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Bach To The Future: An Exclusive Interview With SEBASTIAN BACH

By Andrew Depedro, Ottawa Corespondent
Monday, July 30, 2018 @ 10:26 AM


"If you had to pick a guy who loved life, it would’ve been Vinnie, because he always was rockin’, and it was just sad. But he doesn’t get to enjoy his old age. He got wiped off the planet and it’s not fair."

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Live Photos By Larry Petro Except Band Photo Courtesy Of Sebastian Bach's Facebook Page

With the recent loss of PANTERA/DAMAGEPLAN drummer Vinnie Paul, the sole bit of comfort that metal fans worldwide could find was that he was reunited with his brother at last. None more so impacted by this loss was Sebastian Bach, SKID ROW’s larger-than-life frontman whose longstanding friendship with the equally larger-than-life drummer was. I caught up with Baz on the night of his Ottawa show and we celebrated Big Vin’s life from PANTERA’s breakthrough tour with SKID ROW and beyond – and his friend Dixon Davidson from high school joined in on the conversation!

KNAC.COM: How’s the tour going?

BACH: Tour’s been very successful. Vancouver was sold out, Red Deer sold out, Regina was pretty much sold out…tonight, Ottawa was pretty much sold out, Winnipeg was sold out, we just got told that Montreal was sold out and that’s not until next week.

KNAC.COM: Wow!

BACH: So, I mean, they’re not the biggest venues in the world, but they’re all cramped. Like, you were there tonight and it was fuckin’ crazy!

KNAC.COM: That was my first time I’d been at Barrymore’s in a while and I can actually attest to that being very, very crowded! *laughs*

BACH: And then just tonight was – I don’t know if you felt it – but I felt a certain magic tonight. Like, I felt…a connection between the crowd and me and the band, all of us, all together, was even, like, more special than a normal gig. I felt it tonight. I don’t know if you did, but I’m not lying. I felt that it was a very special gig tonight.

KNAC.COM: Yeah, especially in light of having heard of Vinnie Paul’s passing. That was a bit of a shock.

BACH: Well, we’re not trying to do, like, “Cemetery Gates” exactly the way it is on the record. We’re trying to pay tribute to Vinnie, and the screams at the end – I’ll be the first one to tell you – I can’t do them exactly like Phil. But I can do it pretty fuckin’ close! *laughs*

KNAC.COM: You do a pretty good job!

BACH: It’s MY version – and even for any singer to get up in that register, I’m not doing it exactly like him but I am almost doing it like him. Y’know, that album was recorded in ’89…

KNAC.COM: Right.

BACH: And it’s two thousand fucking 18 so my voice can still get up in that area and we’re not doing that song for any other reason other than to pay tribute to our friend who died and all of our friends loved PANTERA and there is no more PANTERA. So, how rare is it and how cool is it to hear a band play fuckin’ PANTERA and my drummer Bobby (Jarzombek) was one of Vinnie’s favorite drummers.

KNAC.COM: Wow.

BACH: And one thing that makes me sad is that I saw Vinnie at my 50th birthday, which was in April.

KNAC.COM: Happy belated birthday by the way.

BACH: Thank you. *resuming* And Vinnie always said this to me. The first thing he says, he goes “Hey man, how’s your drummer Bobby Jazrombek?”. And that’s not his name! *laughs*

KNAC.COM: I pronounce it Jazrombek too! *laughs*

BACH: Vinnie pronounced it “Bobby Jazrombek” so I would always have to correct Vinnie and say “Dude, it’s Bobby Jarzombek!” And when we talked about it, and when we thought about that, and we talked about that, me and Bobby burst into tears.

KNAC.COM: Wow

BACH: Cause it’s, like, cute, and it’s a sign of Vinnie’s personality, y’know…and he was…here. Vinnie liked all kinds of music. Some people are fuckin’ assholes, music snobs, and they think they fuckin’ know everything like, fuckin’ pompous idiots. I could name names but I choose not to. Vinnie Paul was not like that. Vinnie Paul loved all kinds of cool music and came to everybody’s shows. He came to support his friends, he came to my solo shows all the fuckin’ time. So, I’m just gonna miss him. That’s it.

KNAC.COM: I know.

BACH: And it’s a wake-up call and it’s shocking because life can be gone in an instant. You can get wiped out in your fuckin’ sleep! Like, that’s scary!

KNAC.COM: That is.

BACH: Like, I want to live to be an old motherfucker – well, I already did. *laughs*

KNAC.COM: *laughing*

BACH: Well, I mean, like, even older!

KNAC.COM: *laughing* I hear ya.

BACH: And the last thing I wanna say about it is that the saddest thing to me about Vinnie’s death is that he loved living so much. If you had to pick a guy who loved life, it would’ve been Vinnie, because he always was rockin’, and it was just sad. But he doesn’t get to enjoy his old age. He got wiped off the planet and it’s not fair. He should’ve had the opportunity to be an old man and look at his scrapbook instead of fuckin’...y’know, just be a human being and he didn’t get those opportunities.

KNAC.COM: Yeah, it’s a shame, especially after Dimebag had died too. I think, like, the whole overall shock, it just never went away for Vinnie.

BACH: No, it didn’t.

KNAC.COM: Especially after he saw his brother die too. That still sticks with me.

BACH: It’s shocking. And while we do a cover version of “Cemetery Gates”, it’s haunting, hearing that, isn’t it? When Brent does the guitar…*impersonating “Cemetery Gates” riff* weeewwwww deeewww dewwww….I get scared. Like, it’s heavy. Because you’re never gonna see that band ever again. Ever.

. KNAC.COM: I’ve never seen PANTERA myself but I saw DAMAGEPLAN actually – I think on the same tour that Vinnie and Dimebag were playing on.

BACH: Are you from Ottawa?

KNAC.COM: Oh yeah. I’m from Ottawa.

BACH: We played in Ottawa – SKID ROW with PANTERA. Can you imagine that, with the original lineup?

KNAC.COM: *laughs* I was in high school at the time!

BACH: The Vulgar Display Of Power tour. *To Dixon* Were you there?

DIXON: No.

BACH: No? That’s weird.

KNAC.COM: Unfortunately I missed out on that concert too.

BACH: Did you come to see some of those shows with me? I’m sure you did.

DIXON: No.

BACH: No?

DIXON: No.

BACH: I didn’t have contact with you? That sucks! Really? That sucks!

DIXON: An unfortunate separation.

BACH: By the way, we’re sitting with Dixon Davidson who’s in my book.

KNAC.COM: Okay.

BACH: This is the guy who, if you read my book…did you read it?

KNAC.COM: Not yet but I’m going to. Will make it a point to read.

BACH: Well, there’s a whole story in there about how my buddy, he pulls up to me in the street on his bike and says “Hey man, you can get $1.50 a month stipend” and I’m like “What the fuck’s a stipend?” *everyone laughs* And then he goes “And I get a dollar too if you join the choir!” And I’m like “Fuckin’ let’s do this!” *laughs and introduces Dixon to my left* That’s Dixon. We went to school together.

KNAC.COM: Now, we’ve covered a lot about Vinnie for sure but especially given how close you and he were back especially when SKID ROW brought PANTERA on, what would be one of your other fondest moments with Vinnie?

BACH: Well, that’s an easy answer because you say “especially” back then, but not especially back then. Vinnie came to my 50th birthday party, which was a month and a half ago. So that’s why I cried about Vinnie. He’s not just the dude in PANTERA. He came to my birthday – my 50th birthday – and that was the last time I ever saw him at my 50th birthday party. That’s so heavy. And that’s so rare in this industry – okay? – to be friends with him in 1990. But for him to come to my birthday party in 2018…

KNAC.COM: That speaks volumes.

BACH: That’s why you see me cry on the Internet. You see a lot of bullshit on the Internet. I don’t see a lot of inspiring things that are positive and I said “You know what, dude? Film yourself right now because there’s a lot of people feeling the way you’re feeling.”

KNAC.COM: I think that shows a lot of passion and a lot of growth.

BACH: I’m just sayin’ that there’s a lot of bullshit on the Internet. How about something real? How about that?

KNAC.COM: That was real! I agree. That was real. That showed a lot of compassion, it showed that you and Vinnie had a special bond.

BACH: Well, y’know, most people in this industry I’ve found either get jealous of you, or they turn into such control freaks that they can’t fathom that somebody else could have a better idea. Those are specific things. But not Vinnie. Vinnie was like “Rock on, man!” Fuckin’ bein’ your buddy, being your friend, being everybody’s friend. Being supportive of everybody.

KNAC.COM: Was there ever a chance of perhaps – I guess when the two brothers were alive, I guess, after PANTERA – was there ever a possibility of perhaps you, Vinnie and Dime, could’ve potentially recorded something?

BACH: No, but we did record. Me and Dimebag did “Believer” on the Randy Rhoads tribute.

KNAC.COM: Awesome.

BACH: Me and Dimebag did get to do one song and it’s pretty fuckin’ good. I don’t know if you’ve heard it.

KNAC.COM: *laughs*

BACH: If I do say so myself. *laughs*

KNAC.COM: I have actually heard it and it is pretty good.

BACH: It was one song. We did one song.

KNAC.COM: It definitely kept the original spirit of the song alive, so to speak. Just like a different version of it.

BACH: Dimebag Darrell was one of the guitar players that reinvented the guitar. Like, I would say Jimi Hendrix was the first guy to reinvent it, Eddie Van Halen reinvented it, Dimebag reinvented it, and recently, I would say Tom Morello has reinvented it, and John 5, all those guys took a fuckin’ instrument that everybody has and reinvented it. Like Tom Morello, he does a solo and it’s just all wooogigig wooogigig woogig *mimicking Tom Morello’s guitar sound to background laughter* I mean, what the fuck? You’re reinventing the fucking instrument. But Dimebag did that. Dimebag reinvented the guitar.

KNAC.COM: I always found that Dimebag was a really fast guitar player. He was very powerful, but a lot of his playing that I’ve found was just how fast and yet how melodic at the same time.

BACH: His right hand was like lightning fast and then he also had this talent of being able to hit the highest notes on the neck and sustain them, like wiiiiiiiiiiik *mimicking Dimebag’s playing*

KNAC.COM: Yeah, like bending the strings.

BACH: ….and then just hold them, frozen and then, like floating. And also their sense of production was so cool. Like “Domination” off Cowboys From Hell where the intro goes buh buh buh buh buh buh buh buh buh buh buh *mimicks intro to “Domination”*. And then they pan this riff and it goes buh buh buh buh buh buh buh buh buh buh buh *more mimicking*

KNAC.COM: *laughing*

BACH: Listen to that in your fuckin’ car and you will laugh. It is so heavy. And then the song “Becoming”. dun dun dun dun dun dun SKWIIIIIIL! *mimicks intro to “Becoming”* He invented new sounds from the instrument.

KNAC.COM: I remember the video for “5 Minutes Alone” actually where you can see a close up of Dimebag actually playing the strings and the strings just go all wobbly during the video because of the static off of the strings.

BACH: Oh, yeah, when he goes like this with the whammy…

KNAC.COM: *mimicking intro to “5 Minutes Alone”* duh nuh nuh duh nuh nuh chugga duh nuh nuh duh nuh nuh nuh

BACH: And the strings are all…

KNAC.COM: Yeah, they’re completely loose!

BACH: Okay – you just impressed me with your attention to detail, okay?

KNAC.COM: Thank you.

BACH: That was a very detailed sight you saw, and I think like that too.

KNAC.COM: *laughing*

BACH: *pointing to Dixon* Like the story I told about his STYX record. I don’t know why that sticks in my head 40 years later. But it does!

KNAC.COM: Nice wordplay! “Sticks in my head”! *laughs*

DIXON: All the (local hockey team the Peterborough) Petes players got to sign the stick, they signed the stick, right? You got the hockey stick you won on A&M Records, you had the winning lottery ticket and all the Petes players had signed the stick and you won that stick. And you were like “I got the fuckin’ number! I fuckin’ won!” It was fuckin’ A&M Records, man. It was where I got my shitty record returned, man! *laughs*

BACH: I don’t even remember that. I believe you but you know why? It’s because I’m just not that much into hockey! *laughs*

DIXON: Details! *laughs*

KNAC.COM: Yeah! You’re detail-oriented! *laughs*

BACH: The Hockey Styx! Ah! *claps hands in celebration*

KNAC.COM: Great play on words, Sebastian! *laughs*

BACH: The story of you taking your record back and getting your money back, that stuck with me. I don’t know why but I was very impressed.

DIXON: I’m never gonna make a record that someone would return! *laughter*

BACH: I can definitely see myself sayin’ that…I said that? I vaguely remember saying that. We’re talking about forty fucking years ago.

KNAC.COM: You’ve got a good memory!

BACH: *laughs*

KNAC.COM: I've got one more question.

BACH: When is the band getting back together? *laughter*

KNAC.COM: I think you’ve answered that question several, several times.

BACH: Whenever they’re fuckin’ ready.

KNAC.COM: I know that you’ve been acting as well outside of music, especially with shooting episodes of the Trailer Park Boys. Are there any plans to do that in the near future?

BACH: This band that you saw tonight, we are booked solid until Christmas and beyond. So, I don’t know what happened in the music world, but you can’t get enough of seeing us live. So that’s the way that goes!

DIXON: That’s true. Show was sold out.

BACH: Yeah, so the other thing that’s happening is I am doing a new record. And the funny thing is, my management said “Sebastian, you think you’re touring now, wait until you fuckin’ put your fuckin’ record out!” *laughs* They’re all saying “This is nothin’!” All this touring we’re doing, is literally a build-up to doing more serious touring! *laughing*

KNAC.COM: Wow!

BACH: It’s true! So I’m doing a record and then I’m going back on tour. Be careful what you wish for! You might just get it!


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