SKID ROW's RACHEL BOLAN Says Performing Entire 'Slave To The Grind' Album For 30th Anniversary Was 'Fun' And 'Cool'

February 12, 2023

In a new interview with Barry Robinson of Classic Album Review, SKID ROW bassist Rachel Bolan spoke about what it was like for him and his bandmates to celebrate the 30th anniversary of their classic second album, "Slave To The Grind", by performing it in its entirety a couple of shows in 2021. He said (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET): "We did it, I think, two or three times, and it was fun. It was kind of weird, because it's a completely different energy. Especially with 'Slave To The Grind', because that album was basically the point where our demographic, live demographic, went from about 50-50 male to female to about 20-80 male. So now here we are 30 years later and we're playing the whole thing, and everyone that's in the crowd is just, like… You could see all the women asking their husbands, 'What song is that?' [Laughs]

"It was cool, though," Rachel continued. "It was really cool to dig out some of those songs. I think there was one or two that we never played live. So it was really cool to go and dig in and learn those songs again. It was fun. And we had the original backdrop in storage all these years. And I remember we spread it out on my front yard, and it took up the whole damn yard. [Laughs] So we had to pull it out into the street, and my neighbors had to drive around it to go up the driveway. But it was musty and smelly, and a lot of the paint chipped off. But we were, like, it's kind of cool. It kind of shows the age. And just to go out using the original backdrop was kind of a cool thing."

In the summer of 2020, Bolan told SiriusXM's "Trunk Nation With Eddie Trunk" that he and his bandmates would embark on a "Slave To The Grind" 30th-anniversary tour in 2021. "We'll do the album in its entirety, and then we're gonna do a bunch of stuff to coincide with it," he said at the time. "We're pretty psyched, and the shows are booked. We're keeping our fingers crossed that everything is gonna come to pass… It'll be cool, to go out there and do 'Slave To The Grind' top to the bottom. That'll be fun."

Bolan went on to say that SKID ROW didn't celebrate the 30th anniversary of the band's self-titled debut album in 2019 because "the timing didn't really work out. We had so much other stuff planned, and then all of a sudden, boom, it was here," he explained. "Maybe down the road [we'll celebrate it]. Maybe [for the] 40th [anniversary]. [Laughs]"

Former SKID ROW singer Sebastian Bach also celebrated the "Slave To The Grind" 30th anniversary on a U.S. tour in the fall of 2021. He performed the LP in its entirety at all shows on the trek, which kicked off in October of that year.

Bach previously performed "Slave To The Grind" in its entirety in October 2019 at the Whisky A Go Go in West Hollywood, California. Earlier that fall, he completed a U.S. tour during which he celebrated the 30th anniversary of SKID ROW's self-titled debut album.

In June 2019, Bach issued an "open invitation" to the other members of SKID ROW's classic lineup to "get onstage and jam" during the vocalist's last tour. A few days later, during an interview with Finland's Kaaos TV, guitarist Dave "Snake" Sabo confirmed that he would not accept Bach's latest overture. "I'm working with my band," he said. "This is SKID ROW, and this is what I do."

Drummer Rob Affuso — who left SKID ROW in 1998 and claims to be "the only former member that keeps in contact with all former SKID ROW bandmates and is still good friends with them all" — subsequently joined Bach in September 2019 at Sony Hall in New York City to play the band's classic song "Makin' A Mess".

Asked by Rolling Stone if he thinks his former bandmates are offended that he put his invitation out there publicly, Bach said: "No. I think it's an ego thing. They don't like when I get attention, and they don't get attention. It's always been like that. I can already see them getting mad, because I'm selling out shows, and they're not part of the show, and blah, blah, blah."

Bach was the lead singer of 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 2022 and was replaced by Erik Grönwall, who was previously a member of the Swedish hard rock band H.E.A.T.

SKID ROW's first album with Grönwall, "The Gang's All Here", arrived last October via earMUSIC.

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