Six months after Hurricane Irene destroyed Sebastian Bach’s sprawling Lincroft home, the singer is at a loss for words when asked to describe the nightmarish ordeal that has followed.
“I really don’t know what to say,” Bach said from a tour stop in Baltimore, where he was supporting his new album, 'Kicking & Screaming.' “I loved it. It was home for 20 years. My kids lived there.
“I’m a singer. I’m not used to dealing with water companies and insurance companies,” he said. “I’m still paying mortgage on my condemned home. It’s very depressing. How could I have not had a drop of water [in the house] in 20 years and now this?”
Irene’s swift and violent floodwaters knocked the house off its foundation and laid waste to an extensive collection of priceless rock memorabilia that the Canadian-born singer spent years accumulating.
Bach can take some solace in having released his fourth solo album in September on Frontiers Records. “Kicking & Screaming” is a fierce slab of hard rock and heavy metal driven by Bach’s dynamic, powerful vocals. Bach, 43, turns in a striking performance that retains the intensity, force and range displayed on his former group Skid Row’s 1989 self-titled debut.
On “As Long As I Got the Music,” one of “Kicking & Screaming’s” standout tracks, Bach sings, “Broke and Stranded I Don’t Care/ As long as I got the music drivin' me/Ain't nothin' bothers me.”
“To have what I went through, how could I have been singing that before all this happened,” Bach wondered – he finished the CD in May. “It’s art imitating life, life imitating art. I’m just glad I was able to complete recording before all this happened.”
By hitting the road Bach can at least momentarily push his troubles to the back of his mind as he concentrates on concerts and promoting his album. The shows also give Bach an emotional outlet for the turbulence he experienced in 2011 – Bach began the year going through a divorce from his wife of nearly two decades.
Bach said he is extremely proud of the record. He said it is the first album he has sang on that he listens to regularly. “When I go on runs and scope my iPod, I say to myself, ‘I’m going to listen to “Kicking & Screaming” again,’” he said.
Bach’s backing band includes 21-year-old wunderkind guitarist Nick Sterling and drummer Bobby Jarzombek, both of whom played on “Kicking & Screaming,” as well as guitarist Johnny Chromatic and bassist Jason Christopher.
The singer began his career with Sayreville-based Skid Row, whose debut was powered by the Top 10 singles “I Remember You” and “18 & Life” and the teen rebellion anthem “Youth Gone Wild.”
The band’s sophomore effort, “Slave to the Grind,” was the first heavy metal record to debut at No. 1 on the Billboard charts, on the strength of stellar rockers “Monkey Business” and “Slave to the Grind” and the haunting “In a Darkened Room.”
After parting ways with Skid Row in 1996, Bach launched his solo career. He has also found a home on the theatrical stage, landing leading roles in “Jekyll & Hyde” on Broadway and the touring production of “Jesus Christ Superstar.”
While he said he is open to returning to theater if the right role comes along, for now Bach is content to stalk the rock-and-roll stage.
“I’m just trying to make good CDs,” Bach said. “That’s my goal, to put something in your iPod you really want to listen to.”
Sebastian Bach Discography
“Bring ‘Em Bach Alive!” (1999)
“Bach 2: Basics (2001)
“Angel Down” (2007)
“Kicking & Screaming” (2011)
With Skid Row
“Skid Row” (1989)
“Slave to the Grind (1991)
“B-Side Ourselves” (1992)
“Subhuman Race” (1995)
“Jekyll & Hyde” (Broadway) – Dr. Henry Jekyll/Edward Hyde (2000)
“The Rocky Horror Show” (Broadway) – Riff Raff (2001)
“Jesus Christ Superstar” (National Touring Production) – Jesus of Nazareth (2002–2003)