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Interviews   

Sebastian Bach is not a slave to the past


Sebastian Bach, one of the most talented and well-known rockers of his generation, is one hell of a guy. We already knew it when his last solo album, Kicking & Screaming, came out in August 2011. His show at the Hellfest festival this year was a good opportunity to meet him with – and this was a sort of icing on the cake – his beautiful girlfriend, Minnie Gupta. When we remind him that the last time we had talked, he had tried to put Minnie on the phone, he replies in a flash : « Ha ! That was one of these interviews I did when we were in bed ! » Needless to say that the guy has kept his great sense of humour and that it’s always a thrill to talk to him !

Sebastian Bach’s gig was scheduled on the same day as Guns N’Roses’ one. As we know that Axl Rose and him are friends, we could have expected a duo between the two. Unfortunately, it didn’t happen. However, Sebastian Bach explains us : « He wanted to go out last night, but I’m too old now! He wanted to go to Nantes – Nantes, is that how you say it? I used to pronounce it “Nantèz”, that’s like the Spanish pronunciation! Today I said: “Merci pour veinte años”, but that’s Spanish! I wanted to say: “Thank you for twenty-five years of rock’n’roll”. » That’s how it goes, being a musician : day by day, you cross different countries and you end up mixing different languages ! And on top of that, tiredness is not here to help, as he confesses us : « We had to go on pretty early, and we got here late. I didn’t have anything to eat, so I was kind of spaced out a little bit. » But fortunately, « it was fun! ». He goes on : « But the crowd fuckin’ loved it. Very good response. I think we had the biggest crowd so far. »

About the possibility of a Skid Row reunion : « They would pay us. It makes no sense. But if that’s what they want to do, then fuck it.[…] I get really tired of that question. That’s the only reason I want to do it: just so everybody will shut the fuck up. »

« They obviously love the songs and they love Kicking & Screaming, the new record » says Bach proudly. However, despite the fact that when he’s headlining a show he sings more songs of his new album, only « Kicking & Screaming » was played at the Hellfest festival. One cover of PainmuseuM and no more than eight Skid Row songs composed the rest of his set-list. But we can easily understand that as Skid Row’s repertoire stood the test of time and is thus suited for festivals where Sebastian Bach is above all known for his work with this Californian band.

This leads us naturally to a recent tweet saying that Sebastian Bach and a majority of his ancient colleagues would be ready for a reunion. Besides, Bach confirms us that « four out of five are ready. There’s one guy that doesn’t want to do it. » He adds : « I would do it. It’s very simple ». This declaration contradicts the ones that both Skid Row and Bach – during our first talk – had said before. Sebastian Bach, with his straight talking and a touch of provocation, makes it all clear for us : « I never saw any of them. I talked to one of them on the phone. I hadn’t talked to them in a long time. We had an offer from a festival in England, Sonisphere : two shows, for a huge amount of money. But those guys must not like money, that’s the only explanation. All we had to do was show up and collect it. Like: “Here we go, lalala, give us the money”! It’s fuckin’ ridiculous! But whatever. »

We are even more surprised of this possible come-back that Bach’s solo career is going uphill whereas Skid Row’s one is slipping more and more into oblivion. Why would he – except for money, of course – want to bring back to life an ancient glory ? « It is a great career. This is just a case of promoters offering us these huge deals. I don’t know why they do that. I can’t control other people. I don’t understand why they say: “Hey, if you play with this drummer from upstate New York, who hasn’t played rock’n’roll in 20 fuckin’ years…” They would pay us. It makes no sense. But if that’s what they want to do, then fuck it. I’m sorry, I don’t want this to come across like I’m mad or something, it’s just that I get really tired of that question. That’s the only reason I want to do it: just so everybody will shut the fuck up.»

At least, this is clear ! Besides, Bach confirms us what we had had in mind when we had our first talk with him : as far as he’s concerned, he’s not in the mood to do it one more time: « I don’t give a fuck about doing that – I’d do it for you. I still don’t give a flying shit, I don’t care! But it’s fucking simple for me to walk on stage and sing songs. I do it every fucking day! Just so everybody will shut the fuck up about a reunion, that’s why I’d do it. I don’t care about doing it. I love the band that I have, I love my album. But everywhere I go, people ask that of me, and I’m tired of it. I’m sick and tired of it. »

« The thing that means something to me is making new CDs. Because the music will be around long after we’re dead and gone. That’s a form of immortality. […] Getting on stage and playing old songs, that’s a momentary thing. You can’t hold on to that for ever and ever. »

Obviously, it is clear that Sebastian Bach is the victim of this obsession that many people have for reunion tours. Yet, musicians – except those ones whose career has vanished in the mist of time and would then be put again in the spotlight – generally don’t even care. All that they want is to create and play their music as they wish. Sebastian Bach agrees and adds : « The thing that means something to me is making new CDs. Because the music will be around long after we’re dead and gone. That’s a form of immortality. It’s lasting for ever and ever and ever. That’s interesting to me, that’s something that is amazing to me. I can make a new CD, and you can put it on your iPod in France and crack the shit out of it. It sounds perfect, you can read the words and look at her on the cover and whack it off! That’s interesting to me. Getting on stage and playing old songs, that’s a momentary thing. You can’t hold on to that for ever and ever. » Beside him, Minnie Gupta is wild-eyed when Bach mentions her contribution to the album cover : like the young kid who knows that he did a stupid thing, Sebastian Bach tries to calm her with loving eyes…

But our fair-haired boy is not ready to win her forgiveness as he talks about Steel Panther, because as we let him know how we’re amazed to see so many young women appreciate to be treated as sexual objects or good-time girls, he declares with a humorous tone : « There’s no shortage of “salopes” in rock’n’roll! There sure isn’t! (laughs) » He goes on talking about the parody metal band : « I think they’re very funny. They’re very good at what they do, which is be comedians. And they’ve got some kick-ass tunes, too. What is that song, “17 Girls In A Row”? In the chorus, it’s not “girls”… It is? Damn, they changed it! It used to be “17 holes”! So it’s very funny! […]I go on stage with them all the time. They play at the House Of Blues in Hollywood every Monday night. That’s like two blocks from our house. Minnie and I’ve been there many, many times to rock on stage. »

Let’s not end this interview without mentioning what the public can expect of Sebastian Bach in a near future. A new record ? « Frontier wants a new record, but it takes a long time. I don’t think the public understands how much effort, money and time it takes to make a real good CD. It takes a long, long time ». Bach also tells us that he plans to release a live DVD soon. However, he’s not interested in doing a live album, « because now everybody has stereo systems. So just a live record… You might as well film it. » Yet, some live albums have become classics, like Alive from Bach’s favourite band, Kiss… « Yeah, I know what you’re saying. » he answers. « I’m just more interested in making new shit. That’s what I think is fun. Like when me and Nick wrote the song “Kicking & Screaming”. I love that song. When I listen to it, it fuckin’ kicks my ass. »

But before thinking of releasing new records or DVDs, Sebastian Bach is ready for touring : « We’re headlining and playing some festivals in Europe. Then we’re going to Amsterdam for five days, and then to India for ten days. I’ve never been there ». He ends this interview by telling us about this Indian king whom he knows and who loves rock’n’roll. This king offered him the opportunity to play in his country : « The king of Shillong, in India, is like the biggest rock’n’roll fan. He came to L.A to meet rock stars, I met him at the Rainbow. He’s flying us over there to go to the Taj Mahal and all these amazing places. I’m gonna do my George-Harrison-Beatles period and get spiritual! »

Interview conducted at the Hellfest (Clisson, France) on june, 16th, 2012
Questions : Spaceman & Metal’O Phil
Transcription : Saff

Sebastian Bach’s website : www.sebastianbach.com



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