TWISTED SISTER guitarist Jay Jay French was interviewed on the latest episode of the GUNS N' ROSES-centric "Appetite for Distortion" podcast. You can now listen to the chat below.
Asked for his opinion of GUNS N' ROSES playing massive stadiums around the world while only having three members from its classic lineup, French said: "Unlike Dee [Snider, TWISTED SISTER singer], I'm not as rigid [about bands touring with non-original members]. If the public buys it, that's all that matters. If they don't buy it, then that's what matters. So you can go out there, and if you're selling something that doesn't live up to what the public believes in, then you're out of business. And if you've figured out a way to do it, and you're still in business, then more power to you.
"Look, life is hard — it's hard in every way, for everybody," he continued. "And being a musician and an entertainer is really hard. You can't take it lightly, if you've had some success. And if the public buys it, who am I to say?
"I'm not trying to be Pollyannish, I'm not trying to be kumbaya-ish about it, but at the end of the day, if you're selling a product based on a certain level of nostalgia, and you don't live up to it, then you'll know, 'cause the public will say 'no,' French added.
"You're in a band. [You play classic] hits that people's lives are built around. If you can replicate it well enough for the fan to spend some stupid money to see you, and they walk away happy, who am I to say?"
This past summer, Snider criticized Paul Stanley and Gene Simmons for having current KISS members Tommy Thayer and Eric Singer dress up as Peter Criss's and Ace Frehley's respective "Spaceman" and "Catman" personas. Dee told "Appetite For Distortion": "I hate what KISS is doing with Ace and Peter's makeup on. I'm not a fan.
"When I left TWISTED and I went out at some point doing TWISTED's music, I never even thought of calling it TWISTED SISTER without the other four guys. Everyone is saying, 'But you're TWISTED SISTER. You wrote the songs.' I said, 'That's not TWISTED SISTER.' And I won't do that out of respect for the other members of the band. I could've made a lot more money doing that, but I would not do that.
"When TWISTED SISTER reunited, the original members — the classic lineup — [bassist] Mark Mendoza walked in, pulled out a gun, put it on top of his amplifier, and picked up his bass. And when people tell me it's tough to put your band back together, my bass player brought a fucking gun to the first rehearsal and openly spoke about hating me.
"I'm a believer that if you're gonna use the brand, you should have the classic lineup — unless someone's dead; then you're excused. You're excused because he's dead. Otherwise, you'd better show up, and it'd better be the original band."
In 2016, TWISTED SISTER embarked on one final trek, titled "Forty And Fuck It", in celebration of its 40th anniversary. These shows featured the band's "core lineup" of French, Snider, guitarist Eddie Ojeda and bassist Mark Mendoza, along with drummer Mike Portnoy. The band's last-ever concert took place in November of that year — 20 months after the passing of TWISTED's longtime drummer A.J. Pero.
TWISTED SISTER's original run ended in the late '80s. After more than a decade, the band publicly reunited in November 2001 to top the bill of New York Steel, a hard-rock benefit concert to raise money for the New York Police And Fire Widows' And Children's Benefit Fund.