"Midlands Rocks" conducted an interview with SKID ROW bassist Rachel Bolan and guitarist Dave "The Snake" Sabo at this year's Download festival, which took place June 13-15 at Donington Park in Leicestershire, United Kingdom. You can now listen to the chat using the Mixcloud widget below.
SKID ROW — Johnny Solinger (vocals), Scotti Hill (guitar), Rachel Bolan (bass), Dave "Snake" Sabo (guitar) and Rob Hammersmith (drums) — will release its new seven-song EP, "Rise Of The Damnation Army - United World Rebellion: Chapter Two", on August 5 via Megaforce Records.
After a hiatus that started in 1996, SKID ROW returned to the big stage — literally — opening for KISS in 2000. Exhilarated to tour with the heroes who rallied them in the first place, the band was reinvigorated by being underdogs who needed to come out fighting to prove themselves.
"When we put the band back together, we needed to reintroduce SKID ROW as relevant without relying too much on past success," explains SKID ROW bassist Rachel Bolan. "We wrote songs and hit the road. We sunk our heart and soul into it, letting people know we weren't doing it for lack of something better to do."
2003's "Thickskin" and 2006's "Revolutions Per Minute" were battle plans for hundreds of live shows with new singer Johnny Solinger out front, every night being a hard fought battle to win new fans and convince the old ones. "United World Rebellion - Part 2" is SKID ROW coming out swinging. Rachel and Sabo tapped again into the potent songwriting collaboration that built the band. Sabo says they were eagerly up to the challenge. "We seem to be at our best when we're faced with adversity. It's us against the world again — and by us I mean the band and the fans who stick with us and carry the SKID ROW torch without fail."
New plans came together in an Atlanta recording studio. But it's a different time, a different industry, so they decided to record a series of EPs. "The idea really appealed to me," says Bolan, "especially with the constantly changing musical climate. I like the idea of a steady flow of new music, as opposed to releasing a full-length album then riding it for the next two years."
That guerrilla burst of recording a concise EP fostered a focused intensity that was liberating, says Snake. "The pressure seemed to be lifted. That immediately set me at ease and it became really exciting."
Exciting and potent, prompting Solinger to exert the full range of his ability. "The third time in the studio as the voice of SKID ROW was the proverbial charm, and the proof is in the tracks. 'United World Rebellion - Part 2' is the most meaningful work I've done with the band. It's definitely the most I've been challenged, vocally."
"Rise Of The Damnation Army - United World Rebellion: Chapter Two" will also contain covers of QUEEN and AEROSMITH classics as bonus tracks. Asked why they chose these tracks to cover, SKID ROW said: "These songs fit seamlessly into the subject matter of 'United World Rebellion: Chapter Two'. They both have that 'get up and fight' attitude.
"These songs were from our youth that meant a lot, and as far as we know, no one has covered them, and more important, the songs are still exciting and fit perfectly with the attitude of all other songs on the album."
"Rise Of The Damnation Army - United World Rebellion: Chapter Two" EP track listing:
01. We Are The Damned
02. Give It The Gun
03. Catch Your Fall
04. Damnation Army
05. Zero Day
06. Sheer Heart Attack (QUEEN cover)
07. Rats In The Cellar (AEROSMITH cover)