Radio Metal recently conducted an interview with former SKID ROW singer Sebastian Bach. An excerpt from the chat follows below.
Radio Metal: One of the strongest videos in hard rock history is the one you did with SKID ROW for “18 And Life”. On the other hand, the video for your latest single is much lighter and is clearly on the fun and rock ‘n’ roll side. Does this mean you don’t want to get too serious nowadays?
Sebastian Bach: To be honest with you, the money we spent for the three videos we shot for “Kicking Screaming” was less than the money for the catering truck on the “18 And Life” video. Those are 300,000-dollar videos. Since there’s no TV stations, at least in America, that will play the videos, we’re very lucky to even be doing videos. But the technology is so advanced, the filming is all high-def, and it looks really clear and cool. The “Kicking Screaming” video is basically just video performance with us, and because I wrote the lyrics for my girlfriend, she’s in the video when the lyrics are talking about her. She makes the video look a lot prettier than just us three greasy rockers! (Laughs) It’s just fun. I read online a comment like, “Why is he smiling?” Number one, nobody told me I couldn’t smile, and number two, I’m so happy with the music and the way my girl looks, I’m smiling because I’m really happy! I’m like: “I love this song, I love the lyrics and I’m having fun”. To me, that song is so heavy and cool that it makes me smile. This is fucking really cool, I really like it! I didn’t know you weren’t allowed to smile, I didn’t know there was a rule against that!
Radio Metal: Why would somebody ask why you’re smiling? That’s strange…
Sebastian Bach: I don’t know. Even my manager said that at first. Again, the song is very heavy, so I guess I should be making a mean face! (Laughs) I don’t think about what face I should make, I’m not that contrived. I don’t plan things out like that, I just try to have emotion. It always comes down to emotion, that’s what music is to me. It’s about feeling things. And above all, rock ‘n’ roll should be a lot of fun, and it is, if you let it be.
Radio Metal: Everybody has an idea about what is metal and what is not, so I guess smiling is not metal!
Sebastian Bach: Smiling is not metal, but on the VAN HALEN–David Lee Roth “Jump” video, which was just a performance piece, they’re smiling and having fun. I’m a VAN HALEN fan, and I think those videos are some of the best videos ever. Rock ‘n’ roll is totally fun, it should be about escaping normal, conventional life. Yeah, Rock ‘n’ roll is fun. Ozzy Osbourne has fun!
Radio Metal: I saw him on stage this summer, and, yeah, he was smiling!
Sebastian Bach: Yes, rock ‘n’ roll is fun, man! It makes me smile!
Radio Metal: It’s now been over ten years that you’ve been releasing music as a solo artist. Aren’t you missing playing in a real, stable band context, being equal with your band mates and not a singer with a backing band?
Sebastian Bach: I guess you’re referring to my old band, SKID ROW. I think if you listen to the music they make without me, and then to “Angel Down” and “Kicking Screaming”, you would realize why we’re not together. I don’t want to brag, but my albums just blow their fucking albums away, and anybody with two ears would tell you that. To me, my albums sound more like original SKID ROW than the new SKID ROW sounds like SKID ROW.
Radio Metal: That was actually one of my questions: your solo albums are much more aggressive and heavy than what SKID ROW does today. Does this mean that the heaviness and aggressiveness of the older SKID ROW albums, especially “Slave To The Grind”, came from you?
Sebastian Bach: Yes, it did. I’m not gonna lie to you: I am a guy that makes sure his CDs sound like that. People can say I’m hard to work with. I’m not hard to work with. I just refuse to suck! I will not put out a fucking CD that sucks. I have a good ear. We don’t like each other, but even Snake from SKID ROW said in an interview: “Sebastian‘s biggest contribution to SKID ROW was that he could take a good song.” And I can. If I feel a song in my heart, like “18 And Life”, then I can really sing it emotionally, and that’s what people relate to, it’s emotion. Snake‘s a manager now, he manages other bands, he’s into the business side of things. I’m not into that. I’m more into the creative side of music. That’s why I got in it. I didn’t get in it as a job, I got in it ’cause I’ve always been a singer, and my voice just has a life of its own. I was the metalhead in SKID ROW. I was the guy that would be in the studio when those guys would be playing golf or doing business. I was the guy that was in there all the time, making sure that those albums sounded like they sound. And I will keep doing that for the rest of my life. I love making CDs, it’s very fun to me. I like writing songs, doing album covers and making videos. It’s very fun, I get very excited about it. Ask my girlfriend, I even get too excited! (Laughs)
“Kicking Screaming” EPK:
“Kicking Screaming” video: