Dee Snider strikes a pose!
We did a 20 Questions with day back in December of 2002 and the interview was a hit. Dee did a phoner back then, and he did another phoner a few weeks back to bring us up to speed on Twisted Sister, Van Helsings Curse, his Halloween costume, his TV show and more. The following transcript (minus some off the record friendly chat) was an hour or so, and Dee was a great guy once again. Read on and enjoy…
1. The last time we talked with you was
2. A Dee Snider Halloween costume, for real? How does that work. Do they offer you a deal like a label, and if it sells 500,000 costumes, do you get a Gold costume on a plaque?
(more laughter from
Sludge. What comes in the costume bag?
There’s 3 pieces, a wig bag, a costume bag, which really looks like a Johhny human torch outfit from the old Saturday Night live, it’s a bunch of rags, pink and black rags. And a make-up bag. But they suck you in, you don’t get all 3 together.
Sludge. No plastic bone?
No (laughing) I totally though they should have a fucking bone in there too. Yeah, that would’ve been a good thing.
3. In your 20?s with Sludge we asked you to rate Alice Cooper as a vocalist.
you said: "he sounds as great as he ever sounded, pretty much, you know,
I’d say 9. And I’m a big
you ask him for an autograph?
Oddly, and this is really weird. I just did a VH1 classic show for Thanksgiving. And they have fans writing in asking questions. And one of the questions was what song changed you. You know that song that touched your soul, and changed you. What artist. And it was
But I also had my era of being an asshole. I look back and say, fuck man, you were out of your fucking mind, what were you thinking? We use to, ahh, no one could watch us during sound check. We would empty the coliseum, ALL personal, they could be out in the hall, but no one in. Including the opening bands. Dokken will tell a story, about sneaking in to our sound check. Crawling up in the top of the arena, and me going I see you up there, freaking out, I see you up there Dokken. Get the fuck out of here. I was fucking nutz. So, I been down that road you know, but at the same time, I’ve subjected myself to my own stupidity from somebody else.
4. Van Helsing Curse has some dates coming up. October is scarry, and Van Helsing’s Curse is scarry too. But, is it scarrier than Van Halen with Gary Cherone or Hell itself?
Van Halen mach III. I don’t know what Eddie was thinking. He must of thought he was Ritchie Blackmore. Cause Rithchie today, was the only guitar player/band leader, who was able to replace lead singers, repeatedly. And have continued success. Deep Purple, 3 lead vocalists, hit, hit, hit. Rainbow, 4 different lead vocalists, hit, hit, hit, hit. The fucking guys is unbelievable. I guess Eddie figured, it worked with Sammy, I can, I could do it with anybody. Gary Cherone? And you know what? To
5. Rate these 80s bands names on a scale of 1-10. A 1 being a waste of syllables, and a 10 being finely orchetsrated letters that take the reader and listener to a place of rock worship?
Grim Reaper = 8
Sleez Beez = 4
Metal Church = 8
Pretty Boy Floyd = (pauses) I give that an 8. I think the Ugly Kid Joe as the antidote to that was hysterical.
Nuclear Assault = That’s a 7
Enuff Z’nuff = Sorry dudes. I love Enuff Z’nuff, there one of those bands, so fucking talented, and it didn’t happen but the name just sorta laid there. That’s a 3.
Jag Panzer = That’s a 2. (laughing)
Trixter = Oh man, that’s just a 4.
Widowmaker = Widowmaker was so good. That I used it, I borrowed it from a band previous to me. I thought that was a fucking 10. And umm, as odd as it is, there was a Widowmaker with Aerial Bender from Mott the Hoople, and Bob Daisley on bass guitar. And they did nothing. Much like there was a Trixter before Trixter, and a Skid Row before Skid Row. And uhh, the last thing I thought was that I would use the name Widowmaker. Cause I wrote a song called The Widowmaker. And some Producer said why don’t you use that name, it’s a great name. Well I said there was already a band with that name, and he said, did they sell any records? And I said no. So I got my bass player
Roxy Blue = (long pause) Roxy Blows. That’s a 1.
6. You have a show, Meet The Snider’s running on VH-1. Tell us about that and did you see Jani Lane of Warrant on VH1’s Celebrity Fit Club?
Wow. Okay, umm…Meet the Sniders is what they call a Spilot. A special pilot. And you know Vh1 and Viacom, doesn’t do anything without controlling, buying the rights upfront, to anything that might happen. And the idea, was like if it does well….we’ll open it up into a series. So we shot the thing, reality tv is not reality. Not that we’re being fake or phony, or whatever, were not, what you saw is what we are. But they give you a list, and ask what are some of the things your family does? And you’ll give a list, and they’ll go…well ummm, Wednesday we want the Family to go to the Mall together. So, that means I don’t do any of my normal work, we pull the kids out of school, all the normal things we usually do, and now the rare all 6 Snider family members together in 1 vehicle traveling to the mall happens like twice a year, and now it happens on August 17th at 2:pm. It’s non reality, and then you walk into the mall and you got a camera crew following you. So people usually react when I walk in, now it’s really stupid cause they call ahead, and there is security, It’s not reality.
But after the show aired, and they keep repeating that Spilot, they call me up and say we got good news and bad news. Good news is, ratings are great, people love your family. So, I sad what’s the bad news? We don’t think it’s a series, you guys get a long too good. I said what are you talking about? Your kids think you’re cool, you and your wife have been together 27 years, they said, there is no conflict. We need someone in rehab, we need a Danny Bonaduche. So my response was sorry I can’t be a bigger asshole for you, but ahh, you know I can live without a reality show.
On to Jani Lane. Man it’s sad. It’s so, he is so gone. And he has not been able to deal with the reality of a career ending. You know, I’ve seen it, and he’s tormented, and to see him guzzling down the booze in a couple of scenes there. I didn’t watch a lot of it, but I did see a couple bits of it, I seen him on the road, and you know he got so upset when I said in the press (on
7. We hear that MTV just crashed your pad and filmed a Cribs. How was that and did they ask you to have any fake shit lined up for show like the Rappers, or was it all your toys?
No, no, everything you see there is mine. And I got some sweet stuff there, I got a few bikes, some custom bikes, I’ve got a Viper, a H2 an old Mustang. So those are all our cars you see there. No fake shit at all. Umm, and ahh, it was real weird in the sense that they were there for 9 hours for a 6 and half minutes. You’re walking around and showing ‘em your shit, and saying I got this award for being the biggest band in Indonesia, you know, and I ask how long is this show gonna be? And they go 6 and half minutes. And I go, what the fuck are you gonna show in 6 and half minutes? So I’m speeding through the house, then, but you’ll get to see the Snider. The interesting thing is, I’ll try to talk about this which isn’t featured, is that there are the OZZY level rock stars. And then there is that other level, who have done well for ourselves, but we’re not living in mansions. You know we’re living nice you know. You’ll see my house, and say you’re fucking living great. But they think, they saw you on MTV, you’re set for life, and you’re being chauffeured around in a limo. And it just, ain’t like that.
I fell, horribly and lost everything. The 90s were brutal. And I wasn’t drunk or stoned. It was self inflicted and I can’t blame anybody but my own stupidity. But umm, I’ve come back thru radio, and TV, and the music that I do, and the different projects that I’m involved in. I’m doing really well for myself now, and I don’t have to make any apologies. But at the same time I know, there are people out there who expect, oh gee, I thought he’d be in, well he lives in a nice residential neighborhood? I expected it to be on a mountain top somewhere, In a castle. Sorry to disappoint you dude, I’m just living happily ever after.
8. Kill, fuck, merry. (Paul Gargano, Paula Abdul, Abdul Jabar)
Okay, umm, okay…who the fuck is Paul Gargano?
Sludge. Paul is/was the editor for Metal Edge after Gerri Miller.
Oh, okay, I know Paul. I’m thinking the singer from Rough Cutt what was his name?
Sludge. Paul Shortino?
Shortino, Yeah, Yeah, but I never met that dude. Okay kill, fuck, merry. I got to, I got to kill Paul, because I wouldn’t want to fuck or merry him. Fuck Paula, cause I certainly ain’t marrying her, and merry Abdul, Kareem, or whatever, cause he would be able to take care of me in the manner I’m accustom too.
9. You mentioned Disturbed as being a nu-breed fave of yours in the first interview. They have now lost 2 of the original members for whatever reason, and have decided to not include the new guys in the new press shots. So there magazine covers and so on, are only the 3 original members. Also, KORN has replaced a guitarist and informed the new guy that he can’t be on stage with them, because Jonathan Davis says: "We don’t want to use samples or tape, ’cause that would suck. We are not ready to have a new guy on stage with us." What is your take on replacing guys, but then giving them the rodie treatment?
Yeah. You know they’re taking there cues from the Rolling Stones and Bon Jovi. So, you know, whatever. I don’t, (laughing) I mean, you buy into that, I mean there are people that view it as a band, Metallica gets that. You know, the whole time I left Twisted, I never tried to go out as Twisted, without the guys in Twisted. Because, you know there was people that would say, you were Twisted Sister, you wrote the songs, no one even knows the other guys, but Twisted was a band. And there is something to be said with that.. if they don’t get that, if they don’t see that, then that’s, whatever. I really don’t give a shit. From where I’m sitting, if you’re going out as a solo act, that’s one thing, but if you’re going out as a band, you wanna create band vibe. You wanna bring in that bass player, let people see him, and know him. Otherwise, if he ain’t good enough, he shouldn’t fucking be there. You man, if fucking Queen can bring that crazy bastard they got in there, have you seen that new bass player? Oh my God! He’s called the bass guru, he’s probably one of the most amazing bass players in the world. He looks kind of like a turtle with a bandana on. Okay? And they found him doing one of those Queen shows in Vegas. We will rock you.
Dee says "Twisted was a band…if you’re going out
as a band, you wanna create band vibe. "
10. Pick your Poison…..
Boo Berry or Franken
The Go Go’s or The Goo Goo Dolls = Fucking Go Go’s man.; I can’t believe the Goo Goo Dolls are still, like still big. Weren’t they a hair metal band? Now they mutated into, like this pop, it’s crazy. I don’t respect that. So, I’ll go with the Go Go’s.
Spongebob Squarepants or Crackhead Bob = Squarepants, they covered “I wanna rock” in the movie, and changed the words to “Goofy Gooba rock.” They called and asked to re-record it and change the words. I said what? They wanna what? And then I asked how much? They said
$ 150,000.00. I said okay, okay. So, they did it, and made it a really true, 80s style version right down to the guitar solo. So with the exception of the words changing, they did a real authentic version.
Dokken or Devo = Ahh, Dokken.
Pamela Anderson or Lonnie Anderson = I’m going with Pam. Lonnie had it going on, but Lonnie was my Fathers dream girl. He had a poster of her hanging on his wall in his office, and a little quote my mother had cut out from an Ann Landers article that said it doesn’t matter where you get your appetite as long as you eat at home. Kind of put me off on Lonnie.
Insane Clown Posse or KISS = Ahh, KISS. Yeah, KISS. They’re at least the real deal in what they’re doing.
Hugh Hefner or Larry Flynt = Hugh
Hulf Hogan or Randy Macho Man Savage = The Mancho Man. Even though Hulk was a Twisted fan. I saw one of the greatest matches of my life was at Wrestlemania whatever in the 80s. Randy Macho Man against Ricky Steamboat, unbelieveable match, that dude put everything into it.
Surfing the InterNet or Channel Surfing on TV = Neither.
11. What was the biggest crowd you’ve ever played for in recent years?
We played for the biggest crowd we ever played for. We headlined Whacken (
12. Here is your choice, your neck and throat will be slit if you don’t join Nelson as the long lost third brother. You will record, take part in stage choreography and tour wearing floor length powder blue coats. To save your throat, you must join the band. Do you join Nelson or not?
(Dee is laughing) I grab the knife and slit my own throat.
13. Motley just re-did "Home Sweet Home" with the
Ahh, yes. Yes. On the Twisted Forever tribute CD, Chuck D from Public Enemy, did a rap version of “Wake up the sleeping giant” and blew me away when he was quoted as saying: “If there was no Twisted Sister, there would not have been a Public Enemy.” Turns out that he use to come see us in our bar days, and those are truly the real days, when we were the angriest band in the world. And he said that the rebellion that he saw, coming from us inspired him. And created, and helped him create what became Public Enemy. And the rebellious nature of that band, I was so blown away.
14. Some fans on the boards have seen the Motley Crue re-union shows, and are saying that Mick looks like he’s barely alive. Like it’s a weekend at Bernies deal. Do you think there is a chance that Mick is dead and they got the guitar on tape like Warrant use to?
No chance he’s dead. But man, you know, I haven’t seen it, I’ve heard about it, I’ve heard about that every fifteen minutes they’re taken these breaks. You know it seems that they film the girls, and they clown around, but it seems like they’re almost deliberate breaks, cause Mick goes off stage. And then they come back after a little while, and get back into some more songs. You know I feel for the dude, he has a degenerative back disease or something like that. I think it’s AWESOME that the Crue guys went to the lengths that they have, to, you know, make it happen. Going back to what we talked about earlier, it’s a band, to bring him out, and I haven’t seen it, but I heard that the guy was practically living in a room on a mattress, and to help him get well and to get him financially set, you know, was awesome of the band guys. I feel for him.
15. Memory Lane
1960 = Florida, my family moved to
1965 = Marjorie Green. A girl in my 3rd grade class that I had a crush on.
1970 = My Father shaved my head. The last time I got a real haircut. It was the most humiliating experience of my whole life. He took me to a barber, and made him give me a crewcut.
1975 = Tough year. Moved back home, left my band, working on the loading dock, in a department store, and being goofed on for telling people I was telling I was gonna be a rcok star one day. 1976 I joined Twisted Sister, so…
1980 = Just sluggin’ it out with Twisted in the bars. You know, it was four years in, and going FUCK. Is anything ever gonna happen.
1985 = Twisted ridin’ high, but starting to suspect, that we may be cresting. And also the Senate hearings.
1990 = Crashing and burning financially, and realizing, that I was starting over.
1995 = Just starting to come out of the slump. Of the ugliness, of the demise of Twisted Sister and my career crashing and burning.
2000 = Starting to kick ass again.
2005 = Amazed, at how known I am, once again. It’s amazing, everywhere I go, it’s nearly like it was in 1984. It’s just like, everybody knows me, and recognizes me, you know, I’m a celebrity again.
16. Rumor has it the very name Krokus will turn your stomach? Yes, no, why?
Abso-fucking-lutely man. It’s in my contract with House of Hair, that we will not play Krokus. My wife Suzette is a costume maker. She did Twisted’s stuff, and she did some other people, as occasionally she’d get a gig. And back in 1983 I think it was, or 1982 she was hired to make costumes for Krokus. Now I’m over seas, with Twisted. And this is in the lean days, we’re practically living over there. And she goes to meet the guys in Krokus and their manager at the airport to drop off some of their costumes and stuff. My wife is 5’3” and 110lbs, and she has my son who is a few months old in her arms. She goes to the airport, she gives the guys the costumes, and she says can I have my check? And Krokus manger says, NO we’re not paying you. She says what are you talking about, you owe me money. Fifteen hundred dollars, or three thousand dollars whatever it was, and he goes yeah, but we’re not paying you. She goes well I’m not going to give you the rest of your costumes, there is a couple more pieces. And the manager with the band standing there, says oh you’re going to give us the costumes, and we’re not paying you anymore money. And if you don’t, we’re going to have you taken care of. This is my 5’3” wife, with a 3 month old in her arms. So, she leaves, and calls me up. I’m over seas, I’m freaking out, and it’s just you know, Mother fucker, blah, blah, blah. My wife’s family is connected to the mob, they were about to make a call, and I said hey, you don’t kill people over fifteen hundred dollars Grandma. Cause her uncle, was Huey Apples, Hugh Macinintosh, he was the enforcer of the Perseco crime family. Wheel, deal, good fellas no bullshit. I can’t justify that.
So now, I come back. And this is weird and it’s where it really gets fucking brutal, Because, Twisted has no tour. And we have no support over in the
17. What was your biggest ever musical related check for, and what did you buy with it?
Quarter million. Ahh, and I used it to buy a house.
18. Name something good and something bad about
The good thing is all the attention it’s giving to all these artists. The only thing bad is the reaction of some those artists. I can’t fault you guys for fucking around, and having fun with it. You gotta laugh at yourself you know. You can’t be so fucking serious. And some of my peers are so painfully serious, it blows my mind. I think people need to stop believing their own hype, and lighten up. That’s the shame, is that some people take everything too seriously.
19. Word Association Part II..
Blackie Lawless = Cool guy, good friend.
Eddie Trunk = True metal fan.
JJ French = Good friend, again.
Al Petrelli = Amazing. Underrated guitar player!
Rikki Rocket = (
Kid Rock = Amazing performer.
Paul Gargano = (laughing again) I don’t actually hate Paul.
AJ Pero = Under rated drummer.
GG Allin = Ate his own shit? That’s all I really know about him.
Jason Flom = Didn’t sign Twisted, but wanted to.
20. The very Last of Dee Snider…
Last fast food drive thru you hit = MacDonalds
Last time you deposited a check for over 100k = Last week
Last country you couldn’t wait to leave = It was fucking
Last time you saw Motley Crue live = never.
Last time you punched someones face = Officially, my son Cody is claiming that, now my wife is claiming that. I was kind of punching my son in the shoulder, and he squatted down and he took it on the chin. So now he walks around telling everyone that I punched him in the face. And my wife, and I were in a parking lot, and a car came racing, so I went to quick grab her and accidentally punched her in the face. So, officially it was 1984 Worcester Mass. We were opening for Dio, jumped off the stage, guy threw a bottle at me. Um, and the next fucking morning, I got a call from my accountant, my lawyer, my manager, telling me I’m out of my fucking mind you can’t be doing that anymore. So now people seem to actually like me, and fortunately I don’t have to deal with that shit anymore.
Last 80s CD you listened to = Judas Priest, the new Priest album, Fucking amazing!
Last time you turned down an autograph seeker = When I was with my family on vacation. We have a little rule, when we’re with the family. I always sign, always. But when we’re at Universal, I have to say sorry guys, I’m with my family and I promised them to be Dad today & not Twisted Sister.
Last time you lost your voice = I had laryngitis a few years ago and missed some voice over work.
Last time you cried = The funeral for my brother in law, he was murdered a couple years ago on the streets of
Before hanging up Dee said the following: "Good for you guys at