Dee Snider Doesn’t Blame Grunge: “Hair Metal Did It to Itself…It Wasn’t Metal Anymore”

  • Phil Boozeman

Father Time has a flawless record. It’s a cliché you typically hear when sportscasters talk about aging athletes, but often it can apply to music genres as well. After all, we aren’t still listening to big band, ragtime and swing regularly. They’re relics of the past at this point — just like hair metal. And according to Twisted Sister’s Dee Snider, grunge was what kicked the chair out from under that genre — and for good reason.

In an interview with Tom La Vecchia of Armchair MBA, Snider was asked about the popularity of grunge bands in the early 1990s pushing hair metal and other rock bands off of the radio and MTV. His response:

“When they first came out, it wasn’t even called grunge. And this is the thing about titles — even heavy metal, punk, hair metal, those are not titles chosen by the artists; they’re titles chosen by the writers. And usually as a negative connotation. Usually as a form of a putdown. And the artists that they called grunge, called punk, called heavy metal — they hated it. This is a fact, dude. I’m old. I know this, a fact: if you mentioned grunge to Soundgarden or Pearl Jam, they got physically violent with you. They were just a rock band. And if anything, Soundgarden, Alice In Chains, they were metal bands. They were touring with Ozzy [Osbourne]. It just became defined by some writers; they pigeonholed it and called it a new sound.”

He also said he doesn’t really blame grunge for doing it directly, however.

“But I don’t blame it on the music; hair metal did it to itself. It became too commercialized, and then it got unplugged and became nothing but power ballads and acoustic songs, and it wasn’t metal anymore. It had to go; it had to change.”

So there you have it. When music gets stagnant, something comes along and replaces it. It happened to hair metal, it happened to deathcore, and it’ll happen to whatever subgenre next decides to be as shallow and stupid as both of those were by the end. Father Time, still undefeated.

You can listen to the entire interview below:

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