Producer says Twisted Sister were “among the least proficient musicians” he’s worked with: “It took three days to get a rhythm guitar sound”
Legendary rock producer Tom Werman has described Twisted Sister as “among the least proficient musicians” he’s had the pleasure of working with.
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In a recent chat with Songfacts, the producer looks back on his career over the decades, including his various collaborations with some of rock’s biggest names like Mötley Crüe, Cheap Trick, Poison, Ted Nugent, and Dokken.
Of the many hits he’s produced, Werman cites one of Twisted Sister songs [on 1984’s Stay Hungry] as one of the most challenging tracks he’s worked on, saying the team “struggled for three days” to get a “decent rhythm guitar sound”.
“The whole album was a challenge,” he recalls, adding that “The band had a lot of spirit – a great vibe – but they were among the least proficient musicians.”
For instance, “It took three days to get a rhythm guitar sound for Jay Jay [French].”
“We tried everything. We tried different guitars, we tried different amps, we tried different microphones, we tried different placements. It was very tough. We finally settled on something, and that’s a lot of dollars and a lot of time spent on something that should have come together in a few hours.”
“They were a good band, but most of the other bands I worked with were better at their instruments,” Werman says. “Twisted Sister figured out a way to come across powerfully even with that.”
On the flipside, the producer names Ted Nugent as “among the better guitarists” he’s worked with, possibly even “the best”, adding that the rocker’s politics has undoubtedly overshadowed his guitar playing.
“He has his own unique style. I think he was respected in the beginning, but when he started being political, that definitely overshadowed his guitar playing,” Werman says. “You say Ted Nugent’s name now and people only think of one thing, which is his political posture.”
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