Twisted Sister vocalist Dee Snider recently spoke to Tom La Vecchia of Armchair MBA about how the rise of grunge in the early 1990s impacted the hard rock scene as it took the bands off the radio and MTV. This caused the albums and tour sales to dip.
Dee Snider opens up on the bands like Dave Grohl’s Nirvana and Soundgarden
During the interview, he was asked if he saw Seattle bands like Nirvana and Soundgarden slowly gaining popularity at the expense of 1980s metal. He said that “no one saw it coming.” He went on to say that his graph was dipping and was “semi-buried before grunge hit.”
He noted that Twisted Sister arrived in the early ’80s and then their prime time came in the mid-’80s and by the late ’80s, the band had broken up. He then spoke about being a part of a band called Desperado [with former Iron Maiden drummer Clive Burr and ex-Gillian guitarist Bernie Tormé] “that got shelved by Elektra Records; a lot of money we spent on that record.”
He then added: “So I was sort of already removed as a featured artist by that point, and I was struggling to try to find my footing with Desperado and then Widowmaker.”
Dee then spoke about receiving a certified letter in the mail that read: “We have decided we’re no longer doing what you do — look like you, sound like you, sing like you, write like you, perform like you. We don’t want anything to do with anything you ever did. Sincerely, the music-buying public.’
He further said that it was the time when “the bottom fell out.” He said: “I mean, imagine being a doctor who studied a form of medicine, and they found a cure for it. You’re a cancer specialist — a specialist; it’s what you dedicated your life to — and you get a pill that cures [cancer]. You’re out of work. Grunge cured hair metal. So I was out of work.”
Upon release in September 1991, Nirvana’s “Smells Like Teen Spirit” confused the hair metal genre and it put an end to an era that was dominated by the rock stars.