Twisted Sister frontman Dee Snider recently spoke to Loudersound and discussed how the tables turned while Metallica was supporting their tour. He also explained why the Metallica members didn’t trust him when he made a great offer.
One of the aspects that makes the metal scene so unique is the sense of community. Several bands have supported each other during tours, and some even lent their musicians so that the bands could continue touring. The most recent example is probably Suicidal Tendencies’ Ra filling in for Fieldy during Korn’s upcoming tour.
The touring history of several metal bands reflects this sense of community as many of them have collaborated during tours, either as headliners or supporting acts. In 1984 Twisted Sister released their third LP, ‘Stay Hungry,’ which topped the charts. The promotion tour that followed the release was a great success both for Twisted Sister and the young Metallica that accompanied the band.
In the mid-’80s, Metallica was still a young band, and one of their first big gigs was supporting Twisted Sister in a 3,000-seater hall in New York. Although Twisted Sister was technically bigger than Metallica, the popularity of the bands varied based on the city they were performing in. For instance, Dee Snider recalled that the band was surprised to see that a poster advertising their gig in Holland had billed Metallica above them.
While some musicians might have found this disrespectful, Dee Snider saw it as an opportunity. He asked the tour manager to tell Metallica that Twisted Sister will open for them that night as they are ‘clearly the headliner.’ However, the Metallica members refused because they were ‘suspicious’ since they didn’t expect anyone to be so kind and give them the spotlight. However, Snider eventually convinced them, and it became a night to remember.
Dee Snider recalled:
“Later, Metallica supported us on our Stay Hungry tour. We got to a small town in Holland and were surprised to see a poster billing Metallica above us. I said to my tour manager, ‘Metallica are clearly the headliner. Go and tell them we’ll open for them tonight.’ My tour manager came back and told me: ‘They said no. They seem somewhat suspicious.’
Eventually, I convinced Metallica that it wasn’t a trick, and that night I got to watch their show. I remember saying to someone: ‘These guys have got a lot of heart, but they’re never gonna go anywhere.’ So much for what I know! I thought Metallica were too heavy, and there was no way society would ever catch up with that.”
During the interview, Snider admitted that he loved the band and their sound but was convinced that they would never last. His reasoning was that their sound was ‘too heavy‘ and the society would never embrace them. Little did he know that Metallica would become the first metal band to hit the mainstream.