Twisted Sister’s Jay Jay French says there doesn’t seem to be a younger generation of true rockstars.

The guitarist recalls that most of the bands he watched growing up were in their mid-20s – but he says nowadays veteran acts such as Iron Maiden, AC/DC and Black Sabbath still dominate the rock and metal industry, despite nearing the end of their career.

He tells Kaoos TV, “When I was 17-years-old I listened to The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, The Who, Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd, Jimi Hendrix, Bob Dylan, Janis Joplin, The Grateful Dead, Jefferson Airplane, The Doors. None of them were older than 26 when I was 17.

Now we, as 17-year-olds, never went to see bands that were 60. We saw bands that were all 25, 26 years old. If I told my mother I was going to go see a band with 60-year-old guys, she’d look at me like I was crazy or I was going to some jazz band or some classical group.

So now we play festivals where all the bands are 60 years old – us, Whitesnake, Kiss, Black Sabbath, AC/DC. They’re all 60 Maybe 50, with Metallica.”

French continues, “So I ask everybody out there – where are the 25-year-old rock stars? Where are they? There’s a huge gap. You can’t name them.

Someone goes, ‘Muse.’ They’re not 25 years old – they’re way older than that. Avenged Sevenfold – they’re not 25 years old, they’re way older than that. Slipknot – they’re not 25 years old, they’re way older than that.

So the next generation doesn’t seem to be there, and I don’t know the reason why. I wish I knew the reason why.

Pop music is huge – female pop stars are huge, right? And hip-hop is huge, and rap is huge, and country music is huge. So where’s rock? Rock is kind of not there.”

French has previously described Rock N’Roll as an “ageing cultural phenomenon” – as it was revealed last year that the 10 best-selling musical artists of 2014 had an average age of 38.

The guitarist suggests that declining record sales, rock dropping off the charts and the loss of radio airtime for rock acts spell an uncertain future for the industry.

He adds, “It’s not Jay Jay saying rock is dead, but if the kids are not buying it, who’s creating it?

In South America, we have fans that are 17 to 22 – they fill soccer stadiums. And I say to them, ‘Who’s your new band?’ They say, ‘Oh, we don’t like our new bands.’

I don’t know what to say then. Like, really? There’s got to be hundreds of them. You can’t find one? Two?

We just played Mexico, and there are a couple of bands there on the bill that are young and up-and-coming, but the enthusiasm isn’t there for it. So I don’t know, it’s a strange time.

Look, I am grateful – Twisted Sister are grateful that we have an audience, that we matter, that people love the band and they wanna see the band. Iron Maiden are grateful, and AC/DC are grateful, and Judas Priest are grateful. But we’re all getting older.

In five years, there’ll be no more KISS and Maiden, and they’ll all be retired. So who comes up? I don’t know.”

Twisted Sister have a few dates left on their Forty And F–k It farewell tour – including an appearance at Bloodstock Festival tonight (August 12th).

As recently reported, the band will also release, Twisted Sister: Best Of The Atlantic Years, on August 28th. Read more about this release, here.

additional source: Classic Rock via

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  • shannon mehaffey on

    Everything is upside down, you have the parents telling the kids what the cool bands are, and I read these posts on here where people use their kids as validation that an old band is still good…lol..that just kills me, these kids have no frame of reference nor do they even understand the significance of what the band is supposed to represent….they aren’t good barometers, sorry…”my 14 year old kid liked it!” and besides, what are they gonna say to you dad? that they hated it?

  • Rattlehead on

    I think the internet and social media has contributed to the demise of the “rock star” image. And that’s what it is, an image. Back in the day, there were just music magazines that kept us abreast of the “rock stars” we all followed. the “rock star” had a mystique and heroism about them because we didn’t know too much about them. So, the “rock stars” were viewed as gods. Nowadays, the internet and social media keep us abreast about every little nuance of the “rock star”. The “rock star” even directly reaches out to the fans on social media.

    So, with the “rock star” widely available to us via the internet and social media, I think it kinda killed the mystique of the “rock star” and the image, and we realize these “rock stars” are simply people just like the rest of us.

    There may be great new bands that are out there that we all enjoy ( I really like Ghost and Spellcaster) and putting out great quality new music, that doesn’t necessarily translate to “rock star” status. I think these newer bands will have a very difficult time achieving “rock star” image status with today’s technology.

    • DR Is Live on

      Beautifully put Rattlehead and I agree completely.

      Music isn’t much different now than it was in the 1950’s. Elvis, The Big Bopper, and Buddy Holly to name a few released singles and not albums. That era’s ’45’ is today’s download and the money back then was made in touring and not releasing full length albums just like it is now.

      Napster was the technology’s version of the TDK blank cassette. Artists have to work harder now because royalties aren’t there.

      The real problem is when the greats of the 70’s, 80’s, and 90’s are gone there isn’t much to replace them. But they said the same of Mozart, Bach, Paganini, etc. Rock music can’t evolve much more than it already has. So you’ve got to find some new artists to enjoy or else you’ve got nothing. So I’m going to check out Spellcaster based on Rattlehead’s post. I’ve never heard them before but if he’s a Ghost fan, I’m going to give it a shot. You never know….

    • Frank T on

      I agree Rattlehead. There are a few damn good “younger” bands out there that seem to get lost in the shuffle such as Rival Sons, Alter Bridge and Avenged Sevenfold.

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