I N T E R V I E W S
Bach in the Saddle - 15 Minutes with Sebastian Bach
|As one of the most talented, revered and misaligned rock stars of the late 80's and early 90's Sebastian Bach has somehow managed to remain front and center –from his early days of putting Skid Row forever on the rock and roll map to his turn as a TV star and his headline grabbing escapades along the way, Bach is never without controversy and despite many setbacks, Bach has managed to avoid "skid row" and the red hot spotlight of fame always points in his direction. Of course when you have Norse God good looks, a vocal range that is as broad as it is long, and chameleon talent it's no surprise that Sebastian Bach continues to land on his feet time and time again. This go around, the fourth time is the charm –with his release of "Kicking and Screaming", Bach is in top form and over the top, and the view is looking good.|
We recently had a chance to grab a few minutes with Bach. Surprisingly candid and down to earth, Bach put all monkey business aside and shared his thoughts on his career, life and even love...
MM: Sebastian, how are you?
SB: Hey! How are you?
MM: Good, good... glad we got a few minutes to catch up, so let's get started. I know you have a new album coming out but before we discuss that, let's talk about your career to date. You've fronted one of the most influential and famous rock bands, you've appeared on television, Broadway, what do you think at this point has been the most defining moment of your career so far?
SB: Well, I have had such different things happening in my career over the years –that I like to think it's been a series of defining moments rather than just one. In Skid Row, the defining moment was probably when we debuted at number one with "Slave to the Grind", that seemed to be the highlight of the band. And then in my solo career when I did Jekyll and Hyde on Broadway, that was a defining moment because I never thought I could pull something like that off. I like to think about all of the work I have done as one big body of work. Kicking and Screaming is a great addition to my catalogue and if you liked Slave to the Grind, Human Race, etc., I think you're really going to dig Kicking and Screaming.
MM: Awesome. Well, Sebastian that is a great segue way to my next question: Kicking and Screaming is a much anticipated release and you worked with Bob Marlette as a producer- who has been famous for producing hit-records for Saliva, Shinedown, Seether and Filter to bands like Black Stone Cherry, and Alice Cooper. What was that experience like working with him as a solo artist?
SB: It was great, he's an amazing producer , he has a great bottom low end to his albums...and when I am doing all of my high screams it's good to have the bass and low ends to level everything level out. He's also an incredible songwriter; we wrote two songs together--Dirty Power and the title track, he wrote the music with Mick Sterling and I wrote the melodies.
He laid down a lot of the songs a lot better than they were originally, plus he let me sing as many times as I wanted--I can be very picky and finicky in the studio but Bob, let me do as many tracks as I wanted. I would love to work with him again.
I hope after 20 years you know what to expect from me. I'm going to rock your fucking ass off. I just make the stuff I like, I just want to grab you by the collar and say "Listen to this"!
MM: That's awesome, so he gave you a lot of freedom?
SB: Well I demand it many ways--nobody ever tells me what to do. I make whatever the hell I want to make and if I like it then it's good enough for me.
MM: Well that's the way to go about it. Speaking of vocals, you have mentioned that you feel your vocals are the best on this record which is not always easy to accomplish or maintain by someone with your vocal range; many singers blow out their vocal chords when you have the pitch and level that you have, yet you have dodged that particular bullet--tell us how you stay in shape vocally?
SB: I do scales--Bel Canto which is 100's of years old were taught to me by Don Lawrence in NY City. Bon Jovi sent me to him in 1987 and everybody from Tony Bennett to Lady Gaga to Dee Snyder, we all use his technique. And I also sing along to old Journey and Judas Priest to get my high screams going and that seems to work. I have just been doing it for so long and I think if you do it properly and sing from the diaphragm your voice will get better. I'm 43 now and I can control my voice even better now and hit higher notes than I could when I was a kid, and I'm happy with that. Like Steven Tyler, he can still do it; James Brown when he was living could hit those high notes and was still screaming--I can still do it and I hope I don't lose that ability.
MM: Going back to your earlier point about the sound of the new album being like Slave To The Grind, was that an intentional process for you, were you trying to revisit that sound or did it happen organically?
SB: Not at all, my favorite artists, you know, I know what to expect when I buy their albums, like Ozzy, Neil Young, AC/DC...guys that just keep making albums. I want to give the same to my fans. I love when Neil Young puts out an album; I know I'm gonna like it. I don't have to hear a sample or anything, I go buy it. Rush--I know they aren't going to let me down. I know what to expect and I know it isn't going to suck. I hope after 20 years you know what to expect from me. I'm going to rock your fucking ass off. I just make the stuff I like, I just want to grab you by the collar and say "Listen to this"! ...and I want to do that to the whole world; it is so heavy.
MM: Well your fans have definitely been looking forward to it. So, you have obviously influenced a lot of people--as a front man and as someone with a diverse career—who has influenced you?
SB: When I was a little kid of course I loved KISS, Motley Crue, and all those bands, Ted Nugent, and now I like a guy like Neil Young who doesn't stop, keeps going, keeps going on tour....Robert Plant, he is still putting out challenging music. I also love Black Veil Brides--very heavy and cool younger band, but I also like stuff like Sly and the Family Stone, Jeff Buckley, Steeley Dan...all different kinds of music.
MM: Props for mentioning Sly and the Family Stone!
SB: Yeah, we'll be on the tour bus after a show, jamming to some Sly...
MM: Well Sebastian, like you said you are 43, and while you are still in your prime, you've lived a full life...I have to ask, if you could go back to your 18yr old self, what would you tell the young Sebastian Philip Bierk? Is there one piece of advice you would give him?
SB: Wow, that's a tough question...there is an obvious answer.
SB: Don't cheat on the one you love.
When you're young and dumb and full of cum, you don't think about love, but as you get older love becomes extremely important...from the older to the younger, I would say "love is precious and rare, and it should be cherished" That is what I would say...and then my younger self, would probably say "Go fuck yourself!"
MM: You're probably right, Sebastian, he probably would! Any final words for our readers?
SB: No I can't top that last answer.
MM: I agree, thanks for your time Sebastian.
SB: Ok darling, you take care.
For more info on all things Bach go to: sebastianbach.com
--Kim "Strutter" Thore
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