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SoulMonster

1999.MM.DD - Interview with Tracii

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1999.MM.DD - Interview with Tracii

Post by Soulmonster on Fri May 04, 2012 4:25 am

Tracii Guns
Spin Magazine

This is from the outtakes of interviews from the Axl Rose Issue in 1999.

Spin: Bunch of old stuff.... There was a band named Rose. Tell how it developed. How it all developed?

Guns: Okay, let's see -- how did it all start?

Spin: There's several versions

Guns: Axl moved out here, and was staying...I think he was staying with Izzy. And Izzy kept telling me about this guy, who was like his best friend back home, and he's really cool. I'm gonna try and make him sing, you know? And so they put Hollywood Rose together, you know -- or Rose ... I think it was called Rose. First it was called A-X-L -- that was the original name of their band, A-X-L ... and whatever that meant. But, anyway, Axl ended up using that as his name. And then they did Rose, and Hollywood Rose, and they had different people in that band.

So then we moved to this house, and Axl decided that: Well, you know, I don't know what's really going on with me, and I know that L.A. Guns is doing it's thing. So, you know, why don't we just continue writing songs together, since we live together and everything? And I was like: Yeah, of course -- you know, do whatever we want. And then we came up with the name Guns N' Roses -- you know, it just made sense. You know, it was like: Hey, you know? I'm Tracii Guns and you're Axl Rose. Let's just, you know, kinda put it together. Yeah, so we'll put out singles and we'll call it Guns N' Roses.
And so then, finally, you know, we had the set back together, with the new drummer and bass player, and we went out and started playing. And it did really good, you know? Right away --

Spin: Was this as Guns N' Roses?

Guns: You know, I think the first show we actually sold like 80 tickets, you know -- which was like really big, you know, back then. You know, to be able to pull 80 people at The Troubadour -- or like, you know, this place called Radio City in Orange County, or any of those places -- was like really good.
And then, you know, we just kept doing the thing -- you know, doing shows here and there. And then, all of a sudden, I noticed that Axl was like talking a lot in between songs. You know like we'd play, and then he'd talk to the crowd for like five minutes in between a couple of songs.

And that kind of evolved to the point where me and Izzy, you know, really provided a lot of direction, and, you know trying to like keep this thing right, and just rock'n'roll, and just fun, you know? And he was like: No, the people need to -- you know, they like it, you know? So like: Okay -- whatever, you know? But it kept getting worse and worse and worse.

And then he started hanging out with Michelle Young, And that's what that song "My Michelle"'s about, is about this girl.

The two last shows that I did, we do sound check, and Axl shows up kinda late -- and he flips out. He's like: Tracii, motherfucker. You know, Michelle -- you know, Michelle Young's name isn't on the guest list. I'm like: Oh, well, I put it on there. And I did, you know? I was just like: What's this guy's trip?

But he really, you know, fucked up the gig for me, 'cause I was like not into it. You know, I was like: Oh, this sucks. You know, this guy's all pissed off, and now he's dictating to the 150 people that are here, you know.

Spin: What was the dynamic like with Izzy, then? Sounds like he was the controller of the band.

Guns: Well, he was the silent controller, and I was the vocal one. You know, it was like he'd say: Trace -- you know, I got this idea. You know, what do you think about this? And, you know, blah blah blah. And I'd go: Well, you know, that's all right. But if we do this, it might make it a little harder, or a little cooler
And, I mean, honestly, you know, I thought Slash was much better for that band than I was. You know, I thought that like: Wow -- you know, this guy's really got a creepy image, you know. But different than a, you know, white guy with black leather on. You know, it was like a creepy dude, you know? He's like really cool-looking, played really cool -- one style, all the time -- and, you know, just like a real like Joe Perry type guy, you know? And that was -- pretty much, it had to be Axl's decision.

Spin: I don't think any of them are speaking now.

Guns: Well, I'll tell you what I know, as far as what's going on. I know that Slash has said he'd do it now -- okay. Axl will never say he'll do it, but that doesn't really mean anything. And then off in this corner is Duff and Matt, talking about doing something, as far as Guns N' Roses is concerned. And someone called Izzy, and Izzy said he'd play New Year's Eve for like, you know a couple million bucks. And that's the state of Guns N' Roses. And then Axl has actually put the name Guns N' Roses in his name, saying that he owns the name. So that's all I know.

Spin: Did Axl get involved in the actual construction of the music part that much?

Guns: No. You know, but I do remember him-- He did write, pretty much, from what I remember, almost all of "November Rain." I remember, when we were doing that EP for L.A. Guns, like '83? He was playing "November Rain" -- and it was called "November Rain" ... you know, on piano. Way back then. It was the only thing he knew how to play, but it was his -- you know what I mean? He'd go: Someday this song is gonna be really cool. And I'd go: It's cool now, you know? But it's not done, you know, he used to say.And like anytime we'd be at a hotel or anywhere there'd be a piano, he'd just kinda play that music, you know? And I'd go: When are you gonna finish that already, you know? And he'd go: I don't know what to do with it. (Laughter) You know, but no -- you know, he's good. You know, Axl's definitely talented.

Spin: When's the last time you saw Axl?

Guns: I've seen Axl once -- I saw him in a liquor store -- and that was about seven or eight years ago. He was like: Hey, man -- what's up? We gotta talk, you know? I go: All right. And then Doug Goldstein called my house once, and I called back, but I never got an answer back -- so I don't know what that was all about.

I'll tell you the one thing about Axl that was always really cool, man -- he was really loyal, till he's not loyal anymore. If that makes any sense. He'll kill for you, until he decides not to. And then, once he decides not to, then that's it.

Spin: And then he may kill you.

Guns: Mmm, exactly. You know, but ... I don't know. He's not really someone ... if you're not on the payroll you should be scared of, heh ... you know. I think he basically means well -- I think he really does, you know?. You know, he wants everybody to like him for him.
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