If there’s something that becomes completely clear after watching Sebastian Bach’s new live DVD ABachalypse Now, it’s that the singer still is as relentless and potent as he was 25 years ago. His vocal power hasn’t diminished at all and the Canadian rocker still reaches each of those glorious high-pitched notes with notable (no pun intended) easiness. Onstage he irradiates the kind of savage energy that many younger frontmen can only dream about. That very same kind of hyperactive and outspoken personality accompanies him everywhere, including to his PureGrainAudio interview. We talked; he revealed all juicy details about ABachalypse Now (whose special edition also contains two live CDs), information about his upcoming studio material, and of course, his opinion about an improbable Skid Row reunion.
The shows on this live DVD ABachalypse Now are basically from the tour in support of your latest studio album Kicking And Screaming. Were you surprised with the critical and commercial success of that record?
Sebastian: No, because the album is great! It’s a great album and it’s like the easiest album I ever did. It just came out really good! So I wasn’t surprised with the reaction.
From where came the idea of doing a live DVD?
Sebastian: We film some of the shows. The record company asked me if I wanted to do a DVD and I said “Ok”. And I went through all the footage. It’s three concerts. GrasPop Festival from Belgium, Hellfest from France and the Nokia show from Los Angeles. And I really like the DVD because each concert is in like a different setting. The one in France is an outdoor show, the sun is shining and the clouds are in the sky and it’s very beautiful. And the Nokia show is inside in the dark at nighttime, it’s all black. My favorite one is GrasPop in Belgium which is filmed in the rain torrential downpour and I’ve never seen a concert released like that and it looks amazing. And has songs like “Dirty Power” and “Tunnelvision” and it has a couple more of the solo tracks on it.
ABachalypse Now is probably the most complete DVD of your solo career, but is not exactly the first video you’ve released. Is it?
Sebastian: It’s not, because I did one called Forever Wild before that. And then I did a DVD for the Angel Down record called Road Rage in the deluxe edition and then I did a Kicking and Screaming deluxe edition with a DVD called As Long As I Got The Music so this is my fifth one.
Check out the ‘ABachalypse Now’ trailer
The three shows included on ABachalypse Now are very entertaining, each one in its own way. Does this DVD really captures the essence of the Sebastian Bach live experience?
Sebastian: Yeah, for this year definitely. And it’s got Nick Sterling on it, which doesn’t play in the band anymore and he’s probably the best guitar player I’ve ever played with so it was amazing to document that period of the band.
Which, in your opinion are the main differences between European and American scenes in terms of live shows?
Sebastian: Yeah, in Europe they have all these festivals, and in America they don’t. In Europe I can spend all Summer playing gigantic festivals like Download, Gods of Metal, GrasPop, Hellfest. In America that doesn’t really happen, I don’t know why. That’s a really cool thing about Europe. The whole festival thing is very different.
On all of the three shows you sing material from you solo career and also from your time in Skid Row. And now with Nick Sterling not playing with you anymore… Is this DVD ABachalypse Now a way to mark an end of an era on your career?
Sebastian: No. Hehehe! [laughs] I’ve been doing the same thing since the late 80’s. I don’t do anything different in 2013 than I did in 1989. I’m Sebastian Bach. I go and I sing the songs. I like the bands like Rush who keep putting out records and I don’t see Rush as being different now than they ever were you know, they just get older and that’s what I’m doing and I’m still the same guy I was, pretty much, I’m not very different.
I imagine that filming some of those shows really required a lot of planning.
Sebastian: I come out to do a concert and it’s not like some bands carrying around a whole camera crew. I don’t do that. I can’t really afford to bring around a full camera crew on a whole tour so. Some of these shows get filmed in high definition and some of them don’t get filmed. So, the reason Hellfest is on there is because Hellfest was filmed with 10 cameras and all the good sound and everything. Hellfest and Nokia were recorded with 24 tracks recording so we could go in and fix up songs if we hit a bad note. But, GrasPop was only captured with 2 channel audios so we couldn’t make any overdubs, it’s totally live and that’s actually my favorite one to watch.
In the DVD, especially on the Hellfest show, sometimes you stop the show and try to speak with those audiences in their native language. How cool is that?
Sebastian: I try to speak the language of which ever country I’m in because I think it shows respect. If you’re coming in to somebody’s country where they speak a different language, I think it’s respectful to try to speak that language.
Are you currently preparing any new studio material?
Sebastian: I have a new solo record on the way. I am working on it right now. It’s Steve Stevens on guitar and also my guitar player Jeff George and you know, Nuno Bettencourt from Extreme possibly. But I really love the Kicking and Screaming album so it’s going to be hard for me to top that album. I really love that album. So hopefully I can top it.
You’ve sold more than 20 million albums, have toured all over the world several times, and have appeared on Broadway musicals and TV shows. Is there something else you would like to achieve as an artist?
Sebastian: Yes! I just want to be able to headline a tour. Like, you know, Skid Row we get big offers to reunite. This doesn’t make a lot of sense to me, but the public loves that kind of thing. But I would like to be able to tour solo like the offers I get to reunite with Skid Row.
With your current band sounding as powerful as it does… would you really consider a Skid Row reunion?
Sebastian: I wouldn’t be doing a reunion for the sound of the band. It’s more like a stunt, like, people don’t care about the sound of the band really. They would like to see the five guys together in a reunion it doesn’t matter how we play, hehehe. Doesn’t make any difference at all, that’s popular culture. The public likes that kind of thing, I don’t know why really but that’s the way it is.
Check out the ‘ABachalypse Now’ trailer