TWISTED SISTER Frontman Talks 'Stay Hungry' Re-Release, 'Strangeland: Disciple' Movie

Jason Price of Icon Vs. Icon recently conducted an interview with TWISTED SISTER frontman Dee Snider. A couple of excerpts from the chat follow below.

Icon Vs. Icon: This June you will be re-releasing "Stay Hungry" for its 25th anniversary. What can you tell us about the process of putting this re-release together?

Dee: Jay Jay French and Mark "The Animal" Mendoza share credit for really putting the effort into making this thing a reality. The album, of course, was our biggest record. Twenty-five years later, to see the life that the album and some of the songs in particular have is pretty amazing. When you try to do something like this re-release you really try to pull out all the stops that will make the more than casual fan intrigued by giving them more information about your state of mind and what was going on at the time. As the only songwriter in the band, I always overwrote for every record. I had written twenty-five songs for "Stay Hungry", of which we chose ten. So, when we started digging through the tapes, we found demos for the other fifteen songs and it was kind of a no-brainer to say, "Here's what we didn't put on the album!" I remember Jay Jay was going through it and he called me up and said, "We could have put out a double album or a sequel, like 'Stay Hungry 2' or something. There is some great shit on here!" I always said that I never presented a song to the band that I wouldn't be comfortable with having on an album, so although I may have presented twenty five songs, I wrote fifty. So, I said, "Yeah man! That's good shit!" so digging out all of that stuff is just natural for something like this re-release.

Icon Vs. Icon: A few years back your son, Jesse Blaze Snider, wrote a prequel to "Strangeland" entitled "Strangeland: Seven Sins". How involved were you on that process? And it had to be pretty cool to see him take the reins of your creation.

Dee: Yeah, he is a really good writer and has written books for Marvel and DC. He has an original six-book series out right now for DC called Dead Romeo. Book two is on stands right now and getting really good reviews. It's a vampire series. Fangoria Comics was just starting up and they wanted to do something with "Strangeland". My son was an aspiring comic book writer, so I saw an opportunity for him to express his creativity. He vetted everything with me but very much wrote it himself. I had to make sure everything rang true to the characters and the back story that I knew of the characters. He obviously created some of the back story that I didn't know about. I still wanted to make sure that I had done an analysis of the characters to make sure that it didn't conflict because I didn't want anything to come back and bite me in the ass when we go to do "Strangeland: Disciple", finally. This is reality-based horror so I don't want anyone to point a figure and say, "Wait a minute! In the prequel he said this but in 'Disciple', he did this, which contradicts." I didn't want any of that shit happening.

Icon Vs. Icon: You will be moving forward on "Strangeland: Disciple". What can you tell us about the sequel?

Dee: The script is done obviously and powerfully disturbing! I feel that people have taken inspiration from my new direction with horror and I know for a fact that the "Saws" and "Hostels" of the world wouldn't exist without "Strangeland". The whole concept of people not dying but just suffering was something that was uncharted when I did "Strangeland".

Icon Vs. Icon: Definitely.

Dee: So the script is done and Robert Englund is attached. He returns as Jackson Roth in a very significant way, which is great. People are really going to enjoy seeing Robert in the powerful role that he is playing in the movie. That is going on. At www.screentest.biz, NEHST Pictures is holding an open casting call where people from all over the country can audition for supporting roles, extras roles and things like that. It looks like we are filming in the fall in Ohio. Beyond that, we are looking for directors right now and we have a long list of people that we're interested in. The good news is that I got really hamstrung with the last director, but there is a lot of young talent out there, so even if we don't get some big names that we have on the list with the obvious answers there, you can start to move down to the B-names and there is still great talent. There are also some up and coming people. Especially, being with Fangoria, I have gotten a chance to see a lot of stuff that makes me very confident in our choices and that there are a lot of talented young directors out there that can do this thing.

Read the full interview at www.iconvsicon.com.

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