SKID ROW bassist Rachel Bolan has once again ruled out the possibility of a reunion with singer Sebastian Bach, explaining that it took him and his bandmates "a long time to find the absolute perfect guy" to front the group.
Bach fronted SKID ROW until 1996, when he was fired. Instead of throwing in the towel, the remaining members took a hiatus and went on to play briefly in a band called OZONE MONDAY.
In 1999, SKID ROW reformed and, after a bit of shuffling over the years, featured a lineup consisting of Bolan and guitarists Dave "Snake" Sabo and Scotti Hill, alongside drummer Rob Hammersmith and singer Johnny Solinger.
SKID ROW fired Solinger over the phone in April 2015, a few hours before announcing ex-TNT vocalist Tony Harnell as his replacement. Eight months later, Harnell exited the band and was replaced by South African-born, British-based singer ZP Theart, who previously fronted DRAGONFORCE, TANK and I AM I.
Speaking to Metal Wani about persistent calls for a SKID ROW reunion with Bach, Bolan said (hear audio below): "There's a couple of angles to look at, like promoters, for instance — they love reunions, because that means dollars, and they think on a big scale. I get it — I don't agree with it, but I get it. Some fans just don't like change, and that's a shame. If I were like that, then I wouldn't have liked most of the lineups of RAINBOW or [BLACK] SABBATH or AC/DC or DEEP PURPLE — you know what I mean? Things change, man. And not to get all spacy and hippy, but maybe that's the Aquarius in me that I just like change, man — I'm not afraid of change. Some people are, and whatever — that's their thing."
He added: "We're gonna keep doing this as long as we can keep doing it. And it took us a long time to find the absolute perfect guy for the band, but it's all full steam ahead right now."
SKID ROW is preparing to enter the studio to begin recording 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 be a full-length record and will mark the band's first release with Theart, who officially joined SKID ROW last year.
SKID ROW has collaborated with several artists, including members of SLIPKNOT and HALESTORM, on the songwriting process for the new disc, which will arrive sometime in 2019. SKID ROW has also worked with songwriter-for-hire Marti Frederiksen, who has previously collaborated with AEROSMITH, DEF LEPPARD, Jonny Lang and Sheryl Crow.
SKID ROW's upcoming release will see the band reunited with famed rock/metal producer Michael Wagener, who worked on SKID ROW's first two albums, 1989's "Skid Row" and 1991's "Slave To The Grind", as well as 2006's "Revolutions Per Minute".
"We've been in pre-production," Bolan told Metal Wani. "When we play it for people, they're, like, 'Oh my God! This could be the second half of 'Slave To The Grind'.' Or, 'This could have been right before 'Youth Gone Wild' on the first record.' So we're, like, 'Okay. Cool. We know where we're going now.' It's a really good feeling. And Michael Wagener, he pulls no punches when it comes to telling his opinions of what he thinks of the songs, which is great — that's what you need a producer to do. And he [told] us, 'This is some of the best shit you guys have written, for real.' So that makes me feel really good, because I really respect his opinion."
"We're really excited about it," he said. "We're working with Michael again; he's such a good friend. That adds another element of excitement to it. The only part that makes us nervous — and it's a good nervous, because… Picking the songs to do is always the hardest part, so we're just getting in pre-production and making demos of everything, as every band does. Then it comes to the part of deciding what songs we're gonna actually put out. And this is gonna be a full-length record instead of an EP, so picking songs will be a bit difficult, but we'll get by. There's worse problems to have."
Bach has consistently expressed his desire to reunite with his former bandmates, telling Loudwire in 2016: "I don't have any reason why not to do that. I have no animosity towards anybody in SKID ROW, and the fact that we're all, five of us, still alive in this world is a pretty amazing feat. So I would someday definitely like to hear the five guys who made those records play live together again. Yes, I would. 'Cause I'm a fan too." He added: "I'm up for it, if they are."