DEE SNIDER: 'Some Of Your Favorite Metal Artists Don't Write Their Own Songs'
August 9, 2018
TWISTED SISTER frontman Dee Snider was interviewed on the latest episode of the "Rock Talk With Mitch Lafon" podcast. You can now listen to the chat using the widget below.
Speaking about his lack of songwriting contributions to his new solo album, "For The Love Of Metal", Snider said: "I don't write often. I write when I need to, and it's old school. I needed a couple of songs for my musical 'Rock & Roll Christmas Tale' when we moved from Chicago to Toronto and I re-wrote the show, so I wrote the songs. But it was straight-ahead rockers… So that was no problem. And now I've sold a show to Netflix, a children's animated show, and I'm writing music for it. But it's straight-ahead, old-school rock and roll, and I can write that for days. But to write genuine, contemporary metal music — even though I'm a fan of it… My kids are all headbangers, I listened to the stuff, I've been to shows… I can't get it to come out of me naturally without being forced or trying too hard. And music shouldn't be like that; it needs to be genuine. And that's why having these great younger musicians and artists writing for me [on 'For The Love Of Metal'] was just amazing, because they come from that genuine place where they're just writing from their souls, and they're writing for me, which was great."
He continued: "People say, 'How can that be?' Hey, Elvis [Presley] didn't write one of his own songs. Frank Sinatra didn't write his own songs. And guess what? I'm not gonna name names, but some of your favorite metal artists don't write their own songs — even though they put their name on it and buy out the people who write the songs. I'm not gonna say who it is. But the fact of the matter is not everybody writes… It's, 'Can I deliver the songs? Can I believe the songs? Can I execute?' And from this album, one thing [producer and songwriter] Jamey [Jasta] did is we spent a lot of time talking about where I'm at, what I wanted to say on this record, what I feel strongly about, my passions and my feelings. So these songs were very much tailored to fit Dee Snider. People go, 'Man, it sounds as genuine as it could,' 'cause I believe every freakin' word. And if there was something in there that wasn't resonating, I would tell Jamey, 'You need to change that,' or, 'How about we say this instead?' And someone said to me, 'Oh, but why wouldn't you take credit?' You don't take credit for a line or a few words. That's not fair to the true creator of the entire thing; that's just an arrangement. So it sounds real, because I believe everything I'm saying. And Jamey was very careful to make sure that I could stand behind every song that he was bringing me."
Asked if fans can expect to hear more music from Dee Snider in the future, he said: "I've wanted to make new metal for the longest time. Not 'nu' — even though I don't hate nu metal; I like LIMP BIZKIT. I still do. I've wanted to, but since '95, I've just felt like I couldn't be genuine about it. And like I said, I'm a fan of it and I've been listening to it. TWISTED wanted to make new records. I said, 'I can't do back to the future. I can't make old-sounding records for 2006 or '07,' or whatever it was. I can't do it. I'm not gonna do it. Nobody really cares about it; not enough people care about it. it's too heart-wrenching to put your soul into something that, for the most part, is dismissed — it doesn't get airplay, it doesn't get video play; it's just a thing. But I digress.
"So I've wanted to do this," he said. "Here's where I've wanted to be for the last 20-something years, and Jamey has helped me find my way there. Napalm [Dee's record label] has already picked up the option for the next record. It was a two-record deal. They go, 'We're in.' I was, like, 'Wait a minute! This one's not out yet.' They go, 'No, no, no. We're not giving up on this one. We plan on working this for a while.'"
Adding that he has been "blindsided" by the overwhelmingly positive response to "For The Love Of Metal", Dee said that he hasn't had a chance to properly plan out his touring activities in support of the disc. "Usually you plan to record the album and [go on] tour — it's a gameplan. It's a grand plan," he said. "We had no deal, we had no budget, we didn't even know it was gonna be received as well as it's been received. So we've been caught off guard by this reception. But you'll see more shows as we go ahead towards 2019 than right now, because, believe it or not, this years is booked for people. Not me — it's tough to really book things on this short notice. So we're promoting, we're doing some shows."
Dee went on to say that he thinks he will "be more involved in the writing process" on his future albums "as I come to understand my place and where I fit — particularly on the lyrical end. Even though Jamey was incredible in channeling me… It was, like, creepy how much this guy gets me," he said.
"For The Love Of Metal" was released on July 27 via Napalm Records. The disc features 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).
TWISTED SISTER called it quits in 2016 after completing a farewell 40th-anniversary tour.