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1991.09.DD - Geffen press release - Use Your Illusion I & II (Slash, Duff, Matt)

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1991.09.DD - Geffen press release - Use Your Illusion I & II (Slash, Duff, Matt)

Post by Blackstar on Mon Sep 17, 2018 1:09 pm

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 press release can be found here:
[You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]

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GEFFEN RECORDS
 
GUNS N’ ROSES
 
THE ALBUMS
 
You may not like our integrity ...
We built a world out of anarchy ...
                               – “Get In The Ring”
 
 
From the beginning, when they were roaming the mean streets of Hollywood and playing nasty little clubs, Guns N’ Roses never planned to be as on-the-edge explosive, as nakedly honest, and as passionately uncompromising a rock ‘n’ roll band as there has ever been. They just were. For Axl Rose, Slash, Izzy Stradlin’, Duff McKagan, Matt Sorum and Dizzy Reed, anarchy and integrity aren’t options, they’re personality characteristics.
 
“Guns N’ Roses are perceived as dangerous,” says Slash, “because we’re so unpredictable, so willing to take chances. And to be a real anarchist, you have to have a lot of integrity to be able to follow through with it. Rock ‘n’ roll is all about attitude and fucking rebellion. It’s supposed to be fun, spontaneous, a release.”
 
On the band’s simultaneously-released second and third studio albums, Use Your Illusion I and Use Your Illusion II (both on Geffen Records), GNR rebels – against expectations, against limitations. Fueled by the ferocious freedom of punk, and rooted in true-to-the-bone blues, the group Rolling Stone magazine called “the world’s most exciting hard-rock band,” is by turns savage and fragile, dark and romantic, gravely serious and tongue-in-cheek on a combined 30 tracks that inspire not only awe at their diversity and achievement, but musical whiplash too.
 
“The extremes are us,” Slash continues. “That’s how we are as people. And the only way we want to express that is in the music, because it’s personal.”
 
Sometimes I wanna kill
Sometimes I wanna die
Sometimes I wanna destroy
Sometimes I wanna cry
Sometimes I could get even
Sometimes I could give up
Sometimes I could give
Sometimes I never give a fuck
                                              – “Don’t Damn Me”
 
So while the advance single is a leavin’-your-lover heartbreaker of a power ballad, “Don’t Cry” (from Use Your Illusion I), and “November Rain” and “Estranged” are stunningly beautiful songs about the desperation of love, there’s also raw anger and in-your-face rejection in rockin’ ballbreakers such as “Back Off Bitch,” “You Ain’t The First” (“...but you been the worst”) and “You Could Be Mine.”
 
From the radio rock of “Bad Apples” and “14 Years,” to the kick-ass “Shotgun Blues” and hyperspeed punk rap of “Garden Of Eden,” from the slide dobro and acoustic guitar on “You Ain’t The First” to the piano and keyboard orchestra on “November Rain,” Guns N’ Roses stretches out from the intimate to the grandiose. With more keyboards than previously (both from Axl and Dizzy), greater songwriting input from Izzy, and an impressive display of Slash’s scorching guitar throughout, the newly-fueled rhythm section of Duff and Matt, and Axl’s gut-grabbing voice, both albums prove to be worthy of their status as two of the most eagerly-awaited in years.
 
“I’m proud that we survived all the bullshit and realized how strong a unit we are,” says Slash. “I feel we’re growing as musicians and not some pop novelty. We give a shit about what we do.”
 
“Integrity isn’t a word you often hear,” says Duff. “But we play what comes from our hearts. Still, people flip out when they hear the truth.”
 
For the most part, what the bandmembers have to say about their struggles private and public is concentrated in the songs themselves. True of the reclusive Izzy, it’s particularly so for Axl, who unveils his personal landscape of joys and torments in lyrics that touch emotions in everyone:
 
Don’t damn me
When I speak a piece of my mind
‘Cause silence isn’t golden
When I’m holding it inside
‘Cause I’ve been where I have been
An I’ve seen what I have seen
I put the pen to the paper
‘Cause it’s all part of me
                                              –“Don’t Damn Me”
 
As might be expected from their fearlessness, controversy has stalked Guns N’ Roses from the beginning. Explains Slash, “We want freedom. We’d like to be left alone to do what we want. We’re not malicious really. The problem is when people try to control us, our instant reaction is to do the complete opposite of what they’re trying to get us to do.”
 
No other major contemporary artist would dare to release two separate albums on the same day. Guns N’ Roses does.
 
Why two albums? Says Slash, “In addition to the new songs, we wanted to do some of the songs we couldn’t do on the first album because of time and finances. We wanted to clean the slate so on the next album we can start fresh.”
 
While the basic tracks for the albums were recorded in about a month, one song a day, Use Your Illusion I & II (produced by Mike Clink – who’s helmed all of the band’s work since 1987 – and Guns N’ Roses) was nevertheless a long time coming.
 
One reason was the drug problems that led to the eventual firing of original drummer Steven Adler and the search of a replacement. Matt Sorum, who had been touring with the Cult, was brought into the fold in the summer of 1990. Once he was on board, however, recording moved into high gear. “Matt has got so much experience and he’s such a good player technically,” Slash explains, “and he’s got so much soul that we could now accomplish the things we wanted.”  “To lock in with a drummer there has to be the right chemistry and Matt had it,” added Duff.
 
As for Sorum, he had to quickly get used to the band’s modus operandi. “This band requires a lot out of a drummer – but mainly energy,” he says. “They don’t believe in punching in anywhere, ever, when recording a song. You had to make it to the end of every song, and if the band makes it all the way through, that’s the real stuff.”
 
The lag between albums was also exacerbated by personal demons within other bandmembers, particularly their own well-publicized bouts with drugs (here reflected in songs such as the very heavy “Coma” with its defibrillator percussion and the down-and-dirty “Bad Obsession”.
 
For Slash, “The thing that fucked me up personally was not having really lived anywhere for so long, but having been on the road; and a feeling of abandonment once we had all this money, and then we were dropped off at the airport, and I’m like, ‘Where do I go now?’ So I went too far and it wasn’t healthy. It alienated me from my band, my family, everything. If you want to kill yourself, you can. I opted for keeping the band going and so I mellowed out a bit. But at the same time I’m not on any fucking crusade. I’m no angel. If we’re singing about it and you’re seeing what we went through from it, there you have it – make your own decisions.”
 
Sometimes, they caution, it’s only rock ‘n’ roll. Unfortunately, the band’s sense of humor is often overlooked and misinterpreted. The outrageousness of “Pretty Tied Up,” however, should make that obvious.
 
“People take everything too seriously,” says Slash. “Some of the things we think are funny, and make parodies of, other people don’t accept as funny.”
 
Simply put, Guns N’ Roses are unique, original. In concert, GNR has not set list but instead respond to the emotion of the performance – which can last as long as three hours.
 
“Sometimes people don’t realize how important it is that we get our energy from the crowd,” Slash says. “When we play, we’re halfway there, but the crowd’s the other half. I’ve always thought the crowd and us are one and the same. We’re really a glorified garage band and we play as long as we can just because we enjoy the music.”
 
For Guns N’ Roses, the music rises from their passion to express themselves.
 
Do as you got to, go your own way
I said that’s right
Time’s short your life’s your own
And in the end
We are just
Dust n’ bones
                                   –“Dust N’ Bones”
 
                                                                 # # #
 
W. Axl Rose – lead vocals
Slash – lead guitar
Izzy Stradlin’ – rhythm guitar
Duff McKagan – bass
Matt Sorum – drums
Dizzy Reed – keyboards
 
----
 
GEFFEN RECORDS
 
GUNS N’ ROSES
 
W. Axl Rose – lead vocals
Slash – lead guitar
Izzy Stradlin’ – rhythm guitar
Duff McKagan – bass
Matt Sorum – drums
Dizzy Reed – keyboards
 
THE HISTORY
 
September 17, 1991, Geffen records releases two new albums from Guns N’ Roses: Use Your Illusion I and Use Your Illusion II. Both works – 30 songs in all – were produced by Mike Clink and Guns N’ Roses, and mixed by Bill Price. They mark the first time a major contemporary recording artist has released two separate albums on the same day.
 
Both volumes were advanced September 3 by a single of “Don’t Cry” from Use Your Illusion I. The B-side is the Use Your Illusion II version of the song with alternate lyrics.
 
Earlier in the summer (June 25th), a new Guns N’ Roses track, “You Could Be Mine” (on Use Your Illusion II) was released as a single and featured in the blockbuster film Terminator 2: Judgement Day. More than 1.5 million CD singles were sold of “You Could Be Mine” in the first 30 days.
 
It all began when...
 
Guns N’ Roses formed in Hollywood in 1985 with singer W. Axl Rose, lead guitarist Slash, guitarist Izzy Stradlin’, bassist Duff “Rose” McKagan and former drummer Steven Adler. Hailing originally from Indiana, Hollywood-via-England, Seattle and Los Angeles, they took the L.A. club circuit by storm.
 
In August of 1986, GNR were signed to Geffen Records worldwide by A&R Executive Tom Zutaut. In the fall of 1986, the band produced and released a four-song EP, Live?!*@ Like A Suicide, on its own Uzi Suicide Record Co. label.
 
Appetite For Destruction (Geffen), GNR’s full-length album debut, appeared in July of 1987. After 10 months, during which time the band toured with The Cult, Motley Crue, Alice Cooper, Iron Maiden, then Aerosmith, the album broke into the top 100 of the record charts and then shot to [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.], where it remained for five weeks.
 
Three singles from the album went Top 10: “Sweet Child O’ Mine” was certified gold and reached [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.] (GNR is only the fourth hard rock group in history to have a chart-topping single); “Paradise City” hit [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]; and “Welcome To The Jungle” earned a [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.] slot. The band also won the 1988 MTV Award as Best New Artist with their “Welcome...” video.
 
In November 1988, Geffen released the G N’ R Lies EP, which included songs from the earlier EP as well as new acoustic material. When G N’ R Lies went to [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.] on the charts, Guns N’ Roses became the only artist in the 1980s to have two albums chart in the Top Five simultaneously. The single “Patience” earned a [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.] ranking and a gold award. The album was Grammy-nominated and GNR were lauded by Rolling Stone magazine’s Annual Reader’s Poll as “Best New American Band” and the Critic’s Poll for “Best Heavy Metal Band” and “Best Male Singer.”
 
In 1989 the band appeared in concerts with the Rolling Stones, and “Sweet Child O’ Mine” won both an American Music Award (AMA) for “Favorite Single, Pop/Rock” and the MTV award for “Best Metal/Hard Rock Video.”
 
Worldwide, Appetite For Destruction has sold 14 million copies and G N’ R Lies six million. Appetite For Destruction made history as the best-selling album on the Geffen Records label, residing on the Billboard charts for nearly three years (147 consecutive weeks), a run which abated only in July 1990.
 
The band contributed to two albums in 1990: Days Of Thunder (DGC Records), the soundtrack to the film of the same name, with a cover of Bob Dylan’s “Knocking On Heaven’s Door,” and Nobody’s Child (Warner Bros.), the project to aid Romanian orphans, with the original “Civil War.” GNR performed at Farm Aid IV in April of 1990 and took two AMA honors: “Favorite Heavy Metal/Hard Rock Artist” and “Favorite Heavy Metal/Hard Rock Album.”
 
Individually in 1990: Slash and McKagan played on Iggy Pop’s Brick By Brick album, and Slash recorded with Bob Dylan, Michael Jackson, Lenny Kravitz, and on the tribute album for guitar pioneer Les Paul.
 
The band reluctantly fired Adler in July after repeatingly trying to help him resolve the drug problems that hindered his drumming.
 
New drummer Matt Sorum joined Guns N’ Roses in August after touring with The Cult for a year. His first concert with GNR was in January of 1991 before 260,000 fans at the Rock In Rio II festival in Brazil.
 
Keyboardist Dizzy Reed, a friend from the early club days, was added in 1990 to give some additional color to the sound.
 
In June 1991, GNR kicked off their two-year long, first-ever world tour as headliners, preceded by surprise warm-up club dates in San Francisco, Los Angeles and New York. The first leg encompassed 35 dates in the U.S. and Canada, almost all of which were sold out despite an ailing economy. GNR plan two additional swings through the U.S., broken up with tours in Europe, Japan and Australia.
 
                                                                 # # #
FOR MORE INFORMATION, CONTACT:
                                Bryn Bridenthal
                              Roxanne Youssef
                                    Susan Watts
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