SKID ROW bassist Rachel Bolan and guitarist Dave “Snake” Sabo were interviewed by Kaaos TV prior to the band’s May 16 performance in Helsinki, Finland. The full conversation can be viewed below. A few excerpts follow (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET).
On the last time the band made a mistake while performing:
Rachel: “When was our last show? Some nights, your brain just stops for a second and a song you’ve been playing for thirty years, you just make a tiny mistake. But I think we play so much nowadays that we never really have a bad show where everyone messes up. We laugh about it, without a doubt.”
Dave: “You get lost in the moment, and then you realize that you’re in the wrong moment. It happens — you’re human beings, but that’s the beauty of going to see bands live, when they’re playing their instruments. There’s no backing tracks; there’s no stuff being flown in or anything. It’s just five guys up there with their instruments, giving it their best shot. We pride ourselves on giving everything that we’ve got every night. Sometimes we’re going to make a mistake, and that’s fine — that’s the human element of what we do.”
Rachel: “There’s some nights where you’re just not clicking, and you’re thinking of everything else except what you’re doing. You’ve kind of got to psychologically and mentally slap yourself in the face — like, ‘Come on, snap out of it.’ But it happens. Life is still going on whether you’re on stage or not, and sometimes, you have one of those nights where you come off stage and you’re like, ‘Was I even out there?'”
Dave: “You get inside your own head. If I make a mistake, I get really upset with myself. The one thing that brings me back to reality is the reason why we’re there — to entertain the people in front of us. Once I can get back to that place — like, ‘Wait a second, man. I’m not here for my own ego; I’m here for these people’ — then all of a sudden, I’m back in the game with my brothers and it’s cool. Everyone takes their job within the band very seriously because we don’t want to let each other down, and we know that in order for us to be a great band, we all have to be great together. If one of us is lacking or not performing up to what our standard is, then it affects us all as a whole. One of the great things about the five guys in this band is that we’re all about SKID ROW. We’re not egocentric — it’s not about Snake, or it’s not about Rachel. It’s about SKID ROW, and what do we need to do to make that great, and that experience for the audience — how can we make what we do great for them, so they walk away going, ‘Wow, that was one of the best shows I’ve ever seen. I got more than my money’s worth.’ That’s important to us — that’s a responsibility that we take very seriously.”
On their musical camaraderie:
Dave: “I’ve had the opportunity, as he has, to play with a bunch of different people, but the reason why we got together in the first place is because there was just something that worked that didn’t work with other people. Somehow, he and I clicked. That’s just the way it’s been since 1986, 32 years. No matter whom I play with or jam with, it will never be the same. It will never capture that. It will be great — it will be wonderful — but it will never be that.”
Rachel: “There’s just certain things — you start to have to the same brain after a while. You know what each other are thinking, which is a scary thought on its own. All five of us on stage kind of know the move each other is going to make before we actually make them. It’s kind of a built-in radar you develop over years and years and years. Even sitting down to write, we’re one step in front of each other with ideas, and that’s why it works so well.”
Dave: “For us, we end up filling in the gaps for each other. One of us will have an idea and it will get to a certain point and there’s a gap there, and the other one will be, ‘Boom, that goes there.’ That’s how it’s always been with us. That’s the reason why we kept working together in the very beginning, because we realized that while we have certain similarities, there’s certain things that we might do better than the other guy, so we can complement each other. That was the basis of what this band is — it was based around that concept of our songwriting together.”
Rachel: “It’s really important to know your strengths, but it’s even more important to know your weakness. That’s where we fill in the blanks for each other.”
On what to expect from the group’s forthcoming album:
Rachel: “We’re going to do a full-length record instead of an EP, but it’s going to be the third installment of the ‘United World Rebellion’ trilogy. We have a lot of songs — we’re stockpiling a lot of songs. We’re going to do the record with [producer] Michael Wagener, and we’re all really excited. For [Snake] and I, this is the first time we ever really stepped out of our comfort zone [in] songwriting. We wrote with other musicians and songwriters that were our friends, and it’s coming along really good. We’re really proud of what we’ve written so far. It’s going to be heavy, and there’s going to be some ballads. It’s going to be what you would expect out of SKID ROW.”
On how they let someone they’re writing with know if they’re not enthusiastic about an idea:
Rachel: “When we get together with someone, we’re like, ‘There’s no bad ideas. You can’t hurt our feelings.’ The people we’ve written with are professionals, and they know how it goes. If they’re your friend, they’ll understand even more. It will be like, ‘Hey, dude — I hate that tie.’ It’s all good.”
Dave: “I think there’s bad ideas from everybody. We just don’t call each other out on it all the time. When you get in a room with people that you admire and respect and they are your friends, it’s an honor number one, and number two, it might not work for SKID ROW or whomever, but on some level, it does work, because you’ve got three or four different people from different backgrounds who are excellent musicians in their own right, so something interesting is going to come from that. Whether you use it on a SKID ROW record or not, something really cool is still going to come from that.”
On whether the band plans to ever reissue any older material:
Rachel: “Not really. We’re looking at the future, continuing on with what we’re doing, continuing our legacy. We’re all steam ahead with ZP [Theart, vocals], and we’re looking really forward to it.”
Dave: “We respect our past and we pay tribute to it every night, but we are about the here and now. It’s about what we’re doing in 2018.”
SKID ROW‘s upcoming album is expected to include collaboraitons with several other artists, including members of SLIPKNOT and HALESTORM.
The follow-up to 2014’s “Rise Of The Damnation Army – United World Rebellion: Chapter Two” and 2013’s “United World Rebellion: Chapter One” will mark the band’s first release with the South African-born, British-based vocalist ZP Theart (DRAGONFORCE, TANK, I AM I), who officially joined SKID ROW last year.