Twisted Sister frontman Dee Snider has reflected on his comments about Robert Plant and Ronnie James Dio – that the respective Led Zeppelin and Black Sabbath leaders weren’t “great frontmen” – clarifying that he hadn’t aimed to trash their talents.
Snider made waves at the end of last year when – replying to a fan on Twitter who praised Dio as one of rock’s all-time greatest frontmen (usurped only by Freddie Mercury) – he declared that “there is a huge difference between a great frontman [and] a great singer”. He argued: “Ronnie was one of the greatest singers of all time, but as a frontman, he pretty much just stood on stage & sang. Freddie was an amazing singer AND frontman.”
As for his perceived swipe at Plant, Snider opined that while he was a fan of the Zeppelin singer, Plant offered “nothing as a performer”. He voiced the take that Plant “looked amazing, [had] great hair [and] stood on stage with one hand raised and sang his ass off, [but was] not a frontman”. Snider later specified that his favourite frontmen were “showmen” who interacted with their crowds.
In a new interview for the podcast Sally Steele Rocks! (as transcribed by Blabbermouth), Snider stood by his comments, refusing to concede regret for any “spur-of-the-moment” quips he may have aimed at other artists. Such comments are “usually pretty thought out in my head”, he explained: “I don’t really sort of just blurt things out; I process ’em and I’m kind of deliberate. I say it and it comes out like it’s blurted. But I’ve got strong opinions.”
As for how onlookers choose to perceive his comments, Snider continued: “People get very upset sometimes when me or a lot of celebrities express our feelings, like we’re not allowed to have an opinion. I always say, ‘In my humble opinion,’ but trust me, that’s the first thing they cut off when they repost it.”
Snider went on to directly address his takes on Plant and Dio as frontmen. He said: “How do you differentiate a Dee Snider or an Alice Cooper or a Robert Plant or a Bon Scott? Or a Chris Cornell, who just stood there but sang perfectly every night?
“I was just trying, in a social media Twitter discussion, to explain the differences. And people were up in arms: ‘How can you possibly say that Robert Plant isn’t a great frontman?’ And I love Robert. And I was just trying to… You can’t put me and Robert Plant in the same category. So how would you explain what Dee Snider does on stage and what Robert Plant does on stage. And I was trying to do that. But people got upset.”
Have a look at Snider’s full interview on Sally Steele Rocks! below:
After causing his stir on Twitter last month, Snider listed some of his own favourite frontmen, including the likes of David Lee Roth, Paul Stanley, Mick Jagger, Freddie Mercury, and Axl Rose. He gave notable praise to James Brown, who he considered to be the greatest frontman of all time.
He also boasted that he views Kid Rock as being “killer in concert” and “one of the best [frontmen] I’ve ever seen”, and branded John Fogerty of Creedence Clearwater Revival as an “older rocker” who “still brings it every night”.
In the way of his own band-leading talents, Snider revealed last July that he likely he won’t record any new music in the foreseeable future. He said at the time: “I can only do what’s right for me. And for my retirement I’m writing screenplays, directing a movie, releasing my first fiction novel, producing two animated series, etc.”
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