Volume 93, Issue 72
Tuesday, February 8, 2000
|ARTS AND ENTERTAINMENT
Sebastian Bach puts cock back into rawk
Gazette file photo
IS THAT A SNAKE IN YOUR POCKET, OR WERE YOU JUST IN AN '80S ROCK BAND? Ex-Skid Row frontman Sebastian Bach relfects on his new life, his new music and his old wardrobe.
By David Perri
It's 1989. You're in high school and the hottest single on the radio is Skid Row's "18 and Life." You casually push aside your shoulder length hair and proudly display your Motley Crue shirt for all to see.
Fast forward to 2000. As much as you wish you didn't remember those times, they are an integral part of your history. You were a rocker and your tape collection was filled with the likes of Guns n' Roses, Poison, Ratt and of course, Skid Row.
Although you might wince at those days and wonder why you ever decided to invest in that denim, patch covered jacket, some individuals are actually reveling in those memories cashing in on nostalgia, if you will. Sebastian Bach is one of them.
Remember him? Of course. Tracks like "Youth Gone Wild" and "I Remember You" once seemingly thrown into the '80s relics bin are being plundered once more. After holding all of rock 'n' roll in his hands from 1989 to 1992, Bach is making a comeback and the time is ripe.
From those late night infomercials pitching "'80s Glam Superstars!" to Great White and Cinderella signing major label deals once again, it seems the music industry is starting to realize Kurt Cobain killed off a genre of music that's still profitable.
One needs only to look at the success of Buckcherry, Def Leppard's new single "Promises" or the massive amounts of tickets sold for Poison's summer tour to realize the spandex 'n' makeup look can be fresh and viable for an audience weaned on gloomy grunge and Fred Durst's red cap. Bach's new disc, appropriately titled Bring 'Em Bach Alive!, is comprised of five new tracks and 10 classic Skid Row tunes performed live in front of a Japanese audience.
Having already gone gold in Japan (and closing in on platinum), Spitfire Records has high hopes for the re-emergence of Bach in North America.
"The first single was "(I'll Never Turn My Back On) Rock 'N' Roll" and that did really well and is still doing well in the United States on FM radio," remarks an upbeat and ever-energetic Bach. "The second single is called "Superjerk, Superstar, Supertears" and that's coming out in two weeks right when we hit the road,"
But what ever did happen to Skid Row after 1995's Subhuman Race release? "[Skid Row's] idea of what is a good rock band started changing drastically and I think that's what led to me getting kicked out in December '96," he says somberly.
Bach's new band is comprised of Anton Fig on drums (The David Letterman Band), Ritchie Scarlett (The Ace Frehely Band) on rhythm guitars, Paul Crook on lead guitars (Anthrax) and Larry (whose last name is a mystery) on bass. "If I could tour in any band, it would be the one I'm in now," Sebastianmentioned, laughing boisterously. "I'm totally happy being in control. We're selling tons of tickets."
Bring 'Em Bach Alive! is an amalgam of all that is Bach. From the power of the live performances, highlighted by "Slave To The Grind" and "Youth Gone Wild," to the sheer catchiness of "18 and Life" and "I Remember You," Bach and his band still have it.
As for the five new tracks, two match up with the best Skid Row had to offer. The first single, "Rock 'N' Roll" is a groove-infested ride, brought to a higher level by its sing-along chorus. "Superjerk, Superstar, Supertears" has the potential to break through on radio and MTV, while "Done Bleeding" and "Counterpunch" sound oddly like Pantera's brand of heaviness.
"I'm not just doing songs from 10 years ago although I will not stop doing them because I love those songs and that's part of my past but my main focus is to make brand new music," Bach states, with obvious excitement.
"I've put a lot of effort into the music. If [the fans] liked the stuff in the '80s, check out the live versions of all those songs they like. If you want to hear '18 and Life' done the proper way, done live in front of an audience, check out the brand new record."
Copyright © The Gazette 2000