Sebastian Bach

August 24th, 2005
by EvilG

Interview With Sebastian Bach
Interviewed December 1999 by EvilG

With 22 million albums sold world wide, Sebastian Bach is not the most humble of metal gods. However, he was a very funny guy to talk with and the rumors are true – this guy is always on eleven!  for anyone who thinks that a singer like Sebastian Bach has no place in a metal webzine like “Metal Rules!!” then I feel sorry for you because Sebastian has one of the best voices in metal. Put a song like “Slave To The Grind” up against any glam band it it totally obliterates it. This style of music is continued on Bach’s new CD “Bring ‘Em Bach Alive” which features 5 new tracks (one written with and recorded with Wolf Hoffman of Accept fame) and 11 live tracks of some of Skid Row’s best material. I got the honor of chatting with Baz on a Sunday afternoon in early December. What follows is a discussion about his new band and CD, his departure from Skid Row along with a loads of other stuff. Bach is BACK – read on and enjoy! 


SB
This is Sebastian.

Metal Rules!!
Heey!

SB
How’s it doin’ man?

Metal Rules!!
Fuckin’ great.

SB
Metal Rules!!!!!!

MR
Oh! You bet your fuckin’ ass.

 

SB
Where am I calling you at?

MR
I’m in St. John’s, NF, Canada.

SB
Oh my god! That’s wild!

MR
First time callin’ here I bet?

SB
Yeah, I’ve never even played up there my whole career!

MR
Nah, nobody comes here.

SB
I’ve played Korea, Russia, Thailand, Iceland…never played in eastern Canada and I’m from Canada so…

MR
Yeah I know.

SB
I asked the promoter when I was in Skid Row “Why can’t we play there?” and they said there’s no gigs out there and I’m like “Whaaaat!!!”

 

MR
In the summers there’s been a few bands like Bon Jovi has been here, Ugly Kid Joe and Def Leppard, nothing that great.

SB
And I’d love to play there.

MR
Would be kinda cool to see a real band. So how’s everything?

SB
Great. I just did 3 sold out shows in a row in Providence, Rhode Island and Baltimore, Maryland and last night was Springfield, Virginia and I just drove like 12 hours and I got a day off at home here and I’m doing tons of interviews today.

MR
Is this your first one?

SB
No, this is my third.

MR
OK, so you’re not burned out yet?

SB
No, well…I’ve just been singin’ a lot so I’m just kinda resting the pipes a little bit.

 

MR
So where are you calling from now?

SB
New Jersey.

MR
New Jersey, is that where you’re calling home these days?

SB
Yeah, I’ve really lived here 12 years.

MR
Right on.

SB
I’ve got a new CD “Bring ‘Em Bach Alive” which is in all Canadian record stores. You can go down and get it at the local store.

MR
I’ve got my copy right in front of me.

SB
Cool dude! That’s great. There are 5 new studio tracks on it and 11 live so I think it kicks good.

MR
Yeah, I agree. I’m impressed.

SB
Cool man, thanks.

 

MR
The live stuff to tell you the truth man, if it had of been called Skid Row I probably wouldn’t have known the difference. 

(Laughter)

MR
The live stuff is just as cool and the new songs are better than I’d thought they were gonna be. Especially “Rock And Roll”.

SB
Oh that thing rocks.

MR
You got that right.

SB
It’s so uplifting man. I love how it came out and that heavy section right in the middle by the lead. I freak out.

 

MR
That’s cool. So like I said, I recently got the CD and I really like it and thank god it’s not trendy! If you would  have started rapping or any other of that crap I would’ve thrown up.

SB
Dude, you don’t want to hear Sebastian Bach rap.

MR
No way!

SB
That’ll never happen.

 

MR
So thanks for staying metal!

SB
I’m a singer man. I’ve always been and always will be. I love to sing.

MR
So thanks for staying metal and not shaving your head and a?

SB
Ahhh, FUCK THAT!

MR
?and doing all that crap. 

(Laughter)

 

SB
I have too much fun being me the way I am so there’s no reason to change.

MR
Good. Have you found it easier to make a go of it from the USA? I know you’re from Canada, so how much differently do you think it would’ve been if you’d try and make a go of it and stayed in Canada?

SB
Well it’s a lot different now than when I first made it. Now there’s a thing where like Canadian musicians are like in favor in America. In 1988 when I moved to America it was definitely not like that. It was really hard for Canadian bands to get big in the states, nothing like it is now. Completely different. If I would of stayed, it would have taken me longer you know? I just had to get out and rock so I went to NYC and joined Skid Row and sold 22 million records.

 

MR
So about the new material, why has there been such a gap between Skid Row and now?

SB
I got kicked out of Skid Row in December ’96 and the drummer got kicked out after that and it took a long time legally for me to get out of the paperwork that I was involved in with Skid Row legally and get a solo record deal. I just signed a 4 album solo record deal with Spitfire. So now I get to crank out albums like rapidfire. I’m like really excited about that.

 

MR
Regarding the live stuff that’s on there. According to what I’ve read, Atlantic Records asked you to tour and record some live stuff. But on the back the Spitfire logo graces the back cover. Can you explain that?

SB
Yeah, Atlantic put it out in Europe, all over Europe, 32 countries, Japan and everywhere. But I gave it to Spitfire Records for Canada and the US because to be honest with you Spitfire believes in Rock n’ Roll a lot more than Atlantic Records does. They don’t really care about rock. They’re more into the trendy stuff like you were saying – say Sugar Ray. All that shit (Laughs).

MR
To put it mildly. 

SB
I had to go with a label that understood me. That’s what Spitfire is. I’m really happy with them.

MR
So your 4 album deal is with Spitfire?

SB
Yes.

 

MR
Regarding the live stuff on the CD, is it 100% live or did you go back and touch up anything?

SB
We went and touched up some stuff because I edited out a lot of the long endings – the Wraaaaaaaaaaangg,dinga dinga dinga dinga dinga?I couldn’t have too many of those on the CD .It’s different than live. Live you’re just playing to the crowd, plus what happened was I thought it was going to be a 2 hour cause we played for like an hour and a half. So when they asked me to do the live CD I thought it was going to be a double CD set. Like 2 hours then they said no it was 1 CD so I had to really concentrate on what was the heaviest, coolest material, performances and I had to whittle it down to 74 minutes. So I had to do a lot of editing.

 

MR
Obviously the state of metal/hard rock varies in different countries these days. For example you did the live stuff in Tokyo and over there it seems like this kind of music can sell out an arena while in the  states / Canada – most bands are playing clubs. Does this bother you or do you think it’ll come around again?

SB
Well that’s not quite accurate. I mean I toured with Pantera in arenas in ’98 so I’m still playing arenas in the states and in Canada we toured in ’98 with my solo band all across Canada except for like eastern Canada where your at. All across western Canada and Toronto and all that. A couple of thousand people a night and in Japan you might play a little arena and do like 5 shows in Japan. But in the states you do like 104 shows. That’s what we did last time so we definitely played to way more rock fans in America then anywhere else cause there is so many cities. So they might not be all stuck in one 20,000 seat arena but over the course of 104 concerts, a couple thousand a night that’s like a lot of people you know. So I don’t do it as a job. I do it because I love music and I love Rock n’ Roll and I’ll never stop doing it cause I love it too much. You know we just did 3 nights in a row and every single one were completely sold out. 1200 people in Baltimore the other night and there’s a lot of rock fans in America / Canada and I wish I could come to St. John’s and kick the crap out of it. (Laughs)

 

MR
People would be blown away I bet.

SB
Someday.

 

MR
About the album again – the inside artwork. The comic is way cool and I think it out does the cover. The cover is just a picture. Is there a reason why you toned down the cover and yet the inside is?

SB
Yeah, I just wanted it to have no words, just a picture so you know who it is from the Skid Row days. You know who I am and what to expect when you open it up. You got to buy it to get to the good part (Laughs). Like a  collector’s little comic book and everything. It’s fun you know.

 

MR
How many times, the inside picture of you perched upon that fuckin’ stump or whatever. The first time I saw it I said how many fuckin’ times did he fall off that thing before they got that picture! haha…

SB
That was out in my backyard. We were just fuckin’ around you know. I really love the Marvel comic part though ’cause ever since I was a kid in Peterborough, Ontario, Canada I’ve been a collector of like Fantastic Four, Hulk, Spiderman?All Marvel and I called them up to do my album booklet and they said sure. I was really freaked out. I was like, this is easy. Now I got my own Marvel comic with the CD, man its great.

 

MR
Have you been writing any new material for an album?

SB
Yeah well the song rock n roll came out so kick ass that I’m definitely doing more songs with Wolf Hoffman. That’s a good collaboration and the other guys in my band too; Larry, Ritchie and Jimmy Flemming as well. Plus now I got Paul Crook from Anthrax in my band. I’m going to be writing with him as well.

MR
Excellent, so do you have any rough ideas when you plan to have an album of all original stuff out?

SB
Umm, yeah. I’m gonna tour my ass off for this album and then as soon as I’m done touring for this album I’m gonna take a couple of months off just to catch my breath and then I’ll get right back in the studio and do another record.

 

MR
And you said it was going to be more towards the “Rock n’ Roll” kinda songs?

SB
Basically I try to make every song different. I think listeners, when you’re listening to a CD you don’t want to hear songs that sound the same. You know what I’m saying? So each song has to be different. I really like the way that turned out that one so I’m gonna do some more collaborations with Wolf. This is just the tip of the iceberg.

 

MR
I don’t think Skid Row fit in too well with the bands that others lumped you in with. Some say that Skid Row is just another glam or hair band and I’ve never thought that.

SB
That’s not true.

MR
I always thought Skid Row was a metal band, and does that offend you when you read something and someone just says they’re just another 80′s band or?

SB
Yeah it does because the time when we were big we were definitely separate from Poison and Warrant. We were on tour with Guns n’ Roses, we headlined and brought Pantera on their first ever arena tour! Then Soundgarden on their first ever arena tour – the badmotorfinger tour. I was on the cover of Rolling Stone, had a #1 record. Those other bands never had none of that stuff.

 

MR
I wasn’t even listening to those bands.

SB
Skid Row fans are not Poison fans. I didn’t see any Poison shirts at Skid Row shows. Like zero, none. It’s all Pantera, fuckin’ Anthrax you know, Motley Crue, Kiss, Aerosmith, Guns n’ Roses. Any good rock bands. You know I think it has more to do with the way I look. I might have the same haircut as some of those guys but so does Gregg Allman & Willie Nelson so.. (Laughs)

MR
And he’s real metal isn’t he? haha

SB
If Willie Nelson can have long hair, I can have fuckin long hair, doesn’t mean I’m?whatever. What is glam anyway? I mean Kiss is glam and they’re the heaviest band of all time so whatever.

 

MR
So back to the Wolf Hoffman thing. How’d you hook up with him?

SB
Well I co-produced “Bring ‘Em Bach Alive” with Michael Wagner and he produced the first Skid Row record and “Slave To The Grind” which I think is the best Skid Row album.

MR
So do I!

SB
I wanted to work with Michael again. People don’t really know this but Michael was the first guitar player in Accept along with Wolf back in the late 70′s in Germany. Michael owns a studio in Nashville, TN where I was recording and Wolf was just hanging out, they’re just good friends. I just said dude give me some music cassettes to see what you’ve been writing for the last couple of years and he went home happy to do so. It was the starting of a new songwriting partnership.

 

MR
So have people been surprised at the pairing?

SB
Yeah, kinda. Cause he was out of the action for awhile. Our song got to #30 on FMBQ which is American FM radio. So it’s doing pretty good down here.

 

MR
So Paul Crook is touring with the band eh? I interviewed him a few months ago actually.

SB
Really!

MR
I had a really good chat with him talking about he’s going to be working on a solo record. Maybe you’ll guest appear on that?

SB
Well he’s definitely going to be appearing on mine. So we’ll get the music out there somehow.

 

MR
So the line-up your doing for this tour now is it just the live line-up or will you solidify a permanent line-up?

SB
It’s kind of like the Ozzy situation. When you go to see Ozzy live, you don’t really care who’s playing the bass. I love my bass player, Larry, he’s definitely going to be my permanent bass player. But I thought Skid Row was going to be permanent, so I don’t say permanent anymore. If that wasn’t permanent, nothing is permanent (laughs).

 

MR
Do you plan to keeping the “And Friends” part of the monikier?

SB
No, I’ve kinda dropped that. I just wanted to make a statement for the fist CD. But Sebastian Bach is easier to remember, it’s shorter to say. So that’s what it is now.

 

MR
Right after Skid Row there was something called “The Last Hard Men”  who did “School’s Out” so whatever happened to this band?

SB
We did like 20 songs and right now it’s kinda in legal limbo. The record companies that me and Kelly Deal are involved with are kind of arguing about it, as to the ownership of the music and I own it, so there’s no argument (laughs). But some other people don’t seem to think that, but anyway it will come out someday. It’s not as metal, I mean your with Metal Rules so, you’ll definitely like my solo stuff more than that. My solo stuff is more metal.

MR
I’ll still check it out, I’m not 100% close minded (maybe 95% hehe), it’s just that metal rules!!

SB
Yeah, that’s it, I love that saying. I still scream and it’s still me singing the way I sing on it, so if you like that you’ll like it.

 

MR
Well to me you are one of the better vocalists out there. A buddy of mine here who is a singer flipped when I told him I would be interviewing you.

SB
Well tell him good luck and to keep screaming! (laughs)

 

MR
Watching the Skid Row home videos is still a riot. I especially liked the part where you go into the restaurant in Japan and grab the ordering mike and start singing.

SB
(Laughing) Oh my god!! Well I can’t drink Jack Daniels like I used to, we’re older now. I used to drink A LOT of whiskey, and that makes you nuts.

MR
So any other wild happenings like that with the new band?

SB
Well, it’s definitely a different kind of life than a normal life. I just did my first three shows, these last three nights and you just use muscles on stage that you don’t use anywhere else. Like when you’re rockin, my body is all covered in bruises, slashes, cuts and scrapes, I’m black and blue and I can barely even move. Like I get on the stage and I beat the hell outta myself.

MR
Beat yourself blind…

SB
Yeah, that’s right dude, just banging my head and just oh my god…Every night you just push yourself to the maximum on stage.

 

MR
Do you think there’ll be another home video?

SB
Definitely! I shot most of those home videos, that was just my home video, all that stuff and I got lots more hilarious stuff from the last couple of years of touring. I’ll (probably) make a DVD home video soon. I really want to concentrate on making CD’s though. But there will be another home video, it’s just I’m really into the music now.

 

MR
I know this is a topic you probably don’t want to dwell on but can you briefly tell me what happened with Skid Row and why they wanted to give you the boot in the first place??

SB
I think it just comes down to, when you started this interview you said ‘thanks for ignoring the trends’ and everything. A lot of people wanted to change and copy trends in the mid-90′s when grunge was humongous. I don’t like to copy other bands, not that they wanted to copy anybody, but I was just happy being Skid Row. I wanted to do twenty albums at least that were really hard rockin albums. So they weren’t into that, they were in a different scene musically so bye-bye, bye-bye Baz (laughs). But I’ll never stop rockin, so don’t you worry about it.

 

MR
Do you still talk to the guys at all or have any form of contact?

SB
No. Absolutely none.

MR
Wow, do you miss that at all or do you wish that you could still be on speaking terms?

SB
Yeah I do. It’s depressing. I came from a little small town in Canada and became a part of this humongous band and then for it to just end you know? But here’s the quote – ‘you can kick me out of the band, but there is no way you can kick the band out of me!’ (laughs)

 

MR
So there’s no regrets with having “Youth Gone Wild” on your arm then?

SB
No, that’s the story of my life. That song is what started it all off. I’ll just get the words “I was the” up on my bicep (laughing).

 

MR
Well since the guys were thinking about doing the alternative thing, maybe it is best that you are on your own, sticking to what you do best.

SB
Well all I can do is make CD’s that I love. I can’t sing music that I don’t relate to, I don’t know anyone that can. I don’t do this as a business, I do this because I really love rock-n-roll music. I’m not capable of singing something that I don’t believe in.

 

MR
Another Skid Row question…why did Skid Row put out “40 seasons” after only three studio albums??

SB
It had nothing to do with me.

MR
Was this just a record company idea?

SB
No, well, the other guys wanted to get some money and that’s basically why they decided to rip everyone off. I had nothing to do with it.

MR
I didn’t even pick it up. Not because I wouldn’t like it, I had it all except for 2 songs.

SB
Thank you! Well just go record them or fucking you know…

MR
When it was coming out I thought it would be some cool left over stuff.

SB
Well one song on there is really cool called “Forever.” The other song should never of come out.

 

MR
Here’s something that I’m sure a lot of people have asked but I haven’t heard the answers from you so here goes….After Skid Row there were a shitload of rumors about you being the lead singer for Iron Maiden, Judas Priest, Motley Crue, Van Halen…Are any of these even half true??

SB
The closest one is Motley Crue. I did jam with them and Nikki did ask me to join Motley Crue before John Corabi. I love Motley Crue, I’m a huge fan, but I really had my whole heart into Skid Row at the time so I had to turn it down. But I would love to be in a band with Tommy Lee, he’s amazing.

MR
I am not too happy with what he is doing now though.

SB
I haven’t really heard it so…

MR
I heard a song or two off the net and I was like ugghhh, this is definitely not hard rock or metal.

SB
Really…yeah, well…he’s been through a lot so he’s just expressing himself.

 

MR
So that was the only true rumor out of the lot?

SB
Well Judas Priest did want to talk to me but I never got to try out but I actually did try out for the Crue and they did ask me to join so that’s the closest one. I have never been asked to join Van Halen, that’s the most incredible rumor, it’s unbelievable I can’t get away from it. But I’ve never been asked.

MR
If any of them did ask would you join?

SB
I would try out for Van Halen, I’d love the chance to try out.

MR
Well they are without a singer now heh??!?

SB
Well, if you’re interviewing Eddie, tell him to give me a call (laughs).

 

MR
How about your future plans, how about a Kidd Wickked reunion? haha…

SB
Ohhh!!!! (laughing) Well Kid Rock, Kidd Wickked, what’s the difference?!

MR
Oh, BIG difference. One is trendy, one isn’t.

SB
Yeah, but you never now man. I would love to do a set with them in Toronto sometime. I’ve lost contact with a couple of guys in the band but I’d would love to do a set with them.

MR
You still have contact with some of them?

SB
Yeah Dave, the guitar player. I e-mail him sometimes.

 

MR
Any other plans for the future besides touring and writing?

SB
Tour and CD’s man, that’s enough. I’m going to spend the rest of my life trying to outdo what I’ve done. It’s kind of like making babies, trying is the fun part. (laughing). Like, well this one didn’t do as good so here’s comes another one, here comes another one…

MR
So every nine months a new album?

SB
Yeah, hopefully but I won’t release anything until it’s great. Every CD I put out I’m totally proud of. So as soon as I got another one ready to go, you’ll be cranking it in your car.

 

MR
What stuff have you been cranking in your car recently?

SB
Basically I’ve been really busy with my own stuff, I know that’s kinda boring, but I’ve been making a pre-show mix tape for the live shows so I’ve been listening to older CD’s like Anvil “Metal on Metal”, Riot “Fire Down Under”, Armored Saint “Symbol of Salvation”. Totally heavy stuff right now is what I’ve been listening to.

 

MR
Can you tell me about www.sebvastianweb.com? you do this yourself right?

SB
Yeah, it’s a fucking mess I’m sorry (laughing).

MR
There’s A LOT of stuff there.

SB
There’s too much and I try so hard but it’s just overwhelming me at this point. I really do need some help with it. It’s gotten huge and run away from me a bit. I would like it to be a little more organized. It still rocks though man, at least it’s an honest website. It’s not some record company safe website. You know it’s from me.

 

MR
You must get like a load of fan e-mail. Do you actually get time to read and reply to it?

SB
No I don’t. I used to try to do it and now people get pissed off if I don’t answer their e-mails. It’s like I can’t answer 1000 e-mails a day, I’d never get out from in front of the computer. I can’t just sit in front of the computer all day. I do love the net but I like going outside too sometimes (laughing). It is addictive and it is great and everything don’t get me wrong but it’s just I like to exercise to sing and some other things too.

 

MR
Well that’s all the questions I had lined up for you.

SB
Thanks, I really appreciate this.

MR
I’ve very happy that you got a chance to call

SB
Thanks and tell any promoters in your city that I’d love to come play there some day. I can guarantee you there’d be a lot of rock fans cause I’ve never played there ever. That’s crazy if you think about it.

MR
Yeah, considering you are from Canada!

SB
Yeah really, it doesn’t make any sense.

MR
A lot of people from the States don’t even know that the east coast of Canada exists.

SB
Yeah but I’ve literally asked the Canadian promoting companies ‘please let me go play there!’ and their like ‘dude, there’s no rock there’ and I’m like ‘fuck you.’ If I can play Iceland, I can play St. John’s. So hopefully some day. But in the meantime listen to the live CD and you can pretend I’m there (laughing). 

 

MR
Just turn it really loud!!!!!!

SB
Thanks man!!

 

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