Park Avenue may lead to Skid Row, but Sebastian Bach’s got bigger plans. The former Skid Row frontman has been pursuing a successful solo career for several years, and has now made his phenomenal Broadway debut performing the dual lead in “Jekyll & Hyde” at the Plymouth Theater in New York’s theater district. Only weeks into his four-month run, he is receiving rave reviews and standing ovations for his near sold-out performances. He has earned guest appearances on shows like “Late Night” with Conan O’Brien (NBC) and “Live” with Regis and Kathy Lee (ABC), a 40-foot billboard in the heart of Times Square, and a two-page article in the July 24th issue of People magazine for starters.
Bach may be the new Broadway leading man, but according to Bach, the production, based on Robert Louis Stevenson’s novella, “The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde” is “metal,” and he will always stay true to himself. In fact, when he was first approached to fill the slot by Atlantic Records, he says he had to see the play first before he could decide.
“As you know, everything I’ve ever put my name on, I am a complete fan of it or I don’t do it. That is the reason I am an entertainer, to make sh!t that I think is cool, to me that’s what a performer is — You do the best you can. You make something that you love. — If they would have asked me to try out for Saturday Night Fever, that’s just not me…This is rock ‘n roll. This is sex, drugs, death, blood, knives, f*ckin beatings, f*ckin fires, smoke. It’s incredible man, it’s so heavy. So, I said yes I love this play. I love it and I’d love to try out.”
After playing a sold-out show at the House of Blues in Los Angeles, California, with a guest appearance by WWE pro wrestler Chris Jericho during “Youth Gone Wild,” Bach says he flew to New York City and auditioned for the role.
“I didn’t just get the show. I was auditioning at 11:00 a.m., and singing all the songs from the show and I just treated it the same way as I do my rock shows. I warmed up and I sang it as hard as I could and I didn’t even think they’d call me back. They loved it – they loved the audition, but I thought I’m too rock. I’m just too f*cking rock for Broadway.”
Much to his surprise, Bach says two weeks later while sitting by the pool with his road crew, his chick, and his band, the phone rings and his agent asks “How’s it feel to wake up today and be a Broadway leading man?”
“I started crying. I could not believe it. I can’t believe it. Thank you Lord! If you remain true to what you know is right in life, things work out. I’m living proof of that…If you trust in what you know is good, things come to you.”
He sums it up by saying “You get what you give, ” and “I’m not out there playing just songs from ten years ago, I’m making new music and trying my hardest to entertain my fans, and I think that it comes back. Though Bach says he loves the stage and he has never done anything like this in his life, whether he will return, “all depends on the role.
“When you say do you see yourself doing more Broadway, its like when people say ‘Why aren’t you in Skid Row?’ There’s no such thing. If Skid Row wrote a song that was as good as ‘Monkey Business’ or ’18 & Life,’ I would be in f*cking Skid Row! There’s no songs like that, that I said ‘No I don’t want to do that’ there’s none, there’s zero, they don’t have any new songs. So, if there was a role like Jekyll & Hyde, which I find hard to believe, like if it was ‘Drakula’ or f*cking ‘Blade Runner,’ or f*cking ‘Legends of the Fall’ or ‘Thor’ or ‘Spiderman’ or ‘Ironman’ — If it was a role that I was a fan of then yes, then I would be doing it…I am real excited that I am on Broadway, but I’m more excited about becoming ‘Jekyll’ and ‘Hyde’ every night.”
He says that the best part about the show is “The challenge of talking with an English accent and having short hair and being reserved. That’s not me…When I’m Dr. Jekyll, I’m a doctor, so I can’t be up there doin’ kicks off the drum riser. I love challenging myself, I feel good about myself if I can do something that I never thought I could do and pull it off that to me kicks @ss.”
“The first night I was really nervous, obviously. I mean you would be too. I didn’t f*ck up or anything — knock on wood –, but I couldn’t believe it – rock ‘n roll brought me to this – I can’t believe it — its unbelievable, and I never compromised who the fuck I was. Its not like when (Jon) Bon Jovi said, ‘ I’m going to be an actor now.’ Its like I’m just Sebastian Bach and if you don’t like it suck me. Like I don’t care, I’ll never change who the f*ck I am, cause I love me too much. – It’s true, it’s totally true, I love what I do, so why change. If it ain’t broke, don’t’ break it. And yes I did make that up.”
Having never done anything like this in his life, there were sure to be a few snags during rehearsals, one in particular that Bach says happened while performing the steamy sex scene between Hyde and Lucy, who is played by Coleen Sexton, in front of the rest of the cast.
“Well, to me the funniest thing that happened was the first time I did ‘Dangerous Games’ in rehearsal, and I had to really do it, I got a hard-on (he laughs) and I had to stop half-way through and like walk around and everybody was laughing their guts out. ‘Cause I’m not an actor – of course I’m an actor now, obviously, I’m a f*cking excellent f*cking actor but to me the reason I’m a good actor is because I’m not acting, when I turn into Hyde, I’m F*cking Hyde OK! There’s no joking around. Every time I turn into Hyde and I’m standing there in silence, you can’t hear a fucking pin drop in the whole f*cking theater and I feel it…It’s true there’s your story.”
But Bach is no stranger to acting. He filmed the movie Point Doom with Andrew Dice Clay and Richard Grieco. And though the rock ‘n roll movie in which Bach plays a drug dealer is now scheduled to air on HBO, Bach says that it was something he did two years ago and it’s “NOT worth talking about.”
“This is a little more classy. This is class, I’m into class. I don’t think most rockers give a f*ck about class, they don’t even know what it is really. I know what class is all about. When I sing ‘I Remember You’ in the video and ’18 & Life’ that’s class, integrity, perfection, that’s what I’m all about. That’s what I’ve always been about. That’s why I’m not in Skid Row, obviously they have zero f*cking class.
“I have respect for the stage. Do you understand? When I go up there, I feel so graced from God that I am able to make my dreams come true and live on the stage and sing and perform…I respect it, I don’t ever take it for granted no matter what, no matter what. I don’t give a shit that I’ve sold 22 million records and that I’m a Broadway leading man, I still show up here at five o’clock and I warm up my voice and I f*cking do my push-ups and my sit-ups and I don’t screw up the words – knock on wood – there’s a lot of words to remember – ok, let me tell you how many, I feel like I got the encyclopedia Britannica shoved in my head. That’s a lot of f*cking material, you know.”
“We practiced for a month and a half, every single day – well, six days a week, from noon till five and I’ve practiced with the ultimate director Robert Phillips…he really taught me how to act. It’s a discipline. You don’t just go up there and go for it, its like regimented – its disciplined – and I love it, I f*cking love it. I love pushing myself seeing what I’m capable of. Anybody that’s my fan please understand that that’s what I’m all about, ever since I f*cking started. Like in Skid Row, everything I ever did, my solo record, touring like I do. I always push myself as hard as I f*cking can. I don’t just rest on my laurels. It’s not about 1989 for me it’s about the year 2000 and 2001. That’s what I think of — I don’t think of f*cking ’91, it was great, it was wonderful, it was ten years ago!”
Though he loves to tour, Bach says right now he is content being in one place so he can see his children. “I don’t get to see them enough and I love them and I miss them. So obviously I like that – no contest. I love going on the road but I miss my sons, and I miss my wife and I miss my house …nobody tours more than me so I can f*cking say that. When I go out, I go OUT.” And though he had initially intended on doing a longer tour, he says “You don’t turn down Broadway, we also did about ninety shows, it was not a short tour…that was the plan (to do a longer tour like he had done prior to Bring ‘Em Bach Alive!) but things change…I’m not going to turn down Broadway to play the f*cking Birch Hill.
“I wouldn’t turn down Broadway if I was selling out arenas, I would cancel it. This is like, special. This is a special time in my life and I love every f*cking minute of it. Even when I’m tired — I’m beat up, I still love it, cause I know I did good. When I go to bed at night I go ahhh (big sigh), I rock!”
On the Rock Side
In a dressing room adorned with KISS posters left by the former leading man Jack Wagner, Bach proudly boasted that he has received several visits from the band, and was just asked to open some tour dates for KISS in California by their manager Doc McGhee who has already seen the show a few times as well.
“They all buy tickets to come watch me now, so that’s pretty cool. But Doc asked me to open up for KISS in California coming in August, and I go, ‘I’m doing this (Broadway).’ So he asked me then, ‘Well how’d you like to go to Australia in December and open up for KISS on the Australian KISS tour?’ It’s not for sure yet, but Doc McGhee asked me to come play with them. So, maybe New Years Eve I will be opening for them in Australia. So, Skid Who? I thought that was the only thing they had up on me. So now, KISS what?”
His success has also put him in the position to turn down an offer from Warner Bros. to participate in their upcoming Metal God movie. “They called me for that. They wanted to pay me a thousand bucks and me fly myself out to LA and back. I go, you know what, get the dude in Slaughter…This (Jekyll & Hyde) has got more rock ‘n roll in its little finger.”
“I saw Marky Mark and I go, ‘do you like metal’ and he goes ‘no’. So that’s great, let’s cast a guy that doesn’t even like metal. That’s true to the heart!”
One thing that is definite is that Bach will continue on with his solo career after his time on Broadway. “I’ve signed a four album deal with Spitfire Records, and as soon as I’m done with this play in October, I’m going to go to bed for about a month (laughs) and I’m going to start making the most @ss kicking record in the history of human beings.
I have that intention with every record that I do – this is going to be the best one ever.It may not work out like that in the end, but that’s my intention. So this next one will be the best got d@mn album in the history of rock ‘n roll music — if you ask me.”
Though Bach’s guitarist Paul Crook (Anthrax) has been touring all summer and was not able to join Bach for a few recent dates, Karl Cochran from Frehley’s Comet who wrote “Into the Void” on the KISS Psycho Circus album filled in, and Bach says that Crook will be with him on the road in the future “if he can keep up,” since they have written some really good music together…That’s why the name of my band is Sebastian Bach, because I will definitely be playing with me (laughs).”