Subba-Cultcha recently conducted an interview with former SKID ROW singer Sebastian Bach. A couple of excerpts from the chat follow below.
Subba-Cultcha: As a performer, you have such energy and enthusiasm, and I can't help but wonder, does that ever stop? Do you turn off? Do you ever get home and stop being the rock star "Sebastian Bach" just for an hour or two?
Bach: Well, I just did another interview before I talked to you, and they asked me the question, "how has the music business changed in twenty-five years since you started doing this?", and my answer, I guess would be the same to that question as to what I will tell you. When we started, the way the music industry was for all the bands was that we would take, like, a year out of the public eye and write an album and, y'know, be normal people, like, with our families and stuff like that, and then we would go on the road for a year, or maybe two years, if you're successful, like we were, and be in every magazine, and on television, and in the public's face… playing concerts all over the planet, then the tour would stop, and you'd take a year off. You'd take a year off and write another records, and mow our lawns, and be with our kids and our families, and be normal, and gain some perspective on the whole thing. I used to tell my neighbor, when I lived in New Jersey twenty years ago, I would say, "Yeah, I go to work for a year and then I come home for a year," and he would look at me and go, "Holy fuck, I wish I could do that!" [laughs] But I was telling the truth, because that's the way it was. I would go to work for a year, then I'd come home for a year, then go to work for a year, then come home for a year… Nowadays, I don't know why this is, but now it's all work, all the time. There's no taking a year off now. That's not the way it is, it's more one-off shows, festival shows that you fly out to… not so much world tours as, like, five or six gigs every month for the whole year. That's the way it seems to be… maybe that's because of the Internet, I don't know why… That's just the way it is. And… that's a good problem to have, but the other side of it is that it's more challenging, like… right now I'm trying to finish a new studio record, and I feel like I just put out a new record, so it's kind of a challenge not being able to… to turn off, like you said… to take a breather and a step back and look at things, and listen more objectively. But, on the other side of that, in the '70s, my favourite bands like KISS, AEROSMITH, JUDAS PRIEST, and before that, like Jimi Hendrix…. like, yeah Jimi Hendrix. Jimi Hendrix did everything in his whole career, in his whole body of work, his whole career in the space of three years, and look at how much he did! Look at how much he did in three years. So me whining about, y'know, the late '80s, "Oh, we could take a year off and we could do this," that was, like, rarefied earth. Like, everything was platinum. You could just… just touch platinum. Everything was mega, and big and huge. But, y'know, in the '60s and the '70s, it was maybe more like it is now, like, go in and… BLACK SABBATH, they said many many times they recorded it in three days! So maybe the next record I'll be doing could be more like that? We'll see…because there's no time off. [laughs]
Subba-Cultcha: Another thing that a lot of people will know you from is your acting work — on television, and on Broadway. Between that, and everything you've accomplished musically, do you still have any ambitions left? Is there still something out there that you're still hoping to achieve in your career?
Bach: Yeah, there's a very simple answer for me. I just want to be able to tour the way I'm offered to reunite the old band. There's all these lucrative offers. I just want to make people understand that me singing "I Remember You", or "18 & Life", it doesn't change upon who's playing the bass that day, it's the same song. When you say is there anything left to accomplish, yeah, I'd just like to tour the way Ozzy Osbourne does on his own, or Neil Young… the solo kind of tours like that. And I have been able over the years to get to that point… last year doing Download and all the festivals, this year I'm doing Rock In Rio, so I'm slowly but surely accomplishing that goal. And it is a goal of mine, just to be able to get on a bus and go for months and months playing shows like I know I could if I reunited all the band, but that's out of my control. It's a goal of mine to get to that point with my solo band.
Subba-Cultcha: And just to be recognized for yourself, for your own work, not just as a part of what you were doing twenty years ago?
Bach: Yeah, like, y'know… I wanna be able to play proper venues for my fans. You know, I've done four Broadway shows, and played some of the biggest stages in the world, the biggest stages that you can play. And I like playing the big stages. I don't really enjoy too much playing tiny little clubs with shitty sound and a shitty stage, and too small for some of the fans to get in… I don't like having to do that just because it's my solo band. When I play Download, it's just people as far as you can see. The whole festival comes to see me sing, so I'm capable of doing that, and I enjoy it more. I'd rather play Download than JB's in Dudley! [laughs]
Read the entire interview from Subba-Cultcha.