Home / Interviews / Skinlab with Steev Esquivel

Skinlab with Steev Esquivel

1. 2009-2011 looked to be a tough set of years for stabilizing a guitarist; you went through 3 that I know of. Are there specific reasons for this? Also, moving forward do you plan to continue on as only a 3 piece or are you picking up a second guitarist?

Yes, it’s definitely been really tough with the guitarist situation …we’ve pulled thru in the end and have just recently found our new and hopefully permanent guitarist. His name is Provo, formerly of Rikets… Things have been going great. We’ve been able to do a small run of dates to see how things work out live and personality wise. Everything went great!! We played a bunch of shows starting in the Bay Area , which instantly got the approval of our friends and Bay Area  fans behind us again, we also had the chance to play Provo’s home town which is Oklahoma City , which went over killer….so were all gearing up for the new E.P and then a new full length album!

2. Specifically to the above question, long time Mike Roberts rejoined and then left again, any specifics on this?

Yeah it was just a bad situation, we love Mike and it was bad ass to play again with him, but over the past 12yrs things have changed with the band. The only thing that hasn’t changed is when we tour it means we have to go without some of the things we need or sometimes figure out other ways to make things happen back at home while were out on tour.

With plans being made and our hopes rising of getting out there to do some touring for The Scars between Us, it’s became obvious that Mike wasn’t going to be able to tour and make sure his family life didn’t fall apart….just like all of us , it’s just a tough thing to be on the road . Because I know Skinlab was our dream and it sucks to not have him there, but ultimately it’s best for both of us. He’s doing great and has a new hardcore band…you’ll be hearing from him soon enough about his band!

3. You were supposed to be playing SXSW this year, what happened?

Yeah we had a pretty bad ass set list ready for both new and old Skinlab fans, we had to bow out of playing this year because the only studio time we could get to record the new E.P. The recordings came out great, but we hope to make it to SXSW next year for sure!

4. Do songs like “Know Your Enemies” or “Paleface” still create a great fan reaction, 12+ years later, or do you not play anything from the first 2 full albums anymore?

They’re most definitely a crowd favorite, we’ve pulled out a few of the first, PROMISED, PALEFACE, PAIN COMES TO SURFACE will we play them that’s for us to know and for you to come out and see us play to find out.

5. You are planning to write/track a new album shortly… What has already been done and what can be mentioned to the public about what we can expect?

Yup….new E.P “Fleshwounds, Under The influence”…in the works now.

We’re recording 5 cover tracks of our favorite bands and biggest influences. It’s something i think would be cool for our fans new and old, most of the recording has been done, and expect to see it in limited print probably on vinyl.

6. Have you ever thought about writing a concept album? If so why did you finally decide against it?

No we never really thought about a concept album…there are plenty of concept album that i f eel are very cool some that aren’t…Not sure if well ever do one with Skinlab, but you never know.

7. Since ’94, Skinlab has seen some ups and downs. What do you think attributed most to you guys coming back and coming back strong with “The Scars Between Us” and hopefully the new 2011 album?

Yeah Skinlab has definitely had its ups and downs. The reason we are still a band is simply for the love of music and our fans that have been there for us thru the years…..We’ll be releasing “Fleshwounds, Under The influence”… this summer and hopefully a new album in 2012, right now we are looking into different media platforms for a new release.

8. A little back track here, although “Revolting Room” and “Nerve Damage” where solid albums, they received not so kind reviews with a lot of people saying you “jumped ship” to nu-metal. Looking back, would you have done anything different with those releases or do they stand strong in your full catalog today?

Well everyone said we were too Death Metal on Bound Gagged, which we didn’t agree with…we’ve never really fit into any one genre, were definitely not NU Metal which a lot of people think and were definitely NOT Metalcore….We just write what feels good to us without losing the sound of Skinlab. Everyone has their one opinion and interpretation on what genre we fall into, with the new E.P and another full length on the way I’m sure it will all happen again.

9. What has been your favorite album so far to record and what is your favorite song to play live?

My favorite album to record was Disembody: The new flesh….it was such an exciting time for us. The Label was behind us and the fans were eagerly awaiting our next move. We spent 2 months in Texas@ Sonic Ranch studios with Andy Sneap and just had a great time making the album….I would say my favorite song to play live has always been “Purify” off Revolting Room and “So Far From The Truth” off  disembody.

10. Will the new album feature just more polished sounding Skinlab, or can fans expect something different? Anything interesting being planned for this specific recording?

Right now we are recording 1 new Skinlab track and 5 covers tracks from our biggest influences over the years…..The new track is probably the furthest we’ve  stepped out of the box and definitely shows a new movement of where we will be taking things on the next full length album.

11. Different groups have unique ways of writing their songs. How do you guys go about writing your music? Is it a collective effort or is it more the efforts of one particular member of the band?

Snake and I usually write riffs and bring them into each other and we go from there, on the newer material the guys have giving me more room to write a lot more, I’ve become more of a guitarist than ever in the recent years . This is allowing snake and I to work a lot better and can relate easier within the songs. This new album will also be the first with our new guitarist Provo, who has been writing some killer riffs as well….should make for a really solid Skinlab album….and looking forward!!!

12. Anything else you would like to add?

Just want to thank all of our fans new and old for standing by us thru the years. …were looking forward to seeing everyone on tour in 2011!


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