Twisted Sister frontman Dee Snider called out Spotify CEO Daniel Ek in a recent interview. He doesn't appreciate the executive's attitude toward musicians who are struggling to make a living in the internet age.
"I wanna tell you, he should be taken out and shot," the singer said during a recent episode of The Jeremy White Show.
Ek explained his understanding of the music industry's future in a famous 2020 interview with Music Ally.
"You can’t record music once every three to four years and think that's going to be enough," the executive said. "Artists today that are making it realize that it's about creating a continuous engagement with their fans."
Snider found Ek's comments to be "insulting and belittling." The frontman didn't appreciate what he viewed as a demand for a constant stream of content.
"When he heard that artists were complaining about how little we get paid, his response was 'make more music' – like we're producing cans of Coke," the singer said.
It's notoriously hard to make a living off of music in the Internet age. Spotify pays artists a fraction of a cent for every individual stream. The situation became even more challenging earlier this year when the company moved to stop distributing royalties for songs with less than 1,000 streams.
Spotify appears to be having a hard time, as well. The streaming service laid off about 1,500 workers earlier this month, which was equivalent to around 17% of its workforce at the time.
"Despite our efforts to reduce costs this past year, our cost structure for where we need to be is still too big," Ek said in a note to his workers.
He also spoke about the company's strategy going forward.
"In Spotify’s early days, our success was hard won. We had limited resources and had to make the most of every asset," the CEO said. "As we’ve grown, we’ve moved too far away from this core principle of resourcefulness. The Spotify of tomorrow must be defined by being relentlessly resourceful in the ways we operate, innovate, and tackle problems."
Snider feels lucky that Spotify and other streaming services aren't his only source of revenue.
"For me, it's licensing. The licensing is the last godsend, the last oasis where you can actually make some money," he said. "Steven Spielberg chooses 'We're Not Gonna Take It' for the finale of Ready Player One. Thank you, God, 'cause I'm not getting anything from Spotify."
This is far from the first time Snider has taken on powerful forces in the music industry.
Back in 1985, the hair metal singer testified in front of the U.S. Senate after more than a dozen record companies agreed to place parental guidance warnings on their explicit releases. The decision came at the behest of the Parents Music Resource Center.
The group's leader Tipper Gore – the wife of former Vice President Al Gore, who was a Senator representing Tennessee at the time – called Twisted Sister's track "Under the Blade" a masochistic song about kinky sex. Snider countered that the track is actually about a bandmate's surgery.