Sebastian Bach is one of those guys who needs no introduction. If you don't know who I'm talking about, go slap yourself in the face cuz yer evidently lacking something in your musical taste. From Madame X to the glory days with Skid Row, through Broadway and now to his solo career, Sebastian has proved he has one of the most distinctive and versatile voices in the biz.
For the public at large, we were first introduced to him as Skid Row exploded onto the scene with their debut record, producing instance classics as "Youth Gone Wild", "18 and Life" and "I Remember You". The band snagged a couple of high profile opening act gigs and toured incessantly over the next few years. As the band rolled out a couple more excellent CDs, they moved to headlining status, proving they were no flash in the pan.
They were led by the charismatic persona of Sebastian who very quickly developed into a front man on par with David Lee Roth or Paul Stanley. He was able to able to get down and dirty with material like "Slave to the Grind" as effortlessly as he was able to let it flow on "Quicksand Jesus".
Life after Skid Row proved just as fruitful for Sebastian as he combined his solo career with stints on Broadway. He shut up critics in a very quick way when he was named to the lead role in Jekyll and Hyde. One listen to his golden voice on "This is the Moment" is enough to cement his reputation as one of the world's premier voices. He demonstrates both a compelling tone as well as his considerable range.
I did an interview with Sebastian recently by e-mail just prior to him getting together with the Damnocracy project (premiering May 21 on VH1) so I wasn't able to ask him about that. However, he did tell us about going into the studio in May to record his new CD, "Angel Down" which should be released in September.
antiMUSIC: It seems like you have been active musically constantly since you broke in with the first Skids record (and obviously you were really involved even before that). You must be pretty comfortable financially now after all your success. What keeps you motivated and cranking it out with such intensity year after year?
Sebastian Bach: I just want to leave this planet with a killer body of work like my dad did before me. It's in my blood & I live to sing. I love both being in the studio & onstage, that's why I do this.
antiMUSIC: As witnessed in the recent Frameshift record, your vocals are even more awesome than when you first started. What things do you do to ensure a healthy set of vocal chords, considering I'm sure Sebastian Bach still enjoys a bit of the rock and roll lifestyle (late nights, Marlboros, and Jack, I'm talking about). (Note: It should be pointed out that Sebastian announced earlier this spring that he is now clean and sober so the Jack Daniels part of this question doesn't really apply anymore.)
Sebastian Bach: I do Italian opera scales before each & every time I sing, as taught to me by Don Lawrence from NYC. He also taught Tony Harnell from TNT & many others. It warms up my pipes so I can scream without f***ing up my throat.
antiMUSIC: How are sessions going for the new record and what can you tell us about it so far?
Sebastian Bach: We just got the green light from Spitfire to enter the studio on May 7! I am so excited! We are doing the album in LA & it will be titled Angel Down. It will be released in September.
antiMUSIC: Wolf Hoffmann is part of your band now. How did you link up with this legend?
Sebastian Bach: Through Michael Wagener, who co-produced Bring 'em Bach Alive! with me. He is close friends with Wolf & we came up with the tune 'I'll Never Turn My Back On Rock'n'roll" for the first solo CD & we have some new stuff on the new CD too. He is amazing! We did a gig together in Poughkeepsie, NY & when we did the song "Balls to the Wall" the place went f***ing crazy !!!!!!!!!
antiMUSIC: Who else in your band these days?
Sebastian Bach: Bobby Jarzombek-drums / Metal Mike - guitars / Steve Digiorgio - bass/ Johnny Chromatic - guitars. That is my live band. Also Ralph Santolla, Adam Malbright, & Desmond Child have tracks on the new CD.
antiMUSIC: What are your plans after the record is out? Tour obviously, but anything special in mind?
Sebastian Bach: Tour everywhere on the planet! I have waited a long time to tour properly again & starting September we're gonna do it right!
antiMUSIC: Now that you're a bit removed from your theatre tenure, how do you rate the experience? Do you bring anything from your performances in Jekyll & Hyde and the rest to the rock arena, or are they two separate entities?
Sebastian Bach: Yes theater has no doubt improved my singing voice & most definitely my acting chops. It has got me 3 seasons on the Gilmore Girls so far & I will definitely do more theater in the future. But now it is time to rock.
antiMUSIC: You're a guy that has graced the stages all around the world and I'm sure there's tons of highlights. What was one of your most memorable gigs?
Sebastian Bach: Last week singing the national anthem a cappella at the Meadowlands for the New York Knicks vs. the NJ Nets was crazy! Not a gig but man the pressure was on!!!
antiMUSIC: You have a real connection with the KISS crew, especially Ace. He doesn't seem to hang out with a lot of rockers of late. Why do you get along so well with him?
Sebastian Bach: Dunno! He came to see me on Broadway with his daughter Monique & it was the only time I f***ed up my lines! I couldn't believe he was there! We went out for Japanese food afterwards. It was killer.
antiMUSIC: I see Maxine Pettrucci has a new record out. What are your memories of your time with Madam X?
Sebastian Bach: Kinda hazy...... I just posted a video of us live on my MySpace page that is wild to see!!!
antiMUSIC: Stretching back a bit further, one of your first bands Kid Wikkid got quite a bit of press in Canada. Do you still keep in touch with Dave Alpin and the boys? Was that a fun time for you or just another stepping stone along the way?
Sebastian Bach: It was some of the best times of my life! Zero pressure & rock'n'roll to the hilt! I was not the best singer back then but without the training that band gave me, Skid Row never would have happened. I would like to see them dudes a lot more!
antiMUSIC: You traveled across Canada (or at least Ontario and Quebec) several times with Kid Wikkid. Any stories from some of the back-woods places you played? Remember any bands you toured with from that time? I saw Galleon and Mainstream quite often in Ottawa. Ever do any shows with them?
Sebastian Bach: We headlined most of the time believe it or not! We played St. Enselme, Quebec, le Papillon in Hull, Brockville Ontario (some hotel for 3 nights), Artspace in Peterborough, Sherbrooke Quebec, as well as most places in Toronto. Madam X toured Eastern Canada as well!!!!
antiMUSIC: I imagine you were a wild young buck when you were first on the road. Ever hook up with Lee Aaron, since she was a regular on the club circuit at that time as well, especially at The Gasworks ;)?
Sebastian Bach: We hung out at the Q107 rock awards in '91 when I was awarded singer of the year. I waited in line for her to autograph Metal Queen at A&A records in Peterborough circa '82. I know I met her at some party when I was in Kid Wikked in some apt but I was rotted & can't remember too much more!
antiMUSIC: You may have surprised outsiders (not us long-timers!) with your acting ability on Gilmore Girls. Are you yourself surprised at how the part has grown from your first appearance?
Sebastian Bach: Yes, the ratings average 4.8 million per episode which blows my mind!
antiMUSIC: You are one of the only rock stars out there that keeps such close contact with the fans. You post regularly on your website and interact on the message board. Why do you feel the need to be so hands-on?
Sebastian Bach: I am somewhat of a control freak & the Internet allows me to be just that! I dig it!
antiMUSIC: You used to be real tight with Axl back in the day. Do you still keep up with him and what is your take on the wait for Chinese Democracy, the record that can now never live up to the hype?
Sebastian Bach: Haven't heard it.
antiMUSIC: Given that a certain amount of controversy has followed you in your career, do you feel that this has overshadowed your work and do you feel you get the proper amount of respect for your vocal abilities?
Sebastian Bach: Doing 4 leading man roles on Broadway should be more than enough validation for me as a singer!
antiMUSIC: Do you ever get back home to Peterborough very much? Is it chaos when you make an appearance around town?
Sebastian Bach: Only been there once since my dad died. Kind of weird without him there.
antiMUSIC: Given that your sons must be in their late teens by now, I can only assume they will be drawn to the music industry. If they are ever in a band that looks to do something professionally, what will/would be your biggest piece of advice? Don't sign any Jersey Syndicate deals ;) ?
Sebastian Bach: Yeah, read the fine print! But with me as a dad he won't have to! I will read it for him!!
antiMUSIC: To wrap things up, what's your biggest goal for 2006?
Sebastian Bach: Get the new CD out!
antiMUSIC: Thanks, Baz. All the best with the new record and get your ass back to a Canadian (Ontario) stage sometime soon dude!
Sebastian Bach: Sure dude. Lookin' fwd to that!!!!!!!!!! Rock it!
antiMUSIC and Morley Seaver thank Sebastian Bach for taking the time to do this interview.