SKID ROW bassist Rachel Bolan and singer Sebastian Bach spoke to Billboard about the band's decision to follow up its multi-platinum self-titled debut album with a much more aggressive sophomore effort. Released in June 1991, "Slave To The Grind" quickly soared to platinum status and became the first LP to debut at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 chart since it began using Nielsen Music data in May of 1991.
"Our female audience decreased by about 45 percent," noted Bolan. "It was mainly dudes, because the album was so much heavier too, so it alienated a lot of women."
"The times were getting heavier," observed Bach. "The bands that didn't get heavier in '91 really lost fans quick. Looking in hindsight, the whole scene was changing to a darker thing. If we had gotten lighter than the first SKID ROW record in '91, I don't think we'd be doing this interview right now."
"Slave To The Grind" spent a week at No. 1 and has sold more than two million copies in the U.S. alone.
Back in 2015, Bolan discussed the "Slave To The Grind" songwriting process with The Aquarian. "I think a lot of people expected us to become formulaic with the way we approached the first record and we had no interest in doing that," he said. "And I'm so proud of all of us for being on the same page with that. I'm not saying that it would have been easy from the creative standpoint to sort of go along the lines of the first record, because it had some pretty big songs as far as radio goes, but we were in a different mindset. We had gone from barely leaving the state of New Jersey to seeing the world that very few people are privileged with."
Rhino is celebrating the 30th anniversary of "Skid Row" with a digital deluxe edition that includes the original album remastered for the first time, expanded with the bonus track "Forever". The deluxe edition also features a previously unreleased live performance from 1989, marking the first ever release of a full live show from the band. "Skid Row: 30th Anniversary Deluxe Edition" is available now on all digital download and streaming services.
An in-depth interview with Bolan and Bach about the making of "Skid Row" can be found at Billboard. (Note: The bassist and singer were interviewed separately.)