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1988.07.03 - The Calgary Herald - Guns N' Roses' Slash

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1988.07.03 - The Calgary Herald - Guns N' Roses' Slash Empty 1988.07.03 - The Calgary Herald - Guns N' Roses' Slash

Post by Blackstar on Wed Apr 24, 2019 11:21 am

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Transcript:
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Guns N' Roses' SLASH

Every few years a band comes along with a charismatic lead singer, an unbelievably hot guitarist and an attitude strut and swagger that embody the very essence of rock and roll.

In the 1960s, we had The Rolling Stones. In the ’70s, it was Led Zeppelin, then Aerosmith.

In the early ’80s, it was Van Halen and now, as we near the end of this decade, there is Guns N’ Roses.

Fans of the band parents love to hate have catapulted them into the Top 10 with their first album, Appetite For Destruction.

Guns N’ Roses formed several years ago in Los Angeles and members W. Axl Rose (lead singer), Slash (lead guitarist), Duff “Rose” McKagan (bass), Izzy Stradlin (guitar) and Steven Adler (drums) have the distinction of being the most imitated band on the current scene.

Lisa Robinson asked Slash: What is it about Guns N’ Roses that makes people wary?

Slash: Well, to a certain point we’re not a part of the industry. We didn't form for the purpose of making a lot of money and a lot of records. We formed to do gigs, play clubs and go out and rock and roll. I think we shocked everybody in the beginning because we went so much against the grain.

Q: What is it like in L.A. now?

A: L.A. is the worst. When we first started, we were the bad guys. But L.A. is a very trendy place and it goes through these little fads every three or four years. I don’t know about the rest of the country, but in Los Angeles everybody gets on the bandwagon, then they will burn out and go to the next thing. Motley Crue, Van Halen, Poison, whatever.

Q: How have things changed now that you have hit so big and are on the road all the time?

A: We had to do the same things when we were a club band; the dates were just few and far between, that’s all. It’s no big deal. I can't live comfortably any other way. I’m a lot happier when we are going from city to city and I don’t have to feel attached to anything. Being off the road is probably the worst time for me. I like living out of one bag, knowing where my stuff is, and not having to deal with the same people every single day. You don't see your girlfriend on a constant basis; it’s better.

Q: Did the band struggle at first?

A: Yeah, we were really on the skids, with nothing, no money.

Q: When you say you were on the skids, what is the worst situation you were ever in?

A: A lot of times you would go to a club and get drunk, or whatever, and either wake up in the alley or at some girl’s house. We lived off everybody who was stupid enough to get involved with us at the time. We took advantage of everything and everybody we could until we got a studio.
When I used to work in a newsstand. I’d sit on the phone there and do all the band’s business. I got fired because the owner would call and the phone would always be busy; I was taking ads out for the band and calling promoters. I couldn’t pay the rent, so all five of us moved into this cheap studio that was about 15 feet long by about 9 feet high by about 8 feet wide. We rehearsed there and built a bunk above the equipment. It was the one bed we had, and I think that was probably the most decadent thing happening in Hollywood at the time.

Q: What guitar players did you listen to when you were growing up?

A: I like Jimmy Page a lot. I used to listen to Jeff Beck a lot; I still do. I used to listen to (Eric) Clapton. I used to like Brad Whitford a lot, I used to like Joe Perry a lot. I still listen to old records; I don't really listen to anything new. I don’t know how you can say you are a rock-and-roll band if your influences only go back five years. It just doesn't make any sense. That’s why all the bands (today) are so lousy. I’m not saying that we’re great, because we’re not great by any means, but at the same time at least we’re conscientious about what we’re doing.

Q: How much of your daily life was taken up with the guitar?

A: I was always playing, and one of the main things that got me from then to now is the fact that I was in bands regardless of whether I could play. Even though I probably wasn’t that good a guitar player, I was doing the best I could, trying to write songs and form bands I was really into. I went through tons of bands and kept doing it and doing it and doing it.

Q: What about the rumors about Axl’s unstable temperament; a show was cancelled and you pulled out of the David Lee Roth tour.

A: Axl had a problem one night; we missed a gig and we decided not to continue the tour for the sake of keeping him all right. Axl is a singer, and there is a certain mentality you need to stand with a microphone in front of a bunch of people and sing to them. That and acting, I think, are two of the most nuts things you can do. Also, because he is a singer he is probably one of the best singers in a long time — he is a real deep person.
Axl is what you would call a tough guy, but at the same time he is sincere, and when it comes to lyrics there is no lying in him. Axl lives for getting up and doing the show and being really good at it. Sometimes he is impossible to work with, but he doesn't do it just to be a pain, but because he doesn't want to deal with it. It has taken a long time to adjust to what he’s all about, and we’ve gone through major changes to go along with his day-to-day happenings, but that’s just the way he is. I don't want to make a big deal out of it.
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