SEBASTIAN BACH Says New FRAMESHIFT CD Contains Incorrect Songwriting Credits

Former SKID ROW frontman Sebastian Bach is involved in a legal dispute over the songwriting credits to the recently released FRAMESHIFT album, the progressive rock project written and produced by Henning Pauly of CHAIN. A posting on Bach's official web site reads as follows:

"Hello all. I am happy to say that 'Frameshift 2: An Absence Of Empathy' is now available. I truly hope every one of you out there gets the CD and enjoys the first-ever complete solo studio project I have ever released. Although, and you may find this hard to believe, as of today at this moment of me writing this, the fact is that I have not even heard the CD yet.

"I have the rough mixes of the songs that I took home with me on January 20th, but despite many repeated requests by myself and my lawyer to hear any mixes at all of any song on the record, no copy of the CD or mixes were sent to me until last week. Yes, after the CD was put into the stores — without me ever hearing it.

"I have tried to listen to the CD but every time I do I am filled with an overwhelming rage at the fact that I am the last person on the planet to see/hear my own CD. Right now I cannot bring myself to put the CD into the player. I am 99 percent sure it is great.

"If you have the CD already and you dig it, GREAT! I absolutely want you to crank up the CD and dig it. The rough mixes, which I love, are incredible anyways. Although Henning Pauly and Shawn Gordon have a lot to learn about the music business, Henning most definitely knows his way around a recording studio and I cannot imagine him messing up the final mix.

"The reason I cannot listen to the CD, however, is because I could never have imagined the following situation you are about to read of, either. I will listen to the CD as soon as I can. If it sounds half as good as the roughs, it is for sure a great CD and one that I am proud to have my name on.

"I was hired to be the vocalist and co-writer for the 'Frameshift 2' record last November. Originally, Henning's plan was to fly to my house to collaborate on all the lyrics and melodies for the record with me. I was totally into doing this, but I had a European tour already booked for December and I would not even be in the country until the last week of December. Henning was determined to start recording the vocals the first week of January, so I said to him, 'Come up with whatever ideas you can on your end, and whatever lyrics and melodies do not work for me, we can re-write when I get to California.' Henning agreed, and was completely fine with this. We were both totally excited, and were on our way. He collaborated with two talented, cool guys named Matt Cash (an elementary school teacher by day, musician by night) and Adam Evers. They came up with some incredible stuff.

"Henning's native tongue is German and although he speaks great English, he does not have a command of the language sufficient to write a whole CD of English lyrics by himself.

"I was very happy with what they came up with without me even being there. Out of 12 songs on the CD, five were 100 percent completely ready to record by me, lyrics and melodies that I could, and did, put 100 percent of my heart and soul into, without reservation. It would take SKID ROW two years to come up with five songs we could all agree on for a record. Henning, Matt and Adam accomplished this in about three weeks. Seven of the songs, however, needed to be re-written. I needed to change most of the phrasing, and re-write alot of the lyrics and melodies in order for me to deliver the vocals with the conviction, passion, power, and emotion you have come to expect from me over the last 17 years or so. Henning and I came up with the final versions of the lyrics and melodies that ended up on the CD, and we busted our asses to come up with a CD we could both be proud of. After all, and this was a major source of contention to Henning, the fact is that everything I ever release, has to be held up to what I have released in the past. The rough mixes of 'Frameshift 2' are definitely songs I feel can stand beside anything in my back catalogue. That don't come easy, nothing good ever does!

"Unfortunately, the CD has been intentionally released, without my approval, with incorrect songwriting credits. The last version I saw of the packaging, before the CD was available in stores, was this panel. All of the songwriting credits you see here were agreed to by Henning Pauly, myself, Shawn Gordon, and my attorney. The panel, created by Henning Pauly and sent to me for my approval by Shawn Gordon, contains the correct songwriting credits. Don't get me wrong — Henning is a brilliant musician who definitely wrote all the music and a lot of the lyrics and melodies on the record. He did NOT, however, write ALL the lyrics and melodies on the WHOLE record. All I am due by law is credit where credit is due. Under the songwriting credits it says 'All Songs Published Under Hendog Publishing.' Any musician who has been doing this for any significant amount of time can read these credits, and see that the publishing administrators credit would not be for just the one co-writer. This is incorrect. If someone co-writes a song, which is clearly indicated on the packaging, those individuals who helped write the song each get publishing royalties. The way this reads, is that Hendog Publishing (Henning Pauly) gets ALL the publishing for the whole record. This is incorrect. If someone agrees to a publishing agreement before recording a CD, that is a different situation. This actually was the case with the first SKID ROW album. Although what we signed then was by all standards an unequitable arrangement, the difference between that situation and 'Frameshift 2' is that I knew of the first SKID ROW album publishing arrangement before I recorded the first SKID ROW album.

"I was only made aware of Henning's attempt to take all of the publishing for 'Frameshift 2' when I saw this panel — on April 26, three months (!) after the recording was completed on January 20. When I politely alerted Shawn Gordon of the incorrect ASCAP credits — also of my publishing company being suspiciously misspelled (the correct spelling is 'Get Off My Bach Productions Inc. (ASCAP)') — I received this unbelievable response via e-mail.

"Nice business, huh?! So, the CD is released without me ever hearing it. Without me approving the packaging. Absolutely nowhere in the contract does it make any mention whatsoever of Henning getting 100 percent of the ASCAP songwriting royalties for the record — if it did say that in the contract, I would never have stepped one foot into the studio. So, although this panel is slightly incorrect (that is obviously not my signature to those who know, Henning does NOT get all the publishing royalties for songs with co-writers other than him, and my publishing company is probably intentionally mis-spelled) at least it contains the correct songwriting credits of the songs.

"A notice to everyone who buys the CD — please cut out the incorrect songwriting credits in your CD, print up this Jpeg file, and insert the (almost) correct credits in your CD packaging. I realize this is a pain in the ass, but you should all know the truth in who came up with what on the CD. Remember, these credits were agreed upon, sent to me, and created by Henning Pauly and Shawn Gordon. It was only after I reminded Shawn Gordon of the laws of the music business regarding publishing royalties that my name was removed from five out of seven songs that Henning and Shawn themselves agreed that I co-wrote! Even if it does still list me as a co-writer as 'Human Grain' and 'Outcast', if it lists those songs as 'All Songs Published by Hendog Publishing', that is inherently incorrect. If it says I co-wrote those two songs, I get publishing for those two songs! That is the whole purpose of having a co-write on an album in the first place! I did not invent the rules of the music industry. After 20 years doing this, however, I do at least know the laws of the business that I am in. ProgRock Records does not have a choice but to deal with ASCAP. This has nothing to do with me. It's the way the music industry works — in order to protect an artist's art, legacy, and estate after an artist is no longer with us.

"I have been a proud member of ASCAP for 18 years and have no intention of relinquishing any of the benefits afforded to me by ASCAP just because Shawn Gordon did not want to 'deal with the legal minutia that was coming up.' Any parent reading this would, I think, agree — my children's future revenues from my estate some day, when I am no longer here, is most definitely NOT 'legal minutia.'

"I realize this is all a big bummer. I apologize for that. But if you are rocking out to 'Frameshift 2' in your car, and you dig, say, the ending of 'In An Empty Room' or the verses of 'Blade' — I want you to know that I busted my ass writing those melodies, and a lot more lyrics and melodies on the record. Above all, I hope you all dig the music, but there is one big misconception about rock singers — at least this one — that I would like to clear up. The voice is controlled by the BRAIN. I have never just opened my mouth and PRESTO! A song floats out your speakers. There are so many choices to be made when you are are recording lead vocals, and no one can really make these choices but the vocalist. When Henning says in his 'thank you's 'Thanks to Sebastian for lending me his pipes' he completely misses the point. I did not 'lend him my pipes.' I gave him my heart. That is what singing is all about. At least it is to me."

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