Guitarist Dave “Snake” Sabo (Skid Row) had a recent chat with Kendall Toole, fitness influencer and ambassador for NAMI (National Alliance on Mental Illness), where he spoke about mental illness, saying:
“I started Skid Row in 1986, but I’ve been dealing with mental health and mental illness issues since my early teens. And so throughout the ups and downs of my professional career and my personal life, it’s been something that’s been riding right next to me, on my shoulder, the whole time — and still does to this day; it’s not something that just — boom! — goes away.
“I always felt that music was my purest form of expression, and now I’m happy to see that we’re having more of a dialogue regarding mental health and mental illness. So not only am I able to express myself through music, but I’m able to express what I go through and what I’ve gone through verbally.
”And hopefully it offers some — not only insight, but maybe some solace for people who are struggling with the same issues that we struggle with. And I’m just thankful that we’re able to do something like this, because this didn’t exist five, 10 years ago — this openness regarding mental health and mental illness.”
He added more:
“The perception of what mental illness was for so long, it terrified me to expose myself in any sort of public forum, because being in a band and being a quote-unquote public figure or whatever and being out there, the last thing I wanted to do was do anything that would diminish the popularity of the band or have the band looked at in a negative way because I was going through a depression, anxiety, panic attacks — all these things that were overwhelming. And so I put on a brave face and I hid it forever — up until my mid-30s.”