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 frontmen were not “great frontmen” – clarifying that he did not intend to trash their talents .
Snider made waves at the end of last year when – in response to a fan on Twitter who praised Dio as one of rock’s greatest frontmen (surpassed only by Freddie Mercury) – he declared that “there is a huge difference between a great frontman [and] a fantastic singer”. He argued: “Ronnie was one of the greatest singers of all time, but as a frontman he pretty much just stood on stage and sang. Freddie was a great singer AND front man.”
Regarding his perceived swipe at Plant, Snider believed that while he was a fan of the Zeppelin singer, Plant offered “nothing as a performer”. He stated that Plant “looked great, [had] nice hair [and] stood on the stage with one hand raised and sang off, [but was] not a front man”. Snider later specified that his favorite 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 and refused to admit regret for any “spur-of-the-moment” jabs he may have directed at other artists. Such comments are “usually pretty well thought out in my head,” he explained: “I don’t really just blurt things out; I process them and I’m kind of deliberate. I say it and it comes out like it’s smoked. But I have strong opinions.”
As for how viewers choose to take his comments, Snider continued, “People sometimes get very upset when I or a bunch of celebrities express our feelings like we’re not allowed to have an opinion. I always say, ‘After my humble meaning’, but trust me, that’s the first thing they cut off when they repost it.”
Snider went on to directly address his bid for Plant and Dio as frontmen. He said: “How do you tell the difference between 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 is not a great frontman?’ And I love Robert. And I just tried 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 tried to do. But people got mad.”
Watch Snider’s full interview Sally Steele rocks! below:
After causing a stir on Twitter last month, Snider listed some of his own favorite frontmen, including 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 considers Kid Rock to be “killer in concert” and “one of the best [frontmen] I’ve ever seen”, and labeled John Fogerty of Creedence Clearwater Revival as an “older rocker” who “still brings it every night”.
In regards to his own band-leading talents, Snider revealed last July that he is unlikely to record new music in the foreseeable future. He said at the time: “I can only do what is right for me. And for my retirement, I will write screenplays, direct a film, publish my first fiction novel, produce two animated series, etc.”