Don de Leaumont of The Great Southern Brainfart recently conducted an interview with SKID ROW bassist Rachel Bolan. A couple of excerpts from the chat follow below.
The Great Southern Brainfart: SKID ROW followed "Slave To The Grind" with "Subhuman Race", which I think is an awesome album. On this album I hear either a band that was experimenting and taking a chance or a band that is in complete turmoil. What was the case here?
Rachel: It was complete turmoil all the time. Snake [guitar] and I had a formula, which was us writing and bringing songs into the band. All of a sudden, that changed. Things just got completely muddled and thrown in a blender and by the time we agreed on a producer to use, we went up to Vancouver to do it with Bob Rock and he changed it some more. Granted, he is a very talented man, and I will never take that away from him, but that record just went in such an opposite direction than I saw it going and I just wasn't crazy about it. We do a couple of songs off that one in our show, the ones that stick out. It was really the beginning of the end. We did a small tour in the States, a small tour in Europe and then went to South America. That was it. We were done. After we came back from South America I remember us looking at each other and going in five different directions and getting in five different cars to go home.
The Great Southern Brainfart: The band had such awesome chemistry on stage with that line up. Was Sebastian just getting a bad case of lead singer's disease or something that made him hard to deal with?
Rachel: Absolutely. The reason why it was so hard to do it at the end was because we had been doing it for so many years. After a while it just wasn't fun anymore.
The Great Southern Brainfart: Fans of the band have always stated their want for a SKID ROW reunion with the Sebastian [Bach] and Rob [Affuso, drums]. Is this something that will ever happen?
Rachel: I can't see that happening and I think I can speak for Scotti [Hill; guitar] and Snake that they couldn't see it happening either.
The Great Southern Brainfart: You guys ended up picking Johnny Solinger to front the band when you reformed. He must be doing something right as he's been in the band for over 10 years. How does working with him compare to your former singer?
Rachel: It's easy. Johnny is a very easy-going guy. Snake and I are good at seeing other people's strengths and while he contribute some things to some songs he just says, "Look, I'm the singer and you're the songwriters. I'll sing and you songwrite." He's got a great feel for stuff like that. A great skill for when we bring new stuff to him and he'll say, "You know what? Can I try this to your melody?" and it's never a tug of war. It's like friends getting together and it's great working with him. He's got great pipes and he takes care of them. Once he gets off stage, he likes to disappear because talking a lot kind of freaks him out but he's a good guy. He's a good person, a good dad, and like you said, he's been in the band 11 years so he's got to be doing something right.
The Great Southern Brainfart: So I'll be honest, I didn't pick up any of the newer SKID ROW albums because I was holding on too tight to the nostalgic past. I ended picking up "Revolutions Per Minute", because of this interview and I absolutely loved it. You guys sound like you were having so much fun and the songs are inspired and full of life. Was this a common reaction to get from old SKID ROW fans?
Rachel: [laughs] A lot of old-school SKID ROW fans love "Thickskin" and absolutely hate "Revolutions Per Minute". A lot of people don't get it. If there was ever an experimental record we made it was that one. We just said, "You know, let's not do ballads on this record." We had a country song on the record. We just had fun. We got back together with Michael Wagener (producer), who's always been a friend since the early days. We hadn't done a record with him in years and it was blast. We just had fun doing it. We knew that people were either going to like it a lot or absolutely hate it and that's been the reaction [laughs].
The Great Southern Brainfart: What can we look forward to from SKID ROW in 2011?
Rachel: We've been writing a lot and we're hoping to get something out at the end of the year. Every time I say that it doesn't happen though [laughs]. We're going to release something this year whether it's a full album or a couple of singles. We're going to try to do things a bit different because the music industry is so different than when we first came out. We're just going to play it by ear and take it as it goes and maybe we'll pop up on a movie soundtrack or something.
Read the entire interview from The Great Southern Brainfart.