Dee Snider Slams Bands Who Reunite After Officially Retiring, Says That’s Not Going to Happen With Twisted Sister

On January 26, classic heavy metal band Twisted Sister came back together for one performance at the Metal Hall of Fame induction ceremony. To celebrate that and reflect on this show, Eon Music caught up with frontman Dee Snider, guitarist Jay Jay French, and drummer Mike Portnoy who filled in for the late AJ Pero.

When asked what it was like to be back fronting his old band, Dee Snider replied:

“Well, we tested it last night, and apparently you *CAN* forget how to ride a bicycle!”

Of course, Dee was just messing around. He continued:

“No, it was great. Somebody said that they never saw Mark ‘The Animal’ Mendoza smile so much. So, we had a great time last night, and we’re looking forward to tonight.”

Twisted Sister finalized their farewell tour back in 2016. The group’s final show took place in Monterrey, Mexico on November 12, 2016. During the chat, Snider reflected on how much time has passed since then and commented:

“Since then, I’ve eaten a lot of pancakes and muffins, so I’m not quite as fit as I was!”

Twisted Sister - We're Not Gonna Take It (Metal Hall of Fame Awards - 1/26/2023)

He also added:

“But you know, it’s fun; I love these guys, and that was one of the best things about reuniting; was becoming friends again, and we *ARE* friends.”

Of course, over the past few years or so, Dee was very open about disliking bands who come back again after their “farewell tours,” often mentioning the likes of Ozzy Osbourne and Mötley Crüe.

Twisted Sister final farewell performance 'We're Not Gonna Take It'. - Northside Monterrey 11/12/16

So it was only obvious for the interviewer to ask Dee whether this was only a one-off performance or whether the band will do another run sometime in the future. The singer’s answer was pretty direct:

“A hard ‘no plans. No plans at all to do that.”

He continued:

“You know, I ‘ve said when people retire they should leave the stage, and all those bands, I’m tired of buying ‘No More Tours’ shirts and seeing people signing contracts in blood and then they show up three years later. I don’t believe in that bullshit, so I don’t think it’s going to happen.”

TWISTED SISTER - Full Set Performance - Bloodstock 2016

Going over to Jay Jay French, Eon Music asked the guitarist what it’s actually like to be “Jay Jay French of Twisted Sister,” to which he replied:

“You know, you live in two different worlds; one is the life you live, and the other is ‘this’; this is amazing. It’s always been amazing. If you’re on stage in front of 100,000 people and they’re singing ‘We’re Not Gonna to Take it’, it does not suck, and to think that it does you’d have to be out of your mind.”

Asked about what it was like to be back rehearsing with the band for this performance, French replied:

“Oh god, I hit the first two chords, and it all just kind of comes out. That’s because the band’s played over 9,000 shows, and when you play that many shows, it’s in your DNA.”

Dee Snider's PMRC Senate Hearing Speech (Full)

Former Dream Theater drummer Mike Portnoy, who filled in on drums, also commented on this performance and playing with Twisted Sister again. He offered:

“It’s definitely wild. I mean, there’s a picture of me in my high school yearbook wearing a Twisted Sister shirt, so it’s pretty cool.”

Portnoy also added:

“We had a great time playing yesterday, playing more songs than we’re going to be playing tonight, just for the fun of it.”

Twisted Sister - We're Not Gonna Take It (Kavarna Rock 2015)

For this performance, the three musicians were accompanied by bassist Mark Mendoza, also known as “The Animal.” The group’s second guitarist Eddie Ojeda was, unfortunately, not present since he contracted COVID.

Back in 2020, in an interview with Ultimate Guitar, Dee Snider was asked to weigh in about the popular trend of bands and artists coming back from retirements for another tour. He replied:

“I think it’s bullshit. When you say farewell… Rage Against the Machine breaks up – that’s not retirement, they broke up, and they reformed, and that’s great.

DEE SNIDER - I Gotta Rock (Again) (Official Video) | Napalm Records

“But when you do a farewell tour, and you announce this, and you sell tickets, and you have a t-shirt that says ‘No More Tours’ – thank you very much, Ozzy, I bought one of those – and then you come back, that’s bullshit.

“So when you say, ‘We’re retiring,’ people now don’t take it seriously. So, you know, it’s like a joke, and I think that a part of it is that these artists have nothing else going on. And I realize that – without playing, they have no career.

“I have done so many things – I mentioned Broadway, I’ve been doing radio for 30 years now, voiceover work, I act, I write screenplays, I’m gonna be directing my first two movies, I was supposed to be directing in May but COVID stopped that; I just finished my first novel…

Criss Angel Directs "We're Not Gonna Take It" with Dee Snider

“And now, in the late stage of my life, I’ve found my voice, my place in the metal community. After a lot of attempts over the last couple of decades, I’ve finally found my place.

“So, if I do anything musically, I’m not gonna go backward; I’m going to continue forwards with Dee Snider for the new millennium, musically.”

Speaking of which, on February 1, 2023, Ozzy Osbourne finally announced that he’s retiring from touring. This comes after numerous postponements, some due to the COVID pandemic and others due to his health. Taking to his social media, the former Black Sabbath singer said:

“This is probably one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to share with my loyal fans. As you may all know, four years ago, this month, I had a major accident, where I damaged my spine. My one and only purpose during this time has been to get back on stage.”

OZZY OSBOURNE - Patient Number 9 & Crazy Train at Rams Season Opener (Live Performance)

“My singing voice is fine. However, after three operations, stem cell treatments, endless physical therapy sessions, and most recently groundbreaking Cybernics (HAL) Treatment, my body is still physically weak.

“I am honestly humbled by the way you’ve all patiently held onto your tickets for all this time, but in all good conscience, I have now come to the realization that I’m not physically capable of doing my upcoming European/UK tour dates, as I know I couldn’t deal with the travel required. Believe me when I say that the thought of disappointing my fans really FUCKS ME UP, more than you will ever know.

“Never would I have imagined that my touring days would have ended this way. My team is currently coming up with ideas for where I will be able to perform without having to travel from city to city and country to country.”

Photo: MorganaPhotolive (Dee Snider (27153507822))

  • David Slavkovic

    David always planned for music to be nothing more than a hobby. However, after a short career as an agricultural engineer he ended up news editor at KillerGuitarRigs, senior editor at Ultimate-Guitar.com, as well as a freelance contributor to online magazines such as GuitaristNextdoor and brands like Sam Ash.

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