Twisted Sister’s Dee Snider talks band’s breakup, staying sober within the ‘80s: ‘I made folks’s lives depressing’

Twisted Sister’s Dee Snider talks band’s breakup, staying sober in the ‘80s: ‘I made people’s lives miserable’


EXCLUSIVE: Dee Snider desires to set the report straight.

Many years after his band Twisted Sister crashed and burned within the ‘80s, the previous frontman and his bandmates are sitting right down to element what precisely went incorrect. The tell-all is being featured on Reelz’s upcoming documentary “Twisted Sister: Breaking the Band.”

The particular is a part of a docuseries narrated by Snider, 65, which explores how ego and celeb can destroy any group on the top of their fame.

.Dee Snider serves as the narrator of "Breaking the Band," a docuseries on Reelz

.Dee Snider serves because the narrator of “Breaking the Band,” a docuseries on Reelz
(Picture by D Dipasupil/FilmMagic/Getty)

Regardless of dominating MTV with tracks like “We’re Not Gonna Take It” and “I Wanna Rock,” Twisted Sister ended on a foul observe in 1988. Twisted Sister later reunited following the 9/11 assaults on the World Commerce Heart for a fundraiser. The band formally retired in 2015 in gentle of drummer A.J. Pero’s dying that very same 12 months at age 55 from an obvious coronary heart assault, People magazine reported.

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Snider spoke to Fox Information about why Twisted Sister is discussing its breakup now, who initiated the reunion and the way he managed to remain sober within the ‘80s.

Fox Information: What compelled you to handle the breakup of Twisted Sister now?
Dee Snider: Nicely, to begin with, I am actually glad to speak about it, as a result of that is Bizarro World. I do not know in the event you’re a comic book e book fan in any respect, however there was an alternate universe within the Superman world referred to as Bizarro World, the place every thing was incorrect.

Twisted Sister formed in 1972.

Twisted Sister shaped in 1972.
(Picture by Michael Putland/Getty Photographs)

This present is about band breakups, and I feel we’re 24 [episodes] in or one thing like that, and my band got here up. And so they form of very tentatively stated to me, “You have been in a band. You’ll be actually good fodder for that present.”

I stated, “Wait a second. I will narrate a present a few band that I broke up? That’s simply too bizarre.” They stated, “Nicely, how about we break the fourth wall?” And I stated, ” what? I’ve acquired no disgrace in my recreation. I used to be an actual a—–e within the ‘80s. I am significantly better now. I’ve fastened the connection with my band. I really like the blokes.”

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I referred to as the blokes, and I stated, “I would like you all to be interviewed for it. I would like you to tear me to shreds with no worry of retribution. Let’s have enjoyable.”

Dee Snider said Twisted Sister should have taken a break early on to address the band's issues.

Dee Snider stated Twisted Sister ought to have taken a break early on to handle the band’s points.
(Picture courtesy of Reelz)

Fox Information: Within the particular, viewers will uncover how the band was already experiencing points earlier than fame. What do you suppose saved everybody going?
Snider: The issues have been preexisting. We have been collectively for 10 years combating. We by no means stopped to have a look at one another and the issues we had. As soon as we broke up, that is when rapidly we began one another and actually trying on the issues we hadn’t addressed for a really very long time.

Fox Information: Is there something you would like you may have achieved in another way again then? Or was a breakup inevitable?
Snider: Oh, nicely there are many, many issues I want I might have achieved in another way… The final album we did was alleged to be a solo album for me. And I feel that possibly if we had taken a break and gone off for a few years and simply gave it a little bit area and respiration room, then we might have come again collectively and continued on.

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Jay Jay French, Eddie Ojeda, Dee Snider, A.J. Pero and Mark Mendoza of Twisted Sister, group portrait, on the set of the video shoot for their single "I Wanna Rock" in Los Angeles in 1984.

Jay Jay French, Eddie Ojeda, Dee Snider, A.J. Pero and Mark Mendoza of Twisted Sister, group portrait, on the set of the video shoot for his or her single “I Wanna Rock” in Los Angeles in 1984.
(Mark Weiss/Getty Photographs)

However as an alternative, the report firm and administration pressured us again into the studio once we did not wish to be wherever close to one another. And it simply was the icing on the cake. It killed the goose that laid some golden eggs.

However within the huge image, I want that we had… We have been type of very passive aggressive with one another. We by no means actually confronted issues. We by no means stopped to handle the issues that have been popping up and affecting everybody. And when issues begin, they are much simpler to handle and handle than if you allow them to fester and construct. They simply form of snowball into different issues. It simply turns into this one huge, unfixable scenario. And that is what occurred to us.

And our administration all the time tried to clean issues over reasonably than sit us down and go, “All proper, what the hell is happening? What’s the issue right here?” And resolve it. So, I might have cherished to have been much less passive aggressive and simply extra attentive to what was occurring.

Twisted Sister officially retired in 2015.

Twisted Sister formally retired in 2015.
(Stephen Woodd/Picture courtesy of Reelz)

Fox Information: You have been clear and sober through the top of Twisted Sister’s fame. How did you handle that within the ‘80s rock world?
Snider: Loopy, proper? Nicely, I’ve happily had some actually dangerous experiences early on that I discovered precious classes from… I drank as soon as at 14, however I did not simply drink. I acquired so drunk that I used to be laying on the ground paralyzed. A little sober voice contained in the drunk physique went, “Rise up. They’re laughing at you.” I stated, “Expensive God if I ever stroll once more, I swear off demon alcohol.”

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However at a younger age, I acknowledged that I could not do issues midway. I couldn’t simply have a drink or two. I drank a lot so shortly that I used to be simply laying on the ground. And it is a persona trait of mine. Medicine and alcohol will not be going to work very well [with it]. So, I simply stated, “No,” to that. And I caught with it. And it was a really scarring reminiscence, being paralyzed, vomiting on myself, folks laughing at me, and simply feeling fully helpless. I by no means wished to return there once more.

Fox Information: How a lot of a divide did that create with a number of the different bandmates who possibly wished to let free whereas on the street?
Snider: It positively created a divide, however it was additionally one of many causes I acquired within the band within the first place. Jay Jay [French] was a founding member of the band. And there have been already different members of the band, a few singers and a number of guitar gamers and drummers.

Twisted Sister reunited after 9/11.

Twisted Sister reunited after 9/11.
(Mark Weiss/Getty Photographs)

One of many singers performing was an alcoholic. And keep in mind, this wasn’t even like an enormous band again then. This was a neighborhood bar band. And there have been so many various drug and alcohol issues.

And so Jay, he simply was achieved with coping with folks like that. After I confirmed up, sang and rocked, it was like, “What? You aren’t getting excessive? That is the man.” It was actually one of many causes he introduced me into the band. That stated, I used to be so militaristic about it that I made folks’s lives depressing. They could not occasion within the again. They could not do what different rock and rollers do. It acquired to the purpose the place they needed to get their very own tour bus and have their very own separate life-style in a separate space from me.

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Not that I assumed that I used to be going to be tempted. I did not. I simply did not just like the stupidity, the drunken stupidity and the drug-induced stupidity that I noticed in different folks. So, I actually made them sad. And Jay Jay was clear as nicely. He had already been by his drug and alcohol part.

Twisted Sister's drummer A.J. Pero passed away in 2015.

Twisted Sister’s drummer A.J. Pero handed away in 2015.
(Mark Weiss/Getty Photographs)

I do know [guitarist] Eddie Ojeda stated, “In the event that they weren’t so strict with that, I’d be lifeless” as a result of he was an actual partier. However the guidelines have been, “Do what you are going to do, however if you come to the present, you’d higher be f—g sober.” So he later stated he’d in all probability be lifeless if I wasn’t as strict as I used to be.

Fox Information: What in the end led to a reconciliation? Who initiated it?
Snider: Nicely, there are a number of fronts on that. After the breakup, I pursued totally different initiatives. Radio is certainly one of them. And I have been doing radio for like 30 years now. I used to be doing mornings for some time. And someday, my morning present co-host stated, “Why do not you chop your hair? Why do you hassle with that, the lengthy ponytail? What does that even imply? You are on radio.” And I stated, “It is a inform.” And she or he stated, “A inform of what?” And I stated, “It is a inform[tale sign] that I’ll get again with the band.”

In my coronary heart of hearts, I simply knew. I grew and matured and was humbled by the falling from grace, a significant falling, and two bankruptcies and practically destroying my relationship with my spouse, which I didn’t, happily. And after experiencing all of these issues, I got here to understand what my conduct was actually like within the ‘80s. And I actually wished to repair these relationships. I did not know when. I did not understand how.

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Twisted Sister went on to influence numerous bands long after its reign ended in the '80s.

Twisted Sister went on to affect quite a few bands lengthy after its reign ended within the ’80s.
(Picture courtesy of Reelz)

[Drummer] A.J. Pero, the late A.J. Pero, was the one man who remained buddies with all people within the band individually. He was this form of connecting tissue. And when 9/11 occurred, we have been all New Yorkers. It gave us the street to attach, talk and are available again collectively.

Like all people else, we’re like, “We wish to do one thing. What can we do? We play rock and roll. Nicely, possibly we will try this and assist increase some cash and assist heal indirectly.” It was what we might do. And that’s what in the end introduced us collectively. It made us set our variations apart.

Fox Information: How do you are feeling about Twisted Sister’s legacy as a band at present in 2021?
Snider: … Twisted Sister was one of many best stay performing bands of all time. We went and decimated so many festivals and so many live performance arenas, and so many bands we opened up for. We have been deadly. 

American singer Dee Snider performs live on stage with glam metal group Twisted Sister at the Reading Festival in Reading, England, in 1982.

American singer Dee Snider performs stay on stage with glam metallic group Twisted Sister on the Studying Competition in Studying, England, in 1982.
(Michael Putland/Getty Photographs)

And Lemmy Kilmister, shortly earlier than he died, he stated to me, “Dee, you are one of many three best frontmen I’ve ever seen. And the best at speaking to the viewers.” I needed to talk with the viewers. And Lemmy, he was a person who roadied for Jimi Hendrix and noticed the Beatles on the Cavern Membership. He knew about frontmen. However it’s irritating that we weren’t on the prime lengthy sufficient for folks to essentially come to know that.

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Luckily, after we reunited, extra folks got here to know that. We have been reunited longer than once we have been collectively the primary time, which was bizarre… Persons are seeing that there was extra to this band than simply the second within the solar that we had within the ‘80s. And we have been important, influencing loads of upstarts within the Northeast, Bon Jovi and Skid Row and Cinderella and Overkill and Anthrax and Public Enemy. 

Chuck D stated, “If it wasn’t for Twisted Sister, there could be no Public Enemy.” He used to return to see us within the golf equipment, and we have been simply this rebellious, in your face, f—ok -ou band. And he stated it impressed him to go and put collectively a rebellious, in your face, f—k-you hip-hop act. So, folks have come to understand, “Nicely, this band had extra significance than simply a few songs and movies on MTV.”

“Twisted Sister: Breaking the Band” premieres Saturday, Feb. 6 at eight p.m. ET on Reelz.



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