As singer Sebastian Bach plans a solo tour and the remaining members of the officially defunct Skid Row prepare to record with a new singer under a new name, Atlantic records is getting ready to issue a "best of" album that includes two previously unreleased tracks. But don't ask Bach about that project, he says he's reading about it in the press just like everybody else. And he makes it clear that it doesn't make him a very happy camper -- not the usual demeanor for the happy-go-loudly "Bas.
"This whole album they're putting out is completely against my consent," Bach recently told MTV News Online. "I don't even know what it's going to sound like. I've called to try to hear the mixes of these two old demos and I can't, I haven't even got a call back from the producer and I've been calling him over and over." [180k Audio]
Bach contends that the album
is missing some key material and blames bandmate Rachel Bolan for the exclusions:
"He wants to be perceived as the songwriter in the band and no matter even if I co-wrote five songs off "Slave" or if I co-wrote four songs off "Subhuman" this is his album, so it's his view of what Skid Row was." [200k Audio]
One of the "new" tracks, says Bach, was the only song ever recorded and not included on an album, and the second song, "Fire in the Hole," he says, was nothing more than a rough demo.
"I know my singing on it is not what I would want to put out at this point, but I called my lawyers and they said technically if the band outvotes me on what they want to put out then I have absolutely no say as per the contract, so kids out there make sure you read the fine print. [190k Audio]
Bach says he hasn't seen his bandmates since they toured South
America together two years ago, supporting their last release, 1994's "Subhuman Race." The final straw came, says Bach, when Skid Row were asked to open a New Years Eve concert for Kiss -- Bach's dream gig -- and the rest of the band declined the invitation. These days all communication is being dealt with through lawyers.
"Snake and Rachel own the name, they kicked me out of the band in December '96, and if they tell you that they didn't I have it on tape. I actually had a downloadable up on my site for one day but my friend said it was a little too mean so I took it off. You know I just want to tell the truth. So shoot me. They own the name and they kicked me out, but I'm part of the partnership, the whole business partnership is between the three bandmembers, actually the five bandmembers, so if they want to use the name they have to consult me so that's why they're changing it. [400k Audio]
Shawn McCabe, the new singer for "the band formerly known as Skid Row," says in a post on an AOL message board that the new group with old members Bolan, Snake Sabo, Scotti Hill and Rob Affuso, will have a different sound and won't be performing any of the old Skid Row material, anyway. Bolan, meanwhile, has told fans that the band has been demoing material, and expects to start recording for real in May. Bolan has also said he plans on continuing his work with his other band, Prunella Scales and may even arrange to have both bands tour together.
While Skid Row skidded to a halt with four albums left on their contract, it appears that neither of the two warring factions will be readily filling the void. Sources close to Atlantic say neither a pitch from Bach for a solo project nor the McCabe-fronted new band have so far been picked up by the label.
Atlantic has also not been kind to Bach's The Last Hard Men, the band that's kept Bach's flaxen locks in the news over the
past year and a half. That band was the initial creation of Breeders' veteran Kelley Deal who originally gathered together Bach, Jimmy Flemion of the Frogs and former Smashing Pumpkins drummer Jimmy Chamberlin (who has since appeared to have fallen by the wayside) to record a song for the Scream soundtrack in '96. The project blossomed into a whole album. Bach says if that band doesn't find a home for the record at a major company, they'll go back to Deal's initial plan and release the record on her own independent label.
Meanwhile, the band Bach put together to open for Pantera on some dates earlier this year -- which includes Jimmy Flemion on guitar, guitarist Richie Scarlet, drummer Mark "Bam Bam" McConnell and a bassist named "Larry" -- is expanding their horizons with another tour. The band goes back out on the road starting May 17 for two months in the States and Canada and then heads to Japan.
Despite all the grief, Bach still seems to have a place in his heart
for both the old music and the band.
The part that's frustrating is that I'm the biggest Skid Row fan of all the old songs, and all the old stuff, but if they don't want to do it I can't force them to.
"If there could be a case of pizza and a case of beer and a frisbee involved we could probably do another record, but what the hell do I know?" [120k Audio]