SEBASTIAN BACH: What I Miss About The Late '80s/Early '90s Music Industry

December 19, 2022

As part of Jonathan Montenegro's "My 3 Questions To" series, former SKID ROW singer Sebastian Bach was asked what he misses about the music industry of the late '80s and early '90s. He responded (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET): "I would say what I miss about the music industry is the music industry. There really isn't one anymore. It's more based on social media.

"What do I miss about then in music industry? Well, back then we used to have to go to a record store, spend a couple of hours choosing what music you wanted to buy," he continued. "Nowadays you can just press a button and get every song recorded by man. So it was much more invested. Also, not just anybody was making records in the '80s. You had to get a record contract and you had to prove that you were worthy of making records. There was no such thing as Pro Tools to adjust your performance in the studio; it was a much more organic, realistic way of recording then, 'cause we just didn't have the technology that we have now."

Bach added: "Two other things that I miss is rock videos on television. MTV used to be so much fun, doing 'Dial MTV', everybody voting for their favorite videos of the day and then seeing who won at the end of the day on 'Dial MTV'. That was so much fun. The other thing I miss is radio. Rock radio these days, to me, is just like one station. In the '80s, each city had its own distinctive radio station with personalities and specific DJs. They played more of what they wanted instead of just a national playlist [of songs]."

Earlier this month, Bach told the "I Am All In With Scott Patterson" podcast that he has "a new record label" and that he will be "putting out a new record very soon."

Regarding what has taken him so long to get the new record ready for release, Bach said: "Basically, I kind of had to take this year off a little bit, because I — I'm not supposed to say this stuff — I've been working on music since two SKID ROW singers ago. [Laughs] I've been working on music since before the pandemic, so I have amassed a lot of music. And the thing about putting out music in 2022 is that you have to figure out a way to cut through the clutter, because everybody and their cousin puts out an album or has a YouTube page. A long time ago, there used to be record companies that you had to be good to get signed. Not just anybody could put out records; it was a privilege, and you had to work for it. But with the advent or Pro Tools and technology, you can be a wrestler and then just wake up the next day and go, 'I'm gonna be a rocker.' … And then you just walk in there and waffle out some half-ass take and then fix it up on a laptop. So with there being no gatekeepers, you've got to have a plan. And if noticed, albums that are big now, they have such a long setup time. An artist will put out three or four songs, or three or four videos even before the album comes out. So it's this big plan. And there's also the vinyl backlog. You have to get in line to produce vinyl right now, because vinyl is so hot — everybody collects it — that you have to have six months lead time even to get into the vinyl pressing plants.

"So, that's very boring, but that's what's happening," he added. "We are amassing the plan."

Among the musicians who have assisted Bach during the writing and recording process for his new music are Orianthi (ALICE COOPER, Michael Jackson),John 5 (ROB ZOMBIE, MARILYN MANSON),Steve Stevens (Billy Idol),Devin Bronson, Brent Woods, Eli Santana and Jeremy Colson.

Less than two years ago, Sebastian told The Aquarian Weekly that he was working on a new album but he declined to name the record company that will be putting it out. "Yes, I have a new American label and I have been working somewhat on the album during this damned quarantine," he said. "But there is only so much I can do in my house. I have been sending files back and forth [to my bandmates], but it is not as exciting as being together in the same room. Maybe Taylor Swift lives with her whole band. I don't know how that works."

He added: "My new album is going to be heavy. In many ways it is my follow-up to [2007's] 'Angel Down'. I am trying to make the best record I have ever made. There will be a lot of heavy [music] coming your way."

Back in 2018, Bach told Meltdown of Detroit's WRIF 101.1 FM radio station that he was going to ink a deal with a U.S.-based heavy metal record label that would help him make a "career-defining" new solo album.

Bach hasn't released a full-length disc since "Give 'Em Hell", which came out in March 2014. Like its predecessor, 2011's "Kicking & Screaming", the disc was released through Frontiers Music Srl, the Italian label which specializes in what's commonly called AOR, a term that once signified a popular radio format ("album-oriented rock") but nowadays applies to acts whose airplay is marginal.

Although Bach had said in some of his interviews a few years ago that his next record would be less musically aggressive and it would be "more uplifting and fun," he told WRIF that he has since had a change of heart.

"Well, before [the new record deal] happened, I was thinking of doing more of an acoustic-based record because I've done a lot of solo records," he said. "I've done 'Angel Down', which I'm very proud of that album,. Then 'Kicking & Screaming', which is a great album. 'Give 'Em Hell'… Not to mention 'ABachalypse Now', which is a three-record set. 'Forever Wild' DVD, 'Bring 'Em Bach Alive!'… I've put out a lot of records. And putting out the last one, when I put so much time and effort into it and it doesn't get the attention that it deserves, for me as an artist, I'm, like, 'Fuck!' So I was, like, you know what? If I'm gonna put out another heavy metal, hard rock album, I need help. I need a company around me that's gonna put the same kind of attention and time and effort into it as I am. So now that looks like it's happening. So now I'm changing the way I'm looking at things."

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