Mike Portnoy is an American drummer, best known as the former drummer and co-founder of progressive metal / band Dream Theater. He resigned from the band in 2010 after 25 years. Nowadays, Portnoy is known for many other bands and projects. He is a founding member of Transatlantic, a progressive rock “super-group” which also includes former Spock’s Beard keyboardist / vocalist Neal Morse. He is also a founding member of the bands Flying Colours and Winery Dogs. Portnoy has also recorded and/or toured with, among others, Adrenaline Mob, Overkill, G3 and Avenged Sevenfold. When I did this interview in June at Sweden Rock, Portnoy was on tour with the Winery Dogs and the legendary Twisted Sister with whom he has played as the tour drummer from May 2015 onward. There is always a lot going on in the world of Mike Portnoy, and here’s what the man had to tell us about his ongoing activities and immediatefuture plans.
Just six short weeks ‘til the gates are opened at Catton Park and the metal hoards flood onto the hallowed turf for BLOODSTOCK 2016! To celebrate, day tickets are now on sale! Ticket prices have been frozen for the FOURTH year running at £60 each (+ booking fee) and are available here.
REVIEW AND PHOTOS BY ARTO LEHTINEN AND MARKO SYRJALA
Once again here we are again as the Finnish Metal-Rules.com two-man-team made their annual road trip to Sweden Rock. The 2016 line up presented a wide range of metal and hard rock as usual. Over 70 bands offered one hell of an experience for the attendees during the four day festival. Sweden Rock has been successful during the past ten years always being sold out like this year. However, it took a bit longer until all the tickets were gone this year. It has become quite logical for us to give an in depth article of several bands performing at Sweden Rock to all the readers out there. It was sad to see the final show by Twisted Sister, but of course fabulous to see a whole bunch of other bands. Unfortunately, we are not able to cover every bloody band, but hopefully you will have a pleasant reading experience… Rock on!
Bloodstock, the UK’s biggest and best heavy metal festival is back again this year at Catton Park, Derbyshire, with as monstrous a line-up as ever.
The four day event, also featuring four stages, will be presenting headliners Twisted Sister, Slayer and Mastodon alongside thrash gods Anthrax, black metal innovators Venom, and American progressive metallers Symphony X.
The setting is mid-1970s New York City: five rockers decked in platform boots and dramatic make-up embarked on a heavy metal journey. Little did they know the impact they would make, and that, forty years later, they would still be renowned for their songs, one-of-a-kind live shows, and take-no-prisoners attitude.
We Are Twisted F***ing Sister! – a new 134-minute documentary film by Andrew Horn capturing that expedition from bar band to international stardom – will be presented in theaters via Music Box Films in February 2016. The first ever documentary of the band that defined an early MTV with their no-holds-barred music videos opens in New York and Los Angeles on February 19 with a one-night-only event at Chicago’s Music Box Theatre on February 22. On February 23, the film will be released on DVD, Blu-ray, VOD, and digital formats, with an included 2 hours of bonus material and director commentary.
Charging out of the gate with a lethal combination of grit and glitter, Twisted Sister (Jay Jay French, Dee Snider, Eddie Ojeda, Mark “The Animal” Mendoza, and the late A.J. Pero) established themselves as one of the staple acts of Glam Rock and Heavy Metal with anthems “We’re Not Gonna Take It” and “I Wanna Rock.” However, “the band that killed disco” was no overnight success.
Director Andrew Horn, who is known for his films East Side Story (named one of the 10 best films of the year by Time Magazine), The Nomi Song, Doomed Love, and The Big Blue, said of the film:
“I realized as I was working on the film, that it was really very much a story of how a band becomes a band. They are truly unique in that their overnight success actually took 10 years, so you really get to experience everything Twisted Sister went through to do it. I have to say, I don’t think I’ve ever experienced any group of musicians as ferocious…or as funny.”
We Are Twisted F***ing Sister! puts the fan in the trenches with the band from their early, hungry days in New York City onward through their legendary career. Recounted directly from the band themselves, their managers, and biggest fans, We Are Twisted F***ing Sister! is the mesmerizing, never-before-told story of the ten grueling years leading up to the band’s break out success.
Are you ready to really get to know Twisted F***ing Sister?
September 19, 1985 was a historic day for all of us who work in the music business. That was the day that three musicians–Frank Zappa, John Denver and Twisted Sister singer DEE SNIDER–were called to testify at a Senate hearing instigated by the Parents Music Resource Center (PMRC), who wanted to introduce a parental warning system that would label all albums containing “offensive material.” The system was to include letters identifying the type of objectionable content to be found in each album (e.g. O for occult themes, S for sex, D for drugs, V for violence, etc.), which resulted in the “Parental Advisory” sticker now found on new album releases with “questionable content.”
“The members of Twisted Sister are profoundly saddened to announce the untimely passing of our brother, AJ Pero”
“The band, crew and most importantly the family of AJ Pero thank you for your thoughts and prayers at this time.”
He band mates in Adrenaline Mob posted today saying:
“We write this with tears in our eyes & our hearts broken to pieces.. our beloved brother AJ Pero peacefully passed away in his sleep this morning on the bus. We are in complete shock & our hearts & prayers go out to his family. It has been nothing short of an honor to have shared the stage with such a beautiful soul & legend! We love you AJ, rest in peace.”
Anthony Jude (AJ) Pero died of an apparent heart attack while touring with Adrenaline Mob. Twisted Sister guitarist Jay Jay French said Pero was on a tour bus Friday morning when Adrenaline Mob band members tried unsuccessfully to awaken him, then called an ambulance. He was taken to a hospital in Poughkeepsie, New York, where he was declared dead shortly after 11 a.m.
AJ Pero Page was the drummer for Twisted Sister, Adrenaline Mob & TRED w/Rudy Sarzo, Mike Orlando, Tim Ripper Owens.
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…!
Skogsrojet is one of these newer hard rock / metal festivals organized in the promised land of festivals, Sweden. The two day event is held in the outlying village of Rejmyre and the nearest town is Norrkoping about 40 kilometers away. The festival was held for the first time in 2006 and it has been increasing steadily year by year. Last years line-up included Alice Cooper, Doro, Testament and L.A. Guns and now the fans were treated to Twisted Sister, Helloween, Pretty Maids and Lita Ford. As you can see from the list of names, the event organizers rely heavily on traditional hard rock spiced with a few heavier acts. I don’t know if this kind of concept would work anywhere else, but in Sweden, but it works. This year, the festival again gathered thousands of participants who were eager to rock hard!!!
Review by Kirsty Birkett-Stubbs
Photography by Tess Donohoe
It may be some people’s epitome of hell, Michael Buble fans I’m looking at you, but for the metal/rock community Hellfest’s towering gateway looks positively pearly. This year’s line-up is so jam-packed that I was looking for the little glass jars and labels. You’d make a fortune if you could bottle any number of the diverse scope of bands on the bill, with the riffs left in natch, but I’d like them to play their sets first.
Once inside that gateway the layout is much the same as last year, and that isn’t meant in a well-they-clearly-couldn’t-be-arsed sense, because Hellfest could teach most others a thing or 20 on how to put together a fan-friendly festival. Except when it comes to the number of toilets on site that is.
Whilst the Hellfest tree still dominates in its stark simplicity, the hidden beer gardens have gained a snazzy gateway of their own, which invites you into the woodlands. Instead of a fairytale monster at the end of the path though, you’ll find a winebar, which is win-win really. And at night the scrap-metal merch stands and bars still glow with their own rooftop fires.
Stage-wise we’ve got Main Stage 1 and 2, which continue their staggered times so that as one plays, the other sets up, and vice versa. The result is no waiting around for soundchecks or bands to start, just back-to-back bam-bam-bam metal. A similar set-up is in place at the Altar and the Temple, where you can find black metal, death metal and the like, then there’s the Valley which is home to the stoner and doom types, and the Warzone where the punk and hardcore drops.
Statement Issued from Dee Snider and His management company:
It was brought to the attention of the management today that Paul Ryan (nominee of the Republican Party for Vice President of the United States in the 2012 election) has been using tour client Dee Snider’s composition “We’re Not Gonna Take It” in his political campaign to become the Vice President of The United States of America. Dee does not support Paul Ryan. Accordingly, Dee has released this statement to Benjy Sarlin, campaign reporter for TPM in Washington, DC:
I emphatically denounce Paul Ryan’s use of my song “Were Not Gonna Take It” as recorded by my band Twisted Sister. There is almost nothing on which I agree with Paul Ryan, except perhaps the use of the P90X.
Trondheim Rock is annual rock event held, like the name suggests, in Trondheim, Norway. The festival has a tradition of having high quality performers outside of the mainstream and ongoing trends. The history of Trondheim Rock includes such artists as Def Leppard, Jon Lord, Kamelot, Whitesnake, Gary Moore, and Glenn Hughes amongst many others. This year’s edition of the event included three bands: re-united the Darkness, legendary U.S hard rockers Twisted Sister and Norwegian band TNT who now celebrate their 30th anniversary in their original hometown.