Skid Row's Curious Business Model
Way, way back in the year 1989, Hair Metal ruled the airwaves, but it was a disposable art form that I mostly scorned. But since I lived it in real time, a few songs bring back fond memories.
Skid Row was one of the few tolerable bands of the era, and I use the adjective "tolerable" very loosely. I remember liking each one of their first 3 singles. By their second album, my tolerance for Skid Row had waned.
Then, at the turn of the millennium, I liked Sebastian Bach on the well written TV Show Gilmore Girls. I thought, perhaps, I had moved on from Skid Row too soon. (I had not.)
I vaguely remember Sebastian Bach and Skid Row had a falling out and that they hated each other. Did a little bit of googling and, yes, they still hate each other, over 30 years after their debut.
While doing some unrelated musical research on the band DragonForce, I vaguely remembered that they also had some issues with their talented lead singer ZP Theart.
At the turn of the millennium, I enjoyed DragonForce, but their brand of Metal was a little harder to categorize. I heard it described as "Power Metal" or "Gamer Metal." To me DragonForce's success stemmed from an excellent lead singer playing off of 2 stellar lead guitarists.
Imagine my surprise when I read that ZP Theart joined Skid Row. Let me re-phrase that. Imagine my shock when I read ZP Theart joined Skid Row. Skid Row should have faded into oblivion.
And, for all intensive purposes they had. Skid Row's latest album, United World Rebellion Chapter 3, was supposed to come out in 2015. Then 2016. Then the band recruited Theart on an interim basis. Then the album was supposed to come out in 2017. Then 2019. Then Covid hit. Now late-2021. We're not talking about Guns N Roses here, we're talking about Skid Row. With 3 lead singers not named Bach since Chapter 2 in 2014, the fact that the band simply exists is a victory for their dozens of fans. What really bothers me is that Theart is so talented, why is he on a sinking ship with a boatload of has-beens?
Seriously, compare the bands.
Better singer? Theart or Bach? Theart.
Better guitarists? Li and Totman or Sabo and Hill? DragonForce by a mile.
Better bass? Leclercq or Bolan? DragonForce.
Better drummer? Mackintosh or Affuso? DragonForce.
DragonForce has released more albums, sold more albums (since 2000), and has had better musicians. If anything, Theart and Skid Row should be covering early DragonForce songs, not Theart and Skid Row reliving the glories of 1989-1991.
If Theart wanted to do solo work, I would check that out. (I am I)
Why is their business model curious? Because Sebastian Bach is touring doing Skid Row Music with nameless musicians and ZP Theart will be touring doing Skid Row Music with crappy Skid Row musicians....
I was going to keep writing, but then I stopped. Why in the hell am I writing about Skid Row?