Are SKID ROW Members Multimillionaires? RACHEL BOLAN And DAVE 'SNAKE' SABO RespondDecember 20, 2022
In a recent interview with U.K.'s The Telegraph, SKID ROW bassist Rachel Bolan and guitarist Dave "Snake" Sabo were asked by writer Ian Winwood whether Ian was "in the company of wealth." According to Winwood, both men answered, without hesitation, with the word "yeah." Millionaires, Ian wondered. "Yeah," they said. And how about multimillionaires? "Yes," was the response from Bolan, while Sabo said: "Almost."
Rachel added: "There's a very popular American DJ, who will remain nameless, who talked shit about us on his show saying that we all live in tents. And I'm, like, well, then I've got two very nice tents."
Bolan previously touched upon people's misconceptions about SKID ROW's financial status this past July in an interview with Fistful Of Metal magazine. Asked if it is still viable to make a living as a musician these days. Rachel responded: "People have this misconception that everyone in the band is broke, and we're not. We had some massive songs, which I guess they forgot about, and we sold nearly 23 million records [laughs], so we're not broke by any means. I heard some woman say, 'Oh, they live in tents', and I'm, like, 'Okay. I've got a couple of tents, one in Jersey and one down in Atlantic City, and they're nice tents, y'know?'
"We never had to go back to day jobs; the albums keep selling, and we make good money on the road," he explained. "That's another misconception that we play for peanuts; it's a lot of peanuts. [Laughs] Don't slip on the fucking shells."
Back in 2015, Sebastian Bach told Rodney Holder of Australia's Music Business Facts that only three of the members of SKID ROW's classic lineup were part of the band's record deal with Atlantic: Bach, Bolan and Sabo. "And so, those agreements are done before you go into the studio," the singer said. "You have entertainment lawyers that speak to each other about what's happening and then you sign everything and then you go do it. And the ironic thing is, I haven't been in a room with Rachel Bolan in [more than] 20 years, but we are still in a business relationship together. We have the same accountant, and I get statements and we get… It's very strange, 'cause we are close together in a business sense — still, and forever — but I don't even have any relationship with the guy. So it's very strange and weird."
Asked if he "did okay" financially as a member of SKID ROW, Sebastian said: "We all did okay. When you sell 20 million records, everybody does okay. I mean, that's how many albums we sold and videos, singles… But, you know, we signed a publishing deal with [Jon] Bon Jovi's company, which gave him an extremely large cut of the first album. And when that happened, none of us realized it, really, and we were very bitter when we found that out. But our next record debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard chart, so quit your fucking whining. [Laughs] It's, like, I look back… He took us on tour… Nobody thought we'd make it. There was a million bands. We could have been BANG TANGO or TIGERTAILZ or… We could have been… There's a billion bands. We could have been BABYLON A.D. … Anyway, so, the fact that we were one of the bands that did make it was like a needle in the haystack. So for Bon Jovi to put us on the road in front of his crowd every night, that's how we made it. So he deserved to get paid for that. He could have taken any other band. So we re-did all those deals after the first album — for 'Slave To The Grind' and 'Subhuman Race' and the best-of album. We re-did all those."
Regarding whether he sees himself as a businessman, Bach told Music Business Facts: "Definitely. I am the president of Get Off My Bach Productions, and I am the boss in my band. I have a crew, I have a guitar tech, drum tech, soundman, tour manager, monitor man, band members… So, yes, I am a businessman. It depends on what interview I'm doing, you know, how I'm gonna answer that, as I said before. But, of course I am… Here's one thing that I should tell you: I sign my own checks. If this is a business article about business, here's something I'll tell you: you be the person that signs your checks. And that took me years to figure out. I had, in SKID ROW, accountants that sometimes I didn't even really know that would handle all the money and sign my checks for me. And you know what? That's not cool. I would say one of the greatest feelings I have is I'm the guy that signs my checks for my company — nobody else has that power, and people have tried to get it. And I'm, like, 'No, I'm the guy that signs checks for Sebastian Bach.' And so that would be a piece of advice that I would say would be good to keep."
Bach fronted SKID ROW until 1996, when he was fired. Instead of throwing in the towel, the remaining members took a hiatus and went on to play briefly in a band called OZONE MONDAY. In 1999, SKID ROW reformed and, after a bit of shuffling over the years, featured a lineup consisting of Bolan, guitarists Sabo and Scotti Hill, alongside drummer Rob Hammersmith and singer Johnny Solinger. SKID ROW fired Solinger over the phone in April 2015, a few hours before announcing ex-TNT vocalist Tony Harnell as his replacement. Eight months later, Harnell exited the band and was replaced by South African-born, British-based singer ZP Theart, who previously fronted DRAGONFORCE, TANK and I AM I. Theart was fired from SKID ROW in February and was replaced by Erik Grönwall, who was previously a member of the Swedish hard rock band H.E.A.T.
SKID ROW's new album, "The Gang's All Here", was released in October via earMUSIC.
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