DEE SNIDER Claims TWISTED SISTER Didn’t Get Any Royalty Checks For Record Sales Until More Than A Decade After ‘Stay Hungry’ Release
In a brand new interview with Jimmy Kay and Alan Dixon from Canada’s The Metal Voice, Dee Snider revealed that TWISTED SISTER didn’t get the first royalty check from its record company until more than a decade after the release of the band’s most commercially successful album, «Stay Hungry». «TWISTED SISTER didn’t start receiving any album-sales royalties till we recorded ‘Heroes Are Hard To Find’ for the ‘Strangeland’ soundtrack,» he said (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET. «And in order to get the band to reunite, the record label wiped our debt out. That was 1997. The band had been broken up for 10 years. We had sold tens of millions of records. We had not gotten one royalty check. Ahmet Ertegun [co-founder and president of Atlantic Records], somebody brought up to his attention that we were still in the red all these years later, and they were trying to get us [back] together and said, ‘Ahmet, would you please just wipe these guys’ account clean? Haven’t we got enough from them?’ And Ahmet Ertegun probably didn’t even know those things. He’s the founder of Atlantic Records. He’s passed. He’s the man; he was sort of the Clive Davis of Atlantic Records. But he saw it and he said, ‘They paid enough.’ So we’ve been getting royalty checks. But the ones we should have gotten? Those big ones? We never got ’em.»
Snider, who was credited with writing all the music and lyrics in TWISTED SISTER, went on to clarify that his publishing company collected his songwriter royalties for him which were not part of the Atlantic deal.
«Songwriters get songwriter royalties, and I was a songwriter. I got those,» Dee said. «Because they are independent of the band and the record label… So I got paid, thankfully, for that. But then there’s the mechanical royalties for record sales. So, in ’97 we started getting royalties, and by — what? When did Napster come out? 2001? So, a few years later, people stopped buying records. So our royalty checks are a joke. Spotify. Spotify pays nothing — nothing.»
In 2015, Snider sold his Snidest Music music publishing catalog of 69 songs — including the classic TWISTED SISTER rock anthems «We’re Not Gonna Take It» and «I Wanna Rock» — to Universal Music Publishing Group (UMPG) for what he later said was «a lot of money.»
TWISTED SISTER rose to prominence from the New York club scene in the early 1980s. Their biggest album, the aforementioned «Stay Hungry» (which came out in 1984), contained «We’re Not Gonna Take It» and «I Wanna Rock».
In 2016, TWISTED SISTER embarked on one final trek, titled «Forty And Fuck It», in celebration of its 40th anniversary. These shows featured the band’s «core lineup» of Snider, guitarists Jay Jay French and Eddie Ojeda, and bassist Mark Mendoza, along with drummer Mike Portnoy. The band’s last-ever concert took place in November of that year — 20 months after the passing of drummer A.J. Pero.
TWISTED SISTER‘s original run ended in the late ’80s. After more than a decade, the band publicly reunited in November 2001 to top the bill of New York Steel, a hard-rock benefit concert to raise money for the New York Police And Fire Widows’ And Children’s Benefit Fund.