Monday, February 15, 2016
Twisted Sister will head out on a 40th anniversary tour this year, and frontman Dee Snider says the 2015 death of drummer AJ Pero proved to be the catalyst for the Long Island, NY band’s farewell trek.
"I've been wanting to call it a day for a long time,” Snider tells Billboard, “and after AJ passed everybody agreed it was the five of us from the beginning to the end so now it's really time."
Pero suffered a heart attack while playing on tour with Adrenaline Mob last March, prompting the group to assess their plans moving forward.
"The best way I can describe it is it's the last five minutes of the Twisted Sister fireworks display," explains guitarist Jay Jay French, who's planning to publish a memoir as well. "This is the end, and I know people are skeptical because all bands say they're retiring and then they don't. We never did, although (Snider) has retired many times. This is the first time I've said, 'Yeah, this is it.' It's been a long time. It's been over 9,000 shows, and it is time to call it a day."
"We're gonna do a limited number of shows and they're gonna be (big) paydays so everybody can put some money away and we'll go out on a high note,” adds Snider. “I don't want to have that 'I've fallen and I can't get up' moment on stage. If someone came along and offered us a s**tload of money for a full-blown tour, I'd still say no."
Snider says he’s pleased the band will be finishing on the good terms established by a reunion in 2003 after an acrimonious breakup in 1989.
"It had just haunted me to end on such a bad note, 'cause we had achieved so much together and worked so hard together," says the frontman. "Even though publicly I would say 'I don't care,' I really hoped secretly that we would be able to fix it, and we have. Now I love these guys. There's no hatred. I love the moment. And love that the story has a happy ending."
Twisted Sister’s farewell tour will see the group play a series of festival dates across Europe this summer – including Sweden Rock, Austria’s Nova Rock, France’s Hellfest and Belgium’s Graspop Metal Meeting in June alone – with a few others still to be announced.
The band are planning to release a DVD from the group's May 30 memorial concert in Las Vegas for Pero, as well as some vintage live recordings and a vinyl box set.
Drummer Mike Portnoy will join Twisted Sister for the farewell run after handling a series of 2015 shows following Pero’s passing.
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