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SoulMonster

1988.04.DD - Scene Magazine - Comfortable On Top

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1988.04.DD - Scene Magazine - Comfortable On Top

Post by Soulmonster on Wed Sep 05, 2018 12:21 am

Many thanks to [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.] for sharing this with us, and for the amazing collection of GN'R memorabilia he has made available on his site.
The original images of the article can be found here:

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Lee Locke wrote:Guns N' Roses: comfortable on top

There's an old cloche that goes, "They just don't make music like that anymore." Just when everyone is beginning to believe it and the local classic rock radio station is beginning to soar in the ratings, along comes a band whose music is already listed among the critics' classics even though their album isn't even a year old.

Guns N' Roses' sound has a familiar air to it, a kind of deja vu that touches the inner psyche, yet original enough not to be categorized as a sound-a-like band. This could well explain Guns N' Roses' success. Having climbed the charts since its release in July '87, APPETITE FOR DESTRUCTION has recently broken the lofty top ten. "We're up to number nine with a bullet," guitarist Slash informs. "Which means we're the first hard rock band to make it to the top ten with a debut album and without a single since Led Zeppelin. That's a pretty prestigious piece of information. So I don't take shit from anyone!"

As already apparent, another facet of the buzz surrounding Guns N' Roses is the nasty boy reputation lead singer Axel Rose, drummer Steven Adler, bassist Duff and guitarists Izzy and Slash seem to perpetuate. Not since the early days of Aerosmith has so much gossip surrounded any one band. Even the thought of an interview with Slash, the most notorious hell raiser of the group, sent a shudder of apprehension down this interviewer's spine. But, within in a few minutes were dispelled and even the thought of digging into the band's feelings on all the rumors became easy.

"Sometimes the gossip is cool," Slash begins. "Sometimes it's over-exaggerated. Or, sometimes it's a facet of the band's history that's not conclusive to make us look like responsible guys, which isn't good for our actual career. There's a lot of things in the mish mosh and hype that's not exactly healthy for the band's overall being. You know, it's like you have to dispel a lot of shit. And then you [sentence missing]."

The likening of Guns N' Roses' hype to that of the type Motley Crue received upon first hitting the scene beings about an immediate response from the almost monotone Slash.

"Their's was sort of different," he says. "I don't think they came from the same kind of place. Motley's a great band and Nikki's a great guy and they hold true to what they're all about pretty much. Then again, they were from a pretty scummy part of Hollywood, to say the least. But, they didn't get as down and out as we were. There's a little bit of difference. I think we experimented with a few things they wouldn't even go near."

Hailing from L.A., seemingly the mecca for hard rock these days, Guns N' Roses have paid their dues. Each member has, in some way, played in or with varying forms of Guns N' Roses or the confusingly named L.A. Guns. But Slash readily points out that Guns N' Roses is in no way like L.A. Guns.

"We do what we do, and they do what they do," exclaims Slash. "I grew up with Tracii (Gunn). We were in rival bands together. There's always been this stupid rival guitar player type of thing, where he's in one band and I'm in another and we only talk through rumors.

"When I quit playing with Axel in another band a while back, he joined L.A. Guns. At that point I'd been kicked out of my band and Izzy, who was bandless, decided to join up to keep everyone working. There was also a band called Hollywood Rose, that was the one Axel and Izzy were in, and when the two mixed, it became Guns N' Roses. Anyway, Tracii had a falling out with Axel, which is typical, because everybody has a falling out with Axel at some point or another. But he also played the wrong kind of guitar for the kind of band it was. So me, Duff and Steve took over the remainder of the lineup and that was it."

It was three years later with enough hard luck stories to fill volumed before Guns N' Roses made enough noise to be heard in the ivory towers of the various record companies. But once the right people were in place, management and producer-wise, the old adage, "shit happens," rang true. As to whether the end result was a surprise to the band, Slash is quickly to reply.

"It's weird," he says. "The band happened top be pretty street smart and we always managed to take care of ourselves and all that crap. At the same time, there was an amount of naivete going into the whole thing. I mean, we were hip tp not getting screwed and all that stuff. We weren't going to be taken advantage of. But at the same time we had no idea where we were headed. Basically, the rule of the game was to make as much money as possible and not get screwed out of percentage.

"But all of a sudden," he continues, "when the record deal came up and managers wanted to manage us, we weren't expecting it all. We just sifted through the creeps. There were a lot of creeps coming out of the woodwork. We managed luckily to get through that and through a couple of band management situations and then go and get a record deal.

"When I look back on it, it's kind of a trip. I didn't have any expectations at all. We were just playing and hanging out on the side wall. It reminds me of when I started playing guitar. I had no real high aspiration then either. I just dug guitar playing. I mean the amount of time I put into it was the same amount of time I put into the band. I would put in 12-18 hours a day on the guitar and didn't even realize what I was doing or how involved I was getting. It took over school. I started working to support it, so  on and so forth, and all of a sudden I'm in all these bands playing here and there. Then all of a sudden you're known around the scene and there you are."

With success laid at their feet, a platinum record on the wall and an upcoming tour, which makes its stop at the Cleveland Music Hall on Thursday, May 5th, the obvious question is where to go from there. A difficult question for most who weren't expecting success, but an easy one for Slash.

"Hell," he laughs. "No, I went to a strip club and watched naked girls expose themselves on Easter Sunday so I'm going to hell. That's been the going joke since Easter. I don't know. I live like day by day. As long as we have gigs and as long as we have an audience, that's all I really give two shits about. When we went gold I was surprised. When we went platinum I was shocked. The fact that we broke the top ten is unreal. I mean, this isn't supposed to happen. This isn't right. So fine, that's great and that's sort of behind us at this point. It's already done. The main thing for us to concentrate on is to go to rehearsals and remember how to play those stupid songs we're supposed to play for the show. To get it together so that we can kick ass when we get back on the road. And just kick ass for the next six months so we can go in and make the next record. It's not so much to make the next record so we can go double platinum or whatever. It's to write really good songs and make them as true to heart as possible."
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