TWISTED SISTER’s JAY JAY FRENCH Defends Producer TOM WERMAN’s Work On ‘Stay Hungry’: ‘I Don’t Wanna Smear’ Him
In a new interview with “Heritage Musicians In Conversation With Joe Matera”, TWISTED SISTER guitarist Jay Jay French was asked how important veteran hard rock producer Tom Werman was to the commercial success of the band’s triple-platinum “Stay Hungry” album. He responded (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET): “Boy, that’s a complicated answer. Because Tom Werman, as a symbol, represented success, because he had enormous, multi-platinum successful records and artists — Ted Nugent and MÖTLEY CRÜE and CHEAP TRICK; I mean, he had a track record. So when the record label said, ‘We’ll get you Werman,’ that was basically like telling Jimmy Stewart in 1940, ‘We’re getting you Frank Capra to direct your movie,’ or someone telling you ‘We’re getting Francis Ford Coppola to direct a movie.’ I mean, if you’re getting those kinds of names, you’re going, ‘Oh, wow. That’s heavyweight.’ Werman was a heavyweight. Regardless of what anyone thinks of his records, how they sounded, he was a heavyweight. So he came on board. And it was controversial because Dee [Snider, TWISTED SISTER singer] didn’t get along with him, and he didn’t like a lot of the songs. Putting that aside, he knew how to make a record sound good on the radio. ‘We’re Not Gonna Take It’ just exploded on the radio. So regardless of whatever personal issues we had with Werman, the fact is that you can’t deny that he produced a record that has now sold six million copies. It’s like AC/DC saying, ‘Well, [‘Back In Black’ producer] Mutt Lange is bad’ or ‘terrible.’ Well, I’m sorry — he sold you 18 million copies of a record. So it’s unfair to just smear him. I don’t wanna smear Werman. He did what he did, and life moves on.