SKID ROW MEMBERS DAVE SABO AND RACHEL BOLAN ANNOUNCE TONY HARNELL AS THE BAND’S NEW SINGER ON EDDIE’S SIRIUS/XM SHOW, READ PARTS OF THE INTERVIEW HERE
As previously reported, singer Johnny Solinger announced his departure from Skid Row. Skid Row members Dave “The Snake” Sabo and Rachel Bolan were guests on tonight’s edition (April 6th) of Eddie’s Sirius/XM show, Eddie Trunk Live, to discuss the events. Excerpts from the interview, exclusively transcribed by me for the site, appear below.
Discussing the departure of singer Johnny Solinger:
Snake: Firstly, there was no animosity, we just thought it was time to make a change. We [had] been feeling this way for a little while..We are thankful for the 15 years [Johnny gave to the band], but we needed to make a change.
Eddie: He announced on his Facebook page that he left, did he leave or was that a band decision?
Snake: We instituted the change…contrary to what he said, it was our decision.
Rachel:…It just became evident awhile back, not a long while back, maybe a year ago, or so, everyone was going in a different direction..We just wanted to be the best band we could be and I think [we all] had different ideas for quality. So, it was one of those things. Man, we talked about it, we wrestled over it and we were like, ‘This is Skid Row. This means a lot to us.’ We started this 25 years ago and it’s something that sucks doing, but we’re okay with doing it…cause..this is our lives.
Eddie: Did you ever feel it was clicking with [Solinger] or did you feel it was never 100 percent right?
Rachel: We were clicking big time. I thought we made a lot of great music together…I think it was when we were in the studio [recording the EP’s] that it really became evident that we all didn’t have the same heart and soul..It’s just one of those things. It’s tough to make a decision like this, but we did.
Snake: This has nothing to do with Johnny not being a good person. He’s a really good person and we all got along well. There is no animosity at all from our end. These decisions are terrible decisions to make, they’re awful. The guy has been with us for 15 years and we saw a lot of miles of road together and I feel extremely fortunate to have spent that time in a band with him..He’s a great singer and he is going to be fine…We basically [told Johnny] that we are making a change and getting a new singer.
Eddie: How did he handle it? Did it come as a surprise to him?
Snake: Yes, it did..[He found out] this morning…[There was] no screaming and shouting. We were both very respectful to one another. This is not something that was easy in any way, but something that was necessary.
Eddie: Rachel, this is the second time you have had to do this in Skid Row. I imagine the first time with Sebastian it was a different tone because there was tension across [at] that time, so that was probably a very different sort of feeling then [this time around]. Would that be the case?
Rachel: Yeah, you know that was a completely different situation. There was a lot of bad blood there, and yeah, it was completely [different]. This was something like Snake said, there wasn’t any animosity. We [just] all didn’t have our eyes on the same prize, [and] at this point, it interfered with moving forward and that is why we made a change.
Eddie:…So, who will be the new singer in Skid Row?
Snake: Tony Harnell of TNT.
Eddie:..How did Tony come on your radar?
Snake: We’ve both known Tony for a really, really long time. [I have] always admired him as a singer..He’s just a really, really good guy. I think we all found ourselves kind of at a crossroads, so to speak, at a serendipitous moment in our lives. So, the thought was in the back of our heads, maybe we should reach out to him?
Rachel:…When it came into our mind[s] that we were going to make a switch, we spoke about Tony because he seemed like a natural fit and we got in touch with him..He was way into it and we were way into it. We got together, we played some songs [and it] sounded great. We just did some recording together, and it’s like, ‘Wow, this is awesome.’ It just sounds like [such] a natural fit. We’re very happy and happy to have him on board.
Discussing a reunion with Sebastian Bach:
Eddie: You know I have to ask, and I saw online that a sea of people starting asking, ‘What about a reunion [with Sebastian]?’ This would have been the window for [it]…
Sanke: I understand that, but it wasn’t something we [even] entertained, to be quite honest. It’s just something that we didn’t even think about. Making a change, for us, was about getting somebody new.
Eddie: Rachel, you have been steadfast for 20 years now, saying a reunion with Sebastian was never going to happen. I don’t think after this, anyone could possibly question you again about how truthful you have been about [sticking to that statement].
Rachel: Honestly, all of us were like, ‘You know what? It’s not something we want to do.’..Everybody’s got their own thing going on, cool, and that’s not something we ever considered. We never once said, ‘Well, let’s have a reunion.’ We’re like, ‘Let’s think about Tony.’..It was just that simple..I’ve been made to be the bad guy and I’ve taken a lot of flack. That’s fine, but [no], it never even entered our minds.
Snake: Rachel’s right. This is a group [and we] wanted to get someone new. Rachel has been labeled the bad guy and that is completely off the mark. It shouldn’t be that way because it’s OUR decision. For better or worse, we’ve made decisions in this band…sometimes they’re not popular, but you have to be happy in doing what you do.
Eddie: There are a ton of bands out there that would do a reunion tour simply for the massive paycheck..[but] no one could ever accuse Skid Row of [taking the] easy route.
Rachel: We make good money, as much as people think we have part time jobs at Taco Cabana [laughs]..We get stuff on Facebook like, ‘Do a reunion, you will make so much money.’ Well, I have money and I’m really happy and it’s not something we want to do. People just don’t understand it..and that’s fine. This about music and making music for a living…Sorry to disappoint, but I’ve done that a few times in my life.
Talking about the band’s current strategy:
Eddie: So, what are the plans now?
Rachel: [Tony’s] coming down for rehearsals in the middle of May. We have some shows that we will be announcing/posting tonight on our site and on all our social media [accounts]. We are just jumping into the fire [and] going for it. [As I said], we’re going to rehearse for three days, then we head out to Canada and, I think, California into that show in Vegas…There’s a lot on the burner right now and it will all be posted soon…We have recorded one thing with Tony that we will put out soon. It’s being mastered right now.
Eddie: It is a new song or a rerecording?
Rachel: [You will] just have to wait [laughing]. It’s going to be cool..We’re very excited about our future. It’s going to be a fun year.
This is pretty shocking. Although I never really liked Johnny in Skid Row, I kinda have to feel bad for him right now. Rachel and Snake just start jamming with a new singer and call Johnny up to fire him the next morning? And after 15 years? Serious dick move on their part. IMO, Skid Row will never be Skid Row without Bach, but I do like Tony’s stuff with TNT, so this pair should be interesting at the very least.
Too bad. There for a split second I thought Skid Row might actually become relevant again. Oh well. Guess not.
I agree with you guy’s, didn’t like Skid Row with Johnny but he did get douched…Perfect opportunity to reunite with Bach but I guess not(again) I cant imagine someone hating someone that much after being friends so long and putting out great music. Time heals all wounds get over it and do what you do best. Such babies in this industry when it comes to that…..PS, love TNT and Harnell but on surface vocal style doesn’t fit but hopefully I’m wrong…Peace…
Baz was the king back in the day and his solo stuff has been above average with a few great standout tracks. I thought Solinger was always ok on record and they recorded some good stuff the past 4(?) albums with him, but I hated Solinger as a person, always seemed like a dick. That said, I LOVE Tony in TNT but was never super crazy about his solo and side projects just too damn wussy sounding. If he can live up to the ballsy sound of Skid Row it will be interesting but let’s face it……How many more records or tickets are they gonna sell with Harnell……not many. Baz woulda injected serious BALLZ and get them back in bigger sheds at least. The diehard fan really wants Baz regardless of maybe losing a few steps voacally( who hasnt….except Michael Sweet and Tony Harnell). The future for Skids is cludy…but interesting
Look people have been hammering johnny for a while and I get it, your stuck in the past. yes baz is a great singer there is no denying that. Johnny however has great, range, great vocals,commands the stage well and if you don’t want to admit that he sounds great on his recordings that’s fine.the point i’m making here is they both are great in thier own respective way and they both deserve credit for thier efforts. It is saddening to see him go I wish him nothing ut he best and he will have a great and maybe even a better solo career. We are so proud of you Johnny. (Thankyou for all the great years,times & sound’s. Looking forward to the awsome future that lies ahead). As for Skid Row ditto. Thank you Rachel,Snake,Scottie,Rob for giving Johnny the opportunity to be the frontman of one of the greatest rock bands that has ever existed. I’m sure your decision to change was what you felt was the right thing to do. As a fan I am shocked but I understand things change. Nothing but the best to all.