At one time, he was the ‘Youth Gone Wild,’ and then he became a ‘Slave to the Grind,’ until he joined the ‘Subhuman Race,’ and now former Skid Row singer Sebastian Bach is back with his second serious solo CD, Kicking And Screaming, featuring 21-year-old guitar phenom Nick Sterling. Now, when I say second serious CD, I don’t mean to put down any of Baz’s other solo efforts, which were mainly filled with cover songs, but his 2007 release of Angel Down was his first full-length CD of all original music.
Sebastian Bach’s journey and antics have been well documented in the rock ‘n’ roll history books. From the time he joined Skid Row in 1986, to touring the world opening for bands like Bon Jovi, Mötley Crüe and Guns ‘N’ Roses, to getting hit in the head with a bottle in Massachusetts and then jumping into the crowd to kick the guy’s ass, to quitting Skid Row in the mid ‘90s in order to pursue a solo career, we’ve heard and read it all. And now with the Internet and YouTube, we can relive all of Baz’s greatest moments.
What we really want to know is what is Sebastian Bach doing today? Baz asked fans on Twitter recently to please stop inquiring about a Skid Row reunion, saying it will never happen. So, is there more Broadway or TV on the horizon for one of rock’s most charismatic singers? And what are his expectations of his brand new CD, Kicking And Screaming. I recently called Baz to catch up, and here’s how it went down:
Let’s talk Kicking And Screaming! This is your first CD with young guitar phenom Nick Sterling, how did the recording process go with him?
It went great! Nick just turned 21 a couple of days ago, and I got him when he was 19 years old. I saw an ad for him in a magazine and I went to his website, and [listened to] one of the songs called “Dancing On Your Grave”—that riff blasted off of his website and onto my computer speakers and I really loved it. So, he joined my band and we’ve been around the world many, many times… Well, not many, many times, but a couple times (laughs)!
And this is his first major release, and his riffs are crazy. They sound unbelievable! I mean, I did interviews with The Aquarian since the first Skid Row record in 1988, so I was his age then, and the music we wrote back then had a spirit that maybe you can’t get when your 50 years old. And then, Nick is 21, so the music on Kicking And Screaming fits really well with the first Skid Row record just as a spirit because I think that it has that teenage spirit.
Being that this is his first recording with you, you really put him to work! I read that he recorded all guitars and bass?
Well, yeah, that’s because he sent me tons of demos, and we had a killer demo with most of these songs on it, and he played the bass on those, so if I got another bass player, I would just tell him to play what Nick played. Why not let him do it? So, this is my first record as a three-piece [Sebastian, Nick, and drummer Bobby Jarzombek]. It’s crazy!
Wait! Did you say you’re missing a bass player? What happened to Rob DeLuca? Well, I have Rob DeLuca for the live band, but I would just tell Rob that if he played on this CD, he would have to play exactly what Nick played, but if Rob DeLuca wrote a killer song, then Rob DeLuca would play it. That’s just the way I record. In fact, we have a special guest—John 5 from Rob Zombie’s band. He plays on a song called “TunnelVision,” which is really heavy and killer! And we’re playing on Aug. 23 at The Summer Stage of The Stone Pony in Asbury Park, NJ, with Whitesnake and Tesla.
Songs like “Kicking And Screaming,” “TunnelVision,” my favorite track; “Dance On Your Grave,” and “Live the Life” were vintage Sebastian Bach vocals, which I felt were similar to the Slave To The Grind and Subhuman Race CDs. Was it important for you to pretty much get back to basics?
I guess that’s just the way I sing. That’s the way I sound. (Laughs) I can’t change the way I sound. On a couple of the songs—“My Own Worst Enemy” and “Caught In A Dream”—to me, my voice sounds so young and youthful, and I’m not youthful! I just can’t believe what I’m hearing and I’m like, “How the fuck is this possible? I’ve been partying for like a thousand years!” (Laughs) I sound like a little boy on some of these songs. I’ve heard them a million times! My voice has a mind of its own. I mean, I know how to make it do that, but it takes a long time to warm it up to get it to sound like that, but that’s the way it sounds when it’s ripping!
Your fans will be pleased with the new album because it’s vintage Sebastian Bach!
Well, that’s all that I can do! (Laughs) I love the fact that I can put 13 brand new songs on your iPod that you can crank up! That’s the greatest thing to me! I love to do that! It makes me feel good!
How much of Kicking And Screaming are you going to be playing live?
We’ve already played a bunch of these songs live! You can see a YouTube version of “I’m Alive.” We’ve played “As Long As I Got The Music” once or twice. We’ve played “Live The Life.” We have a DVD coming out with the deluxe version that has live versions of a bunch of the songs. It’s an incredible DVD. It also has the three brand new videos that we shot. We shot a video for “TunnelVision,” a video for “Kicking And Screaming,” and a video for “I’m Alive,” and we spent about as much money on these three videos as we did on the catering at the shoot for “Monkey Business.” (Laughs) Technology is killer because HD is really cheap, and anybody can shoot a really good-looking video. They look amazing, and I couldn’t be happier with them. So, that’s what we have coming your way, and the video has all live professional shot footage from the Guns ‘N’ Roses tour. It’s called As Long As I Got The Music: The Movie, and it’s coming out with the deluxe edition.
Is there anymore Broadway in store for Sebastian Bach or are you stopping at your role in the upcoming Rock Of Ages movie?
Yeah, I am in the movie. I shot a scene with Tom Cruise, Russell Brand and Catherine Zeta-Jones, which was unbelievable. I never thought that would happen in a million years. That comes out sometime next year, and maybe I’ll do that play now? I don’t know. I used to think that that play was making fun of rock, but it’s actually saluting rock, so maybe I can get into that. I really wanted to play The Green Goblin in the Spider-Man play.
As I followed your career, I’ve always known you to be a huge rock fan, so what is Sebastian Bach listening to today?
Black Veil Brides and Asking Alexandria! Black Veil Brides is like early Mötley Crüe wearing black leather, studs and teased up hair. Asking Alexandria actually covered two Skid Row songs on their first record, “Youth Gone Wild” and “18 And Life,” and their first record debuted in the Top 10 just a couple of months ago, which is astonishing!
Okay, I know that everyone has been asking you about a reunion, and coincidentally, today Twitter was burning up with questions about a reunion, so I’m just going to go ahead and ask! Is there a chance for a Damnocracy reunion?
No, that’s not going to happen!
Oh, come on! That show ruled!
No, maybe Savage Animal [Sebastian’s name for the supergroup] will reunite. Savage Animal! It rolls off the tongue, dude (laughs)!
Kicking And Screaming hits the shelves on Sept. 27. He will play Aug. 23 at The Summer Stage in The Stone Pony in Asbury Park, Aug. 24 at The Nikon at Jones Beach Theatre and Aug. 25 at The Chance in Poughkeepsie, NY. For more info, log onto sebastianbach.com.