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SoulMonster

2013.06.05 - Interview with Dizzy in the Examiner

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2013.06.05 - Interview with Dizzy in the Examiner

Post by Soulmonster on Wed Jun 05, 2013 10:27 pm

Q&A: Dizzy Reed talks Guns N' Roses

June 5, 2013
By: Robert Frezza


As one of the last and original standing members of Guns N’ Roses, besides frontman, Axl Rose, keyboardist Dizzy Reed soldiers on with the new line up of Guns N’ Roses.

Guns N’ Roses is one of the last standing American rock bands from the 1980s heyday era of “hair” bands. The band’s roots are based out of Los Angeles and the original line up included lead guitarist Slash, rhythm guitarist Izzy Stradlin, bassist Duff McKagan, and drummer Steven Adler.

Guns N’ Roses debut album, Appetite for Destruction, made it to the number one on the Billboard 200, thanks to a little song known as “Sweet Child O’ Mine”, their only song to hold the number one position on the Billboard Hot 100. The album went on to sell more than 28 million copies worldwide, making it one of the most successful debut records of all time. Following in the success of Appetite, GnR Lies came out in 1988, followed by the double shot of Use Your Illusion I and II in 1991. Then came the silence.

For the better part of the next decade Axl Rose, lead singer of Guns N’ Roses, withdrew from the public eye to work on the next GNR album, only to become a bit of a recluse. As time went by, all the original band members dropped like flies, as many claimed Rose wanted to change the direction of the band’s signature sound from hard bluesy-rock to industrial rock.

When Chinese Democracy finally debuted in November of 2008, the only remaining member from the Illusion albums was Dizzy Reed, otherwise the band and the signature GNR sound got a complete facelift. The current line up now includes Axl Rose, Dizzy Reed, Tommy Stinson, Chris Pitman, Richard Fortus, Ron “Bumblefoot” Thal, Frank Ferrer, and DJ Ashba. The album, which claims to be the most expensive ever made, surpassing production costs of $13 million, received a lukewarm reception from fans and mixed reviews from critics alike. The band now on tour in support of the album, Chinese Democracy, is playing outdoor venues this summer in some small and large markets—including Buffalo, NY and Governor’s Ball at Randalls Island, NYC.

In an exclusive, unprecedented interview with Examiner.com, Guns N’ Roses keyboardist Dizzy Reed, sat down for a Q&A with NYC’s Underground Music Examiner, Robert Frezza, to talk old Guns, new Guns, and the forever-in-the-making Chinese Democracy album.

How have you and Axl Rose maintained such a loyal relationship all these years considering that the original Guns N’ Roses line up is gone?

Well, that’s a good question. Many years ago when the band was at the top of the heap there, I followed the band for about five years before actually joining. Within those five years, I’d actually would run into Axl at the clubs and watched the band get bigger and bigger. He promised me the slot as keyboard player and he stuck to his word when the band landed their record deal. He gave me such great opportunity. It’s been a blast now and I haven’t seen any reason to part ways. I am blessed to still be doing this after all these years. Still enjoying it.

How is Axl to work with? Is he a perfectionist as everyone says he is?

In a lot of ways, yes he is a perfectionist. If he has a song, he’s going to turn it inside and out and sideways. He’s not by any means a tyrant as the media says he is. He is a lot of fun to work with and I learned so much from him as well. He pushes himself to the brink all the time. If only people realized how hard he works before and after the show and in the studio. I have an incredible amount of respect for him and it makes me better and push myself harder.

Why do you think Chinese Democracy took so long to record and release?

You know it wasn’t just one thing. There was so much going on. There were so many people joining and then quitting the band. We wanted to make sure it was the right product and we put it out when it was ready to come out.

It seems like the GNR camp has a lot more recordings behind the Chinese sessions. Will those ever see the light of day?

You know it would be a shame if they don’t. There’s a lot of great material there. It will come out at some point. There are so many different formats that a record release isn’t a big thing anymore—movies, TV, shows, etc. We do finally have a great cohesive band, and as a band, we wanted to finish some things up that we started. So yes, there is quite amount of material that has not been released and it would be great to have people hear it soon.

Will there be a new album coming out soon?

We have been talking about it a lot. We have been kicking back ideas while on the tour bus—so it’s definitely in the works.

Why do you think Chinese Democracy received such a cold reception?

You know, I was a little bit shocked that it didn’t get the push that it needed. I’m really proud of that record. I think it’s an awesome record. People whose opinions I trust agree that it is a great record. I think, at one point, it was the in thing not to like the record and not to like Guns N’ Roses. There was a lot of misperception in the press and things that were perpetuated by possibly people who were no longer in the band. It was a combination of all those things. Critical acclaim is not always the measure of success. It didn’t get the exposure it needed, but as we toured for quite a while now, more and more people are starting to take a listen to it and liking it.

Do you think many of your fans turned their backs once the new line up debuted?

There’s always going to be people that align themselves with one or more band person. People quit the band. No one got fired that mattered. I think if the fans knew that, they might change heir mind. To me this is GNR now and if someone quits, they get replaced. I think the line-up that we have now it’s one of the best bands of all time. I say thank you to all the fans who stuck by us and still support us.

Do you prefer playing new Guns N’ Roses or old Guns N’ Roses music?

You know I like playing it all. I don’t get tired of it. Some of these songs put food on the table. If you cannot play that song anymore, then it’s time to get yourself in a different line of work. To see the fans reactions when we play “Welcome to the Jungle” is amazing, even though I wasn’t there when the band initially recorded it. The new songs are rewarding in their own ways as well.

Is the tour a really big production?

We have the usual sort of bells and whistles—explosions and fire. You have to have that. We just want to put on killer rock show. That’s rock and roll…..
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