Ex-Slik Toxik axeman Kevin Gale recalls when Nick Walsh went to confront Sebastian Bach
Former Slik Toxik and current Punishment guitarist Kevin Gale was recently interviewed by Don de Leaumont of The Great Southern Brainfart. Gale discussed Slik Toxik quite a bit during the interview and was asked about Slik Toxik being referred to as ripping off Skid Row.
Gale replied as follows: “I’ll never forget this. Nick and I were sitting on his couch and we were watching MuchMusic and Sebastian Bach was on there. He was carving on Nick for some reason and Nick and I were just watching this going, “What the fuck is this guy talking about? What does he mean that Nick’s copying his moves?” So Nick, all 5’7 of him gets on the subway to downtown Toronto and marches down there and confronts Bas and says, “What’s your fucking problem man?” Bas is a tall guy and Nick is not [laughs]. Afterwards they ended smoking a couple of joints together and being friends over it [laughs]. This whole Skid Row comparison was just ridiculous. I guess Sebastian was pissed that Nick was copping his moves or something [laughs]. I couldn’t believe it. I was like, “You’re on your own with this one. I’m not dealing with that [laughs].”
In terms of what got Slik Toxik noticed and eventually signed, Gale stated: “If you could tell me, I would be able to relate that to my current band [laughs]. Honestly, I don’t know. We had a great, a charismatic lead singer; we had kick ass guitar players, and a solid rhythm section and decent songwriting. Maybe that’s what it was but honestly, I just don’t know. We were playing a club in Toronto and our management found us there. It all happened pretty quickly but my mind is pretty hazy from that era [laughs]. It all happened really fast and again, we were really fortunate and lucky.”
In regard to whether it’s harder to be in a band today than back when Slik Toxik was around, Gale advised: “Absolutely. The cost of everything goes up, club owners aren’t paying what they used to, especially to bands who aren’t on the radio or who aren’t going to draw huge crowds into their club. You end up with a lot of negatives against you. Is it worth it to do it? Hell yeah it’s worth it. If you’re a musician it’s what you do. The avenues are smaller and smaller these days though.”
Gale also spoke about Slik Toxik‘s final studio album Irrelevant and stated: “Here’s the story behind that one. We had been writing for the 2nd album and the record company was listening to what we had. They then came in and said something that I’ll never forget. They said, “It’s not organic enough.” [laughs] I said, “Can you define organic?” The answer we got was, “I don’t know but it’s not organic.” We were lucky enough to work a little bit with Garth Richardson, the guy that produced Kyuss, and Garth Richards who worked with the Red Hot Chili Peppers so after that we started down tuning our guitars. We got some ideas from them about how this whole new thing was going to go. We started down tuning before all those other guys so we’ll take credit for that. No, I’m just kidding [laughs]. We were tuning down to like drop D and stuff and I had no idea how to even make chords out of that [laughs]. It was pretty funny.”
Gale also spoke on how his new band Punishment came to be as he stated: “After Slik Toxik I quit music. I hated it and I didn’t want anything to do with it. Finally, God bless the internet, I was talking to Darrell Dwarf (Killer Dwarfs drummer) and he wanted me to be a part of his band, Automan. I went and joined that band and its Darrell Dwarf I will credit for bringing me out of retirement so to speak. It was almost like Bon Scott era AC/DC with a really ripping guitar player. It was cool but it just wasn’t for me and it didn’t work out. There were no hard feelings on either side. Through a chance meeting on Facebook with Brad (Searl; Punishment vocalist) and without hearing him sing a note we were talking and I said, “You’re the singer in my band.” He says, “But you haven’t heard me sing a note” [laughs]. I said, “I don’t need to.” There was no preconceived notion about Punishment. I just needed to get back into doing what I believed in doing and what I believed in myself for doing. That came about with drummer Karl Anderson and bassist James Verner. James didn’t work out so we got another bassist and then we did our four song EP. We toured and played that for a couple of years and then we just sort of needed a break from a bunch of different things going on. Outside influences can really put a strain on a band. We all took a break from it from then. Brad and I didn’t talk for a while but then we hooked back up again and went out for drinks and he’s really the only guy that I can write with. That’s what set us moving forward today. Karl (drummer) needed to leave to do what he had to do so we got Pat Carrano who is absolutely amazing. I’ve known Pat for 25 years and we used to hang out during the Slik Toxik days. We also have Mark Johnston on bass who I was in a band with before the re-formation of Punishment and that is where we’re at today.”
You can read the rest of the interview with Gale done by de Leaumont at The Great Southern Brainfart.
Punishment released a new album entitled Remnants of Things Left Unsaid last year.
Teaser video of Punishment‘s album Remnants Of Things Left Unsaid:
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