Air date: Wednesday, October 13, 2021
Top Shelf Music is proud to present another epic installment of Eclectic Soundtrax, hosted by Skunk Manhattan and Victor Ramos! On today’s podcast, we are joined by Rob Hammersmith, drummer for multi-platinum selling rock band Skid Row. Rob’s musical journey began at an early age after a family trip to see Roy Orbison. Soon after that concert, he got his first drum kit and crafted a makeshift “drum cage” out of PVC pipe. He was immediately hooked and, before long, Rob was playing in cover bands in upstate New York. He quickly developed an appreciation for a solid back beat and “playing for the song”, an approach to drumming that he still considers the foundation for his style today. His early influences (and still some of his favorites to date) were drumming greats John Bonham of Led Zeppelin and Phil Rudd of ACDC. Rob also cites Mickey Curry as a major influence.
Originally from the small town of Olean, NY, Rob later settled in Atlanta and quickly gained attention in the rock underground.
After several years of touring and recording with Atlanta rock band Rockets to Ruin and touring with Gunfire 76 (featuring Murderdolls’ frontman Wednesday 13), Rob was offered the drum position in Skid Row in April of 2010. The band has since toured several times nationally and internationally, and has recorded two EPs of a three-part trilogy: United World Rebellion – Chapter 1 and Rise of the Damnation Army – Chapter 2. A full-length album, third installment of the trilogy is currently being recorded. This year, the band celebrates the 30th Anniversary of their iconic hard rock masterpiece, Slave to the Grind by playing a handful of shows performing the album in its entirety.
We find out what Rob’s been up to as of late, hear about when touring will start up again, his influences and the new album in the works. We also learn about sushi, motorcycles and Skunk asks a very important question.
About the podcasters
Skunk is a musician, primarily known as the frontman and guitarist for eclectic heavy-rock band A Good Rogering. Since moving to Austin in 2004, he has recorded and performed with a wide variety of bands and solo artists over a career spanning more than 20 years and has shared the stage with notable acts, such as Skid Row, Marty Friedman, Uli Jon Roth, George Lynch and Metal Church among others. Skunk not only works as a performing musician and recording artist, but also as a producer and music teacher. With two decades of insight into what it means to be a professional musician and a passion for not only music, but comedy and general chatter, Skunk was quick to jump at the opportunity to co-host a podcast with longtime friend, Victor Ramos.
A Texas native, Victor’s early musical influences are a mixture of classic rock albums played by his Vietnam vet father and a whole lot of ‘the Fab Four’ via his Beatles-loving mother. Sprinkle in some classic country and Motown, and you have a man that would say “¿que?” when other Tejanos would ask what his favorite cumbia was. After a stint in the Marines, Victor moved to Austin in 2000 and began working in the tech industry. He met Skunk in a Spanish class in 2005 and the two discovered a shared passion for not only beer, but music. After years of collectively attending concerts and talking music, the idea to start a podcast centering around such topics seemed like a logical endeavor.
Photography by Kaili Rose