Twisted Sister guitarist Jay Jay French, on playing new music:
People always say, “Why don’t you do new material?” If you play new material, that means you’re taking some standard out. More people are going to be upset over the removal of a standard than will be made happy by a new song.
Well, such might be true for some bands, but it doesn’t necessarily have to be true for all of them, even Twisted Sister. I seriously wonder how many Twisted Sister fans would be ticked off if “We’re Not Gonna Take It” was taken out in favor of a new song. If you’re making good new music, why not play it? I suppose a lot of acts, Twisted Sister included, are happy being nostalgia acts.
And that’s all fine and good, but I don’t see what’d be so wrong about swapping out some of those overplayed songs for new stuff if the new stuff is good. And the last new song I heard from Dee and the guys was actually really good. He’s still sounding great, and the rest of the band still has it too. Going back to one of my favorite examples, I doubt you’d see many real Queensryche fans who’d be mad if they swapped out “Silent Lucidity” and/or “Jet City Woman” for a couple of the songs from their forthcoming self-titled album. (For the record, I’ve heard from sources I trust at The Breakdown Room and elsewhere that said album is really good, perhaps the best thing they’ve done since at least 1994′s Promised Land.)
And the same goes for Accept. Of course, Mark Tornillo and the guys do play “Balls to the Wall,” “Fast as a Shark,” “Princess of the Dawn,” and “Restless and Wild” right along with “Teutonic Terror” and “Stalingrad.” But I haven’t heard of anyone being unhappy with that.
Of course, the above-mentioned bands are both special cases as they’re both forging on without their iconic original lead singers. But you can still insert pretty much any classic metal band with its original frontman that’s still making new music — Metallica, Megadeth, Anthrax, and the list goes on. (From what I understand, Anthrax’s Worship Music is one of the best things they’ve done in years as well. Same is true of Megadeth’s last couple of albums and Metallica’s Death Magnetic.)
So yeah, there might be a few bands that are comfortable with being a nostalgia act, but I don’t see why they all have to be. Some of ‘em are making their best music in years, and the genre would be a lot poorer without it.