Dee Snider, lead vocalist of Twisted Sister, shared details of a phone call with Donald Trump during his 2016 presidential campaign on a recent episode of Steve-O’s ‘Wild Ride!’ podcast. Snider revealed that he initially granted Trump permission to use the song “We’re Not Gonna Take It” at his campaign events. However, after realizing their differing political views, Snider called Trump and respectfully asked him to stop using the song.
“And I’m gonna pick up a phone. I’m gonna say, ‘Listen, I need you to stop using the song. We’re not on the same page.’ And so I did. We’re not on the same page, and we don’t see eye-to-eye. And to his credit, he said, ‘Okay.’ He stopped using it that night. He never used it again. And he knows he could use it. And I called him back and said, ‘Hey, are we cool?’ And he said, ‘Dee, we’ve done so much charity work together.’ And we had — many things. And he goes, ‘Of course we’re cool.’”
Despite their friendship and past collaborations on charity projects, Snider and Trump found themselves on opposite sides politically. Snider described Trump as a salesman looking for people to buy his product, and they didn’t share the same beliefs.
The use of “We’re Not Gonna Take It” extended beyond Trump’s campaign, as it was also used by figures like Paul Ryan and anti-mask groups during the COVID-19 pandemic. Snider, disapproving of the song being associated with certain ideologies, took to social media to express his stance, emphasizing that the song was intended to uplift the downtrodden, not to inspire oppressors.
“Anti-Trump, what he stands for. I believe he’s a salesman, and he’s looking for someone to buy his product, and the people he found who bought his product were people I don’t agree with.”
The episode sheds light on the intersection of music and politics, illustrating how artists may navigate the use of their songs in connection with political figures or movements that they do not endorse. In Snider’s case, he chose to address the situation directly with Trump and clarify his stance on the song’s association with specific ideologies.
“Attention: I wrote ‘We’re Not Gonna Take It’ to lift up the downtrodden. Not inspire the oppressors. F*** anyone who cares only about what they want and not the greater good. ‘We’re Not Gonna Take It’ is not your song. It never was, and it never will be!”