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SoulMonster

1996.MM.DD - Kerrang! Q&A with Slash

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1996.MM.DD - Kerrang! Q&A with Slash

Post by Soulmonster on Sat Apr 14, 2018 5:22 am

YOU HAVE a house in the Hollywood Hills, you have a wife, you have housepets, you're the most unpunk I've ever seen you. A fine time to release Guns' legendary punk album.
Slash: "It's not a punk album. You can't really say Nazareth is a punk band, can you? It was us doing a bunch of songs that we grew up on, bands that were icons when I was getting into this stuff in the late 70s and then ceased to exist.
"It started out as warm-up jams for Use Your Illusion and evolved into something else. It was the first really good time that we've had without any outside pressure in ages. That's basically it. The coolest thing about the whole record — which is something that these fucking idiots haven't even touched on, as usual; you don't know how bitter I am at this point toward the press — is that the songs we picked , the psychology behind the music we naturally chose, is more indicative of what Guns are about, the lyrics explain more about us, than even our own songs do. 'Aint It Fun' wraps us up nice and neatly in a nutshell. It's so perfect. And we never really thought about what we were doing until all you fuckers came up and asked us questions!"
"As far as being settled, we were trying really hard to have some sort of foundation to come back to after the tour, because God knows I don't want to be strung out again like the last time we got off the road. Post-road Depression hit me as soon as I landed. It's hard to get to this point where I'm not completely fucked up and confused again. I still can't adjust to being at home."
Can you remember the first time you heard some of these bands — like The Pistols?
"I think the first time I ever got exposed to the Pistols was when some slut I used to hang out with that I was really attracted to turned me on to them. Plus I lived in LA, and British Punk hit LA really big with certain cliques of people before they even came here. I must have been in Junior High at that time, 13 years old. The first explosion was perfect, because it meant something. Then it turned into a fad really quick and took very little time before it became obsolete and turned into that whole Metal poser scene."
What are your memories of the LA Punk scene?
"It was ridiculous.There was something to be said about what Punk meant socially and politically. It was a great emotional outburst. Whereas in LA you had bands like The Germs, just trying to jump on the bandwagon as an excuse for being fucked-up and getting laid. It wasn't the same. How Punky can you be living in LA? Come on! The only band I thought was any good — and that we covered on the record — was Fear. They kicked all the other LA Punk band's asses. I used to sell quaaludes outside their shows.
"The LA Punk scene was just as fucking lame as the LA Metal scene was. You know what? Guns as a unit is really the result of hating the LA Punk scene and hating the LA Metal scene. We were the only five guys here who could have made up this band at the time. We just didn't fit in. And we had such a hard time from not fitting in that we were very tough, very brash. People say 'What's the gimmick?', you know, but there never was no fucking gimmick."
The Charles Manson cover 'Look At Your Game Girl' isn't a gimmick?
"No it's not. We buried it on the album."
Burying it would be not putting it on there!
"We didn't want to draw attention to it. If you're that fucked up that you're going to sit there for seven seconds after a CD ends, you deserve to hear it! Manson didn't even write the song. As far as we know Dennis Wilson, the Beach Boy, wrote it. And even if he did, then the dark humour behind the idea of someone as psychotic as him writing a love song like that — I mean it's entertaining! You know, a band called The Lemonheads already covered a Manson song before we did ('Your Home Is Where You're Happy') and I don't hear anyone moaning about them!"
This is an album about people that are important to you. Was Manson important to you?
"He's so fucking Hollywood! He was the antithesis of the end of the 60s. All of a sudden everybody had to wake up and realise that this whole little fantasy happy trip was not really happening. The world was not going to change that much. He was the perfect psycho for that period of time, everything about him. I remember how my parents reacted — I was only four or five years old and I remember how heavy that was in the circle of people that I knew, which was this sort of Hollywood music business hippy scene.
"When that song came up, Axl didn't even know what it was. None of us did. It was part of a game of Name This Artist. Axl's brother Stuart found this 14-song cassette of his, and out of all the songs that could have been picked, this one just happened to relate to Axl because of all the shit he's going through with his ex-girlfriend. When he finally found out who it was, that put an even darker twist to it."
Has Manson been in touch ?
"He complained because we didn't ask his permission. So fuck him."
Aren't you scared of drawing your band to the attention to a madman who seems to like sending people out to the Hollywood Hills to kill celebrities who piss him off?
"Well I didn't mean to do that. I can't take it seriously at this point — although if any weirdos show up outside my house... You have to understand it wasn't something I picked and it wasn't something I even played on."
What is your definition of Punk?
"It's all centred on attitude, breaking away from the norm of what's acceptable, doing your own thing regardless of how many obstacles you have to fight to make yourself heard, bringing up issues that nobody is supposed to bring up. It's loud, it takes its clothes off, it's all these things. That's so many different kinds of music. The Who was a great Punk rock band. Gene Vincent. It's not about safety pins and haicrcuts and all that crap. When Punk became popular, I never changed my hair or clothes or even my drugs — drug of choice has always been my thing! Punk rock, what I loved about it, was people expressing themselves honestly. Being an individual."
The Spaghetti Incident?
"It was something mentioned in the court case. (Former drummer Steven Adler who recently sued them for throwing him out of the band and allegedly causing his heroin addiction). We've been getting tons of letters from people as to what they think the mysterious 'spaghetti incident' is. It's unreal. some of them are so perverted, they start you thinking. There was something in People magazine where I was going out with this porno chick, and they said I stuffed spaghetti in her — in public! In a club in New York! Can you imagine the time it would take to do that?"
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