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SoulMonster

1992-MM-DD - Interview with Slash

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1992-MM-DD - Interview with Slash

Post by Soulmonster on Fri Apr 27, 2012 5:02 am

1992
SLASH SPEAKS
-About The St. Louis riot, Guns Live show, Use Your Illusion, The Critics
[An Interview with Slash]
From: Metal Masters

The Guns N' Roses story may be the most spectacular success story in hard rock history- their debut LP, Appetite For Destruction has sold upward of 16 million copies since 1987 and is still selling! But for the individual members of Guns N' Roses, these have been testing times. It seems like a miracle that they're still alive, let alone heading a world tour. W. Axl Rose, an ex-teenage fuck-up from Indiana with an excessive police record, has been hospitalized, fired from the band by going AWOL in Arizona, reinstated and arrested last time he was in Australia. Supporting the Stones in 1989, he announced onstage that the band was over. He said he was "sick and tired of too many people in his organization dancing with Mr. Brownstone" -a reference to the band's most infamous songs about heroine addiction. The next night guitarist Slash wore a Betty Ford Clinic T-shirt and admitted his addiction in front of 83000 people. The band stayed together, but Axl's marriage to Erin Everly (daughter of Everly brother, Don) was on the rocks after two days, and one of his songs, One In A Million off the Lies LP, was reviled by the critics for it's references to "niggers" and "faggots" [Typists note, please don't flame me, I write it as it comes.... my typos suck too!]. Axl became a target for abuse and Guns were forced to pull out of a big AIDS benefit in New York. Public Enemy Number One, he had hassles with his neighbors(allegedly clubbing one with a wine bottle), and the local cops started hassling him. While Axl was busy being diagnosed as clinically depressive, Slash aka Saul Hudson, was voluntarily detoxing in Arizona. Slash, whose mother dated David Bowie for 4 years, had been an indulged hippy child who had drifted into the LA smack scene and was legendary for his drinking. (He seemed just slightly under the influence when he dropped the word "Fuck" twice on live TV, onstage at the 1990 American Music Awards.) At one point, he was so constantly out of it that even his beloved pet snakes bit him, and friends would put cards in his pockets so that anyone finding him passed out could phone to have him removed from the sidewalk. Fellow guitarist Izzy Stradlin, aka Jeff Isabelle, shared Slash's taste for narcotics and got himself arrested for pissing in the kitchen on a plane. Now, banned from all air travel within the USA, he travels in his own private tour bus while the rest of the band fly. Izzy has also been involved in several punch-ups with certain publicity seeking members of Faster Pussycat and Motley Crue. Drummer Steve Adler couldn't stick the rehab and was replaced in 1990 by Matt Sorum who'd played with the Cult. Steve is now trying to sue GNR, claiming that they forced him into his addiction. The last time anybody in the band saw him, he was walking around wearing only one shoe. Bass player Duff McKagan's marriage split, the band sacked their manager, and rumors were rife that GNR were finding it impossible to record a follow-up to Appetite. Indeed, it appeared at one stage that they were finding it impossible to even be in the same room together. GNR was ripe for tragedy, but somehow they made it- when Use Your Illusion was simultaneously released on two separate LPs in mid September, it blasted to the top of the charts around the world. And, against many if not all the odds, the Gunners are back on the road together only to find that they're risking life and limb at the hands of their own fans.

Slash is sitting in his hotel room. It's four in the morning, he's the best part of the way through a bottle of evil German liqueur brandy, his speech is slurred and pops with little drunken hiccups. He turns down the Who on his ghetto blaster.

The ST. LOUIS RIOT:

"Y'know everybody is trying to pick on us because of the taking of the picture. But it wasn't about that really," Slash says. "It was one of those things that sorta built up. Okay, there were some security guys- we're talking about the front line house people right? And the guys are fucking standing there with their arms on the stage watching the band, okay? And there was this gang of guys, and they're taking pictures and shit. And Axl says to the security 'are you gonna do anything about it?' And the security are like 'Oh, yeah dude, rock 'n' roll man!' That's security. So Axl just decided to take care of it himself. He says, "Well, if you're not, I will!' That's Axl- bam, right in there. "We kept the suspense beat going, but when he got backstage, it was like "Fuck this" and he threw his mike down and walked off. That's just the way he is all right? It makes us look like a bunch of fucking pansies and that's not the case. It's like 'C'mon, there's a fucking rule. No cameras. Everybody's bootlegging us. Get the fucking guy and stop it.' I mean, there's enough people taping us and shit. They make a fortune. "I used to bootleg shit, I used to scalp tickets- I know! If we don't see it, then we don't see it. I don't give a fuck. I ain't crying. But if the guy's in the front row and it's like click, click, click, this flashing going on, you gotta tell the security to get the guy. "St. Louis turned into such a violent situation, y'know, we lost all our equipment. Like one of Izzy's cabinets we found out by the concessions stands! My amps were out on the lawn, monitor boards... I was wondering what the fuck would make anybody sit there and dig into a metal grate to get into the speakers in a speaker cabinet. And when we say the lighting truss, they stole half the guns logo. "There were cops. There was blood everywhere. And we had to sneak outta the gig. Y'know we tried to go back on, but the kit was down and that made us realize... it's just the band and the crowd. The more authority you stick in front of the crowd, the more cops and SWAT guys, even though they're doin' their job, the worse the crowd gets. Because we're a rebellious band and our fans are like "Fuck this! We'll kick your ass and we'll kick that guys ass and we'll storm this fucking thing", right? So we have to say 'OK, listen, just don't be an asshole okay? We're only a band, y'know We're as weak as the next guy and, y'know we're up here playing and it's a sensitive subject anyway'..."

GUNS LIVE SHOW.

We move on to the subject of early gigs on this tour. Critics of the band are saying some of them were a bit patchy... Slash Laughs: "Fuck. I mean, the band is the way the band is, okay? We go out and we jam. We react off the crowd and so on. Uh, yeah, we're still rough around the edges, probably always will be, but the spirit's there, y'know, and that's what the fuck matters right? "We have this responsibility for maintaining headlining status, right? Well fuckin' A, y'know? We can't keep it up all the time. We don't go out and do the same show every night. We use the fucking people that we're playing for and, if it's not happening with them, we'll keep working. We work real fucking hard y'know? I mean, I know you spent so many dollars to get into this gig, but we're not fucking robots all right? This isn't... I won't name any names, right, but this isn't mechanical. In order to play, we have to get into it. This is like emotional shit right? "Magic is the essence of a great rock show. If there's no magic, it's just dull. I think everybody's been living on just dull, mundane, fucking predictable night-after-night shows where the sets and the lights are the same for too long. We just fucking go out and when it's great, it's great. When it sucks, fuck, we suck. That's the magic of it."

USE YOUR ILLUSION

"The biggest thing we had to deal with was, like, the follow up thing, right? And we're like 'Ah, fuck, we don't care.' But finally, we were off the road and it was time to go back into the studio, people were trying to put really heavy pressure on us and we were just like, 'what?'. "And it did start turning into pressure. Even Steven Tyler (Aerosmith) goes 'Is there another jungle on it? And I was like, 'Of all people to ask me that!' And at that point, we just cut off from everybody. Y'know, 'We're gonna do OUR record' and that's what we did. "We wrote a lot of material and it's very emotional, it's very heartfelt, it's all fucking dead-on-real, d'you know what I mean? It's experiences and so on. So... I dunno, we just had all this material that covered all this crap that we went through and we wanted to release it. Y'know, just fuck the standards, y'know, all that. "The only reason it's a double record is because there's a lotta Guns fans and they're loyal because there's a certain wavelength that we're on and the public that we play for understand it because a lot of people go through this shit okay? "I mean, everything isn't peaches and cream, everybody has a hard time and life is difficult and, y'know, you work through it, and so what we do as a band is write and play and people seem to relate to it. Okay, so there's no way you're gonna put out a $30 (US) fucking record. C'mon, y'know! But we did wanna release it, so we separated 'em. There's two records You can buy one. If you get off on it then you can try the other one.

THE CRITICS.

"Use Your Illusion is also very ironic for us. I mean, I don't know why but this band has just generated bullshit hype for so long that it's like just throwing it back in their faces. And d'you know what? The album is so contravertial. It's the same and worse than the last one. The subject matter deals with drug stuff. And uh, I don't think we cut any corners as far as profanity goes. It deals with bad relationships and all that kind of crap. "Y'know I detect a little bit of anti-feminism shit going on too, because the songs are about women who are negative and really fucking hard. I can see girls going 'What assholes!' But then, y'know our angle is just, 'This is true you fucking cunt'. This is the way it was and we put it down on paper. But you know, these feminist groups will be like... d'you know what I'm saying? People assume we're advocating what the songs say, and they go for the throat. We're not trying to get some truth tho. We're not trying to send out any fucking messages. This is just our experiences. It's us, put it on vinyl. Buy it or don't buy it, like it or don't like it, whatever. "Look, I don't know how influential people think we are supposed to be. I mean like, we're an example now because we're a big band? No. No, no, no, no. I appreciate the fact that we're a big band and I know it's because all these people can relate to us. But there's all of these outside fucking people that are just like, 'Okay, well you influence a lot of young kids and you have a high profile'. All right so they think that's gonna have an effect on our musical integrity? Like, we're gonna fucking alter everything we do so we don't make any waves? No! Guns is all against that. "Some people seriously want to nail us, y'know? This band is a magnet for it. It's always been like that. Ever since before we got signed, so we just deal with it... sometimes too much shit gets hard to take though, y'know.
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