DEE SNIDER Interview Page 2
by Bob Nalbandian
SW: So, what was the NY scene like in those days...mid '70s?
Dee: This is the history of Twisted Sister...Popular view was that the band was an 'overnight sensation,' or we 'caught on the wave of the glam resurgence and capitalized on it'. But, few people know that we were one of the bands who actually started it. In '73 was the original glam era...bands like The New York Dolls and KISS were playing the NY clubs...as was Twisted Sister, which only featured Jay Jay French at the time. It was a full-on glam/sleaze-rock band. Actually, Jay Jay was in a band called Wicked Lester with Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley for a short time. Jay Jay had left the band and Ace Freeley took his place, and they changed their name to KISS. Jay Jay then went on to form Twisted Sister. Now, Twisted plays the clubs, they open for bands like Mott The Hoople, but nothing really happens, so they break up in '74/'75. Then Jay Jay reforms the band in '76 and I come on board as vocalist. And I'm the metalhead/glam-rocker. Glam, at the time, had Rolling Stones-ish type riffs, but I'm bringing in Sabbath, AC/DC and Priest influences. Then, the bottom falls out of the glam market, yet we were refusing to let it go. I was younger than those guys, so I'm like, 'I don't give a shit if it's over, this is what I love!' We build up a huge audience in the suburbs, which was really the heartland for metal...that's the reason why metal broke out so big in LA a few years later...and we're packin' in the clubs, yet there was nothing going on as far as the recording industry. New Wave hits the market and no one cares about heavy rock. Yet we were still packing in 2-3,000 people per night! We did an outdoor show in '79 and drew 23,000 people! And KISS was at the Garden that night, and they didn't sell out. And we had no album. So, we get signed in '82, and around that same time Motley Crue starts getting into the glam thing. They all owned the early Twisted Sister singles. We were hanging on to this glam-metal thing before anybody was. Also, we were from the East Coast, all those other glam bands (Motley, Ratt, etc.) were from the west coast.
SW: The NY bands I remember, and who I was really into from that time was, of course, Twisted, and Riot, The Rods, Starz...
Dee: The Rods! They were great...David ROCK Feinstein! They had some great songs, but a horrible look...
SW: The funny thing is...I read about all those, and other American metal bands, in British magazines, like Kerrang! None of the US magazines or radio were hip to this music so we had to get all our info overseas. I remember Twisted Sister's first EP, "Rough Cuts," was originally released only in the UK. And even your first album, "Under The Blade," was huge in England, but only an underground cult record here in the States...Didn't Fast Eddie from Motorhead produce that album?
Dee: Actually, it was Pete Way from UFO who produced that. But Pete was in a band called Fastway, who originally had Fast Eddie on guitar (hence the name 'Fastway'). Fast Eddie played on the song "Tear It Loose" with Jay Jay. We were passed on by every record label five times over, and we were at the end of our ropes. We finally went to England and got signed to an indie deal. And we broke out of England with "You Can't Stop Rock N Roll". When we first came back over here, everyone thought we were English. Throughout the history of rock n roll, many bands...Hendrix, The Stray Cats, Joan Jett....had done that same thing. England is one of those little countries that has a huge influence on the rest of the world.
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