere so that I can at least step away gracefully in some way.' It's what I had to do. And I love the [other] guys [in TWISTED SISTER] — I just couldn't continue on like that."
Snider's new solo album, titled "For The Love Of Metal", will be released on July 27 via Napalm Records. The disc, which was produced by HATEBREED vocalist Jamey Jasta, will feature contributions from Howard Jones (ex-KILLSWITCH ENGAGE), Mark Morton (LAMB OF GOD), Alissa White-Gluz (ARCH ENEMY), Joel Grind and Nick Bellmore (TOXIC HOLOCAUST), and Charlie Bellmore (KINGDOM OF SORROW).