Dee Snider Reveals Surprise COVID Diagnosis: Exclusive Interview
Dee Snider's second collaboration with Hatebreed's Jamey Jasta, titled Leave a Scar, is due later this week. Unfortunately, he found himself dealing with an unexpected COVID diagnosis while in the midst of doing promotion for the new album.
In an exclusive interview conducted on Tuesday, the former Twisted Sister frontman details how things unfolded, and where he's at with the idea of playing live as the pandemic situation continues to evolve. He also shared details regarding this Thursday's streaming concert event.
Hey Dee, glad we got things going here.
I’ve been having problems with my home studio and got COVID in spite of the fact that I’m fully vaccinated. It happened a few days ago. This is about day five. It was really minor, like, nothing that Advil and Sudafed [couldn’t handle]. But ... I don't want to bring my studio guy into fix my technology. I told him to stay out of here. Even though I feel fine, I don’t want to take a chance. Hopefully, I’ll be super-immune. Like I said, I’m fully vaccinated, plus [I got] COVID.
That's good to hear that you're doing okay.
I won’t say that I had no effects. It was a little aches and pains, a little stuffiness. But like I said, a Sudafed and a couple of Advil and I was just doing everything, business as usual. You know, I said, “Maybe I’ll get tested just for the hell of it.” I got a home test and I’m like, “What the fuck?” But they’re saying that they think a lot more people who are vaccinated have gotten it. And because it’s minor, they’re not going to the doctor or the hospital, so it’s not being reported. Because I’m hearing a lot of people saying that they caught it. It’s not knocking them on their ass or hospitalizing them, but they’re definitely getting COVID, even with vaccinations.
I know a good number of people that it’s the same thing, they’ve been vaccinated and they’ve gotten it.
My wife decided [to take the grandkids] to Disney World [because they wanted to go]. “Okay, I’m going to take you to Disney World.” She looks online – reservations only, limited [number of] people in, social distancing, masks, must be vaccinated, if not vaccinated, must be tested. So, okay, great. She gets all of the tickets, $1,000 worth of tickets and goes there. No one checks vaccination, no one checks tests. No one’s enforcing masks. It’s packed and they’re all in lines waiting for an hour.
They came back and brought it back with them. There was zero enforcement. And then, you know, once you’re through that gate. They say, “Well, why would you take your kids there?” They’re through the gate and the kids are just running for fuckin’ Minnie Mouse, and it’s non-refundable. They don’t give you a thousand bucks back for all of the tickets you bought. It’s like, “C’mon grandkids,” they’ll be hating Grandma for the rest of their lives. “Oh, but I saved you from getting COVID.” Yeah, that will matter to them.
Does that weird you out now about playing shows?
I think I got a window on this livestream that we did. We filmed it already. It was odd and it was great. It was filmed about a month ago and when I first planned it, it was in January or February – a long time ago. [I did it] to coincide [with the release of the new album], because the record company was saying, “You’re not touring right now; can you do something?” I hated the idea of the limited audience, but I’m like, “Alright, I’ll do one of those fuckin’ social-distanced bubble shows at a club.”
It was 200 people and as the months progressed, COVID started dropping and things started opening and we went to 300, 400, 500. By the time we filmed it in June, doors are open wide, lines are around the block, shoulder to shoulder and it was packed. I did a meet-and-greet at the end, and everything was fine. Then, all of the sudden, the variant hit and that’s why I think we found the window.
So yeah, it does weird me out. I’ve got an in-store booked in August, which is only a few weeks [from now] and I told him, “Listen, they’re talking now about September being the peak of the new spike, if this thing keeps going. I may be cancelling this thing or doing it behind Plexiglas or something like that.” It’s advertised as meet and greet, sign, photos, the whole nine yards – because people thought, "Oh yeah, this thing is behind us," but it looks like it’s not.
It’s a very bizarre time to be doing anything, especially releasing a record.
Certainly with Zoom, I've been doing like so many interviews, so you’ve got that going on. I didn’t plan on touring this year anyway due to the COVID. I’m being completely frank, you know, because I always am. It’s to a fault with me, but I think actually, long term, it’s actually benefited me being this outspoken asshole. Somehow, people are like, "Yeah, you know what, that’s Dee." I get away with a lot more. I found that it was year two with my album, For the Love of Metal, where it had a chance to sink in. I had the best shows when people knew the songs and were singing the songs. They were responsive.
There was a point where I went right out after the album [was released] and I was playing, I called them the “bathroom songs.” I had an ongoing bit with the audience that if anybody goes to the bathroom while I’m playing my new song, I’m going to find you and beat the shit out of you. So I think that by 2022 when this thing – and I do believe, you know, here’s one of my Dee statements: Either all of the non-vaccinators will have died off or we’ll be through this thing. One way or the other, the album will have sunk in a little bit more, and it will be a better time for me to go out and support it. In 2022, I know I’ll be out there playing again.