Interview: Snake Sabo of Skid Row
Pull out your denim jackets and your big hair and get ready for Skid Row touring Australia & New Zealand this October! This will be the first-time Australian fans get to see former Dragonforce singer ZP Theart fronting Skid Row! I was lucky enough to have a casual chat with original member and lead guitarist Snake Sabo this morning and this is what he had to say...
What has it been like having ZP Theart on vocals for Skid Row going from touring vocalist to official lead vocalist?
To be honest, it’s been better than expected, it’s amazing. The more I get to know him as a person the more I like him. He has got such a positive energy and there is nothing self-serving about him. He’s all about the group, the band, the five of us and how do we succeed, not about how can I use this to make my stars shine brighter, it’s what can I do as the singer of this band to make this band bigger, better and stronger. He’s not a complicated person so he has a great simple positive energy to him and it’s very infectious. When you are around somebody like that it really seeps into everybody’s soul and their spirit, so it becomes a part of your constitution, a part or your fabric and it really is one of those things where you find yourself going “man I really like being around this guy and I like being around everyone in this band, man we are having a lot of fun”. The bottom line is it’s been so productive and so positive that everyone wants to get out there and jam and wants to go out and tour and do more shows and everybody wants to create new records. There has been nothing in our dialogue that has been “we have to do this, we have to do that”. It’s been “we want to do this, and we want to do that” and that’s pretty huge. ZP is so respectful of the history of the group and he honours the songs every night. It’s not about anything self-serving, it’s about performing the songs to the best of his ability and honouring them. It’s been pretty amazing so far having ZP as our vocalist.
Sounds like you are having a lot of fun then?
It makes me go crazy that the fact we are able to play music for a living, it’s so humbling and it’s so amazing to be in a situation where you get to do what you love at this stage of life. To be able to go out and play music and play your songs in front of people and have people respond to those in a positive way. Not to get all sappy and stupid, but that really is the truth and it rings true more than ever now, after this band has been in existence 32 years and in October I get to go to Australia again. The first time Skid Row was in Australia was in June of 1990 and the fact that we are able to still come to Australia, I mean half way around the world from New Jersey is incredible. We don’t take anything for granted, we know how fortunate we are. This time around people are going to see a really energised band that really is enjoying being out there entertaining and performing in front of the people that are there.
How’s writing for the next chapter of your United World Rebellion trilogy coming along?
It’s going really well, going slow as usual, that’s the way Rachel and I work. We are going to have Michael Wagener produce the record, we start doing the beginning parts of pre-production in about two weeks. Having Michael involved is a pleasure and honour. He is a really important person in the history of this band. The great thing about Michael is his enthusiasm is never wavering. He is great at bringing the best out of every musician that he is working with. I am really excited to see what he is able to do with ZP.
Any news on a release date yet?
There is no release date yet, but hopefully sometime in early 2019.
What’s your favourite Skid Row song to play live?
Probably Quicksand Jesus & Monkey Business
Being in a Heavy Metal Band that got started up in the 80’s, I’m sure you’ve seen some wild & crazy things. Is there a story or experience that sticks out over all of them?
To be quite honest, this band 32 years ago, we’ve had so many experiences, inspiring, degrading and inspirational stories, but they all play a significant role in the history of our group and how we got to where we are today. So, for any one thing to stand out, you can’t pick just one. There has been so many ups and downs of this band, they all lead to where we are right now. Our focus is where we are right now, and this next record is going to be very reflective and indicative of this positive state of mind that we are in right now.
What’s your thoughts on the way the digital music is going?
I don’t lament the past or anything like that, I do relish the experiences of growing up and going out and buying a record and opening up and looking at the liner, it’s that whole experience that was wonderful and I’m thankful that that’s what I grew up with, stealing my older brother’s records. My education came from all the albums that were upstairs in my parents’ house. The way we gather music these days is just a different way, it just means something different now. We live in an on-demand world now and that’s ok, it’s just a different way of delivery. The experience that one gets is not going to be the same as what I had growing up, but that’s not to say that there isn’t great music out there none the less. I will say this, and I’ve gotten into shit for saying this before, but I believe for a great amount of people music was more important to them going back ten twenty years than maybe it is to people now. I just don’t know if music is as important in the current generation that it was in earlier generations.
Do you have any support bands for your Australian tour yet?
To be honest, I don’t know. I haven’t seen anything suggested to us yet.
Do you have any words for your Aussie fans before we say goodbye?
We have been coming there since 1990 and the only reason we get to keep coming back is because of the support that we get from our fans in Australia. It really is humbling. I hope that people get the opportunity to come see us with ZP, honestly, they will not be disappointed. We are doing our best to give the best of us to the audience.
Written by Tam Schilling
Skid Row Tour Dates
Thursday 18th October – Eatons Hill, Brisbane
Friday 19th October – Prince Bandroom, Melbourne
Saturday 20th October – Manning Bar, Sydney
Sunday 21st October – Astor Theatre, Perth
Tuesday 23rd October – The Gov, Adelaide
Wednesday 24th October – Studio, Auckland
Tickets from silverbacktouring.com.au