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SoulMonster

1991.08.10 - Melody Maker - Rising from the Ruins (Slash)

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1991.08.10 - Melody Maker - Rising from the Ruins (Slash)

Post by Soulmonster on Tue Mar 05, 2019 3:39 am

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Transcript:

GUNS N' ROSES ALBUMS

Full track listings
GUNS N' ROSES have announced the tracklistings of their new Geffen LPs, "Use Your Illusion I" and "Use Your Illusion II", which are now scheduled for release in the second week of September.

Songs on the first album are: "Right Next Door To Hell", "Dust N' Bones", "L.ive,A, And Let Die", "Don't Cry (Original)", "Perfect Crime", "You Ain't The First", "Obsession", "Back off Bitch", "Double Talkin' Jive", "November Rain", "The Garden", "Garden Of Eden", "Don't Damn Me", "Bad Apples", "Dead Horse" and "Coma".

The second album features: "Civil War", "14 Years", "Yesterday's", "Knockin' On Heaven's Door', "Get In The Ring", "Shotgun Blues", "Breakdown", "Pretty Tied Up' "Locomotive , "So Fine , "Estranged", "You Could Be Mine", "Don't Cry (Alternative Lyrics)" and "My World".

There will be another Guns N' Roses release "down the road sometime", according to guitarist Slash. It's an EP of punk covers, which are "just songs we always f***ing dug". They are: "I Don't Care About You" (originally by Fear), "Attitude" (The Misfits), "Ain't It Fun" (Dead Boys), "Black Leather" (The Sex Pistols), "Down On The Farm" (UK Subs) and "New Rose" (The Damned). Guns N' Roses are joined by Michael Monroe on "Ain't It Fun". Meanwhile, Guns N' Roses' management are refusing to comment on the content of former drummer Steve Adler's lawsuit against the band because "they have not received all the paperwork yet' .

Finally, Guns N' Roses have this week confirmed that Skid Row will support on their forthcoming European dates which wind up at Wembley Stadium on August 13. Also on the bill are GN'R proteges Nine Inch Nails.

GUNS N' ROSES
Rising from the ruins

"YOU want the best. They couldn't make it. Here's Guns N' f**in' Roses!"- stage announcement, Tacoma Dome, 16.7.91 .

"I HAVE A REALLY HARD TIME SWALLOWING THE CONCEPT of being any kind of rock f* *sing star. Okay, I expect certain things like, y'know, `Well, can we take a limo to the gig?' And hotel rooms like this ... This isn't that expensive. We're only here because we've been kicked out of a lot of other hotel chains. But this is it."

Slash sweeps his arm in the general direction of a mess on the floor. "I've got my f***ing bag full of clothes and that's everything, right? And I've got my cooler. I've got my booze in there and that's all I f***ing need."

Poor Slash. He finds it tough at the top.

"You feel really awkward if somebody treats you like ... uh… a hero or something. It's weird to not be able to just hang out all the time on the street . ."

Guns N' Roses are at the crossroads and they don't know where to turn. Nothing that's happened before in the history of rock can help them out of their present predicament. No one else has become so phenomenally rich and succeeded in staying street. They look at what happened to the Stones, Van Halen, The Clash and they know they're doomed. They feel the same as they always did, but other people just won't let them be. Can you be the princes of punk and still swan around in a Porsche? The answer is no, but they're trying their damnedest.

Slash sighs. "You just can't f**ing win. It's f***ed because, even if you try to put the effort into hanging out, people treat you like you re some kinda f**ing machine sometimes. Some people are really cool, but other people are just, 'Here! Sign this!'

''You don't know exactly how to act. It's like, shall we act like Led Zeppelin and just go around with this huge entourage and not talk to anybody so the mystique is happening and everybody's like, 'Wow!'? No. We just wanna feel natural. I've been watching this develop. We have security and it's like, Bam! In the car! To the gig! So on and so forth. And, y'know, we don't wanna feel pompous. But people love to go, 'Oh yeah, the Guns guys. They're rock stars now. They're assholes.' None of us are like that. But how do you argue, y'know?

"I know people want heroes. I had'em. Like, for me, rock 'n' roll is an heroic thing anyway, because the whole concept is . . . y'know, it has this little anti-authority bit to it. Y'know, it's a release thing. It's heroic because people rely on it to separate the . . . I dunno… mundane lifestyle that people have to go through on a daily basis. Rock' n' roll is, like, get loose, get laid and f***ing go out and... well, y'know.

"And I still have tons of heroes, but they turn out to be as insecure and sensitive as the next person. And what you realise is that, although you respect them as musicians or as artists, when you meet them, you strip all that away and you can just be friends with somebody. And so, yeah, people need heroes but, at the same time, when it comes down to it, everybody's so real and the people that aren't real are the people who carry this facade around all the time and they can't get away from it in their own lives, y know?"

Slash's heroes are Aerosmith, who he befriended when Guns supported them a couple of years back, and the Stones, who he didn't befriend when the two bands played together in LA because, at the time, he was too out of it and had other things like staying alive on his mind. Since then he's played on Lenny Kravitz's album, Michael Jackson's forthcoming album (They never met, — apparently Michael only visits the studio when no one else is around) and on Bob Dylan's "Under The Red Sky". Slash found Dylan uncommunicative and rude and his contribution —which was supposed to sound like Django Reinhardt— was finally wiped from the song because Bob thought it sounded too Guns N' Roses!

Just as Slash used to live his life vicariously through the exploits of Perry and Tyler, the Toxic Twins, so Guns fans live their lives through him. It's a responsibility he could well do without.

"See there's a catch to that because I don't necessarily recommend what I do to everybody. Y'know, you have to sort of differentiate in your own mind what you wanna do and what other people are doing and be able to know the difference and take care of yourself. People have a tendency to, like, follow in people's footsteps. I mean, in a way, the only reason I'm the way I am is because of the way I was brought up and because of the people I was into so, y'know, you go in a certain direction. And I've gone through my share of things where I had to learn the hard way. Luckily I was smart enough to be able to straighten it out or I'd be dead by now. But I don't think everybody that follows that kinda influence can…

"Uh… either they're not smart enough to be able to take care of themselves in their own mind or um ... they do follow in a certain wcty and they go through some hell and eventually just quit the whole thing all together. I mean, there's so many variations on the thing so, regardless of the way people perceive what's cool and what's not cool, we're still gonna do what we're gonna do and, although I think we've grown up a lot compared to awhile ago, we're still Guns yknow..."

GUNS N' Roses' personal problems have been so well-documented it's probable that their appeal is as much to do with the way they behave as the music they make. Slash so smashed he says f*** on the Grammy Awards. Axl so out of control he asks a member of Guns personnel to wake him at a certain time then sacks the hapless minion for waking him. Axl again, holed up in a Japanese hotel room refusing to speak to anyone for days on end, depositing furniture out the window... The overdoses, the drunken binges . . . in the cleaned-up, survival-conscious Nineties, Guns are literally a shot in the arm of rock 'n' roll.

Their live show is an event—you daren't look away for an instant because something might happen and something always does. Their records are the only ones being made by a white act that tell it like it is and f*** the consequences — a fact of which Slash is justly proud though he insists the outrage that seems to attend Guns' every action is a matter of personality, not calculation. He lives and breathes and damn nearly died Guns N' Roses. It's a dangerous occupation.

"It's so much a part of my life that even what's separate is still part of Guns. Like, when I go home to LA, I stay in a hotel. I don't go home. I'm real singleminded. I live for this and I work really f**ing hard at it. Guns is... like these are the guys I work with. No matter who I play with outside of Guns N' Roses, my family is Guns. That's my priority and my whole life is based around that. If Guns were to break up tomorrow, I'd go out and start playing — but I don't think I could ever shake the fact that I'm Guns' guitar player. And if I take a hiatus from working, I'm still sitting there thinking about working or about stuff that we're gonna do, y'know?"

In the early clays, Guns were a gang. They all lived together in one room in Gardner Street off Sunset. They called it The Hellhouse, practised there, partied there, sold smack, girls, hustled, drank... It was here they formed the bond that, until Steven Adler was sacked for not cleaning up his act, really amounted to them against the world until death did them part.

Now Axl arrives at gigs separately and seldom sees the rest of the band. lzzy refuses to fly with the others and travels in his own bus with his girlfriend and his dog. Slash and Duff still party, enthusiastically aided and abetted by new drummer Matt Sorum and the guys from Skid Row. Indeed, as I talk to Slash, the Skids' singer, Sebastian Bach, is virtually passed-out in the hallway outside the door. Earlier in the evening he had entertained us by pulling his foot up to his mouth and sucking the end of his white winkle-picker. "It's lust a little something I like to do," he'd slurred to anyone who'd listen.

There are still wall-to-wall blondes — I'm waiting in a room with 21 of them for a while, all hand-picked by the Guns crew from the Tacoma crowd —all of them nonchalantly ignoring AC/DC's "Back In Black" blaring from the CD, all of them panting, preening and eager to f*** a Gunner. And there's weirder shit still —while I'm talking to Slash, the phone rings. It's this lesbian who follows Guns round, hitting on the chicks the guys can t find time for. "Pretty cool huh?" laughs Slash but it's obvious that he finds his current lifestyle bemusing, a tad Spinal Tap.

"F***, we don't live in the same building anymore or anything like that, but I only have so many friends and five of them are Guns. It's like family but, y'know, we have separate things — someone sleeps, someone's up, someone's drinking, someone's not... it's that kind of thing. And to be together for that long, even if you're f***ing married, y'know, you don't travel every single day together.

"But yeah, there's aspects I miss. Like I have this vivid memory of sitting literally on the sidewalk in front of The Marquee and drinking a bottle of Jack and just hanging out with people and shit and now can't do something like that. I'm not complaining, because it's a small price to pay. But I miss the complete detachment from responsibilities that everybody has to deal with in everyday life. Y'know, financially and everything that goes with it as far as apartments and houses and cars and . . . y'know, all that shit. I sorta miss that detachment because now I really do have to watch my shit and I do have my own life and I have to maintain, d'you know what I mean? And so I've grown up a lot that way.

"You get forced into it and that's a hard thing to swallow. I did not . . . it took me a long time to get to the pointwhere I could accept that as a fact. I didn't wanna know about it but as time went by, now everything's cool. And I don't go home that much."

It seemed to me that Guns N' Roses became the biggest band in the world in a flash. Suddenly they were there.

Slash agrees: "We were on the road when it happened so, when the tour was over, they dropped me off at the airport and I was standing on the kerb going, 'Now what? Where do I go?' That's where the drugs trip came back.

"Being an impatient sort of workaholic type, before the band went on the road and before the record came out, we had our problems. Then I cleaned up, went on the road and it was great for two years and then bam! Back again. I said, 'Okay, all right, I can make a phone call and kill this time.'"

Was it really easy to slip back into?

"Oh, right away!"

Too easy?

"Yeah. And it took a lot to realise and adjust and change my ways and f***ing get my shit together so that I could really continue on with my career and grow up."

What made you?

"I almost went to prison. It just wasn't good and then finally I was okay and I lust stopped."

What happened?

"It's a long story. I don't wanna talk about it. I just went away and I did it on my own and I've been clean ever since. I just stopped being excessive to the extent where it was really harmful. I mean, it was financially just ridiculous and that's where Steve went, our old drummer. Y'know, I've known Steve since I was 12 so it was a really hard thing for me to go through."

I suppose some people would say it's all character forming

"Oh yeah, it is! I'm wiser, a lot wiser."

You know yourself better.

"Oh, I know myself ... well, okay, I'm going on 26 at this point, right? And I would say that when the Guns first started I was just outright stupid... Uh, no, I've always been smart but I was just, 'F*** it', y'know, from when I was 18 to... y'know, and finally I got to the point where I'm like, 'Okay, I ve done this, I've done that and I've seen what results come out of this and what stems from that' and so on and so forth. Don't do this because no matter how… it's like, rob a bank, get busted. Rob another one? What the f*** for?"

Did heroin have a tangible effect on what you write and play?

"Oh yeah. There's a lot of material on 'Use Your Illusion' that was written as a result or even during the time that ... and I don't regret it either. l don't regret anything. Y'know, I'm still here so I don't regret shit. But there's a lot of stuff that I think is really great that we wrote under the influence so to speak and I remember it all that way."

There's a song on "Use Your Illusion I" called "Coma" which I guess goes to show just how far down the road Guns N' Roses have come from "Mr Brownstone", the smack track off "Appetite For Destruction". It's a long one— reputedly over 12 minutes and real heavy.

I wonder if Slash thinks he's got an addictive personality.

"I do. My father did. So I have to keep my shit cool. I smoke too much. I still have a tendency to drink too much and the other stuff that I used to get heavily involved with I just don't do anymore because I don't need... d'you know what I'm saying?"

Most people with addictive personalities, when they give up one thing, they tend to take to another. They become born-again bores or something. They exercise madly or they preach.

"I've been around this business for so long, if I start to see a pattern in myself, I just stop. And yeah, I did ... I do have a tendency to be like fanatical about certain little things that I enjoy doing and I don t see any reason why I shouldn't be able to do them. But then, if the results, even if it's down the line, have such a negative effect, I'm just like, 'Okay, at least cool that. Just stop being that way.' And so I haven't had any real problems so far. There's sex and stuff. Generally I figure that's okay."

Some people would disagree.

"Right now, as far as promiscuity goes, that's mellowed out a little... a lot. I have my girlfriend and I'm tight with her. And there's a lotta shit going on and we're surrounded by it."

You have to be f***ing careful don't you? AIDS has pretty much done for the legendary wham-bang-thank-you-mam rock' n' roll lifestyle unless you're a complete dickhead.

"Yeah. I've had more f***ing physicals and bloodtests than .. dozens… "

Just to satisfy yourself?

"Yeah, just to feel... y'know."

So if you had AIDS, you'd rather know than not know.

"Oh, I'd rather know than not, yeah. I don't think it's fair to have any kind of shit like that and do it to somebody else. That's just such a f***ing selfish, irresponsible way of going through life if you don't pay attention to other people."

It sounds to me as if Slash made a vital decision at some point—he decided that although he's a rock star, he needn't be a rock corpse. He decided he wouldn't die for someone else's fantasy.

"To tell you the truth, I don't know because, when I was 21, 22, I was always like, live for the moment, whatever, and I still have that same sort of attitude in a way. Y' know, I live for today and tomorrow and maybe I can catch up on Friday. But I can't... I won't... y know, it's like you're goin' in and f***in' do it to the hilt but, at the same time, you get to be a little bit like, 'W-e-l-l, I know what that causes so I'm not interested', y' know?

But, at the same time, I'm still gonna jump the f*** off the stage, like regardless. And if the stage broke and I fell through, that would be that, whatever, all right? That's rock'n'roll. That's how it is. And then the other little things, they aren't that hard to f***in' adapt to. It's like, well obviously I don't wanna be alive and have holes in my dick, d'you know what I mean? There's certain things that you just grow up about a little bit.

"It's like, I don't have any serious concern in the back of my head about how long I'll live or how old I'll be as far as getting to be 60 or something. But then I think that's the biggest cliche in the world from any f*** ing rock... uh... personality. They always go, 'Oh, I only want to live to be so old' and then, all of a sudden they get there and then they keep going. You just keep living.

"Unless you're suicidal or just depressed and don't really care about life any more or you're one of those people that, like, bricks just fall off buildings on you because it's just fate, you wanna get up in the morning… or in the afternoon or whatever. Y'know, you wanna go on till the next day and, if you keep doing that, the chances are you can go on from day to day..."

And what if you die? Is that it? Do you get reincarnated or what?

"I'm a great believer in karma and fate but, at the same time; I see things in real black and white. So, to me, karma is something that's so simple to understand .. So, when I eventually pass away or whatever, after that I'm like, 'F**, ask a dead guy. I have no idea.' As far as being reincarnated, it doesn't weigh heavy on my mind, okay?"

Guns N' Roses play Wembley Stadium on August 31 . "Use Your Illusion Parts I and II" will be released on Geffen on September 9.
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Re: 1991.08.10 - Melody Maker - Rising from the Ruins (Slash)

Post by Blackstar on Thu Mar 07, 2019 9:59 am

The first part of this interview:
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