SEBASTIAN BACH Seemingly Takes Issue With RACHEL BOLAN’s Claim ’98 Percent’ Of SKID ROW’s Debut Was Written Before Singer Joined

Sebastian Bach has apparently taken issue with SKID ROW bassist Rachel Bolan‘s recent claim that 98 percent of the band’s debut album was written before Bach joined SKID ROW.

In a December 2023 interview with the “Radio Forrest” podcast, Rachel was asked if it’s true that 1989’s “Skid Row” LP was “completely written and done” before Sebastian came into the group and laid down his vocals on it. Rachel responded: “Yeah, pretty much — all except for a couple things here and there, but I would say about 98 percent were written and done, for sure.”

He added: “That’s the way it just worked out. Snake [SKID ROW guitarist Dave Sabo] and I, when we first met, we just started writing songs. We each had our own band, and we didn’t commit to a band. And we each did our own gigs and whatever, but we’d get together and write songs. And then once we saw, like, ‘Wow. These songs are really cool. Let’s put something together and just start playing them for people.’ And that’s how SKID ROW was born. It was kind of like a two- or three-step process. And so Snake and I just ended up the main songwriters. It’s not to say that we didn’t want anyone else’s contributions, ’cause that’s not the case.”

Bolan continued: “You know as soon as you start playing an idea for the guys whether they like it or not, whether it’s a good idea or not. ‘Cause sometimes I think that I have the next ‘Stairway To Heaven’ and I’ll bring it to rehearsal and everyone’s, like, ‘Eh.’ And you’re just, like, ‘Oh, that hurts.’ But it is what it is. All five of you have to have to get off on it for it to become a SKID ROW song.”

Bach addressed Bolan‘s comments during his February 24 solo concert at Palace Theatre in St. Paul, Minnesota. After performing the song “Makin A Mess” from “Skid Row”, Sebastian told the crowd (see video from Melvin Zoopers below): “You might read online, you might read online my old bass player, and my old guitar player, ‘Oh, we came up with 98 percent of that shit.’ Well, if you look in the credits, I co-wrote that last song, I’ll have you know. I co-wrote these lyrics. I co-wrote these lyrics. It goes, ‘One, two, baby what you do / Three, four, let me show you the door / You’re better off dead than makin’ a mess of me / Five, six, take your last licks / Seven, eight, I’m gonna give it to you straight.’ It’s like fucking Shakespeare. Those are some rhyming couplets that I just laid on you.”

Bach joined SKID ROW in 1988 as the replacement for the band’s original lead singer Matt Fallon, who sang on demo versions of songs that were eventually re-recorded for SKID ROW‘s multi-platinum 1989 eponymous LP.

Back in June 2021, Bach weighed in on a Twitter discussion between SKID ROW fans in response to the announcement that the band’s then-lineup would perform its second album, “Slave To The Grind”, in its entirety at a California concert the following month. When one fan wrote that Sebastian “made SKID ROW the band they were,” another fan chimed in: “It’s hard to say a guy made a band who they were when he didn’t write anything on their biggest selling album. You get another good vocalist and you probably have the same result”. This prompted Sebastian to write: “Hey stupid you do realize that the songwriting credits are on the album right? Can you read?” When the same Twitter user said that “Fans need to move past ERAs”, Bach responded: “Fans have moved past ERAS they started back in 1996 jackass. You can either listen to #AngelDown #KickingandScreaming and #GiveEmHell,” referencing his last three solo albums, “or you can listen to ‘Rise Of The Damnation Army United World Rebellion Chapter 2’,” which was the 2014 post-Bach EP released by SKID ROW. “The choice of songwriters is up to you”.

Apparently undeterred, the fan who made the original comment about the alleged lack of Sebastian‘s songwriting contributions went on to say: “[Bach] wrote NONE of the songs on their biggest selling album which is the comment he is responding to,. I have been corrected on ‘Slave To The Grind’, I guess he can legitimately sing those 3 songs live”. To this, Sebastian replied: “READ THE CREDITS YOU F****** IDIOT I wrote the song ‘Makin A Mess’ and every single high note on the first SKID ROW Record when I was 19 years old. You think anybody wrote the screams in ’18 And Life’ other than me? Why don’t you go listen to the guy before me sing It on YouTube and go shove that video up your ass”.

He continued: “Hey you dumb fuck I co-wrote five songs on ‘Slave To The Grind’ if you could learn to read you would know this. I co-wrote five songs on ‘Subhuman Race’ so shove that up your ass too. Go listen to my solo records & the records they make without me and have a gr8 time”.

Sebastian added: “Read the credits if you want fact. The fact is u r a lifetime loser and you always will be. You have no clue what you’re talking about & can’t read liner notes. The albums they wrote without me are the ones that I do not sing on. My solo albums were written without them. Enjoy”.

Sebastian‘s comments came six years after he slammed his former bandmates in SKID ROW for claiming to have written all the songs on the group’s early records without him. During an appearance on the “Snider Comments” podcast with host Dee Snider of TWISTED SISTER, Bach said: “The biggest lie that those guys always tell is, ‘We wrote all the songs on all the records.’ If you listen to my albums and the SKID ROW albums, and then you listen to the SKID ROW albums without me, and then listen to my solo albums, that’ll give you all that you need to know about who wrote what. When they say, ‘We wrote the song ’18 And Life’, you [just] sang it.’ Okay, let’s examine that statement. You can go listen to the original version of that song online, and then you can listen to me doing it, and there’s something called a melody line. Okay? Where it goes, [singing] ‘Lived nine to five and he worked his fingers to the bone.’ Every time my voice goes into the register where you turn it up and go, ‘Holy shit! Did you fucking hear that?’ Those are the notes that I wrote, okay? Nobody does that in the version before that I didn’t fucking… ‘Can I sing this note in this part?’ ‘Yeah, do that, Sebastian. Yeah, do that.'”

He continued: “So I’m nineteen years old, taking these fucking songs and turning them into JUDAS PRIEST songs, as far as… I’m rewriting the melody lines, never thinking anybody was gonna like it, never thinking anybody was gonna buy it. I’m thinking I’m gonna be the next MALICE, not the next BON JOVI. The last thing anybody ever thinks is that somebody is gonna like this shit. That was, like, the last-case scenario. So I’m not in court, saying, ‘I wrote this note! I fucking…’ I’m not gonna be in litigation when I’m nineteen. You know?! So, [them saying] ‘We wrote all the songs’ is such a fucking pile of shit.”

Asked by Snider if he thinks it’s okay for some other singer to come and imitate his vocal and writing style and represent himself as the frontman of SKID ROW, Bach responded: “No. I think they should change the name of the band and leave… Like, VAN HALEN, okay, had Sammy [Hagar]… Well, they had Gary [Cherone]…. [Laughs] I forgot about that. But anyways, I would say, save the name of the band… I’m not saying that for me; I’m saying that for all of rock and roll.”

Sebastian also talked about the fact that he believes he is by far the most recognizable member of the classic SKID ROW lineup. He said: “The elephant in the room here is, like, when you [referring to Dee] and me walk down the street, Dee Snider and Sebastian Bach, we are the human beings that other human beings hang out the car window and go, ‘Youth gone wild, motherfucker!’ ‘We’re not gonna take it!’ There’s no other people… There’s no other guy… Not one guy in SKID ROW walks down the street and can’t walk down the fucking street. I can’t walk down the street without people going, ‘Fuck! What the fuck!’ There’s no [other] guy in the band that will ever have that; they never will. The public decides. It’s like the show ‘American Idol’. ‘We’re gonna pick an ‘American idol’.’ No, you’re not. America is gonnna pick the fucking idol. America is the people that decide who the band is. You know what I’m saying?!”

Asked in a 2013 interview with Metal Covenant if Bach “actually wrote anything significant on [SKID ROW‘s early] albums,” Sabo responded: “To be totally honest, yeah. I mean, he contributed to things here and there. There is no doubt; you can’t deny it. But to the extent that what Rachel and I would put into a song, no. I mean, Rachel and I spent three months on ‘Quicksand Jesus’. So to sit there and say that he didn’t contribute anything, then I’d be lying. But to sit there and say that he contributed equally as we did, that would be a lie.”

In a 2010 interview, Bolan stated about SKID ROW‘s split with Sebastian: “There was so much tension and so much infighting that it was hard to write songs. Snake and I formed the band, we wrote the songs, and then other people played and sang it. People wanted to break away from what had been working, and that impeded the songwriting.”

Regarding the decision to reform SKID ROW in 1999 without Bach, Bolan said: “The blood was so bad after [1995’s] ‘Subhuman Race’ and there was just so much stuff in the press, we knew it wasn’t going to work [with Sebastian]. We decided we’d rather go on being happy with what we were doing than get right back into all the tension and dissension. We loved the music, we loved playing, and we knew we could do this and have fun again. So we decided right there to continue without him.”


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