Dee Snider - Diamonds In The Dust? Page 3
By Martin Popoff

So who are the SMF's? "The most pre-eminent person in the project at this time was A.J. Pero, from Twisted Sister. He wasn't the original SMF drummer; that was Charlie Mills who's now in Skid Row and who are out on the road with Kiss right now. But A.J. Pero played drums. Derek Tailer is on bass. He's the guy who was second runner-up for the replacement bass player in Widowmaker. And I remembered him later on when I was doing the SMF thing, how good he was, and on guitar, Tony Palmucci; you might recognize that name. He was on one or two Keel records, and he was also with Baton Rouge for an album. And then there's Dan McCafferty, a guitar player, not the Nazareth guy (laughs)."

One of the stamps found within Twisted Sister material definitely on board for Bastards is Dee's well-conceived philosophy of stripped-down writing fueled by double-charging guitars. Simple, to the point, always striving for the anthemic. Did the production credo from his old band carry through to this project? "There was definitely fewer takes. That is something that the producer, Denny McNerney, a childhood friend of mine, wanted. His biggest claim to fame was - besides that he worked for Twisted, he was always on our demos and stuff - he engineered the first Sevendust record. But Denny and I, because we are the same age and we grew up at the same time, we both had the same regiment hammered into us. It was really hard to get him to say, 'it's rock n roll, it has a feel, let's forget about how picture perfect every track is.' It was definitely more live. And another thing is I took the restraints off of my band."

"Material-wise, there are a few things from Twisted; three tracks," explains Dee, digging into the material. "'Call My Name' and 'Our Voice Will Be Heard' were out-takes from the Stay Hungry record. They were almost-rans from that album. And I thought they would have interest because that was Twisted's biggest record. And that's when I started writing a lot more material for records. And lyrically 'Call My Name' mirrored that desperation for recognition, public recognition. And then when you get to 'Hardcore', which is Lemmy's song, a tribute to him and all he stands for, that was from the Love Is For Suckers sessions. And then you get onto the Desperado years. I would say Bernie and I hooked up in '88, but it wasn't until '89 that we started the band rehearsals. We were originally on Atlantic Records, and then we got off Atlantic and we continued to rehearse and we went over to Elektra, so it was a couple of years. So we started writing in 1988 and we didn't stop writing. I mean, we had a hundred songs and the album we finished got shelved due to record company politics."

In any event, whatever Dee's got cooking in the back of his busy mind (he's got the rights back to the Desperado album, for example), Never Let The Bastards Wear You Down is a fascinating look at the writing process of the man through many years, all brought into the modern day through a smoking band, somewhat interestingly molded in the Twisted tradition.