Doctors Told Dee Snider His Voice Literally Defies The Laws Of Physics
Eighties hair legend Dee Snider just released a solo contemporary metal album produced by Hatebreed’s Jamey Jasta, For The Love Of Metal. On the latest episode of the MetalSucks podcast, we chatted with him about the record and his thoughts on experimenting with new styles of singing. One of his discoveries was that he’s an incredibly capable screamer — so capable, in fact, that he’s got voice experts wondering if he’s actually superhuman:
“I got my voice tested. They said it defies laws of actual physics [when I’m roaring]. They said ‘Look at what’s going on here: your voice is hitting every harmonic at once, yet you are forcing it into notes. You’re striking your vocal chords to ring all the notes. It’s like white noise, except somehow (and this is the oddity), you force all those harmonics to go into different notes.’ They were stunned, and I was stunned looking the graph going “Holy shit!” They couldn’t figure it out. People ask me if it’s hard for me, and no, it’s easy for me to sing like this. It’s hard to sing in Rocktopia.”
So, in a way, they said you have four voices coming out of you at once.
“Yeah, it’s like a devil voice. The vocal cords are like strings on an instrument. When you sing, you normally hit one note at a time, and that’s where you get your pitch. I’m just hitting them all, and insisting that it turn into a note.”
So, let’s get this straight: Dee Snider is essentially doing things with his voice that typically require several layers of overdubbing in the studio. He’s able to represent the full spectrum of pitches in his roars and still magically manipulate his voice to center in on one pitch. That’s some next-level shit, especially for a guy in his 60s who has barely ventured away from clean singing until now.
Which makes me wonder how much studio effort actually did go into producing the roars like the one at the beginning of “American Made” below. I’ll admit, it’s a fucking gnarly scream and has a very unique tonal quality. Check out the song and speculate to your heart’s content in the comments, then listen to the full podcast episode and pick up a copy of For The Love of Metal here.