SEBASTIAN BACH: ‘I Didn’t Get Into This Business To Sing Music That I Don’t Like’

Legendary Rock Interviews recently conducted an interview with former SKID ROW singer Sebastian Bach. A couple of excerpts from the chat follow below.

Legendary Rock Interviews: I’m not going to ask you about recording “Wasted Time” or “Big Guns” but I want to clear up a misconception which is amazingly still reported as fact all these years later and that’s the fact that some people still say you left SKID ROW. That pisses me off because I am a huge fan of KISS and SKID ROW and have heard the story of how you got into it with them over Rachel [Bolan, SKID ROW bassist] not wanting to do the KISS Alive/worldwide tour in 1996. Then they turned around, of course, and did the Farewell tour with KISS, which had to be even more frustrating.

Bach: It was. Of course it was, and the reason they did that tour without me is because Doc [McGhee] works for KISS and Snake [SKID ROW guitarist] works for Doc and that’s their whole scene. But I was 100% fired from the band. They sent me some new music and I told them straight up that I didn’t like it and I wanted us to write some more because I wasn’t going to sing those songs. They got all mad and Doc called me and said, “Well, you have to sing it because you’re the singer in the band, Sebastian,” to which I said, “Well, if you like it, then YOU sing it. I didn’t get into this business to sing music that I don’t like just to put something out.” I told those guys, “I don’t know about you, Mr. Rock Band Guitarist and Bassist, but I didn’t get into this rock and roll band to play songs that suck.”

Legendary Rock Interviews: Some of the material they have done without you has been okay and some not okay…

Bach: That’s just it, though, dude. I didn’t get into this to be “okay.” [laughs] I know what you’re saying, but I got into this to do stuff that moves me. I thought we should be doing material that stands next to “Youth Gone Wild” or “In A Darkened Room”, not stuff that was “okay.” “Monkey Business” and “Youth Gone Wild” are not just okay, they’re great songs, amazing songs, and that’s why people respond to them. I didn’t want to put out a record with them that was just okay. I’m not saying it to brag, but I love my new album, “Kicking Screaming”, I listen to it all the time because I love it. It’s got that same energy and spirit as anything I have ever sung on, and I am really proud of it.

Legendary Rock Interviews: I think that the new material and new band you have is plenty strong, and with one more studio album, you’ve basically equalled your output with SKID ROW. Paul Stanley once said, “There’s a reason your ex-girlfriend is your ex-girlfriend. If there wasn’t, you’d still be with her.” I know you field all these questions about SKID ROW reuniting and I want to know if you ever hear from people like me who are happy with the way things are right now.

Bach: Well, first of all, thank you for saying that about being one studio album away, I totally thank you and I agree with that. “Angel Down” debuted at 190 on the Billboard charts, which was very disappointing but then “Kicking Screaming” debuted at No. 68, which was like “OK, I can deal with that, because if I keep working and take another jump like that on the next record, I would be up in the top 20, which would be incredible.” All I can do is keep working and keep my head down and make the music I love and hopefully some day people will be able to see me and my solo career the way that they saw someone like Ozzy as a solo artist; that’s the gold standard. It’s not always easy, but nothing worth having is.

Legendary Rock Interviews: One of the biggest gripes about you is one that I hear over and over. It goes something like this: “Sebastian always talks about how he’s grown and is moving forward and wants to get past SKID ROW and everything, but then he continues to go out and play all those songs night after night and blah, blah, blah.” Last time I checked, James Hetfield, Chris Cornell, Axl Rose and Paul Stanley all sang songs from their catalog every single night. No one gives them shit for wanting to put out new stuff and move on while still playing their catalog, but for some reason people perpetually single you out. [laughs]

Bach: Right. [laughs] Dude, of course I will play those songs, but if I only went up there and played “Youth Gone Wild”, “I Remember You” and “18 And Life”, that would be a pretty short fuckin set, wouldn’t it? I think sometimes people who say things like that are forgetting the fact that SKID ROW wasn’t THE BEATLES or METALLICA or GUNS N’ ROSES. We had three hit songs. Three. If those three hit songs are the only songs a fan knows, or wants, then that’s not the kind of rock I want to cater to. I need to appeal to the fan who’s looking for a bit more rock than that. [laughs] I have a lot of tunes under my belt and a lot more on the way. I want to have a long career with hundreds and hundreds of songs.

Legendary Rock Interviews: You said you were initially disappointed by the reception or chart action of “Angel Down”, but I think you did the right thing by continuing to tour it and keep it out there for so long because it’s now taken on a tremendous amount of life. I don’t think I’ve read very many bad reviews of it and still to this day people really appreciate that album and the heaviness of it. So much so that I think a few of them overlooked “By Your Side” which is about the best number one ballad ever written that didn’t go to number one. I think it’s way better than “I Remember You” and on par with “In A Darkened Room” as one of the best songs you’ve ever recorded.

Bach: Wow. that’s really cool. I love that song. It’s hard for me to listen to because it’s such an emotional song. I can’t hear it and not think of my dad because I wrote that about him. I think a lot of people can relate to that song if they’ve lost someone so important in their life and it really was just written totally and completely from my heart. If that song hits you or stays with you, that’s why.

Read the entire interview from Legendary Rock Interviews.