There are just two months remaining until the second annual ROCK CARNIVAL – taking place on September 30, October 1 and October 2 at its new location in Lakewood, NJ at FirstEnergy Park – home of the Lakewood Blue Claws! The festival is thrilled to be hosted at their new home, which will feature a more efficient layout for attendees to enjoy activities.
HALESTORM and THE USED Join New Jersey’s ROCK CARNIVAL
Additional Headliners Include Twisted Sister (Last Area Appearance!), Alice Cooper & Daughtry + Performers Clutch, Sebastian Bach, Overkill, Ace Frehley, Monster Magnet, Fuel & More…
The Northeast’s Only Classic Carnival + Rock n’ Roll Festival Experience is BACK!
Sept. 30-Oct. 2, 2016 @ FirstEnergy Park in Lakewood, NJ
“Our ballpark is well positioned with ample space on the field, the seats, the concourse, and the front of the park, plus with substantial parking space, to maximize the experience for each fan,” states Steve Farago, VP of Operations & Events, Lakewood Blue Claws.
More room also equals more food trucks! As last year’s attendees know, one of the largest attractions at the ROCK CARNIVAL is the wide array of food trucks. Based on 2015’s high demand, the number of food trucks serving their scrumptious culinary creations at this year’s carnival has been boosted to 50! See below for a preliminary list of returning and new food truck vendors:
Tater’s Half Baked
Luigi’s Ice Cream
The Empanada Guy
Oink and Moo BBQ
John and Debbie O’s Concessions
The Angry Crab
House of Cupcakes
Aussie Pie Guys
The Caribbean Soul
One Big Party BBQ
The Little Sicilian
Big Dogg Festival Food
Glazed and Confused Mini Donuts
+ Many more to be announced!
Additionally, the ROCK CARNIVAL will feature several local arts and entertainment, awareness and clothing vendors. Vendors will include:
Eyellusion Tech (the team behind Wacken Open Air’s Ronnie James Dio hologram!)
Phil Kunto Studios
As with its inaugural year – which drew a staggering 50,000+ attendees – the second annual ROCK CARNIVAL will also feature classic amusement rides and entertainment, high-action Professional Wrestling, a wide selection of tasty brews, pig racing and more. This year’s event will also see the addition of a children’s fun zone. It’s a weekend of big fun for the whole family!
As mentioned above, ROCK CARNIVAL is pleased to announce the addition of top-charting rockers Halestorm and The Used to the Sunday line-up. The bands join a stellar line-up currently featuring Friday’s headliner, shock rock king Alice Cooper, and Saturday’s presentation of Twisted Sister’s official tri-state farewell performance. The show will also feature Daughtry – featuring its namesake Chris Daughtry, contestant on the fifth season of Fox’s American Idol – Clutch, Overkill, Ace Frehley, Fuel, Monster Magnet, Life Of Agony, Sebastian Bach, Jim Breuer and the Loud & Rowdy, and many more.
GRAMMY® Award-winning band Halestorm’s latest album, Into The Wild Life, debuted in the top 5 on the SoundScan/Billboard 200 upon its release last year while also entering Billboard’s Top Hard Rock Albums tally at #1 – both marking Halestorm’s highest chart placement to date. The album’s first three singles reached the top 5 at active rock. Halestorm are currently on the road supporting Shinedown on the Carnival of Madness Tour before heading out later this fall for another leg of their headline tour with support from Lita Ford and Dorothy.
Halestorm states, “SUNDAY, SUNDAY, SUNDAY! We can’t wait to bring the rock n’ roll madness with all of our Freaks at the second annual ROCK CARNIVAL! We just really want to watch the pig racing! See you there!”
RIAA Gold-Certified rockers The Used will join ROCK CARNIVAL along their 2016 15th anniversary tour, celebrating the release of their highly-influential 2001 self-titled record. Upon the album’s release, The Used became the unexpected face of a new generation of youth culture. This year, the band released a reimagined acoustic version of that same seminal record, recorded live with a full orchestra and entitled Live and Acoustic at the Palace. The Used’s most recent full-length studio album, Imaginary Enemy, entered the Billboard Independent Album chart at #1 in its first week, while landing within the Top 20 on the Billboard 200 chart.
The Used singer Bert McCracken adds, “We look forward to heading back to NJ for the Rock Carnival to play for those die-hard Used fans. See you all in October!”
This year’s festivities will also include a brand new “Classic” Friday night celebration, which will feature tributes to classic rock favorites! Almost Queen will play your Queen favorites, Alive! ’75 will take us back with some KISS, and Zakk Sabbath – featuring vocalist/guitarist Zakk Wylde (Black Label Society, Ozzy Osbourne), bassist Blasko (Ozzy Osbourne, ex-Rob Zombie) and drummer Joey Castillo (ex-Queens Of The Stone Age) – will perform Black Sabbath classics.
“ROCK CARNIVAL is very excited to finally announce Halestorm, The Used and the others who will help round out this year’s line-up,” states ROCK CARNIVAL producer John D’Esposito. “The festival outlined a plan that would deliver famous classic rock Friday, strong family friendly rock packaging Saturday and to close Sunday with active radio rock headliner. We put a strong emphasis on stacking the line up with New Jersey and immediate area acts who have had a long tradition of playing the infamous Jersey rock scene over years. Horns in the air, let’s get ready to rock!”
See below for the current line-up, with more artists being added leading up to the main event.
Friday, September 30th
Blue Oyster Cult
+ more tributes!
Saturday, October 1st
Cycle of Pain
Four By Fate
Texas Hippie Coalition
Sunday, October 2nd
Cinderella’s Tom Keifer
Jim Breuer and the Loud & Rowdy
Life Of Agony
+ more TBA!
Music will take place on multiple stages, including two main festival stages, side by side, on the field. Fans will have general admission access to the stadium field. The musical portion of the event will once again feature the Birch Hill stage, a very popular performance area, with the addition of another performance area showcasing developing artists.
Reserved weekend, GA weekend, single day, VIP and Skybox tickets for this year’s ROCK CARNIVAL are on sale now. Single day tickets are just $44.99! Carnival and concert entry is FREE for all children under 16 and Adult Carnival Only Admission is $15 in advance, $20 at the Carnival. Carnival Only Admission does not include stadium access.
GM: What was the inspiration behind your album’s title “Give ‘Em Hell?”
SB: It is an old comic book term. Like Marvel Comics, like ‘get in there, give ‘em hell!’. It is like ‘go get ‘em, go give it your all, go kick some ass, go give ‘em hell!’. I do not know if it is a term here in England but that is an American kind of ‘go get ‘em, give it everything you got’. (laughs) Like.. it is something a dad says to his son before he goes out to bat in a baseball game like ‘go give ‘em hell, boy’. That is also what I feel like when going on stage. I am like ‘okay dude, get out there and give ‘em hell’.
So it is like a fun, lighthearted term but then the artist who painted the cover goes ‘Give ‘Em Hell aha’ and I go ‘yeah!’ and I said ‘it is like.. you know it is fun…’ ‘I am just gonna put you in hell’ And I go ‘aaalright!’ (laughs) It is heavy metal and I was under a deadline, so I go ‘okay put me in fucking hell’ and so that is the cover. Then someone is like ‘I do not want you in [hell]… You do not worship the devil’ I go ‘I do not…everybody settle the fuck down. It is a painting. I do not have horns in my head.’ To me it looks like ‘Bark At The Moon’ or Kiss’ ‘Destroyer’ or ‘Highway to Hell’ with Angus with the little devil. It is just… I am not trying to scare anybody. It is just imagery.
I try to make every record I do fit with the other records that I did, yet have its own completely identifiable character. You know what I am saying? I do not want it to sound the same as the other records I did but I want it to fit. Like if you are listening on your phone and the headphones to ‘Slave To The Grind’, I would like you to be able to put on ‘Give ‘Em Hell’ after that and enjoy it in the same way. That is my purpose.
Like bands like Black Sabbath, Black Sabbath ‘13’. Tony Iommi has cancer, Ozzy Osbourne is in his mid-60s but that album is a Black Sabbath album. And that is… I am fortunate enough to be born with this throat and I sound the same as I did when I was 19. It makes no fucking sense. It should not be like this. But, knock on wood, I am just lucky. Like Steven Tyler of Aerosmith still sounds amazing and he is in his mid-60s. So I will be doing the same thing. I WILL be. I am lucky… I am fortunate that I can scream and sing the way I do, so you know maybe I will get some gray hair around the edges and maybe I will not look like I am 19 but for some reason my voice is like… nobody told me that! (laughs) My voice has a life of its own and always has. Just lucky.
GM: So what would you say is the main difference between the tracks on your new album ‘Give ‘Em Hell’ and older ones on e.g. ‘Kicking & Screaming’?
SB: Well ‘Kicking & Screaming’ was written a lot by a guy called Nick Sterling. This kid that was in my band, that I was very impressed by him at the time. But it did not work out between me and him in the long run which is really unfortunate but I am a… I do not know what the right word is… I get the job done. I. Get. The. JOB. Done. No matter who is in my band. I do not put out a record that, if I do not feel like it is a 100%, that it can be it, then it does not come out. So some people say ‘well you have to work with them’. No. Because my job has been with me for 10 years, we do not get in arguments. You know, Duff McKagan, I get along great with him. He plays on half the record. Steve Stevens from Billy Idol’s band plays on three songs. John 5 is on the first single ‘Temptation’. But these guys love to work with me. If you do not want to be the best you can be, then I am hard to work with. Like if you just want to put something out to get paid, I am not your guy. I want it to sound like the best it can sound and I will not rest until it sounds that way to me.
GM: That is great and rare nowadays, especially with younger musicians.
SB: I know what you are saying. The difference between a singer like me or Ozzy or Steven Tyler. When I started out, you could not be a lead singer unless you had your own sound that was all your own. Let me explain that. Ozzy Osbourne – nobody sounds like that. Jon Bon Jovi – you know his voice. Steven Tyler – nobody sounds like that. Vince Neil – nobody sounds like that. Rob Halford – nobody sounds like that. Sebastian Bach… I had my own sound. I do not sound like Axl Rose. All of us are identifiable in our vocals and immediately when you hear me sing or talk you know that is Sebastian Bach. Same with all the stars of when we were kids. These days, what you just said, I do not think that anybody tries in bands now coming up. I do not hear any lead vocalist that is coming with his own new, brand new, unique sound. Like none. Zero. If there are some, tell me! (laughs)
GM: I will throw Chester Bennington at you.
SB: But that is not new. He is great! But Linkin Park has been around for a long time. I mean, when I pick up Kerrang and all these bands in there, I have never heard of any of them. I think the reason is because they are not unique, that is the word I am looking for, unique. If there are some singers, just tell me because I collect this shit. (laughs) So I am always looking for a great singer. The last amazing singer I have ever heard was Jeff Buckley. I do not know if you know who that is but if you want to hear the most astonishing vocals, get the Jeff Buckley album ‘Grace’. It is just… I cannot believe this guy’s voice. I cannot believe this is like from the mid-90s and all that time I have not heard a vocalist [like that]. Maybe I am missing somebody, I do not know. What a shame.
GM: Where do you usually get your inspiration from for songs and lyrics? How do you create songs within the band?
SB: Well, you know, each song is different and each album is different but my goal is to make some music that I want to listen to over and over and over and over again because, lord knows, the first Skid Row album, people have been playing that album for 25 years and they always will. Nobody gets sick of it. So that is my goal. I want to make a record that you can listen to the rest of your life. You know and that is kind of a major accomplishment. I mean, I do not even know if I am accomplishing it. To me, I am. You know those things only come to light over the course of time. So to my ears ‘Kicking & Screaming’ and ‘Angel Down‘, they sound really good, so that is all I can do. I did not know when we were making the first Skid Row album that anybody would like that. You do not know that when you are making it. You are like jamming and ‘We Are The Youth Gone Wild’ – oh that is cool! And then the whole fucking planet fucking freaks out! You do not know that while you are doing it.
GM: So you do not have a gut feeling?
SB: Well yeah but it is the same feeling I have when I make ‘Give ‘Em Hell’. It is the same gut feeling, you know. What you are putting out has a life of its own and it goes into the world. People check it out and you cannot really control what happens. Once it is out, it is like putting a fucking stamp on a letter and putting it in the mailbox, you know. That is what it is like. It is like ‘okaaayyy we are done, sending this off’. Then whatever happens to that is beyond anybody’s control. But I do know one thing. If I get hit by a truck and I am no longer here, ‘Give ‘Em Hell’ will sell a lot. (laughs)
GM: Which song on ‘Give Em Hell’ is closest to your heart and why?
SB: Well I do not really want to explain it. It is all about sex, the whole song is. And also alcohol. It is about drinking, booze and fucking! (laughs) Got to write about what you know. I do not drink anymore and I am in love with a girl very deeply that I really want to marry and stuff but I still have to work on that. The song ‘Temptation’ is about being tempted by things. (laughs)
GM: Nice way of explaining it!
SB: I do not really want to explain it. You have to listen to it yourself.
GM: So, on the new album ‘All My Friends Are Dead’ is one of my favourite songs.
SB: I love that, too, yeah.
GM: It is a great tune and I was just wondering what the meaning and story behind it is?
SB: Well it is not meant to be taken literally. It is like… funny. I bought this t-shirt with a baby dinosaur and he is going like this (makes a sad face) and it says ‘All my friends are dead.’ I thought it was so funny. I was walking around the grocery store and this old lady, just fucking in front of me, she stopped, she starts laughing her head off. I go ‘What?’. She goes ‘Your shirt! It is ridiculous!’ (laughs) It is like ‘All my friends are dead.’’ and I was like, okay, that creates a reaction in people. So I just thought it was funny.
But it is also a commentary. Also on ‘Temptation’. There is a lyrical theme to the whole record and, you know, when I have friends that die from drinking or drugs, that is an inspiration for me to not drink and to not do drugs and I do not drink anymore. So, one of the reasons I do not drink is because ‘All My Friends Are Dead’. (laughs) Not all of them!
We are the left behind, condemned to prophesize eternal rest and peace. It is about having friends that died and we are still alive – what does that mean? To me that means I want to take care of myself and be healthy and do this for as long as I possibly can. So that is what it is all about.
GM: Last question, what is the biggest lesson you have learnt in the music business and life so far?
SB: The biggest lesson I ever learnt in life? Do not get married. (laughs)
GM: And in the music business?
SB: Just go with that last answer because no lesson is heavier than that. (laughs) It is like ‘What the fuck did I do that for, Jesus!’ (laughs)
A three band bill at the Academy tonight gives us two up and coming new acts, both supporting their début albums and also a bona fide rock legend in the form of one Sebastian Bach, a man with a 25 year career in the business already and currently experiencing something of a resurgence in popularity thanks to recent albums ‘Angel Down’, ‘Kicking & Screaming’ and current release ‘Give Em Hell’. On stage first to a reasonable sized crowd is Sweden’s Mia Klose.
Touring with some high profile acts at the moment, Mia and band play in support of Mia’s début album ‘London’ , the name of the city where she currently lives. The songs aired tonight are mostly from said début and translate very well to the live stage. Songs like ‘Open Your Eyes’ , ‘Living for Love’ and ‘Never Too Late’ sound stronger and deeper live and the added harmonies from the band on the choruses (something I’d commented was lacking in a previous review) really flesh out the great 80’s vibe of the music. Musically, Jon Evans and Karl Arheden provide some great 80’s styled licks and Connor Meighan’s basslines are as ever supported by Henry Rogers on drums
Mia clearly has a good stage presence, works the crowd well and has an amazing knack for promotion which sees her throwing baseball caps into the crowd to help spread the word about the band long after the gig is over. It’s only a short 6 song set (the afore mentioned songs plus ‘Mama’ and ‘Memory Lane’) and includes a great cover at the end of Guns ‘n’ Roses’ ‘You Could be Mine’ which goes down very well with the crowd.
If you are or were ever a fan of Lita Ford, Blondie, Lee Aaron, Phantom Blue and Vixen then you’ll know what to expect from Mia and that’s no bad thing.
Steadily playing more and more gigs and building a solid reputation as a live act, Toseland take to the stage next. Fronted by James Toseland, the double world superbikes champion (Yes you read that right!) we have a band with a lead singer that shows as much determination to succeed in the music business as he clearly has done on the track. It’s certainly some career move for James but one that is paying off as he’s got quite a set of pipes on him and he and his band produce some solid hard rock that fits perfectly on the bill tonight.
His stage gear is considerably understated, being a simple black t-shirt and jeans combo but he makes up for the (almost Springsteen like) look with a great stage presence that makes it seem as if he’s been doing this all of his life rather than as someone on their début album.
The album ‘Renegade’ has been produced by Toby Jepson of Little Angels fame and the songs played tonight show his influences for catchy hook led tracks. The added grit in the songs also reflects James’ former career on 2 wheels so all in all it’s a great combination.
Gotta Be a Better Way
Burning the System
Singer in a Band
Life Is Beautiful
And so to the main event. When you look at the last 25 years of Sebastian Bach’s career you get a sense of just what he’s accomplished. As the original voice of Skid Row, producing 3 albums with the band he then went on to a succession of Broadway musicals including: Jekyll & Hyde: The Musical and the Rocky Horror Show as well as Jesus Christ Superstar across the US, all of which were critically acclaimed for his performances. He’s done reality TV with VH1: Supergroup and I Married Sebastian Bach but in recent years, he’s made a real impact back on the rock and metal scene with some very very solid releases culminating in the current ‘Give Em Hell’ which is the reason we see him her in London tonight.
Energetic does not describe the man sufficiently as he bounds on stage and immediately starts head banging to the music, his long blonde mane flying everywhere. He maintains that level of energy throughout the show and it’s pleasing to see and hear a man with as much grit, determination, energy and vocal prowess even after 25 years in the business. This is not a man living on past glories as would be so easy to do, he’s clearly here and playing tonight because he’s very much still relevant to the current rock and metal scene.
The set therefore blends comfortably the older material (the crowd pleasers) and the newer material and everything gets received equally well by the crowd. ‘Slave to the Grind’ from the 2nd Skid Row album kicks off the set and it’s great to hear THE voice that should sing these songs. ‘Temptation’ follows from ‘Give Em Hell’ and shows a artist still very much in touch with modern rock music.
His banter with the crowd is great fun and the grin never leaves his face for the entire show, again proving just how much he is genuinely enjoying this phase of his career. An indication of his current appeal is shown with the age span of people in the crowd. The front few rows are crammed with 20-something girls that look no different to the 20-somethings that were in the front rows when Skid Row’s early albums were released. As you move further back through the crowd, the male fans here get gradually older with many matching Sebastian’s age and who probably did seem him first time around in the late 80’s early 90’s. It’s great to see such a wide mix of people and is proof positive that this type of music is never a fad and is here for the long haul.
The crowd sing ’18 and Life’ back to the stage word for word and repeat the process for ‘I Remember You’ which clearly moves Sebastian who affirms his appreciation for coming out to see him tonight. Odds are the venue might have even been fuller had both Extreme and Vain not been playing the same night in London. Whoever schedules these tours should consider who else is playing as many people are fans of all three bands and would have been torn as to which to see tonight.
The set finishes with “that song”. It’s one of those tracks like Doro’s ‘All We Are’, Tyketto’s ‘Forever Young’, Meat Loaf’s ‘Bat Out of Hell’ etc.. that will survive long after the bands and artists are no more. The cheer that greets ‘Youth Gone Wild’ is immense and sees the crowd as you might expect at their most energetic.
A great show from a great front man. Long may he continue.
All Vocals: Sebastian Bach
Guitars: John 5 / Steve Stevens / Devin Bronson
Bass: Duff McKagan
Drums: Bobby Jarzombek
01. Hell Inside My Head
03. All My Friends Are Dead
05. Push Away
07. Had Enough
08. Gun To A Knife Fight
09. Rock N Roll Is A Vicious Game
10. Taking Back Tomorrow
12. Forget You
Sebastian Bach (ex-Skid Row), the man with tha largest flap in Rock, released a few days ago his new album “Give ‘Em Hell”. Bach takes every opportunity to tell everybody how great he is and of course he said this about his new effort as well. If megalomania is a disease, Sebastian Bach suffers from it. But what lies behind these big words? Let’s find out!
I won’t talk so much about his past with Skid Row now, because this topic was talked to death already. Instead of it let’s focus on what Sebastian Bach has reached in his solo career: his first solo record “Angel Down” which consisted of screaming, screaming … and screaming, the follow-up “Kicking & Screaming” which was a really good symbiosis between Bach’s typical screams and his more melodic side. And now three years later his third album “Give ‘Em Hell”, which continues the way from its predecessor. No wait a minute – it sounds exactly like “Kicking & Screaming”. Most of the new songs feel like they were written back then, so I can’t see a true development here, which would make this album better than the last one. To me it sounds even more uninspired when it comes to songwriting.
If you want to have an album just for headbanging and you love a modern approach in Heavy Metal then this one is for you. But if you love big hooks, old-school Metal/Hard Rock and passionate vocals you are definitely wrong here. Bach fans will hate me for this but in my opinion Bach isn’t as good as he was back in the 80’s/90’s. All vocal lines on this album sound so sterile and stereotypical and it sounds like they used some voice effects. He delivers a solid performance, but one thing is hardly missed: emotions. Yes, the man still can switch between clear singing and rough screaming and this is something I always liked about this guy but looking back at songs like “I Remember You” or “18 and Life” his performance had a much more emotional impact on me. I’m talking not about the songwriting here, just about his singing. Most of all I was shocked when I saw a live video some months ago, where I couldn’t identify the song because he sounded that worse! Ok this isn’t the case on this particular record, but I’d like to hear him sing with more passion again. At the moment he can’t reach me with his style of singing.
Yeah and also the songs sadly have a lack of passion. There are some solid tunes like “Temptation”, “Harmony” or the hard rockin’ “Gun To A Knife Fight” and even a very good one named “Had Enough”, which has lots of hit potential, but I really miss an over-the-top-hit here. Instead of this we get lots of songs with melodies and riffs you’ve heard many times before, especially on “Kicking & Screaming”.
This is due to the arrangements which are often very similar to each other and nearly all songs sound like Modern Rock – to my ears a bit too modern. Only “Rock N Roll Is A Vicious Game” breaks the chains – this song stands out here because of the use of different instrumentation (acoustic guitar, harmonica). I would have loved to see some more of this variety on “Give ‘Em Hell”. All in all “Kicking & Screaming” had the better songs, although that album had also some of the same problems.
What saves this album from being just average stuff are the fantastic musicians on here and the crisp and clear in-your-face-production by Bob Marlette. You’ll get to hear John 5 (Marilyn Manson, Rob Zombie), Steve Stevens (Billy Idol), Devin Bronson (Avril Lavigne) and Bobby Jarzombek (Halford & Riot) on this record and they all are high-class musicians with different backgrounds. Each one of them delivers great performances here, so that every song rocks as hell.
To come to an end: you see, I’m not so satisfied with this album. It isn’t that mindblowing, although Sebastian Bach always says it is. Like I mentioned above: if you need an album just to rock out then go and grab this one – it is heavy, features some more or less solid songs and a solid performance by Bach. But to me it needs a bit more than this to convince me.
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 desert 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