Adam Williams of PopMatters recently conducted an interview with former SKID ROW frontman Sebastian Bach. A few excerpts from the chat follow:
PopMatters: With major labels on the decline and a lot of artists like yourself releasing their own material ... when you go in and record something like "Angel Down", is your focus on how and what to record different from 10, 15 or 20 years ago?
Bach: Absolutely not, no, not at all. Never. I'm a real ... people can say I got a big ego, or that I'm hard to work with, and that all is probably, definitely true, because if I didn't love rock 'n' roll so much ... You're literally hearing my love of rock 'n' roll on this record, that's what you're hearing. You're hearing me lay it all out, man, in a world where an album like this is extremely rare, and is only going to become more rare. And the reason is ... I know how to sing because I've been doing this all of my life. These kids that think that getting on "American Idol" and doing a cover version one time is going to make you a star, that's not gonna ... you know, the way I do it, is really, it's like a muscle. I know how to do it ... it's just like, it's a talent, you know what I mean? Like MÖTLEY CRÜE are better now than they ever were. They've been doing it for 30 years. We used to think, "I hope I die before I get old," but people like AEROSMITH, the STONES, KISS — they've all proven that music is something that you get better at if you know what you're doing. And that's what I hear in "Angel Down", I hear me more mature and stronger than I was when I was a little kid. That's what I hear; it's a man. It's like the difference between a man's album and a little boy's album.
PopMatters: Over the process of the whole project coming together, with the ups and the downs, did you ever have a concern that the album would lack any consistency?
Bach: Yes, definitely. Definitely. Great question. If you really research things, Classic Rock asked me about five years ago, 'What's taking so long?' And my answer was, well, I've played with all of these different guys, and my challenge is to put this together and make it sound like one record because it's done with all of these different people. The guy looked at me like I was nuts, but you know exactly what I'm talking about. And the guy that really made it cohesive, one unique, unified sound is obviously Roy Z. He's the producer, and he knows how to produce a record. And the players on my album are super duper heavy metal guys ... Steve DiGiorgio, Metal Mike [Chlasciak], Bobby [Jarzombek], are all metal guys. So we already had "American Metalhead", "Negative Light", "Take You Down With Me", "Angel Down", we had all the really heavy songs. And then Roy said, "Dude, this is killer, you need straight up rock.' And I did not know what he meant, because if you're the artist, you are way too close to everything. And then he goes, "What do you think of this?" and he pulls out a guitar and plays me the riff to "(Love Is) A Bitchslap", and I go, "Oh yeah!" I go, "Wow! That's cool!" 'Cause it's not wimpy, it's heavy. It's cool. It's rock.
PopMatters: With the undercurrent of real metal power throughout this album ... you have a ballad in there, what have you ... but did you expect the album to come out as heavy as it did?
Bach: I guess if you're not a musician, you have one aspect, or one way that you think that you make records. It's so not an exact science, it's like, I go in there with nothing, like I'm just walking around, you know what I mean? Like, just ideas ... I mean, how do you totally make something that is going to please everybody? It's virtually impossible, because how do you guess what everybody wants to hear? All I can do is make something that I like, that's all I can do. Because then I can stand by it. You know? Then no matter what, if I can listen to it myself, I won't go mentally insane. Like at the end of the day, I have to love it or I'm not doing it. And I love this album, and I've never had a record in my life that's got the reviews that this record's got. None of the SKID ROW albums got reviewed this good. I'm not saying that to put them down, I have the reviews [laughs]. That's all you can do as a musician. What are you suppose to do, take a poll from everybody? That's all you can do is make something that you dig and hope everybody else digs it.
Read the entire interview at www.popmatters.com.