SEBASTIAN BACH On Reunion With SKID ROW: 'The Only Thing Standing In Our Way Is The Business Side Of This'

April 23, 2024

In a new interview with Emma Jaye of Screamer Magazine, ex-SKID ROW singer Sebastian Bach once again said that he is hopeful about a reunion with his former bandmates.

"There's a whole narrative that we don't get along, or they don't wanna get in the same room as me," he said. "There's stuff that I have found out recently on the business side that I can tell the planet Earth this has nothing to do with what happened in '96, or me being wild or us not getting along. This right now is a hundred percent a business thing. And I found some shit out that's true. The only thing standing in our way is the business side of this. I can't give you all the details, but it's not about us not getting along. It's about us figuring out how to make this work on the business side. And hopefully we can figure it out. I'm ready to figure it out, but the whole narrative of 'oh, they don't like him and he's too crazy,' that's not even true."

Bach also talked about the musical direction of his upcoming solo album, "Child Within The Man", which is due on May 10 via Reigning Phoenix Music. He said: "I don't want to make the exact same record over and over and over, but I guarantee you that if you like the first SKID ROW album and if you like 'Slave To The Grind', you will like 'Child Within The Man'. It's impossible not to, because I have a different bass player and I have a different drummer, and no disrespect to anybody, but I do the same thing as a vocalist. So, it's kind of like WHITE ZOMBIE and ROB ZOMBIE; is there really a big difference?"

He continued: "Having said that, I would love one day to get back together with the old band and make new music. I am not cutting that off or putting that down in any way. I would love to do that someday, but this album is the next album in my catalog, which includes the albums I did with SKID ROW because I do the same thing."

Last month, SKID ROW's fourth frontman since Bach's departure — former "Swedish Idol" contestant Erik Grönwall — quit the band to focus on his health.

Grönwall, who was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia in March 2021, is immunocompromised, which made touring difficult.

Bach previously spoke about the possibility of a SKID ROW reunion during a March 3 question-and-answer session with Downtown Julie Brown aboard this year's The 80s Cruise. He said: "There's no reason SKID ROW can't be together. I honestly think that it's a business thing at this point. But we're all still alive, and let's get the hair band back together while we've still got hair. I have no problems… I play with everyone — except for them. That's really weird."

He continued, addressing the audience directly: "How many of you guys watched METALLICA's 'Some Kind Of Monster' movie? It never gets old. It's all about them having a therapist. And James Hetfield [METALLICA frontman] can't rehearse past 4 p.m., and Lars [Ulrich, METALLICA drummer] is all mad, slamming the door. But that whole movie is about METALLICA working with a therapist. And nobody helped SKID ROW or anything. It was, like, 'You guys are on your own. Figure it out.' And every book I read — AEROSMITH, MÖTLEY CRÜE, every one — is about having somebody helping them. So maybe there's some therapist that wants to get paid some money and put the band back together. There's no reason that we're not together."

Referencing his 2016 autobiography, "18 And Life On Skid Row", Sebastian said: "When I first wrote my book, there was a lot of rotten shit in there. But right when that book was about to come out, we were talking about reuniting [the classic SKID ROW lineup], I swear. I know that seems crazy, but it's true. And my manager, Rick Sales, goes, 'Sebastian, take all that rotten shit out of your book right now.' I go, 'Really? I think people wanna read that.' He goes, 'No, take it out.' And I go, 'Okay.' So there's a file on my hard drive, my computer, that's called 'Rotten shit that I took out of my book.' And that might be the next book."

Asked if he is still hoping to get the classic lineup of SKID ROW back together, Bach said: "It's not that I'm hoping, but there's no reason why not to. There's no reason. They're, like, 'Oh, man. He was hard to work with in 1996.' 1996? Who remembers 1996? Sorry about 1996. Sorry. It's 2024. Can we move on or…?"

Bach fronted SKID ROW until 1996, when he was fired. Instead of throwing in the towel, the remaining members took a hiatus and went on to play briefly in a band called OZONE MONDAY. In 1999, SKID ROW reformed and, after a bit of shuffling over the years, featured a lineup consisting of bassist Rachel Bolan, guitarists Dave "Snake" Sabo and Scotti Hill, alongside drummer Rob Hammersmith and singer Johnny Solinger. SKID ROW fired Solinger over the phone in April 2015, a few hours before announcing ex-TNT vocalist Tony Harnell as his replacement. Eight months later, Harnell exited the band and was replaced by South African-born, British-based singer ZP Theart, who previously fronted DRAGONFORCE, TANK and I AM I. Theart was fired from SKID ROW in February 2022 and was replaced by Grönwall, who was previously a member of the Swedish hard rock band H.E.A.T.

Two years ago, Sabo told Ruben Mosqueda of We Go To 11 about the possibility of a reunion with Bach: "It's not even a part of any sort of thought process. This is SKID ROW. And that conversation is 23 years old [since SKID ROW reformed without Bach]. And I have no desire to… I'm not interested; none of us are. It comes down to happiness, and we're really, really, really happy where we're at and how the band sounds and feels. I love playing our music, and I love playing it with the guys that we're playing it now with. And so I don't wanna change that. I'm in a great place personally, and I think we're all in a great place as a collective."

In March 2022, Sabo was asked by Scott Penfold of Loaded Radio how he feels about people still calling for a reunion with Bach. He said: "Well, it's been 23 years [since SKID ROW reformed], so to say that I'm over it would be an understatement. We attempted [a reunion] slightly [back in 2016]. We dipped our toes in the water and realized that it didn't feel so good. It's just one of those things where we still could not see eye to eye; we couldn't even get past the point of simple texting.

"I am really, really happy where we are," Snake continued. "I'm very proud of our past, and all due credit to everybody who's been involved in every aspect of our career, whoever that may be, 'cause it all led to where we are now.

"I've been asked a thousand times: 'What about the payday [of a reunion with Sebastian]?' And that's all well and good, but if that's why I did this — if that's why we did this; I can speak for everybody — we probably wouldn't be doing it," Sabo explained. "I wanna be happy, and I am very, very happy. And so are the guys; everybody's really happy.

"The music climate is what it is, and we're a classic rock band, and I'm proud of that. And we're still able to make music. I mean, Jeez — I live a very, very blessed life, man," Snake added. "I have nothing but gratitude and humility for what we have achieved and for what we're able to continue to do. So while there may be people out there who are flashing dollar signs with a lot of zeroes, I still have to be happy doing it, and I am. And that's what's most important. I need to be happy being in a band with the people I'm in a band with. A lot of other bands can go out and they don't see each other till they're on stage and travel on separate buses and all that stuff, and that's all well and good, but I don't wanna live my life like that. I don't wanna be up onstage and kind of living a lie; it just doesn't feel good. So, while I'm thankful for people's interest and whatnot, I'm even more thankful that we still get to play music for a living under our terms."

In the summer of 2021, Bach told Florida's 98.7 The Gater radio station that "there's no reason" for the classic SKID ROW not to reunite. "When those guys [in SKID ROW] try to say [about me], 'He's difficult to work with,' let me just say this one more time. We have not been in the same room together since the year 1996," he said. "Shut the eff up about you thinking you know what I'm like. You don't know anything about what I'm like. And the 'Gilmore Girls' think I'm okay to work with; Broadway thinks I'm okay to work with; the 'Trailer Park Boys' think I'm okay; GUNS N' ROSES think I'm pretty cool. We're not getting any younger."

Sebastian went on to say that a SKID ROW reunion "should" happen "for the fans. And we are absolutely running out of bands — bands that can play in sheds," he said. "The fact that we are all still alive and we are all in our 50s — some closer to 60 than others — but that, to me, is selfish that we're not together.

"I can play with anyone. I do play with everyone [laughs] — except for them."

Four years ago, SKID ROW bassist Rachel Bolan also confirmed that he and his bandmates "were entertaining the idea" of reuniting with Bach following Harnell's departure. But Rachel shot down the possibility of a rekindling of his friendship with Sebastian, explaining: "Well… Here's the soundbite for Blabbermouth. I wouldn't say we were friends [when we were in a band together]. We were bandmates. You know what I mean? We're two very different people." Bolan added that he hadn't seen Bach "in years."

Five years ago, Bach was asked by Rolling Stone what it would take for SKID ROW to be reunited. He responded: "It would take those guys to realize that I have a lifetime manager. His name is Rick Sales. I've been with him since 2006. They don't want to deal with a guy like that. They want to give some singer who doesn't have a manager $700 to $800 bucks a week. I've got a team that's worked with me and don't allow me to get fucked around. I didn't have that team when I was 19 years old."

In response to Bach's statements about the earnings of SKID ROW's singer, Sabo told Rolling Stone in an e-mail: "I guess fact-checking isn't in his skill set… The five of us go on that stage as a band and we all get paid equally. We're in this together. There's no egos."

Sebastian went on to say that SKID ROW was "close to reuniting, but then it didn't happen. The fact that it didn't happen obviously makes me somewhat bitter, because life is only getting shorter, as the song says," he added.

"I wouldn't say 'came close,'" Bolan told Rolling Stone in an e-mail response to Bach's account of the reunion talks. "We entertained the idea. Snake and I went as far as talking with agents and promoters about money. But we quickly learned after a few text conversations, why we fired him in the first place. Nothing is worth your happiness and peace of mind."

Sabo added: "It was already a miserable experience, and we didn't even get on the phone."

In 2021, Bach completed a U.S. tour during which he celebrated the 30th anniversary of SKID ROW's sophomore album, "Slave To The Grind".

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