Intervju med Sebastian Bach.
Mannen med den blonda manen och "Youth gone wild" tatuerat på armen är nu aktuell med ett livepaket bestående av både dvd och cd. "Abachalypse now" är en fyndig titel och det låter inte alls så tokigt.
Mitt första samtal med herr Bach var 2011 i samband med att "Kicking and screaming" kom ut. Då var han en sprudlande rockstjärna med ett smort munläder. Nu två år senare låter det inte riktigt likadant. Visst är telelinan till LA fullkomligt horribel och det är svårt att höra vad han säger, men faktum är att han låter lite småfull, trots sin nyligen proklamerade nykterhet.
Nåvä, det blev ett kort samtal om livepaketet, hans kommande bok, nya studioalbumet och nykterheten.
Great opening with ”Slave to the grind” on the live cd!
Sebastian: Cool! I´m glad you like it.
It really sets the tone for the show.
Sebastian: Yeah. I´ve tried other ones in the past, but that one is a very tough one to beat, as far as an opening song.
How long did it take to come up with that clever title “Abachalypse now”?
Sebastian: I was complaining about something and my fiancé said to me “You´re having an abachalypse.” and I thought it was a ridiculous word and just a play with “Apocalypse now”, but then I thought it would be funny to call the dvd that and now everybody talks about it and rocks about it and it grabs your attention and that´s what a good title does.
What´s the plan for a new album then? Are you writing new stuff?
Sebastian: Yeah, I´m doing a new album now and I´m working very hard on it. I´m working with John 5 that I did this song “Tunnel vision” with on “Kicking and screaming” and I´m also working with Steve Stevens from Billy Idol´s band who I met at Camp Freddy. I´m also working with Jeff George and he´s got some good riffs, but mostly it´s Steve Stevens and John 5 on this record. Possibly Nuno Bettencourt, who´s playing with Rhianna.
Cool! Are you looking at a release later this year or early next year?
Sebastian: This year! My record company (Frontiers) is very into me putting out a new cd, which is pretty cool. I´m taking them up on their plan.
Are you working with Bob Marlette once again?
Sebastian: Yeah, I love Bob Marlette´s production. He captures my voice really, really well on the last record. I kept asking him “What buttons are you pushing to make it sound like that?” and he said “That´s all you, dude!” (laughs) I really think he did a great job. He captured my voice for sure.
When I talked to you last time (2011), you mentioned that you´d written stuff with Jamey Jasta that never made the album.
Sebastian: Yeah, I did. I listened to it when I was working out and I loved it and then I tried to write songs of it, but my voice sounds the best when it´s clean. When I listen to the last record, like the song “My own worst enemy” when I sing pure and clean, I think it sounds really special and I´m one of the few singers that can sing clean and high in that range and you have to release what you do best and I love those tunes with Jamey Jasta, but when with Nick Sterling it was more melodic and I just think that suits my voice better.
Will there be a connection with “Kicking and screaming”?
Sebastian: It´ll be the next record after the first Skid Row album, Slave to the grind, B-side ourselves, Subhuman race, Bring ém Bach alive, Angel down, Kicking and screaming, Abachalypse now… (laughs) I never say to myself “Oh, this record is gonna be like…”, I´ve never done that in my whole career. I just try to make music that I wanna do and I want you to listen to. There´s no rules. My taste is high energy rock and roll and I want to put something in there that I feel makes sense. There´s not a big plan or anything.
You hooked up with Steve Stevens through Camp Freddy then?
Sebastian: Yes. I played with him all over the world at Camp Freddy and we´re about to go to Australia next week and play with Van Halen, which is incredible. We just played last week here in Hollywood and he´s an amazingly talented guitar player and I´ve always looked up to him, so I feel very lucky to play with him.
I read that you´re playing Sun City in South Africa. A long time ago that was a big no no. Have you played there before?
Sebastian: No, I´ve never been to South Africa. I´m kinda surprised that we´re playing there, but evidently apartheid is gone and over with and I´ll play anywhere. I don´t have a master of list of cities that I will not play. (laughs) The fans have a funny idea of how concerts work. Every day I go online on Facebook or Twitter and it´s just all these “When are you coming to Indonesia? Why won´t you play Argentina? When are you coming to the UK?”. I don´t book my shows. Promoters tell the bands where they want to play. The bands don´t just go “I´m coming to Indonesia!”, it doesn´t work like that. I´ll play anywhere. For the whole time, never in the history of the world, have someone said “Sebastian, do you wanna play in this city?” and I said “No!”. It never happened. People keep asking me like “When are you coming to Indonesia?” and I´m coming to Indonesia the very second Indonesia asks me to come.
What about your acting career? I know you did “Californication” kinda recently. Do you have any more plans for acting ahead?
Sebastian: Yes. There are plans for another theater piece later this year. I´m not allowed to say what it is yet and there might actually be another TV-show before that, so there is some more acting on the table.
What was “Californication” like? That´s an excellent show.
Sebastian: Yeah, “Californication” is totally embracing rock and roll for sure. The whole story, the whole plot of the year just rocks. (laughs). I was hanging out on the set and I said to David Duchovny; “Does the pope shit in the woods?”, just one of the things I say and then I watched the show and my line ends up on the show. (laughs) It´s like “What the fuck? They stole my line!”. I should get retain credit for that. (laughs) I wonder if the new pope shits in the woods?
When are we gonna see the Sebastian Bach book?
Sebastian: Yeah, I´m working on it this now and I have a big offer from a big book company. I´m pretty much the only rock and roller who doesn´t have a book. I´m working on it now actually.
Are you gonna name names and tell all the stories? The truth and nothing but the truth?
Sebastian: Good question. Someone said that it´s not proper to put people down in a book and I agree with that. Sometimes when I read books and the author is bitter and wants to put people down, it doesn´t come across well in the book, to me. I want it to be a positive book. I don´t want to rip people apart or put them down. I don´t like that in books.
Are you writing with someone?
Sebastian: No, actually I´m not. When I first got the deal, they wanted me to use a co-writer and I thought that was bullshit. At the same time, I had to prove to them I was capable of writing a book on my own. What happened was, I was offered a book deal initially on the premise that I would "co-write" it with a "professional" writer. I did not want to do that. But I had to prove that I was up to the task on my own. So I locked myself in a room at The House of the Royal Order and didn't come out till I had written something I was proud of. I submitted this to the publishing company and they totally dug it. When they told me they wanted me to write the book on my own, it meant more to me than you could ever know I said “I can? Wow!”. It meant a lot to me, so I´m taking it very seriously and I don´t plan on writing just one book over the course of my life. I´d like to write more than one. I love Henry Rollins´books! His books are amazing, like “Black coffee blues” and “Get in the van”. He´s just a great writer and I love the way he writes. I used to write on my website all the time and now I´m just kinda taking it off the internet and putting it into the pages of the book. That´s what I´m trying to do.
Do you have any idea when it will be released? Next year?
Sebastian: Sooner rather than later. I´m quite overwhelmed with my life right now. For some reason I have so many opportunities falling into my lap, that it´s almost overwhelming and I´m just trying to deal with it and say yes to things I wanna do. I´m very, very busy and I´m just trying to deal with all that.
I´ve read that you´ve been sober for some time now and I guess it has changed things. Is that something you now feel you should have done sooner?
Sebastian: Interesting question. I have to think of a response to that. Being sober is exactly what it means in the word. When you say the serenity prayer, you say “Lord, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and wisdom to know the difference.”. Being serene keeps me being pretty level headed emotionally and not like a roller coaster of emotions, unpredictable emotions and being really loud or angry or sad. Being serene means being pretty level headed and that´s a challenge in life or in rock and roll because of the excitement and energy. Being sober lets me handle things easier. A good example is Hellfest in France which is on “Abachalypse now”. I remember rocking on the stage with my girl Minnie and it was in the middle of the afternoon and we hadn´t really eaten anything and there was like 50.000 people or whatever. If I was hung over and in that situation, it might not have been such a good show, but I just looked at this challenging situation and what comes into my head is “I´ve got this. I know exactly what to do.” and basically feeling up to the challenge instead of throwing a big hissy fit or destroy the backstage area, if I didn´t get a sandwich. I did that, years before, many, many times. (laughs) How has it changed me? I´m more serene and not so loud and up and down emotionally. It´s a good thing and it´s good for me. I used to scare people. My girl told me “When you´re drunk, you´re fucking scary. You´re big and tall and sweaty and gross. When you don´t drink, your whole demeanor changes.”. I don´t wanna lose my girl or lose my looks or lose my talent or lose my career or my voice. I can be sober and keep all of those things and have a great life and that´s what I´m choosing to do.