Sebastian Bach is one of the last true rock 'n roll frontmen from the 1980's. While he is part of a select group, he is part of an even smaller faction of singers who can still hit all of the notes they once did in their youth (gone wild) and has never strayed from their heavy metal roots (unless you count the time when he competed on the reality TV show "Gone Country" and won).
2011 marked the release of Sebastian's 2nd full length solo album (his 5th release in total, if you count his live and covers releases & his EP), "Kicking and Screaming," but last year was bittersweet for Bach. Although he released some great music, he was forced to endure a painful divorce from his wife of 18 years, and the devastation of losing his home in New Jersey to Hurricane Irene.
Throughout all of the turmoil, Sebastian rocked on like the trooper he is, and forged ahead to tour in support of "Kicking and Screaming." Bach is currently doing a string of dates here in the US, and has some select Canadian and European dates scheduled in the upcoming months.
When RockMusicStar caught up with Bach, he was still riding high on the release of "Kicking and Screaming," even though it had been out for some time. Sebastian was candid as ever, as he spoke about his personal triumphs and tragedies, what it would take to get him to do a Skid Row reunion, and what it is about the Metal Sludge gossip site that really pisses him off.
RockMusicStar: Sebastian, thank you for granting us this interview. I know you're not a big fan of doing interviews, so I'll try to make this as painless as possible.
Sebastian Bach: You can't hurt me dude!!
(We both laugh)
RMS: Even though it's been out for awhile, I have to tell you that I really think "Kicking and Screaming" is a great CD. We actually selected it for our 'Top 5 CDs of 2011.' Going back, the first solo material I heard from you after Skid Row was the stuff you recorded with Richie Scarlet. I thought the song, "Done Bleedin'" was the perfect musical direction for you to go in, and then the next full length studio CD, "Angel Down," was full on metal. I felt that material was really good, but really contrasted heavily live with the Skid Row material. Now your latest disc, "Kicking and Screaming," in my opinion is much more of a hard rock CD. Was it a conscience effort to do more of a 'rock' record, rather than full on 'metal?'
SB: I think that it has to do with the people I'm playing with. I did "Angel Down" with Metal Mike on guitar and Steve Digiorgio on bass, who are total heavy metal musicians. Like,real hardcore metal guys. Metal Mike's name is actually metal. (laughs) If the guy's name is 'Metal,' you can pretty much guarantee it's going to be a metal album. When I'm making music, I'm not like, "We're gonna go hard rock...or this is heavy metal," because that would be forced and fake. You just come up with the best sound that you can, that you like.
RMS: Some people may criticize you for not changing with the times, but I think it's great that you continue to produce music that is true to your roots, and you're not trend hopping like some bands do. They hear something new, and try to cop what's going on at the time,but don't realize that by the time their record is released, that trend is already over.
SB: I think "Kicking and Screaming" just sounds like Sebastian Bach in 2011. That's exactly what it is. It's just me singing with the newest technology. I really went for new guitar sounds, new drum sounds, and again, that's exactly what it is.
RMS: I really dug the guitar tones that your producer Bob Marlette came up with. He did a great job on the CDs he did with Union ("The Blue Room") and Alice Cooper ("Brutal Planet"). He does a lot of cool guitar layering, with clean guitars underneath the electric. How important was it to you, to develope a great guitar sound for the CD?
SB: First, let me say, you're really listening, and that's really cool. You're paying attention to detail, and I really dig that. Coming up with the sounds, that's all Bob. He has a whole technique of recording guitars. He gets a real fat bottom end to his records. That goes along good with my voice on the top.
RMS: Unfortunately, you went through a lot of personal issues in 2011. From your divorce,to your run-ins with the law, to losing your house and belongings. How hard is it to have the media just focus on the negative things that happen to you, while never reporting anything positive really?
SB: Everytime that I talk about it, it hurts. Everybody means well, but I try to forget about it. I just try not to think about it, because it really does hurt. Like when I shot that (VH-1) show, "Supergroup," that was a couple months after my Dad died. They kept stocking the house full of wine, and then I was
drinking, and they would put a camera in my face and say, "How does it feel that your Dad's dead? Can you describe that?" And I'm like, "Why don't you go fuck yourself?" "How does it feel?" How would it feel to you? I'm just a human being. If I get mad or something, or lash out, I'm just like anybody else, but I'm in the public. Everybody talks about what I do, and I'm one of those guys that people talk about. It's hideous losing your home. I just think that it's ironic that once I got divorced from my wife, that's when the house caved in. I think that's really biblical.
RMS: The internet seems to a double edged sword for you. You're pretty open and honest about what's going on in your life (with your tweets and so forth), but it also fuels the fire for gossip boards like Metal Sludge, which probably drives you crazy.
SB: The only thing that drives me crazy is when they hurt other people that I'm around. Like my girlfriend or my ex-wife or my kids. That makes me crazy. People are allowed to talk about me, because I'm the rocker. You can say whatever you want. I don't give a shit. Whatever Stevie Rachelle from the band Tuff thinks of me. I couldn't give a fuck less. He's just a loser. A no talent fuckin' idiot, that has nothing better to do than be jealous of guys like me, that actually have a career. He goes on his website and write things about people that he doesn't even know. I don't really care what Stevie Rachelle from Tuff thinks, but I don't like it when people that I know get hurt. I don't like that at all. And the people that I'm with don't like it, and they get mad at me. There's nothing I can do about the internet. I can't control fame. Fame is huge. When you're famous, you're famous. You have to take the bad with the good. I have to take the cover of Rolling Stone with the lead singer of Tuff. I have to take the sublime with the ridiculous. Stevie Rachelle can think what Stevie Rachelle wants to think. Have a nice time.
RMS: I know you constantly get asked about your thoughts of doing a Skid Row reunion, but what I'd like to know is, if you were ever to consider doing it (if there was an offer on the table), would it be something that you would personally like to do, or would it be something you would do just for the fans who would like to see it?
SB: "I can't live a life for you to cling on to, I must be who I am," are lyrics from the song "Tunnelvision." I have to be myself. I'm interested in making new music. That's what I love to do. If they (Skid Row) came to me and had some new riffs, and some new songs, and some new music to make, that would interest me, probably. But nobody's talking about that. There's no talk of a Skid Row reunion at all. There's no phone calls, there's no plans. They're happy doing what they're doing and I'm happy doing what I'm doing. So that's the way that it is.
For more on Sebastian Bach, please check out www.sebastianbach.com