One of heavy metal's most powerful and distinctive voices, Dee Snider ascended to hard rock royalty in the early 1980s as the lead singer for New Jersey-based glam-metallers Twisted Sister. A charismatic and outspoken frontman — in 1985, alongside John Denver and Frank Zappa, he testified against censorship in regard to the Tipper Gore-led PMRC (Parents Music Resource Center) — Snider and company topped the charts in 1984 with the all-purpose us-against-the-world anthems "We're Not Gonna Take It" and "I Wanna Rock." After the 1987 dissolution of the group, he embarked on a series of solo and group projects, as well as acting and screenwriting gigs, that kept him busy well into the 2010s.
Snider first formed a new band called Desperado in 1988 with guitarist Bernie Torme, bassist Marc Russell, and drummer Clive Burr. The group recorded an album, Bloodied But Unbowed, which was never officially released (although some copies did eventually pop up internationally). That same year saw Snider appear in the horror film Strangeland, which he also wrote the screenplay for. He next formed the heavier Widowmaker, retaining Russell on bass and recruiting guitarist Al Pitrelli and drummer Joey Franco (a member of Twisted Sister for that group's last album). Widowmaker debuted with 1992's Blood & Bullets and managed to record one more album, 1994's Stand by for Pain, before disbanding. Snider next turned his attention to film, specifically the horror genre; he wrote, produced, and acted in Strangeland, which was released in 1998. He also performed off and on with an outfit called the SMFs, which was devoted mostly to Twisted Sister repertoire. In 2000, Snider released his first solo album (with Bernie Torme on guitar). Titled Never Let the Bastards Wear You Down, the record was composed mostly of songs from the '80s that Snider had never previously recorded for official release. The singer continued to act and do voice work into the 2000s (Celebrity Apprentice, Rock of Ages, Spongebob Squarepants) before returning to music in 2012 with Dee Does Broadway and in 2016 with We Are the Ones, the latter of which featured a newly recorded acoustic rendition of the Twisted Sister classic "We're Not Gonna Take It." In 2018, Snider issued his fourth solo album, For the Love of Metal. Released via Napalm and produced by Jamey Jasta of Hatebreed, the star-studded effort featured guest spots from Howard Jones (Killswitch Engage), Mark Morton (Lamb of God), Alissa White-Gluz (Arch Enemy), Joel Grind and Nick Bellmore (Toxic Holocaust), and Charlie Bellmore (Kingdom of Sorrow). A companion concert LP, For the Love of Metal: Live!, followed in 2020. ~ Steve Huey