Pat Prince of Goldmine magazine recently conducted an interview with TWISTED SISTER frontman Dee Snider. A couple of excerpts from the chat follow below.
Goldmine: “Under the Blade” (1982) was a great album. It has been said that the production wasn’t very good but I love the raw sound.
Snider: You’re not alone. There is definitely a body of people — and I’m not one of them — who feel that “Under the Blade” is the best record that TWISTED SISTER ever did. It certainly speaks to the time. To me, my favorite is “You Can’t Stop Rock and Roll”. I’m not speaking against “Under the Blade”, I’m just saying I don’t think it’s the best thing we ever did. I think that we were just getting comfortable with the studio and understanding what recording was, you know, the process. There’s a live environment and then there’s a studio environment and you’ve got to master each. I know there’s a whole argument where people say ‘why should it be different in the studio?’ But the answer is: people are sitting in their bedrooms or cars and not drinking a beer and jumping up and down like in a live environment. It’s a different environment and you have to recognize that, you’ve got to create the right sound for the experience. People alone in a bedroom as opposed to packed in a concert hall having a couple of beers and your rocking your ass off. So “Under the Blade”, by many, is considered to be the best thing we ever did. I think it also plays to the whole new age of heavy metal. A lot of people don’t know but we were at the forefront there, at the time touring with the METALLICAs and the ANTHRAXs and the MAIDENs … all those bands of that sound and that stuff. It reflects that time, when we were in the trenches, so to speak.
Goldmine: Do you still listen to vinyl? Do you still have all the TWISTED albums — the EP, the singles, the original issues — on vinyl?
Snider: No, no, I’m not a vinyl guy. I don’t have a stereo. I’ve got an iPod and I’ve got an intercom system in the house that has a CD player in it — which I don’t ever use except for Christmas music. I don’t listen to music too much. Like I said, I’m working on a gazillion other things and there’s too much noise going on in my head. People say, “How can you sit here in silence?” and I say, “I’m not in silence. There is so much noise in my head.” But I saved all the old stuff. I don’t fanatically collect my own stuff. I’m proud of my past, very proud, I have no regrets — maybe a regret here and there, some things I would have done differently — but I’m not one of those people who looks back and goes I’m embarrassed by my past. Years ago in Metal Edge, they used to do a thing where they’d ask a question and then print the answers from all different artists. (One time) the question was “When you see your old pictures who do you think?” And every single heavy metal guy was apologizing. “It wasn’t my idea. Everybody was doing it. The manager made us dress like that. I feel stupid …” Bah, bah, bah, and it gets to Dee Snider and it’s “I think I look cool.” That’s what I said. You know why I look cool? I wasn’t following anybody. I wasn’t trying to emulate anybody. Nobody was making me. I was doing what I wanted to do and saying “fuck the rest of you.” I was defining the era, not following. So I look back proudly. Right now I just signed a book deal with Simon Schuster and I’m in the middle of writing my book. The talk is to release it this fall. Right now it looks like it’s going to be about the rise and fall of Dee Snider. Basically, how I wanted be a rock star, what it took to get there, my struggle and then ultimately taking a tremendous fall, a devastating fall. Obviously I’ve come back from it but I think people will take inspiration from it. It’s inspiring and it’s a cautionary tale. So I’m working on that. And I’ve signed on to do a new record. I’ll preface this by saying, no, it’s not metal. It’s called “Dee Does Broadway”. I’m taking Broadway show tunes and I’m making them rock. It’s sort of a “Twisted Christmas” taken to Broadway. But there are some pretty metallic moments there, I’ll tell you. “Sweeney Todd” translates into a metal song amazingly — bass, drums, guitar — so some of the songs are really metallic, but it’s a rock record. I’m doing it as a solo artist. I’m working on that.
Read the entire interview from Goldmine.