Sebastian Bach has seen highs and lows during his 34 years in the music industry. He helped rock the late ’80s and early ’90s as the front man for Skid Row. He’s also had a solo career and appeared in several Broadway musicals.
He’s passing on a little bit of that knowledge on “Breaking Band,” the AXS cable series that brings together new bands and musician with the performers they consider as their greatest influence. In this week’s episode, Bach works with the up-and-coming band Santa Cruz.
Having young musicians look up to him is flattering for Bach.
“Every musician’s dream come true is to make a song that somebody likes and it stands the test of time,” Bach says. “Skid Row was one of the last bands under the rope before the Internet. We were the last band to know what it was like for everyone to have to go to the record store to buy the music they liked. When I was a kid, we would get a paper route after school, get $7, and go to the record store to go through the albums to decide that one I wanted to buy. Would it be Led Zeppelin or Jimi Hendrix?”
Bach adds that now, all a person has to do is go to the computer to hear every song made. That’s why a show like “Breaking Band” is important; it’s a way to get new bands in front of an audience.
Other mentors appearing on the show include Dave Navarro, Moby, Robin Zander, Belinda Carlisle and Mark McGrath.
The mentors all understand what its like to be at the beginning of a career and looking for that one big break.
Selecting the bands for the show started with finding the right mentors.
“We knew we had to pair Sebastian with a band who would be excited when he walked into the room,” Donovan Leitch, host of “Breaking Band,” says. “So we started looking for hard rock bands.”
During the course of interviewing the members of Santa Cruz, it became clear that Bach was the one artist that influenced them the most.
The bands were selected via their YouTube videos. Only those with a minimum of 50,000 views would be considered for the show. The band also had to be virgins when it comes to being on television so that their appearance on the AXS series would be their first major exposure. The episode was filmed over a one-day span as the band prepared for a performance on the online AXS TV concerts channel.
Santa Cruz selected wisely. Not only did Bach work with them for the show, but he became friends with the band members.
“They are a fun bunch,” Bach says. “They have the spirit of fun that I really like.”
Bach understands the importance of a mentor because he got a lot of help from Robin Zander, lead singer and rhythm guitarist for Cheap Trick. Bach’s father another big influence.
“He was a painter and artist,” Bach says. “He came home every night with his arms covered in paint. That was all he did and it made him happy. I would look at him and think I need to pick something that makes me happy.”
His pursuit of career happiness started in church as a soprano in the choir before getting into heavy metal. Bach loved singing so much that he knew that was the career he wanted.
Bach looks Leitch, smiles, and says, “My biggest influence may have been your dad.”
The host is the son of Scottish singer Donovan, who was been a musical sensation since the mid-’60s.
- 6:30 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 7, AXS TV