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2018.04.12 - Interview with Steven (Rockpit)

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2018.04.12 - Interview with Steven (Rockpit)

Post by Blackstar on Tue May 22, 2018 12:56 am

INTERVIEW: Steven Adler – Adler’s Appetite

In some ways, the name Steve Adler is synonymous with the 80’s hard rock scene in Los Angeles. As the original drummer for Guns N’ Roses, his legacy was well cemented on “Appetite For Destruction” back on it’s initial release in 1987 and the subsequent hoopla that eventuated from those songs. It’s an era in music history that is well documented in books and media worldwide but also in the people who lived in that scene at the time, a scene regarded as the pinnacle of hard rock in the 80’s. Sunset strip, Hollywood, the glam rock world and the cliche sex, drugs and rock n’ roll were showcased in high fashion in a time when a band dubbed ‘the most dangerous band in the world’ was breaking out of the seedy underground scene in a big way. Guns N’ Roses certainly played into that title and then some, and those like Steve Adler took it to a whole other level. It’s been well documented that whole story with Steve, even more so with his Mother Deanna Adler’s book “Sweet Child of Mine: How I lost My Son to Guns N’ Roses”, a tell all story on Steve’s battle with drug addiction and the life he lived with the band.
Steve recently announced a tour to Australia, bringing his reignited Adler’s Appetite band to the country for a whirlwind tour that will encompass performances of classic Guns N’ Roses material as well as a special Q&A session where fans will have the chance to ask the drummer questions on virtually anything. I had the chance to talk to Steve himself ahead of the tour to find out what he plans to bring to the tour and some of the things he is looking forward to seeing in Australia.
 
As a longtime fan of Guns N’ Roses, having the chance to talk to the actual drummer that appeared on such classics as “Appetite For Destruction” and “GNR Lies” is to say the least, bizarre but exciting. In this business, I’ve had the chance to speak to many great musicians of which some have been personal musical heroes of mine. The kind of bands I literally grew up listening to so to have the opportunity to once again have that music industry perk and chat to a dude I used to air drum to constantly (and still do mind you) is another footnote on this weird career I’m lucky to be a part of. On the phone, Steve is easy to get along with. A very warm and charming personality comes through the airwaves as if he was in the same room but all I could initally think off right before we got into the meat of the interview was that this was the same guy that did that amazing beat in ‘It’s So Easy’, the same guy who smirked all the way through one of the most infamous GNR gigs of all time, at the Ritz in 1988. That cheeky but enthusiastic grin was never forgotten in my mind to this day and one can only imagine what he was thinking at that time right as the band were exploding.

But as I said, his warm and jovial personality came through wonderfully as we said our hello’s and got past the obligatory phone meet and greets as we work our way to the interview. His appreciation for my time was to say the least, funny as I should be the one thanking him for his time. Instead I thanked him for making the trip to Australia in May which he was more than ecstatic about.

I’m so excited“, Steve says in a clearly emphatic way. “I got a great band, got a broadway star singer. I haven’t been down there in forever, I think maybe ’88 so I mean put it this way, the show starts off with ‘Reckless Life’ and ends wth ‘Paradise City’ and a whole bunch of other things in between. Uncut version of Appetite plus extras!

There were many questions to be asked and with such little time and with much of his life well documented over the years, it seemed only natural to focus on the tour at hand. But the Q&A session that’s part of the tour brings up a whole lot of possibilities to really get to know the man behind the kit, the books that both he and his Mother Deanna Adler wrote obviously go into great detail on parts of his life story but of course, it only summarises everything in concise page format. Having the chance to ask more about his life in person is a whole different perspective.

We did one out here in L.A. with my Mom and it went over so well that we were going to keep doing more of them“, says Steve. “My Mom’s book is so heartfelt that even if you have children who are addicts, it’s a book for them. But my book, ‘My Appetite For Destruction’ and other rock stars books, you’re just hearing about the parties and the drugs and sex, the travelling and all the craziness but never hear about how that craziness that you are doing in your life is affecting people that are closest to you, that love you. So my Mom’s book is the other side of the street if you know what I mean, my version of what I was doing.”

Steve continues on about the idea behind his Mom’s book and how important it can be for people going through the same thing. “Now in this book you get an idea of how I was hurting her and what I was doing that affected her. Even if your successful or not successful and doing drugs, you are hurting the people that love you the most. I know that other people of course and myself, I didn’t wake up in the morning and go, ‘I’m going to go get messed up and high so I can piss my family off and the people that I love’. It’s a disease and I still have the disease but I’m not practicing that disease but I’ll still always have it. But even people who have kids that are addicts, this book is for them so that they can understand what’s going on and maybe what to do and how to handle it and realize that they are not the only ones. When you’re in a situation where your son or daughter is an addict, you feel like you’re the only ones and that everybody’s elses kids are perfect and it’s just me and my family but it’s not. So it’s a really great book to read and go learn about it.”

When asked what kind of questions he gets asked the most from people, he pauses slightly with an almost hesitation before answering, “Let’s see what happens out there because Australia is a pretty different world than to this goofball America where I live. But I’m sure I’m going to get questions that are smart and dignified, a lot of the questions I’m sure are going to be a hell of a lot more classier than what I’ve been asked out here in goofball America [laughs]“.

Goofball America. I suppose it’s fitting given what’s going on politically in the country but like Mike Muir from Suicidal Tendencies once told me in a recent interview, every country has their issues and all it takes is a mirror to be held up to the faces of those countries to really see what’s going on in their own countries. But we’re not here to talk all that nonsense political stuff and it is of course always interesting and enlightening to hear somebody else’s perspective on Australia and Steve simply has nothing but kind words to say about it and for good reason.

I hail Australia!“, exclaims Steve excitedly and then proceeds to inform me of something I had no idea about. “My brother’s wife is from Australia and they just had a baby 7 or 8 months ago and they live out there so it’s exciting.” Steve goes on to talk about what he’s looking forward to when he arrives in Australia. “I’m looking forward to eating clean food and being around beautiful people, I want to eat real lobster. In America lobster is just like a giant shrimp, a real lobster is 3 feet fucking big with claws the size of my head. That’s what want to eat and clean food, steak that doesn’t have stuff in it. I love Austraia, even McDonalds in Australia I’ve never had in my life so I can’t wait! The most beautiful people, everybody is beautiful there.”

The interview flips as Steve decides to ask me a question, specifically about my marital status in which, first off kind of came out of nowhere and secondly I answered in the most complicated way as I wasn’t married per say but that my relationship with my long term de facto is as good as being married. So what’s all this about then?

Well if you’re not, me and you can get married so I can get a card to live there“, Steve explains as it dawns on me that there was a hilarious motive behind that question. “You marry me and then I can live in Australia, how about that!

I had to laugh and given him credit for trying! I love Steve but just not in that way, even if for legal reasons. I did let him down easy though by responding that I wasn’t sure how the whole marriage thing for immigrants works in Australia but that any way we can get him down to Australia, we’ll take it! He took it well and we both laughed before Steve continues, “Oh God I would love to live there. But I have a beautiful house with a beautiful view but I just love Australia, I love to rock out there and play for people.”

We continue on and discuss what we can expect at the show which looks to be a fun one by the sounds of it as Steve explains. “Like I said we start with “Reckless Life”, end with “Paradise City” and we’re going to play out of respect for the great Michael Hutchence,  a couple of INXS songs and of course a Rose Tattoo song. So it’s going to be a lot of fun, everybody should come down and bring their GNR records, “Appetite”. I love to sign stuff and meeting people, I’m a big hugger, I’ve nothing but love to give. I love talking to tons of people so if you want a free hug, come down to the show. And if you want to hear GNR songs the way it’s supposed to be played on the drums, come down and see how the songs really go [laughs].”

We look forward to it. We leave it there as Steve sends out a final message for the Aussie fans before the tour starts in May. “I love all of you and be prepared to have your asses rocked off! You better bring a spare pair of underwear [laughs], be prepared to have your soul crushed!

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