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SoulMonster

1992.05.16 - Kerrang! - My Fight to Remain Sane and Successful! (Slash)

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Post by Soulmonster on Sat Jun 01, 2019 11:05 am

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"WE'RE NOT IMAGE CONSCIOUS!"

Claims guitarist SLASH about (who else?) Kerrang! 's old faves, GUNS N' ROSES! Judging from the show our undercover interviewer witnessed in Chicago, the band were barely conscious either, but before leaving the US to perform at the Freddie Mercury tribute show, the amiable Slash chinwagged about everything under the sun, from whether taking coke is supposedly like kissing God to the fact that he... quite likes Tin Machine!

HELL WAS full - so Guns N' Roses came back! Axl, Slash and the rest are taking the sex 'n' drugs 'n' rock's' roll ('n' Guns N' Roses) ethos to extremes.

This was the band whose debut album was titled, 'Appetite For Destruction'. It sold 14 million copies; the band claimed they would never sell out. These days, fan GN'R even tell illusion from reality any more?

Chicago is chick city. At GN'R gigs there's so much sex on display - particularly of the young, blonde, scantily-clad female variety - that it's like feminism never happened. Before the band take to the stage, a camera zooms around the audience and homes in on the more beautiful babes in the crowd. When her lip-glossed face flashes across the two 150-toot video screens on either side of the stage, the chosen bimbo is expected to remove her top and display her 150-foot video breasts. Like the song says, some girls do, some girls don't.

When Guns eventually appear, the stadium was apeshit.

AXL IS on a speedball roll, talking extensively between songs, sometimes for as long as 15 minutes without pause, encapsulating the intense goofiness of Jerry Lee Lewis and the sinister self-belief of suicide cult leader Jim Jones. He's manic, but no maniac.

While tuning up his piano, he begins one of his current favourite diatribes, against New York-based rock magazine Spin. "Does anyone know how they write articles at Spin?" he demands with a leer, before simulating masturbation. "They pull themselves off and see what comes out!"

For the record, Guns N' Roses' show is a saddening musical mess. At Wembley Stadium last Summer, GN'R were volcanic hot. In Chicago tonight, it's all change - and not for the better.

The songs descend half-way into a shambolic jam, Slash playing more and more fast hills that add nothing, while lzzy's replacement Gilby Clarke looks more like a reject from the Black Crowes than an original sleaze-ball rocker.

There is also a pointless and interminable guitar interlude where Slash and Gilby trade licks to the point of nauseous self-indulgence. Guns N' Roses are clearly unmanageable; a good manager would have edited the set to create a tight show full of what the band still do best - no-holds-barred rock n roll!

THE FOLLOWING night at the same venue, all the guitar solos were missing - and so was the whole show! Axl, again in trouble with the law, had disappeared to avoid arrest, and the gig was cancelled.

With no show to do, Slash has an hour to kill before boarding a plane to London for the Freddie Mercury tribute show. The Jagger-lipped guitarist is amiable and intelligent, even if several of his answers are brief.

The hardest evidence, cited for GN'R's supposed 'sell out' was your incongruous tie-in with Arnold Schwarzenegger, George Bush's fitness guru, in 'Terminator II'. Does that bother you?

"We don't pay any attention to any of that. We don't get involved in politics. We're not a political band!"

Surely songs like 'Welcome To The Jungle' are political?

"Our songs deal with everyday life. I know what you're saying but it's just personal politics. It's personal experience and situations and how you deal with them. But we don't take it too seriously. As far as what goes on now, we're not really into going all the way down to things like cigarette tax."

You were born in Britain. How do you feel about the politics there?

"I have no idea, really. I'm not politically conscious."

Who killed John F Kennedy?

"I don't really give a shit, to be perfectly honest. When you're on the road touring you don't think about things like that. I travel a lot so I don't see much more than hotels."

DO YOU know where you are when you wake up?

"Usually, yeah."

Does being on the road necessitate cocaine usage?

"I don't do cocaine any more. Well, only occasionally," he says.

Is doing cocaine - as John Belushi said - really like kissing God?

"I've done cocaine, man. and it's nothing like that!"

Who did you vote for in the last election?

"Nobody. There's nobody to vote for."

How did you feel about the Gulf War?

"I thought it was pretty f**king stupid. I know how the whole thing came about, but I thought it was f**ing stupid."

Doesn't that make it all the more incongruous why you should align yourself, albeit only in a movie, with Bush-man Arnie in 'Terminator II?

"In hindsight, if I thought you'd be asking me about it now, I might not have done it. At the time we just did it to fill a gap. We weren't thinking about Schwarzenegger's f**king social life, you know. We don't give a f**k about hanging out with the right people. We're not image conscious."

But it went against everything Guns N' Roses stood for...

"You might be right..."

So who would you kill first, Dan Quayle or George Bush?

"I'd probably kill Dan Quayle first, just because I can, because he's such a jerk!"

DO YOU get a blow-job every day?

"No. But I try to!"

Where do you try?

"That kind of stuff is private. A lot of people would like to know, but I'm more into reality."

What is reality for you?

"Reality for me is what we do as musicians, on stage, in the studio, trying to keep in control, getting on stage. Everything else is just in the way - bullshit, babes. I'm not going to get into that because as a person I'm very private. I'm my own guy."

Could you beat Kurt Cobain in a fight?

"Could I what? Who's he?"

The lead singer of Nirvana.

"Never heard of him."

Could you beat Arnie in a fight then?

"Probably not. If he caught me - who knows?"

Do you ever worry that Guns N' Roses have become too big for their own good?

"Yeah... and no. You've got to f**king love it for the fact that we were the band we were and where we've come to. As far as business goes, you've got to spend 24 hours a day trying to keep control."

Is being in Guns N' Roses cleansing or does it f**k your head?

"The whole thing about being in Guns N' Roses is that you've got to work your way round all the bullshit and remain sane, and be successful. If you can't get round the bullshit, it can get on top of you, and you have to realise that."

WHAT DO you read? Have you read Bret Easton Ellis' `American Psycho'?

"No, but I read a lot of books about vampires on the road."

What's the fascination with vampires?

"I don't know. Good question!"

Who would you most like to have murdered?

"Hell, you're a pretty violent f**ker, aren't you? I'm not a violent person. I don't really think about it. You keep trying to get me to kill somebody!"

Your mother went out with David Bowie. What do you think of Tin Machine?

"Tin Machine are great. It's strange when you know a band; you don't really appreciate them, but with Tin Machine it's different. They're great. They haven't done anything that blatantly sucks."

Have Guns N' Roses done anything that blatantly sucks?

"Sure! I can't remember why, when or where, but we've f**ked up loads of times on tape, man!"

WHAT NEW influences are coming in at the moment?

"Coming into the band? We're mostly influenced by ourselves. But lot of music you listen to, if you like it, it will have a conscious effect."

When you hang out with your buddy Lenny Kravitz, do you find you end up playing like Sly Stone?

"I'm always playing guitar like that anyway. It's one of those things. It was already there, that influence."

What are you listening to at the moment?

"Nine Inch Nails, Alice In Chains."

What's the next album going to sound like?

"I don't know - I'm trying to write the songs at the moment."

Do you write with Axl or do you just turn in your solos?

"There's no set rules. I might write a guitar solo or maybe I'll just keep it in my head, or maybe I'll get together with Axl. There's loads of ways."
Soulmonster
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