Niclas Müller-Hansen of Sweden’s Metalshrine recently conducted an interview with former SKID ROW singer Sebastian Bach. A couple of excerpts from the chat follow below.
Metalshrine: How do you feel about making records today? Some say that people just want one song and there’s no one listening to a whole album anymore. It’s so much about just one song here and one song there.
Bach: Right! Well, I listen to records and like. I love the new record by BLACK VEIL BRIDES, “Set The World On Fire”. I listen to it from the first song right to the last song and I love it! That’s a great new album! With “Kicking Screaming”, I don’t want you to press shuffle! It’s all made to go in the sequence that it’s in. The ballads are kind of hidden on the record, but then when you find them it’s like, “Wow!” and the tempos and the grooves and the key changes, they go together real well. I just wanted to make a record that fits along the lines of all the other records I’ve made and I haven’t made that many. I look up to a band like RUSH, which has, like, over 30 albums, or whatever it is. I don’t know how many, but that’s what I wanna do. I’m that kind of vocalist and I’ve got a lot of energy and when I have a guy like Nick Sterling [guitar], it makes it real easy because he’s very prolific and he comes to me, like, “Do you like this?” and I’m like, “Yeah dude, I really like it!”. (laughs) “I really like it a lot!” (laughs)
Metalshrine: The title for the album, did that come early on or…?
Bach: I think the part of being a good writer is to be organized and when you have an idea, you should be able to capture it on your smartphone or, like a million years ago, on a piece of paper. (laughs) Or you should be able to record it or if you have lyrics you should be typing it somewhere. Whenever I hear a phrase or something, I’ll write it down and I have so many ideas from over the years and I’m always writing stuff down and Nick and Bob Marlette, the producer, came up with that music and I fucking freaked out. I remember Nick going, “Dude, wait ’till you hear this fucking song! You wanna rock?” and they put on, “Dah dah dah dah”, and I was like “Oh my god! You gotta be kidding me?” It had no lyrics of melody, so I went through all my ideas and I had an idea, “Kicking Screaming”, and that riff to me, sounded just like that. I love music where the lyrics seem to describe the sound of the music and I really learned that from Rob Halford of JUDAS PRIEST. For some reason… like “Desert Plains” sounds like he’s in the desert riding in the plains. I don’t know why and I don’t know how he does that. And like “Hot Rockin'”… (sings) “I wanna go, I wanna go, I wanna go hot rockin'” and it sounds like hot rockin’. (laughs) Or (sings again) “I got a contract on you… dah dah dah dah!” It sounds like I got a contract on you! (laughs) he’s really good at that and I always noticed that about his writing, so I always listen to the music and go, “What does this sound like?” and that sounded like kicking and screaming. (laughs)
Metalshrine: Going back to when you first started out and everything and getting into singing and all that, was there a first moment when you felt that, “Wow, I’ve made it?”
Bach: Yes! It was on the BON JOVI tour and we [SKID ROW] started touring with him in Texas and this was one the “New Jersey” tour and by the time we got to Chicago, I think it was a month into the tour and maybe less… We were building up momentum and becoming a big band, but then when we got to Chicago and the Rosemont Horizon and I’ll never forget this… I was on stage and I told the whole crowd, “I want every single one of you to stand up! Get up out of your seats!” and I raised my hand and the whole arena stood up and I went, “Oh my god!” It was like to the back row and for the first time I raised like 20,000 people to their feet with their fists in the air and I turn around to the guys and go, “We’re fucking making it! This is it.” (laughs) Then I came off stage to [manager] Doc McGhee and I go, “Did you fucking see that?” and he was all crying and, “Yeah, you did it, dude!” and we were all freaking out. That was the exact moment!
Metalshrine: What made you end up on Frontiers Records?
Bach: They’re signing so many bands, like every hard rock band, you know?! It’s amazing, and they’re very good! They pulled out all the stops for me. They’ve done everything. They put me back on the fucking charts! My album came out at number 68 and my album “Angel Down” came out at 190 and I was not happy that day when that happened; I was fucking miserable! So this is something I can live with and it inspires me to do another record, which is all I really want. We also have an hour-long DVD in the deluxe version with live versions of all the songs from the GUNS N’ ROSES tour, plus the three videos that we shot for the album and they also made a vinyl record, which is amazing! They’ve really gone all out to make sure. It’s all very high quality, everything that they do, and that’s what I really appreciate. You have this CD for the rest of your life, so it gotta be really good quality. I mean, I’ve had record companies in the past, where I’ll get the CD and the album cover is completely fucked up, like it’s cropped in the middle of the guys face. Shit that makes you nuts and it’s too late to change it because they printed it up already and I’m like, “How the fuck can you do it? How can you have the cover like all screwed up, fucked up? This is it!” It’s fucking garbage, but everything with Frontiers is amazingly high quality.
Read the entire interview from Metalshrine.
“Kicking Screaming” EPK:
“Kicking Screaming” video: