Debby Rao of KNAC.COM recently conducted an interview with SKID ROW bassist Rachel Bolan. A few excerpts from the chat follow:
KNAC.COM: How did you want "Revolutions Per Minute" to be different from previous SKID ROW albums, and not showcase the band as a nostalgia act?
Bolan: The only thing we really set out to do is not to do any ballads. I mean we are well known for our ballads. It wasn't like we were pushing that side away. We just felt like going in and making an album that had a little more crunch to it, and a little different style. We wanted to do something unexpected. We went ahead and put our punk feel into things. We went into different directions. The song "You Lie" almost ends up country hard core. We wanted to take chances. We never made a record like this. We didn't want to concentrate too long on any one style. We just got in a room and wrote songs and if we liked them we put them on the record. That was our whole philosophy.
KNAC.COM: When SKID ROW first burst onto the metal scene in 1989, you had something to say, and were never afraid to make a statement. But, a lot of people considered you an '80s hair metal band. Do you feel SKID ROW was lumped into that category? I think you were so much more than that, don't you agree?
Bolan: I do. People still call us an '80s hair band, which I mean; our album came out in the end of the '80s. Our big success really hit in the 90's. We are more than a hair band, but I don't care what people think, as long as they like our music. I mean, the message has changed over the years because we have seen so much more. We have gotten older, not grown up, (Laughter) but getting older. Things change, you kind of work off more life experience than general experience.
KNAC.COM: How did the grunge scene affect SKID ROW?
Bolan: Well, it affected us the same as it affected the whole genre. It put us all out of business for a while. There were times that I even mentioned that I was in SKID ROW; I got looked at like I had a scarlet letter around me. (Laughter) It was tough. My friends would always say this stuff is so going to come back. I was like, "Well I hope so." Because I really like going out and playing. It had us worried there for a while. But I mean, I think that happens to every genre. Now grunge is barely spoken of nowadays.
KNAC.COM: How different was the vibe in the studio compared to the earlier days when Sebastian [Bach] was still in the mix?
Bolan: Well, there is a lot less stress. There is virtually no stress. Making records with Johnny [Solinger] is a blessing. The guy is so prepared. He goes in and goes at it a lot quicker, let's just put it that way. He knows what he has got to do. He has a really good sense of feel for stuff that we write. We really don't have to tell him all that much. He just goes out there, and in the booth and knocks it out. He loves working with Michael [Wagener, producer]. The first time he ever worked with Michael, he heard how Michael is kind of hard on singers. I told him to be prepared; he wants the best performance that you got inside you. Michael was like, "Oh my God. I wish everyone would sing like this." He gets done so quickly, he knows what he wants.
KNAC.COM: When Sebastian left in 1996, did you ever have any reservations about the band's future? Did you ever think about maybe pursuing racecar driving full time?
Bolan: Just to clear things up, we fired Sebastian. When we put the band back together, he was never invited for it. So it was we not wanting to play with him. Not him not wanting to play with us. That being said, I knew I was going to land in music. That is in me. That is what I do. Of all the stuff, I do, that is kind of what I do best. As far as racing goes, that is what I do for a hobby. I do that for fun, and to relieve stress. I never thought that I wouldn't be doing something in music, whether it was just writing songs for people or producing. The older I get, I am like man, sometimes touring can really take it out on you. Then when I am not onstage for two months, it is like right now our last show that we did was like two weeks ago, I am climbing the walls. I am like; I got to get onstage again.
KNAC.COM: Is there going to be a new SKID ROW DVD soon?
Bolan: Yeah, we are hoping to get it out before the end of the summer. Like I said, I just got a rough cut. The director just dropped it off at my house. Some of it is live that we taped down here in Atlanta. There will be interviews and some stuff in the studio. It is going to be kind of a cornucopia of SKID ROW.
KNAC.COM: I know Snake was good friends with Dimebag Darrell, and Dime's induction into Hollywood's RockWalk is May 17th. How were you influenced by Dime?
Bolan: I was influenced by Dime the person. First of all the way he is with fans, is like no other person. Dime would get out of bed with a 104 fever to go take a picture with one of his fans. That should be the parameter that we all treat our fans. I have never seen anyone treat their fans better than Dime. As far as music, the guy was just a genius with what he did with the guitar. Any musician that doesn't realize that is just not listening. He was, without a doubt, one of the most creative people that I have ever met in my life. Whether it was on his guitar, or songwriting, or him with his stupid-ass video camera that would be in your face. You couldn't even take a piss without him shooting. (Laughter) Then he would ask you the questions. But that was what made Dime so special. He was one of those guys that would do anything for you. It is such a great loss to music to not have Dime around anymore. I am sure he was just scratching the surface with his talent. Just not to see where it would go from the point he got killed is horrible. It was a great loss, but we have his memory and music to listen to. That has to be enough. He was just a really, really special person. PANTERA toured with us for a while with "Slave to The Grind". It was our first major tour, which was awesome. They were there for most of the tour. Then we brought SOUNDGARDEN for three weeks. He would watch us everynight, and we would watch him every night. After that we stayed in touch a little bit, and went to see him play in Dallas. He was just such a great dude.
Read the entire interview at KNAC.COM.