On 10/11/2002 when Skid Row played Thunderdome in Baltimore, Maryland. Rock N Roll Experience was allowed to watch the band do a soundcheck, which included a complete version of "Piece of Me" (which sounded awesome!) & a piece of "I Remember You", & then after their soundcheck, we said hello to the entire band, & then a few minutes later were escorted to a separate room where we had a one on one interview with Dave "Snake" Sabo.
I wanna thank Mike, the bands tour manager for being so polite & helping me with this.
Rock N Roll Experience: What was the first KISS song you ever learned to play?
Snake: "Strutter", it was definitely "Strutter" & then I proceeded to learn every song off of every record up until like ALIVE 2 & then that was it, at that point I was writing my own songs & stuff like that
Rock N Roll Experience: How's the tour been so far?
Snake: It's been great for us, we've been out since May 1 & we haven't had any break whatsoever & it's amazing how well we get along & how everyone is still into it....I think with the excitement of, in the time that we should have had off, we went & finished the record
Rock N Roll Experience: How's the record sound?
Snake: Well, of course I'm gonna say it's great, I'm biased, I love it. There's not been one negative response to it so far, I don't know whether people are blowing smoke up our asses or whatnot, but I guess when we release it we'll find out. One thing I can definitely say about it is it's definitely viable in this day & age, it's still us, but it's us in 2002, 2003, there's no scratching on it, no rapping on it, we're not trying to be anything other than what we are & that's what we've always done & I think that's maybe why we've been able to persevere because we've always remained true to what we do, we don't try to be anybody else because we're really good at being us & really bad at trying to be somebody else
Rock N Roll Experience: How was it recording with John Sollinger as opposed to Sebastian Bach?
Snake: It was such an easy process working with Johnny, he's just really really easy to work with, he's very very positive...Scotti, Rachel & myself had this discussion that as excited as those guys are about being in the band it has endured this new found passion & excitement in the 3 of us because they are just so fully into it & it's not a job, it's become what we do & what we do is awesome, it's tough to explain, but working those guys, you get in a room with them & they are just so pumped up & willing to do whatever it takes to make a great song in a very positive way, not in a negative way, not in a degrading way, not in a pointing the finger way
Rock N Roll Experience: If Sebastian Bach were to call you up & say, "Hey, we had our problems, but let's bury the hatchet & get back together & do a full Skidrow reunion", would you perform with him again?
Snake: No, because, & it's only because we are all in such a really really great space with one another, we travel together all the time, we've traveled together 24/7 since March of 2002 almost non-stop & when we're not traveling together, we're either living together or hanging out together & that never happened before so I'd rather have as much fun & enjoy life as much as possible doing this than have it become this high tension, high drama thing & that's what it would be & that's no slight on Sebastian, I take full responsibility for whatever part I played in the way things went down but I am also very proud of our past, very, very proud of it, I never deny it, I never deny how great of a vocalist he is, or how great of a front man he is, the problem always arose that there was always conflicts between him & myself, or him & Rachel, or him & Scotti, or him & Rob, & there was always a conflict from his end with one or more members of the band & it's just a different way of viewing things in a different vision & I wish him the best in whatever he does, I think he's a talented guy, I just don't get along with him & I think ego plays a big part in that, I think that when one persons ego becomes larger than the band itself that it's time to re-think things, but in 1996 when I finally made the phone call saying it was over...
Rock N Roll Experience: Sebastian Said he quit though
Snake: Well, that's fine, he can say whatever he wants & that's fine, I basically told him in 1996 that there is no way, it was Christmas of '96, because he had left some awful awful, degrading messages on my answering machine & I was having dinner at Christmas time with my family & they heard it & stuff, so I waited till they were gone & I called him back & I knew he was setting right there too, he was sending hate faxes to everybody, even our manager, which was nice too, because our manager's 5 year old son picked up the fax & a five year old kid goes, "Daddy, what does Fuck you Scott" mean? So he was just irresponsible & so I left a message on his machine & I said, "I know you're right there, I got your messages, thank you very much, I will NEVER pay in a band with you again! So, in essence, I didn't fire him, I just said I will never pay in a band with you again, I called up our manager Scott & told him & he was like, "Are you sure this is what you wanna do?" & I said absolutely, I am sick of being miserable & then I called the rest of the guys & they were like, "Oh, thank god!" because the only reason no one else left the band was because I had this bond with these guys, Rachel & I started the band & we love each other & they were biting the bullet only because somehow I happened to be the glue that held the band together & I just couldn't deal with it anymore
Rock N Roll Experience: So was the story that Sebastian quit because you didn't wanna open for KISS on New Years Eve true?
Snake: That's where the whole argument came from, we hadn't spoken to each other in like 3 months, we had written a bunch of new material, we sent it to Sebastian, he didn't even listen to it, he didn't even care to listen to it, all he did was say "This Sucks!", & I was like, fine, whatever, & then we got the opportunity to open for KISS on New Years Eve at the Meadowlands & I initially wanted to do it, Rachel & Scotti didn't wanna do it & Rob kinda wanted to do it, & we did things by democracy, then Sebastian started calling me up & bitching me out yelling, "What the f**k, mother f**ker, cock sucker", & then I started thinking about it & I'm going why am I gonna sit there & go play in my home state in front of my favorite band in the world on New Years Eve & lie to 20,000 people that I am enjoying this with this person here & I couldn't do it, as much as I wanted to play with KISS because we had never played with them at that point, I couldn't sit there & lose my integrity like that, I just could not throw my integrity away & I didn't wanna go up there without any new material either & we had new material that he didn't even listen to & didn't wanna be a part of & so I guess it was my deciding vote when I said Okay, you know what Mother f**ker, I did wanna do it & now I don't & now we're not!
Rock N Roll Experience: So that decision was out of spite?
Snake: It wasn't out of spite, I'm not vindictive, I don't have vendettas, it was more like, he had just made it really clear to me that all he really cared about in the notoriety of being on that stage infront of the band that you love, I get it, I understand it, but by the same token, there is 4 other guys up there that reached the pinnacle of success with you & you're a great singer, but there are 2 other guys in this band that wrote those songs for you to sing, acknowledge that, everybody has their role & if everybody stuck to that role this band could have lasted forever in that incarnation, but it didn't happen that way
Rock N Roll Experience: Don't you find it strange that Sebastian does concerts now of almost all SkidRow covers?
Snake: Of course, I knew that would happen, he's entitled to that, I've heard tapes & stuff that people have played me & some of the songs they were playing wrong & stuff, it's just , whatever, the only reason I can say that is because I wrote them with Rachel, but he's entitled to it & for me it's neither here nor there, that's the first chapter of our career & now we are embarking on the 2nd chapter & if the situation came up like you said earlier where it a reunion was presented to us, we were offered a ton of money to put the band back together & we said no because it's not about that, it's about being cool with the people that you're playing with & enjoying it & respecting that & really having a deep passion for the music that you're creating, Sebastian is very passionate, there's no doubt about it, but he's also very condescending & I always said this, I never ever pretended that I could get out there & sing "18 & Life" so don't sit there & tell me that you can write it, that's where the roles are, it's like, I do my job, you do your job & we're gonna be fantastic
Rock N Roll Experience: Do you have any good stories to tell from the KISS Farewell tour?
Snake: There's so many, I had the opportunity to help edit their pay-per-view concert, so I spent a month & 1/2 with them flying on their plane & staying at their hotel, so I would talk to Gene every night & here his stories about world domination & I would drive to the airport with Ace & Peter & hear them just bitch & moan about how money hungry Paul & Gene are... I learned a great deal. I used to hang out with Ace all the time & get shitfaced with him & he'd come in our dressing room & say, "Hey Home slice, where's the beer or vodka?" Ace is great, they were all great...it was a great opportunity for us, because they could have easily thrown us off the tour at any time if they didn't believe in what we were doing & to Gene's credit, every interview he did on that tour, he talked about us & how this was a team effort & everything & I so admire that. One of the best things that happened to me was that one time Ace was late to soundcheck & they called me on the radio & said, Snake, get up here, so I'm playing "Parasite" with Paul, Gene & Peter & I'm playing Ace's role & I'm like this is the most insane thing ever & at the time my ankle was broken & I had a cast on it, but it was a walking cast, so Gene played & was making believe like he's got a broken leg & he's making fun of me & then when we get done doing soundcheck all of a sudden Paul Stanley starts playing "18 & Life" & I'm going, you gotta be kidding me & all of a sudden he starts singing & playing it & I went, this is insane & I got it on tape luckily!
Rock N Roll Experience: Does Gene Simmons wear a wig?
Snake: yeah, Paul & Gene do
Rock N Roll Experience: How bald is Gene?
Snake: I've never seen him without it either, I don't know
Rock N Roll Experience: I think that the best Snake interview I've ever read was the one you did with Metal Sludge...what do you think about that site
Snake: I go there & I think Metal Sludge is awesome, I think people who get pissed off about it have to realize that you gotta be able to laugh at yourself
Rock N Roll Experience: What do you think about Sebastian hating Metal Sludge?
Snake: That's because he takes himself way to seriously, I think it's funny & you can either use it to your benefit or use it as a detriment & for us it's been to out benefit, because he has been such an ass to them, they've been really cool to us so, I love it & I think it's funny, I think it's funny as hell & it's a really good web site