Let’s turn back the clock to when Hair Metal was still the rage and no matter how hard and heavy most bands were at the time, they had their hair up to some degree (just check out Tom G. Warrior photos for evidence).
Here is an interview conducted by Carol Anne Szel (aka The Writer From Heaven) for the March 1990 issue of Powerline Magazine.
He hasn’t changed one bit since Skid Row rocketed from relative obscurity into superstardom last year. He’s still the same person he was since he ventured out on his own in hometown Toronto nearly five years ago. He hasn’t changed at all because he always had that star quality that radiates energy. He’s just who he is, the effervescently charming frontman Sebastian Bach!
It’s always an adventure meeting with Bas, the only certainty is that there is nothing certain with him! He’s honest almost to a fault, and there is no hedging around tough questions. After the success of Skid Row’s debut disc — which is now triple platinum with hits like “Piece of Me, “Youth Gone Wild,” and probably the biggest hit to date, “18 and Life” — Bas is his ever outrageous self, the same now as he was on day one, almost oblivious to fame.
“I just can’t believe that I’m lucky enough and fortunate enough to have this honor,” Bas reflects on his status. Singing for people, he says, “is an honor, you know? And f**ckin’ I won’t let those people down no matter what!”
As for fame, the vocalist claims, “I don’t really think I’m famous.” Oh. come on now, Bas, you must realize it, I ask. “Well, I am when I go to a mall or something, but I’m exactly the same as when I used to wait in line to get a Motley Crue ticket at the CNE Coliseum smoking with some dude. Exactly the same.”
He adds: “When you’re growing up you’re thinking ‘If only I could be a rock star.’ You know, you’re reading the magazines and everything… buying the albums. And when you finally get to do it, it’s more than you could ever think.. Waking up every day in a different city is great!”
Concerned with performing and making great music, Bas says, that being in the band is the greatest, too. “There’s only one thing in this business that really sucks, and that’s the business,” the surprisingly thoughtful singer reveals. “Music is about creativity of emotion and making something from the heart. Business is about mathematics and f**ckin’ bullshit. So it’s like two totally different things. We just say f*ck all that, we’re gonna make the music and let other people worry about that other stuff.”
One thing this blond frontman does definitely concern himself with are the massive and ever growing number of Skid Row fans, which must get out of control at times. “Yeah, it gets out of hand. But you know what I do? I just say, ‘Everybody take a breather.’ You know like if I come out of the arena and there’s like seven hundred people, they’ll just roar. And I’ll just go, ‘Ahhhhhh! Just take a breath, nothing is gonna happen. I’ll f*ckin’ stay right here, let’s rap.’ And I’ll go over and we’ll like sit on the grass or something, hang out, smoke a joint. Just talk to people.”
The reason for all the adoration after a show is due, of course, to the outrageously hot Skid Row performances night after night. If you’ve never seen the boys live then do yourself a favor and get thee to a concert hall when they’re in your town! Just what does this versatile vocalist think about onstage, I wonder? “”Sex and Aggression. Rebellion and sexuality. You know what I think about? I think about all the teachers and people that tried to tell me what to do with my life. And I said ‘f*ck you.’ And now I’m doing what they want to do. And their daughters are in line to f*ckin buy my album. All these f*ckin’ assholes who told me I could never do anything — screw you! I’m f*ckin’ doing it!” Like going to Russia at the age of 21, he says, “to play in front of 140,000 people.” Bas continues: “What are they doing? Working at the f*ckin’ 7-11. That’s what I think about, that’s when it comes across really rebellious and angry. There’s a lot of pent up frustration in our music and the way we are. So it comes out live.” When they’re onstage playing live, “in the middle of ‘Youth Gone Wild’ when the drums come in I stop it and I go ‘Wait a minute. I want to know one thing. Do you believe in Rock and Roll? Just like Paul Stanley said on ‘Kiss Alive.’ Then hearing 24,000 people screaming, I feel the hair on the back of my legs just going right up to the back of my neck.”
Never one to steer clear of a good time, Sebastian Back explains that he has taken vocal lessons to help keep his voice in shape for the band’s vigorous road schedule. “I took vocal lessons for a while because you have to balance out all of the partying and everything, you know,” he explains. “Because you live a lifestyle when you’re off the road, you know going out getting drunk every night, getting high and stuff like that. But then when you’re doing six or seven or even twelve or thirteen nights in a row on the road, you know, it’s hard for your voice to hold up under those conditions. Unless, of course, you take lessons. That’s why I did it, so I wouldn’t have to drop my lifestyle and sacrifice that to be responsible.” Of course, then he wouldn’t be the Sebastian that we all know and love! He screeches, “Hey, I got into rock and roll because I hated be responsible!”
And for the future of Skid Row, Mr. Bach says that one personal goal is “make a way heavier album” next time out. “Definitely,” he reinstates. “All five of us have exactly the same feelings about the next album, it’s gonna be way heavier. That’s not to say that we didn’t try to make this one heavy,” he quickly adds, “but I mean now that we’ve played a lot of gigs and stuff, we know what we play best and what we enjoy playing the most. And that’s the really heavy songs like “Big Guns,” or “Sweet Little Sister” or “Youth Gone Wild.” We like the really heavy stuff. That’s what we enjoy.”
Guess our conversation is nearing an end, Skid Row fans one and all. Hope you learned as much as I did about this future legendary rocker! Any parting thoughts, Bas? “I’m suddenly religious for the first time in my life,” the lead vocalist tells me, “because I go to sleep at night and I go ‘thank you, God, so much, for letting me do this, man.’” His philosophical advice to all Skid Row fans, “work hard, play hard and stay hard!” Alright!