DEE SNIDER Says JAMEY JASTA's 'Positive Energy' Convinced Him To Make 'True Metal' Solo Album
June 12, 2018
Former TWISTED SISTER frontman Dee Snider recently appeared on "The Jasta Show", the podcast hosted by HATEBREED's Jamey Jasta, who produced Snider's new solo album, "For The Love Of Metal". The full conversation can be streamed below. A few excerpts follow (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET):
On deciding to make a metal album after Jasta challenged him to record one during a previous podcast interview appearance:
Dee: "People say, 'I never get the chance. I never get the opportunity.' No — every day, opportunities happen. Choices happen. Rarely, are people brave enough — and I'm not saying I'm brave — to say, 'I'm going to take that chance,' because it's scary sometimes. Jamey opened a little door that day he said, 'I challenge you to this' — and just by saying yes, what's happened for me is just, I had no idea as I walked through a very small door... I don't think Jamey knew either what this has become and what it's becoming. Sometimes you've just got to take a chance and say, 'Yeah, I'll do that,' just for the hell of it.'"
On what impressed him about Jasta:
Dee: "There was this positive energy that came off Jamey. When I walked into the room for that interview, I didn't know that he was going to challenge me — like truth or dare, 'Make a true metal record.' But I saw it in his eyes, and he was ready to back the play. That's what it takes sometimes. I said, 'Who's producing?' He goes, 'I am.' I said, 'Who's writing?' He says, 'Everybody.' He said it with such conviction, how could I not believe in [him]? You've got to have that conviction when you go in to people when you're making your pitch. You've got to believe it. I looked at Jamey and said, 'This guy sees it. I don't see it, but I'm going to follow his lead here,' and I'm so glad I did."
On why it took so long for him to make an album like this:
Dee: "I got severely beaten up emotionally, spiritually, by the early '90s. The demise of TWISTED, the birth of grunge... I tried to change with the times, and my second WIDOWMAKER record, which I was really proud of, reviews came out, and I don't really care about reviews, but I read truth in them. One review was like, 'It sounds like your dad trying to make new metal music.' In TWISTED, I was in it. I was the voice. I wasn't imitating; I was just being. Now, I was trying to fit in, and I sort of said, 'They caught me.' Then someone else said, 'Nobody wants their brother's heroes. They want their own. It's a new audience.' At that point, I literally stopped writing music. I went into voice-over; I went into acting; I went into writing; I went into radio; I just found all these other avenues. With [the] TWISTED reunion, doing oldies, it was fun, playing the old stuff, but I have not written anything new since the last WIDOWMAKER record. When [Jasta] came to me, and I said, 'Look, man — you say I got the voice; I got the spirit; I want to do it; I'm just not sure what to do.' I trust in Jasta. [Jasta] said, 'This is what you need to do.' I just went in and gave [him] all I had."
On the cyclical nature of the music business:
Dee: "I kind of shut down in, like, '92-'93, whenever the end of WIDOWMAKER was. I'm thinking, 'I'm an '80s guy; I did an '80s thing. That was my time.' But somewhere along the way, I became iconic. It sounds self-serving to say it, [but] I'm not saying it. [Other] people are saying it. I said, 'Wait a second — they're talking about me.' I'm like, 'When did that happen?' While you weren't looking, twenty years went by, and suddenly, you're important for some reason."
On whether he feels TWISTED SISTER's reunion tour ended too soon:
Dee: "Not by my... where I was at. I want to be clear. I misquoted something on [SiriusXM DJ] Eddie Trunk's show that Tom Araya said. It was accidental, because I know what the real quote was, and the real quote was that he can't thrash anymore, because his neck is screwed up. He said, 'I used to define myself by that, and now, all I can do is stand there and groove.' I love SLAYER and I love Tom; I just felt so bad for him, because I don't want to be [in that position] and I knew I was approaching that point. I can still rock; I just have got to stop the thrashing. I've got to stop literally dropping on the floor and slamming my body on the ground and crawling on all fours. I was doing that up to the last day of TWISTED SISTER. No one knows your own body better than yourself. I said, 'Okay, I've got to stop this now before [God] stops me.' That's why it stopped when it stopped. People say, 'You're still rocking,' but you'll notice. Headbanging — and I used to headbang. There are some people who say I invented it. All I was trying to do was get the hair out of my face, honestly. But I just had to stop certain things. Did it stop too soon? No, I don't think so."
On being an outspoken critic of reunion tours:
Dee: "I've been a mouth on things, and one thing is when they retire and come back. People misunderstand me. If you want to stay forever, stay forever. Alice [Cooper] says he's not going nowhere, and God bless him — do it, man. But don't retire, sell the high-priced ticket, sell the 'No More Tours' t-shirt, and then come back three years later. That's what is bullshit — the farewell tours, the three-year goodbye from SCORPIONS and then, 'We changed our mind!' That's not cool. Just say, 'I'm not leaving.' Fine! We don't want you to leave. You're beloved. Don't leave, ever."
On TWISTED SISTER's feuds with HANOI ROCKS and MANOWAR:
Dee: "TWISTED had released our album on Secret Records and we had lost our deal and had to cancel our tour with DIAMOND HEAD. We had done a farewell tour of the tri-state area — 'we're off to our first tour ever!' We couldn't go back to the bars after doing the around-the-circle, 'we're off to tour the world' [tour]. Now we had no tour and we had no album, and it was dark. It could not have been uglier. In the rock press, people started taking cheap shots, and HANOI ROCKS made some wise crack about us being CINDERELLA's ugly sisters — which, nothing could have been truer. Honestly, it should have been, like, 'Bravo. Very accurate.' And then MANOWAR made up some b.s. lie — 'We don't know why people talk about TWISTED SISTER. Back home, they play wet t-shirt contests for a dollar,' or something. I just got livid. I wrote a scathing letter to Kerrang! or Sounds [magazines] calling the two bands out for a fight. 'TWISTED SISTER versus HANOI ROCKS and MANOWAR. We're going to beat your ass.' MANOWAR says, 'Okay, yes. Battle of the bands. Fight to the death.' I responded, 'No, no, no — my fist, your face. Put your instrument down. We're duking it out. We're coming to get you.' HANOI ROCKS tries to laugh it off, so we actually, with Kerrang! and Sounds in tow, we announce high noon, Covent Garden, we're going to be there on this date. Be there, and get your asses kicked. There's fans there and everything. TWISTED SISTER's walking around; we've got bullhorns — 'HANOI ROCKS, come out and play.' Lemmy's there with us, goading it all on — he pronounces MANOWAR 'Man-o-wimp,' because they didn't show up. The press says, 'So that's it?' I go, 'Oh, no — we're going down to their show, in front of their audience, I'm climbing up on the stage, and I'm going to throw them a fuckin' beating right in front of their own crowd.' I said, 'This is not over — you're high. You talk shit about me; I want an apology or [else]. HANOI ROCKS throws the white flag. Fine. MANOWAR, [TWISTED SISTER bassist Marco] Mendoza gets a letter from Ross The Boss. Mendoza says, 'I can't say what this letter says, but they're MANOWAR, and they can't publicly apologize. Can we just let this go?' Apparently, there were more things said in there — which Mendoza, to his credit, would never tell us — and he says, 'All right. If you guys ever say another word about our band, I'm going to have this letter printed. But we'll just let it go,' so we let it go. Since then, I'm friends with Joey [DeMaio] and Ross. In retrospect, I was hating. I was mad at the world; I was angry; we were broke; the record deal fell apart. We thought we were at the end — we thought it was over, and I was looking for someone to get in a fight with. I should have just gone to a bar."
On putting together a band to tour in support of "For The Love Of Metal":
Dee: "Darrell Roberts, [from] the first FIVE FINGER DEATH PUNCH record, on guitar — he's playing with me. He's got that metal wrist of steel. He gets it, and he heard the new stuff and he was just, like, 'Damn.' He's actually semi-retired since DEATH PUNCH, but he's like, 'I'm so down.' Mike Dupke, who used to play with W.A.S.P., he's been playing with me, playing the drums. This stuff is real metal, man, and [to] metal fans, if you're not good enough, it's going to show."
On whether he plans to perform TWISTED SISTER's heavier material:
Dee: "I said, 'I want to do 'Burn In Hell', 'Under The Blade', '[You] Can't Stop Rock And Roll'. I want to bring out the metallic-ness that's there already."
"For The Love Of Metal" will be released on July 27 via Napalm Records. The album features additional contributions from Howard Jones (ex-KILLSWITCH ENGAGE),Mark Morton (LAMB OF GOD),Alissa White-Gluz (ARCH ENEMY),Joel Grind and Nick Bellmore (TOXIC HOLOCAUST),and Charlie Bellmore (KINGDOM OF SORROW).