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Sebastian Bach


So what if nobody remembers whether Sebastian Bach (Sebastian Philip Bierk) was in Motley Crue, Poison or Skid Row. Bach developed an impressive ability to hang around and hang on.

After fronting a Hair Metal band it's nearly impossible to be taken seriously. When your music is regularly dismissed as a joke, so are you. But that hasn't stopped Bach. When he was kicked out of Skid Row in '96 (long after it mattered) Bach embarked on a series of projects that would have buried a less resilient performer. Fortunately, he got a boost from Hair Metal vets Guns N' Roses and particularly Axl Rose (a man Bach feuded with for over a decade).

Bach's first post-Skid Row stop was the Last Hard Men. Despite the fact this group also contained the Breeders guitarist Kelley Deal and the Smashing Pumpkins drummer Jimmy Chamberlin, Atlantic Records decided not to distribute their album. That bad? Eventually, the set got a limited-pressing release on Deal's label.

Bach's next recording project suited him better. He released "Bring 'Em Bach Alive," a blast of Hair Metal (albeit dated), in '99.

He started his own bands, Bach Tight Five and Sebastian Bach And Friends - eventually these units got distilled down to Sebastian Bach.

In a move that could best be described as 'creative' Bach landed on Broadway playing Riff Raff in The Rocky Horror Picture Show and then the title role in Jekyll & Hyde.

Bach hosted VH1's Forever Wild before returning to the stage to play the lead in a national touring company's Jesus Christ Superstar. Type casting? Hardly. His behavior (called 'diva-like') got him bounced from the production. He also failed to make the cut when Velvet Revolver (with three former GN'R members) was starting. Bach auditioned but lost out to Scott Weiland. According to VR's Slash, the group sounded like Skid Row with Bach.





No matter, it was on to the next thing. That being a role on Gilmore Girls which was followed by a stint fronting Frameshift for their '05 release. That year, Bach also returned to VH1 for I Married... Sebastian Bach.

So after a decade of stage work and questionable TV ventures, Bach joined Guns N' Roses onstage in New York, during a warm-up show, to sing "My Michelle," a hard driving little number from GN'R's "Appetite For Destruction." That led to other appearances with Guns N' Roses. And during a summer concert when Rose was ailing, Bach filled in for him on "Nightrain" and the encore.

Never one to wonder too far from the spotlight, Bach appeared in VH1's '06 reality series Supergroup with guitarist Ted Nugent, vocalist Evan Seinfeld (Biohazard), rhythm guitarist Scott Ian (Anthrax) and drummer Jason Bonham. More time was spent on Bach and Seinfeld's drinking and the fall-out from that, than on the music. Even settling on the name, Damnocracy, proved difficult with Bach insisting on calling the unit Savage Animal - a name nobody else cared for.

Some more TV appearances preceded Bach's tour of Japan. Then he and his band opened for Guns N' Roses in Australia and New Zealand. Bach also recorded vocals for a track on GN'R's long-delayed "Chinese Democracy."

Just when it looked as though Bach was about to make a credible comeback, he showed up on MTV's Celebrity Rap. The concept was simple. Musicians, actors, personalities and sports figures - namely people who shouldn't try to Rap, did just that. Bach landed third in the 'winner take all' competition.

Even with Celebrity Rap on his resume, EMI Records signed a joint-venture deal creating a label owned by Bach. His album "Angel Down" landed in late '07. The set featured vocal contributions from none other than Axl Rose. What goes around comes around.

Bach's career path, reality television (see above), may not have been one that many other Rock singers would care to pursue but it worked for him. And it only got better in '08. Bach entered CMT's Gone Country 2 celebrity competition. The concept was to have entertainers outside the Country realm take a shot at it. Just another chance for public humiliation? Nope, turned out Bach won the damn thing. He impressed the judges by performing an original song titled "Battle With The Bottle."
Sebastian Bach Discography

Albums:

2007 Angel Down
2011 Kicking & Screaming
2014 Give 'Em Hell

Live Album:
Bring 'Em Bach Alive!

"Angel Down" is, in places, a darker and heavier album than expected. It's more an extension of Bach's stint with Frameshift than a return to the Skid Row glory days. However, when he does go back there, it's worth the trip. "You Don't Understand" is patented '80s Metal and sounds great as does the single "(Love Is) A Bitchslap," with additional vocals from Axl Rose. But it's the ballads, "By Your Side" and "Falling Into You" that score. Bach gives each a surprisingly effective and sincere performance. There's a strong sense of theater that no doubt originated in the Skid Row days then was honed on stage.

Bach and Rose take Aerosmith's "Back In The Saddle" for a spin and do an admirable job. It's reminiscent of Bach's '01 covers effort, "Bach 2 Basics" where he reworked songs by Ozzy, KISS, Led Zeppelin, AC/DC and even Rush.

While Bach is trying to update his image with "Angel Down," he's really an '80s Metal guy. "Bring 'Em Bach Alive" proves the point. Here, Bach rips through the material with abandon. Check "Rock N' Roll," "Superjerk, Superstar, Supertears" and "Riot Act." There's no telling Bach that Grunge and Nu Metal made him obsolete.


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