SKID ROW Guitarist: 'We Work Harder Probably Than We Ever Did'
September 14, 2019
Dave "Snake" Sabo has credited SKID ROW's current vocalist, ZP Theart, with rejuvenating the band, two decades after its split with Sebastian Bach.
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 bassist Rachel 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.
Speaking to Jose Mangin for an edition of Zippo Encore's "Dudes Talking S#*t In A Truck", Sabo said that SKID ROW is still around because he and his bandmates are passionate about their craft.
"We started the band in '86 — late '85, early '86 — and to think that 33-something years later, or whatever it is, that we're still able to play. And not only are we having a really good time with what we're doing, and that's largely because of [ZP], to be honest…
"If there's anything that young adults, or whatever, who are coming up in the music business, one of the things that they should always know, and this is what he did, is be prepared, man — know you shit; study your shit and be prepared."
Recalling how Theart came to join SKID ROW, Sabo said: "Rachel called him. Rachel and he were friends. Zee had a band called I AM I; they did some shows with us in the U.K. And then when everything fell apart with Tony, Rachel goes, 'Let's just give Zee a call and see if he wants to come over.' And he did. And he comes over, and we were, like, 'Okay, what songs do we wanna play?' And we were expecting to do maybe three or four songs. And he had a list of 20 songs that he knew in and out. And that's what he did.
"I've gotta admit — I'm not easily impressed, and I was really, really impressed by that, because it showed me, not only are you passionate about what you do, your ego isn't such that you're, like, 'Whatever.' He was, like, 'I fucking know these songs, man. I know these songs.'
"We're not still here 33 years later because we don't work hard — we work harder probably than we ever did," Sabo added. "Take a look at our touring schedule — we do over a hundred shows a year without fail and still get time to put out music and stuff. And it's simply because of the love of what we get to do. And it's an honor and a privilege to do what we get to do."
Sabo recently confirmed that SKID ROW is "just about done" recording the final chapter of the "United World Rebellion" trilogy, which will tentatively be released in early 2020. The disc was tracked at a Nashville, Tennessee studio with producer Michael Wagener, who also helmed the group's 1989 self-titled debut and 1991's "Slave To The Grind".
SKID ROW's new album, which will be made available through Australia's Golden Robot Records, will feature collaborations with several outside songwriters, including Corey Taylor (SLIPKNOT, STONE SOUR) and Lzzy Hale and Joe Hottinger of HALESTORM, a group that covered the title track of "Slave To The Grind" on its "ReAniMate: The CoVeRs eP" in 2011. SKID ROW also worked with songwriter-for-hire Marti Frederiksen, who has previously collaborated with AEROSMITH, DEF LEPPARD, Jonny Lang and Sheryl Crow.