The glam frontman revealed his take on Metallica’s show structure during a recent appearance on the Shout It Loud Loudcast (September 2), and explained why he is against bands performing two completely different setlists at their shows.
The discussion came in light of the metal veterans unrolling a ‘No Repeat Weekend’ structure for their ongoing ‘72 Seasons’ tour – meaning that when they play back-to-back nights in one location, they will perform two completely different setlists and have two different bands open the show each night.
While this gives diehard fans a chance to see the thrash metallers break out some lesser-played rarities and provide two unique performances each night, Snider criticised the choice, saying it leaves the majority of the audience disappointed.
“I wasn’t aware they were doing that, and credit to them. But I think it’s kind of self-serving and it really only appeals to a small percentage of the crowd,” he began (via Blabbermouth). “The majority of the people going to these shows […] they’re there for the hits. The percentage of people who know the deeper cuts and are willing to accept not hearing ‘Enter Sandman’ one night, that’s a very small bunch of people.”
He continued, comparing the decision to his own experience with Twisted Sister, when the band played some reunion shows back in 2001.
“When Twisted first reunited, [some] guys made the setlist and they wanted to put some deep cuts; they put some stuff from the bar days in there… I remember we played those songs and it was just dead and just about eight hands [raised in the air], like, you could count the hands,” he said.
“And after that, the guys said, ‘All right. No more putting that stuff in the show’ because it’s really self-serving; it caters to a very small part of the audience. Unless you’re buying both – and that’s maybe the idea. You know, shake ’em down, get ’em to buy both tickets so they’re hearing every song because they’re diehards.”
He added: “But Metallica’s audience has grown so far beyond just hardcore fans. They have hits […and] unfortunately, people like you [diehard fans] are the minority… [there is] 10 per cent, five per cent, one per cent of the crowd who really want to hear those deep cuts and will savour it when they go into those songs.
“I’m just being honest. Yes, the hardcore [fans] love to hear those extra songs, those special songs. The majority aren’t hardcore, and they are filling up that arena, they’re filling up that festival. They’re here to hear the big songs, and that’s when they light up, and you could see their reaction.”
After the podcast appearance, Snider went on to clarify his stance on X (formerly Twitter), by confirming that he did not intend to take aim at Metallica, but rather shed light on how audiences are increasingly becoming less interested in exploring a band’s full discography.
“No need to call me, James (though I always love hearing from you). Read the article NOT just the headline,” he wrote. “I wasn’t attacking Metallica. It was a broader discussion on heritage artists playing new music and the majority of the audiences lack of interest. #sadbuttrue.”
The podcast itself also agreed, sharing Snider’s update and adding: “People should actually listen to what Dee said by listening to the interview. Dee was not insulting anyone, certainly not Metallica.”
No need to call me, James (though I always love hearing from you). Read the article NOT just the headline. I wasn’t attacking @Metallica. It was a broader discussion on heritage artists playing new music and the majority of the audiences lack of interest. #sadbuttrue https://t.co/Bjc2Wb5CNZ
— Dee Snider🇺🇸🎤 (@deesnider) September 2, 2023
This isn’t the first time that the singer has sparked a debate by sharing his views on some of the biggest bands in the rock world. Earlier this year, Snider also made headlines by declaring that Robert Plant and Ronnie James Dio weren’t “great frontmen”.
As for Metallica, the band noticeably unraveled their ‘No Repeat Weekend’ structure at this year’s Download Festival, where they performed two headline sets across the festival, and refused to play the same song twice across the duration.
Additionally, the band recently announced that they were forced to postpone an ‘M72’ world tour show in Glendale, Arizona last weekend after frontman James Hetfield came down with COVID-19.