All five members of TWISTED SISTER recently spoke with Goldmine contributor Bryan Reesman about the forthcoming "Twisted Christmas" musical, the 25th anniversary re-release of "Stay Hungry", the sequel to frontman Dee Snider's "Strangeland" movie, guitarist Jay Jay French's official TWISTED SISTER book, and how they are the biggest "part-time rock band" in the world. Several excerpts from the story follow below.
Dee Snider on "Strangeland: Disciple":
"'Strangeland: Disciple' is the official title, and it looks like it will finally go into production this year, which is great. It has been a nightmare, 10 years with legal battles and everything. The government seized all their [Shooting Gallery's] property, so for literally eight years I've had lawyers going in and fighting [for me]. Every time the government tried to just dissolve everything, they said, ‘You can't do that, that belongs to Dee Snider.' Then they would try to dissolve it again six months later. They finally turned the stuff over to me. It was pretty ugly."
Mark Mendoza on the band's reunion success:
"What's not to be happy about? Who would have thought in 1990 that I would be doing this again? I'm pretty sure we are the largest and most successful part-time rock band in the world. We're not even part time. What do we do, 16 shows a year? In Europe, we're headlining some of the biggest festivals ever. It's kind of a unique situation. I love performing, I love playing onstage, especially with TWISTED SISTER, but I love playing anything at anytime, whether it's to eight people or 80 or 8,000 or 80,000. I love playing and performing, so it's not something I ever want to stop doing. I do plenty of small gigs. It feels great to know I've just come off a show with 40,000 people and now I'm playing a benefit at a club for 200 or 300 people. It makes you feel good. TWISTED SISTER is in my heart, it's in my blood, it's in my soul. I love what I do.
Snider on the "Twisted Christmas" musical:
"I'm trying to create a property that we could remove ourselves from, that could continue to exist after we've stopped playing. Even though the fictitious band is currently called BENT BROTHER, it's designed to be a performance piece that TWISTED SISTER would not actually have to get onstage for, even though I could see where we're more than likely going to have to initially perform the thing to set up the awareness of it."
Jay Jay French on managing bands in an iTunes world:
"I am trying to analyze the music business and find out where it's going. I believe that the record is a dead issue, the CD is a dead issue, so the challenge is, how do you find a young band, develop it and make money? Music is exciting, and there's more music out there than ever, but the record labels are over and the CD as a medium is going to be over in the next four to five years. I think the concept of having 10 songs for a record is done. It's going to be a track world. What does that mean? How do you develop a band or an artist that way? How do you make careers? What does it take to manage a band like that?
Read the entire interview at Goldmine.
TWISTED SISTER performing live (September 2008):