Vocalist Dee Snider (TWISTED SISTER) recently spoke with Pat Prince of the Goldmine magazine podcast. The full conversation can be streamed at this location. A few excerpts follow (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET).
On the forthcoming remastered reissue of TWISTED SISTER's "You Can't Stop Rock 'N' Roll":
Dee: "Jay Jay French [TWISTED SISTER guitarist] has such a passion for this stuff. In all honesty, I don't. I don't have a stereo. I don't collect stuff. I love the download world of digital and the handiness of everything on my phone, and I don't yearn for the past or these kind of things. Fortunately, there are a lot of people who do. I think I'm almost in a minority... Jay Jay's passion is so strong, and I trust him [from] so many years [of] working together. He works with Rhino and assembles these amazing packages. People, I don't know if they're fascinated with this stuff, or it has a childlike appeal, I think. With my new album, we had a box, and people were filming themselves opening it. There's a joy of quality to it that really brings out the kid in us, which is great. Everybody loves opening a present. Everybody loves tearing the paper off the present and opening that box and seeing what's inside."
On the TWISTED SISTER song "What You Don't Know (Sure Can Hurt You)":
Dee: "I've seen it referred to many times as one of the great opening songs of all time. It's funny — as a songwriter, it's the only song I ever wrote to a lighting plot. I had this idea because the band was being so quickly judged by the way we looked when we walked out on stage — 'What if we came out in silhouette, and you couldn't really tell what was going on until well into the song?' Then the lights would come on and you'd see what we would look like. It's pretty bombastic. It's an opener. It's the kind of song you really couldn't play in the middle of the show — it's got to open the show or nothing, and certainly, it became a really great moment for TWISTED."
On the crowd that saw the band perform at London's Marquee Club in 1983, a show from which several songs appear as live bonus tracks on the new reissue:
Dee: "It was an experience. For TWISTED, it was that next level of audience commitment — get as packed, as close, as tight as you can and become one with what was going on. We had already done some legendary, debilitating — for ourselves — shows [in London] in a heat wave, packed to the rafters on the hottest day, record-breaking temperatures. People were being carted away by EMTs. I, literally, from those shows, had emotional scars — any time we'd get hot, I would start panicking, because I had been so suffocated. It turned out the club owner was running the heat in the club to get people to drink more. These shows had become legend, because where we thought we had been defeated by the elements, the press the next day couldn't believe we were standing up. People were being carried away and we were up there rocking in this intense heat. By the time we rolled into these shows, they had to see this band. This was the launching platform. It was a celebration — it was a moment for us."
On the band's early days:
Dee: "We were creating a [large-scale] concert experience in the club environment. So many people have told me [about] walking in and we were so much larger than life. It seemed like we were from another planet. We were gigantic, and we knew how to grab the audience by the balls and take them for a ride. We took it around the world, and people were stunned. People would go, 'How did you get so good at handling a crowd?' I said, '50,000 people at Donington is easy compared to one-dollar beer night at The Osprey on the Jersey shore. That's a tough room. If you can control that room, you can handle anything. We were projecting this idea that we were something to be seen, something that you needed to keep back from."
On whether he prefers intimate club shows or performing before larger crowds:
Dee: "The bigger the audience, the happier I am, because I can command it, I can reach them, and I can entertain them. I'm not afraid. Jay Jay? He loves those bar days. Oh my God. That's, like, the glory days."
On how he feels about releasing unused B-sides:
Dee: "I'm kind of mortified by them, actually — a lot of them. When I heard 'Club Daze'... I mean, the B-tracks on 'Stay Hungry', the extra tracks on 'You Can't Stop Rock 'N' Roll', I'm fine with those, and I love those. But Jay Jay... I think we [are] the Tupac Shakur of metal bands. In our demise, they'll be more product. I'm going, 'Where are we getting this stuff?' I listen to things like 'Club Daze', and I'm like, 'Oh my God.' They're my songs, and I'm going, 'No wonder we didn't get signed.' As far as I'm concerned, as a writer, as a craftsman, I'm realizing, 'Oh, shit — I was really perfecting my art at that point,' so I'm kind of mortified to hear these things, but I know that [there are] people who love them because they're part of the journey, and this is the developmental process. It's like seeing a high school yearbook picture. People see value in that.
"A song on my new [solo] record is called 'Tomorrow's No Concern'. It's my general philosophy that I don't live in the past, and I'm more interested in showing you what I'm working on at the moment. Even though it hasn't sold anything, it's my passion [and] it's my focus. That said, it doesn't make me any less proud of what we did, what we achieved and where I've been. It's made me who I am, and I love it."
On the song he's most proud of writing:
Dee: "People ask me, 'You wrote all these songs. What's your favorite?' I pick 'You Can't Stop Rock 'N' Roll', of TWISTED songs. To me, it's the most defining of the band. It is an anthem, but it's very metallic, which some people lost sight of once we had the hits. The statement in and of itself. Virtually every review of my new [solo] album ends with the line, 'You can't stop rock 'n' roll, and Dee has just proved it once again.' It is that battle cry."
Snider's new solo album, "For The Love Of Metal", was released on July 27 via Napalm Records. The disc, produced by Jamey Jasta (HATEBREED), 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).
Rhino will reissue a 35th anniversary expanded 2CD edition of TWISTED SISTER's "You Can't Stop Rock 'N' Roll" on September 14. The package includes three bonus tracks — "One Man Woman", "Four Barrel Heart Of Love" and "Feel The Power" — as well as the bonus disc "Live At The Marquee 1983".
"Live at The Marquee 1983" was recorded at a pair of shows that took place in March of that year at London's famous Marquee Club. Among the tunes played were renditions of nearly all the songs from TWISTED SISTER's indie debut, 1982's "Under The Blade", as well as covers of THE SHANGRI-LAS' "Leader Of The Pack" and SHIRLEY AND LEE's R&B classic "Let The Good Times Roll".