SKID ROW bassist Rachel Bolan spoke to Australia's The Rockpit about the progress of the songwriting process for the final installment of the band's "United World Rebellion" trilogy. 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.
"We're going into pre-production starting on [June] 25th," he said. "We're going into the studio with [producer] Michael Wagener and just going into rehearsals now in pre-production and start working the songs out."
As for the musical direction of the new SKID ROW material, Rachel said: "The songs, I'm really liking them; I think we all are. We've been in rehearsals with them a bit here and there and messed around with them, but they're shaping up really well. And you know what? With us, anything could inspire us. I don't know how guys in their 40s and 50s find this teenage angst all the time, but it's just festering there down inside of all of us. We're trying to keep to the theme of 'United World Rebellion' and just kind of center ourselves around that whole kind of idea of about being yourself and do what you want to do first before someone tells you what to do. That's kind of always been our mantra — you have to believe in yourself or no one else will."
Bolan also talked in more detail about the SKID ROW songwriting process, saying: "It's kind of as it's always been. Some days it's difficult. Snake [guitarist Dave Sabo] and I will get in a room and we'll shoot ideas at each other and sometimes we'll just look at each other and go, 'Man, I didn't like any of your ideas. Did you like any of mine? Nope'. You know what I mean? [Laughs] So it's, like, 'Okay, what the hell do we do now? Let's put on a drum loop and see what comes out.'
"The way we're writing and the way we've always written is very organic; you really have to feel it," he continued. "There's no real formula to the way we do things. The big difference on what we've been doing lately is we finally said, 'Okay, we've never really written with outside writers, we have so many friends in bands so lets start with that. Let's not go straight to, 'Okay, this guy wrote this hit for this band.' We did write with a couple of people like that, but we mainly wrote with friends from other bands, and it's just really cool, because you sit around, just like Snake and I would do, and you laugh and you might not get to songwriting for two hours because you're telling stupid stories from the road and then you start getting creative and shit just starts flowing out of you, and you're, like, 'Cool. We have a song,' or a skeleton of a song. It's been really fun doing it like that, but I mean, granted, Snake and I are still writing the bulk of everything, but Scott [Hill, guitars] has been sending ideas, and Rob [Hammersmith, drums] gets in there and puts his feel. No matter who writes it, it's not a SKID ROW song until we all get in a room together and put our feel into it."
Bolan recently told Australia's Heavy music magazine that SKID ROW's new album — which, unlike the first two chapters of the "United World Rebellion" trilogy, will be a full-length recording — will feature songwriting contributions from Corey Taylor (SLIPKNOT, STONE SOUR) and HALESTORM's Lzzy Hale and Joe Hottinger, as well as writer-for-hire Marti Frederiksen (AEROSMITH, DEF LEPPARD). The record is expected in 2019.
Theart stepped into the group following the departure of Tony Harnell, the former TNT frontman who joined SKID ROW in 2015 as the replacement for Johnny Solinger, the band's singer of 15 years.