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SoulMonster

1991.12.DD - Hot Metal - I Was the Scapegoat for Guns N' Roses (Steven)

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1991.12.DD - Hot Metal - I Was the Scapegoat for Guns N' Roses (Steven) Empty 1991.12.DD - Hot Metal - I Was the Scapegoat for Guns N' Roses (Steven)

Post by Soulmonster on Sun Nov 18, 2018 9:39 am

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Thanks to @Euchre for sending us this interview!

Transcript:

"It was like I was the scapegoat for Guns N' Roses, "says Steven Adler about his firing from the supergroup while explaining to Steffan Chirazi that he wrongfully took the rap for a lot of the shit going down at the time_ But all is not lost as he has joined forces with San Franciscan and former Vain frontman Davy Vain to get his musical career back on the rails with a new outfit called Roadcrew.

The setting is a flat, Spanish-style house in the hills that fringe the San Fernando Valley and I'm greeted by some pug-faced mutts skipping around my feet, and a young lady wearing sprayed-on bike shorts before a couple of early-in-the-day rockers step out to say hello. It's one in the afternoon on a muggy, smoggy L.A. day and this is my first sighting of the Steven Adler/Davy Vain partnership as each cheerfully offers a hand in greeting. Then out comes James 'Jamie' Scott from the loft, in comes Ashley Mitchell (both are formerly of Vain) from out the back and later Shawn Rorie, a guitarist from Bay Area band Sister Strange, arrives. Someone sings a melodic 'We are the Roadcrew' and we all have a laugh. Because they are Roadcrew, a blunt enough name for sure.

Steven Adler: 'What it means to us is this. We love travelling, we love being on the road and we're five guys. A crew. Plus it's a mean name, a cool name... D'you ever hear of a pussy Roadcrew?"

In many ways Roadcrew is the resuscitation of talents-in-a-coma. Davy Vain suffered the pain and anger of seeing his band's second album all ready for release only to find that no label wanted it. It's a nasty naked tact. Truth usually is.

Steven Adler? Ah well, you all read about it a million times. The Guns, the booze, the coke, the smack, the near-death experiences. Some of its even true. U-G-L-Y, and it ain't over yet. Were it not for a timely intervention Adler, Vain and I would've been forced to conduct the following interview in front of a lawyer. That's what happens when lawsuits are being slapped around, and Adler's pinned one to his former comrades charging them, amongst other things, of defrauding him and defamation. The lawsuit talks of 'the other members of the band consistently supplying Adler with heroin and encouraging his continual use of the drug'.

The whole thing is a huge and pathetic tragedy, another fine example of how much trouble some drugs and no brains can cause. To be totally honest, I expected to meet a complete a f _k-up. Told him so myself, because thankfully Steven Adler isn't one. Still, he would probably be the first to admit he ain't no genius. You can't help but feel that Steven Adler will always be taken advantage of by the more predatory members of the L.A. rock community (read 90%). Honestly, there are so many opportunist wankers in Hollywood it's hard to imagine anyone hanging in for the full count. But Adler, an L.A. native since the age of seven, has no intention of leaving.

"Hollywood's just one giant National Enquirer," he states. feel comfortable here, I guess because I lived here for so long. And everything is here the beach. movies, mountains. I just feel comfortable."

Over the course of two days, Steven Adler didn't once display any bitterness or anger or hatred of life and the world around him. But there is a lot of hurt, which leads to a different type of anger. But Adler hasn't got an ounce of malice or premeditated rage in his body. In fact he was surprisingly happy given all that's gone down.

Sitting in Adler's favourite room we start to trace the roots of the Adler/Vain relationship.

"I started young! The first time we met up was in late 1986 or early 1987 and it was the first time Vain had played The Stone." remembers Davy.

"It was our first gig there too" laughs Steven, also remembering the show.

Davy: "I remember the gig because you and Duff hung out for our set and watched us, which was the start of the connection. When we were in L.A. wed always stop by and say hi, and I got to know Duff and Slash as well."

What did the bands have in common at that stage?

Adler: "Rock'n'roll ... we both kicked ass!"

Vain: "We were both coming from kind of the same place, except Vain was kinds going for all sex and those guys were going more for all drugs, with sex on the side when they were sober enough to do it hahaha..."

So the link is basically an attitude thing?

Vain: "Yeah. I'd been in bands before I ever knew who Guns N' Roses was. its not like I saw them and thought. 'Ooh. now it's all explained to me.' They're a completely great band and they've done more than just about any other band, but it's not like it they hadn't existed I wouldn't be doing the things I'm doing. I'd come from all the same places they've come from too y'know."

So you've been around this guy Steven Adler for a while now. What do you see in him?

"He's a rock star. You're either a rock star or you aren't, regardless of whether everybody in the world does or doesn't know who you are, He was a rock star before anyone knew who he was, and he's a famous rock star now everybody knows who he is. I know that sounds weird, but he is a rock star. It's hard to define, but you just feel it when a rock star walks into a room. they have that 'thing'."

And with Davy, what were the qualities?

Adler: "Besides the fact he's a phenomenal singer with that star quality too, he's a great guy to be with. Our manager asked me if there was anybody in the world or the universe I'd like to put a band together with, who would it be. Not saying I'd actually get these people, but just imagining. And I immediately said Davy and Jamie, they were the first people. I've been thinking about this for a long time."

I tell Steven that, as happy as he seems to be, as much as he seems to like playing, there seems to be a sadness there too right now.

"Well, I was always very independent and did what I wanted to do. but never did anything really wrong. Obviously everybody knows about the drug thing but, hey, I didn't think I was doing anything wrong. I know drugs aren't right and can screw your life up. I know first hand, but I didn't think I was doin' anything wrong because I was doin' them with my band. They were doin' it, so was I, and I didn't think I was doin' anything wrong.

"I wish that maybe someone would've, not just put their hand on me, but given me a hug and said, 'Hey y'know, slow down.' But the drug thing, I don't really wanna talk that much about It because I'm getting away from it. Like I said, I was doing it with my band. It didn't seem abnormal then.

"I was their scapegoat. Everyone knows that Guns N' Roses were drug-oriented, everyone knows that."

Which is a point beyond argument when you remember that this Is the band which marketed the f _ ked up shirt portraying a skull and two syringes. Well maybe it isn't but we'll have to wait until G N' R remember they're a rock band, not a deity, and start doing some interviews.

And as much as we all know how stupid smack is, it's only since that darkest hour that Steven Adler agrees with us. And he truly cannot see why or where he was wrong before. Sad but true. I ask him to look back at the time juSt after the firing and recount what was going through his mind. Did he want to quit the business?

"I've always enjoyed this business and what I do," he sighs. "It was like I was the scapegoat for Guns N' Roses. They had the record company comin' down on them, saying, 'You've gotta straighten up.' And no way were they gonna straighten up, so to make it look better they decided to 'point the finger at the nice guy'. Because (at the lime) I was no more f ked up than them."

What things, situations and people helped you pull your life together? "Besides losing my best friends and my family, which was that band, my wife also left me..."

You were married?

"Yeah, I was married and my wife left me. First the band treats me like I'm dead, then my wife leaves me. And at that point I was feeling so sorry for myself it was ridiculous. The people who helped me pull It together? The fans. I got thousands of letters weekly from fans saying that they loved me and loved what I do and wanted to see me back out there. I got fed up feeling sorry for myself and accepted that bad things happen to people.

"One thing that also helped me a lot was meeting other musicians who are really popular and were at the very top and drugs f ked them up, people like Nikki Slxx, Steven Tyler. I was able to see that I'm not the only one who has f ked up and made it successful again."

Of course history is fascinating, but we must not digress from the main plot too much longer...

Vain: "When Steven first called me to ask me what I was doing I was flattered because I knew there were a lotta people ho probably could've got. I thought about it and when I told my manager and band, everyone told me I should check it out. I think they wondered how I'd feel if I didn't and it started to happen. It wasn't like I said, 'Hey, later. I'm off to Steven's thing.' It was a very hard thing for us all to do."

We've established that most of Adler's previous pain stems from losing those long-time friends, so how easy is it for him to trust the people in this band?

"I feel very comfortable and very safe. Aside from the fact that I really wanted to play with Davy and Jamie, they aren't intc the drug thing and I wanted to get out of that so it works well. I know what we can do together and you guys can look forward to a lot of wonderful things from Roadcrew. And I know what kids want because the bottom line is I'm a fan too."

But wasn't there a point where you just wanted to decide that enough was enough?

"I tried that and it just didn't work. I tried to shut out everything and everybody and things weren't getting better. I'm a private person but I hate being by myself. And I was treated like I was dead. I got screwed up and screwed over... But Davy and these guys are nothing like the people I was working with before, because those people do not share. To tell you the truth, they're the meanest people I ever met in my life, that's why we didn't get along. I got along with Slash and Duff but with Axl it was just a total difference in personality."

Taking into account the fact that Adler and Vain have admitted that their songs contain a lot of personal feelings, can we bet that the Roadcrew music isn't exactly going to be happy-happy-lulu?

Adler: "Nobody's life is just 24 hour happiness and f king."

Vain: 'We have this song called DiDi, about a girl I knew who's having a lot of problems. She's 20 and it's about her not having a childhood. just growing up too fast — and the older she gets the more screwed up she gets. It's the same for a lot of girls, they never got a chance to play with Barbies, they went straight to dicks instead.

"Then we have a song called Get Up, which is about all of us in a way. It's about really being down, picking yourself up and letting love for something in general bring you out of it."

How about the inference from some quarters that you guys aren't the most scholarly types when it comes to your writing. That you don't write about topical issues...

Vain: "Well, there are some people who do that just to do it. I mean we could write about anything but we dig what we're doing. There's plenty of people out there who are acting like they're into the new thing and they're full of shit. Some people are so afraid not to be hip that they'll do whatever it takes. We're just doing what we believe in."
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