Dee Snider For The Love Of Metal Track By Track

by Carl Wiser

Sometimes lost in the Dee Snider story is his contribution to the artform of heavy metal. Long before his MTV-powered breakthrough with Twisted Sister in 1984, Snider was making bloodthirsty music to howl to, doing his part to "destroy the Woodstock nation."

Snider doesn't fit all the stereotypes - he's sober, fully coherent, and classically trained - but he's made a huge gash in the genre, and continues to do so. Jamey Jasta of Hatebreed coaxed him into making a new solo album when Snider appeared on his podcast. The result is For The Love Of Metal, produced by Jasta and set for release July 27, 2018. Snider took us through it in this track by track.

1) "Lies Are A Business"

While I'm not actively political, I do have some things to say about the state of politics, not only in my country, but internationally. What's happening in the United States is being reflected in countries all over the world. People are tired of "politics as usual" and looking for virtually anything (and usually getting just that) to change things up. "Lies Are A Business" is an observation about the pervasiveness of misinformation we all have to suffer through, and it is coming from all sides. It sucks.

2) "Tomorrow's No Concern"

As a creative person, I have always been more interested and excited about the project I am currently working on than the stuff I've done in the past. It's not that I'm not proud of my past (I am), but rather my passion lies in the present. My glory days are now, not decades ago. Yours should be too.

3) "I Am The Hurricane"

This is another self-empowerment song seemingly sung through the eyes of a hit man – but it's not. It's just me saying (for the millionth time), "I will win - you cannot defeat me!"

While I'm not as needing of these pep talks as I once was, I have come to believe it is my job to use the voice (vocally and verbally) that I have been given to lift up others. I hope it does.

4) "Running Mazes"

See "I Am the Hurricane." The inspiration for this one comes from an amazing moment in Game of Thrones (Go Team Khaleesi!) where Syrio Forel, Arya Stark's sword-fighting instructor, asks her, "What do we say to the god of death?" Not today! More inspiration and motivation from Dee Snider and Co.

Contributors to For The Love Of Metal:

Charlie Bellmore (Kingdom Of Sorrow)
Howard Jones (formerly of Killswitch Engage)
Mark Morton (Lamb Of God)
Alissa White-Gluz (Arch Enemy)
Joel Grind and Nick Bellmore (Toxic Holocaust)

5) "American Made"

I was watching the Olympics and couldn't help but notice that no matter how "at each other's throats" we all appear to be politically these days, amazingly we are all unified when it comes to our country against another. It made me realize that countries are like dysfunctional families: We may argue and fight amongst each other (You should have seen the extended Snider family Christmas this year. People literally almost came to blows. On Christmas!?), but should someone dare attack any one of us, the entire family will band together against the aggressor. This goes for all countries.

This song is a song on unification - recognizing that there is a very important something we all share and should be proud of: where we are from.

6) "Roll Over You"

See songs 3 and 4. Although the "fuck you" in this one is waaaaay more in your face!

7) "I'm Ready"

During the recording of this record, my vibrant, active, passionate mother, Marguerite A. Schenker–Snider, was tragically hit by a car, suffered severe brain damage, suffered through two months in the hospital, then passed away on January 2nd. Yes, I kept recording and performing during this time.

There is no outlet for darker emotions quite like heavy metal. And I needed an outlet. Seeing what I was going through, Jamey Jasta penned this song for me. The last song written for the album, it was recorded shortly after I buried my mom. "Death leaves a sorrow no one can heal. Love leaves a memory no one can steal." Thank you, Jamey.

8) "The Hardest Way"

A life lesson. As a graduate of the "School of Hard Knocks" I feel a responsibility to share what I've learned with others, hopefully sparing them some of what I've had to suffer through. Having Howard Jones lend his incredible voice to the choruses was the icing on the cake. He really lends a gravitas to the message of this song. (Oh, go look it up!)

9) "Become The Storm"

More motivation and inspiration from your ol' Uncle Dee, this time with an eye toward the bullies of the world. While much of my music in the past has been indirectly aimed at these assholes (I mean, who weren't we gonna take it from?), this issue has come much more to the forefront for me in recent years and I want to confront it head on. But unlike others who naïvely believe that somehow, magically, words will stop bullies from further action, I know better. The only thing bullies understand is a superior show of force. Become the storm... and rain down on those mutha fuckers! (And check out the searing guitar solo by Charlie Bellmore!)

10) "Mask"

This song is about the sad reality of the world we live in... there are few people who can or are willing to honestly show themselves and their true feelings. Why? Fear. Fear of rejection, reprisal, embarrassment, judgment, etc. For some this is nothing more than an inconvenience we learn to live with. For others their "mask" hides much deeper emotional problems that need help, but no one knows about. These are the kind of problems that too often lead to suicide, and leave friends and family members wondering how it happened. They had no idea. "We wear the mask."

11) "Dead Hearts (Love Thy Enemy)"

Another anti-bullying song. This one about the lack of empathy bullies have for their victims and, oddly, the empathy victims have for their bullies. It's a conundrum to me how so many suicide letters mention forgiving their aggressor. I should respect these tortured souls last wishes... but it ain't easy.

Alissa Gluz-White's vocal on this song is positively magical. So different from the style she usually sings (in Arched Enemy) but perfect for the tone of this song. For me, this duet is the "Close My Eyes Forever" (Lita Ford/Ozzy Osbourne) of its time. Thank you, Alissa.

12) "For The Love Of Metal"

The idea for this song came from the title of the album. What else would we call an album created without a record deal or recording budget by a bunch of true metal fans?

The song FTLOM started out as more of a game, "How many classic metal song titles can we fit into the lyrics of one song?" Everyone fired off titles to be included, while Jasta figured out how to squeeze them into some kind of listenable form. When the song was finished we were all stunned by how great it turned out. It fucking kills! The perfect song for the album title. The perfect end for my record.

13) "So What?" (bonus track)

This song is originally from my last album, We Are the Ones, where it was performed almost acoustically. Lyrically, it is incredibly powerful and very metal. Jamey and Nicky and Charlie Bellmore literally took my vocal track from the original and set it to an incredible (and very different) music bed. It just goes to show that a song is a song (melody wise) and how it is "dressed up" decides the music genre it fits with. Next version of "So What?"... country!

July 12, 2018
For The Love Of Metal comes out July 27. Order info is at Napalm Records.

Here's our 2016 interview with Dee Snider.

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