Prior to SKID ROW's recent performance at the Hard Rock Hell festival in Wales, bassist Rachel Bolan spoke with Underkill TV. The full conversation can be viewed below. A few excerpts follow (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET):
On whether vocalist ZP Theart's previous band, I AM I, touring with SKID ROW led to him becoming the group's new singer:
Rachel: "Sort of. Rob Hammersmith, our drummer, myself and Z were going to start a side project right after he left DRAGONFORCE, and it just never materialized, him being in the U.K. and us being back in the States. But we always kept in touch. I AM I came out with us, and we all saw how amazing he was, but there was nothing in our heads, no plans. Then when it got to the point where we were looking for a new singer, I actually got a text from Z — he's like, 'Hey, you think it's about time maybe we should get in a room together?' He came over and he just destroyed it. It was amazing. It was really amazing. It wasn't like he was [just] prepared; it's like he wrote the songs. We were all very blown away. We kind of kept it under wraps for a year. We were just kind of feeling out everyone as people, and it just worked out so well, we were like, 'Hell yeah — let's do this.'"
On the forthcoming final chapter of their "United World Rebellion" trilogy:
Rachel: "We're working on it. We've been writing, and it's going to be a full-length record. We have a ton of songs written, and we're just getting into rehearsals and pre-production now. We'll be recording the record with Michael Wagener, who did our first two records and our fifth record, and it's just going to be great. We're so excited about it. We're really proud of what's coming out of it right now, out of the writing and the demoing. We're shopping it to a couple different labels that want it. We just want to do what's best for the band now, so it gets to that point — that teeter-totter of business and music and music business and all that crap, so right now, we're just trying to keep our heads down and write and demo up as much stuff as possible and then we'll figure out what what label we're going to put it on."
On the musical direction of their new material:
Rachel: "It's similar to the other two chapters. I think since Z joined the band, we have a little more room — and I'm not putting anyone else down — for vocal experimentation. Z was a SKID ROW fan. He's ten years younger than us, and he grew up being a SKID ROW fan. At this point, we're so close to it, he kind of has a better feel for it at times than we do. Sometimes, he'll just be like, 'Yeah, no, that's song's cool,' [and] we're like, 'You don't like it, do you?' He's like, 'It doesn't sound like SKID ROW!' I'm like, 'All right, cool. We'll just look at it from a different angle.' You get so close to things sometimes, and you just don't realize what you're doing. But we're proud of what's going on. It has that SKID ROW feel. Even if you just heard a few notes of it, I think you'd be able to tell it's a SKID ROW song, and his vocals are just phenomenal."
On covering other artists' material:
Rachel: "When you cover a band's song, it's always like, 'I hope they like it.' When we did [THE RAMONES'] 'Psychotherapy', Joey [Ramone] actually called me, and he's like, 'Great version, man!' I was like, 'Wow! One of my idols called me!' Then he sent a poster rolled up in the mail, and they had all signed it, and he wrote, 'Great fuckin' version of 'Psychotherapy'.' It was a 'Mondo Bizarro' promo poster that I still have. For a kid that grew up listening to the RAMONES, I was just like, 'Wow — I'm going to have this poster laminated, encased in glass and put in a safe.'"
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 — SKID ROW's first with the South African-born, British-based Theart, who officially joined the band last year — 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.