Skid Row guitarist and co-founding member Dave ‘Snake’ Sabo says they’re extremely proud of their upcoming sixth studio album.
Speaking to Paul Anthony backstage shortly before taking to the stage for their storming headline set at Planet Rockstock, Snake said recruiting South African singer ZP Theart as their frontman three years ago has “reinvigorated” Skid Row as a band.
Reflecting upon their increasingly busy schedule both in the studio and on the road, Snake said: “It’s because of ZP in all honesty. He has brought a new positivity and a new electricity into the band that we were lacking, admittedly.
“So, when we were on the search for a new singer he flew over to Nashville where we rehearse at in the States and we were expecting to do like three, four, five songs and he shows up with a list of 20 that he can do and we were like ‘oh, man this dude has done his homework’. He knew them all, he knew them better than we did. And we were like ‘man, here’s a guy that did his homework and he performed them great as well.’ And then when we got going, we were like ‘let’s see if we can make this work’. The more that we played, the tighter we became.
“It seems so simple, but we just got better – we became a better band. He was never about how much he can make his own star shine; it was about how we can make this band bigger and better. It reinvigorated, I think, everybody. It sounds like I’m blowing smoke up his ass but it’s really the truth. You can see it when you see the band play live, it’s very obvious.
Skid Row at Planet Rockstock 2019 © Darren Griffiths
“So now we’re back to that place where we’re creating like crazy and we’re in the midst of finishing up a new record that we’re very, very proud of so far (laughs) who knows what can happen?! But the thing is we’re probably the happiest we’ve ever been as a band and that’s really important when you’re at 33 years later, to be able to say that is pretty important.”
Skid Row released the first two parts of their trilogy – the EPs ‘United World Rebellion’ (2013) and ‘Rise of the Damnation Army. United World Rebellion: Chapter Two’ (2014) – with ex-vocalist Johnny Solinger, and will release Chapter Three as a full length album with ZP Theart (who replaced Tony Harnell).
It will be their sixth album and the follow-up to 2006’s ‘Revolutions per Minute’.
Asked by Paul what it was like having ZP bringing in fresh ideas for the new long-player, Snake replied: “Oh my gosh. Y’know the thing is the case with the band has always been ‘best idea wins’. It doesn’t matter who it comes from, it’s a very democratic process to be quite honest. And he’s brought some great, great ideas to the table.
“So, to have that be interjected into the relationship that Rachel (Bolan) and I have as a writing team, it’s inspiring, it makes me want to be able to say ‘here here’s more. What do you think of this? What do you think of this?’ And he’s not shy about hearing something and saying ‘man, that’s really cool’. Where I’d be like ‘Oh, really?’ I didn’t think twice about it and then all of a sudden he starts going ‘no, seriously do this or do this’. Then all of a sudden you’re going ‘alright’. A fresh set of ears and eyes.”
Skid Row at Planet Rockstock 2019 © Saskia Dugon
ZP chipped in: “When we started there was no limits put (in place). I didn’t know how I’m allowed to give. It’s not something that was talked about. The more the ideas came out, the more I stated liking them. I was thinking yeah, I can seriously put in here. For the whole creative process, it made it fun.”
Snake added: “For us to have that sort of outside set of eyes and ears and to be interjecting something Rachel or I would never have thought of. That was pretty cool, man. It’s pretty inspiring. Again, it opens up all new avenues that maybe we haven’t gone down before.”
Asked when United World Rebellion: Chapter Three will see the light of day, Snake responded: “We’re almost done. We finish up this tour on the 9th (December) and take a little break for our holidays. Well, not really because we’re starting some mixes and stuff like that. We’ll see how that goes.
“We’re not in any rush. We’re not going to put out anything that doesn’t meet what our standards are if you will. If we have any standards (laughs)! We want to make sure that it’s the best thing that we could possibly do at this particular moment in time.”
Watch the full interview with Snake and ZP Theart right here: