TWISTED SISTER DRUMMER A.J. PERO DEAD AT 55
Twisted Sister drummer A.J. Pero has passed away at the age of 55. On the group’s Facebook page a message read: “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.”
Pero was born in Staten Island, New York, and joined Twisted Sister in time for their first official album, Under The Blade, in 1982. Pero left in 1986, and rejoined Twisted Sister in 1997 to play all their reunion gigs.
He also most recently joined Mike Orlando in the band Adrenaline Mob, taking the place of that band’s drummer Mike Portnoy. Some might have looked at the choice a little strangely, but a side band Pero and Orlando were putting together, TRED – which also featured Rudy Sarzo and former Anthrax singer Dan Nelson – in the summer of 2013 was close to launching. That band’s music was very complex, and Pero chatted about his early influences, Twisted Sister, and getting a chance to show his musicality.
It’s really not a mindset. I mean anybody who knows my in-depth and detailed situation from growing up knows that I grew up a jazz funk fusion drummer, big band drummer. And like Rudy [Sarzo] and Mike [Orlando] had said, I had a put that style of playing…. I mean it you know in high school I was playing Rush and Emerson, Lake and Palmer stuff, and nobody around could. Unfortunately, I won’t say unfortunately — but when Twisted was looking for a drummer they were here, and I was still get all playing in small clubs and weddings and they were, like, huge. I mean, it was bumper stickers, “Bad Boys Of Rock ‘n Roll Twisted Sister” all over the tri-state area, and they were huge. When I went to audition for them I got the job immediately, and it was one of those things where I was told, ‘Okay we know your background we know you’re this, this this and that, but this is the job that you have to do for us. And if you excepted that your rent if you choose not to excepted then we wish you luck and will get somebody else.’
At that time you know an up-and-coming band I had the option to… either think maybe, ‘Alright maybe I can pursue the Jazz or whatever and wait tables or join a band I get paid to do what I love to doing, to play music.’ I did. I mean I played this simple, you know, straight beat did some fills and only up until recently when Twisted reunited was I able to take the handcuffs off, but only to a certain extent. I can’t play the style that I’m playing with TRED because; Number One, it doesn’t call for and Number Two, the music is a lot more intricate. I’m not taking anything away from Twisted, but it’s the difference between an AC/DC and a Rush. It’s two different styles. Now I’m doing the job that I’m required to do because if I played and tried like it doing Twisted that they would say, ‘A.J. we love you, but we’re going to have to find somebody else.’ And I would understand that, but that’s why had a put that style away and take it out. Now it’s here, but it’s all good. It’s all positive any and Any facet that you look at it’s all positive.”
A.J. Pero started out in the band Cities, a local NYC outfit. Details of his death were not available at press time, rumors are spreading that he died as a heart attack, but we’ll keep you updated once we learn more.