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Bach to the Future

[whitespace] Sebasian Bach
William Hames

Hair Yesterday, Here Today: There's life after Skid Row for glam-rocker Sebasian Bach.

Skid Row vocalist Sebastian Bach goes solo

By Sarah Quelland

JUST LAST MONTH, Skid Row's Slave to the Grind album, which debuted at No. 1 in 1991, was finally certified as a double-platinum seller. Hesitating only slightly, former Skid Row vocalist Sebastian Bach acknowledges the obvious. "To see it go double platinum--I know that this tour I'm doing has something to do with that. No one can stop Skid Row. Not even Skid Row," he laughs. Bach is still best known as the outspoken frontman for the heavy-metal outfit that called it quits in 1996 after three hit albums, but he is beginning to carve out a career for himself as a solo act. The exuberant singer and his backup band began a rigorous tour last year that slams into the Edge in Palo Alto tonight (June 4). Seeing him in an intimate venue is a treat not to be passed up, because it's likely only a matter of time before he's back in the kind of huge arenas that Skid Row used to fill with regularity.

While happy-get-lucky glam bands sang about sex and more sex, Skid Row offered both brains and beauty, leaning toward politically provocative themes. As it turns out, politics run in Bach's blood. His aunt is Joanne Benjamin, who served three one-year terms as the mayor of Los Gatos, a bit of trivia Bach delights in revealing. Harsh political themes like drug abuse, gun control and rage against the establishment keep Skid Row's songs fresh today, and Bach appeases his audiences with Skid Row classics, playfully summing up his set as "something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue," meaning, Expect much more than just Skid Row tunes.

In addition to his solo tour, Bach has been involved lately in a band called the Last Hard Men with Kelley Deal (of the Breeders), Jimmy Flemion (the Frogs) and Jimmy Chamberlain (Smashing Pumpkins). While the band has recorded about 20 songs, it hasn't released an album because various labels are holding up the process. The band did cover Alice Cooper's "School's Out" for the Scream soundtrack, and band members contributed "TNT" and "Little Lover" to Thunderbolt--A Tribute to AC/DC. Although he is fired up about the Last Hard Men project, Bach says, "My solo thing has kind of taken center stage," because "the people just want another full-on hard-rock album with me screaming at the top of my lungs." For now, though, Bach's touring without a new album to promote. It's just Bach and bandmates Flemion, Richie Scarlet, Mark "Bam Bam" McConnell and Larry.

Bach may not be without a solo album for much longer, however. He recently scored his own record label, called Get Off My Bach Productions, through Sony, and his new material should show up there soon. To stay in touch with his fans, Bach taught himself html and maintains his own Web site. He's also been dabbling in film and has roles in Final Rinse with Joey Ramone and Point Doom with Andrew Dice Clay. While he says he likes doing movies, he stresses, "I never ever asked to be in any movie" and says he has no aspirations to become an actor. Singing is his first love. Throwing out names like Janis Joplin, Luciano Pavarotti, Jeff Buckley and Whitney Houston, Bach says, "I like emotional singing, regardless of what kind of genre it's in. It touches me."

Sebastian Bach plays Thursday (June 4) at 8pm with Spitkiss and Storm & Her Dirty Mouth at the Edge, 260 California Ave, Palo Alto. Tickets are $10 adv. (650/324-EDGE)

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From the June 4-10, 1998 issue of Metro.

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