After filling arenas worldwide in the ’80s as the lead singer of Skid Row, Sebastian Bach developed a successful Broadway career with such productions as “Jeckyl & Hyde,” “The Rocky Horror Picture Show” and “Jesus Christ Superstar.”
Nowadays, when he’s not touring as a solo artist, he can usually be found on one reality show or another, the latest being “Celebrity Rap Superstar.” As the Nov. 20 release of his new album, “Angel Down” approaches, Bach chatted with Billboard about future career aspirations and recording with the elusive Axl Rose.
1. IT’S BEEN EIGHT YEARS SINCE YOUR LAST SOLO RECORD. WHY?
I’ve done four Broadway shows since that record and I definitely count all my Broadway shows as part of my body of work. This is (also) the return of Mr. Axl Rose. The whole world has been waiting over 15 years to hear him put out new songs. That day is Nov. 20. He sings three songs on the record.
2. HOW WAS IT RECORDING WITH HIM?
We had a great time. It took him about two hours to do “Back in the Saddle” and “(Love Is) a Bitchslap,” and then he’s like, “Right on, OK, it’s like 2, 3 in the morning.” I said, “Dude, you gotta take one whack at this song ’Stuck Inside,”’ and he kinda got a little sniffy. I go, “Would ya just do the one f---ing shot?” He very carefully wrote the words he was gonna sing and came in with this f---ing vocal at the end when he goes to this high part of this high harmony above the ending chorus. It’s astonishing.
3. HOW DID YOU GET HIM ON YOUR RECORD?
I sang on “Chinese Democracy” this song “Sorry,” and then I just toured with him this summer in Australia and New Zealand. I texted him: “Hey, Axl, when are you gonna sing on my record?” just kinda kidding around, and I got one word back. He goes, “When?” And I go, “Well, we’re in Monday,” and he goes, “What’s the address?” It’s that simple. He goes, “Well dude, you know, not many people ask me to do this. I love doing this. This is like the coolest thing I’ve been asked to do.”
4. HOW DID IT FEEL TO COVER “BACK IN THE SADDLE?”
I got (Aerosmith singer) Steve Tyler’s blessing on the phone ’cause Axl called him right up there in the studio and handed me the cell phone. So to get the thumb’s up from Steven and Axl’s a pretty f---ing good omen (to) me.
5. WHAT WAS IT LIKE TO RAP ON “CELEBRITY RAP SUPERSTAR?”
I got along great with my mentor, Kurupt, and I also made a great friend in DMC. I’ve recorded the chorus to the new DMC single, which is a cover of Ram Jam’s “Black Betty.” DMC has Joey Kramer from Aerosmith on drums and he’s got Mick Mars from Motley Crue on guitar. I’m singing the chorus and he’s rapping.
And what was it like to rap? It was fun to be live on TV every single Thursday night eight weeks in a row with a microphone in my hand. But to be 100 percent honest with you, I miss melody! I wanna go up and down with my voice. I don’t wanna just stay on the same note.
6. YOU’VE DONE TV, BROADWAY AND RAP. WHAT OTHER ARTISTIC ENDEAVORS WOULD YOU LIKE TO ATTEMPT?
I’m gonna write a book. I’ve already started on it, and so that’s 100 percent coming. I’d also like to do all my father’s (late artist David Bierk) archives, to be presented in a coffee-table kind of format.
There’s also a role I would like to try out for and perform on Broadway, which is the Green Goblin in “Spider-Man.” I would definitely like to kick Spider-Man’s ass all over the Broadway stage eight times a week.