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1992-MM-DD Interview with Axl

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1992-MM-DD Interview with Axl Empty 1992-MM-DD Interview with Axl

Post by Soulmonster on Fri May 04, 2012 10:42 pm

Hit Parader Interview - Axl Rose (early 1993)

Hit Parader: Is it impossible for you to lead any sort of normal life-to hang
out at the mall, to go to a movie?
Axl Rose: Basically life on the road is hotel rooms and planes-unless you hav a
lot of security with you. It depends on how hectic the city is. If it's not too
bad, I can go out with just two security people and have a normal day; go
shopping or just walk around. In Bogota, Columbia, it was really hectic. You
needed about two vans of security people just to move around. It was a
nightmare. At this very moment, there are about 500 kids standing in front of
the hotel. I went to an antique store down here the other day becaue I collect
antique crucifxes, and it was kind of fun because I ran into a bunch of school
girls all dressed in their outfits. They knew who I was, and it was really kind
of cute.
HP: Is there any place on Earth where you can go and not be recognized?
AR: I don't know. It's rare. I'll go someplace like Portofino, Italy, on
vacation, and the next thing I know is that I have to stop eating dinner because
there are people all around. Probably the easiest place for me to get around in
is L.A. The second is New York-there, they just say "Yo, Ax," and that's it. But
they can spot me there no matter what I'm wearing, so I don't even bother trying
a disguise. They just assume that's my new look.
HP: How do you find the material from UYI evolving as you've played it night
after night on the raod?
AR: With most of the songs, we put everything we had into it when we recorded
it. So each night, whether you're into playing it or not, you have to rise to
it. It's still a challenge to get that song right each night. That's waht keeps
us going. We had to quit the show in Bogota early the other night-and that's onl
the third show we've had to cut short for technical reasons or riots, or
whatever-and that bothered us a great deal. We still care very deeply about
every song we do.
HP: Is there one song in particular that ou really look forward to playing each
night: and, conversely, is there one you dread performing?
AR: I can't say that there's any one that I reall look forward to doing;
hopefully something will spark my emotion and I'll really have a good time. But
it's always different every night. You never know which song is gonna get you
excited. Right now we kind of feel obligated to play the hits, and while that's
a little hard on us, we feel that to do a good show and give the people what
they want, we have to do that. We're really not into doing that. In fact, that's
why we're back on the raod in America in February.
HP: Tell us about that tour.
AR: We're calling this one the Skin And Bones tour, and it gives us a chance to
play other songs-the ones that aren't necessarily the hits. It will be all
stripped down to just the six members of the band and a small stage. We'll use
the video screens and maybe some cool lights, but it'll be only an hour and
forty-five minute set, and we're really excited to have the Brian May band as
our opening act. I always loved Queen, so that's very exciting for me. And we're
gonna be playing arenas in cities that we haven't played yet.
HP: You've been on the raod almost non-stop for the last 18 months. How do you
keep going?
AR: It really hasn't been straight time on the raod. It's been three or four
month jaunts, and then you have a month or two off. But during that time you're
trying to get you rhome life together or do whatever videos or recording you're
doing at that time. But since we've started I've only had one real vacation-that
was in Portofino. And there wihtin hours, everyone seemed to know I was there.
We ended up having room service all the time. It sounds tought, but it's
actually kind of cool. I like to be real private: you don't always want everyone
around you even when they like you. But at the same time, if they're not there,
you wonder what you're doing wrong.
HP: Do you ever worry about burn out? It would seem like you really don't have
time for a personal life.
AR: I really felt burnt out a lot on the first tour we did with Skid Row. It was
very hard for me to be out there because all of the songs were a part of my
past, and i wanted to get on to my future. The burnout thing hits and that's
when we change the set around a little bit. The south American tour, for
instance, has really gotten Slash, Gilby and me very excited, especially about
thte people and their responses to the show. It's brought new life into it. To
be honest, the American tour was really hard because with Metallica playing a
full set, and the crowd being really tired by the time they got to us, and so
many spectators who really weren't into the music-people who were there just
because they wnted to see what everything was about-it was difficult for us. In
Europe, Japan and even South America, everyone who comes to the show is really
into the music. With that many people on the American tour just standing around
and not giving us engergy back, it was really hard for us to keep up our energy
HP: Don't you think that the percentage of "spectators" in America was very
AR: No. I do go off on the crowd, but there is a big difference between gneral
admission where the people who realy care are right in front of you, and the
situation where you've got people in the front row who are sitting there with
their arms crossed and a "showme something" look on their faces. It's annoying.
Especially when you know the people sitting way up in the sky could be having a
lot more fun down front. I don't need people to sit there and "test" me. I'm up
there, I know what I'm doing. I know how much effort we're putting into it. I
don't need someone sitting there saying "impress me." I feel like saying, "no,
you impress me."
HP: It's been said that you ahve a love/hate relationship with your audience.
Would you agree with that?
AR: I think it depends on the crowd. We did a show with Skid Row in Utah, and
there were people sitting there like they were bored off of their asses.
Finally, we left. Why should we play the encore? But what we didn't know was
that people had been killed at an AC/DC concert there, and the press and local
officials had gone off on the kids so much that by the time they got to the show
they were just fed up. Security just kep them from getting into the show at
all-and we didn't know that. We didn't know what was up. We just wanted to get
out of there. My attitude was "Man, I only have a few bands that really get me
off at a show. What do you want? What do you have to do tonight thats better
than this?" Ther were 17 year-old kids there who seemed bored, and I just didn't
understand why. Maybe they wanted to go hom eand listen to something else.
HP: Speaking of listening to something else. What do you listen to when you have
the time?
AR: Well, jane's Addiction ws my band, and they broke up. I really don't get the
cance to see that many bands live because it's just too hectic. But I'm really
into U2, and I was really into their stadium shows. I went to everyone of their
shows that I could. And I was just listening to the Mr. Bungle album, and even
though we have kind of a love/hate relationship with Faith No More, I really
like that album. I've also been listening to a lot of bizarre things: Roger
Waters, Jimmy Scott, Lyle Lovett, Nine Inch Nails. Alice In Chains-my taste
covers a broad range.
HP: How do you view all the bands that have obviously "borrowed" a page from
Guns N' Roses in terms of their musical and stylistic approach?
AR: It doesn't bother me at all except when I feel bands aren't pushing
themselves creatively. I don't enjoy being imitated; I'd rather inspire than be
imitated. If we can inspire some people to take it to the next step, that's
great, but a few years ago there were bands that were playing material that was
just "wanna be" GNR things. We never tried to be like AC/DC or the Rolling
Stones, but we were certainly massively inspired by them.
HP: As you look back on the UYI albums with a little perspective, are you still
glad that you released so much material at one time?
AR: Slash and I were just discussing that this morning, and there's no way we
regret it. We're very proud of what we've done. We had planned on doing that
even before we had done our first album. We didn't know that it would include
quite as many songs, but we knew we had to bury Appetite in some way. There was
no way to out-do that album, and if we didn't out-do Appetite in one way or
another it was going to take away from our success and the amount of power we
had gained to do what we wanted. We got all the material we needed to out of our
system, and commercially it's been a major success. The only drawback we've had
is due to Tipper Gore, and her work to have stickersplaced on albums. That
really hindered us, I believe.
HP: It's hard to believe that Mrs. Vice President has actually had an impact on
Guns N' Roses.
AR: Her efforts really hurt our sales in the States. The whole stickering thing
took its effect because major record chains like K-Mart and Walmart, which are
50 percent of a band's sales, won't even carry our albums. You've got to realize
that certain income families don't let their kids shop just anywhere. When I was
growing up, we were a K-Mart family, so I speak from experience. You could look
wherever you wanted, but you bought things at K-Mart because it's a little
cheaper. I think the fact that Tipper Gore is closer to power is something that
we'll have to deal with. I think the Gores toned down their act in order to get
the vote, but I haven't forgotten what she's done. She did achieve her
goal-first albums had to be stickered, then stores wouldn't carry stickered
HP: What lies ahead for you and the band?
AR: Slash has been working on a lot of things, working on a lot of riffs with
the band. I've just been working on where my head's at on things so I can
approach the next record in a way that lets me go to farther extremes. If I'm
going to express anger, I want to tak that farther, and if I'm expressing
happiness and joy I want to take that farther too. We really haven't really sat
down to collaborate on songs yet. I wrote and recorded a new love song that I
want on the next record called This I Loev, that's the heaviest thing that I've
ever done. Other than that, we're not even sure how we're gonna approach writing
for this next album. Last time Slash would write his songs, I would write mine
and Izzy would write his, and then we'd put em all together. Well, this time
there's no Izzy, and SLash isn't writing just his songs-it's gonna be more of a
collaboration thing. We don't know if we're gonna be writing with Gilby or
somebody else. We konw we want to play with Gilby, but we're not sure about the
HP: Do you look at Guns N' Roses as a continually evolving entity, or are you
satisfied with the personnel that's now in the band?
AR: It's definitely an evolving thing because everyone has a different directin
that they want to go in, and I wanted to get the band big enough that they'd
have those opportunities. We have a lot of new people in the band, but what
works at the end is what gets me and Slash off. We're not sure where we want to
come from with the other band memebrs as far as the writing goes, and, who
knows, if someone isn't into a song, maybe they don't want to be there. We're
really into letting Matt go more off on his own in terms of drumming for GNR. On
UYI, he was pretty much playing just what we wanted to ehar on a particular song
which we already had together before he joined the band. On the record, he's one
of the most amazing drummers I've ever heard, but he's better than that.
HP: did matt earn such high respect more for the work he's done on stage or on
AR: More form just jamming. When he goes off on his own creative sense it's
pretty amazing. I want to facilitate that getting out. I want Matt to just
explode on the next record.
HP: We know there are some other projects in the works for the band at the
moment, including a variety of videos. What can you tell us about those?
AR: First, we have two "making of" videos coming out-and in typical GNR fashion
we'll be putting out Number Two first. It's called making F**King Videos-Part II
november Rain. Then we're putting out another documentary about the making of
Don't Cry. We still have yet to write what will be the third part of that story,
which will be Estranged, which will show what happened, and why. Then, we've had
a documentary crew out with us the whole time we've been out on the raod, and
they've been filming everything. We're just having our director go through all
the footage and we're putting a movie together that will be a combination of
reality and fiction tied in wiht the three videos, November Rain, Don't Cry and
Estranged. That story will tie in with the reality of Guns N' Roses, yet
there'll be a fictional story going on as well going on between me and my
girlfriend Stephanie. We're working on it, but we can't guarantee exactly what
it'll be untill we get it done.
HP: Do you ever worry that the persona of Axl Rose will get bigger than Guns N'
AR: The bottom line is that nothing can come between Slash and I, and as long as
we have that bond we have Guns N' Roses. However big I get can only help the
band because it attracts more attention to Guns N' Roses. I'm not worried about
being pulled in other directions. I need Guns N' Roses in my life.
HP: There has been talk, however, about Slash doing a solo project. Can you ever
see yourself doing an album away from Guns N' Roses?
AR: I want to do some stuff on my own, but not as a means of trying to prove my
own sense of identity. You know the song My World on UYI II? I want to do a
whole project like that by myself and with whoever else might want to be on it.
But right now it's just me and a computer engineer. It's just raw
expression-just putting ideas together. We just go in, say "what do we want do
do" and get to work. We completed My World in three hours. It's something that I
need to get out of my system, but it's not something I want to base my career
and future on.
HP: You mention the idea of working with other musicians. If you had your
choice, who would you really like to work with on a project?
AR: Trent Reznor from NIN is one, and Dave Navarro from Jane's Addiction is
another guy I want to work with. I've talked to Trent about working with me on
an industrial synth prject, at least on one song, and I dffinetly want to work
with Dave on something. I've always been curious what he would sound like
working with SLash on something.
HP: Wasn't Dave rumored to be joining Guns N' Roses after Izzy left?
AR: Yeah, there was a lot of talk about that, and we were very open to it. But
it just wasn't the right time in Dave's life for it to happen. He was kind of
needing the time to just see where he was at, and he's been very successful at
that. But the idea of working with him excites me to no end because I still pu
ton Jane's Addiction and it always seems brand new, no matter how many times I
hear it. I'd like to try to achieve a fusion of what they were trying and what
GNR is doing. I think that blend, if taken seriously and patiently, could be
amazing. It could be a fuller thing than anyone's done before. Dave and SLash
together could be incredible-two guys very "out there" on their own, working
together. It's like the first time I met Slash, I said, "The world's gotta see
this guy." That's why when he plays with other people or does solo things it
toally gets me off and maeks me happy. It secures his place in rock history as a
guitarist. I feel the same way about Dave. Obviously, I have a much closer bond
with Slash, being involved with him for so many years, but I think the world
kind of missed Dave. I'd really like to help fix that.
HP: You've been called a spokesman for a generation. Is that a heavy burden for
you to bear?
AR: I think my material has a place, but I don't place myself that high up on
the totem pole. I was reading an interview with Roger Walters recently, and he
was saying that he considers himself one of the five best English writers of all
time. He figures there may be John Lennon up there, and maybe Freddie Mercury,
but he doesn't know who else. I look at his writing that way too. I don't put
myself in taht category at all. I'd like to grow to a point where I could. I
look at people liek Bono, and to me he's just so far ahead of most people
spiritually, and in the way his spirituality comes across his lyrics. That's
amazing to me, and it encourages me to strive to reach places where other people
have already been. I admire their sense of themselves and where their hearts and
minds really are. That's where I want to go with my lyrics, and I hope our
audience will come along with us.
HP: It's been said that as someone gets older and wiser, it's tougher to relate
to a 17-year old audience. Do you find yourself beginning to have that problem?
AR: It's back and forth. It depends on the song that we're doing. I can easily
be 17 whenever I want. But I'm operating in worlds now where I have to be 45. I
can go back and forth. We try to make albums that go from one extreme to
another. My girlfriend recently asked me if I could still write a song as nasty
and gritty as the things on Appetite, and I told her that it would probably
depend on the song and if I was moved to write that way. But I'm not gonna write
that way just to sell records. I'm not gonna write anymore bar room sex songs
just to sell a few more albums. If something inspires me to do it, I will. I
won't regress. I'll do it if I can take it to a new place, a new level.
HP: We'll ask you one last thing. When you wake up in the morning, are you happy
being Axl Rose?
AR: Am I happy? Hmmmm. Yeah, but I won't really know how happy I am until the
end of this tour in May. That's when I'll know if I achieved all my goals. I've
achieved a lot of them, but I'm not in a place where I can sit back on my
laruels and say "Hey, I did it." If i can kick back in June and feel a sense of
accomplishment, then I'll be happy.
HP: What's the first thing you're gonna do when you ahve some free time?
AR: I don't remember what free time is. I just bought a skate board, and I was
thinking of getting back into that. I can do that then because if I break my
arm, I won't have to miss any tour dates because I won't be on tour anymore! I
bought a new house, so I guess I'll try to set that up and get some stability in
my life. I'll be happy doing some domestic things. Stephanie and I have worked
very hard to try and have a personal life, but it's not easy. We've tried to
stay in touch as much as possible, but our lives are such fast-moving things.
Five months for us, are like five years for most people.
HP: So Axl. any final words for your fans?
AR: We'll see ya on tour!
Tour plane captain

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