Dee Snider Says Twisted Sister Royalty Checks Are a ‘Joke’
Dee Snider said Twisted SIster didn’t receive a penny in album royalties until 1998, and that, despite selling millions of records, the payments amounted to a “joke.”
In a recent interview with The Metal Voice, the frontman recalled how their initial success period had come and gone before any money came their way, and it didn’t seem to include a share of the sales they’d generated before splitting in 1987.
“Twisted Sister didn't start receiving any album sales royalties until we recorded ‘Heroes are Hard to Find’ for the  Strangeland soundtrack,” Snider said. “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 and we had not gotten one royalty check.”
He added that, as the subject of reuniting was discussed, Atlantic Records boss Ahmet Ertegun was consulted. “Somebody brought it to [his] attention that we were still in the red all these years later,” he said. “[T]hey were trying to get us together and said, ‘Ahmet would you please just wipe these guys' accounts clean? Ahmet, we got enough from them.’ And Ahmet Ertegun probably didn't even pay attention or know these things but he saw it and said, ‘They paid enough – cleared the debt.’ And so we have been getting royalty checks.”
But Snider continued: “The ones we should have gotten [for] those big ones, we never got. In 2001 Napster came out, so a few years later people stopped buying records – so our royalty checks are a joke.”
Elsewhere in the interview, the singer said he was comfortable with taking responsibility for Twisted Sister’s original split. “[A] lot of the younger generation has a tendency to point and not want to take responsibility for your actions, especially when things go wildly wrong,” he argued. “When I screwed up Twisted Sister – and I did – It was me. I didn't point fingers at the other guys in the band. At the end of the day I was the problem and I am the reason we broke up. I take full credit and full responsibility.” He added: “I also take credit for the good things. We sold 10 million records – you're welcome!”