Photo Credit : Clay Patrick McBride
Interviewed by Mark Dean (Journalist/Writer/Contributor) Myglobalmind Webzine
Hi, is that Sebastian? Don’t know if you remember me but I did an interview with you last year in Belfast?
Sebastian “Yep on the bus,after the show.I remember,I remember.How are you doing dude?
Not too bad. What about yourself?
Sebastian “Yeah,I have a new DVD out, and I’m doing the interview rounds.”
So,,,you have been busy then?
Sebastian “Yes I’ve been doing them all day, every day.”
Since we last spoke,you have been busy with festivals and a US tour. Now you have brought out a live DVD,how did that come together?
Sebastian “I was approached by my record company to do a DVD.I said OK,and the footage that we had from the last couple of years,actually from the last DVD-“As long as Ive got the music”(available in the bonus edition of “Kicking and Screaming!Of the footage that I had there were three complete concerts that were really good.They were Hellfest in France, Nokia in Los Angeles and Grasspop in Belgium.I asked the record company how long could this DVD be,and they said about 160 minutes.I decided to give them as much material as I could. Two of the shows were recorded digitally,with full studio recording live in concert.We were able to go into the studio and make them sound perfect because they were coming out on Cd. One of the shows-Grasspop was just recorded on 2 channels-2 tracks and we were not allowed to fix anything afterwards. It is 100 per cent live in concert experience. If you want to see that, its on there. “Abachalypse Now”also comes with 2 Cd’s of the audio, and those are made to sound as perfect as I could make them. This is designed for you to listen to for many, many years to come. I have got to say thank you to Frontiers records, because the packaging is fucking amazing. All the pictures,the booklet ..the way that it folds out. I designed the whole thing as I do with all my stuff. I love the silver logo on the front so much. Little details excite me , like yourself going back to vinyl releases. I remember staring at the cover of “Number of the beast”for hours, just looking at the pictures of the little men in the distance on the hill. Stuff like that gets me excited. When you go to Itunes now, which I don’t really. Pretty much every album cover is just like a head shot of the performer, with their name above their head,and its so fucking boring. I like to put effort into the packaging. When I got the final product of”Abachalypse Now”I was very happy to see the attention to detail and how it all came together. ”
Obviously you are now doing the promotional tour for the DVD, whats next for you after that? More live shows,or back to the recording studio?
Sebastian”I am actually playing Los Angeles with Steve Stevens,then Australia later in April with Van Halen”(Laughs)
Last time we talked you mentioned working with Steve Stevens and also Nuno from Extreme.?
Sebastian “I’m not with Nuno yet, but I have been in contact with him,and have started working on my next studio record. I have some songs going with Steve Stevens and my new guitar player Jeff George. I have got some songs also going with John5 who I wrote the song Tunnel Vision with on “Kicking and Screaming”. We have already got another completed song for the next one.”
When we talked last year you were excited about doing another record with Nick, who has now left the band. What happened there,and how did you then hook up with Jeff your new guitarist?
Sebastian “Watching this DVD parts of it are bittersweet to me, because watching Nick and I together on stage is really amazing. He is a very talented guitar player. I got him into the band when he was nineteen, and we toured until he was 21 or 22 all over the world. The road is not easy physically or mentally to keep up with. I remember being Nick’s age touring and it was fucking crazy. Its a crazy life and I’m twice as old as him.I would like to work with him again in the future if that could be possible. Everybody goes through shit on the road and then you come home and realize its a challenging environment to be on a tour bus every night touring all over the planet. My door is open to work with him again if that could ever happen it would be awesome. I got Jeff George in the band after meeting him through Danny from Asking Alexandria. Jeff also plays in Danny’s side project Harlot. He has worked out really good, and he has some great song ideas happening for the next record.”
Yes I remember you were full of anticipation regarding the future musically with Nick. Its good that you have left that door open for him to return?
Sebastian”Well I hope so, I’m very proud of the “Kicking and Screaming”record it succeeded all expectation from everybody. The reviews were fucking amazing-every review that I read. The song itself has over a billion plays, which is fucking unbelievable. Watching this DVD we have also a great chemistry on stage. People don’t realize how fragile rock bands are. I have been watching this special on “Showtime”which is airing in America. Its called “History of the Eagles”, and they go into detail how fragile that rock band was. I can certainly relate to what they are saying. The bass player Timothy B Schmidt says that every band he has ever been in is always on the verge of breaking up the whole time.There is a lot of ego involved. People get pretty mad about taking credit for something or saying I want the credit for this. I want my name as big as yours, or want my picture as big as yours.If you are on the cover of a magazine ,then I have to be on the cover of a magazine also. Egos get hurt quite a bit in the music industry.You have to be quite resilient, and have a thick hide to last in this business. I learnt that a long time ago, I just keep my head down and keep fucking rocking. You have to understand the music business before you get into it. Its a challenging industry to be a part of.”
You will recall from our last interview that I like to throw in a couple of obscure random questions into the mix.
What was your biggest waste of money at the height of your success in the MTV era?
Sebastian”I would have to say getting married.(laughs),that was the most expensive thing I have ever done. That is the truth”
What advice would you give to a younger Sebastian Bach?
Sebastian “That’s a tough question. Oh God,man…..whoo!!! Its a different industry now to when I started. Whatever you make, whatever you create make sure that you are a hundred per cent proud of what you are making. If you are really proud of what you make and you like it and love it yourself-then nobody can take that away from you. Every record that I have put out except for “The last hard men” I have completely loved at the time I have put it out. Nobody can ever take that away from me. I can read a silly comment on-line or something(which I try not to do) I can put my headphones on. Press play on the “Kicking and Screaming”record and I don’t give a fuck what anybody says because I love it myself. ”
Good answer. Here’s another off the wall question for you. If you ever started to lose your hair, would you shave it off or seek other ways of keeping it?
Sebastian “You know asking me that is a very fair question(laughs)because I have famous hair for sure. If it did happen my idea a long time ago which I thought was kind of funny, was what if I got a tattoo of hair. I shaved my head and got a tattoo of perfect hair down past my shoulders. Maybe like Medusa with snakes and fucking monsters coming through my hair.”(we both laugh)
Ok then next question…what is the secret of success?
Sebastian “The standard answer to would be is that success occurs when preparation meets opportunity. If you are prepared when opportunity knocks,then you have a good chance of success.”
What are the constellations of getting older? Do you find that as you mature your attitudes relax maybe towards people from your past that you have maybe disagreed with?
Sebastian “That is another good question. The only guy in Skid Row that I still have a problem with is Rachel the bass player. I’ve spoken to the other guys and we have no problem at all. The ironic part is with Rachel I don’t even remember why we were even fighting. The last time I spoke to him or even was in the same room was sixteen or seventeen years ago. Think about how long that is. I am not capable of being mad at somebody that I haven’t seen in 17 years. I don’t know how you can hold a grudge that long,to me its insane. I just don’t get it at all.”
What about people like Jon Bon Jovi,that you had a very public falling out with? Have you seen him in recent years?
Sebastian “Absolutely, I have his number in my cell phone.In 2006 or 2008,I was opening for Guns&Roses at Wembley. We stayed at the Mayfair Oriental. Axl said to me look who is in the corner-and it was Jon Bon Jovi. I walked over to his table and he ended up hanging with me and Axl and we drank many bottles of red wine.I had a great time and he was very nice. We had a great night”
Leading on the same subject there was a band from N.Ireland Stormzone that supported you in Belfast and were supposed to do other dates on that UK tour..They were removed abruptly. I’ve heard their side of events,and would like to hear yours.? I think its important for fans of both Stormzone and yourself to understand what actually transpired with that situation..
Sebastian “Yeah when I am playing a club in Belfast for 200 people,I don’t need an opening band. I don’t need anybody to open my show. To play in a place of that size to me is a joke,I don’t even want to play there.I am playing Download with a full audience there was as many people in front of my stage at Download as Black Sabbath. You can watch the footage I’m not making this up, that’s reality. Then somebody says that Sebastian Bach solo has to play this fucking closet-this toilet. Then there is too many people, and a bunch of people cannot get in. Its a joke-a complete joke. I don’t need…………..”
Sebastian “Let me answer the question. Can I just finish or not? I don’t need to be playing the Garage in Glasgow with a pole in front of the stage with this band. They can go and play their own show. When we were leaving the show one of these “persons”in this band that I have never heard of wanted to physically fight my monitor man. When the opening band wants to fight my monitor man, they are not going to be opening for me anymore. That’s the reality of the situation, you don’t want to want to play with us go fuck yourselves. Have a great career, I’m going to play Download. Have fun at the club that you play every Friday night and play cover tunes ,I’m busy next week going to play Australia with Van Halen. I have other things to do than physically fight with a band when I play a place that seats one hundred people.Have a great career, I have my career you have yours.Have a great time”(laughs)
To be fair Stormzone are a very professional band with a long established pedigree. I believe that the band member concerned was quickly dismissed for his behaviour. I know that this behaviour is untypical of a bunch of great guys who personally hold you in esteem as a musical hero.
Sebastian” I’ve never heard of this piece of shit band. Nobody has heard of this stupid fucking band and nobody ever will. So good luck with your career”
Have I time for a few more questions?
Sebastian “Just ask the questions.”
If stranded on a dessert island what three items would you take with you?
Sebastian “My cell phone, Iphone speaker and I don’t know if I could call my girlfriend “a thing” but I would definitely bring her.”
That reply leads nicely onto my next question.Women or music?
Sebastian “I cant answer that, its too hard. I hate to disappoint all the fans reading this but I would definitely pick my girl over everything”
Final couple of questions. What is in your DVD collection apart from Abachalypse Now?
Sebastian “You know somebody asked me why I would release a DVD with three versions of the same song. I collect DVD’S and when we are on a tour bus in Europe and America a lot of the time we don’t have television. I am always looking for DVDs for the bus when travelling. One of the ones that I watched the most is an Allmann Brothers called “Brothers of the Road”. It has three concerts on it, we would put it in and watch a full show and be totally entertained. I would say to the guys”Holy fuck “there’s a shit load of concerts on this thing. There’s a lot of material so we would watch the second concert. Six months later we would watch the third concert. I cant tell you how much play that DVD got on our bus. When Frontiers Records asked me to do a DVD, I said that was really good value, so I wanted to do much more than one concert with a bunch of backstage stuff. I asked them to put as much music on there as they could. We made” Abachalypse Now” to stand the test of time so you can watch it for years to come, like “Kiss Alive”or Judas Priest”Unleashed in the East”. I’ve got to say then Allmann brothers,Kissology,which has all the high quality footage from the early days of Kiss. Another is Black Oak Arkansas “The first forty years”,its got footage from the early seventies, I saw from that were Van Halen got most of their stuff-image-wise from those guys. Its amazing to watch where the band all lived together in a commune.”
Mostly music then, what about movies as you have done some acting yourself. What type do you personally enjoy watching?
Sebastian ” My number one favorite movie of all time is The Avengers. Watching the Incredible Hulk, with Captain America and Iron Man I just love it so much. I collected comics from when I was seven years old, as I was born in sixty eight. I was buying comic books in the seventies, so I’ve only seen comic book heroes in my imagination. Then as an adult to sit in a movie theater and see these characters come alive almost makes me cry..Not from sadness, but to see the likes of the Hulk on this fucking big screen its amazing. The Avengers movie was also so realistic because the other Hulk movies didn’t do it justice. With the cgi and special effects on that I cant begin to tell you what it does to me-its unfucking believable It goes into my subconscious as a little boy reading those comics. It just totally blows my mind in every way”(laughs)
After the DVD promotion what are your plans then for the rest of the year?
Sebastian “After the shows that we discussed earlier, then I will be playing in South Africa , in Sun City with Slash on guitar. Then some USA shows. Then I am due to start my next studio record very, very soon. I am going to surprise the world this year with high energy as I do every fucking year!!
Then the book??? I remember that you mentioned that when we last talked.
Sebastian “The book is happening, sometimes during interviews I get asked questions and announce things earlier than I am supposed to. I am writing a book, and that’s all I can tell you right now. I’m still doing DVD promotion all day every day
You don’t drink anymore, so how do you escape all the workload, whats your release these days?
Sebastian “I don’t drink but I like to smoke a little pot. I can drink but choose not to. My girlfriend doesn’t like it but its preferable to drinking, i can smoke a little and try to be the best Sebastian Bach that I can.I have the most beautiful girl that I have ever seen, so that’s the choice that I have made.”
After meeting her personally last time that we spoke I think that you have made the right choice.
Sebastian “That’s so nice of you to say dude., its really really cool. When you put this up, she will appreciate your kind words, and I appreciate that too. That’s very nice. Some fans around the world think that I would like it if they told me that they loved me and criticize who I am with. I guess what they are thinking is that I am going to leave a girl that I really do love and be with them. That is not what happens. When somebody disrespects or is not nice to the girl that I love it does not make me like them. It makes me completely fucking hate them from the bottom of my fucking soul. I don’t understand that side. John Lennon went through it with Yoko Ono with people disrespecting the girl that he loved. I just don’t get that why my fans would be like that. I appreciate you listening to my music but just get involved in my personal life because its not there to do that. You do need to have a strong woman to deal with the fanatics that’s just the way that it goes.”
Thanks very much for talking to me again Sebastian
Sebastian “It was a pleasure buddy”
Release Date for Abachalypse Now [Live, 2CD+DVD] is March 26, 2013
Webzine Review for Sebastian Bach – Kicking and Screaming