For many, heavy metal music has a wild reputation, but guitarist Adam Newell knows personally of the generosity of one of the genre’s biggest names.
The Ottawa native and Providence, R.I., resident recently performed with Dee Snider, frontman for Twisted Sister, the headbanging hitmakers who played their final concert in 2016.
“Very cool, very supportive and appreciative of the hard work the band put in. Always willing to hand out advice,” Newell said of Snider.
A 2008 Ottawa High School graduate, Newell is a member of Scattered Hamlet, a hard-rocking band that tours nationally (he also is a solo artist).
He played some gigs with Snider because members of the singer’s backing band were scheduled to play conflicting dates in Europe, Newell said in an email interview.
“My name got mentioned, so I went down, auditioned and the next day they told me I got the gig. I was pretty familiar with the material, especially the (Twisted Sister) hits ‘We're Not Gonna Take It,’ 'I Wanna Rock' and ‘You Can't Stop Rock N Roll.’ ”
Newell also had to learn and play music from “For the Love of Metal,” Snider’s latest album.
“ … I was really excited to play the new material, it's very heavy and very well written. After the last show Dee told me 'thanks for putting in the work, and it was great sharing the stage with you and I'll be seeing you again soon.' So I'm hoping to play a couple more shows with him,” Newell said.
For fill-in gigs, the Snider concerts were pretty memorable, especially a couple of European festivals.
“The first one was in Rejmyre, Sweden called Skogsrojet. About 15,000 (people) were there. And the second one was Alcatraz festival, in Courtrai, Belgium. That one was about 50,000 people. It was an unbelievable experience and an honor to play with the rock legend Dee Snider,” Newell said.
A resident of Rhode Island for about 10 years, Newell left his hometown the day after his high school graduation to learn from mentor David Prout, a friend of Newell’s brother, Rodney.
When in Ottawa, Adam Newell played in bands KSM, Sour Mash Junkies and The Accomedators,
“I’ve also performed solo acoustic shows in the area from time to time. I usually play the Blarney (Pub), West Side Pub, Zeller Inn, Jonny Coconuts and many other bars/clubs in the area. I always try to do a couple hometown shows every year.
“The support from my friends and family who live in Ottawa is so awesome. I'll always know where my roots came from,” Newell said.
Scattered Helmet is working on a new album and Newell is recording his own solo disc as well as putting together a Providence band. He hopes to play again with Snider, with whom he has bonded.
“We had a cool conversation the first time I met him. My original drummer in Scattered Helmet, Jake Delling Le Bas, has been in a coma since last September. He fell three stories from a balcony,” Newell said.
“So last June we released a cover of ‘Stay Hungry’ by Twisted Sister to pay tribute to him. It was just a crazy coincidence that I got offered the audition just a couple days before the release. So when I first met him he was like ‘You’re in that band that covered Stay Hungry!’
“And he asked about how Jake was doing, and what had happened and he shared a story with me regarding his mom’s passing while he was recording his album. So it was a cool bonding moment, and I could really see he was touched by our cover of ‘Stay Hungry.’ He shared the video a couple times on his Twitter (feed) and gave us a couple shout outs since. So yeah, he's a super cool dude.”
And even cooler when he invites you to play in front of 50,000 people.
Information about Adam Newell and Scattered Hamlet can be found on Facebook. Snider’s extensive website is deesnider.com.