Sebastian Bach (of Skid Row)
That battle cry sums up the purpose of "BRING 'EM BACH ALIVE!" the dynamic Atlantic debut from Sebastian Bach & Friends. In addition to hardcore live renditions of well-known Bach staples like "I Remember You", "Youth Gone Wild", and "Monkey Business," "BRING 'EM BACH ALIVE!" includes five brand-new songs, three of which are the first brand new studio tracks he has recorded in 5 years, recorded just for this release.
"The tour was really quite a success," Bach says, "and when Atlantic Records asked me if I wanted to do a live record, I jumped at the chance. I never did a live record before and this really arrested the spirit and energy of the performance. I'm glad I did it. I'm 100 percent proud of this record."
Recorded August 1, 1998 in Tokyo, "BRING 'EM BACH ALIVE!" captures the force and fury of Bach and his band as they burn through some of the singer's best- known tunes, including full-on versions of such favorites as "Slave To The Grind" and "18 & Life."
"They wanted sweat, blood, and volume," Bach says. "And that's just what they got."
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The story of Sebastian Bach & Friends begins in 1996, when Bach received an offer to record a track for the soundtrack to the smash hit film, Scream. When his old band opted not to cut the tune, Bach put together the Last Hard Men with Breeders guitarist Kelley Deal, guitarist Jimmy Flemion (leader of the American underground band known as the Frogs), and once-and-future Smashing Pumpkins drummer Jimmy Chamberlin to record a cover of Alice Cooper's "School's Out." The experience whetted Bach's appetite for playing rock 'n' roll to a rapturous throng.
"I was getting stir crazy being off the road," Bach recalls. "Basically, I was inspired by Kelley Deal. I was hanging out with her and she just had her own solo band - The Kelley Deal 6000 - and I went in their Winnebago for a couple of days. She just put her name up on the marquee and I said, 'Man, I can do that.'"
Bach enlisted Flemion, guitarist Richie Scarlet (best known for his work with Ace Frehley), drummer Mark "BAMBAM" McConnell (formerly of Bach's early band, Madam X), and, on bass, the man known only as Larry. Two weeks of dates turned into over one hundred gigs around the globe, including stops in Japan, Korea, and Canada, plus two weeks touring U.S. arenas with Pantera. Among the highlights of the Sebastian Bach & Friends tour were sold-out shows at packed punk clubs like NYC's Coney Island High and Hollywood's the Whiskey, but Bach remembers the first of two shows in Tokyo as among the greatest moments of his life.
"The first time we hit the stage in Japan," he recalls, "the lights went down and the sound of the crowd was the loudest, most vociferous reception I've ever experienced in my life - and I've played every big enormo-dome that you could name. It was like the bond that I had begun with these people ten years ago has only increased over time. It was all the excitement and craziness of every gig I've ever played put together into one. I'll never forget it."
Much of the fervor surrounding the Bach & Friends gigs came from the singer's impassioned performances of the songs that made him famous. While many artists attempt to separate themselves from their original hits, Bach is more than happy to give the people what they want.
"My arm says 'Youth Gone Wild' on it so I'm going to be singing that song for the rest of my life," Bach says. "There's no reason to not sing songs that I put my whole heart and soul into for my whole life, all those songs you've been cranking in your cars for the last ten years.
"It's like, here's a stage, here's a mike, here's a crowd. What song should we do? I think I'll do '18 & Life,' you know? I have a feeling I'll be in Las Vegas when I'm 75 singing 'I Remember You'... just a couple of octaves lower."
In addition to Bach co-written staples like "In A Darkened Room " and "Slave To The Grind," & the brand spankin' new "Done Bleeding", "BRING 'EM BACH ALIVE!" includes three songs written by the famously prolific Flemion. Though Bach's name appears on the album cover, the singer has never been one to let ego get in the way of the quality of his work.
"My first concern, ever since I started in the business, is to make great albums," he says. "I'm not out to prove I'm the ultimate songwriter. I just think Jimmy has a lot to offer and I'm really proud to sing his material."
Two of Flemion's songs - "Blasphemer" and "Superjerk, Superstar, Supertears" - were recorded at New York City's Electric Lady Studios and Nashville, Tennessee's WireWorld Studio with famed session drummer Anton Fig, while his "The Most Powerful Man In The World" was a regular highlight of the Sebastian Bach & Friends gigs.
"He's a six-foot-seven, wing-wearing lunatic," says Bach of Flemion. "Part of the audience sound that you hear on the record is peoples' jaws hitting the floor when they see the band. I'm six-foot-five and I wear heels, Jimmy's like seven feet with his heels and these nine-foot-in-diameter green sequined wings. It's just unbelievable."
"BRING 'EM BACH ALIVE!" was co-produced by Bach and renowned producer Michael Wagener (Skid Row, Metallica , Ozzy Osbourne, Janet Jackson)
"I figured if it's going to have my name on the cover, I'd better take responsibility for everything," Bach says. "I'm super proud of how the guitars sound and the overall production. Michael and I are already planning to work together again, because of 'BRING 'EM BACH ALIVE!'"
Yet another awesome aspect of "BRING 'EM BACH ALIVE! " is the CD packaging . Each CD comes complete with 2 sheets of Sebastian's tattoos .... lifesize ...... a 10 page comic book done by Marvel Comics artist Mort Todd ...... & artwork done by Sebastian's father , artist David Bierk ( who also painted the cover for Skid Row's # 1 Billboard album "Slave To The Grind " , which was voted the 4th best album cover of the year in 1991 by Rolling Stone Magazine ).
Bach is already hard at work writing his next record - for regular updates, check out his www.sebastianweb.com site - with the aim of bringing hard rock into the new millennium. Until then, "BRING 'EM BACH ALIVE!," amply demonstrates the eternal majesty and magic of Sebastian Bach's special brand of good-times heavy rock 'n' roll.
"This music is timeless," he says. "It strikes a major chord with people. I was walking down the street in New York City at about 4 in the morning and these construction workers come up to me and my lady and they go, 'Sebastian Bach? We fucking love you man! We grew up to your music!' It's amazing. Being only 30 years old, sometimes I kind of cringe at the words 'classic rock,' but hey man, there's nothing like a classic."