The Rock Pit - Hard rock, Metal and Blues Interviews, news & reviews from Australia and around the world

The Rock Pit - Hard rock, Metal and Blues Interviews, news & reviews from Australia and around the world




JULY 2015



You’d be hard pushed to find a better singer of his generation than Sebastian Bach; the firebrand Canadian vocalist got into a lot of trouble back in the day, and still manages to court controversy today with his spontaneous outpourings on social media. Whist you may think some things never change, fans of Skid Row, the band he fronted until 1996, must wonder what he did to the band, and more specifically Rachel Bolan Skid Row’s bassist, that warrants 19 years of silence between the two parties.

Last year the 25th Anniversary of Skid Row’s sensational debut passed and went, and with the vaults containing allegedly so much unreleased material from that era it’s a shame that the two parties can’t at least do something, if only for us fans! 

People change over the years though: I remember standing in the audience back in the day getting pissed with Bach as he went off on a rant mid-concert about people with short hair, it was the day after I’d had mine cut very reluctantly for a job and I was feeling bad enough; it was as if he was pointing the finger at me, a traitor to Metal! Surely it can’t be as simple as that he has a knack of pissing people off? Surely after 19 years people can forgive even if they can’t forget?

Talking to Sebastian for the third time The Rockpit finds him just as disarmingly charming as he was the last time we spoke, pumped to be coming down-under and ready to go…   

Sebastain Bach

Sebastian: Hello, how you doing man!

Mark: Thanks so much for taking the call today how are things with you?

Sebastian: It’s all great; I’m looking forwards to coming back to Australia!

Mark: It has been a while, 2008 you were here for the ‘Angel Down-under’ Tour, a lot of things have happened since then!  

Sebastian: Was that the last time we were there? Or was that the Guns N Roses Tour? When did we play with Rose Tattoo and Guns N Roses was that 2007?

Mark: That’s right the year before 2007. Now that was a great show too! Last time you were over though was with the Kings of Chaos.

Sebastian: Oh yes, I’ll never forget that gig! I will go to my grave happy remembering the day I opened for Aerosmith and Van Halen! Just that one show thank you Matt Sorum! (laughs)

Mark: There weren’t many of us there that day and the rain was incredible but to get to see you and another of the greatest voices in Rock and Roll was amazing.

Sebastian: Well I thought you were going to say Steve Tyler because I remember watching Aerosmith and I couldn’t believe how incredible they were. I also don’t understand the attendance for that gig it was the weirdest thing ever, if Aerosmith and Van Halen had played together in the States the stadium would have been packed! That was a weird gig but I got to sit next to David Lee Roth on the way home and we just hoot and hollered and had a great time – I wouldn’t have wanted to be one of the guests next to me and Dave trying to go to sleep on the plane! (laughs) 


Mark: It was a strange day, I couldn’t believe the attendance. I could have been anywhere else in the world and that stadium would have been packed out. For me it was a killer line-up.

Sebastian: I don’t know what the deal was with that, I don’t think the promoter made money that day though, sorry dude.

Mark: It’s interesting to talk about the Kings of Chaos as on your latest album there are songs on there that Steve Stevens had a hand in writing, and he of course was on stage with you that day. Was that down to playing that show?

Sebastian: Well you just reminded me of something I forgot, Duff McKagan also plays bass on the first three songs on that record and the day I asked him to play on that record and collaborate with me, that was in Australia. That was on the bus going to the gig or maybe coming from the airport. And Duff is an incredible book-writer, great author, and I’m writing my book at the moment for Harper Collins called ‘18 and Life on Skid Row’; and Duff’s own book was very inspiring to me so I was asking him about the book and I told him I was working on a new record and asked him if he wanted to collaborate and he said ‘sure man’! It was that simple. And I was lucky to have Steve Stevens and Duff and John 5 – the guy that has reinvented the guitar for this day and age; I mean the way he plays is astonishing and to collaborate with him on ‘Tunnelvision’ on ‘Kicking and Screaming’ and then ‘Temptation’ on ‘Give ‘Em Hell’ I feel like I’m very fortunate to play with the best in the business. 


Sebastain Bach

Mark: It’s strange how things happen isn’t it – you’d not been to Australia for so long then all that happened.

Sebastian: I’ll tell you what is strange is that I did three different tours of Australia on the ‘Angel Down’ record – which didn’t chart in Australia, but I was told by the record company that ‘Kicking and Screaming’ charted down there! They were telling me ‘Dude, people love this album’ and unfortunately we never got to come over, so I’m very proud and happy to come back over on the ‘Give ‘Em Hell’ tour. Australia has always been one of the greatest crowds for Skid Row and Sebastian Bach and Heavy Metal and I’m totally excited to be coming back.

Mark: It will be great. Skid Row hold a special place for me in my gig going life. One of the best tours I ever saw was when Skid Row and Vain came over the the UK back in the day. And we actually got to see you when Lemmy joined you on stage.

Sebastian: Oh wow! Oh my gosh! I barely remember that night but I do remember that night (laughs) - with Bon Jovi and Ritchie Sambora – that was at the Hippodrome! There wasn’t a lot of people at the venue that night so you must have been with the cool guys!

Mark: Let’s hope we get more people when you come over this tour! As well as Australia you also play your first club dates in New Zealand this tour too.

Sebastian: Yeah, last time we were there was on the Guns N Roses Tour in 2007 and I remember a pretty wild party in Christchurch after that Guns N Roses show (laughs) it’s kind of hazy to me but I remember everyone had a good time that night. I remember not leaving the Christchurch arena with Axl till ten in the morning, or maybe eleven!

Mark: Sounds like it was a good night! There's been a lot going on for you since you last came to see us – TV, Film, getting engaged, two albums so we’ve  a lot to catch up on. I know there in the States you’ve been playing a lot from ‘Give ‘Em Hell’ recently but only ‘Tunnelvision’ and occasionally ‘Wishin’’ from ‘Kicking and Screaming’, are you going to be playing a bit more from ‘Kicking and Screaming’ when you come over – as you mentioned it did chart over here?

Sebastian: Anything’s possible but that album is really old to me and some of the lyrics on there don’t reflect how my life is now; there are also feelings and memories of that record attached to the guitar player Nick (Sterling) and I get sad sometimes when I think about that relationship because it was amazing playing with that little guy. You know everything I sing on stage I just have to be able to get into it. A lot of the fans always request the Skid Row song ‘Wasted Time’, pretty much everywhere I go people say ‘Dude, you gotta do that live’ and I try to explain to them that I wrote that about heroin, and this was in the early 90’s when there was ‘heroin chic’ when all these models were trying to look gaunt; my sister was a model and she got caught up in this when all these models were trying to look like heroin addicts and it was all cool, and I just thought it all sucked and so I wrote a song about it. So I try to explain that these days I don’t think about heroin, not in 2015, it’s not something I want to step up to the mic. and put my heart into because I’m not thinking about that these days. Right now family is first to me. I have to admit that to you. I’m very excited to get married and that’s what my life is about now. It’s safe to say on my next record I won’t have devil horns on my head!  All my records are extremely personal to the point where the record company begged me to put the lyrics on the last record and I didn’t want them to because they were too fucking heavy (laughs) if they’re that heavy you don’t want anyone to read them! I just have to be able to believe in what I’m singing and if I feel it that’s when you guys feel it. There’s a song on Angel Down called American Metalhead that we will change the lyrics to Australian Metalhead and then you’ll see the crowd go insane! Check that one out live – I’ll always be a Metalhead that’s one thing that’s for sure!


Sebastain Bach

Mark: You sound like you’re in a great place at the moment, and writing the book must have you reliving the past and wondering about it all, and why certain things happened as you get it all down. I was listening to an interview you did recently where you talked about the whole Skid Row split and the circumstances around it and you mentioned that you hadn’t seen or talked to a certain member of the band for 19 years. Now that really hit me and put it in to a strange perspective – that’s a really long time not to even communicate with someone you used to share a stage with?

Sebastian: (laughs) It is isn’t it! You’ve only got so many 19 year slots in your life (laughs)

Mark: About three and a half I think (laughs).  I know you read about family feuds that are long-running, but surely it gets to a point when even if you are never going to get along someone has to break the ice and say something?

Sebastian: Well I’ll talk to him at any time. I have nothing against anybody from 19 years ago, it’s comical.

Mark: You made the great point in there that people are so different after such a long amount of time. Like you said earlier you’ve changed yourself between where you were when you made ‘Kicking and Screaming’ and where you are today.

Sebastian: Yes. There’s a big difference between drinking whisky every night and drinking wine. You know when you say that I think in between Skid Row and now I’ve done four Broadway shows with a cast and crew of maybe 75, 80 people and I keep getting hired for them so it’s impossible that I’m such a complete dick that I can’t get along with 80 people so if they can get along with me… If I’m hard to get along with its usually because I think something sucks (laughs) and I’m not trying to be mean… I just know how good ‘Monkey Business ‘ is and ’18 and Life’ – and that doesn’t suck at all, that’s just incredible music. People get their feelings hurt in Rock and Roll all the time, big tough guys with tattoos get their feelings hurt (laughs). Every bad boy has a soft side.   

Mark: And I hope you keep making great music for many years to come, whoever it might be with. We’ll see you on tour and there’s just time for one more quick question, and it’s a real easy one for you, and I think you’re in the mood for this one: ‘What is the meaning of life’?

Sebastian: …Love, It sounds so corny but really at the end of the day if you don’t have love life sucks! (laughs) And that’s really true, and anyone that’s been in love can relate to what I’m saying, and if anyone’s ever been out of love maybe they can relate to what I’m saying even more.

Mark: Thank you so much man, it’s been great to catch up again. Enjoy the rest of the US tour where we’ll try and catch you, and then see you later down in Australia.

Sebastian: I can't wait to get over and see you guys, I remember Perth, I have great memories of running in Kings Park, we had like four days off on the Guns N Roses tour so every day I went running and one day I got caught in the rain and had to hide under that metal thing near the lookout. See you guys soon!

Mark: Thank you so much mate, always great to catch up.



Sebastian Bach spoke to Mark Rockpit - July 2015  


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