TWISTED SISTER's EDDIE OJEDA Remembers Touring Europe With METALLICA As Opening Act: 'That Was Wild'

May 16, 2023

During an appearance on the latest episode of the "Talk Louder" podcast, hosted by veteran music journalist "Metal Dave" Glessner and lifelong hard rock/metal vocalist Jason McMaster, TWISTED SISTER guitarist Eddie Ojeda reflected on his band's 1984 European tour with METALLICA as the opening act. "That was wild, because that was the first time I was exposed to that thrash metal," Eddie said (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET). "And in the beginning, before the newer albums, they were, like, full-on thrash, super fast. We were, like, 'What's going on with you guys?' And who knew? They ended up being bigger than everybody. Some people said they sold out when they got a little more commercial, but I don't think they ever did. They got more mature.

"It's kind of sad when people love a band when they're starting out and going through that rough time," Eddie continued. "And then when they make it, they get pissed off at 'em. 'Oh, you're not the same band, man.' I felt bad for them getting that rap."

Asked if he witnessed METALLICA's popularity grow while the two bands were sharing the stage nearly four decades ago, Eddie said: "No, I didn't really get it till we got back to America. 'Cause that was in Europe. We only did a few shows with them. But I didn't realize that that was a while trend of music that was gonna happen. MOTÖRHEAD kind of started that, and then METALLICA took it to more of a prog level."

In a 2011 interview with Powerline magazine, TWISTED SISTER singer Dee Snider said that he had no recollection of METALLICA opening for his band in December 1983 in Aberdeen, New Jersey. "I didn't even know they were on the bill," he said. "I didn't even know they existed. And Jonny Z [of Megaforce Records], who was a big supporter of TWISTED, crammed them on the bill. When we toured with METALLICA in Europe, they said, 'We played with you guys in Jersey.' And I was, like, 'You did?' I didn't even know. I was oblivious to the opening band. In effect, it was like a 'no-name.' And I was never out before the show. I was always in the back getting ready. You never saw me. You didn't see me walking around the club. You only saw me on the stage, and then I disappear. I'd get there before the doors opened and I left when the doors closed. You weren't supposed to see a rock star walking around like a human being. So I had no idea METALLICA played. But during that tour [1984], I remember clear as a bell when we arrived in Holland we see these posters that had a huge METALLICA with like a troll head an early symbol they used and on the bottom it said 'and TWISTED SISTER' in little letters. So I said to our tour manager, 'Tell METALLICA they can close. Obviously people are coming to see them.' And my tour manager comes back and says they said no. I said, 'No?' He said, 'Well, they said it seems suspicious. They are confused. Why would you give up the headline slot? What are you up to?' I went into their dressing rooms and said, 'Guys, the people are clearly here to see you. I'm not a complete asshole. I'm not going to sit here and pretend I'm the headliner. It's obvious you're the guys that everyone is coming to see.' So they closed the show. As a result, it was the one time I got to see them. And I still remember standing on the side of the stage, watching their set and I turned to Mark [Mendoza, TWISTED SISTER bassist] and I said these words, 'These guys got a lot of heart but they're never gonna go anywhere.' So that's what I thought of METALLICA. [Laughs] I just thought they were too heavy. It's so heavy, there is no commercial accessibility, there's nothing for them to get through to the mainstream audience. They would just be one of those great heavy bands. You know the OVERKILLs, the CARNIVOREs, one of those bands. I admit saying that. [Laughs] Nobody hears it all, all the time. Nobody sees it all. You get it sometimes, you completely miss it other times. Who knew that people's taste would become acclimated to that much heavier of a sound."

During a March 2019 installment of his "I Wanna Talk" podcast, Snider spoke extensively about METALLICA, including why he initially felt the band "wasn't going anywhere." Addressing METALLICA's musical and image changes that came about with the release of "Load", the TWISTED SISTER frontman said: "I'm not a day-one die-hard METALLICA fan, so I wasn't invested in 'Kill 'Em All' or 'Ride The Lightning' or 'Master Of Puppets' the way you hardcore fans are. And I understand, when you're that invested, how changes can bother you. 'Cause I'm an early QUEEN fan, and QUEEN started much heavier. They were always melodic, but they changed when you got to 'Fat Bottomed Girls' and 'Bicycle [Race]' and bullshit like that. And as an original QUEEN fan, I was disheartened — they had changed. So I could see where you hardcore METALLICA fans felt they were giving in to what was going on. And I've gotta say they and MEGADETH were the two bands that stood up against the grunge era. MEGADETH didn't give an inch, to their credit. PANTERA, by the way, didn't give an inch. But if you're talking about ones that were coming out of the '80s, METALLICA — they seemed to give an inch with their logo, they seemed to give an inch with their hairstyles, they seemed to… I don't wanna say they gave an inch musically. They musically changed a bit."

Snider continued: "Bands need to be allowed to grow, and the fans don't want you to. So, as an artist, your years are going by, and if you're still connected with music, you're growing and changing, things are happening. Fans have a real reluctance to allow that to happen. They don't wanna see those changes happen. Yet at the same time, bands have been accused of being stale and not growing and changing. So it's a real Catch-22 for the band. And personally, [I think] the 'Load' record was amazing. But then again, one of my favorite MOTÖRHEAD records is 'Another Perfect Day', which is hated by MOTÖRHEAD fans. And I'm a MOTÖRHEAD fan. But that record was amazing with [guitarist] Brian Robertson. But was it a MOTÖRHEAD record in the traditional sense. Absolutely not. Absolutely not. Some amazing stuff on there."

Dee went on to praise METALLICA for attaining massive commercial success without drastically altering its musical approach.

"There is no band more deserving of their success and they should be given that respect," Snider said. "Because if you're talking about breaking down the wall for metal and making true metal accepted by the masses, METALLICA did that for all of us. So, bravo."

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