SEBASTIAN BACH: 'When DAVID LEE ROTH Gave Me His Phone Number, I Had It In My Brain That We Were Gonna Be Best Buddies'

May 2, 2024

In a new interview with "Paltrocast" host Darren Paltrowitz, former SKID ROW singer Sebastian Bach reflected on the time, more than a decade ago, when he spent a 12-hour flight sitting next to legendary VAN HALEN frontman David Lee Roth. He said (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET): "What a great memory, man. God, that's incredible. Oh man. Okay. So I sometimes play in a corporate band called KINGS OF CHAOS, which is run by [former GUNS N' ROSES drummer] Matt Sorum. So that was a KINGS OF CHAOS gig [at the Stone Music Festival in April 2013] in Sydney, Australia. And in KINGS OF CHAOS that day was me, Steve Stevens, [GUNS N' ROSES bassist] Duff McKagan on bass, Matt Sorum on drums. And we opened up for AEROSMITH and VAN HALEN — at one show. The original VAN HALEN… Well, no, with Wolfgang [Van Halen instead of Michael Anthony]. VAN HALEN, AEROSMITH and KINGS OF CHAOS. And then before us was Jimmy Barnes, who's one of the biggest Australian singers. So it was a very weird gig, man. Very strange gig."

He continued: "On the way home from the gig, I get on my plane flight. From Sydney, Australia to Los Angeles is an extremely long flight, and I look behind me and two rows behind me is Diamond David Lee Roth in a seat all by himself. And I started watching movies. I was so nervous and freaked out 'cause I'm such a fan of Dave. And I remember I watched the story of [the legendary doom metal pioneers] PENTAGRAM, the band PENTAGRAM. There's a documentary. And I watched that on the plane. And when that was over, I said to myself, I go, 'Fuck it, man.' I go, 'I can't do this. I can't pretend that David Lee Roth is not sitting behind me.' So I stood up and I went, I go, 'Hey, Dave, please, man. Can we get to…?' He goes, 'Hey, Baz. What's up, man? Have a seat, man. Have a seat right here, Sebastian.' And I've partied with him before, but I was totally sober on this flight. I wasn't drinking or anything. Dave was reading a book by Tom Clancy — some spy novel. I'm trying to paint a picture for you. He was sitting there with a paperback by Tom Clancy, 'cause I was taking all this in. And that was gonna keep him company for the whole plane flight. So when I sat down, we ordered coffee. I ordered coffee, and we spent the whole flight talking and laughing. We got a little too loud. Dave's laughter is loud. And then I started getting loud, and me and David Lee Roth together got so loud that the stewardess came over and said, 'Could you guys pipe it down a little bit?' And that happened. I mean, imagine me and Dave together. There's a picture on my Instagram somewhere from that plane flight of me and Dave."

Bach added: "There's a part in David Lee Roth's book, if you ever read it, where he tells a story of being bullied at school and he tells the story of going home and being so hurt that he's on his porch and he says, 'I'm never gonna have a real friend ever again.' That's in his book, that he made that choice when he was, like, 13 or 12 And I wanted to be Dave's friend, because he treated me like that. He was my bud. He was always so nice and funny to me and cool. And he gave me his cell phone number. And as soon as I got home from that plane flight, I was texting him: 'Let's hang out, man. I'll be your buddy.' And I never really heard back from him. So I guess… I don't know, but… When he gave me his phone number, I had it in my brain that we were gonna be best buddies. [Laughs]

"So, Dave, if you're reading this interview, give me a call, man. Let's hang out. Let's smoke a joint, listen to some vinyl records. I know you would like that."

During an October 2020 appearance on SiriusXM's "Trunk Nation With Eddie Trunk", Bach confirmed that there was "a little talk" of him joining VAN HALEN shortly after Sammy Hagar departed in 1996.

"[SKID ROW manager] Doc McGhee had me up at the office, and Ray Daniels was managing [VAN HALEN] at the time, and Ray and Doc were talking. But they didn't want [VAN HALEN guitarist] Eddie [Van Halen] to smoke weed. And I go, 'That's funny,' because I was smoking weed with Ray Danniels. I go, 'So you can [smoke weed] but I can't. What the fuck? The lead singer of VAN HALEN can't smoke pot? What?' But that was a discussion.

"I was summoned into Doc's office, and there was talk about it," he reiterated. "At the time, they were looking for a singer. But I didn't get to audition. I don't think Doc was into me leaving SKID ROW either; there was something about that."

In 1999, when the news came that VAN HALEN had parted company with Gary Cherone and was again in the market for a new lead singer, rumors once again abounded, and Bach's name was thrown in the mix. At the time, Bach shot down the chatter, telling MTV News: "The thing is, man, there's only one singer for VAN HALEN, and that's David Lee Roth, and if they've got no use for him, what possible use could they have for me? If they don't like him, they definitely won't like me."

He continued: "I mean, when they're looking for singers and they pick Gary Cherone, they're thinking in ways that we're not. I mean, I love Gary. He's a really nice guy, but you can't be a really nice guy and be the lead singer of VAN HALEN. It just doesn't go together. You got to kick some ass, man, and he does kick ass in his Gary Cherone way. But David Lee Roth was doing kicks off of the drum riser and flying 40 feet in the air. It's a tough act to follow. I can't do that, but I can sing the Sammy Hagar stuff and the David Lee Roth stuff. I'm not bragging, I'm stating a fact."

Sebastian's new solo album, "Child Within The Man", will arrive on May 10 via Reigning Phoenix Music. The LP was recorded in Orlando, Florida; produced and mixed by Michael "Elvis" Baskette; engineered by Jef Moll, assistant engineered by Josh Saldate and mastered by Robert Ludwig of Gateway Mastering. Bach wrote or co-wrote all the album's 11 tracks and sang all lead and backing vocals.

"Child Within The Man" features guest appearances from John 5 (MÖTLEY CRÜE, ROB ZOMBIE, MARILYN MANSON),Steve Stevens (BILLY IDOL) and Orianthi (ALICE COOPER, MICHAEL JACKSON) — who all co-wrote their respective tracks with Bach — and two tracks co-written with ALTER BRIDGE's Myles Kennedy ("What Do I Got to Lose?" and "To Live Again"). Devin Bronson (guitars),Todd Kerns (bass) and Jeremy Colson (drums) round out the players on the album. The album will be available on jewelcase CD, cassette, and double LP in a variety of color options.

Everybody Wants Some!! David Lee Roth @davidleeroth @vanhalen

Posted by Sebastian Bach on Tuesday, April 23, 2013

2013 Stone Music Festival Full Lineup

Posted by Stone Music Festival on Saturday, March 23, 2013

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