Twisted Sister frontman Dee Snider recently spoke to Ultimate Guitar. Snider reflected on Twisted Sister’s induction into the Metal Hall of Fame, as well as the real reason behind the genre’s underappreciation.
Dee Snider talks about the Metal Hall of Fame
During the interview, the singer was asked about Twisted Sister’s induction into the Metal Hall of Fame, which only started five years ago. Here is what was said:
To me, it means that a group of people have gotten together and said, ‘Heavy metal needs to be recognized independently of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame or any other establishments and that as a music form, it is worth recognizing.’ The Metal Hall of Fame only started five years ago, and they’ve been building it up since in terms of getting more people involved.
The reality is that they don’t have Metallica in there. And you might think, ‘How could Metallica not be one of the first nominations?’ Well, I’ll tell you why — because it’s a brand-new organization, and Metallica isn’t going to come to the event.
They’re not going to respond to the invitation, quite honestly. For larger bands to take notice, it’s got to become a ‘thing,’ so we need to support this vital movement as an important recognition of an art form.
Make no mistake – metal is an art form. It’s influential and incredibly important. When you go down the list of the greatest guitar players of all time in any field, it’s Jimi Hendrix, Eddie Van Halen, Jimmy Page, and Steve Vai, all guys from the hard rock or heavy metal circles. So, to me, this is a fledgling organization that continues to carry the torch and recognize an underappreciated form of music, which is metal. They asked Twisted Sister to be a part of this, so we’re just adding to the grandeur of this important yet very new organization.
He was then asked why he thinks metal genre has been underappreciated, to which he replied:
I’m not hemming and hawing here or saying it’s you directly, but I blame the writers and journalists. They historically have f***ed over so many forms of music, changing their course forever. I’ve researched a whole hell of a lot of what I’m talking about, and let me tell you – it’s a dark web of shit. Journalists tend to trivialize music, want to nickname it, and then dismiss it as being a fad. It happened with blues, jazz, grunge, heavy metal, punk, and more. Now, remember these genre tags… These were not self-applied designations. Take ‘hair metal,’ for example; that was a name given to that form of rock music by a journalist who wanted to pigeonhole it into something.
I could go on, like with jazz, they called it that because they thought it was frivolous music and silly. And they labeled the blues the way they did because they felt the people playing it were whining and complaining. So, these were not names that the people who played this music applied when it first came out; it was done so by other people. And then we get to heavy metal, Led Zeppelin was called heavy metal, but they were not heavy metal. If you want to talk early metal, I mean, Black Sabbath was our heavy metal. So, it’s all bullshit.
Metal has been marginalized by writers for years, just like all other forms of music have been at some point or another. People don’t want to believe it’s real or has value, but it does. They call Iggy Pop punk music, but there are thousands of interviews where he denounces that. And then the grunge guys, man, the grunge bands hated the term ‘grunge’ because, to them, it was another instance of people relegating to music that wasn’t real. It was like, ‘You’re grunge music. You’re not real rock. You’re grunge rock.’
Dee Snider further asked to shares his thoughts if heavy metal has faced harsher scrutiny than most. He said:
It’s hard to say. I can say that when it first came out, which I guess would be when the first Sabbath and Zeppelin records came out, they were groundbreaking. But suddenly, these terms were being applied to them, which diminished what they were, who they were, what they were doing, and what they were achieving. I believe it starts with the dismissive nature of the press, and then people follow the lead of the journalists and make all sorts of stupid assumptions. Many people want to dismiss different kinds of music because I think it’s easier for them to do that rather than take it seriously and give it a chance. It’s easier for them to say, ‘Oh, it’s heavy metal. It must be this, or it must suck.’ Honestly, it’s silly, and I wish it would stop. But it never will.