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SoulMonster

2011.12.07 - Interview with Dizzy - jconline.com

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2011.12.07 - Interview with Dizzy - jconline.com

Post by Soulmonster on Wed Dec 07, 2011 10:26 pm

Besides Axl Rose, Dizzy Reed has logged in the most years in Guns N' Roses, a hard rock band freshly inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame on Wednesday.

The keyboardist has been in Guns N' Roses since 1990. That's 21 years. That's much longer than Slash, Duff McKagan and Lafayette native Izzy Stradlin.

Reed is the only one left from the "Use Your Illusion" era besides Rose. He maintained his presence throughout the roller-coaster, rigorous recording process of "Chinese Democracy," the 2008 album that took 14 years to finish. He saw the original "Appetite for Destruction" lineup dissipate and even musicians who were hired on for "Chinese Democracy," such as Buckethead and Robin Finck, come and go.

Three years after the release of "Chinese Democracy," Rose, Reed and the rest are winning over American cities with a juggernaut of a tour. Despite one canceled show in Albany, N.Y., Guns N' Roses gigs have received rave reviews thanks to a three-hour set of old hits and surprise covers to go along with the "Chinese Democracy" tracks.

Reed has seen it all while touring with Guns N' Roses and he is happy to report that the tour has gone smoothly.

"No mishaps or riots. That's always a positive for me," Reed reported over the phone during a stop in Cleveland.

Guns N' Roses performs at 8 tonight at Conseco Fieldhouse in downtown Indianapolis.

Question: What has kept you so entrenched in this band?

Answer: When I set out to do something, I like to sort of finish it. I've never seen any reason to quit. We started to make a new record, and I really wanted to see it through. I had a lot invested to it. People would quit and then be replaced. They came and went, but I didn't have any reason to quit. (Rose) gave me an opportunity and it was largely his idea for me to be in the band. I really always felt I needed to stick this out as long as I could. He's been good to me thus far, and I'm still alive.

Q: With the live show, how do you work with Chris Pitman, the newer keyboard player?

A: As far as the older stuff, I do all the piano stuff, and there's a lot of that. I think the main thing is we kind of look out for each other so we're not blown up by the pyro. It's good. We spot each other, basically.

Q: How have the crowds been from your point of view?

A: It's a good cross section. There are some older folks there that were probably around in the beginning and their kids, too. It's just what kind of happens when you stick around for a long time (laughs). But the crowds in general have been very receptive, and it's been a blast.

Q: You had a hand in writing many of the songs on "Chinese Democracy." What was that like for you? What was the process like?

A: There were a few different periods of writing I can sort of remember. At one point, myself and Axl were in the studio for a few months just recording ideas. Some things came from that, just throwing stuff back and forth. Everyone else brought in ideas here and there. There were a few different processes. It was quite the experience, actually. It was a good learning experience because everyone that is in the band now or came through are all really creative, good songwriters in their own right. I hear about these consortiums or symposiums in Nashville (Tenn.) where everyone sits in a room and kicks around ideas. It was sort of like that but not as structured.

Q: You joined the band in 1990 but knew Rose years before that. What was your impression of him then and now?

A: We've always got along pretty well. I remember the first time I ever met him: He walked into this studio that they were moving into. My band at the time was moving into the studio next door. I was sort of entertaining this young lady on this mattress on the floor of the studio. There was garbage everywhere because we just moved out. He walked in and saw us and he said, "I like that dude." That was the first thing I remember him saying. And I was like "All right, well ... ." Then I saw them play for the first time and I thought, "I have to join that band. Those guys are amazing." He heard me play and he said, "You're going to be the guy. When we add a keyboard player, it's going to be you." That all kind of worked out in a weird way. I'm just happy I'm still here, man, and being able to make music has always been awesome. He's one of a kind, man. Always has been, always will be.

Q: What did you think of Rose's interview on "That Metal Show" on VH1 Classic (from Nov. 11)?

A: I haven't seen the interview. We've been pretty isolated. It's backstage, bus, hotel. I haven't really heard much about it yet. Now you have me all curious.

Q: The "That Metal Show" hosts were surprised how funny and laid back Rose was during the interview, which took place at 5 a.m. Has he been that way during the whole tour?

A: You know what, Axl is a lot more fun at 5 a.m. than he is at 5 p.m. Let's put it that way.

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