Twisted Sister frontman Dee Snider is a fiery, creative force—and the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree: The same can be said about his son, Jesse Blaze Snider.
Jesse Blaze Snider has found success in many different areas of the entertainment industry, and is slated to bring his show to the Desert Moon Metal Festival in Morongo Valley on Sunday, Oct. 22.
But first, a note of caution: Sunday’s headliner, Jack Russell’s Great White, pulled out of the festival earlier this week, saying he had not been paid. The promoter, Paul Allen, apologized on Facebook—at one point saying only one or two tickets had been sold—and insisted the show would go on. Pictures posted of the decidedly unconventional festival site have also raised eyebrows. Therefore, you may want to proceed with caution—by watching the festival’s Facebook page for updates, for starters.
Anyway, back to Jesse Blaze Snider: He said that going into music was not a choice, but rather a calling.
“There was no decision, Snider said. “I just love music. I was raised on music, and I was raised with MTV on all of the time in the background, because my dad wasn’t really around at that time of my life. I was born just as the explosion of Twisted Sister happened, so I sort of missed out on the presence of him in my life in the early years. I adored him and loved watching him on MTV. … MTV was just on in the house all the time so I could catch a glimpse of him, and I was exposed to every type of music under the sun. My dad got me (interested in) the Blues Brothers; my mom got me into the Muppets, and I was writing songs since I began to speak. I used to write love songs for all my little girlfriends, and on it went.”
He said he’s made attempts to transition out of music.
“I’m a very successful voiceover actor, and that’s actually what pays my bills,” Snider said. “I’m usually just overexposing myself doing music stuff, because I haven’t wanted to go the corporate route and compromise my artistic integrity. Being independent is expensive, though, and I’ve thought, ‘OK, maybe it’s time for me to be done with this’ a few times. Either the universe seems to pull me back in, or the people around me demand me to change my mind, because they believe I’m good.”
As an independent artist, Snider has put out most of his work himself.
“I’ve recorded probably about five albums at this point, but they’ve all been released mostly online,” he said. “I did a very minor release last year to get it into the ears of my fans who have been waiting for a long time. I don’t even have a big fan base, but I do have a very loyal group of people who have been following me for a long time.
“I’m 35 years old, and I’ve been in the business doing comic books, music, voiceovers and hosting as a VJ on MTV2 when I was 19. Starting from that time, there are people who have become aware of me. I’m not very good at promoting myself, but those who do get to know me, they know I’ll talk to them and get back to them, and that I’m very gracious. … They’ve been asking me for stuff forever. I’ve been sitting on all this music, and I need people to be excited about what I’m doing before getting other people to support me. I’ve put out this album called 16, and it was a nice success, but I didn’t promote it, and it was meant to go to my fan base. That’s been working, and I’m going to be releasing something with Spectra Music called Rock and Roll Ain’t Dead Yet.”
His latest release, Black Light District, came with an entirely different concept.
“Black Light District is my favorite, because it’s the only album (of mine) that’s perfect,” he said. “It’s perfect artistic impression. It was exactly everything I was trying to say and how I wanted to say it. Image Comics put out a comic book last year in support of it, and it was perfect. Basically, we did these comic book music videos for each song—we did six mini-comics. I very rarely step off the stage or finish what I’m doing and think, ‘It’s perfect!’”
Melding comics and music has been done in the past—by KISS, for example.
“It’s not easy, but I do see the avenues where they connect. I’ve been trying to connect them for many years, because I write comic books,” Snider said. “I’ve written for Marvel; I’ve written for DC; and I’ve written for Disney/Pixar. I have been in that industry for a long time. I go to these conventions to promote comic books and hang out with friends, and I always want to do a concert while I’m there and do something fun. A lot of these conventions are run by normal, everyday people, and they don’t know how to set up a concert. They’ll run out of money, and there’s no room in the budget for it, and you think, ‘Do I want to go there and do something crappy?’ I’ve thought about going and doing some acoustic things, but that’s generally not my A-game. Black Light District might be that thing, though, and I’m looking to do something with a two-man operation where I can go with a keyboard player and do the songs with a good sound system and a projector showing the animated versions of the song.”
Snider said attendees can expect a great performance from him at the festival—along with a few other things.
“Aggression! Profanity! Energy!” he said.
The Desert Moon Metal Festival will take place Saturday, Oct. 21 and Sunday, Oct. 22 at 51010 Livingston Drive, in Morongo Valley. Tickets start at $25. For tickets or more information, visit dmmf.yapsody.com, or visit the event’s Facebook page.