SKID ROW guitarist Dave "Snake" Sabo says that he is not affected by other people's opinions of his band, explaining that there are "always going to be detractors and naysayers" who will never embrace any kind of change.
SKID ROW fired singer Johnny Solinger over the phone on April 6, a few hours before announcing ex-TNT vocalist Tony Harnell as his replacement.
Solinger, who joined SKID ROW in 1999, released a statement that same day claiming that he had "decided to leave SKID ROW to pursue [his] solo career."
Asked what his thoughts are on the reactions from the online community to SKID ROW's latest lineup change, Sabo said during an appearance on this past Monday's (May 11) edition of Eddie Trunk's SiriusXM satellite radio show, "Eddie Trunk Live": "I've kind of always lived by the fact that I can't let another person's opinion affect me and my life and my career; I can't… People that I don't know…. I can't do that. I mean, obviously, there's people that we talked to about this before we did it, people that we trust their opinions, and those are the opinions that are gonna affect me. I can't change what people are gonna think out there through anything other than having the band be great. And if people give the band an opportunity and see it for what it is, and then hopefully they'll think it's great. But then again, there's people who are never gonna change their minds — they're just set in their ways — and that's just the way it is, and you know what?! That's all right."
He continued: "At the end of the day, the five of us have to be really, really happy and enjoy what we're doing, and we are, and it's exciting and it's fun, and it's new and it's fresh; it's all those clichés. And so, I have to go by that.
"If I get wrapped up in what the comments section on Blabbermouth are gonna say, I would have been hanging from a tree branch sixteen years ago, and I can't do it. It doesn't do any of us any good. We just have to go out there and be genuine and be honest, and go about our business the way we always have. There's always gonna be detractors and naysayers, and that's okay. I think that, as SKID ROW, our history has proven that we kind of work better in that environment, as underdogs. This is no different."
Sabo added: "The person that I'm concerned about — or not even concerned; I'm excited for — is Tony. He's a great, great singer — everybody knows that — and he has had success on his own. And I think this gives people an opportunity to maybe see him in a different light, and he's gonna get a chance to really express himself, maybe in ways that he's never had a chance to before. And that's exciting to me. It's exciting to be playing alongside of a guy that's gonna have that opportunity, and I have no doubt that he's gonna be successful at it. Change sometimes is not good, but this time it's good… for us."
In a recent interview with Canadian rock journalist Mitch Lafon, SKID ROW bassist Rachel Bolan stated about the band's split with Johnny Solinger after fifteen years: "It was evident [that it was time for us to go our separate ways]. There were certain things going on out on the road that kind of set us thinking… Things had been going on for a little bit."
He continued: "At certain times, you just get the feeling someone isn't putting a hundred percent into things. And SKID ROW is very important to the rest of us. And we wanted to carry on with quality performances and quality songs, so we decided to make a change."
Regarding how Tony Harnell came to be SKID ROW's new singer, Rachel said: "We've known Tony for years — literally, probably since the beginning of our career. And although I wasn't a big TNT fan, I was a Tony Harnell fan, as [were SKID ROW guitarists] Snake [Dave Sabo] and Scott [Scotti Hill]."
He continued: "When we made the decision to ourselves that we were gonna start looking, Tony's name came up. And I was, like, man, it's so funny, 'cause a couple of years ago, I was up in New Jersey for Christmas and I met with Tony in New York and I had dinner with him and another friend. And we just started talking. And he's, like… He goes… We'd known each for a long time, but at that point we hadn't spoken for a while. He's, like, 'I hear you guys are doing good things. How's it going?' I said, 'It's going pretty cool.' He goes, 'Man, you guys should have called me when you got a new singer [back in 1999].' And I guess that kind of popped up in the back of my head when we knew we were gonna make a change. And we immediately got in touch with Tony."
Asked if SKID ROW is working with Harnell on a "trial" basis or if Tony is "the guy" for the long haul, Rachel said: "He's the guy. I mean, that's where we're at in our heads. It's not a temporary thing. But, you know… [laughs] if get gets sick of us and leaves, then that'll be a different situation. But things are going really well now. And we're very excited. We're very excited about our future, very excited about getting on the road."