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For The Love Of Metal: An Exclusive Interview With DEE SNIDER

By Ruben Mosqueda, We Go To 11
Monday, July 20, 2020 @ 12:15 AM

"Anyone that leaves a ‘legacy’ band and goes out on their own always hopes to make a name for themselves as a solo artist. It’s very difficult and most people never achieve it. It’s just so hard to overshadow your past."

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Photo Credit: Stephanie Cabral
Live Photo Credit: John Raptis

For The Love of Metal LiveDEE SNIDER proudly of his new concert audio/video package. KNAC.COM spoke to Snider on July 14th, who is promoting the new For The Love of Metal Live CD/DVD/Blu-Ray package due on July 31st via Napalm Records. We cover the new concert release, social media, film and more. Enjoy the interview.

KNAC.COM: You have a new album/Blu Ray that has a great balance of TWISTED [SISTER] and solo stuff. It’s titled For The Love of Metal Live.

SNIDER: That’s right. My management thinks I’m Nostradamus or something because back in 2019, I told them that I wouldn’t be doing any shows in 2020! [laughs] And that I would release a live album! [laughs] So now they’re looking at me and asking, ”What do you see for the stock market Dee”? [laughs] Since I wasn’t planning on doing any shows this year, we filmed last year’s concerts. We’re going from ‘A’ to ‘B’ with this record. We know what I did before For The Love of Metal and this live album and concert helps connect the dots when you hear it all played together. In all fairness, it is detuned. I also chose a lot of the songs that showed off TWISTED’s ‘metal’ side.

When we started, people now know because they’ve seen our documentary We Are TWISTED Fucking SISTER! The band had been together since 1973, by the early 80s when we were touring with METALLICA, [IRON] MAIDEN, SAXON, MOTORHEAD...it wasn’t called ‘hair metal’ it was just ‘metal’. No one thought anything about TWISTED playing with METALLICA. No one thought that it was strange, no one thought that IRON MAIDEN and TWISTED playing together was strange, it was just a ‘metal’ show. It wasn’t until the late 80s that it was branded as ‘hair metal’. Suddenly, there were a lot of these bands shown smiling and stuff. Then it was ‘happy metal’, it was ‘happy metal’! [laughs] That’s when the change happened. TWISTED had a very ‘metallic’ side. On For The Love of Metal Live I’m showing off my past and my present on this one.

KNAC.COM: This is a brilliant move in the sense that when fans pick up the live package and they like the solo stuff from For The love of Metal, they can track down that solo album.

SNIDER: [pause] Yeah, you know...For The Love of Metal was a miracle for me. Anyone that leaves a ‘legacy’ band and goes out on their own always hopes to make a name for themselves as a solo artist. It’s very difficult and most people never achieve it. It’s just so hard to overshadow your past. I think OZZY [OSBOURNE]“Paranoid” and good night! That’s the dream! I did DESPERADO, WIDOWMAKER, I had a Halloween rock opera called Van Helsing’s Curse, I did a Broadway record, I have been trying to find the DEE SNIDER for the new millennium and nothing was connecting. With For The Love of Metal I saw an immediate connection, from the day that I released the album to when I began to perform the music live, people were invested in it. I would go backstage and be like, ”Wow. The people in the crowd were singing along with the new songs! They were singing along with the songs”! I couldn’t believe it! I have seen people like PAUL MACARTNEY talk about that glassy eyed look that people get when they say, “And here’s one of the new songs”! [laughs] They’ll either head to the bathroom or stand there with a blank stare on their face! So to have that reaction from the audience was a major achievement. So, now with the album we can connect those dots, new music, new band and they can witness how it works.

KNAC.COM: You have a new cut on the new live package. Was “Prove Me Wrong” a song that you had in the vaults from the For The Love of Metal sessions or was it written specifically for this collection?

SNIDER: I’m really glad you asked that question, Napalm [Records] asked if I had any outtakes from For The Love of Metal. I did not. I then offered to write something new and we could record it. They were like, ”That’s even better”! The message behind the song “Prove Me Wrong” is that this is DEE SNIDER. This is what you can expect from me going forward. I found my place, I found my sound and thank you JAMEY JASTA for your guidance!

KNAC.COM: You mentioned JAMEY JASTA. Metal fans are aware of his work with HATEBREED, like them or not. He’s good at what he does. Would Jamey have a hand in any new music you do going forward?

SNIDER: Oh yeah, if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it! [laughs] Jamey produced, he was involved with the arrangements and the writing. I’m just so happy for Jamey, we become defined by the band we are known for. If you’re lucky enough to be known for something, you're blessed. In the meantime, we are often limited by that very thing. Jamey has range, he can do more than what he’s known for. He brought so much to the table in the creation of For The Love of Metal, I will absolutely work with him again. I can say this right now, the next record JAMEY JASTA will be producing.

KNAC.COM: When you launched the album For The Love of Metal, I recall you did a performance on the Fox & Friends show. It aired live really early in the morning out here on the West Coast and I recorded it to watch later. Anyway, that band you used on that was a different band than the band that’s on the live package, isn’t it?

SNIDER: [pause] You know I don’t remember who I used on Fox & Friends! [laughs] I really don’t remember! [laughs] You stumped me! [laughs]

KNAC.COM: The reason I ask is because I’m wondering if you’re using different bands if you’re touring Europe or South America or North America.

SNIDER: Oh that, yeah that was management. I had two shows there around Christmastime and management said, ”Well, no sense in bringing the band over, we have some great musicians over there that you can use. They’ll learn the songs and it will be great”. So I went over and we did the two shows, but I have to tell you that became the ‘spare parts’ band! [laughs] My bass player Russ Pezzuto who is in my band now, we were heading to South America and his passport had expired. Well, you need 6 months lead time but he didn’t know! He couldn’t make the show so we flew in one of the ‘spare parts’ out of Sweden, we dropped him in and he played the gig. That was back in 2018 when that happened. In 2019, my sidemen then became my band. CHARLIE BELLMORE and NICKY BELLMORE, Nicky played drums on the album, he engineered and mixed the album. Charlie did most of the guitar tracks and a lot of the song writing. I made them the cornerstone of my band, the more we played together the more it started to become a band. My wife Suzette has known me forever and she is very honest. She looked at me one day after watching our performance and said, “You know, they’re not much to look at, but they kick fucking ass”!!! [bursts into laughter] When she said that I was like, “Yeah they do. They do kick ass”. It was right then and there I knew this was the band. On the live DVD I really tried to spotlight their talent because they are great musicians and this is a great opportunity for fans to see just how talented they are.

KNAC.COM: I’m a huge fan of Strangeland. I don’t think that film got a fair shake back when it was released. Have you thought of doing a reboot of that or have you been approached about doing a reboot of that?

SNIDER: I’m glad you appreciated it. It was ‘groundbreaking’, it was the first ‘Rated-R’ film for scenes of torture. The ‘horror-torture’ genre didn’t exist until Strangeland came around, I’ve been told it was an inspiration for Saw and for Hostel, so those films probably wouldn't have been made if it wasn’t for Strangeland. It was ahead of its time and it had ‘cult status’. I have been invited to go to horror conventions and to do Q&As because of that film. There have been so many false starts with the sequel, which has been very disappointing to me. My new venture is directing. I was supposed to be directing my first feature film, a movie that I wrote called My Enemy’s EnemyStrangeland sequel made. It’s been close to 20 years since we got the green light to do it. I was given the okay to do it shortly after the first film was released, then the company was indicted by the federal government and they shut down! [laughs] I then went through a long and ugly process of getting the rights back to the movie. So thank you for asking, I’m hoping to open some doors to finally get that sequel made.

KNAC.COM: What is your favorite social media platform and why?

SNIDER: The one that I’m most active on is Twitter. It was my first one, I’m also on Facebook and Instagram and I have a loyal following on those too. Twitter would be my favorite I think, because it just has this ease of use. It’s also got this immediacy of reaction. I liken it to back in the day when you were on the radio and you talked about something and you reacted, so the phones would light up. It’s that immediacy of something that you said and it connected with people. I see a lot of that on Twitter, there’s responses, there’s likes and there’s shares. I use Twitter as a rule, though I often wonder what I’m missing out on by not being as active on some of the other platforms.

KNAC.COM: I don’t think you’re missing much on the other platforms. I do follow you on Twitter and I do love reading some of the stuff you post or share on there. You stand for what you believe in and you certainly don’t back down.

SNIDER: I will say that there is an exchange of ideas on there. I think that’s something that has been lost and I’m trying to encourage more of that. I think things have been getting a lot more political lately as we get closer and closer to the election. I think it’s time to take a position, but having said that, I’m trying to keep the conversation going. There are times where people come back really fixed on their position, I do a quick ‘troll’ on them. I’m big on ‘trolling’ them! [laughs] I look and I see what they are about. I’m like, ”Crap! They’ve been to Sturgis! I’ve been to Sturgis! They ride a bike! I ride a bike! They love the freedom of riding and the camaraderie and the unity”. We are so similar and we have so much in common, but where is the ‘unity’? We should be able to talk about this, rather than to scream at each other.

KNAC.COM: Who was the first celebrity that you ever met? What did you take from that encounter that helped you in engaging your fans down the road?

SNIDER: Wow! What an interesting question. It had a ‘massive’ effect on me, just ‘massive’. BILLY JOEL. It was before TWISTED made it, we were this local phenomenon, but BILLY JOEL was BILLY JOEL. It was at a party, I remember RITCHIE BLACKMORE was there too. RITCHIE BLACKMORE was so weird, standoffish, odd, he wouldn’t look you in the eye, he was mumbly, he shook your hand like it was a wet fish! I wasn’t famous then. BILLY JOEL was gracious, self deprecating and open. I remember there was one of the radio stations in New York City that was having a ‘subway campaign’. I took one of the posters and brought it to the party because I knew he would be there. I presented it to him to sign, he looked at it and said, ”I’m surprised somebody didn’t draw a mustache on this”? [laughs] I said, “What”?! He said, ”Oh, I would have definitely have drawn a mustache on this”! [laughs] He changed me that day. I said to myself, ”This is how I want to be around fans”. When he walked away the general consensus was “Wow! What a cool guy”! It was a huge contrast from when Blackmore walked away and everyone was like, ”Wow! What a diiiiiiiiick’! I knew what I wanted people to say when I walked away---what a cool guy. That experience changed me forever.

Official Twitter: https://twitter.com/deesnider
Official Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/facedeesnider/
Official Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/deesnider/
Official Website: https://deesnider.com/

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