Twisted Sister drummer AJ Pero dead at 55

The hair metal band's frontman Dee Snider has paid tribute to the musician

Twisted Sister drummer AJ Pero has died at the age of 55.

News of the passing of the member of the hair metal band was announced on their official website. “The members of Twisted Sister are profoundly saddened to announce the untimely passing of our brother, AJ Pero,” read a statement. “The band, crew and most importantly the family of AJ Pero thank you for your thoughts and prayers at this time.” No official cause of death has been announced, but Newsday cites “an apparent heart attack”, suffered while touring with his other band, Adrenaline Mob, in New York state.

The drummer – full name Anthony Jude Pero – was born in Staten Island, New York in 1959. He joined Twisted Sister in 1982 and also played with the bands Cities, Circle Of Thorns and Adrenaline Mob. He left Twisted Sister in 1986, but had been playing with the reformed group since 1997.

A statement from Twisted Sister frontman Dee Snider reads: “His sledgehammer assault on the drums helped drive Twisted Sister and I to greatness, and inspired me to rock every single show. My heart breaks knowing I will never feel the power of his beat behind me, or turn to see his face smiling broadly from the sheer joy he got from doing what he loved.”

Pero appeared on the first four Twisted Sister albums, ‘Under the Blade’ (1982), ‘You Can’t Stop Rock ‘n’ Roll’ (1983), ‘Stay Hungry’ (1984) and ‘Come Out and Play’ (1985). The drummer who preceded Pero in the band, Richard Teeter, died in 2012.