Interview - Sebastian Bach
By Todd Jolicouer
ToddStar: Hello Sebastian. The Rockpit calling.
Sebastian: Hi. Cool. The Rockpit. Nice.
ToddStar: I really appreciate you taking time out of your schedule for us. I know you are busy, so The Rockpit really thanks you.
Sebastian: Thank you dude.
ToddStar: I'd like to do something different. I know everyone is hitting you with questions about the new album, Kicking And Screaming, and I will get to that, but I want to touch on some of the other things you have done in your career that helps you stand apart from other musicians. In my mind, you have taken your role as a musician to every end of the spectrum. Broadway. Country. Super-group.
Sebastian: That's the age we live in now. It's like so celebrity obsessed and rock and roll, it's tough to make a living just doing rock and roll these days. There's no such thing as rock and roll radio anymore. It doesn't exist. It's just classic rock from 20 years ago, so that sucks. There's pretty much no where to get videos played. If you are lucky, which I am, VH1 Classic will play one for you - maybe. We got my new video for "Kicking And Screaming" on there, but a lot of those things you mentioned, like Super-group, the reality shows, they pay well - it's good money. I don't do Celebrity Rap Superstar because I want to be a celebrity rap superstar. I do that so I can pay my mortgage. That's the way it is.
ToddStar: We have to be honest here though. With Gone Country, you really have the chops for that genre. It may not be your goal…
Sebastian: That show was a bit different from the other ones. That show was based on the music. Super-group was more about me drinking wine and getting into fights. It didn't really have anything to do with music. Gone Country was specifically about writing songs and seeing who had the best songs, so that was different from the other ones. I really enjoyed doing Gone Country. I liked working with John Rich, Vicky McGhee, and Jeffrey Steele. I actually won the show that season. That was really cool. The other side of the coin though, a lot of my biggest success in music was Skid Row and videos like "Youth Gone Wild" and "18 & Life." I shot the videos with Wayne Isham. He is the ultimate video director, so on Gone Country, the grand prize was to record a song and shoot a video. They let me pick Wayne as a director and then gave me $75,000 to shoot a video which was a pretty good amount of money. So I am thinking I am going to get back on VH1, with Wayne Isham and I back together again. CMT played the video a lot, but VH1 played it a grand total of zero times. Thanks a lot, fucking jerks.
ToddStar: Not that most of your fan base would like it, but I would dig an album of Sebastian Bach goes country, because I truly think you have the talent for it.
Sebastian: Thanks. Actually, on the new record, Kicking And Screaming, on the deluxe edition, you can get the song "Jumpin' Off The Wagon," which was the Gone Country song that won. There is also a DVD with the deluxe edition. The Easter egg is the "Battle With The Bottle" video from Gone Country, so you can get both of those on that.
ToddStar: In addition to country music, you did Broadway. You played the lead in Jekyll and Hyde and you played Riff Raff in Rocky Horror Show. Personally, I think these side projects, if you think I am off base please correct me, I think they really improved your singing. If you listen to the old Skid Row stuff or Bring 'Em Bach Alive and now Kicking And Screaming, I think you can hear the improvement in your vocal ability.
Sebastian: You are 100% correct. In the mid 90's, like when I did Bring 'Em Bach Alive, when the biggest bands were Limp Bizkit, rap, and nu-metal, I don't think anyone wanted to hear good singing. In the mid 90's, it wasn't cool to sing high notes, pure and clean, or properly. It was cooler to scream and yell. Good vocals were not cool during that era. The Steve Perry or Sebastian Bach vocal style was out. [Sebastian's phone beeps… I think it is call waiting] Hang on one second please...
ToddStar: Moving on from there, I thought Angel Down was a great progression for you in that it seemed to give you an edge you didn't have before. That being said, I am a huge fan of Kicking And Screaming. It goes back to the melodic rock, that anthem feel. The arena rock, pump your fists in the air rock feel.
Sebastian: Yeah dude. I love it too. I have been listening to it since it came out, and even years before that. It's funny. I am a cross country runner and I scroll through my iPod and I pick out something that will get me through a 7-mile run, and my CD is the best for it. That's not me trying to sell it, but when I put on an album like Kicking And Screaming, the whole thing just kicks my ass. It gives me the energy. I am very proud of it and it's the only record of mine that I ever put out that I actually listen to myself for fun. I can't get enough of it. It was produced by Bob Marlette, who did an incredible job. He really captured my voice. I don't know what button he pushed, but I would say to him "What button are you pushing to make me sound so good?" and he would always say, "It's all you dude." He made me sound so fucking cool. I don't know if it was the kind of microphone we were using, but I plan on working with him again. I am very pleased with the results.
ToddStar: As someone who loves your voice and sound, who grew up listening to you, and who loves the new album, I would be excited to see you work with Bob again too.
Sebastian: I would be fine with ten more albums with him. He is a great writer too. We wrote "Kicking And Screaming" with Bob. Me, Nick, and Bob wrote that together and that song kicks ass. I would love to work with him again for sure.
ToddStar: You are known for classic songs. It's funny - my wife is a huge country fan and a Poison fan. I took her to see Poison in Detroit when you were touring with them a couple of years ago and she has always referred to you as the "Bad Kid Song" - meaning "Youth Gone Wild" - but you are known for these songs. If you had to go back in your repertoire of Skid Row stuff or Last Hard Men stuff, are there any songs you would love to throw into the live set now that you really haven't done before?
Sebastian: Let me think about that. It would be "Wishing" off the new record. You know, I don't really think about what I did 20 years ago. I mean people always ask me about that, like, I don't walk around thinking about 1991 in 2012. I don't know who does really. I don't really think about that. The song I want to do, like really bad, is "Wishing" off the new record. It's a ballad. These songs are very challenging and I have been doing those Skid Row songs all my life, so my muscle memory when I am singing a song like "I Remember You," I have been doing it all my life, so I know how to do it, but these new songs are fresh and it's gonna take a lot of rehearsal to get a song like "Wishing" ready to play live. I would have to have my band for like a week playing all the songs off the new record to play them perfect. We do a lot of the new songs live, like "Kicking And Screaming." That song live just totally kicks ass. It's unbelievable. We are gonna try to do as many as we can. They are challenging to play. They are harder to play.
ToddStar: You have mentioned two of my three favorites from the new disc, the third being "Tunnelvision."
Sebastian: That shit is so heavy. When I listen to that, I picture Gene Simmons in the Hotter Than Hell costume playing that riff. I don't know why I picture that, but it just sounds like an old cool Kiss riff. Just a cool rock vibe. I wrote that with John 5 from Rob Zombie's band.
ToddStar: He's a Detroit guy too. There has been so much talked about over the years with you and Skid Row and I would really like to avoid that. If Sebastian Bach of 2012 were to run into Sebastian Bach of 1986, what advice would you give yourself, looking back?
Sebastian: I would say don't cheat on the one you love. That may not be the answer you were expecting. As I got older, I realized how much love means. You know, being with a beautiful woman, which I am now, I would never cheat on my new girlfriend ever, but that would be my advice. That's something Alice Cooper said to me. You know, guys go out on the road and it's expected that they fuck a million chicks and that’s kinda what is expected. Girls expect it too. It's crazy to be in a heavy metal band on tour. A lot of guys… it's not hard to get laid being the lead singer of a heavy metal band. It's actually quite easy. Alice and I were talking about it and he said, "Sebastian, I see guys." He sees guys in his band that have girlfriends or wives and they go out on the road and cheat on their wives. Alice is like, "For what? An orgasm? You are going to jeopardize everything that means something to you just to have an orgasm?" The way he put it was like super heavy and super poignant, because Motley Crue is like the exact opposite. Like Gene Simmons, it was, "I fuck 2,000 women and I have the Polaroid's of all of them." That's not really a good way to live. I mean, you'll end up alone in the end. That would be my advice, if you have a girl you love, don't cheat on her, don't do that. I have a girl I love very much and I would never dream of doing that to her.
ToddStar: I would like to mention she is beautiful and that she graces the cover of Kicking And Screaming.
Sebastian: Yes, and she is in the video for "Kicking And Screaming" and also for "Alive." She makes me feel amazing. We are best friends and lovers. We hang out all the time, but I am not gonna jeopardize that. You know when you are young, dumb, and full of cum, you don't think like that. I'm still full of cum, but I'm not young and I'm not dumb... There's your quote dude… there's your quote. [we both laugh heartily at this sentiment]
ToddStar: That will likely be the lead for the interview. I know you are busy, so I only have a couple more questions and I will let you get to the rest of your day. I know you are a big fan of Asking Alexandria and some mutual acquaintances of mine, Black Veil Brides. Are these the guys you think are carrying the torch for heavy metal?
Sebastian: That album, Set The World On Fire, from Black Veil Brides is an incredible album. People talk about the death of the album. It's all about singles now, like a song here and a song there, but my album is a real album. Kicking And Screaming, the sequencing from the first song to the last, we worked really hard on that. The Black Veil Brides album, that album is a real rock album. You put it on and press play. From the first song to the last song, it's a classic album in its sequencing and that it is solid from front to back… like a good rock album. That's like one of the only albums I could find this year that I could put on and play from beginning to and not fast forward or press shuffle, you know? Plus they are very young, so I thank them for doing that. They gave me a real album that I can listen to, and I listen to it all the time.
ToddStar: I think you hit it on the head. What I like most about Kicking And Screaming is that first, there isn't a bad tune on the album and second, the sequence is perfect. The disc keeps you in the groove from start to finish.
Sebastian: Thank you very much. You know, the first song will rip your head off, then the next song is fast, then "Tunnelvision" comes in and is like "now we're fucking getting into cool bad ass rock." I can't wait til my interviews are done today. I am gonna go on that 7-mile run and listen to this fucker again.
ToddStar: Even "Wishing." I made a comment to a friend that the final song left me wishing there were three of four more tracks because it leaving you hanging and wanting more.
Sebastian: That's such a great thing of you to say dude. Thanks, I really appreciate it. We had to put these songs on the record. They only wanted nine songs and I couldn't imagine taking four songs off the record. I would rather jump off a cliff. I said, "Listen, this is my album." They said, "Well, that's the way it goes." So you know, and this is true, in America, the laws state that you can only get publishing on nine songs, so if you put on thirteen, you are basically giving away four songs for free. My album was manufactured in Italy. My lawyer found out that overseas those laws don't exist, so I was lucky that my record company is from Italy. Those laws don't apply to my record, so I was like, "Cool. We will put thirteen songs on there and that's how it goes." If it weren't for my label being Italian, you would only have nine songs. It is funny, but that is how it worked out.
ToddStar: Frontiers seems to be signing all the good acts out there. One last question before I let you go. Did you have any resolutions for the New Year?
Sebastian: Well, my resolution was to be kissing the girl I love at midnight, and I did, so it is all good. We opened for Guns N' Roses in Las Vegas on New Years Eve. She came out and we had a good time and were together and it was cool... As far as a New Years Resolution, I want to swear a little less, I need to cut down on my cursing a little bit. Maybe drink a little less, and smoke less.
ToddStar: Well dude, The Rockpit really appreciates your time. I am totally honored that I got to speak with the legendary Sebastian Bach.
Sebastian: This was killer. Thanks dude - later.