TWISTED SISTER singer Dee Snider has once again slammed Tom Werman over the veteran hard rock producer's collaboration with the group on the triple-platinum "Stay Hungry" album.
During an appearance on "The Jasta Show", the Internet program hosted by HATEBREED frontman Jamey Jasta, Snider said (see video below): "A producer, and this is just a fact, is a very broad term. There are all kinds of producers, and I've worked with a number of them. Dieter Dierks, [who has worked with] SCORPIONS [and] ACCEPT, he's literally hands on the board, he's very technical guy. He's barking out [instructions] — not barking; he's a nice guy — but, 'Plug this into this.' He knows all the technology and [he's] very musical. Tom Werman, who produced 'Stay Hungry', he produced [MÖTLEY] CRÜE, he produced [Ted] Nugent, he produced CHEAP TRICK, MOLLY HATCHET, POISON… He produced so many bands. He's got, like, 15 platinum albums to his credit. He walked into the studio and he says, 'I don't touch the board. I don't write. I don't create. I'll just tell you if I like it or not.' [And he was taking] eight points — eight freakin' points," referring to producer royalties which are a percentage of revenues earned by the work.
"Not only was he considered a producer, people were hiring him," Dee continued. "And I've had a long-standing war with Tom Werman, 'cause I begged him to put 'We're Not Gonna Take It' on the album, and 'I Wanna Rock'. He didn't want those two tracks on the record. I was on my knees in front of him… I wasn't begging on my knees, but because he was sitting and there was noise going on… And he's going, 'Eh, 'We're Not Gonna Take It', it's a little [hums melody mockingly]' I go, 'Trust me. It's gonna be edgier when we do it. That's the thing. It's catchy.' And his answer was, 'All right, if you really want it.' Okay, that was 'We're Not Gonna Take It'. And 'I Wanna Rock', he goes, 'Eh, I've done that thing already with MOLLY HATCHET. [hums galloping rhythm]' He was mocking my song. He actually presented me with SAXON songs to put on the 'Stay Hungry' album from [SAXON's] 'Strong Arm of The Law'. He goes, 'Check this out.' I go, 'Yeah, it's SAXON.' He goes, 'It's really good.' I said, 'Yeah, it's SAXON.' He goes, 'Nobody really knows them.' I said, 'We've toured with them. It's SAXON.' … He wanted us to cover SAXON songs. And I love SAXON, but in my community, it was current. It was their album that came out last. And he had this attitude, like, they were European, they weren't really big."
Back in 2004, Werman shot back at TWISTED SISTER over their comments regarding the "Stay Hungry" LP, saying that he "contributed very significantly to the success" of the record. In a press release announcing the release of the re-recorded and expanded version of the classic 1984 album (under the new title "Still Hungry"), guitarist Jay Jay French said, "'Still Hungry' is 'Stay Hungry - The Way It Ought to Be'. It has an ultra-heavy sound, which is the way we wanted 'Stay Hungry' in the first place. But at that time rock records had a thin, very midrange kind of sound and so 'Stay Hungry' was recorded very lightly. We battled Atlantic Records and producer Tom Werman about it, but we lost. These re-recordings are faithful to the original arrangements but they sound much heavier."
Speaking to Eddie Trunk of the "Friday Night Rocks" show on New York's Q104.3 FM, Werman responded to the band's comments, stating: "Initially, the band appeared to be quite excited about their double-platinum record, but as with many bands, the story changes over time — first, Dee said I wouldn't 'allow' 'We're Not Gonna Take It' on the record, and generally slagged me for providing Jay Jay with different amps, since it took us three full days to arrive at a basically acceptable rhythm guitar sound.
"The producer has zero influence on the selection of recorded material for the record. He sequences it, but the label A&R has the last and only word on LP content. As for the rhythm guitar sound (the foundation of every good metal song), Jay Jay's live sound was not at all right for the record, and we spent three days until we found one that was barely acceptable. Our engineer was damn good, too.
"Eventually, Jay Jay decided to revise history as well, and the complaints grew from not allowing a song on the record to 'battling' the band about the 'thin' sound.
"Since these records were made twenty years ago, they are obviously going to be apparently bass-deficient, compared to today's recorded music. Dee Snider sat in on the mix and approved every note. Most producers operating in this genre at that time would simply not have allowed the artist to participate in the mix. Regardless of this fact, Dee and Jay Jay now condemn the mixes that Dee personally signed off on.
"It seems to be routine for bands like MÖTLEY CRÜE, TWISTED SISTER and CHEAP TRICK to wait until twenty years go by, and then suddenly decide that their success was actually limited by the producer of their records, who 'didn't capture their sound' and 'didn't understand their music.' [Atlantic Records president] Doug Morris called me personally to do him a favor and produce TWISTED SISTER. The band urged me to take on the project, even though Dee has alleged that I was 'forced' on them by the label (patent bullshit).
"It was a very difficult record to make, as most '80s metal band records were. It was by far the biggest record of their career, and Dee's personal choice of a different producer for the follow-up record led to a failure. Together with six other bands, I made the biggest record of their careers (all at least gold, many multi-platinum), but sure enough, here they come blaming me for holding them back. It's pathetic, really.
"I'll be happy to discuss my mistakes — my worst records, the ones I made that didn't make it — I even issued a 2-CD set called 'Tom Werman's Greatest Hits & Greatest Misses'. The 2nd CD has all of my favorite productions of bands that didn't make it — none of us is perfect. But there is little doubt in my mind that I contributed very significantly to the success of each one of my platinum bands — TED NUGENT, CHEAP TRICK, MOLLY HATCHET, JEFF BECK, POISON, MÖTLEY CRÜE, and yes, TWISTED SISTER.
"I probably should ignore the bullshit that they throw down, but I hate to see them get away with it. Dee Snider has always had a problem sharing credit with anyone. He's a one-man show, and it's distasteful."