Jay Jay French guitarist for Twisted Sister has struck against Judas Priest and Foreigner, giving them a piece of mind by categorizing them as cover bands in an interview. During a Q&A at the Spooky Empire convention that took place in Orlando, Fla., the renowned Twisted Sister guitarist didn’t hold back, answering questions on various topics, also taking on Rolling Stones, Saxon, and Led Zeppelin.
“Look what you’ve got with Priest,” French tells host Micahel Brandvold of Three Sides of the Coin. “[Guitarist] K.K.’s [Downing] gone – he went to golf. And now [guitarist] Glenn’s [Tipton] left. And it’s wonderful. And now it’s a cover band, essentially.”
“No, no, no… wait, wait, wait…hold on,” French says when someone from the audience loudly reacts. “I come from a world of cover bands. When Twisted Sister started in the bars, the cover bands that played the bars were better than the bands they covered. The reason why we were so big, the reason why Rat Race Choir and the Stanton Anderson [Band] – these are the bands that existed as bar bands back when we were playing in the bars – the reason why they were so good was ’cause they were better than the bands they were copying.“
And afterward, he takes on Led Zeppelin, saying that the group did struggle with ticket sales and poor performances during their oft-maligned and injury-plagued 1975 North American tour.
“You guys don’t even know that Zeppelin was deteriorating so badly that by 1975, you couldn’t go to a Zep concert without throwing up,” he continues. “They were so bad! You couldn’t give tickets away to Zep concerts, but if you came to see Zebra playing Zeppelin on Long Island, you heard perfect Zeppelin – perfect Led Zeppelin. If you saw Rat Race Choir, you saw perfect Pink Floyd, you saw perfect Emerson, Lake & Palmer. It really mattered. I get that. I do understand it. It’s a cover band. And that’s what a lot of these bands are. Foreigner is a complete cover band; there’s nobody left in Foreigner.“
Well, one thing he’s trying to point out is that Mick Jones is the sole remaining original member in Foreigner, while in Judas Priest the only remaining members from the band’s classic lineup are Rob Halford and Ian Hill.
“I get annoyed only because we work so hard to be perfect every night,” he continues. “And I watched them. I’ve been a Stones fan, by the way, all my life and saw them at the peak of their fucking life – in ’69, ’70, ’71, ’72. They were arguably the greatest rock band on the planet earth. And there’s a DVD, Ladies And Gentlemen: The Rolling Stones, which you can watch. Why are they happy sounding so bad when you’ve got this?“
Watch the interview in the video below: