INTERVIEW BY MARKO SYRJALA
A New York native Joe Franco is a professional drummer and best known for his work with the band The Good Rats in the 70’s and later as a member of Twisted Sister. He has been a part of many Dee Snider’s post Twisted Sister projects including Widowmaker and a horror rock band Van Helsing’s Curse and has also toured and recorded with acts like Jack Bruce, Leslie West, Vinnie Moore, Blues Saraceno and Fiona. During the years he has played on numerous albums as a session musician and in 1984 he released a book “Double Bass Drumming”. Currently Franco is mainly working as a music producer in his own recording and post-production company called Beatstreet Productions in New York City. I visited him in New York in early November and had a chance to visit Beatstreet studio and discuss with the man himself about his current activities and of course about the old days including his Twisted Sister days. Read on…!
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Tags: Al Pitrelli, Bruce Kulick, dee snider, desperado, eddie ojeda, joe franco, the good rats, Twisted Sister, van Helsing's Curse, widowmaker
Posted in 2014, Interviews | Comments (0)
Legendary glam/hard rock band Twisted Sister was originally formed in 1972 by guitarist Jay Jay French. In the beginning the band went through numerous line up changes. Eddie Ojeda joined their ranks in 1975 and one year later the band found its true leader Dee Snider who soon became the band’s dominant songwriter. Former Dictators bassist Mark (the Animal) Mendoza joined in 1978 and the band changed their style from glam rock to a more metallic hard rock. The band released their first single ‘Iï¿½ll Never Grow Up Now!’ via their own label TRS in 1981 but it wasnï¿½t until 1982 that they finally got their first deal from independent record company, Secret Records. At this point drummer A.J Pero completed the classic line-up. Later in the same year the band finally, after ten years, released their first studio album UNDER THE BLADE. The album became a surprise underground success and the band was soon signed by major company Atlantic Records. YOU CAN’T STOP ROCK N ROLL came out in 1983. With that album the the band got its first chart-flirting single but it wasnï¿½t until 1984 and STAY HUNGRY that the band hit the BIG time! With the help of such monster hits as "We’re Not Gonna Take It" and "I Wanna Rock" the album soon exceeded multi-platinum sales. Twisted Sister was at the top of their game. Unfortunately, the good times didnï¿½t last too long. The bands 1985 release COME OUT AND PLAY quickly slid off the charts and the band started to lose their media interest. A.J Pero left after the tour and he was replaced by veteran drummer Joe Franco. The band did its final attempt to return with another album LOVE IS FOR SUCKERS in 1987 but after very disappointing sales Twisted Sister wound up disintegrating shortly thereafter.
The classic line-up of Twisted Sister: Dee Snider, Jay Jay French, Eddie Ojeda, Mark (the Animal) Mendoza and A.J Pero reformed in 2003 after a sixteen year non existence. Since then the band has since toured sporadically across the globe and though the band has not released any new original songs they have released a bunch of material including the heavy metal Christmas album TWISTED CHRISTMAS which came out in 2006. I had a chance to talk briefly with Jay Jay and Mark before the band’s show in Helsinki on the 12th of November and here are the results of that conversation.
INTERVIEW, REVIEW AND PICTURES BY MARKO SYRJï¿½Lï¿½
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Tags: a.j pero, dee snider, eddie ojeda, jay jay french, joe franco, mark mendoza, Twisted Sister
Posted in 2007 | Comments (0)