DAVE “SNAKE” SABO
INTERVIEW AND PICTURES BY MARKO SYRJALA
New Jersey based Skid Row were one of the very last metal bands to hit the mainstream before grunge took over in the mid ’90s. The band’s self-titled debut was released 1989 including such a standard pop-metal classics as “Youth Gone Wild”, “I Remember You” and “18 & Life”. SLAVE TO THE GRIND followed in 1991 debuting at number one in Billboard charts! The third album SUBHUMAN RACE was released in 1995 and it did break the band away from the pop-metal world and introduced more heavy and a darker side of Skid Row. The changing trends in the music business and personal differences eventually caused the classic line-up; vocalist Sebastian Bach, guitarists Dave “Snake” Sabo, Scotti Hill, bassist Rachel Bolan and drummer Rob Affuso break up in 1996. Eventually the core lineup: Sabo, Bolan, Hill and Affuso continued for some time to work together under the working title Ozone Monday. Skid Row was re-formed in 1999 with a pair of new members; vocalist Johnny Solinger and drummer Charlie Mills. The band released its fourth album THICKSKIN in 2003 featuring drummer Phil Varone (ex-Saigon Kick). The latest Skid Row album REVOLUTIONS PER MINUTE came out way back in 2006. This November the band accompanied KISS, for the second time in row, on the KISS Kruise. We were honored to sit down with Dave “Snake” Sabo and discuss about various topics including Snake’s KISS fandom, the current state of Skid Row, the continuous rumors about Bach’s return and as well as some stuff from the past. Read on!
MEANING OF KISS AND THE KRUISE
Metal-Rules.com: Since we now are here on the KISS Kruise is it ok to talk a bit about KISS at first?
Dave Sabo: Oh yeah, absolutely.
Metal-Rules.com: I do know that you’re such a big KISS fan yourself. In brief, what does KISS mean to you?
Dave Sabo: It’s tough to make it brief… For me it’s the reason why I play music to begin with. I saw them on December 16, 1977 at Madison Square Garden and it changed everything for me. It threw my world upside down and that’s when I realized right then and there that I wanted to be a musician, I wanted to be in a band. I didn’t know whether I was going to play guitar or bass, drums, whatever. I had no clue whatsoever. I just thought that that’s the life I wanted to live and everything about them – their music and their stage show, their image, their larger than life image – everything to me was something that it would take aback like oh my gosh it was overwhelming and I wanted to be involved with something like that.
Metal-Rules.com: So KISS hit you right away!
Dave Sabo: Oh absolutely. Again for me it was an earth shattering moment for me.
Metal-Rules.com: How about the other bands at the time on the 70’s, any love for those other greats?
Dave Sabo: Yeah, I mean I was raised on – I have four older brothers so I was raised on a ton of different types of music whether it was you know Motown or soul or ’50s music or early Sabbath or you know everything, ran the gamut. There were no genres in our household, if a song was good it was good you know anything from the Carpenters to Purple Harem. So it was a great education. Once I heard and saw KISS that was it, everything else just got kind of pushed to the side and that was all I listened to.
Metal-Rules.com: Was it more about their image or the music?
Dave Sabo: It was both, it was absolutely both. I love their songs; I still do to this day. I mean I am a fan still from that era from Aerosmith and Judas Priest and a few years later Iron Maiden came out. So those are all – AC/DC of course and you know all these bands had a big influence on me, Ted Nugent, but KISS was the biggest influence for sure.
Metal-Rules.com: In many ways this KISS Kruise is really unique thing both for the band and for the fans. What is KISS Kruise for you?
Dave Sabo: For me it’s a chance to celebrate their music, our music, to meet the fans and know that we have a common bond in one band that brought all of us together for this cruise and to me it’s a great party to celebrate the history of KISS. And it really is… it’s like you know you’re in the middle of an ocean somewhere. You’ve got several thousands of KISS fans on here and it’s an honor to play in front of them.
Metal-Rules.com: Now you are here for a second year in a row and, it’s just my guess, but it has to be something to do with your working relationship with Doc McGhee, right?
Dave Sabo: Oh I mean of course, I’m sure it has something to do with it whatsoever but for me it’s I think it fits really well. I mean anybody who knows Skid Row knows how huge fans we are of the band. And then we get along with them very well as well. And so it just makes sense especially after last year. It went so smoothly, everything was great, and so we finally – everyone just kind of went man this makes perfect sense to do this again.
Metal-Rules.com: Overall, how familiar are KISS fans with Skid Row?
Dave Sabo: Oh I think they – I mean judging by the crowds that we’ve been able to play in front of could not be more indicative tonight as well people know who we are. We’ve been around a pretty long time, longer than I like to admit.
Metal-Rules.com: Skid Row has played with KISS many times during the years. Which was the best and most memorable time for you personally?
Dave Sabo: We only did one real tour with KISS, that was in 2000, and that was with – they still had Ace and Peter in the band. We toured seven to nine months with them at the time and that to me was one of those areas of my career that I look back on and I go oh my gosh I cannot believe that we had an opportunity like that.
Skid Row 2012: Scotti Hill, Rachel Bolan, Johnny Solinger, Rob Hammersmith and Snake
THE STATE OF SKID ROW
Metal-Rules.com: Overall since I’m living in Finland I could honestly say that there’s not too much talk about Skid Row these days and the main reason for that is that you guys haven’t been too active in Europe in ages…
Dave Sabo: Right.
Metal-Rules.com: So do you have any plans to fix that in the near future?
ave Sabo: Well, I mean we’re going to be touring the U.K. in April. And we’re still attempting to build other tour around that you know and get further into Europe and stuff like that. In all honesty it’s the economy right now. The economy is so bad; it’s very difficult to tour and without having to do it where you’re just losing money. And you know no one wants to lose money. The promoters don’t want to lose money, agents don’t want to. I don’t want to lose money you know. So really it becomes an economic and a financial thing to be quite honest.
Metal-Rules.com: But Europe is nowadays a great place for hard rock / metal bands because the US market is what it is nowadays…
Dave Sabo: Right, there’s always a chance because I mean Europe has remained loyal to us you know.
Metal-Rules.com: How about making a tour with KISS in spring/summer in Europe?
Dave Sabo: I would love to see that. Maybe I can beat Doc McGhee up and have them to do that “Laughs”
Metal-Rules.com: I just learned that you have plans to release some new music soon. Would you tell something more about it?
Dave Sabo: We’re doing an EP, we start doing the EP well this month in the next three weeks. We’re going to do a succession of like three EPs, five or six songs on each one released like every six months or something like that.
Metal-Rules.com: That’s a kind of thing what Down just announced to do some time ago?
Dave Sabo: Well that’s my, it was my idea. I manage Down so it was Scott McGee and I sat down with the band a couple years ago and we said this is what we think we should do.
Metal-Rules.com: Right. It’s been six years since the last Skid Row album was released… What’s the main reason it did took so long time to be creative again?
Dave Sabo: Well I think, well that’s what we’re doing now so we figure we might as well apply it to our own band. For me it’s been a lot of different reasons. A lot of managerial stuff that was going on and some other people were doing some things on their own. Some health issues with me as well so – but we’re all good now so I think we’re back on the right path.
Metal-Rules.com: Would you tell something about musical direction of the new material at this point?
Dave Sabo: Some of the stuff sounds like it could be on SLAVE TO THE GRIND you know…
Metal-Rules.com: Sounds like a heavy stuff then?
Dave Sabo: Yeah, yeah, yeah definitely, definitely heavy stuff.
Metal-Rules.com: Because the album THICKSKIN although it was a good album, it was also kind of grunge oriented album if you ask me?
Dave Sabo: You know a lot of people said that and I swear to you I don’t hear that, I really don’t.
Metal-Rules.com: “New Generation” has definitely some grunge elements on it…
Dave Sabo: See that’s wild, I don’t hear it, I mean I… everyone’s titled to their opinion and that’s cool but I just don’t hear it and again it’s another thing too like some of the songs in our first record people have comments on and I’m like I don’t hear it but okay you know, what at the end of the day it’s like first and foremost you write songs for yourself you know it’s a… song writing is a selfish occupation you write songs for yourself – if you start writing for other people then you’re just you know…
Metal-Rules.com: Then you get lost?
Dave Sabo: You’re a puppet. And so for me I have to like the song first; Rachel and the whole band do, we all have to love the song before anybody else is going to have a shot at loving it you know. And so sometimes you get too close, sometimes you’re not close enough – whatever it is and you’re going to have a different opinion of what that song is so like I said I can listen to it back now and it doesn’t come across like that for me but if that’s the way you hear it fine by me.
Metal-Rules.com: In writing wise, it’s clear that you and Rachel are really different writers and you do a different taste of music. So do you ever have any fight you know about the musical direction of Skid Row?
Dave Sabo: Not really, yeah I mean we’ve had some squabbles and stuff like that but for the most part no. You know I’m more of a heavy metal guy and he’s more of a punk guy so I think we respect each other enough that we’re able to balance that out. We’re able to bring those things together as opposed to letting them pull us apart.
Metal-Rules.com: How about Scotti Hill then. He seems to have yet different influences compared to you and Rachel?
Dave Sabo: He’s a… well I mean he has so many influences too he turned me on to so many different people, so many different guitarists like Jeff Beck and Billy Gibbons and things like that and he grew up in… maybe within a hundred miles of where I grew up but we had such vastly different influences but we still had some of the same ones as well.
Metal-Rules.com: Usually it works great when you two guitarists in the band with really different influences like Smith/Murray of Maiden.
Dave Sabo: They’re one of my biggest influences – sure. It’s a same with Tipton and you know KK, same thing and even in Aerosmith with Joe Perry and Brad Whitford.
Metal-Rules.com: And even with Ace and Paul?
Dave Sabo: Absolutely.
THE MUSIC BUSINESS
Metal-Rules.com: About the upcoming EP, do you have a label at the moment?
Dave Sabo: I would probably go through Megaforce. Marsha Zazula and her husband who own the label are old friends of ours so. And we’re still debating whether we’re going… we’ll do that in the States, we’re debating whether we’re going to do that in the rest of the world as well but there might be something… it is a bunch of stuff Nuclear Blast or Universal or you know. So I’m not really concerned about that right now, my main concern is getting in the studio and knocking this thing out and making it… it’s got to be great. It’s got to be great; it’s got to be great, you know that’s the way it is – you just got to have the great music regardless.
Metal-Rules.com: How is it overall you know to create new music and make new albums when the sales are what they are?
Dave Sabo: For me I think that everybody’s attention span is so fast and that things just fly back at such an accelerated rate these days that you have to do your best to hold on to people’s attention for as long as possible. And by putting out 12 songs on an album and then not releasing something for two years it doesn’t make sense because people will listen to that album for maybe three to five months.
Metal-Rules.com: Or even less…
Dave Sabo: At best or less, it’s true or less, because there’s just so much noise out there. It’s just so much going on out there. You’re like this you know. So I think if we sit there and you satiate the public every five-six months I think that…
Metal-Rules.com: That keeps the name up.
Dave Sabo: It keeps the name up, it keeps your visibility there and it gives people new product quicker. Because no one’s going to be able to release you know a full length album every five months. It’s just I don’t believe anyone besides Prince is that capable of writing that great of music.
Metal-Rules.com: How important part of the business record sales is nowadays or is it just about touring and playing shows these days?
Dave Sabo: Well no I mean yeah we’re lucky enough that people know a lot of our music so they’ll still come out and see us play and you know the songs have luckily stood the test of time.
Metal-Rules.com: But you still do get royalties from the old albums?
Dave Sabo: Sure, sure. Absolutely and we all… every show yeah we make decent money doing that but you also get back residuals from mechanical royalties from the records that you put out in the past cause they still sell. It’s crazy.
REVOLUTIONS PER MINUTE
Metal-Rules.com: I have to admit that the latest album REVOLUTIONS PER MINUTE, it’s not your best album to date…
Dave Sabo: No.
Metal-Rules.com: I really liked THICKSKIN a lot but never got into this album, not at all. It’s really mixed album and it doesn’t sound Skid Row at all?
Dave Sabo: I’ll tell you what in all honestly I wasn’t really involved in that record I was – I was very ill at the time – I was going through some health issue where I didn’t even play on the record and I just couldn’t – I couldn’t play, my health was in bad shape. So rather, than stop anybody from moving forward so let’s say… you want to make the record you got to make the record so… That’s how it went.
Metal-Rules.com: So what is your opinion of the album?
Dave Sabo: I like some of the stuff on it and some of the stuff I think is okay. I know where if I compare that and THICKSKIN could hear where I would have influenced things a certain way, but at the end of the day the thing is that you know what that needed to be done for us to get to the next point in our careers you know it’s just the way that life is.
Metal-Rules.com: I think that album is pretty much Rachel’s baby, right?
Dave Sabo: Oh, yeah without a doubt, of course yeah. It’s got him written all over it for sure.
Metal-Rules.com: I do remember when that album came out in 2006 and I totally ignored it until spring of 2007 when I was about to leave to Sweden Rock when you were playing there. I just didn’t sound any better than after the first listen to be honest..
Dave Sabo: Right, well again I think that because we were a disjointed band at that point too… and… I mean you know with me I wasn’t really involved in anything so it was like I said I had a health issues so…
Metal-Rules.com: I think you don’t perform too many songs from the album anymore?
Dave Sabo: We go back and forth sometimes but sometimes we play “Disease” and that’s it.
Metal-Rules.com: One more thing about the REVOLUTIONS PER MINUTE. The album was produced by your old friend Michael Wagener also worked with you on the debut and SLAVE TO THE GRIND. Do you have plans to continue working with him with the new material as well?
Dave Sabo: I don’t know. I love Michael, we all do. He’s been a part of this thing since day one. I think though that we’re probably just going to do it ourselves. We did THICKSKIN on our own and we were really happy with the way that came out. It’s a good sounding record, the guitars are heavy and songs are cool. And that was kind of by default that we did that. We were working with another producer and it didn’t work out. So we said you know screw it, let’s just do it on our own which we did and we were very happy with the results. So I think that’s what we’re going to go back to doing.
Metal-Rules.com: That might be a good idea to do.
Dave Sabo: Yeah. It’s just we know each other really well and we’ve been tweaking these songs for such a long time that maybe it’s just time to shit or get off the pot as they say.
THE PICTURE WITH SEBASTIAN AND RUMORS
Metal-Rules.com: The one thing which has been headlines lately is that one certain photo, you know what I’m talking about here?
Dave Sabo: Right.
Metal-Rules.com: What’s the story behind that?
Dave Sabo: I had flown into LA that day because Duff McKagan, whom I manage, was doing two shows at the Viper Room and… So I flew in and I went there and one of the guys, an assistant of ours told me – he goes “Sebastian’s here” and stuff like that. I’m like… I don’t mean… I mean I hold no ill will or any bad blood or anything everybody else can have that I have no negativity in my life whatsoever. So at the end of the show I was in the dressing room and it was very small at the Viper Room dressing room and I saw him standing across the stage and I… I mean across the room and he made a beeline over with his girlfriend had his hand out sure and I shook his hand you know ‘how you doing, how you doing’ exchanged the pleasantries and stuff. It was all very cool and very cordial; no heavy talk – like ‘come on dude we got to put this band back together’. It was nothing like that you know it was like how’s your family doing, I’m sorry that you got divorced you know and she was a lovely girl and asked me how the kids are you know … showing pictures and everything like that and he’s like… bunch of people shooting pictures and he’s goes let’s take a picture together and sure enough you know it was you know that’s the one that ended up out there.
Metal-Rules.com: Yeah that’s the way how gossips start…
Dave Sabo: Yeah that’s okay I mean other people keep talking but it’s really, so… it’s far simpler than people are making it out to be whereas you know we have a long history together, it was one of those things where I did not want to… I don’t know I didn’t want to sit there and be like an angry prick or anything like that – I mean life is life it goes on and you make the most of it and I keep all negativity away from me so…
Metal-Rules.com: How did you like the comments he put out later on?
Dave Sabo: What about in the future… you know what of course he’s good; that’s him you know that’s him – you know I don’t know what to do… I… the way I look at it is you know I don’t know what tomorrow’s going to bring I just… hopefully we’ll make it on the plane home you know. I kind of look at life like that lately it’s too short I rather enjoy the moment if something like that happens down the road then it happens, then it’s supposed to be and if it doesn’t then it wasn’t supposed to be you know that’s just the way… that’s life you know. To me it’s no… I’m not going to beat myself about the head over it and I’m not going to push for it or whatever it’s like if little things present themselves in a way that – that’s its conducive and everybody wants to do it then that’s something to talk about but right now it’s a non-issue.
Metal-Rules.com: He seems to be a kind of kind of guy you know who always says out loud what he thinks?
Dave Sabo: Of course. I mean that’s just I guess that’s just the way he’s always been but you know going back to like us meeting again something like that I didn’t… again because he was cool and he was sober and he wasn’t hyper and he was – he was nice you know it was a nice ten minute – ten/fifteen minute conversation with him and it wasn’t any big deal, and I’m glad it wasn’t a big deal – I’m glad it was just as cordial as it was.
Skid Row in the early 90’s Rob Affuso, Rachel, Scotti, Sebastian Bach and Snake.
THE DRUMMER SITUATION
Metal-Rules.com: What is the thing with so many bands having the “Spinal Tap thing” with drummers?
Dave Sabo: I wish I knew man, I really wish I knew. I have no idea. I really wish I had an answer for that you know. But it really is, it’s weird “laughs”
Metal-Rules.com: But how it is been from your point of view?
Dave Sabo: It is very Spinal Tap you know. It’s like somehow it just seems to work out where if a person is getting fired it’s usually the drummer. The original drummer Rob Affuso I still keep in contact with. I just saw him a couple weeks ago in New York and he’s doing great. You know when we started putting everything back together of course you want it to work out you know and it just didn’t feel right. It was just not working and he had moved in other directions and we had moved in other directions so there was no animosity or anything like that. It just wasn’t right. And then we went through Charlie Mills and Phil Varone and Tim DiDuro and Dave Gara and now Rob Hammersmith and out of all of them and no disrespect to anybody but Rob Hammersmith, the drummer we have now, is as level as it gets you know. He’s a solid guy. Good character, you know good family guy as well so it’s like we got a good one this time.
Metal-Rules.com: What is actually Rob’s background as a musician?
Dave Sabo: He used to play in a band in Atlanta called Rockets to Ruin. And he played with Wednesday 13 for a while. I don’t know what else but he’s friends with Rachel, they became really friends because Rachel lives in Atlanta as well. So yeah, it was like brought up and brought him in and he’s a great drummer.
Metal-Rules.com: You mentioned Rob Affuso; if I’ve learnt right he does some kind of entertainment business and he’s having his own company in New York?
Dave Sabo: Yeah, well he does like…
Metal-Rules.com: Business events and stuff like that?
Dave Sabo: He’s always been like that, he’s always done that. And it’s funny because he gets them to do corporate gigs so they’re playing for all these gigantic corporations and making a gigantic load of money. God bless him, that’s awesome! “Laughs”
Metal-Rules.com: One more thing about your former drummers, Phil Varone. He is a kind of “movie star” now … Do you want to say a comment about that?
Dave Sabo: Oh God. No… I have no comment on this. I’m sure his children are really proud of him… It’s terrible.
THE END OF AN ERA AND OZONE MONDAY
Metal-Rules.com: Okay if we go back to the year 1996 and time when the band did break up. What was actually the thing, which finally broke the camel’s neck?
Dave Sabo: Oh, man! There were a number of things. I think everything just built up and built up and built up I think everyone was just tired of wanting another man…
Metal-Rules.com: And lower record sales didn’t help either for sure?
Dave Sabo: Yeah of course I mean you know it’s really easy to sit there when things are successful its really easy to sit there and overlook peoples you know misgivings or faults or whatever and I think what happens is, is that in that on the way down all of sudden you have to see what you’re really made of. And let me say adversity builds character and that’s not true – adversity reveals your character and once that is revealed you see the person how they truly are and all of a sudden you might start seeing things that you never knew were there, that you really don’t like. And you know again it really comes out as a simple thing – if it’s not fun why to do it, you know. We made a lot of money, we could have been kept making a lot of people a lot of money but we were miserable all of us, so all five of us. Not just me, not just, not just Rachel, not just Sebastian – Scotty and Rob as well we were absolutely miserable. And you know some people say how can you be miserable? You guys had the life and I said well you know you tour for anywhere between sixteen and twenty two months at a time, and you’re always in buses and hotels together and planes together and it’s like holy shit its sensory overload! You know and… A lot of times, you just want your space but you can’t have it – it’s just impossible. So you start getting on each other nerves and then it becomes… you get to the point where it’s like oh man, how do we – how do we fix this? Sometimes the only way to fix it is to break it! You know.
Metal-Rules.com: I do remember when I saw Skid Row in Stockholm tour around 95′ – 96′ something and it was great show but very different to old early days. I would say that you were really heavy and dark band at the time.
Dave Sabo: We were very in a dark place. I mean obviously you know it it’s like our music I’m sure was very reflective of what we were feeling at that time – we were in a dark, dark place man. Writing that record I was in a dark place you know we all were and you know you can’t hide that from the fans and the music isn’t going to hide it either; music will be indicative of what you’re going through you know at that particular moment in life and that was a hard, hard record to make.
Metal-Rules.com: After the band disbanded you soon decided to form another band Ozone Monday.
Dave Sabo: We wanted to do something that was completely opposite of what we had been doing and so we did and we… there was any great big intention or anything like that just a group of guys got together and started writing what would be deemed like almost commercial pop songs and reason why we did that is cause we wanted to be on… we wanted to just do completely opposite, it felt really good to go somewhere else.
Metal-Rules.com: Skid Row had just break up but you still decided to stay together with Rachel, Rob and Scotti, right?
Dave Sabo: Yeah, yeah, yeah I mean Rachel and Scotty and I are you know we are brothers for god’s sakes, you know I mean we just… we’ve always… we lived together for years and years; we lived together on the road for many years I mean it’s just us… the three of us just had that sort of unspoken bond that still continues to this day.
Metal-Rules.com: That band never went further than just doing gigs, right?
Dave Sabo: Yeah, well like I said we didn’t have any intention – like we weren’t attempting to go like get in like a gigantic record deal or anything like… it wasn’t like that it was like…
Metal-Rules.com: Was it more like a therapy band or something like that?
Dave Sabo: We just felt like it was fun to… like to do something have people see us in a different light and play clubs and have fun with it and that….
Metal-Rules.com: And just to try different things.
Dave Sabo: Yeah it was cool, I enjoyed it.
THE RE-UNION, JOHNNY SOLINGER AND COUNTRY MUSIC…
Metal-Rules.com: So what was actually the main reason you decided to put Skid Row back together in 1999?
Dave Sabo: I think everybody just… again, it was one of those things – it just was a natural progression. Everybody still lived in New Jersey when the band got back together; in fact they were all living in my house so… Which was another story in itself but we – we – we decided that you know also the money thing was kind of a bridge to get back to what we… what our heart and soul is and you know everybody… you can always stray, and you can always go and do different things but your heart and soul was going to be that first thing that you did that you really… where it all just came together you know and that was ours – the Skid Row was ours – I mean Rachel and I started the band and that was our thing. We… so that… we… I didn’t know if we ever would come back to it but we did and it’s been fun.
Metal-Rules.com: Once you decided to put band back together you hired Johnny Solinger as your new voice behind the microphone. How did he end up in the picture overall because first of all he is – he is from other side of the country?
Dave Sabo: Well, he’s from Dallas, Texas and what happened was that there was a girl who was a huge fan of ours who followed the band like crazy and but she was very well… she was such a huge fan that she was a fan of… of all music you know she just always knew what was going on all around the country and stuff and she came across Johnny’s website and listened to his music and called Rachel and said ‘man I don’t know if you guys are still looking for a singer but check this guy out’ – Rachel checked that out; called me, I checked that out and Rachel called Johnny up and said you want to come up and you know try out for the band and he came up and by the second song we knew he was in. It was easy, it was really easy decision.
Metal-Rules.com: It’s funny once he joined the band I did find out from the web about his old band Solinger and I bought – was it two CDs, and after a few listen I was thinking that this guy has really good voice but there was something missing from the songs?
Dave Sabo: Right.
Metal-Rules.com: The hooks and melody were missing…
Dave Sabo: Right.
Metal-Rules.com: But with THICKSKIN, everything clicked.
Dave Sabo: Yeah, I agree, I agree and its weird because its… he’s very easy to work with you know and he contributes – he contributes things to the songs I mean most of the songs are brought in by Rachel and I and like they are like skeletons and then we – everyone adds their thing and he adds what he does and you know different inflections in the vocals and you know – let’s try this melody instead of that blah-blah-blah it’s all very respectful, everyone is very respectful with everybody’s input and so I think that’s why him having a new set of people around him and who had some sort of track record and everything we are able to – to put out a pretty good record.
Metal-Rules.com: Johnny is also doing a country career.
Dave Sabo: He’s done two records so far.
Metal-Rules.com: How do you like that?
Dave Sabo: I support everything that everybody wants to do you know. I mean I think that anything that involves music I think you need to express yourself. And sometimes doing it within Skid Row isn’t always conducive to how much you need to express so you have to step outside of that. I have no problem with that whatsoever, I fully support it.
Metal-Rules.com: Don’t you think that it does hurt Skid Row when he’s doing such a different thing?
Dave Sabo: No, I don’t, because I can’t sit there and put a leash on somebody and say you can’t go out and play other types of music. I mean that would be against everything that I believe in.
Metal-Rules.com: Because I’m from Finland I don’t know anything about the country music. I do have a picture that the country is the thing if you want to make easy money or money overall – that’s the thing to do and that’s why many former hard rockers are now moving over to Nashville and cutting their hair off and start make country, right?
Dave Sabo: That’s pretty funny. Well I got to give Johnny credit because he’s from Dallas and Arkansas and he’s been singing songs like that since he was a kid, so it’s not like – okay I’m going to become a country guy, he was always that guy. He always had that part of him sure, sure cause even when we first started in the band he would be like singing like these – he would be over exaggerating it but he’s be singing country songs and stuff like that. So yeah, he’s a real deal.
Metal-Rules.com: I have to ask that have you ever even considered about moving to Nashville and make some “easy money”, you know? “Laughs”
Dave Sabo: Not me… you don’t have to worry about that I’ve been offered many times and turned it down many times there’s no way. It sounds that easy but it’s not – the competition is incredible! The best guitar players I’ve ever heard of are from Nashville these guys who write songs it’s a job, they do it every day, eight hours a day, five days a week and they just keep pumping them out… pumping them…
Metal-Rules.com: So it’s a day job kind of – eight to five. That doesn’t sound fun for me.
Dave Sabo: Yeah, well not for me either. I can’t work like that. It takes all the – all the passion out of it for me but I don’t begrudge anybody I think anything you can do to stay in this business god bless you. You know it’s hard.
Metal-Rules.com: Actually I bought my first country album ever, Johnny’s.
Dave Sabo: Oh no kidding. “Laughs”
Metal-Rules.com: I did listen it through and was like “Okay, that’s what you’re listening here in U.S” “Laughs”
Dave Sabo: Right, right, right “Laughs”
Metal-Rules.com: Right, it’s time of very last question here. Skid Row has been around like 25 years soon so what does motivate and keeps you going after all these years?
Dave Sabo: Yeah, well – right, first record came out in 1989 so you’re looking at 23, 24 years now. And it’s just you got to have fun doing what you’re doing man. You’ve got to enjoy it you know. I love the music that we play and I love the guys in the band. And you know at this point in my life if I don’t enjoy doing it I’m not going to do it you know. I think we’ve simplified everything to a point where again it’s become just about going out and having an hour and a half to play your music and enjoy yourself and enjoy that stage with the other four guys.
MORE PICTURES OF SKID ROW SHOW IN KISS KRUISE II