Public relations specialist and former Skid Row singer Sebastian Bach recently got into a slap fight about songwriting credits with a fan on Twitter.
The beef started following an announcement that the Bach-less Skid Row, which is now fronted by former Dragonforce singer ZP Theart, will perform their seminal 1991 sophomore album, Slave to the Grind, in its entirety in California on July 11:
Now, Slave to the Grind celebrated its thirtieth anniversary on June 11 — so it certainly makes sense that the band would wanna do something to celebrate.
There’s some debate to be had over who called “dibs” on the concept of playing Grind from start to finish first. Baz already did a tour celebrating the anniversary of the Skids’ eponymous debut by playing that record in its entirety… and when he did, everyone was like, “Well, he’s clearly gonna do this again, but with Slave to the Grind, in a couple of years.” But THEN Skid Row hinted that they were gonna do just such a trek last summer. But THEN Bach went ahead and announced his Slave to the Grind tour in January.
And look, they can both do their own shows playing all of Slave to the Grind, but you have to figure that in doing so, they’re gonna cannibalize their own audience. Maybe the hardest of the hardcore Skid Row fans will pay to see the album performed twice, but most of us would probably choose to go one show or the other. So they’re effectively in a two-versions-of-L.A. Guns scenario even if they’re not both using the Skid Row name.
This is all a very, very long-winded way of explaining why fans on Metal Twitter started (needlessly) taking sides between Bach and Skid Row. So one fan says Baz “made Skid Row the band they were,” and another fan shoots back “It’s hard to say a guy made a band who they were when he didn’t write anything on their biggest selling album,” and that’s when Mr. Bach himself opted to politely chime in:
“Hey stupid you do realize that the songwriting credits are on the album right? Can you read?”
The fan then shot back…
“[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.”
…and then Sebastian really let ‘er rip:
“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.
“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.
“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.”
And then, I shit you not, Baz kept ranting about this for like another 20,000 tweets (see below).
Now, as entertaining as this exchange was, sorting out who is “right” here is complicated.
Bach joined Skid Row after they’d already recorded the demos for the album that would become Skid Row with a different singer, Matt Fallon. Those demos suggest that a) Bach didn’t really write much of Skid Row but b) is still a way better singer than Fallon who definitely helped elevate the band’s work.
Having said that…
Back in 2014, Bach and several of his collaborators a) admitted the singer doesn’t play an instrument, and b) said he writes songs by humming them to band members who do play an instrument. Which opens up a whole can of worms with regards to the very concept of songwriting and whether or not one can write a song if they don’t play an instrument.
Having said THAT…
Some of Bach’s post-Skid Row solo albums have been pretty good, but none of Skid Row’s post-Bach records have been worth a damn. So maybe Baz does deserve more songwriting credit than he usually gets?
Regardless, I would argue that Bach shouldn’t be squabbling with fans on social media. It just makes him look insecure and petty and suggests he has too much free time on his hands. If the fan in question is, as Bach argues, “a lifetime loser,” then why bother getting into it with him? How does it benefit Bach? Can he imagine any of his heroes or peers pulling this shit? David Lee Roth? Axl Rose? Even Vince Neil would know better than to touch this. It’s just dumb.
Discuss amongst yourselves in the comments section.