Tim Louie of The Aquarian Weekly recently conducted an interview with SKID ROW guitarist Dave “Snake” Sabo. A couple of excerpts from the chat follow below.
The Aquarian Weekly: In April, you guys dropped two bombshells in one day. First, the announcement on your website that Johnny Solinger was no longer with the band, leading many of us to believe there might be a reunion with that other guy [Sebastian Bach], but the second bombshell came on Eddie Trunk‘s show that former TNT singer Tony Harnell joined the band. Then a few weeks later, you released a new version of one of my favorite songs of all time, “18 And Life”, with Tony singing, which pretty much shut the naysayers up. Why did you decide to go that route as opposed to just releasing a new song with Tony singing?
Snake: Well, we wanted to make some noise. There’s so much traffic out there as far as so much information being thrown at us every day. In order to be heard above the noise level that we exist in, you gotta do something that will hopefully turn some heads a little bit. So, we thought that if we just did this boom, boom, boom, hopefully people will notice. Tony has a stellar reputation, he’s had success in his own right, so we felt that we needed to make as much of an impact in a small amount of time as we could. The last thing any of us wanted to do was make it a negative transition for Johnny or the band. Johnny spent a great amount of time in the band and there are a lot of good memories there. By the same token, we live in a different day and age, and for us, we had to really cut the cord and move on as quickly as possible, and I don’t mean to sound callous with that, but it’s more a case of survival. Plus, we had to start planning the upcoming year. It got to a point where it just wasn’t fun anymore, and when Rachel [Bolan, bass] and I started this band, we made a vow that once it became overwhelming and not as much fun anymore, we would pull the plug. With Tony, there is a new excitement and a new energy with the band.
The Aquarian Weekly: Are you still finishing the third and final part of the trilogy EP, “United World Rebellion”, or will you be recording a new full-length with Tony?
Snake: Well, we’re trying to figure that out right now, whether we’re gonna do a full-length or if we’re gonna do one more EP. The record company perspective is that they want a full-length and I understand that. I just don’t know if that is right for the band. We’ve written some stuff and we have a new member in the band. So that changed the dynamic completely, but when we’re done touring, we’re gonna have to sit down with each other and start figuring what exactly it is that we want to do. Once we do that, I think it will be a fairly speedy process, but we’ll see.
The Aquarian Weekly: I have to be honest, Snake, as a fan of SKID ROW since first seeing you at Studio One in Newark and then a few months later seeing you open for BON JOVI at the Brendan Byrne Arena, I was a skeptic of Tony Harnell fronting the band, but after hearing him at the [Food Truck & Rock Carnival] this past September, I have to admit that I was pretty impressed. I am a fan of the original guy too, but…
Snake: That’s awesome! You know, the funny thing is that most people think when talking to me or someone in the band that it might be sacrilegious to talk about our past. I’m proud of our past. Seriously, how could I not be? I think that would be incredibly ignorant not to be able to talk about it, but to be proud of what we accomplished. The five guys in the band, when we did the first record and stuff like that, was a different day and age, we were different people and whatnot, but it was a great time! Of course, as time went on, we grew apart and idiosyncrasies tend to come out, but this isn’t about why the original five guys broke up or anything like that. I’m proud of it. Seriously, without that, I don’t have a career. We don’t have a career. So, I look back at much of that fondly, but sometimes you have to move on. Happiness, to me, is my spirit and my soul is more important to me than having dollars in my wallet. People may [not] believe that and that’s okay. Anybody who knows me knows that to be true. I don’t think you can place a price on happiness. We’ve been hit repeatedly over the years with, “Why don’t you do a reunion tour?” And you know what? I understand the question and I get it. I really do, and if I were on the outside, I’d be asking the same question, but no one feels comfortable with that idea.