SEBASTIAN BACH Says SKID ROW's 'Subhuman Race' Album Suffers From 'A Very Dated Production Sound'June 29, 2018
Sebastian Bach has slammed the production on SKID ROW's "Subhuman Race" album, calling it "odd" and "very dated."
Released four years after its Billboard-chart-topping predecessor, "Slave To The Grind", 1995's "Subhuman Race" featured a more alternative metal style and was the last SKID ROW record to feature Bach and drummer Rob Affuso.
Although the album landed at No. 35 on the Billboard 200 chart, it failed to reach the popularity or garner the interest of the initial two records, mainly due to the drastically different musical landscape of the time.
During a recent interview with "Rock Talk With Mitch Lafon", Bach said that while there are "some good tunes" on "Subhuman Race", the LP's poor sonic quality has made it virtually unlistenable.
"I read a totally hilarious Internet thread that put forth the proposition that 'Subhuman Race' was the first record to debut [producer] Bob Rock's horrible snare sound that ended up on [METALLICA's] 'St. Anger'," Sebastian laughed. "There's a whole fucking thread that says, 'Is this the origins of 'St. Anger'? 'Subhuman Race'.'
"I've gotta be honest with you, when I put that record on when I'm getting ready for my tour, I myself don't understand the production of that record.
"If you came to my living room an I put down… I'm not trying to sell anything here; I'm telling you the god's honest truth. If you came to my living room and we A/B'ed 'Subhuman Race' next to [my 2007 solo album] 'Angel Down', you'd hold your fucking head in your hands," he said. "['Angel Down'] sounds a million times better — everything about it: the drums, the guitars, the voice… There's not even a comparison.
"I don't know what Bob Rock and [engineer] Randy Staub were thinking, really. When I listen to the production of that record, it seems very odd to me."
Bach went on to say: "When we went up [to Vancouver] to work with Bob Rock, we were going up to work with him because of the [MÖTLEY CRÜE] song 'Dr. Feelgood'. To me, that production of the song 'Dr. Feelgood' is the most badass-sounding production. And we though we were gonna get that. But when we got to Vancouver to work with Bob Rock in '94, he was more into VERUCA SALT than MÖTLEY CRÜE. Metal was not cool. He was working with VERUCA SALT and all these bands, and we weren't really on the same page, production-wise. There are some good tunes on there.
"I find that that record is a very dated production sound," he added. "In the same way, probably, [METALLICA's] Lars Ulrich might think 'St. Anger' is dated to that time, I think 'Subhuman Race' might be our 'St. Anger'. [Laughs]
"It sounds like my stereo is broken when I rehearse to that," he said. "I'm, like, 'What the fuck is this?' It just sounds weird. I don't know what to tell you. And then I put on 'American Metalhead' [from 'Angel Down'], and I'm, like, 'Oh my God!' It's like night and day. Do it yourself. I'm not making it up. I mean, you fucking check it out. I'm not trying to sell anything; I'm just reporting the facts."
Bach is not the first member of SKID ROW to speak disparagingly about "Subhuman Race". In a 2006 interview with The Metal Exiles, bassist Rachel Bolan said working on the record "was a nightmare. Internally, the band had fallen apart but we were forced to go in and do another record and it was a nightmare with the recording, writing and producing," he said. "We worked with someone we had not worked with before after being so successful with [previous producer] Michael [Wagener], and we were used to the way he did things. I am not slighting Bob at all — he is a genius producer — but it was bad timing. I did not have the greatest time. It was nobody's fault; it was just the way things were. Also, the record absolutely sucks."
Bach is currently working on material for his first solo album since 2014's "Give 'Em Hell". That disc was criticized by some for sounding "too modern" and a departure from Sebastian's '80s hard rock past.
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