But that doesn’t mean he’s calling it quits…
“Twisted has announced its end, and I’ve announced mine as well,” Snider tells Billboard. Nevertheless, he has released a new song, “To Hell and Back,” for free at on his website, which we’re premiering below. “I don’t want to continue performing — certainly not in this oldies fashion and certainly not doing 90-minute and two-hour shows. Jagger does it and Tyler does it — God bless ’em and God love ’em. That’s the path they want to be on. Me, I’ve been evolving into radio (the syndicated House of Hair). I’ve been on Broadway. I’ve written a musical now (Dee Snider’s Rock ‘n’ Roll Christmas). I’m doing a sequel to my movie (Strangeland). I want to go other places. I never intended to be 60 and be on stage rocking, but here I am. But I don’t plan on doing it forever.”
That said, Snider may also be making moves towards becoming…a pop star. In addition to new rock songs that Snider has recorded with his band (primarily written with guitarist Nick Perri, formerly of Silvertide), he’s also been working on material with Damon Ranger, a Grammy, Oscar and Emmy Award-winner whose credits include Katy Perry‘s “Roar,” working with Kanye West, and the score for Life of Pi. Snider has recorded four songs with Ranger and his team, including members of P!nk‘s band, in Chicago, which are currently being shopped and may send his career on a fresh arc, if all goes according to plan.
“[Ranger] approached me and said, ‘Hey man, I think we can reintroduce you to a new audience. You’re iconic. You’re the voice of rebellion. You could be singing a rock ‘Roar’ for a new pop audience,'” Snider says. “I’m into trying new, challenging things, so I said ‘What do you got in mind?’ and we did these tracks. I didn’t touch them as a writer; [Ranger] said, ‘Do you want to write?’ ‘Absolutely not. I don’t know how to write new songs. I know how to write old songs.’ So we’re sitting on those right now along four songs Nick Perri and I wrote. But [Ranger] has a grand plan of taking me from Active Rock to Foo Fighters rock to pop-rock to stadium rock. So we’ll see.”
Snider is tempering his expectations, however. “Dee Snider on a whole new level to a contemporary audience. Do I think it’s gonna happen? Doubtful,” he says. “It’s kind of long shot when you do something like that, but if it works that would be a whole different thing for me to step into that area as a contemporary artist with music being played on contemporary radio, not oldies stations for classic rock stations but actually connecting with people on a contemporary level. Now THAT would get me interested. That would be a new challenge.”
While he’s waiting for that to pan out, Snider is playing some shows in Europe and North America with his own band this summer, and planning is starting for Forty and Fuck It anniversary and farewell concerts for Twisted Sister, which lost drummer AJ Pero this year, during 2016. “We’re only going to do select shows,” Snider says. “Nothing’s booked, but it will not be a tour. What we’ll do will be based on offers and epicness. I have no desire to go and play a bunch of clubs or small venues, but if Rock In Rio calls, Riot Fest, Bonnaroo, Rocklahoma, those event kind of things. We’ll do a handful of those and say goodbye on a big stage. This isn’t going to be the Scorpions or Judas Priest or Ozzy Osbourne or the Who or Tina Turner — ‘Farewell. We’re back in two years.’ That’s not gonna happen. I guarantee it.” On tap for this year, meanwhile, is the documentary We Are Twisted Fucking Sister!, which focuses on the group’s pre-fame years and will be out later this year in theaters and on home video.
As he indicated, Snider has plenty of other projects on his plate moving forward. He’s looking forward to taking Dee Snider’s Rock ‘n’ Roll Christmas, which is getting ready for its second year in Toronto, to Broadway in 2016. He recently started a new podcast, Snider Comments, and he expects to start filming Strangeland 2, the sequel to his 1988 horror film, next year. “That’s been on and off for so many years, but I really think this one’s gonna fly,” says Snider, who again plans to star in, co-write and produce the film. “It’s going to take time, and I don’t know how time I’ll have to dedicate with the [Twisted Sister] farewell tour and what I’m doing with Damon. I’m gonna be busy, that’s all I know.”