SKINLAB Frontman Discusses New Album

September 5, 2009

The Scream Queen recently conducted an interview with bassist/vocalist Steev Esquivel of San Francisco Bay Area metal veterans SKINLAB. A couple of excerpts from the chat follow below.

The Scream Queen: Your new album, "The Scars Between Us", is set to debut on September 15. How excited are you guys for its release?

Steev: Yeah, we're very excited; it's been a long time coming. You know, we've had... Of course, we went on a three- or four-year hiatus and then took another year and a half to write the record. So yeah, we're more than ready and we're really antsy to get it out there and tour.

The Scream Queen: I've already heard the album and it sounds amazing. Can you give me a little summary of it for those who haven't heard it yet?
Steev: Well, I mean, if anyone should know with our background straight off the bat, we haven't strayed too far from what we're known from before, but we've also taken a couple of different chances on this album — more so in the direction of just being more straight-forward than trying to get... I would say kind of molding from the new school of what's happening right now in the music industry, you know?! We've kind of stuck to our guns more of in a meat-and-potatoes way, like I would say in a HATEBREED vein; in a CROWBAR vein, you know?! More simple — a less-is-more kind of attitude. The last record, we kind of ventured off in a little bit of radio land and we gathered our senses, as you know. For this album, we just went straight for the throat, you know?! (laughs)

The Scream Queen: You guys streamed your album on MySpace two weeks ago, how was the response from doing that?

Steev: The response was great. Of course, the people who write into our MySpace and our different profiles usually are fans; we tend to get buttered up from them and everyone's really psyched and stuff like that. Across the board, the different sides and everything, we've got some mixed messages and some different people that didn't really care for the record, which is fine with us cause' every genre and every person is going to have their own personal favorites. So we're pretty happy with the response we got, and like I said, it's been a long time coming, so there's a lot of people who don't even realize who SKINLAB is, who we are. So, we're looking forward to putting the record on shelves and the release date is coming up, so hopefully we'll do pretty good.

The Scream Queen: How would you say the artwork for your album represents what the CD is about?

Steev: The artwork is actually based off of a guardian angel symbol and if you notice it's kind of almost like a scarecrow type of symbol there with the wings; it's basically the guardian angel, but kind of modified. And it basically represents kind of... To me, it represents us very well because as you know being gone for a long time, we've been trying to come back and a lot of doors were originally open for us, have been closed and a lot of backs have been turned to us. And we kind of feel like we were at almost a salvation point where it was do or die. We're out there and that's where the album artwork comes in with the guardian angel symbol and the buzzards/vultures flying around it (laughs) kind of waiting to pick it apart. Like any triumph in the story, we've got a long ways to go and we're definitely up for the challenge, and we'll see what lies ahead of us. But, for the most part, the artwork is the artwork, you know?! It doesn't have a direct relation to the band for or to the album meaning, even though it is a very cool and suggestive cover. [laughs]

The Scream Queen: You guys released a music video for "In For The Kill". Who came up with the concept for having it look like a UFC fight?

Steev: I came up with the concept and it was kind weird because I was talking to the director who I ironically just got off the phone with (laughs),talking about the next video. And anyway, I was talking about wanting to use some UFC fighters because I was... Around the time we were about to start the video, a movie that was released by TapOut Films that I was in, [it] was actually released around the same time that we started talking about doing the video. So it's kind of ironic and I was just like, "You know, I would really like to involve the MMA scene as much as possible and maybe get an octagon and stuff like that." And he's like, "Wow! That's weird! I know Nate Carey, he's a really good friend of mine. I'm sure he could come down." So we ended up hooking up our managers and his agent and everything and kind of made it all come together. And it did! So we were really stoked with the outcome. We actually filmed at an Oakland and so far it's getting a pretty amazing response.

Read the entire interview from

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