Rachel Bolen , June 1, 2003

 

Written and photos by: Jason Perlman

 

Jason: Oooh you got a little mini bar in there.
Rachel: Yea. Yea, there is one everywhere we go.


Jason : Bring that yourself, not like the old days when it was all provided.
Rachel: Pantera gave that to us when we took them out on the road with us.

 

Jason : Speaking of the old days, you got a new song I heard on the sampler called New Generation, obviously it is not geared toward the younger crowds. Do you see the younger generation of fans getting into the sex and rock -n- roll of the 80’s?
Rachel: Yea I do. I think their ready for music to get fun again. That whole period, a lot of good music came out of the grunge, but it was kind of depressing and there are a lot bands out there now that the sense of fun is gone.


Jason: The one thing that surprises a lot of people and even me is, how many people still come out to the Poison tour and still get into the glam metal. And it’s not just old guys like me and my friend Ross who were into it in high school, but a lot of young kids out there, too.
Rachel: We were just talking about that last night. When we do our own shows and do 18 and over shows, a lot of them have X ‘s on their hands, which of course means they can’t drink. Which is cool its like we are now reaching everyone’s little brothers and sister.


Jason: Now on the new record you have a new version of I’ll Remember You, much more rocky maybe even a little punk. When you wrote that song was it a little more like today’s version or …
Rachel: No it was definitely a love song, ballad, hold you girlfriends hand kind of song. I started doing it in a side project I had going on called Vanilla Skies everyone would call out for a Skid Row song every time we had a gig. That’s where the idea of playing it kind of fast with the adrenaline objection in it. I played it for the guys one night and they loved it. We played it live a couple of times and decided to throw it on the record to see what happens. It goes over good, people start to rock out to it for a while and then all the sudden they get to the course and realize holy shit its I’ll Remember You.

Jason: Last year I saw you on tour with Tesla and Vince Neal, and this year you’re on the Poison tour. When can we expect to see Skid Row break off and do more headlining so we get more then just 30 or 40 minutes.
Rachel: Well after the Poison tour we are looking to do a double bill with some one so we can do a full set more of our new songs. We probably will be going to Europe and do a lot of headlining stuff over there and Japan. It will be this year without a doubt.


Jason: How excited are you about the new record and having new music out and not having to play the 15-year-old stuff?
Rachel: Real excited, real excited. The fact that we have Johnny, our new singer, and Phil, our new drummer. That’s the first record they are going to be on, so they are very excited to show people they are members of Skid Row. We are really proud of the new songs and the album as a whole.


Jason: I think the one thing this record does is puts finale on Sabastian Bach and gets back the identity of Skid Row. There is no question this is the new Skid Row. How excited are the new members?
Rachel: Live is one thing. Everyone always asks if Rob is coming back, the answer is, ‘No.’ These guys are here they are not hired guys or temporary. They are a part of this band and like you said, and hopefully this tour kind of puts the stamp on it.


Jason: You seem to have bit of a punk influence if not more than a bit. How is that different from the 80’s being that the 80’s was sort of like anti punk, the more glam and the bigger the better. How is it now playing that type of music?
Rachel: I love the real original punk, as well as bands like Kiss who were over the top in their own right. That’s what I grew up on. The simpleness of punk rock and the true aggression, the fact that they are not just screaming and picking their noses on stage. A lot of those bands are really saying something, the Sex Pistols being one of them. They really say something and then you flip the coin and the Romones were kind of comic book in away, but so much fun to watch and listen. You could really let loose and it’s just in my blood. I didn’t really think about it when we were writing songs. I just wrote and whatever came out, came out.


Jason: Back in ‘88 or ‘89 when Skid Row was huge did you think 15 years later you would still be out touring and having success?
Rachel: When I was that young, like 22 years old, I didn’t think about the cycle thing. But to be here 15 years later is great .

Jason: It’s weird. Poison now has bands touring with them that back in the day you would never expect them to tour with . Like you said yourself you guys are more grungy and punk while Poison has always been over the top glam.
Rachel: At the end of the day it really doesn’t matter. It’s all rock-n-roll and entertainment so it doesn’t really matter. I remember when I was a kid and Iron maiden was opening for the Outlaws and I was just like. ‘That’s crazy.’ So there are weird match ups but it works.


Jason: You are putting the record out on Skid Row Records so you have one hundred percent say with no outside influence coming from record labels or a marketing department. How great is writing what you want to write and being true yourselves?
Rachel: It is very freeing for a band in our position. Maybe in the beginning we needed guidance and whatever. But doing this for 15 years as a band in our position who has had past successes, we know about the music business. We need everyone to get it, everyone that’s working with us to get it. We are here to play music not to stereotype.


Jason: You had mentioned going over to Europe, where it seems fans are more loyal to the bands then here in the states.
Rachel: I tend to agree. We have been offered a couple tours over there. It’s just the timing. One tour was to go over there during the war and we really didn’t want to go until the album was out. To go with no product would be pointless. Plus with the war, we were a little sketchy. Not faulting the American fans, it is just the way things are in the States. There is such a quick turnaround each year. The same guy that owns all the venues in the states owns all the radio stations, so its going to be a tough sell to get us on the radio stations. But Kiss, and not comparing us to Kiss, but they never got played on radio. We know the fans. If they want to hear it, they find a way to hear it. We just hope for the best and hope we land on our feet.