RACHEL BOLAN Doesn't Believe SKID ROW Reunion With SEBASTIAN BACH Would Generate A Lot More Money
March 13, 2023
SKID ROW bassist Rachel Bolan has shot down the rumor that he was the lone holdout on a proposed reunion with singer Sebastian Bach more than a decade ago. Speaking to Tulsa Music Stream, Bolan said (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET): "It's not just me. The three of us [me and guitarists Dave 'Snake' Sabo and Scotti Hill] all felt the same. But there's plenty of rock and roll to go around for everyone. It's just not something we wanna do.
"A lot of people say, 'You can make so much more money' [by reuniting with Sebastian] — well, not a lot of people, but a few people — and it's not that much more. It's really not that much more.
"I'm not gonna talk garbage about anyone," Rachel continued. "[The split with Sebastian] just happened.
"We are so happy now, and we're just moving in a forward direction non-stop. And it's great. It's so fun to be doing a career for as long as we have."
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, Sabo and 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 2022 and was replaced by Erik Grönwall, who was previously a member of the Swedish hard rock band H.E.A.T.
During an appearance on a December 2022 episode of the "I Am All In With Scott Patterson" podcast, Bach was asked if there has been any talk of a reunion of SKID ROW's classic lineup. He responded: "There was texting and a little talking. But there needs to be more talking."
When interviewer Scott Patterson pointed out that some of the other 1980s rock bands have been able to play stadiums in recent years, Bach concurred, saying: "Absolutely. POISON and Joan Jett, MÖTLEY CRÜE, DEF LEPPARD… Yeah."
Asked "what is wrong" with the SKID ROW guys that they won't agree to reunite with Bach, Sebastian said: "Well, I have a manager named Rick Sales, and he protects my interests. So they've gotta deal with the business side of things, and they would rather maybe not deal with that, as far as I can tell — just not deal with that. But there's always a number. I mean, we're all still alive."
Earlier last year, Sabo was asked by Scott Penfold of Loaded Radio how he feels about people still calling for a reunion with Bach. He said: "Well, it's been 23 years [since SKID ROW reformed], so to say that I'm over it would be an understatement. We attempted [a reunion] slightly [back in 2016]. We dipped our toes in the water and realized that it didn't feel so good. It's just one of those things where we still could not see eye to eye; we couldn't even get past the point of simple texting.
"I am really, really happy where we are," Snake continued. "I'm very proud of our past, and all due credit to everybody who's been involved in every aspect of our career, whoever that may be, 'cause it all led to where we are now.
"I've been asked a thousand times: 'What about the payday [of a reunion with Sebastian]?' And that's all well and good, but if that's why I did this — if that's why we did this; I can speak for everybody — we probably wouldn't be doing it," Sabo explained. "I wanna be happy, and I am very, very happy. And so are the guys; everybody's really happy.
"The music climate is what it is, and we're a classic rock band, and I'm proud of that. And we're still able to make music. I mean, Jeez — I live a very, very blessed life, man," Snake added. "I have nothing but gratitude and humility for what we have achieved and for what we're able to continue to do. So while there may be people out there who are flashing dollar signs with a lot of zeroes, I still have to be happy doing it, and I am. And that's what's most important. I need to be happy being in a band with the people I'm in a band with. A lot of other bands can go out and they don't see each other till they're on stage and travel on separate buses and all that stuff, and that's all well and good, but I don't wanna live my life like that. I don't wanna be up onstage and kind of living a lie; it just doesn't feel good. So, while I'm thankful for people's interest and whatnot, I'm even more thankful that we still get to play music for a living under our terms."
In 2021, Bach told Florida's 98.7 The Gater radio station that "there's no reason" for the classic SKID ROW not to reunite. "When those guys [in SKID ROW] try to say [about me], 'He's difficult to work with,' let me just say this one more time. We have not been in the same room together since the year 1996," he said. "Shut the eff up about you thinking you know what I'm like. You don't know anything about what I'm like. And the 'Gilmore Girls' think I'm okay to work with; Broadway thinks I'm okay to work with; the 'Trailer Park Boys' think I'm okay; GUNS N' ROSES think I'm pretty cool. We're not getting any younger."
Sebastian went on to say that a SKID ROW reunion "should" happen "for the fans. And we are absolutely running out of bands — bands that can play in sheds," he said. "The fact that we are all still alive and we are all in our 50s — some closer to 60 than others — but that, to me, is selfish that we're not together.
"I can play with anyone. I do play with everyone [laughs] — except for them."
Three years ago, Bolan also confirmed that he and his bandmates "were entertaining the idea" of reuniting with Bach following Harnell's departure. But Rachel shot down the possibility of a rekindling of his friendship with Sebastian, explaining: "Well… Here's the soundbite for Blabbermouth. I wouldn't say we were friends [when we were in a band together]. We were bandmates. You know what I mean? We're two very different people." Bolan added that he hadn't seen Bach "in years."
Four years ago, Bach was asked by Rolling Stone what it would take for SKID ROW to be reunited. He responded: "It would take those guys to realize that I have a lifetime manager. His name is Rick Sales. I've been with him since 2006. They don't want to deal with a guy like that. They want to give some singer who doesn't have a manager $700 to $800 bucks a week. I've got a team that's worked with me and don't allow me to get fucked around. I didn't have that team when I was 19 years old."
In response to Bach's statements about the earnings of SKID ROW's singer, Sabo told Rolling Stone in an e-mail: "I guess fact-checking isn't in his skill set… The five of us go on that stage as a band and we all get paid equally. We're in this together. There's no egos."
Sebastian went on to say that SKID ROW was "close to reuniting, but then it didn't happen. The fact that it didn't happen obviously makes me somewhat bitter, because life is only getting shorter, as the song says," he added.
"I wouldn't say 'came close,'" Bolan told Rolling Stone in an e-mail response to Bach's account of the reunion talks. "We entertained the idea. Snake and I went as far as talking with agents and promoters about money. But we quickly learned after a few text conversations, why we fired him in the first place. Nothing is worth your happiness and peace of mind."
Sabo added: "It was already a miserable experience, and we didn't even get on the phone."
In 2021, Bach completed a U.S. tour during which he celebrated the 30th anniversary of SKID ROW's sophomore album, "Slave To The Grind".
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