Sebastian Bach Announces Slave to the Grind Anniversary Tour
Slave to the Grind, which is arguably inarguably Skid Row’s best album, turns thirty this year. I have less than no idea what the perception of this album is among the kids today, but it was a BIG DEAL when it came out, making its mark as the first-ever metal album to debut on number one on the Billboard 200 chart. Although Skid Row are (understandably) considered to be a glam band, Slave to the Grind has more in common with the previous year’s Cowboys from Hell than the previous year’s Flesh & Blood (Skid Row and Pantera even toured together during those album cycles, which didn’t seem at all odd in 1991). Every metal band always says their next record is gonna be heavier than their last one; Skid Row were one of the few bands for which that was actually true. Slave to the Grind isn’t “timeless,” exactly, but it’s still pretty goddamn great.
So naturally, Sebastian Bach — who was the Skids’ singer in their Grind days, donchaknow — will celebrate the big anniversary with a tour on which he’ll perform the entire record. Y’know, basically what he did a coupla years ago with Skid Row’s eponymous debut.
(That set list ended every night with an encore centered around handful of Grind tunes, so I expect this one will end night with an encore centered “18 & Life,” “I Remember You,” and “Youth Gone Wild.” I mention this in case you’re a total wimp who would rather hear “Sweet Little Sister” than “Livin’ on a Chain Gang.”)
Baz broke the news in a new interview with The Aquarian:
“I am not doing a damn thing until I get the Covid vaccine. If concerts exist by then, however, my band and I will play the dates celebrating the 30th anniversary of Skid Row’s debut that we cancelled when covid happened. Then this fall, I will be celebrating the 30th anniversary of [Skid Row’s] Slave to the Grind across America. My band and I will be playing the album in its entirety. The tour is already booked, [The Aquarian] is the first one I am telling this to. The first time we performed the entire album was at the Whisky a Go Go in Hollywood last year and it was incredible. “
So, no dates yet, but this is coming down the pike, possibly sooner rather than later.
I’ll be honest — Bach’s Skid Row tour was strange, but by no means a drag. As I noted in a brief 2019 review of the NYC stop on the trek:
“There was also a monitor on-stage behind [Bach] that cycled through vintage Skid Row videos, all with the band’s other members noticeably edited out (‘I think I saw Rachel Bolan’s elbow,’ Vince noted), and photos of the singer in his youth with various other notable stars of the era, who he often stopped to point out (‘That’s me and Tom Holland from Aerosmith!’ (he meant Tom Hamilton) ‘That’s me and Ozzy! Let’s hear it for Ozzy! OZ-ZY! OZ-ZY!’), like a senior-aged uncle showing you a slide show after vacation. Strangest of all may have been the decision to employ only one guitarist (Skid Row had two, doncha know), and effectively bury that guitarist in the mix, presumably so as not to overshadow Sebastian himself. Like I said, it was kinda weird, but also fun.”
So, just something to keep in mind when considering whether or not to attend the Slave to the Grind tour. You’ve got time to think about it, of course. We’ll let you know when the dates get announced; in the meantime, peep some video from that Whisky a Go Go at the bottom of this post.
Elsewhere in the same Aquarian interview, Baz offers a brief update on his next album, the follow-up to 2014’s Give ‘Em Hell:
“I will also be releasing a new album though I can’t tell you the name of the label putting it out. Yes, I have a new American label and I have been working somewhat on the album during this damned quarantine. But there is only so much I can do in my house. I have been sending files back and forth [to my bandmates], but it is not as exciting as being together in the same room. Maybe Taylor Swift lives with her whole band. I don’t know how that works.
“My new album is going to be heavy. In many ways it is my follow-up to [2007’s] Angel Down. I am trying to make the best record I have ever made. There will be a lot of heavy [music] coming your way.”
You can read the entire interview here.