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1992.05.DD - Countdown - Interview with Slash

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1992.05.DD - Countdown - Interview with Slash  Empty 1992.05.DD - Countdown - Interview with Slash

Post by Blackstar on Sat Dec 01, 2018 4:17 am



TRANSCRIPTION:
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Slash (voice-over): Gosh, it’s quiet.

Interviewer (voice-over): Wait till I start to talk.
...

Interviewer: Hi. Welcome to Countdown.

Slash: Welcome to what?

Interviewer: Countdown. That’s the name of the show.

Slash: (Laughs)

Interviewer: My first question is, you’ve been on the road for about a year now. In what way is the show different than it was a year ago when you started out?

Slash: Well, Izzy’s not in the band anymore, that’s a start. And we brought in some horn players and stuff to fill out certain songs that we recorded like that. Yeah, so we had that change. That’s about it. It still is as chaotic as it always has been (laughs).

Interviewer: Who came up with the idea to make it a bigger band than it used to be?

Slash: Well, when this first started coming up, it was around the time that Izzy split and Gilby came in. At the same time I was trying to audition musicians to make November Rain, and Heaven’s Door and stuff to sound a little bit more like it did on the record. And Axl really wanted to get into that, so I got the job of going out and finding something to simulate it. And I didn’t want anything corny like three guys in tuxedos coming up with their horns, right? So I got some chicks to do it. That’s how, basically, the whole thing came about.

Interviewer: And do you like the way it’s going?

Slash: Oh, It’s been awesome. Yeah.

Interviewer: You made quite an impression when you appeared at the Freddie Mercury tribute. What made you decide to do that?

Slash: Wait, what made us decide to do the Queen thing?

Interviewer: Yes.

Slash: They asked us.  And we jumped at the chance, because - I mean, at first we really wanted to do it and then there was a period of not being sure. There was this whole, you know, gay activist thing that was going against us. And we just decided to do it anyway. But we grew up with Queen, and as far as - you know, that’s one of the main bands that we were influenced by. So of course we were excited about it.

Interviewer: Did you know him personally before you...?

Slash: No, I’d never met him before, actually. I’d met Brian May before though, that’s about it.  

Interviewer: Do you like him as a guitar player?

Slash: Oh, he’s awesome, yeah. I mean, that goes without saying. I didn’t think that could be a question (laughs).  

Interviewer: Did you especially rehearse for that show?

Slash: Well, I went down and rehearsed, because I was playing "Tie Your Mother Down" with Queen. So I went down. I mean, I was already in London for a little while anyway, and I went down to rehearsal, and we played it a few times. But as far as the rest of it goes, it was just a typical Guns N’ Roses thing, where no one is rehearsing (laughs).  

Interviewer: So what did Elton John say after his appearance with Axl and you?

Slash: I don’t know. I wasn’t there, so I don’t know. What you’re thinking?

Interviewer: I thought it was great.

Slash: No, it was just Axl and him. I wasn’t there.

Interviewer: Do you get a sense that the public opinion about Guns N’ Roses changed because you participated in that concert?

Slash: I think there was a general realization about the AIDS situation for everybody involved, you know. Especially the crowd. To see - I don’t know what you’d call it - currently popular musicians in the music business getting up there making a statement, especially in demise of Freddie Mercury, and seeing that happening and finally admitting to the fact that AIDS does exist. Because of all the sort of - oh, I don’t know what the word for it is - you know, the gays had to deal with it, and then it started to be a heterosexual thing, but all the bands just did not want to even know about it, because, if you think about it, that’s, like, one of the things that goes with the territory that we really enjoy, sex (laughs).  Anyway, so we finally all came to terms with it and everybody in the crowd realized that it’s not something you can ignore, you know? And it was a cool feeling to see everybody - I mean, I hate to say that something positive came out of somebody dying, but it’s something positive to come out of it, and, to everybody there seeing it, it was seeing how everybody felt. It was really cool, it’s a good vibe.

[Someone enters the room – interruption]

Interviewer: You’re about to start another European tour, so you’ve been here before. In what way is Europe different to you than America?

Slash: Aside from the crowd, everything is entirely different. I mean, it’s - I don’t even think it’s worth explaining. I mean, the United States and Europe, the culture is so - it’s so diverse in Europe, for one. And we’ve only been to London and Germany. So a European tour, for one, is all these places we haven’t even been to. So it is different. As far as the States, I mean we played Texas 15 million times. I mean, I’m just... (laughs).

Interviewer: So do you enjoy being in Europe?

Slash: So far, yeah. I mean, we’ve been to England. We played England, like, five, six, seven or eight times in the span of - in the time the band has been together. We’ve gone back and forth to London, and we’ve played Germany twice. So that was cool, we’re used to that. But, I mean, that doesn’t necessarily constitute any kind of idea what the rest of Europe is all about. It’s not like going from, like, Las Vegas to Kansas, where the transition isn’t really all that harsh. In Europe, it’s like, you go from one country to the next and it’s some major cultural difference, yeah.

Interviewer: When you were still touring America on this tour, we had the impression here in Europe that things were a little tense in the band every once in a while. Has that changed now, is that...?

Slash: Well, there was a lot going on with the whole Izzy situation, you know; and the fact that our record wasn’t out yet. So I have to say it’s a lot different now. But the band has always been tense, because this isn’t, like, a day job where most bands in the business nowadays just go up and they play the same; they do the show in their sleep, you know. We go up there, every night is different and we care about every single show. If something happens during one particular show, yeah, it’s tense, because the way we treat it is, you go out there and do the best possible job you can, and we do it in a way that it’s not premeditated. We just go up and just go for it right then and there. We don’t have a setlist, really. The only thing that’s consistent is the stage, you know. So it’s always hard and it’s always tense.

Interviewer: How is the situation with the incident in St. Louis at the moment?

Slash: I don’t know, to tell you the truth. I mean, this guy, we made an ass out of St. Louis and he’s pissed off, this prosecutor is pissed off. So he’s trying his hardest to make things difficult for us. But I don’t think he’s gonna win in the long run, you know. He’s sort of pathetic, actually (chuckles).

Interviewer: Another thing about the band is that we hear reports about the band stopping every once in a while during the show in America?

Slash: Stopping, what do you mean?

Interviewer: Well, like go off stage for a couple of minutes or... Is that happening?

Slash: Those are called encores (laughs).

Interviewer: (Laughs) So that doesn’t happen.

Slash: Uh-uh.

Interviewer: Okay. I want to go back in time a little bit, when you first started out and you had your first album out. And then, for about a year, nothing happened. How did you feel in that period? Did you feel that you still would have success in a long way or...?

Slash: I don’t think success and all that sort of - the monetary concept wasn’t a priority. This is, like, a band that just likes to exist as a band and we get into that aspect of it. As far as the pressures of everything else and all the material stuff, that’s something that’s been forced down our throats. We never got into this, because we - that wasn’t our motivation, to get into playing music. So in some ways it was sort of naive and we’ve learned a lot, but we always learn everything after the fact, you know (laughs). So that question doesn’t even relate to where the band comes from, you know?

Interviewer: What kind of bands did you listen to when you were just starting out?

Slash: Oh fuck, a lot of stuff. You know, the obvious were, like, Queen, and Aerosmith, and Ted Nugent, and Thin Lizzy, and Nazareth... I mean those are the bands that we, sort of, were weaned on, yeah. But everybody has, like, tons of musical influences, so I don’t even think we have enough time to start trying to label.

Interviewer: How about guitar players for yourself?

Slash: Jimmy Page, Jimi Hendrix, Eric Clapton, Jeff Beck, Rory Gallagher... Then there was guitar players that came along later on, which were, like, Billy - well, as far as I was concerned, Billy Gibbons was... I didn’t notice until later on. And Stevie Ray Vaughn came on. And the Aerosmith guys, Angus Young... It’s  a bunch of them.

Interviewer: Have you heard any young talent lately?

Slash: As far as guitar, well, James Hetfield is awesome. Let’s see... Zakk Wylde is cool. Otherwise there’s not too many of them - that I’m into at least.  

Interviewer: Could you give me a short description of the other band members?

Slash: A short description?

Interviewer: Yeah.

Slash: They’re all basic normal size, so I don’t think there’s short description (laughs). (?)

Interviewer: What do they do in their time off?

Slash: No, they are all really great guys. Everybody in this entourage are great people. One of the coolest - it’s a huge family that travels around. Everybody’s really, really, like, it’s all good people. So the answer writes itself, and the band members, the only reason we can deal together or deal with each other is because of that.

Interviewer: How many people are traveling around on this tour?

Slash: Fuck, I don’t know (laughs). 50 of us, huh? There’s a bunch of us. It’s like the Guns N’ Roses gang.

Interviewer: You were mentioning this earlier, but what the band has reached so far? I’m not talking about success but a musical point of view. Is that what you always dreamed of?

Slash: Well, we’ve managed to do everything. You know, like, a band goes through a period where they do - musically they have one idea and you get to that point where you’ve accomplished it, right? And you keep growing. And so, where our heads were at was way different than what’s to be expected from a rock ‘n’ roll band. And we’ve managed to accomplish that too. So I could say we’ve got to that point, you know. And what’s gonna happen in the next couple of years or whatever, I’ve no idea, because we haven’t sat and talked about it. But it’s a huge accomplishment to be able to organize that much music and that many people and go out and pull it off.

Interviewer: A lot of people say, alright, Guns N’ Roses is the best rock ‘n’ roll band around. Are you proud if you read that? Or...

Slash: I don’t know, I don’t read anything when it comes to band press. I’m over it (laughs).

Interviewer: What if you hear it?

Slash: But if I hear... No, I’m pretty humble about that kind of stuff. You know, it’s like, Guns N’ Roses to me is the coolest thing I could possibly be involved in. But as far as going, “It is the best rock ‘n’ roll band around”, I don’t even think in those terms, you know. We just keep doing what we’re doing.

Interviewer: Alright. Thank you. I would like to give you a present.

Slash: Yeah?

Interviewer: This is a Countdown t-shirt and a Countdown pin. I’ll open it for you. I’ll try to open it for you.

Slash: Oh, it’s okay. (Looks at the pin) Oh, that’s cool. (Laughs) What’s with the whole canister?

Interviewer: It’s, like, a limited edition thing.

Slash: Really?    

Interviewer: It’s numbered.

Slash: Well, cool. I’ll put it on my jacket.

Interviewer: Could you show it to the camera, please?

Slash: I think they probably have seen it already (laughs).
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