Producer Tom Werman shares what he thinks prompted Dee Snider to turn on him
Renowned producer Tom Werman was recently interviewed by Andrew DiCecco for Vinyl Writer Music. Part 2 of the interview has now been released.
Werman has produced some of the most iconic heavy metal albums ever released including Twisted Sister‘s Stay Hungry (1984) and Mötley Crüe‘s Shout At The Devil (1983).
In terms of what it was like to work with Twisted Sister frontman Dee Snider, Werman opined: “He was fine. He was fine. You know, in the beginning, we did have a disagreement about which songs to do. He manufactured this story about him having to get down on his knees and beg to do “We’re Not Gonna Take It,” which I found a little bit like a nursery rhyme. I did not take the song that seriously. I don’t have the authority to tell them what songs we’re gonna do. I just don’t. The producer doesn’t. They hire me. You know, they’re paying me to help them. They could fire me. After we had decided which songs to do, the album went pretty well after we did the basic tracks. He was fine, and he approved the album and all the mixes. The minute that we finished the album, I was the worst person in the world. In [Dee’s] book, he said – I can’t quote it exactly, but he’s talking about an album that sold six million copies – and he said, “I think that Tom Werman single-handedly destroyed our album.” And I have to wonder about that statement. It doesn’t make too much sense to me.”
With respect to tracking guitarist Jay Jay French‘s guitar parts on Stay Hungry, Werman stated: “That was tough. That was really tough. We did that at The Record Plant in New York, and then we went out to California to finish the record. They’re a New York band, and they wanted to do basic tracks in New York. So, we went there, and I just couldn’t dial in [Jay Jay’s] rhythm guitar sound. I just couldn’t. And we went through amp after amp, guitar after guitar, mic after mic, and on the morning of the third day, we finally got it. But it was the most difficult setup I’ve ever had. I would say that, generally, they were not too conversive with their instruments. Jay Jay was a forceful personality in the band. He’s a good guy, and he was always reasonable; they were all reasonable, and we all got along, and then Dee turned. My theory is that he worked for a long time with the band, it was his life – he worked for, like, seven years – and they finally got a hit, and it was with me, and I had a reputation at the time, and he was pissed about having to share the credit of that success with me. I think that was it because he never really specified anything else. He was beyond rude after that, and I emailed him twice to ask if he would have me on his little radio show so I could defend myself. Never heard from him, of course.”
Werman was asked whether this was a new development to which he replied: “Oh, many, many, many years ago. Like fifteen years ago. Anyway, that was it. I let it go. I think the last time I really talked about it in an interview or a podcast, I said, “Listen, please just go and enjoy your privileged life. You’re welcome.” That’s the way I see it, you know?”
You can read the rest of Part 2 of Tom Werman‘s interview at Vinyl Writer Music’s website.