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SoulMonster

2012.10.30 - Interview with Axl in USA Today

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2012.10.30 - Interview with Axl in USA Today

Post by Soulmonster on Tue Oct 30, 2012 7:05 pm

Exclusive interview: Axl Rose on time, on task in Vegas
Edna Gundersen, USA TODAYShare

GNR's three-week Vegas residency kicks off on Halloween
"People forget you're a person and they're more into the entertainment value," Rose says
He'll consider another stint in Sin City if the residency is a success

9:19PM EDT October 30. 2012 - Axl Rose pledges to be on time, deliver a mind-blowing performance and give Guns N' Roses fans a wide selection of tunes from a hits-packed catalog when the band kicks off its first residency Wednesday night in Las Vegas.

After the show? All bets are off.

"It's a matter of trying to stay out of trouble and stay focused," Rose says in an exclusive interview with USA TODAY. "I don't have a lot of bad habits until after the show. After the show, pulling those reins in gets a little tough."

GNR will play 12 dates through Nov. 24 at The Joint in the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino (details and tickets at gunsnroses.com). The run of dates is dubbed Appetite for Democracy, a reference to the span between the group's 1987 debut album Appetite for Destruction and 2008's Chinese Democracy.

After GNR's mid-'90s implosion, Rose, the sole original member and legal owner of the band's name, worked with fluctuating lineups and says he's now satisfied with the current team: guitarists DJ Ashba, Richard Fortus and Ron "Bumblefoot" Thal, keyboardists Dizzy Reed and Chris Pitman, bassist Tommy Stinson and drummer Frank Ferrer.

"They have my back, as friends and caring about everyone's well-being and livelihood, not just their own careers," says Rose, 50. "I feel good about their creativity. This lineup has been coming together more and more."

That's not all that's changed. In GNR's early years, Rose worked out the "angst, frustration and rebellion" of his painful upbringing on stage and off.

"I was expressing my emotions and took that as far as you can and still be alive," he says. "I could beat my mike stand into the stage but I was still in pain. Maybe fans liked it, but sometimes people forget you're a person and they're more into the entertainment value. It's taken a long time to turn that around and give a strong show without it being a kamikaze show.

"There was a much more self-destructive nature in Appetite. It was a going-for-it-at-all-cost thing that worked then. I don't know if that's the smartest thing for me now."

If the Vegas residency works out, Rose might consider a sequel, he says. During his reclusive years before the release of Chinese, "I spent a lot of time in Vegas and didn't get bothered. I wasn't gambling or partying at the time. I'd go walking at night, just watching people. I was out more than people thought."

Divorced and unattached, Rose says the Vegas stint could prove risky.

"I've been married in Vegas before," to model Erin Everly in 1990, he says. "This could be my demise."

9:18PM EDT October 30. 2012 - Few front men in rock 'n' roll have been as controversial, sensationalized or polarizing as Axl Rose, who suffered sexual and physical abuse in childhood, led Guns N' Roses to global fame starting with 1987's Appetite for Destruction and engineered its collapse a few years later. He spent years in seclusion hiring and firing new players while tinkering endlessly on 2008's Chinese Democracy. His current GNR lineup takes the stage Wednesday night in the first of a dozen shows at The Joint in Las Vegas' Hard Rock Hotel & Casino. In a rare interview, the press-leery Rose shares his thoughts on Guns now and then, old wounds and the music industry.

New music: "All the guys are writing, and we recorded a lot of songs over the years. We'll figure out what we feel best about. Chinese was done in piecemeal with one person here and one there at different times. Appetite for Destruction was the only thing written with lyrics and melody fitting the guitar parts at the same time. After that, I got a barrage of guitar songs that I was supposed to put words to, and I don't know if that was the best thing for Guns. I do want to lean more toward lyrics and melody."

The long wait for Chinese Democracy: "I had to deal with so many other things that don't have to do with music but have to do with the industry. There's such a loss of time. It was more about survival. There wasn't anyone to work with or trust. Someone would come in to help produce and the reality was they just wanted to mix it and get it out the door. They had a different agenda. (The next album) will come out sooner."

Songwriting slump: Supermodel girlfriend Stephanie Seymour and original Guns guitarist Slash and bassist Duff McKagan "did more damage to my ability as a writer. To those three, it was all crap. It beat me down so much. At the time of the (Use Your Illusion) tours, Slash and Duff said, 'You're an idiot, you're a loser.' I didn't write for years. I felt I was hindered for a very long time. I was also trying to figure out what I wanted to say, when it's right to be venting and when you're digging a bigger hole. Lyrics on Chinese took a long time."

Good times with GNR: "Here's what I miss about old Guns the most. And this is really before we got Appetite out. In the very beginning, you had three people (Rose, Slash and guitarist Izzy Stradlin) on the same page for a short period looking out for the best interest of that band and its goals. We were trying to get signed from the beginning. We were figuring out the right attorney, the right label. I had two other guys I could rely on. I don't necessarily have that now because it is more my thing, but I do ask everyone's opinion about everything."

How the original band might have lasted: "Maybe if we could have worked together in the way Appetite was put together. I was really naïve. I thought the success of that record would bring everyone together more. It did the exact opposite. They got success and wanted to run in their own directions. I thought they'd go, 'Whoa, it did work.' But they wanted to do their own huge bigger success off of Guns."

The odds of a Guns truce: "I feel that ball's not in my court. I'm surviving this war, not the one who created this war."

The music industry now: "It's horrible. It has nothing to do with music. I'm not trying to be bitter or cynical, but it's an ugly business. People want you to care about them or their lives, their kids, but in the end, you're just a commodity. I don't feel that way about this Guns lineup. I'm not trying to use them. I have to treat it like a business, but I don't want to make decisions that are detrimental to anyone's welfare."

Skipping the 2012 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction: "It wasn't painful to not be there. It was a beating to deal with all the pressure of feeling I was supposed to be there and deciding what to do. I try to be respectful about getting an honor or recognition, but I don't really know what the Rock Hall actually is. In my experience with the people who run it, I don't see it having to do with anything other than them making money."

Seclusion and ducking the media: "I just didn't go places where media was. I wasn't interested at the time. If the place to go was some restaurant in Hollywood, I went to the Valley. There was so much negativity, I didn't see any way to go public. I felt I was going to be slammed. The rock entertainment world just wanted to sell magazines."

Psychological issues: "I worked out a lot of them. It was strange to get successful and lose almost your entire family. Then you end up with daytime TV talk shows. All of a sudden, things considered horrific when I was growing up were so what? You were abused? Who cares? There should be more of a public acknowledgement of reality. When I talked to Rolling Stone about it, I thought people would take a harder look at my stepdad. Instead, they came down harder on me. That's still confusing to me. But surviving at any level is good. I'm a lot better than a lot of people predicted. They were rooting for the opposite. There were things on the Internet about how I'd be found dead. I had a very dark attitude."

Free time: "I go to movies, go out with friends, go to car shows. I have a zoo. My animals (wolves, parrots, dogs, cats) are my buddies. They need lots of love and attention."

Fans who discount GNR as less legitimate than the original
: "They can think whatever they want. I'm not interested in their opinions."
Source: http://www.usatoday.com/story/life/music/2012/10/30/axl-rose-exclusive-interview-gnr-vegas-residency/1669311/


Last edited by Soulmonster on Tue Oct 30, 2012 11:41 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Re: 2012.10.30 - Interview with Axl in USA Today

Post by Soulmonster on Tue Oct 30, 2012 8:59 pm

Some comments from me on the interview:

First off, great that Axl is doing this. It is interesting, entertaining and it will do the band good.

Fascinating how he refers to the early shows as being destructive with lots of pain. There is no doubt Axl is at a better place nowadays, we might not see him rambling as much or hitting his mike stand, but I actually prefer an Axl who is content and smiling even it it takes some aggression out of the shows.

I wish he wasn't talking so much about the past, although I realize that is as much the interviewer's fault as his. I prefer Axl talking about the future, where GN'R is heading, rather than on what went wrong. It is soooo 1996.

It doesn't seem like a new record is imminent, but cool to hear from the man himself he wants to be a creating artist. My guess is now that a new record will be released in 2015, although I will be more surprised if it happens sooner than later.

It seems like his reclusiveness is a direct result of how he feels he has been treated by the media through the years. I hope he can break the cycle by continuing doing interviews that portray him in a better light, like the Jim Kimmel thingy.

All in all, good stuff!
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Re: 2012.10.30 - Interview with Axl in USA Today

Post by Johan on Tue Oct 30, 2012 11:31 pm

Cool to see a new interview with actually quite some content being discussed!

Maybe you should post this in the news section as well? Only the Work on a new record in 2012 post led me here..
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Re: 2012.10.30 - Interview with Axl in USA Today

Post by Soulmonster on Tue Oct 30, 2012 11:40 pm

Good idea. From now on, interviews with Axl will be posted in the news section.
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Re: 2012.10.30 - Interview with Axl in USA Today

Post by Soulmonster on Tue Oct 30, 2012 11:59 pm

He does play the victim card a bit too much. I wish he'd just refuse to talk about old times and then enthusiastically talk about the future of GN'R.
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Re: 2012.10.30 - Interview with Axl in USA Today

Post by puddledumpling on Wed Oct 31, 2012 8:03 am

I am guessing he will talk about the future of this GNR when he has a sense of the sound and feel of new material to be unleashed by this line-up. Reinforced after reading the interview with Brian Mantia about the development of the "Chi Dem" band's sound, it seems to me like Axl has had, and intends to continue, an inclination to include creative input from the group of persons he is making music with - it just didn't work out with Brian, Buckethead and Robin for reasons of their own, not just Axl playing Queen of Hearts. I'm liking this media barrage and hope this GNR can collectively get over the insistent Evil Axl Syndrome, although it's a cool idea for a sequential art story - [read comic book]. Why Thank You Maybe AshbaSwag and Axl can work out a deal and make some money off of that guy's diabolical infamy. Loaded has it's movie being released in episodes right now - that's cool and goofy too.
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