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Sebastian Bach interview 

Sebastian Bach
Submitted by Jörgen Andersen on 2011-10-12
Sebastian Bach sold more than 20 million records worldwide as the lead singer of Skid Row and also as a solo artist. Melodic.net met him at Rockmässan in Malmö for an interview and to talk about Bach's new album "Kicking and Screaming" that is out now.
Hello Sebastian, how are you doing ?

Im doing fine thanks, and you?

I am doing great thanks, I work at a site called Melodic.net and we review a lot of albums including your latest and we gave it 4 out of 5 stars which means we think it`s an awesome album.

Nice ! Thank you man, I appreciate it !

And when I heard it I thought that this could be the follow up album to Subhuman race, from that time when Skid Row were good. In my opinion you sound more like Skid Row today then they do.

Yeah, I know what you mean. People dont understand that I was like the metalhead in the band Skid Row, those guys were into pop like Bon Jovi and that is what they listened to and I came in and was in to Judas Priest and harder music and I kind of steered them in the direction of that.
I always been the same guy and when they started making that music, like what you hear, without me, I said I can`t sing it, it isn`t good enough.
If I don`t like it I can`t sing it. I didn`t get in a rock band to sing music that I don`t like, I got in to sing music that I love.
So they tell you that I am hard to work with, I don`t think thats hard to work with.
And I think, just like you as a fan, I know 18 and life and I remember you, I dont want to put anything else out that´s not like at least that good, you know. And I think Kicking and screaming is, I really do !
When I listen to it myself I am like it´s fuckin sounds amazing, it sounds cool!
  

Yeah, it´s like Skid Row 2011.    

Right on ! It´s like Ozzy when he came out with Blizzard of Oz and Diary of a madmen or when Halford came out with Ressurection.
Those are fucking great albums so you know, it can be done!

What´s your thoughts about a reunion with Skid Row and do like so many bands today do, a concert playing an entire album from the first to the last song?

Just the idea of going on tour and play old music is like boring to me. I need to make some music that reflects who the fuck I am today, I am not 19, I am 43. It´s not about 1991, I don´t walk around all day thinking about 1991, it´s a long long time ago.
What it would take for us to have a reunion, since you are talking about me singing with them, would be to make a new album.
That would be interresting to me, I don´t know if that is possible, maybe we are to different now, I don´t know but that would be interresting to me.

You were supposed to come to Sweden Rock Festival a couple of years ago but you didn´t show up, do you remember what happened?

Yeah, we played in Norway the night before and we flew from Norway to Copenhagen, Denmark. That´s where the connecting flight was to Sweden Rock. We got there, we had all of our guitars, all of our gear, the airline said you can not get on this flight.
We had like an hour to get to the next flight. They made us re-check all security of all of our gear when we got to Denmark.
They said that there´s no way you are getting on your flight.
It has nothing to do with me not showing up, it makes me so fucking mad that people think that.
I would never do that in a million years. I flew all the way here to do it but what really made me really mad  is that we called the festival from the airport and said that they won´t let us get on the connecting flight.
Sweden Rock wanted us on stage at 1 on the afternoon. When we played there years before we went on it like 4 or 5 in the afternoon, like all the big bands but they wanted us on like in the middle of the day.  We said, we can come but we have to go on it like at 3 or 4.
They said: This is not possible, you have to hire your own plane and get here, and I go, you gonna pay for the plane?
They said no, and I don´t have fucking 30 grand and like to pay for a fucking airplane. Let us get on at 3 or 4, what`s the big deal and they said no.
So it wasn`t me, it was them that cancelled me. I could have gone on the next flight and done the show at 3 or 4 and they said no, you are not playing.
So it makes me furious and I don´t understand why we would play there in 2005 and go on at 4 or 5 at night and then come back 3 or 4 years later and go on like at 1 on the afternoon, I don´t get that, it doesn`t make sense.
 I would never cancel a show, I never done that.
And the people on the airport don`t give a fuck about me or Sweden rock so sorry but I didn`t do anything. I didn`t miss any flights, we didn`t show up late, we did everything we were supposed to do but there were no time to go through customs again in Denmark.
It just really hurts my feelings when we called them and said we can be there by 2 or 3 and they said no, don´t, we don´t wan´t you to play then.

So you are not coming back to Sweden Rock ?

I am not going on at 9 in the morning ! I am 43, give me a break, I am to old, like let me at least wake up! I will play there any time but you got to let me get to the gig !

If we get back to the record again, Kicking and screaming, if you compare that record to your earlier solo album Angel down, what´s the big difference between them ?

The guitar player. Our guitar player on Angel down was Metal Mike and his name is Metal so you know what kind of music it´s gonna be.
I love that album too, if I don´t love it I don´t put it out, you know what I mean.
So that came out really good but my new guitar player, Nick Sterling, is only 21 years old and he is very melodic, like theres a lot of melody and hooks and stuff like that.
And he came in with so much music, he´s like, do you like this, yeah, do you like this, yeah, do you like like this, yeah, I was like you are crushing me !
Like it would take Skid Row fucking 3 years to write a song and we are almost done, I´ll go what the fuck !
What are you writing, War and peace !!??
What are we writing, Pink Floyd´s The wall !!??  (lots of laughs)
You can´t force this things but it shouldn´t take you like 3 or 4 years, I mean , we started recording this in february and we were done by june, all mastered and now it´s out in the stores.

I think it´s a very solid album from the beginning to the end.

Cool, thank you very much!

The producer on this album was Bob Marlette, how was it working with him?

It was amazing. There was no idea that I couldn´t try, like some ideas I had was like stupid, I would say like mix this song more heavy metal mix after having an amazing mix but he never ever turned any ideas down, he wouldn´t say no.
And he would know that is was right before but he would let me discover that. There was no idea that he couldn´t try.
And I am a perfectionist with my vocals and I want to have a great production.
And he would let me sing as many times as I wanted. When I started recording the album I had a cold and I sang some songs and you can tell that I was sick.
So then I got better and I resang all of that and it sounds amazing. But some songs, like Dream forever, I had to sing many times, like, I don´t know, 20 times to get that sound.
And you know, you have to learn how to sing songs, like I sang those Skid Row songs for 20 years so I know how to do them because I have done them so many times.
But when we first wrote I remember you, when it got to that part  (sings)" when you needed I came trough" it was like impossible for me to do, I could do it sometimes.
It took me a long time cause I had to really relax because I had a lot of energy but you can´t sing a ballad like that.
There is a difference between singin and shouting. Your website is melodic.net so you know if you got a beautiful melody like that you can´t just be yelling and shouting, its like singin is different from yelling.

Yeah, and I think that´s why you are one of the top ten singers in my world, because you have that great voice.

Thank you. I learned that range right there from Steve Perry from Journey, sings "living in a lonely world, she took the midnight train going anywhere",
and then sings "when you needed me I came through". It´s the same range and Perry is one of the only guys that sings like that, it´s a very high tenor but its not as high as Judas Priest singing.
So when I getting my voice ready to go on the road I´ll do all my scales to get the voice really strong and then I put on Journey and Judas Priest.
I told that to Axl Rose, I go: dude before I go on the road I sing along to Journey a lot to get my voice and he goes: Bas, if I had to sing along to Journey to get my voice
going I would quit being a fucking singer! I guess he is not a big fan. ( lot´s of laughs)

So I think that the work with Bob Marlette and the things that has happened in your life lately has given a lot of soul to this album, if you know what I mean?

Yeah, there´s an expression that´s called singing the blues, you know like all blues music was all about guys working in the cotton fields and being hard done by and having hard lifeand singing to make them feel better. This might be a heavy metal album but it is actually a blues album.

When you see the video to Kicking and screaming on Youtube and read all the comments, it´s a lot about your looks, that you still got the looks and so on, what do you say about that ?

I tributed it all to clean living !
No, to be honest with you, I know that you guys are watching that show in Sweden now thats called Celeberty fit club, and you can see me loose weight on that show and scream and yell at everybody.
That show taught me a lot about nutrition and exercise, stuff that I didn´t know and I kept the weight of since the show and I have to go running all the time, like every
fucking day if I want to look good and I have to eat like salmon every night.
Like last night when we went to that amazing resturant, you know I really dont eat that kind of food anymore, then I would be back on fuckin Celeberty fat club!
Hey, I am back, I am fat !  (lots of laughs)

I think that sometimes when things in life happens that are negative you can get a lot positive energy out of it too. I was divorced last year so I can relate a lot to your record.
I appreciate that very much and the last song on the album "Wishing" really have great lyrics.

Yeah, that´s for my kids. "I wish I could be everything to you but wishing won´t make it come true." From a father to a kid that´s fucking really heavy.

Yeah I have 3 kids too so I can relate to that song and that is one of the great things about music. You listen to it and take it in to your brain and then down in your heart.

Right, and you can have it forever, And you can listen to it on the headphones and shut your eyes and you are in another world, you know I love it.

One final question then, in this album you sing a lot about dreams, are you still fighting to make your dreams come true?

Yeah, my dream come true would be able to tour as much as I could with Skid Row. To go on the road and play those kind of venues and be accepted as a solo artist because I am the same as I always was so its frustrating for me to not be playing all the time. I want to play all the time.
And if I was in Skid Row we would be playing every single night but it is based on nostalgia, it is not based on anything about today so that´s really frustating as a  person and as a musician to me, that´s like very, very, very, very, very, very, very frustrating.
So I would say I just wanna do what Ozzy did, just like he is Ozzy Osbourne, and just be like I am ,Sebastian Bach , you know.
I got the young amazing guitar player and I am the old crazy fucking drunk guy. (laughs)
It´s just like Ozzy, so that would be my dream, to do what he did.
And when we do play it is amazing, its just that I have to convince promoters because they are so caught up in this nostalgia and they think that because Night Ranger, Foghat, Mötley Crue and Poision all are together then I should be together with my old band but my old band is not making new music so I don´t want to do that, I want to make new music.
And I dont get why eveything is based on the old days. Like in ten years 2011 will be the old days, you know what I mean.
Then we will go, you remember that classic record Kicking and screaming ?  (laughs)
I read on the internet, "you will never top Angel down, and I was like, What the fuck !

I thought Angel down was a good record but I think this one is better.

Thank you man, thank you ! Well then I did it, I did top angel down !!

Nice talking to you, I wish you the best in life!

Thank you, dude !

I must say that it was a great pleasure to meet and talk to Sebastian Bach, a very
sympathetic and funny guy.
This man talks about Rock, he lives Rock and he truly is Rock !
So take my advice, go out and buy the new record Kicking and screaming
because it is a really really really great album and one thing is for sure:
Bach is fucking back !!


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