DEE SNIDER Says He Was Inspired By 'IRON MAIDEN Gallop' While Writing TWISTED SISTER Classic 'I Wanna Rock'

February 2, 2024

In a recent interview with VRP Rocks, TWISTED SISTER frontman Dee Snider spoke about the creation of the band's classic song "I Wanna Rock", which originally appeared on the 1984 album "Stay Hungry". He said in part (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET): "I got in my mind that — this is 1983 I'm writing for the 'Stay Hungry' album, or '82, whatever, 'cause I always wrote it ahead of time — I got in my mind that if I could combine the IRON MAIDEN gallop with an anthem, with an anthemic sing-along song. And SLADE is my inspiration when it comes to anthemic songs. But if I could combine that metallic [gallop] that MAIDEN [is so known for]. I remember with 'I Wanna Rock' sitting there doing the MAIDEN gallop, and all of a sudden I just was off to the races. And I got to the end of that, and I stopped recording for a second to move on to the next song idea. And I go, 'Well, I think that was pretty good.' And then I'd keep moving. Later on, I'd go through maybe 25, 30 ideas that I had recorded in the 45 minutes and sift through. Now we're down to 15, 20, and then the band, we'd demo those, and then the band would vote on which 10 they liked best — the band and the crew and management, everybody would vote. And 'I Wanna Rock' was in that batch."

Snider, who was in a band called DESPERADO with former IRON MAIDEN drummer Clive Burr and ex-GILLAN guitarist Bernie Tormé in the late 1980s, continued: "I told Clive Burr when he was in DESPERADO with me, I said, 'Dude,' I said, 'I've gotta be honest, man. 'I Wanna Rock',' I said, 'That was your groove, man. It was the Clive Burr gallop, what your patent applied for, baby.' He created that sort of feel — him and Steve [Harris, IRON MAIDEN bassist] for IRON MAIDEN — that that defined the band. Poor Clive, he very much felt he didn't get the credit he deserved, 'cause his name wasn't listed as a songwriter. But he would talk about being in the studio in rehearsals and Steve starting to play the groove for 'Run To The Hills' and him very creatively coming up with that very unique, that Indian drum beat, which sort of defined the song. And then it becomes 'Run To The Hills', which is about the American Indians, but it really started with [hums the song's opening riff]. That doesn't sound like an Indian thing until you start putting those drum beats that Clive did. And Clive felt very, very hurt that he wasn't really appreciated."

Dee added: "Nicko [McBrain, current MAIDEN drummer], God love him, great guy, great drummer, basically just continued what Clive… What IRON MAIDEN defined themselves as on those first three records, that just continued on. And you look where Nicko comes from, he wasn't playing that style with Pat Travers. He wasn't playing that style with the bands he was with before; he was a journeyman drummer. But when he joined MAIDEN, and he goes, 'Okay, I gotta be a MAIDEN drummer.' Well, that was the Clive Burr groove, man."

In 2016, TWISTED SISTER embarked on one final trek, titled "Forty And Fuck It", in celebration of its 40th anniversary. These shows featured the band's "core lineup" of Snider, guitarist Jay Jay French, guitarist Eddie Ojeda and bassist Mark Mendoza, along with drummer Mike Portnoy. The band's last-ever concert took place in November of that year — 20 months after the passing of TWISTED's longtime drummer A.J. Pero.

TWISTED SISTER's original run ended in the late '80s. After more than a decade, the band publicly reunited in November 2001 to top the bill of New York Steel, a hard-rock benefit concert to raise money for the New York Police And Fire Widows' And Children's Benefit Fund.

Snider's last two solo albums, 2018's "For The Love Of Metal" and 2021's "Leave A Scar", were both released via Napalm Records.

Snider published his first fictional novel, "Frats" last year. He has described the book as "a period piece/coming of age story set on Long Island, NY in 1972/73 inspired by true event." But he quickly clarified: "No it's not my story."

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