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Home » Living Legends

A drunk dial with a sober Sebastian Bach

Submitted by on December 27, 2011 – 5:56 pmNo Comment

It’s was 9:30 p.m. on a Thursday night, I think. My interview with Sebastian Bach had been scheduled for something like six hours before, but when I couldn’t reach through to his line in New Jersey, Bach’s publicist told me to “just keep trying.” I did. After eight or nine attempts over a couple hours I gave up and went to the pub. On my way out I told me buddy, “we’re going to my place, and I’m drunk dialing Sebastian Bach.” It seemed fitting. He didn’t believe me. Twenty minutes later, this happened:

“Hello?”

Sebastian, what’s going on dude?  Listen to this: 28:20-29:20 (“I wanna see the fuckin’ video!”)

“Is this the interview?”

Let’s do the interview! I’m ready. Do you got like 20 minutes? Let’s do it!

“Let’s do it – you’re calling from Ottawa.”

Fuckin’ right buddy!

The album debuted at #6 on Billboard’s hard rock chart and its download numbers were tops on Amazon for a month. Are you pleased that, after 20 years, your voice, name and music, perhaps in that order, still move people and move units?

“This is the first time in 16 years that I’ve been that high up on the charts and it’s just amazing that after all that time, I could put out a record and the fans didn’t forget about me. It’s doing way better than my last record, so that means I get to do another one. Who knows? Maybe the next one will be even bigger than this one, as long as I give it a fuckin’ good shot.

“…’cause I wanna see the fuckin’ video!”

Put the fuckin’ video on!

Has reinvention been the key to remaining relevant solo, 15 years after your split from Skid Row?

“I don’t think I’ve reinvented really. I’m a Canadian – I love Rush and Neil Young and ACDC and shit like that, and bands that just keep putting out great music. I’m gonna be one of those dudes who keeps making albums because that what I love to do; I love every record I’ve put out, or I wouldn’t put ’em out.”

I wanted to ask you: No artist is going to say that his new shit isn’t his best record. But do you truly feel that way about Kicking & Screaming?

“Well yeah. The reason I say that is because it’s the only album that I put on, that I rock out with. I never really put on any of my other records, but I still listen to Kicking & Screaming every single day when I’m working out or going running or whatever; that’s the fucking album I put on and I just laugh, every time. ’Cause it sounds so fucking good!”

It’s a badass record. There seem to be no “slow songs” on this album. How close to you still hold the sex, drugs and real rock code to you, to this day?

“I think there are three ballads on the record… I don’t really do drugs. I may have a smoke here and there; I don’t drink anything other than red wine. I’m quite old now and I can’t handle the hard booze at all. But I like drinking red wine!”

What do you feel Bob Marlette brought to the table? Do you think he added some youth, in terms of production, to the project?

“Bob Marlette’s production I really love, because it’s so clear, it’s so clean. You can hear every instrument, every syllable and all the words and shit. For an audio file for a guy that just likes to listen to good sounding records, it’s just a real well-produced album. There’s lost of layers to the guitars and the vocals, and lots of harmonies and ear candy in the back. I’m still hearing shit on it and I’ve been listening to it for a long time.”

Given your performance background was making the transition to Broadway, as you did for some time a while back, easier than some may have perceived?

“Well yeah, because I started singing in the church choir in Peterborough, Ontario, when I was a little boy, like eight-years-old. And I sang in the church choir for years before I ever sand in a rock band. So when I went to Broadway, I really felt like I was back in church kinda. There was even a song in Jekyll & Hyde that I used to sing in the boy’s choir in Canada. Then I turned into Mr. Hyde and fuckin’ got murdered.”

Do you really have a rivalry with Patrick Swayze? That’s a bad mother fucker! If you’ve seen Road House, you know.

“Not that Patrick Swayze!”

Are you actually an avid train aficionado?

“Well I don’t know. Who here likes model fuckin’ trains!?!?”

To get serious again for a second, despite having lived in the States for over 20 years, you remain an ambassador of not only Canadian metal and music, but the country’s culture. Are you proud of that fact?

“That’s quite heavy. Um, wow. Well I think I’m the first Canadian ambassador to ever get thrown in jail!”

But that’s like standard Canadian practice. We gotta spend a couple nights in the concrete hotel to figure ourselves out, right?

“I guess so. I learned what really sucks about jail is you cannot fuckin’ sleep on a fuckin’ concrete bed.”

Not when you’re freezing, shit.

“I know. I don’t like jail.”

Fuck no, jail sucks. I thought it was gonna be cool, but it was fuckin’ brutal man.

“That should be the headline of the article: Jail sucks.”

I wrote one time when I was in j-school a column about getting arrested on campus and in the police report it said: “He stated that he wasn’t going anywhere but to the drunk tank, because it would be fun and give him something to write about.” The second part was true, but the first part was wrong. Because it fuckin’ sucked!

“I went on a two-day tour of jails. I went from Peterborough to Toronto, and I was in two different jails in two different cities in two different nights.”

That sucks! You’re like touring jail… The Canadian ambassador of culture is on a judicial tour right now. He’s doing Kingston, Ottawa, Toronto, Montreal… actually no, if it were a true tour, you would just fly right over Ottawa; Montreal to Toronto.

“This is the best interview I’ve ever done.”

Is it true that you had to get a rabies test after biting the barkeep at Riley’s a couple years back when you were visiting family in the ’borough?

“Yep. That’s true. And I’m very happy to say, I want to report to all my fans, that I am officially rabies-free.”

You’ve been called “a one-man three-ring circus.” Do you feel that’s an accurate assessment?

“Well, I’m very tall.”

Six-four!

“When I see myself on TV I kinda look like a lion and my arms are long. David Lee Roth told me that I was the most animated human he’s ever met. I don’t even know what animated really means but when I see myself on TV I’m like, holly fuck!”

You swing your arms like a French Canadian. That’s what it is, right? You got the blood of a French Canadian, you fuckin’ talk with your hands. That’s the fuckin’ way she goes bud!

“What’s this interview for, ’cause I really think it’s funny.”

Martyr Magazine.

“Ok well you gotta transcribe it with all the fuckins and everything we’re saying ’cause it’s hilarious.”

Done.

You shot three videos for Kicking & Screaming in three days and you said it probably cost the catering budget of a Skid Row vid back in the day. Is that true?

“Yeah, ’cause we used to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars on those videos, easily. The HD technology these days – everything looks killer. You just don’t have to spend that much [money] these days.”

It’s been rumoured you’re looking to work with Larry Sloman (Scar Tissue, Private Parts, On the Road with Bob Dylan) on your autobiography. Any idea of if and when this will be written and what, other than the obvious, can fans expect to read about?

“I’ve had a crazy life. It’s gonna be from Peterborough to Skid Row to fuckin’ the Don Jail to Broadway. It’s gonna be a crazy story.”

From the concrete hotel to the Sheridan.

“That’s exactly right – from Skid Row to Savile Row.”

Nikki Sixx once wrote that “once you’ve tasted excess, everything else tastes bland.” Obviously you’re not one of the metal rockers who let his demons overcome or even overshadow his talent. But as you said, your life has been a roller coaster ride. What toll, if any, has living in the limelight taken on you? Does Sixx’s statement mean something to you?

“My life has been very exciting but it’s hard for girls to be around with a guy like me – with all the other girls throwing themselves at me at the concerts and that kind of thing. It’s hard to maintain relationships when you’re the lead singer of a heavy metal band.”

Earlier in the year you signed to Frontier Records. Why did you decide to run with an Italian over a Canadian or American label?

“They had a great budget to make a real album. It was the best recording opportunity, by far, that was offered to me. They really pulled out all the stops to make a full high-quality release and we got to do a DVD.”

Do you feel like a Canadian kid who’s been blessed to live the American dream?

“I can remember living in Cavan, Ontario, out in the country and looking at American TV and saying, ‘oh my God, that’d be so amazing.’ And live in the United States and shit. It seemed like another world when I was in Canada in the 70s and it was winter time out in the country. That seemed like another planet. When I got older I got American citizenship ’cause my parents [father was originally from California]… But I love Canada, too. I just don’t like Canada’s jails. I have to get over that shit. I’m a citizen of the world. I never put any limits or where I could and couldn’t live.”

Your brother played hockey for the Peterborough Petes and the Tampa Bay Lightning. Did you, or do you still, play puck?

“I don’t play hockey ’cause I don’t wanna mess up my hair and shit. Just joking.”

That’s key to success. You don’t just go fuck with a hairdo like that.

“My life has always imitated art,” you recently told a reporter from QMI Agency. First off, what did you mean by that? Second, what are the pros and cons of playing both protagonist and antagonist in your own story?

“Wow dude, that could be the heaviest question of all time!”

I’m pretty good.

“Really, really good.”

Thanks buddy.

“What do I mean by that is whatever my music is saying always seems to fit my life. You Gone Wild (’89) I was 21-years-old and I was a youth gone fuckin’ wild; Jekyll and Hyde – I always had that nature about me. When I called my dad and told him I was Jekyll and Hyde, he’s like, ‘I know, I know, I know.’ And I go, ‘no, I mean I’m playin’ ’em on Broadway.’”

He’s like what the fuck you’ve been Jekyll and Hyde forever – they didn’t pay me shit!

“Then Angel Down really fit my whole scene and now Kicking & Screaming and a lot of the words on the record (“as long as I got the music I’m alive”) go together and it just fits. It just seems to fit my life.”

Interview by Hubris Breeze; with files from Greg J. MacDonald


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