skidrowband2012 Graham Finney of Planet Loud spoke with Skid Row guitarist Dave “Snake” Sabo. Excerpts from the interview appear below.

Planet Loud: Twenty five years has passed since the first Skid Row album so who is the Skid Row audience today?

Dave Sabo: It runs the gamut from the people who grew up coming to our shows and they’re turning their kids onto us so we’ll see them as well. I think because of that, in certain areas, we’re getting a younger audience that you wouldn’t expect to be into Skid Row and it amazes me. I’ll look out and see the usual suspects and that’s fuckin’ cool then, all of a sudden, I’ll see a 21 year old kid in a Slayer shirt and that’s really something.

Planet Loud: A large percentage of your audience will want to hear a certain era of the band’s material. Is it hard to get the balance right?

Dave Sabo: Of course they will but I don’t think it’s difficult getting that balance right. A lot of bands either do the classics and nothing else or shy away from it. We’re really proud of our history. We’ve been a band for twenty-seven years and been releasing records for twenty-four. We’re proud of all of it – every incarnation of the band has had something to say and you’ve got to stand behind that. I’m really proud of all those songs.

Planet Loud: It must be a good feeling to know that people still want to hear those songs?

Dave Sabo: You know, it bums me out when I hear people saying they hate playing a certain song because they’ve been playing it for thirty years. It amazes me that songs we wrote all that time ago are songs that people have taken as their own. It humbles me. Going back to your previous question though, one of the things about this band is that we love playing live even if we have been the underdogs at time so I don’t think it’s difficult to please everybody because we give it all to ‘em!

Planet Loud: Playing to seventy-five thousand people in Russia, the Bon Jovi tour, the Motley Crue tour. How much of a headfuck was that?

Dave Sabo: Honestly, not much of one because I’ve always been fairly grounded because of my upbringing. I never viewed anything as if I was owed it, I always viewed it as a gift and was always very thankful for what I’ve achieved.

Planet Loud: Would you agree that timing had a big part in your success as every song on your debut album was perfect for that era?

Dave Sabo: Absolutely. It’s weird because you really can’t tell what is going to happen. I’ve seen bands put out material and expect it to do really well and it hasn’t and they can’t figure out why. We put the record out and just couldn’t believe the opportunities we were getting to take the music we had written out to some of these places. You can’t predict that sort of thing. Sales are just numbers though, the thing for me is when you travel to a place and you see somebody sing that song back at you, I get choked up every night seeing that. It means that I was part of something that has affected somebody on an emotional level.

Planet Loud: [Your] second record [Slave to the Grind] seemed to be a bit of a ‘fuck-you’ to everybody?

Dave Sabo: It was and it was important for us to make that record. That is my favorite record and it was important for us in so many different ways. The fact that it shocked a lot of people and we also lost a lot of people because of it – the screaming sixteen year old girls disappeared but I know that we gained a lot of respect amongst our peers and it opened a whole load of new doors for us – like having Pantera on tour with us, having Soundgarden on tour with us. That wouldn’t have happened if we’d not made that record.

Planet Loud: The debut album came out twenty-five years ago – anything special planned?

Dave Sabo: You know, I haven’t even thought about it. We’re constantly asked about a reunion and have been since the twentieth anniversary and the offers have been phenomenal but, for me, I don’t know, at this point I don’t have an interest in it. Again, it’s not like I have any hatred for it or anything like that, I’m where I’m at right now and it feels really good.

Read more at Planet Loud.

Sid Row will be releasing Rise Of The Damnation Army – United World Rebellion: Chapter Two on August 4th in Europe and August 5th in the US. Watch a teaser for the album here.


13 Responses

  1. They got me with their first album, and lost me with Slave to the grind. I really haven’t given them any thought since back then. BUT, since I’m going to see Saxon (with Skid Row supporting), I thought that I should check them out again. Well, let me put it like this, I am looking forward to hearing them with Saxon, they’re not that bad. Had I not heard them again, I would probably have stayed outside, until it was Saxon time 🙂

    Hope they they Rock live – I know Saxon does …

    Oh and by the way, I don’t mind at all that Bach isn’t singing for them…

    1. Saw them with Johnny and it just didn’t work for me. Respectfully I’ll disagree with you on Slave to the Grind. That was the album that changed my mind about them. However, I can see why Snake wouldn’t reunite with Bas. I can’t imagine travelling with Bas as he is a monster personality and would annoy the crap out of me. There would have to be huge money to do it and even then it would be a tough tour to endure. I just wonder if the money would really be the there for them to reunite.

  2. I have mixed feelings on reunions. It does depend on the band, and the scope of the reunion. I was all for the Dio/Sabbath reunion, both times. The KISS reunion, I liked the tour, but felt that even at that time, it should not have gone on longer than the tour. Would I like to see Sebastian live with Skid Row again? Yes and no. I think a one off show or maybe tour would be cool. I saw Johnny with Skid Row back in 02 and he was excellent. He was great live and sang very well. So, I’m not sure Skid Row would be much better off long term keeping Sebastian. I am not sure a reunion long term would work in Skid Row. I would not care to see Schenker back in UFO again. It has never worked long term with Schenker, and their current guitar player is excellent.

  3. I would love an anniversary edition of the SKID ROW album. Throw in extras like a live show from that tour or some demos or outtakes. Love that stuff. Gives us fans an inside look at the band while giving us new music to listen to.

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