Sebastian Bach Interview with BlogsNRoses.com
Sebastian Bach is a kick ass rock n roll star. He is charismatic and a fantastic interview candidate for our site. So when we heard Sebastian was getting ready to re-release Angel Down in the States and release it in the UK, we had to talk to him. Here is our conversation with Sebastian Bach.
Bach: Alright Blogs n Roses. What's going on?
BnR: Not much, not much. How are you doing?
BnR: I wanted to talk a little about the Angel Down record. I personally loved it. I thought the record had something for everyone. It had a bit of hard rock, southern sludge, punk. What was your main inspiration when writing and recording the album?
Bach: I just wanted to make a cd that would go in your iPod and make sense next to the Slave to the Grind and the first Skid Row album. That's basically it and to have Axl sing on it is insane. No one could have ever predicted that, especially me. That's amazing. To put out an cd with him and me on it. We sold about 100,000 copies worldwide with no touring. Well we did a month of touring. But the US tour starts in July 8 in Nashville. We are re-releasing the cd with a DVD called ROADRAGE, which encompasses the making of the cd and also five  live songs from the Guns N' Roses tour. It is like Pro-shot video and audio. That comes from Axl. He let us use his equipment. That is incredible. I am very happy to share some of that footage with the fans finally. It's going to be great. Also, we are putting out a vinyl picture disc with double-gatefold sleeves. And I love that shit. I love packaging and picture discs and shit like that. So I am pretty happy. We are doing about 40 or 47 shows with Poison across America. So we are playing pretty much everywhere except for Texas. I don't know why. Sorry Texas. But we are definitely hitting the United States and that is going to be great.
BnR: What is your favorite song on the album?
Bach: I would have to say it is Stuck Inside. I love the whole album, but Stuck Inside crushes me the way Monkey Business crushes me and really the way Axl sings the last mid part of the song into the last chorus. The way he hits the high note over the last chorus just fucking destroys me. It is so heavy and cool. When I am listening to it I can't believe it is me and Axl. All my fans are cranking it on their iPods.
BnR: I can attest to that. I also love the cover of Back in the Saddle with you and Axl.
Bach: Well that's cool. That's crazy. That song is so great that every time I hear it I laugh because it is so good. [laughs]. I do. I am like 'listen to this shit.' And that is real rock magic on there. I have a rule that I never drink alcohol before a show or before I sing ever, except to that song, dude. What happened was that I sang two songs in the studio that day. I can't remember which two. I did the lead vocal and I was done. Then Roy Z, the producer, said to the band 'hey first song tomorrow, let's do Back in the Saddle.' I thought I was done for the day and he said let's practice it right now. We taped it. The first time they played is what you hear on the record. I was sitting back there listening to it start and I couldn't believe it. I just ran out there with a couple of Model Especials in me. I grabbed the mic and I wailed it. And that is pretty much 90% of what made the record. There are so many lyrics in that song that I went back and made sure I had totally perfect. There's a lot of words in there. And Axl said he would sing on the record and he came down and picked which songs he wanted to sing on. Singers love Back in the Saddle because Steve Tyler is the ultimate screamer especially on that song. It's incredible. The first time I played that song for Axl goes 'Oh my god the guitars.' He just loved the guitars. It was kind of a challenge on who would get what part of the song between me and him. Because I didn't want to cut any of him and he didn't want to cut any of me. So we tried a few different versions and none of them were perfect. And then I said 'Let's just go by the words.' And then it all became crystal clear. 'I'm calling all the shots tonight, I'm like a loaded gun.' That's Guns N' Roses. And we went like that down the line to see who lyrically fit. Then we put it together. It's rock magic. That's what it sounds like to me.
BnR: I crank it up when I am at the Target or whatever. I scare all the soccer moms with it. They like 'What is that?!'
Bach: What at Target? Cool. That's great.
BnR: How did you convince Axl to sing on Angel Down?
Bach: There was no convincing at all. It was this simple. I was standing at Baggage Claim at LAX about to master my record. I had just sung on Chinese Democracy, a song called Sorry. And sorry, I don't know when it is coming out. When I was coming to LA, I just texted him from the airport and said 'Dude, when are you going to sing on my record?' I was just joking. He goes 'Where? What time?' I couldn't believe it. It was that simple. And he drove down in his Testarosa or whatever it is. And you can hear what he did. He's incredible. That's it. It is mind blowing that I can say that. But I love saying that because you have this guy from England painting this weird picture of him [Axl] on the internet or whatever. Writing books when they don't even know the guy. I do know him and he's a rocker. He loves rock n' roll. He's obsessed with making great rock n' roll. And that is who is he is.
BnR: You said you sang on Chinese Democracy. What song was that again?
Bach: It's called Sorry.
BnR: Do you think it has a shot at making the record?
Bach: Yea that's what Axl tells me. Yea I do.
BnR: Are you excited for the upcoming tour for Angel Down?
Bach: I am 100% excited for the upcoming tour. I always liked big stages, big arenas. We are playing all over the States and that's good for me. I am very excited.
BnR: You are playing almost every night. Does that get a bit tiring?
Bach: Yea it gets physically tiring. It gets mentally tiring, but not when you are on the stage. It's when you are off the stage that it gets very tiring. But so what? Nothing good comes easy.
BnR: How has the record been received live?
Bach: Amazing. We just came back from two and half weeks in Australia. We played in Norway and Finland. I am not exaggerating when I say the stuff is going over great. If it wasn't, I might not be doing it. It is very evident people listen on the internet. My MySpace player has 1.5 million plays. If that was radio, it would be insane. People are still hearing it and that is very evident live. They know the words and the songs. For me as a musician it has made me fall in love with what I do again. And made us so happy as a band. Because we get to play our best. I can play better now than I did in '89. The songs reflect that. Take a song like Live and Die. I am singing using every kind of sound in my voice. Really pushing myself. It feels great to do that live.
BnR: I was on your MySpace site the other day and had heard a song I never heard before. You were on a Randy Rhoads tribute album?
Bach: Yea, it only came out in Japan. It didn't come out here.
BnR: I had never heard about it. And Dimebag [Darrell] played on it. Is that correct?
Bach: Yes sir. That's me and Dime. I will never take that down because it is not out here and not available. I am not going to sell it. So it is there to listen to and he sounds incredible.
BnR: How was it working with him?
Bach: I didn't work with him on that song. That was done with Michael Wagner, my producer. He needed a lead guitar player on our song Believer. I go 'I'm going to call Dime.' I was really good friends with Dime. I called him up and he goes 'Sure, I'll do it.' But he did it after I was there and he did a perfect job. Of course, we took them [Pantera] on their first USA arena tour in Skid Row. I watched him make it big before my very eyes. I've got some video that no one else has that I made for Vinny and Rita. I mean what can you say? It is a crazy and awful thing that happened to him. I don't know what to say.
BnR: Yes, absolutely. It was an awful tragedy. Did you guys bond over KISS and your love of KISS?
Bach: We more bonded over our love of booze [laughs] and our love of weed. We bonded over that. They were wild. We actually recorded with them on the Slave to the Grind tour in his hotel room at 4 or 5 in the morning. I can remember being absolutely shit-faced and we would record songs with the sun coming up in his hotel room. I know they exist somewhere and I would love to hear it. I remember one night he wrote a ballad and I was singing. We were laughing so hard. He was like 'Sebastian stop laughing. I know you can sing this perfect.' And we couldn't stop laughing. I don't know if we ever could. I'm sure we did, but I would love to hear that one day. Wherever it is.
BnR: You blew my image of you guys. I had you guys watching the movie Detroit Rock City and bonding over KISS.
Bach: Well if I was going to watch a movie it would be KISS Meets the Phantom not Detroit Rock City.
BnR: Well speaking of KISS. I know you have a Z28 Camaro signed by Ace Frehley. Do you still have it?
Bach: I certainly do.
BnR: That is awesome. Our staff writer Joe Wettner has an 83 El Camino signed by Judas Priest.
Bach: NO WAY! That's hot!
BnR: He wants to know if you will race him for pink slips.
Bach: Aw well my Camaro is off the road right now. I got to get it fixed up. But it is out in the driveway under a tarp.
BnR: Is there anything in the KISS Kollection you don't have? I remember watching an episode of MTV's Cribs, you had more KISS stuff than I ever even knew existed.
Bach: Yes sir, I certainly do. I don't have the Ace Frehley Mego Doll. I don't have the first poster. It's from Casablanca [the record company], the first record they sent out folded up. I don't have that. The mylar Love Gun poster. Someone gave to me on tour in the 80's. I was so psyched to get them, the mylar KISS posters. But then someone stole them off the tour bus. I need to get a restock on those. I love the vintage stuff. The old stuff. I like the book by Lydia Criss called Sealed With A Kiss. It just came out. It's great.
BnR: Speaking of vintage. I used to watch Forever Wild on VH1. I thought it was great. It a reassure trove of rock knowledge. How to dress like a rockstar, how to walk like a rockstar and you even played awesome videos.
Bach: If you could have seen behind the scenes the battles I went through just to get them to play music. That's my biggest memory of Forever Wild. They were like 'Do you want to host a show?' and I was like 'Yea but guess what? We are actually going to play rock videos.' And they were like 'fine.' Then they tried to play half the song or not the one I told them to play. I was like 'Listen you guys don't understand. I need to play the video." And it was incredible. There is so much tv of people talking about music, like talking about it and analyzing it. How about you just play it? Wouldn't that be amazing to actually see it? That's my biggest memory from that show.
BnR: I wish MTV would play more videos. There are hardly any rock videos on anymore.
Bach: Yea, that is the last show I can remember that you saw a full video. I'm proud of myself for that. I thinking for myself too so I could get them on DVD and record them. I was like 'I need You Really Got Me off the first Van Halen record. I need this one and this one.' It's great because now I got them.
BnR: I was looking for a DVD collection of Forever Wild just so I can relive my Friday nights again because the show was just so awesome.
Bach: You know it is out on DVD right? There is a DVD Forever Wild with excerpts from the show. You can get it. It exists. It actually has an unreleased interview I did with Drea de Matteo from the Sopranos. It's very rare. It's only on the DVD. I have me with Ted Nugent, Vince Neil, the whole show from the Whiskey. It's a cool DVD.
BnR: So you are friends with Ted Nugent?
Bach: Yea, I'd say so.
BnR: The Supergroup show sort of had you guys at each other's throats. I think it was more creative editing and entertaining editing rather than how your actual personalities existed.
Bach: Yea. I saw what you are talking about and I didn't like seeing all that. A lot of that stuff was behind my back, if you notice on the show. Which I thought really sucked. Because I am not like that. If I don't like you, I'll tell you. I don't give a shit. I'm not going to be nice and then fucking flag you behind your back. I'm not like that. But Ted means well. He just goes at a little too hard sometimes. And that is all I can say really. He means well. I don't think if I like to have red wine with my meal at a nice Italian restaurant, I don't think that makes me an alcoholic. I have definitely toned down my drinking since that show. A little drinking goes a long way on a television show, I have discovered.
BnR: Do you think you will call your next album "Savage Animal"? Because I thought that name was awesome. Much better than Damnocracy.
Bach: I do have that name trademarked with the U.S. Government. Because for a while there, every where I went people loved to come up to me and go 'SAVAGE ANIMAL DUDE' It rolls off the tongue. But you might see that come out one day. People seemed to really respond to Savage Animal.
BnR: You know? I thought Ted would respond well to it too since he likes shooting savage animals.
Bach: It's the perfect name for that band with Ted Nugent. I thought it sounded cool, but what the fuck do I know? Godwar. That's better? I don't think so.
BnR: I have another question about your VH1 contemporaries. I have noticed that they are using a lot of hair extensions. Those that do shall remain nameless. I chalk that up to hairspray damage. How have you kept your hair full of body and volume?
Bach: Oh I don't know dude. It is very luxurious my hair, the locks I possess. I am very proud of them. I don't know. Willie Nelson, the dude from the Oakridge Boys, Greg Allman, these are cats that are far older than I am and have kick ass long fucking hair that rocks. That's my fashion model dude, the guy from the Oakridge boys.
BnR: Did you have a writing block on Angel Down or was it easy to get into the writing process.
Bach: No I never have a writing block. But I might write 100 ideas and 5 out of them, which is not a great ratio. I'm very conscious of my past work. I have VH1 Classic at my house on my cable and I see 18 and Life in 2008 just as much as I did in 89. So it's in my face all the time and I am aware of it. I want to put something out that I feel can stand up to that and those albums. And I feel Angel Down can.
BnR: With the UK release of Angel Down, will there be different artwork. I know for the U.S. release your father's painting was the artwork. Are you going to keep the same artwork?
Bach: The DVD will come with every copy in Britain. ROADRAGE with 5 live songs shot that will be coming with every copy domestically in the UK. That will come out in the USA this summer as an FYE exclusive. Also in the UK they are putting out a vinyl edition of the record with a poster, a double gatefold sleeve, and a picture disc. I love that shit.
BnR: I love how vinyl is making a comeback.
Bach: Yea, it definitely is. There is a market for it that is just growing. That's amazing. I never thought I would see Angel Down as a record and to see it as a picture disc is so cool. The collectors in the US will be able to order it online somehow. I know I want a copy so I got to be able to get it.
BnR: I'm sure you will be able to get it.
Bach: I better be.
BnR: What songs were filmed for the DVD.
Bach: American Metalhead from Detroit Michigan at the Palace of Auburn Hills, Stuck Inside from Japan at the Mt. Fuji Udo Rock Festival, By Your Side at the Calgary Saddledome, (Love Is) A Bitchslap from the Calgary Saddledome, and Winnipeg Manitoba You Don't Understand at the MTS Centre. Also as a bonus, there is By Your Side acoustic version from Hartford Connecticut, live from a radio show that my wife Maria filmed. That kicks ass. Then there is some behind the scenes footage like writing with Roy Z. It's just a fun video and if you like Skid Row, you will love ROADRAGE.
BnR: I am looking forward to seeing (Love Is) A Bitchslap live. I love that song.
Bach: Yea, it's a great performance.
Thank you Sebastian for talking with us. If you are in the US, go pick up Angel Down. If you are in the UK, you can pick it up on July 21. Make sure you catch Sebastian in his element, live and on-stage this summer with Poison and Dokken. Check out www.sebastianbach.com or www.myspace.com/sebastianbach for tour dates.
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