Dave "The Snake" Sabo is one of the original member of the historical Hard Rock/Heavy Metal band Skid Row, in his career has shared the stage with Bon Jovi and Anthrax, and has performed in shows with band like Kiss, Aerosmith, Black Label Society and Soundgarden. ROCK & METAL IN MY BLODD had the pleasure to talk with him before his concert at The Jungle Club of Cascina di Pisa (Pisa),during the promotional tour to their last EP "United World Rebellion", and we had the honor to conduct the interview directly on the Skid Row's official tour-bus, this is what he has say to us!

R&MIMB: Hi Dave! Thank you for your courtesy and your availability! So, how was it last night in Milan? Did you enjoy yourself?
Dave "The Snake" Sabo: Hi Guys, thanks to you for your interview! Oh Yeah, it was a wonderful location and a great concert, I love Italian audience, it's very passionate, exciting and loud!

R&MIMB: Let's talk about your latest record, "United World Rebellion", the second chapter of an authentic trilogy still in progress. It's an ambitious and rather complicated project! Why did you decide to release a record with a similar structure? Is there a special meaning behind this choice?
Dave "The Snake" Sabo: I think that there is a common thread that is running through all of them, and it's very simple, we've always felt like under dogs, we've always had to fight for everything we've ever attained , but that's awesome!! That's how it should be! We've always been about "standing for your beliefs". Being very much an individual, but there is strength in numbers, being a strong community, and we live that every day!! When we started to record this EP, we thought "why are we doing this in the first place?", and it's the only way we know how to express ourselves, as individuals, as musicians, as songwriters completely. Maybe some of us were a little awkward socially, loners, or whatever, the truest form and the purest form of expression for us of expression for us, throughout our whole lives. So when we got back to, sort of, the roots, stripping away all the layers of everything, figuring out what the essence and the soul of the band was, and it's always been the same thing: a bunch of 16 year old kids who are pretending to be Ace Frehley, or Paul Stanley or Gene Simmons, whomever...in front of a mirror, and when we got back to the essence of that, it made the writing process so much easier! So doing an EP gives us the chance to spend less time in the studio, it costs less to make, so we can sell t cheaper for the consumer...and there's a continuous flow of music coming out, and it's all new, it's all fresh, there's a sense of urgency to it, a sense of immediacy. And it's raw, because we just get in there, we write the songs, work them out, then just go in, and we're out of the studio in two weeks! It was fun!!

R&MIMB: How did you work on this record, also considering the fact that you've got a new drummer (Rob Hammersmith)? Does every single member do his part, or do you work in a team
Dave "The Snake" Sabo: Absolutely it's a team work, every member has done his part and gave his contribution to the realization of the EP.

R&MIMB: Where did you get the idea of doing two covers? ("Fire Fire" by EZO, a Japanese Heavy Metal band, and "United" by Judas Priest)?
Dave "The Snake" Sabo: I think that someone from European label suggested it to us, and we've say "oh yeah, that's a pretty cool idea, let's do it!", I remember that the more difficult has been the EZO cover, because it has not a simple structure, and no one had ever done a cover before, but also I think that is my favourite between the two pieces of the album.

R&MIMB: What are your expectations as regards this new work?
Dave "The Snake" Sabo: I don't have any expectations, I only hope that it can be appreciated by the people, that's the highest aspiration musician can hope for, that's all.

R&MIMB: The cover artwork of "United World Rebellion" is wonderful. How did you come up with the idea? How about the other album covers? Were they realized following a precise inspiration?
Dave "The Snake" Sabo: They're all gonna have similar artwork, and the concept of everything, with the stormtroopers and whatnot, was Rachel's...he's really, really creative like that, he'll come up with stuff out of nowhere, and man this is what I'm thinking, man, it's awesome!!! He's very, very good at it!! Really the whole concept of the covers and the layout was great! If you want to say there's an art director of it all, it would certainly be him!

R&MIMB: ) Did the change of label create an impact on the working of the album? Are you satisfied with "Megaforce Records"?
Dave "The Snake" Sabo: We have Megaforce only in North America, and UDR for the rest of the world, and I'm satisfied whit both, they work every time whit us to do something that is year by year new and wild, and it's not simple to work in the music world, is not simple for musicians, but also for labels, because selling albums is a shrinking business, especially in the last few years.

R&MIMB:  Since your debut in 1989, many things have happened: Grunge, the birth of extreme kinds of metal like Black, Death etc. Today, we're witnessing a sort of "revival" of the past, especially regarding thrash and glam. Do you like this sort of "return" to those years? What is your opinion of the contemporary Metal Scene?
Dave "The Snake" Sabo: I think that the modern scene is really wild and full of great groups! , but first of all we have to remember that our work is a privilege, not a right, a privilege, and we take it very seriously!. I'm influenced by music from all genres and all historical periods, in my soul there are Elvis and Beach Boys, but also Machine Head, Black Label Society and Anthrax, because the true spirit of a musician is that, hearing music from all genres, to have a real and strong culture of this world, and bring those influences in his music.

R&MIMB: The music of Skid Row is timeless and always up-to-date, never boring. How does it feel to see, at your concerts, very young boys and girls (maybe with their parents!) singing all your songs out loud? How does it feel to know that your music is in the heart of very different generations of fans?
Dave "The Snake" Sabo: Is the most incredible thing in the world! Is not simple to do a type of music that is timeless, but the fact is that the people who come to our concerts have grown with us, and they have pass their love for skid row to their sons, younger brothers or sisters, it's amazing! , it makes me feel so proud, to be a part of something that can still connect the people, we're still doing something that has a special meaning for people.

R&MIMB: Your sound is fast, loud and concrete, it comes straight from the great tradition of the '70s - '80s Hard Rock. What bands have inspired you the most?
Dave "The Snake" Sabo: Kiss, Aerosmith, Van Halen, Anthrax, and also Black Sabbath, Iron Maiden, Judas Priest, Motown Music?and tons of other bands from all genres!

R&MIMB: How about you, Dave: have you got a favourite guitarist, or a guitarist you can consider your maestro?
Dave "The Snake" Sabo: Probably Randy Rhoads is my favourite, but I also love Ace Frehley, Michael Schenker blows my mind, like Stevie Ray Vaughn or Jeff Beck.

R&MIMB: A lot of bands, to be original, define their music genre in a very singular way (like Alestorm and their "pirate metal", for example). Do you have a particular definition for the type of music you play?
Dave "The Snake" Sabo: I don't know, because we play lot of different genres in our songs, we have tracks that are Heavy Metal, other tracks are Hard Rock, but we also have Punk influences, so I don't think that there's a concrete definition of Skid Row, we're just an Hard Rock band.

R&MIMB: You shared the scene with many different kinds of bands. What bands do you have fond memories of?
Dave "The Snake" Sabo: I fond memories of every band with I have shared the stage! , I fond memories of Bon Jovi, Motley Crue, Aerosmith, Guns'n Roses, Pantera, Soundgarden, L.A Guns, Tesla, Kiss of course, and all of bands that I've not mentioned, but they are old time friend for me, like Black Label Society, Machine Head, the Deftones guys etc.

R&MIMB: Who among your fellow musicians have you formed a true friendship with?
Dave "The Snake" Sabo: O my god, they are tons! , well, Zakk of course (Zakk Wilde) is a very true friend for me, JD from Black Label Society, Phil Demmel from Machine Head, I love his play and he's a great guy, we are a big community, and I love that.

R&MIMB: We all know that your ex-band mate Sebastian has undertaken a solo career back in 1998. A lot of fans and journalists said (and say, unfortunately!) that Skid Row would have never been the same without him. But the group is still alive and kicking! What would you like to say to the people who are still criticizing the band for that old split? And do you follow Sebastian's career, are you still in touch with him?
Dave "The Snake" Sabo: I'm not in touch with him, and I don't follow his career, I don't have any animosity, he is a period of our life, we have work with him for many years, and he is a very big part of our history obviously. To the journalists I only can say that is not important criticize the past, I love our band, I love what we are doing, we are a group of friends before being a band, we do our things toghether and that's awesome, that's a very special period for us, full of magic moments and important projects.

R&MIMB: Since we're mentioning Sebastian, we would like to ask you about one of your most famous hits , eighteen and life (1989) , what inspired you to write the song?
Dave "The Snake" Sabo: It started with us, sit down at a table, a conversation, a dialogue between us on the argument, is not inspired to a particular episode, is a song about violence and guys, the intro is very simple, "Ricky was a young boy", like my brother for example, who went in war to the Vietnam, in the early 70's; the song talk about this, the relationship between young boys and violence, it's a fictional story, not about anything particular person.

R&MIMB: You played, Sabo, with several bands very different one from the other: not only Skid Row, also Anthrax and Bon Jovi. Was it difficult to play in different scenes? Who did you feel more comfortable with (except for Skid Row, of course)?
Dave "The Snake" Sabo: I felt more comfortable to play with Anthrax, they are one of my best friends, but I think I was more growing up , I was more in line listening to Judas Priest, listening to Kiss or Bruce Springsteen for example, that's what I think.

R&MIMB: Since we are in Italy we'd like to know if you follow our local metal Scene? Are there any Italian bands you like?
Dave "The Snake" Sabo: Unfortunately I don't follow Italian metal scene, I do not have time to discover the contemporary metal and rock scene in general; there was for example a band with whom we have share the stage last night (an Italian band), there where great guys and great musicians, unfortunately I don't remember the band name, I have their CD (and I'll listen to it ), but I remember that their sound was aggressive and full of technique, I have respect for all the guys that start to do that type of career, because is not a simple life.

R&MIMB: What would you like to say to the readers of "Rock & Metal in My Blood", and to young musicians that are just starting out with their careers?
Dave "The Snake" Sabo: To the young musicians i always say "be a sponge", learn learn and learn , from all genres and historical periods, for example I learn songs by Bruce Springsteen, and songs by Accept, I learn songs by John Cougar and songs by Venom, it's the only way I know to learn how to play music, still today I'm a sponge, I think that is the most important thing for a musician, absorb everything around him to play in the best way is possible. To the readers of your magazine in only can say "thank you", thanks for their support to Skid Row, and for their passion for our music, thank you from the deepest part of my heart!.

(Lorenzo Mortai)

(Lorenzo Mortai with the collaboration of Sonia Giomarelli)