American rockers Skid Row are hitting Australia this October for a full national tour. This tour will be the first for Australian fans to see former Dragonforce singer ZP Theart up front joined by guitarists Snake Sabo and Scotti Hill, bassist Rachel Bolan and drummer Rob Hammersmith. Skid Row are also gearing up to record the final instalment of the United World Rebellion trilogy to be released next year. Rachel Bolan speaks to Hi Fi Way: The Pop Chronicles about their upcoming Australian tour.
October is shaping out to be a huge month for Skid Row. You must be really, really pumped?
Yeah. Australia’s always been one of those countries that rock and roll’s always been so alive and well and healthy there. Every time we see Australia on the calendar, we all get pretty psyched to come over there.
Are you blown away by the level of support here? Plenty of fans are doing multiple shows on this tour.
That’s awesome man. Yeah, we’re really pumped and October can’t come quick enough.
How do you keep the energy and the intensity up with the constant grind of touring? That must be something hard to do keep backing up night after night?
It was a lot easier when we were in our twenties that’s for damn sure. We just love doing it. It’s the love of the music and the love of getting out there and playing it. Sometimes we’ve all played sick as a dog. It takes a lot for us to cancel a show. We just love doing it and since ZP joined the band three years ago, it has just taken on a new life. It makes it that much easier to go out and do what we do. We all get along great. We’re all like brothers. We just love it man.
What is it like working with such dynamic singer like ZP?
He sings our songs pretty much effortlessly and for him to sing our songs the way he does is really great. He’s a really creative person and helps with anything. It’s five guys all with the same exact goal. What can we do to Skid Row? What can we do for Skid Row? When he first came over and sang the songs in rehearsal he knew them better than we did. He’s ten years younger than us but we were an important part of his life growing up and it was just a natural fit.
Did it seem like the perfect fit at the time?
Yeah, because of the way he sang and he just stayed so true to it but he put a new energy into it. You know what I mean? We’re just like, yeah, he’s the dude. We’re not even going to pretend. We’re not going to pretend like we’re going to audition other people.
It must be tough though working out the set for these tours because it’s not like Skid Row can tour Australia every few months?
It’s a delicate balance. It’s weird when you go see a band and you know all their back catalogue and they inundate you with their new stuff. I think you have to remember where your roots are and where you come from. We pepper the set with newer songs and we even picked out a couple deep tracks from way back when but you will definitely hear what you’re expecting to hear and some bonus stuff.
So how’s work going on the final instalment of the World Rebellion Trilogy?
We’re starting pre-production in a couple of weeks with Michael Wagner who’s producing the record. He’s done three of our records. We’re very excited to be working with him again. The last chapter is going to be a full length record not an EP. So, we’re very excited about that as well. Yeah, we’ve got a pile of songs written and we are going to keep writing until it’s time to really decide. The album’s not going to be out until next year as we just have so many shows on the books and between our schedule and Michael’s, we’re going to be doing a little bit here and a little bit there getting things done once we decided on all the songs. So right now it’s just get in the pre-production, get what we can together and take it from there.
Is this the most excited you’ve been about making any release?
You know what, in a way it is. We have this newfound energy like I said in the band, and it seems that everyone is really anticipating this including our fans, people in the music business and whatnot. It is very, very exciting and we haven’t been this excited probably since we recorded our first record when we were just kids. So that said, we can’t wait to get in the studio and get started.
In terms of what happens beyond the Trilogy, have you started thinking about what might be next with the next album or is too early?
We have been thinking about it. The fact of the matter is it’s like we’re having so much fun that getting together and writing is something we we want to do more and more because we know we’re looking at a goal. We’re not intending on releasing records every six to eight years anymore. I think we would get lazy if it comes to that. We would like to keep the time in between records a lot shorter than it has been.
Has that door with Sebastian Bach been firmly closed now?
Yes, it’s not even discussed. The past is the past. This is Skid Row here and now.
In terms of touring Australia, what do you look forward to the most?
I just love it down there. I love the food. I love the beer. I love the people and just how into rock and roll everybody is. Every city we go to it’s just like people just live for music. It’s really inspiring when we go down. Those first few days of the jet lag you think you’re going to die and then you get on stage and like, “Here I am where I should be,” you know.
Interview by Rob Lyon
Catch Skid Row on the following tour dates…