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On Board Sebastian Bach’s Provost XL II Tour Bus

“Bus living. Bus life,” says former Skid Row rocker Sebastian Bach, inviting Noisecreep aboard the 2007 Provost XL II tour bus at 5 PM in London, Ontario, during his coast-to-coast Canadian adventure supporting Guns N’ Roses. Toronto rock trio Danko Jones also opened each night.

Parked in the lot of the John Labatt Centre, the burgundy monster, whose name even sounds majestic and powerful, has ample space for the 6-foot-3 singer on his latest solo tour; four bandmates – bassist Rob DeLuca, drummer Bobby Jarzombek, guitarists Johnny Chromatic and Nick Sterling; tour manager, monitor engineer, guitar and drum techs. The bus driver never sleeps on the bus. For safety reasons, he is given a good ‘night’s’ sleep at a hotel (typically in the evening or afternoon if he has to drive through the night). Bach, however, often prefers the bus — even when given a hotel room.

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All Aboard Sebastian Bach’s Tour Bus
Sebastian Bach’s tour bus. London, Ontario January 25, 2010

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“The bus is so cool. It’s so cozy,” says the Canadian-born Bach, who lives in New Jersey. “Like today, I had a hotel room and we were supposed to sleep till noon, and I knew I was getting up at noon to do s— so I couldn’t f—in’ sleep. So at [8 AM], I said, ‘F— this hotel room! I’m going on the bus.’ It’s more comfy — just comfy, just cozy.”

So who sleeps where? “I pick the bunk, because I pay for the bus,” Bach says with his one-of-a-kind laugh you have to hear to describe.

At the front of the bus is a flat screen TV, as big as can fit in the small area. “‘Grand Torino’ is a big favorite,” says Bach, of the DVDs they often watch over and over again. Traveling in Canada can sometimes mean 22 hours to the next city, such as Winnipeg to Toronto.

“‘Iron Man’ kicks ass. We have some obscure DVDs like ‘Black Oak Arkansas — First 40 Years,’” he laughs, exaggerating. It’s actually 30 years. 40 years of Helix is a good one,” he says, again adding a decade to the real title, ‘Helix – 30th Anniversary Concert.’ “I think Brian Vollmer might be coming here tonight,” he adds, referring to the frontman for the legendary Canadian metal band, which formed in 1974.

“We actually watch our own shows. Axl’s nice enough to cut me a deal with his Nocturne Video crew where I can pay him real cheap and have a total pro shot of every show. So we critique the show. We just watched the Calgary show, f—in’ perfect, it’s coming out.

“Come to the back,” Bach then directs. An avid reader, he shows his most recent book to kill time on the road, rock critic Robert Hilburn’s ‘Corn Flakes with John Lennon: And Other Tales from a Rock ‘n’ Roll Life.’ “Bono writes the intro. And I’m texting Axl the whole time. Bono talks about Axl right in here. Like that’s not a big deal. I’m like, ‘Dude, I just bought this book and Bono writes about you.’ And he’s like, ‘What did he say?’”

According to Bach, “The back lounge has been utilized for many many fun time activities. I mean, we’ve been doing this for years. The back lounge is the sex den.” This specific bus? “This specific bus. Every bus,” he laughs. “The back lounge is for having sex in. It’s great.”

Which leads to issues of hygiene with nine men all crammed onto one bus. “We shower in the [hotel] room. We do have a shower on the bus, but we don’t use it.”

There are definitely bus rules, too. “No number two,” Bach lists first, then adds the next: “Nick Sterling has to wear his socks. He f—in’ reeks like a 19-year-old [laughs]. It’s the truth. He plays like a 40 year old but he smells like a 19-year-old [laughs]. There’s lots of rules.”

He pauses to think: “There’s actually not that many rules.”

As for the turquoise teddy bear lodged in its own little compartment near the front, Bach swears, “I don’t know what that is. I don’t know what that is. It’s not mine. It’s not mine.” He doesn’t laugh this time, so he’s probably not joking.

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