I spent many years in radio and the most frustrating thing I ever dealt with was the homogenization of radio. Radio was and is bland and boring and has only become more predictable and uniform since my early days in the business. I have had many battles with programmers and station owners because I tried to push the boundaries on a regular basis or balked when they tried to make the station I worked for sound more like the other guys.
I wholeheartedly agree with Sebastian Bach’s comment that radio programmers have no balls, are not rock fans, and suck. In addition they are completely clueless. Most radio programmers still think KISS is too heavy for radio and that there is no audience for great hard rock and metal. There are a few exceptions out there but they sure as hell aren’t in my market nor anywhere near me. No one plays any of the great new rock out there unless they have an online radio station.
It really comes down to having the balls to put it on the air and take ALL the criticism head on. It’s going to take someone with deep pockets, a thick skin, and a titanium spine to break the barrier down and if I had the dockets I’d be all over it. I’ve wanted to have my own groundbreaking, ball busting, head crushing radio station since I was 12 and if I ever become independently wealthy I will build that station and crank it to 11!
So, kudos to you Mr. Bach! I love your attitude and your statement. It’s too bad those with the power to change the music we hear on terrestrial radio are more worried about their bank accounts and their image than sharing groundbreaking, mind blowing, socially, politically, relevant music or just plain old KICK ASS music.
So, once again thank you Sab. YOU ROCK!
The A.V. Club recently conducted an interview with former SKID ROW frontman Sebastian Bach. A couple of excerpts from the chat follow below.
The A.V. Club: Supposedly you joined SKID ROW after you heard demos of the “Youth Gone Wild” and “18 And Life”. Do you remember hearing them? Did you think they were any good?
Bach: I didn’t think they were very good when I first heard them. I wasn’t impressed too much. The singer they had at the time was a complete Jon Bon Jovi clone. The way he sang was not the way I sang. So I kept listening to them and, the more I listened to the songs, I thought they were good songs. So, I tried out, and they tried out for me, and we made the record and everybody around the world freaked out. I got this tattoo of “Youth Gone Wild” before we did the album.
The A.V. Club: Oh, that worked out well, then.
Bach: Yeah, [I got the tattoo] before we even had a record deal. I got it because I love the song and I thought it was very autobiographical of my life at the time.
The A.V. Club: How so?
Bach: Well, because I was a youth and I was wild. [Laughs] These days it’s bittersweet for me to talk about these songs because radio in the United States of America completely fucking sucks. There is nowhere a guy like me can get a new song on the radio, because there’s like over 1,700 radio stations in America and only 60 or 70 of them play rock music. And, those stations that do play rock are all classic rock where they’ll play “Youth Gone Wild” and “18 [And] Life” from 22, 23 years ago, but my new record, “Kicking & Screaming”, which debuted at 68 on the Top 200 Billboard chart — which is a respectable-selling album — they won’t play a song from that. So, you know, talking about old SKID ROW sometimes is not my favorite thing to do, but I know you all love “Youth Gone Wild”, even though I’m 43. I got a new guitar player in my band who started when he was 19. His name is Nick Sterling, and we made the record starting last year in January. He’s 21 now, so he kind of is the “Youth Gone Wild”. At least we have one of them on the stage. We recorded in Hollywood with Bob Marlette and just got the best reviews in my whole career. But, you know, you won’t hear it on The Loop in Chicago, but you’ll hear “Youth Gone Wild”. But yeah, the album came out great. I love it. I hope you get to hear it sometime.
The A.V. Club: When fans come out to see you now, are you doing mostly “Kicking & Screaming” material?
Bach: No, I do whatever I feel in my heart. I’ll do all the old SKID ROW songs because I know that’s why people are buying a ticket to come see me play. But, you know, I’m 43 years old. I don’t get excited running onstage saying, “We are the youth gone wild,” when I’m almost 50. It’s kind of silly. I don’t get on the tour bus and drive across the country so I can play my 22-year-old song. I’m doing it so that I can play my new song.
The A.V. Club: That’s respectable. A lot of artists don’t feel that way.
Bach: I mean, think about what we’re talking about. I don’t walk around in 2012 thinking about 1989. I don’t know who does do that but, that’s, I guess, the nature of the business I’m in. But, when I was a kid, we were always excited about the next record that LED ZEPPELIN was going to put out and the next KISS tour, the new KISS costume, and the new KISS record. We didn’t just listen to “Rock And Roll All Nite” for three decades.
The A.V. Club: Yeah, but that’s the radio landscape now.
Bach: That’s what I’m saying. I would like to say to every radio programmer reading this: “You are a fucking pussy. You are not a rock fan. You are hustling nostalgia and you have no balls and you suck.” That’s what I would like to say.
Read the entire interview from The A.V. Club.