Snake Sabo feels Skid Row’s ‘Subhuman Race’ is the sound of a band breaking or being pulled apart
Skid Row guitarist Dave ‘Snake’ Sabo was recently interviewed by Andrew Daly for Guitar World. The guitarist was promoting Skid Row‘s new album The Gang’s All Here with new lead vocalist Erik Grönwall, which was released via earMusic on October 14, 2022.
Sabo was asked what it is about Skid Row‘s first two albums — Skid Row (1989) and Slave To The Grind (1991) — that has allowed them to endure the way they have. Sabo‘s bandmate Rachel Bolan had previously indicated to Daly in an interview with Vinyl Writer Music how he had no idea what made those two first albums so timeless. Sabo on the other hand has a clear opinion in that regard as he stated:
“We were on absolute fucking fire. We had a clear mission. We were extremely motivated and ambitious, and it was authentic, dude. You’ll hear people who talk about the difference between our first and second record and how Slave To The Grind is heavier, and yeah, that was on purpose.
“Between the first and second records, we had grown as a band and had become a lot more aggressive when we played live, and we wanted to reflect that. We had started building a reputation as a formidable live band that hit the stage and jammed fucking hard. We really put on the show, and I think that that aggression led to the creation of the next record.
“And we had lived a lot of life between the creation of the first and second record, and there was nothing forced; we felt those riffs and lyrics started coming out the way they were coming out. It all felt very natural, like the correct next step. The authenticity of those records and the reflection of who we were as a band is why those records live on. They’re real, and our fans picked up on that and never let go.”
On whether Skid Row‘s third album Subhuman Race was even heavier and whether that was a natural progression in that regard, Sabo opined: “Well, there was a lot of angst in the band, and the cracks in the veneer were showing themselves prevalently. Rachel and I often refer to that record as the sound of a band breaking apart or being pulled apart, if you will. I’m surprised that Subhuman Race even got made because of all the shit happening.
“And I like that record; I think musically, there’s some cool stuff on there – I’m just shocked that we were able to do it. There was a lot of infighting, disagreements, and ego killing the band, and also, the climate was changing; musically, you could feel it.
“And I also think that we probably needed a longer break from each other. But then again, if we had taken a longer break, maybe that would have been the end of the band. Who knows? But that record was a struggle to make, and it shows in the sound of it. So, it was natural, but not the same as we saw with the first two records.”
You can read the rest of the interview with Snake Sabo at Guitar World.
Skid Row‘s “Breakin’ Down” video (from Subhuman Race album):
Skid Row‘s “My Enemy” video (from Subhuman Race album):