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Skinlab

The Gauntlet: How are you doing?

Steev: Just getting better man. I am finally able to get a fucking full breath of air.

The Gauntlet: Do you know what caused it?

Steev: Part of it was painting without a respirator. It didn't really kick in until half way through the tour. Just the whole going in and out of clubs all wet and sweaty in the cold and then we were in Michigan and I got food poisoning. After that, my lungs were so bad and my body couldn't fight it any longer. I couldn't breath and I just couldn't perform at the level Skinlab is know for on stage. I couldn't perform the way I wanted to represent the band. After going to the hospital I decided to do one more show and it was pretty bad.

The Gauntlet: I assume you disobeyed doctors orders?

Steev: Yeah. Everybody in the band was already at the gig. It was my wife's and my anniversary too. We were over at the Baseball Hall of Fame over in Cooperstown eating lunch and I just couldn't breath so I went to the doctor's. I am a bug pussy when it comes to doctors. They said it will be a few weeks to recover. I was already a week into it. They gave me a bunch of antibiotics and for once in my life I decided to stay on schedule. It was an eye-opener.

The Gauntlet: Is there any chance getting on a tour before the year is over?

Steev: We are trying to put together a tour right now. I don't think we will be able to by the end of the year. Most likely we will do some weekenders and go up north, down south and a few days in Texas. We are talking to a couple friends in bands to see if we can tag along with them. We will need more time though to book a tour but are hoping something comes our way.

The Gauntlet: Fairly recently you replaced Glenny [Telford]. How is Brian Jackson doing?

Steev: He is doing great. He had less than two weeks to come out and learn our set. He is really nailing it. He has become a permanent member of the band and has expressed his interest to join us and pay his dues. He is no stranger to the road. Glenny bailed at the end of the recording session. We all knew the cards and knew he couldn't stay on due to stuff in his personal life. We knew from the start he wasn't going to be able to make himself available. We happened to find a guy that can stay in the band and are moving forward.

The Gauntlet: What dues will he have to pay?

Steev: The last tour. Anyone that is still with us after the last tour is in. It was enough to make anyone run with all the ups and downs and the lead singer being a pre-madonna bitch. He really showed his integrity and devotion to the band. Skinlab is not a bad that get's shit handed to them, we have to work our ass of for everything. We end up spreading ourselves thin and wide to be on everyone's radar.

The Gauntlet: "The Scar's Between Us" album recently came out. How did the recording go?

Steev: It was amazing. We had done so many pre-production recordings and letting the songs evolve. Over the last few years we went through several pre-productions that when we finally got to the studio, we all knew what was going on and just busted it out in like eighteen days. We were really proud of it. Everyone stepped up. I personally think it is my best vocal performance I have ever done. So many cool bands have come out in the last five to seven years. A lot of people didn't really dig the vocal styles I was singing with and I realized that. I absorbed a lot of everything and knew we had to come back strong. Without selling out and untrue to ourselves, I think we expanded a little bit but you still know it is Skinlab and not Hatebreed or something. I don't think the Machine Head thing is there anymore as it used to.

The Gauntlet: I always thought the Machine Head comparison was unfair. Both Skinlab and Machine Head come from the same are in Northern California. It is like saying all black metal bands from Bergen Norway sound the same...of course they do, they came up the same time, many were friends, same influences, same environment, etc.

Steev: Yeah, nobody ever says that. We have always worn our influences on our sleeves. Rob [Flynn] knows we are huge fans. We all come from the same blood pool and influences are something you shine with or you don't.

The Gauntlet: You mentioned that in your off time you were listening to a lot of newer bands. To me listening to the album, it sounded more like you were listening to more older bands as I hear more of a old school sound, not really a new Bay Area sound.

Steev: Yeah, when I said that I didn't mean musically, I mean ways of aggression. Our last 2 albums were more on the mellow side. This album sounds more aggressive than anything we have done so far. The Crowbar, Acid Bath and Neurosis things are still there, just more in a Skinlab defined sort of way. I think we have more southern influences than Bay Area ones. Corrosion [of Conformity] and the new Down are fucking killer. Eyehategod too, they were always a good influence. Jimmy [Bower]was the guy that put in a good word for us to get signed back in the day. I think we grasped out of our Bay Area roots a little more on this album. I contributed to a few more songs than usual on this album. There is a nice mixture on this album, we are really proud of it. It was one of the most fun record's we have ever recorded.

The Gauntlet: Was Skinlab really on hiatus? It seems like you just weren't in the public eye as much.

Steev: It all came down to business. We were all out there working our asses off, more than some and it came down to us not getting the recognition we deserved. Us and our label disagreed in the end. All we can do is sell records and if you aren't doing that then you aren't going to be treated the way you want. "Revolting Room" became a hot potato in the industries eyes. We had lots of labels ready to buy us out right. Then the scene changed and it was like quicksand. We saw that the labels intentions weren't there. We came to an agreement with the label that if they stopped working us, we'd stop working. That was the worst thing we could do. I told the president of the label we were on a press lockout as we had nothing to say. It was more like the band imploded than went on hiatus. There is nothing like doing a Slayer tour and not having your label back you after so many years of us dedicating ourselves to them and helping pave the way with them hand in hand. As much as they did for us, we also helped pave surfaces for them. So when it came down to it, we were on the biggest tour we have ever done playing arenas with Slayer thanks to none other than Jagermeister. We couldn't even get gas money from the label to help us out on tour. At the end of the day, it was like 'fuck it, this fucking hurts, we aren't going to do it like this anymore.' We know we are better than that and just stopped until we missed it. Having said that, yeah, we all went our separate ways and bands and just had some fun showing some ass crack and setting up your own equipment on stage. After that we were missing it, we were still best friends. We started jamming together again. That might be why you might have thought we were never on hiatus, we never lost site of our friendship. I think being in the public eye being in the bands we were in before led people to believe Skinlab was a lingering thing but in reality we were fucking hurt. I don't think I have spoke about that before, there is your news scoop. We always knew we loved our band. It was such a large part of our life since we were kids. We are back and in the thick of it.

The Gauntlet: So you guys are on a new label, Stand and Deliver.

Steev: It is kind of like those old days at Century Media. They are hitting us hard. We are starting over again and we get to suggest where we would like to go once again. We are happy for the future. We are all going to have to work to get our name out there. We are committed and they are committed as well. It is very cool though getting our name back out there.

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Tags:  Skinlab  , Steevinterviews

    October 20, 2009

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