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Johnny Solinger – Singer for Skid Row



Date: 9/22/06
Interviewed By: Rich Catino

 

 

1. You have been with Skid Row for several years now, and in that time the look and sound of the band is different from what many have come to know when Sebastian Bach was around.

Can you tell us your thoughts on this and what you think those changes are and why?

JOHNNY: Well I have been with the band for seven years now and at the time they got the gig opening for Kiss on their reunion tour in 99 there was almost no band at one time but Rachel, Scotti and Snake wanted to keep the band going and do it a bit different. You know nothing stays the same and I don't think people want things to stay the same. For the time those earlier Skid Row albums went forward then and you know you don't want to stand still. Now I think the new one “Revolutions Per Minute” is moving ahead also.

2. How would you compare “Revolutions” to “ Thickskin ” the first album you recorded with the band?

JOHNNY: Well with “ Thickskin ” we did that all ourselves, produced it and put it out ourselves. Now with “Revolutions” we hooked up with SPV who has grown into a great label and we had no pressure to put out a certain type of record. We didn't want alienate people but still we wanted to do our own thing. It was a lot of fun to do and we had a blast recording it.

3. So you said this new record “Revolutions Per Minute” is something new, going in a new direction. What do you think makes it different from past Skid Row albums?

JOHNNY: I think it all depends on what we are listening to at the time, whatever happens happens . We don't want to have to be pigeon hold into a specific style or sound. We wanted to work outside the box and it may throw some fans for a loop, but we didn't go into it trying to do that. I mean “When God Can't Wait” is a great bar drinking Irish American folk anthem I love it and the you got “Another Dig in the System” where the title speaks for itself and “You Lie” which starts off as a kinda cow punk song and then its hardcore.

Like the title states, going in revolutions per minute is where you keep moving ahead while stepping on the gas to go a bit faster.

4. Skid Row really solidified themselves as a Heavy Metal band with “Slave to the Grind” and while keeping in that sound branched out a bit for “Subhuman Race”. With the new record, and “ Thickskin ”, your sound and style is more modern and even punkish.

What led to this direction and how much of this was a conscious decision?

JOHNNY: Rachel and I have always loved punk and even going back to earlier Skid Row you can hear the punk in their sound. Rachel always considered Skid Row a punk band with hard rock over tones. Maybe it's a bit more so obvious on the new record but it also has its hard rock and old school metal to it. You know we didn't want to do “Slave to the Grind 2006”.

5. What has it been like filling Sebastian Bach's shoes? What are the positives and negatives and what about the fans and critics views?

JOHNNY: When I first started in the band in 2000-01 it was tuff because there were a lot of comparisons and questions I was fielding about that. But over time I think people realized that there was now Skid Row and Sebastian Bach music and it was ok to like both. I am very happy for the opportunity I had to be part of this band.

6. How much do you write lyrically and musically?

JOHNNY: Well Rachel and Snake have always been the core writers of the music and they bring it to me and I get to play with it a bit.

7. Who is the new drummer?

JOHNNY: Dave Gara who is working out really well. He plays real hard and is a great person to get along with which is important.

8. How would compare “Revolutions Per Minute” to older Skid Row?

JOHNNY: I don't think you can compare it because we are trying to move forward. We worked again with Michael Wagner and like I said before this was a lot of fun to make and I think you can hear it in the music. Its not the same old thing and we were definitely taking a chance with this one.

9. What did you do before joining Skid Row?

JOHNNY: I was always in rock bands, I'm from Texas . We would play a lot of shows in Texas , doing a Friday night gig when Pantera was playing Saturday. Then in early 2000 everything changed when I got the Skid Row gig and went on tour with Kiss. I mean I have had the opportunity to tour the world and share the stage with many great bands. It changed my life.

10. Any plans to reissue the “Oh Can You Scream” and “No Frills” videos on DVD?

JOHNNY: Not too sure I think Atlantic owns that stuff. You'd have to ask Rachel about that. Its definitely a viable question and I think they would do really well if they were released again. Somebody can make some money I know but it wont be me Hahaha . I know I was part of the “ Thickskin ” DVD.

11. Any rumors or stories either in the press or generated by the fans that you would like to clear up?

JOHNNY: No…. well there is that inevitable rumor every year that there is gonna be a reunion and that's not true and never has been and I don't think it will ever happen because everyone is happy where they are. We've been together with this lineup for a long time so I welcome new rumors all the time its funny. You know we are an open book there's no secrets or hidden agenda we just want to play rock n roll until we die. You know we have the new record coming out October 24 worldwide by SPV its just another chapter in the Skid Row book. Its not your mother or fathers Skid Row anymore ya know and we'll see how the public reacts. We are not trying to throw the same old curve ball at ya .

12. What are the band's plans for the rest of 2006 – 07?

JOHNNY: Well we are doing these random dates on and off while doing press, we do this until Halloween. Then after we go out to do a tour with Kings X and Nashville Pussy supporting until the holidays. The after the holidays we will probably do some more dates in the States in February and then some European dates in the spring and hopefully some more dates here in the summer. It may be a package tour or we will gone on our own when we come back over the summer.

13. How was the most recent show you played in Jersey at the Starland Ballrooom ?

JOHNNY: You know that was great show it was basically sold out and we saw a lot of younger faces in the crowd. The new gerneration has definitely accepted the new Skid Row.

14. Any plans to do a live DVD?

JOHNNY: I think we may record something after we do another record with this lineup. So not just yet. We want to accumulate some more music first.

15. What do you think about the term “hair metal” Skid Row and many of their peers have been coined as?

JOHNNY: Really I don't mind it. I mean everyone at the time had a lot of hair so its unavoidable I guess Hahaha . Radio has been really kind to us and so there are a few shows that are called like Hair Nation and so on and you cant turn your nose up to that. Everyone likes to categorize things so be it. I don't have a problem with it I mean do you like that music, that's what counts. Actually the bulk of the success for Skid Row happened in the 90's because the first album came out in 1989 so they really arent an 80's band.

16. Closing comments:

JOHNNY: Yeah we are gonna have a Myspace page that will go up a few weeks before the drop date with a listening section for the new record. Give it a chance because its something new and its fun. It's the way we are moving in the future. If you are looking fro a re tread of sounds its not going to happen.

Official website: www.skidrow.com

 
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