Ex-SKID ROW Drummer ROB AFFUSO Says Classic-Lineup Reunion Was ‘Very Close’ To Becoming Reality

In a new interview with Shawn Ratches of Laughingmonkeymusic, former SKID ROW drummer Rob Affuso spoke about attempts to bring the band’s classic lineup back together. He said (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET): “There almost was a SKID ROW reunion. It was very close, actually. We all had our calendars blocked off and a summer scheduled, and there were dates being put out there, and it was really disappointing when it blew up. I think the reasons why it blew up are really stupid. I think they could have been avoided and not… I think things could have been fixed and changed and worked through. But here we are. That was about five or six years ago.”

As for why it seems to be so difficult to reunite all the members of the classic SKID ROW lineup, Rob said: Some of the guys there just really don’t want it to be. So that’s their right.”

Affuso — who left SKID ROW in 1998 and claims to be “the only former member that keeps in contact with all former SKID ROW bandmates and is still good friends with them all” — went on to say that he personally is no longer investing as much of his time and energy into trying to make the SKID ROW reunion a reality.  ”I really, really was hoping and trying for years to make that all happen, and I feel like part of me, in hoping that would all happen, sort of lost a part of my life, not being present in my life and not enjoying my current life because I was looking in the past and looking forward and hoping that I could bring the past back and was missing things in my own life because I was too worried about hoping that would happen,” he explained. “And I think after failure of the last attempt, the only attempt, I just said, ‘This is taking too much of a toll on me. I have to enjoy life. I have to do what I love. And I have no control over this and just do what I do and have fun. And if this ever comes around and comes together, then I’m gonna be there all in a thousand percent, but for now I have to love my own life and love myself and move forward thinking like that.’ And hopefully it will, but I can’t look back and I can’t look forward anymore.”

Sebastian Bach fronted SKID ROW until 1996, when he was fired. Instead of throwing in the towel, the remaining members took a hiatus and went on to play briefly in a band called OZONE MONDAY. In 1999, SKID ROW reformed and, after a bit of shuffling over the years, featured a lineup consisting of bassist Rachel Bolan, guitarists Dave “Snake” Sabo and Scotti Hill, alongside drummer Rob Hammersmith and singer Johnny Solinger. SKID ROW fired Solinger over the phone in April 2015, a few hours before announcing ex-TNT vocalist Tony Harnell as his replacement. Eight months later, Harnell exited the band and was replaced by South African-born, British-based singer ZP Theart, who previously fronted DRAGONFORCE, TANK and I AM I. Theart was fired from SKID ROW in February 2022 and was replaced by Erik Grönwall, who was previously a member of the Swedish hard rock band H.E.A.T.

In a recent interview with Terrie Carr of the Morristown, New Jersey radio station 105.5 WDHA, Bach once again addressed the possibility of a reunion with his former SKID ROW bandmates. He said: “There’s really no reason why the original SKID ROW cannot reunite. And the reason I say that is because we’re all still alive and we’re all healthy. And I really think the reason that that has never happened is just business. You can’t be mad at somebody that you haven’t been in a room with since 1996.”

Less than a year ago, Sabo told Ruben Mosqueda of We Go To 11 about the possibility of a reunion with Bach: “It’s not even a part of any sort of thought process. This is SKID ROW. And that conversation is 23 years old [since SKID ROW reformed without Bach]. And I have no desire to… I’m not interested; none of us are. It comes down to happiness, and we’re really, really, really happy where we’re at and how the band sounds and feels. I love playing our music, and I love playing it with the guys that we’re playing it now with. And so I don’t wanna change that. I’m in a great place personally, and I think we’re all in a great place as a collective.”

In March 2022, Sabo was asked by Scott Penfold of Loaded Radio how he feels about people still calling for a reunion with Bach. He said: “Well, it’s been 23 years [since SKID ROW reformed], so to say that I’m over it would be an understatement. We attempted [a reunion] slightly [back in 2016]. We dipped our toes in the water and realized that it didn’t feel so good. It’s just one of those things where we still could not see eye to eye; we couldn’t even get past the point of simple texting.

“I am really, really happy where we are,” Snake continued. “I’m very proud of our past, and all due credit to everybody who’s been involved in every aspect of our career, whoever that may be, ’cause it all led to where we are now.

“I’ve been asked a thousand times: ‘What about the payday [of a reunion with Sebastian]?’ And that’s all well and good, but if that’s why I did this — if that’s why we did this; I can speak for everybody — we probably wouldn’t be doing it,” Sabo explained. “I wanna be happy, and I am very, very happy. And so are the guys; everybody’s really happy.

“The music climate is what it is, and we’re a classic rock band, and I’m proud of that. And we’re still able to make music. I mean, Jeez — I live a very, very blessed life, man,” Snake added. “I have nothing but gratitude and humility for what we have achieved and for what we’re able to continue to do. So while there may be people out there who are flashing dollar signs with a lot of zeroes, I still have to be happy doing it, and I am. And that’s what’s most important. I need to be happy being in a band with the people I’m in a band with. A lot of other bands can go out and they don’t see each other till they’re on stage and travel on separate buses and all that stuff, and that’s all well and good, but I don’t wanna live my life like that. I don’t wanna be up onstage and kind of living a lie; it just doesn’t feel good. So, while I’m thankful for people’s interest and whatnot, I’m even more thankful that we still get to play music for a living under our terms.”

In the summer of 2021, Bach told Florida’s 98.7 The Gater radio station that “there’s no reason” for the classic SKID ROW not to reunite. “When those guys [in SKID ROW] try to say [about me], ‘He’s difficult to work with,’ let me just say this one more time. We have not been in the same room together since the year 1996,” he said. “Shut the eff up about you thinking you know what I’m like. You don’t know anything about what I’m like. And the ‘Gilmore Girls’ think I’m okay to work with; Broadway thinks I’m okay to work with; the ‘Trailer Park Boys’ think I’m okay; GUNS N’ ROSES think I’m pretty cool. We’re not getting any younger.”

Sebastian went on to say that a SKID ROW reunion “should” happen “for the fans. And we are absolutely running out of bands — bands that can play in sheds,” he said. “The fact that we are all still alive and we are all in our 50s — some closer to 60 than others — but that, to me, is selfish that we’re not together.

“I can play with anyone. I do play with everyone [laughs] — except for them.”

Three years ago, Bolan also confirmed that he and his bandmates “were entertaining the idea” of reuniting with Bach following Harnell‘s departure. But Rachel shot down the possibility of a rekindling of his friendship with Sebastian, explaining: “Well… Here’s the soundbite for Blabbermouth. I wouldn’t say we were friends [when we were in a band together]. We were bandmates. You know what I mean? We’re two very different people.” Bolan added that he hadn’t seen Bach “in years.”

Four years ago, Bach was asked by Rolling Stone what it would take for SKID ROW to be reunited. He responded: “It would take those guys to realize that I have a lifetime manager. His name is Rick Sales. I’ve been with him since 2006. They don’t want to deal with a guy like that. They want to give some singer who doesn’t have a manager $700 to $800 bucks a week. I’ve got a team that’s worked with me and don’t allow me to get fucked around. I didn’t have that team when I was 19 years old.”

In response to Bach‘s statements about the earnings of SKID ROW‘s singer, Sabo told Rolling Stone in an e-mail: “I guess fact-checking isn’t in his skill set… The five of us go on that stage as a band and we all get paid equally. We’re in this together. There’s no egos.”

Sebastian went on to say that SKID ROW was “close to reuniting, but then it didn’t happen. The fact that it didn’t happen obviously makes me somewhat bitter, because life is only getting shorter, as the song says,” he added.

“I wouldn’t say ‘came close,'” Bolan told Rolling Stone in an e-mail response to Bach‘s account of the reunion talks. “We entertained the idea. Snake and I went as far as talking with agents and promoters about money. But we quickly learned after a few text conversations, why we fired him in the first place. Nothing is worth your happiness and peace of mind.”

Sabo added: “It was already a miserable experience, and we didn’t even get on the phone.”

In 2021, Bach completed a U.S. tour during which he celebrated the 30th anniversary of SKID ROW‘s sophomore album, “Slave To The Grind”.


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