C. Harris-Nystrom of the Chico News and Review recently conducted an interview with former SKID ROW frontman Sebastian Bach. A few excerpts from the chat follow:
Chico News and Review: You have a new album called "Angel Down" due sometime in the next year, correct?
Sebastian Bach: Well, we now have three of the biggest labels in the world at the table that we are talking to ...
Chico News and Review: What did you learn about yourself while filming "SuperGroup"?
Sebastian Bach: Uhhhh ... maybe I gained a little too much weight. I mean, I lived there for 12 days. They gave me all this wine, and the whole place was stacked with booze, no food ... and then it's like, "How did you feel when your dad died of leukemia? Like really how does it make you feel? Does it hurt? Like, like, how does it feel that he's dead and he's not here anymore? Have another glass of wine." You know, "How does it feel?" Well, it fucking hurts, you fucking pricks!
Chico News and Review: It sounds very predatory.
Sebastian Bach: That's when you see me crying about my dead father. The thing is, it's obviously uncomfortable for me to watch that, but I get e-mails, hundreds if not thousands, that are so long and detailed, and people come up to me in the street and tell me that they cried with me and about the parent or whoever it is that they are relating to in just the most detailed, heartfelt letters and e-mails that are really heavy to read. So, I guess, maybe people dug it, but obviously for me that's hard to watch. The thing is I'm usually pretty astute at how I'm going to get fucked over and the thing is, I said to myself on the plane ride home, I'm going, "Well I cried once about my dad's death in 12 days — that's not so bad," but I didn't think they would play it in three of the 12 episodes, the same clip over and over, and like put it in commercials. I was like, "Oh fuck!" So, if I was to do it again, that might be the most I would give away. But that's reality TV — you sign up for it, that's what it is. What the reality is, is that it does hurt me, it does make me sad, so that's reality, and I'm not ashamed of that ...
Chico News and Review: What made "SuperGroup" compelling is that you were the one with enthusiasm that was so infectious, as if it were your first band — you were 16 again. Your love of music was so out there, unfettered by politics or concern for fashion ...
Sebastian Bach: Yeah, I hate all that ... I fucking hate corporate bullshit. I really do because it's about the fans, and the bands that make the music. I mean, really, you'd be surprised at who my artists are that I look up to. One of my favorites ever is Neil Young, man ... because he just does what he wants to do and is who he is, and fuck it! And he just keeps doin' it! And that's what I do [chuckles]. I'm not puttin' myself in his category, but I don't change what I do because somebody tells me to do that. I mean, I look at rock 'n' roll like a heart full of self-expression. You mean to tell me that Jimi Hendrix wore that hat with the fucking feather in it, and the scarves, and the paisley jackets, and the felt jackets, and the boots, and the bracelets, and the belts because somebody bought it for him and gave it to him, and said, "Wear this?" I don't think so for fuck's sakes! I design my own shit. I like doing that. I dig it. That's what I thought KISS did. That's what David Lee Roth did. Fuckin' Nikki Sixx — guys that I thought looked cool. I thought they designed all their own shit. Maybe I was wrong. I'd like to think it was them that designed it and everything.
Chico News and Review: You have stated publicly that your hopes for the new recording ("Angel Down") are to meet or exceed the high standards of the critically lauded SKID ROW album "Slave to the Grind". What makes this album the standard to beat?
Sebastian Bach: Just put it on. Listen to it on a set of good headphones. Cruuu-shing! I hear "Monkey Business" and ... I cannot believe how heavy that sounds and cool ... it's just like badass and cool rock [laughs]. I love it! It just sounds great. When I haven't heard that in awhile, and I hear it, "Monkey Business" on a good set of headphones or on a great stereo, I just have to stop and fucking catch my breath, and like hold my fucking head in my hands. Like it's like really fucking heavy to me, man ... it sounds amazing, it just sounds great. You know, certain albums sound great, like "Back in Black" — you can't beat that! Fucking "Led Zeppelin II", ya' know. I do hold "Slave to the Grind" not maybe quite up with that but it's almost up there [laughs]. It's a great album.
Chico News and Review: In the early '90s upon the arrival of NIRVANA, many successful metal bands from the late '80s appeared negative toward the shifting trends (from metal to "grunge/punk") and I don't see that you have been this way at all.
Sebastian Bach: I'm not because I already knew that in rock! It's show business. That's what it is! It's always been like that, it always will be. The cream rises to the top. I just put my head down like a bulldog and scream my fuckin' ass off as loud as I can, all the time! Like an athlete almost. I just dig it. And me and Axl Rose on the same stage is just nuts! We know how to scream, man ... like, really good [laughs] ... we did last night, "My Michelle" in Winnipeg in front of 20,000 people, and I think it was one of the greatest days in my whole fuckin' life. It was nuts. It was crazy. You know, the voice is a muscle; if you use it properly from the diaphragm and don't, you know, push it so hard that it breaks — it's a fine line between giving it all that you've got and blowing it out. So if you keep doing it, it gets even better, like Steven Tyler or James Brown. There are singers that are singing great, and getting up there in age, you know, so it can be done.
Chico News and Review: I was unaware that in 2006 SKID ROW was still around ...
Sebastian Bach: ... as is the rest of the world.
Chico News and Review: Is that relevant in any way?
Sebastian Bach: You hear a lot of talk in 2006. You know, branding — brand this, brand that. I think they're [SKID ROW] wrecking the brand, which sucks. You know, I don't think JOURNEY should tour without Steve Perry. To me, Steve Perry is JOURNEY, and that's like a travesty of rock. Like when Bonzo died, LED ZEPPELIN never played again — it's to be respected, I think. What they're [SKID ROW] doing is confusing to the public. I wouldn't go back to them now. I'm playing 20,000-seaters with GUNS N' ROSES on my own. If they would have left that alone, that name, that would be a different story, but now it's fucked! [laughing] There's your headline!
Read the entire interview at www.newsreview.com.