Sebastian Bach: 'When I Started Out, You Couldn't Be a Lead Singer Without a Unique Sound'

"None of today's young singers have a unique sound," the vocalist says.

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Ex-Skid Row singer Sebastian Bach recently discussed the matter of young vocalists on today's rock scene, expressing concern about the lack of unique-sounding musicians.

Discussing his perfectionism and meticulous work habits, Bach agreed that such approach is definitely a rarity among younger musicians.

"When I started out, you could not be a lead singer unless you had your own sound that was all your own," he told My Global Mind. "Let me explain that. Ozzy Osbourne - nobody sounds like that. Jon Bon Jovi - you know his voice. Steven Tyler - nobody sounds like that. Vince Neil - nobody sounds like that. Rob Halford - nobody sounds like that. Sebastian Bach ... I had my own sound. I do not sound like Axl Rose.

"All of us are identifiable in our vocals and immediately when you hear me sing or talk you know that is Sebastian Bach. Same with all the stars of when we were kids. These days, what you just said, I do not think that anybody tries in bands now coming up. I do not hear any lead vocalist that is coming with his own new, brand new, unique sound. Like none. Zero. If there are some, tell me! [laughs]"

The interviewer then brought up Linkin Park's Chester Bennington as an example of a unique young singer. "But that is not new," Sebastian replied, "He is great! But Linkin Park has been around for a long time. I mean, when I pick up Kerrang! and all these bands in there, I have never heard of any of them. I think the reason is because they are not unique, that is the word I am looking for, unique.

"If there are some singers, just tell me because I collect this s--t. [laughs] So I am always looking for a great singer. The last amazing singer I have ever heard was Jeff Buckley. I do not know if you know who that is but if you want to hear the most astonishing vocals, get the Jeff Buckley album 'Grace.' It is just ... I cannot believe this guy's voice. I cannot believe this is like from the mid-90s and all that time I have not heard a vocalist [like that]. Maybe I am missing somebody, I do not know. What a shame," he concluded.

Bach's latest studio effort, "Give 'Em Hell," saw its release on April 22 via Frontiers Records.

27 comments sorted by best / new / date

    There are a few young bands out there with very unique voices, and they sound great. Its just a matter of finding them. But I feel these days all you need is an upbeat indie jingle to get on the radio without any unique qualities at all. As long as their hearts in it, its fine.
    For once Seb has a really valid point!! I thought of this the other day when walking past my kids watching the animated movie "Epic" on tv. Steven Tyler was one of the voices and sooooo instantly recognisable. All these "cookie monster on lead vox" bands around now are a dime a dozen and will disappear without a trace over the years (I'll just wait for the reply "what about blah blah, they're great" to which some clowns will upvote) This same scenario was starting to happen when in the early 90's the wannabe grunge (yuck word) singers that were baritones sounded all like Vedder/Meeks/Weiland clones. Rock ain't dead but it's certainly on life support.
    This really goes for a lot of new thrash bands the singers all sound the same to day the bands i grew up with Anthrax,Slayer, Megadeth,Exodus,Overkill,Testament,Kreator,Destruction,I mean look at all of these bands here i have mentioned every singer is diffrent and very distinctive but not the ones today
    I'd argue that Evile, Havok, Vektor, and Municipal Waste are all modern thrash bands that can be easily picked out btwn one another
    For me, the vocalist is more important that I realized. Geddy Lee, Jon Anderson, Robert Plant, Cedric Bixler-Zavala... All big part of the bands unique sound. In fact, sometimes I find bands but get turned off because of the singer's average voice. However, I'm not gonna say that there are no good or unique modern singers.
    The best vocalists are those who sound like no one else. Not necessarily people who can just hold a note or have incredible range. That's why I love Geddy Lee, Axl Rose, Robert Plant, James Hetfield and Corey Taylor.
    Ironic coming from a guy who sounds like all other 80's glam singers.
    Way Cool JR.
    He sounds nothing like all the others. Actually none of them sounded the same, they all had their own distinct & unique voice/sound.
    Have to agree with JR, you either didn't listen to those bands, or you need to get your ears checked, because while a lot of those glam bands get lumped together, one thing that is instantly recognizable between then is their singer. GNR Poison Ratt Cinderella Slaughter Tesla Whitesn ake White Lion Great White Skid Row Motley Crue Steelheart Every single one of those singers has a very distinct style, and none of them sound like the other.
    I think he's right - we all attribute tool's awesomeness (in part) to MJK's unique vocals. likewise, porcupine tree would be awful without steven wilson. Imagine a Megadeth song with anybody else but dave singing it. The singer is part of what makes a connection with the listeners - they don't want to listen to the same stuff over and over, so yeah, unique vocals can be what make or break a band.
    Generalization is not a good thing *tsk tsk*. "Vince Neil, nobody sounds like that." THANK GOD!
    Mr. Bach, if that is your real name, you are old, you are over the hill, and no one likes you anymore. Now **** off.
    lol, really? everyone in the 80s were trying to sound like Bruce Dickinson or Ronnie James Dio or Rob Halford, and Skid Row was no exception although, to his credit, yes, a lot of bands these days either sound like 13-year-old emos or Nickelback cover-bands
    How does Sebastian Bach and Skid Row sound anything like those three singers to you? They were in a totally different genre. Skid Row always had more in common with Bon Jovi than Judas Priest.
    Since nobody else will ever mention them, the band The Gaslight Anthem has a guy with a pretty distinct voice nowadays. He might be doing his best Bruce Springsteen impression but not a lot of rock singers do that nowadays, based on what I hear.
    i think he means eunuch and not unique...coz how else would all those glam/hair metal bands all sound(the same) like high pitch cvnts lol...
    Way Cool JR.
    They don't all sound the same at all. I can't even think of one band that I would mistake for another because they all sounded so different from one another. And most all of them could out sing a majority of the so called Rock & Metal singers today. Also the Rock & Metal itself was far better in the '80s than pretty much everything & anything today, but that can be said for every style of music in the '80s, it was all spectacular. This is coming from a lover of music from all different genera's from the 1700's to the present.
    I often have the same thoughts. I'm avidly search and listen to new music, and I can't find a great singer with an unique voice. Cedric from TMV was my last find. I really love to hear passion, uniqueness, quirkiness and expression in a singer. There are great recent sounding bands, but when the voice comes in it's usually, meh. Then there's the thing it gets on my nerves the most, Djent and the likes, where you have elements of screamo and emo, etc, and you can't tell one from another. Not to mention the lazy open B or lower riffs with the layers of reverberated clean guitars. Why don't you get someone like Bach to sing on a Djent track and make it really powerful instead of whiny?