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1989.MM.DD - MTV - Interview with Axl

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1989.MM.DD - MTV - Interview with Axl

Post by Soulmonster on Fri Jun 10, 2011 4:19 am



Transcript:

Interviewer: ...in one of the most successful and exciting hard rock band to emerge in recent years Guns N' Roses. And his musical talent is undeniable but by shooting from the hip with lyrics that decried, quote, "immigrants, niggers and faggots" in the G N' R Lies track 'One in a Million', Axl got himself in hot water and got his band dumped from an AIDS benefit concert earlier this year. For whatever reason, this week Axl decided to confront the tough questions about those lyrics as well as talk about the future of his mega band and other more personal matters when he sat down with MTV for a lengthy in-depth chat.

Axl: There is a lot of different meanings to that word, but a lot of people just take the time to assume that when a white person uses the word 'nigger' it's meant at the whole black race, you're derogatory and you're racist. I don't think people take the time to listen to the third verse and figure that one out, it says "radicals and racists, don't point your finger at me." You know, which is exactly what happened. We had the Ku Klux Klan saying we're promoting shows and backing the Ku Klux Klan and they immediately got a letter for my lawyer, you know, because that is not true.

Interviewer: While attempting to put the controversy behind it may have been the first order of business, now Axl is facing another challenge: Coming up with a new album that's a worthy follow-up to the multi-platinum Appetite for Destruction, without rehashing it.

Axl: We found ourselves trying to, you know, write the next 'Jungle', write the next 'Paradise City', you know, and it's... we didn't want to but it was happening... Lyrics were coming out with lines about our other songs. That took a few months to get past that, to where... to put those to rest. It's like, I hope this album's more successful because I just want to bury 'Appetite.' It's like, I like the album but I'm sick of it. I don't live my life through that one album. I have to bury it. So rather than just throwing a bunch of songs together, we thinking far more [?] going over it, you know, with a fine-tooth comb and just working on everything to try... That's the goal, bury 'Appetite.'

Interviewer: Recording the LP may not be so easy since at the moment the members of Guns N' Roses are spread out all over the country. Plus there's some friction going on between Axl and guitarist Slash, not unlike the conflicts Mick Jagger and Keith Richards have gone through over the years.

Axl: We have to work on pulling things together because we definitely have our own lives and individual personalities and dreams and goal. And, so then what you try to do is to try to find a way to make all those things fit together, and it's not necessarily easy, none of us are trained in psychology. Maybe we need a child psychologist on the road. She could look great too, that would help [chuckle].

Interviewer: Ever since he was a young kid run-ins with the law have been a way of life for Axl, and that hasn't changed just because he's now a platinum-selling rock star.

Axl: I'll carry myself like, you know, I know what's going on, I'm in charge of myself in this situation, this and that, so, you know, an authority figure, you know, can pick up that vibe and feel it as a challenge to his authority and take it as a threat. You know, sometimes it's just the vibe and so they're, like, they immediately sense this guy could be a threat, so it probably is a threat, so let's eliminate this threat. And, uh, in Chicago I was held down by eight police, you know, and I'm laying on this, like, a brick floor realizing this guy can take my head and just bash, you know, and there was nothing I could do if he would do that, you. I don't like being vulnerable.

Interviewer: But while Axl doesn't enjoy being on the receiving end of a gun he has no problem toting them himself. He's recently become a user and a collector of guns.

Axl: When I go shooting I do not go shooting thinking about people I don't like or I'm mad at, you know. I don't shoot at a target and pretend this is Joe Blow. It's actually its exact opposite. I've gone shooting with people and they've said, "Yeah, well think about so-and-so" and I'm like, "Stop, do not talk like that." The first time I shot my shotgun was the first time I'd shot a shotgun since a little kid, and the first thought in my mind was what this would do to a man, and it was so gross of a picture it's just.... you know, most people's actions no matter how much they infuriate you are definitely not worth what it's going to do to their human body if you shoot them, plus the fact you have to live with you did that to somebody. It's pretty horrible. I think about the beer can I'm shooting, and my accuracy, I think about the target. I don't think about shooting people if I go shooting.

Axl: I got faith in this band happening and what we could you do with it. When people go, "Are you, like, surprised that you did it? Did you ever think it could happen?"... people in my hometown. I'm like, "Well, I was working on it since about eighth grade with a conscious effort," you know, it's like, I had all the right clothes in eight grade. These stacks really [?], my shoes and the bell-bottoms and the white shirts, huge collars and everything, and then one girl went off of me, "You look like a rock star," [?] and I was like, "Thank you very much!", you know, I was very happy about [chuckles]. I was succeeding.

Interviewer: He's definitely succeeding. Guns N'...

----------------------



TRANSCRIPTION:

As a kid, it was like, I was obnoxious to get attention, but I was very shy and introverted. People didn’t see that side necessarily, but that's what's there. And it's still there.
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I had aspirations of wanting to be a lawyer one time, because I like the intensity of the challenge.
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I was way influenced by Elton John. I got all his sheet music as a kid and everything, and figured, “Wow, this stuff is pretty technical. I can't play it, but I'll learn how to fake it real good” (laughs). So, it's like, instead of doing, like, you know, five finger things on the left hand and then how to do octaves killer. That's a lot easier (laughs).
.............
I can't do those "wooo" things Rod Stewart does, like in [?], no matter how hard I try. Voice teachers, whatever, I can’t, I don’t know. I don’t know how (?), I can’t do it and that bugs me. Bugs me to death.
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(Talking about One in A Million): It’s only one point of view that I put into a song. I’m not trying to, like, hide and cap out and say, “Oh, that’s how I felt one day.” You know, that’s just one of the thoughts that come through my head when I’m thinking about it.
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(Talking about One in A Million): I’ll be asked about that word for the rest of my life.
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(Talking about Slash): He'll be very quiet and stuff, most of time, and really won't let a lot of himself out until he picks up the guitar and then his heart and soul seems to pour out through the guitar.
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(Talking about Izzy): The guy's intense, the guy's way intense. He's put a driveway around his place, say, like five acres and this pond and he's got this driveway around it so immediately he goes on buys all these go-karts and stuff for all his friends so they can get drunk and all the neighbors are just like, "Oh." Every house around Izzy's house is for sale now [laughing]. And nobody can touch him, it's out of the city limits. They can't. You know, then they go outside and he is shooting off his AK and it's pretty intense.
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The rest of the band'll bounce back quicker after a show. I mean, Steven, you know, runs out of the dressing room, wants pizza, and he's out to find the girls and everything. It's like, I need about an hour to pull my head back together because every song I sing, when I'm singing it, at the same time I'm like dealing with the crowd and stuff I'm also thinking about the situation when I wrote the song, which could be nine years ago, and where that person is now. All this stuff's going through your head like a million miles an hour.
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You're more prepared to fight to the death and go down in flames than to make it. We're going to do anything to make it. We're ready, you know, with our own morals and values we are just ready to fight to the death for it. Thing is, is everybody we had seen, on the majority of bands we'd grow up around, had gone down in flames or, you know, breaking up and stuff without being, like, financially successful in the business. And then all of a sudden we did succeed financially. I think we were more unprepared for that than anything.
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You always have to keep prying that door open. But we showed people that it is possible. I mean, we followed our heart and did exactly what we wanted with the record that we thought we’d be lucky if it sells 10,000 copies.
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I've met a lot of people that wanted to... A lot of girls or whatever that want to go out with Axl Rose and what Axl Rose is to them. They don't know me, they don't necessarily want to know me.
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I feel I have responsibilities to myself and to the music, and things I want to do with it, like, you know, trying to relate to as many people and help open their minds up and least make them think. I'm not telling them that we can save the world but I can kind of describe the world, and, you know, just at least let them think about it, you know.
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Re: 1989.MM.DD - MTV - Interview with Axl

Post by Soulmonster on Tue Sep 18, 2018 1:15 am

Anyone's got an idea when this video is from? I would guess mid-1989.
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Re: 1989.MM.DD - MTV - Interview with Axl

Post by Blackstar on Sun Sep 23, 2018 1:08 pm

[You must be registered and logged in to see this link.] wrote:Anyone's got an idea when this video is from? I would guess mid-1989.

I don't know when exactly the interview was recorded either, and I couldn't find anything in regards to the date. I agree that mid-'89 is the best guess.

It seems this video is part of a longer interview. There are some other clips of it in a late 1989 (probably October) MTV documentary (along with clips from other interviews):


Also in parts 2, 3, 4 and 5 of this video compilation:
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Re: 1989.MM.DD - MTV - Interview with Axl

Post by Soulmonster on Sun Sep 23, 2018 7:38 pm

I was looking through that MTV program with all the various clips, hoping it would help me establish the date of the Axl interview, but with no success. I will just put it down as somewhere in 1989 for now, and hopefully we will be able to pinpoint the time later. That MTV program is next in line for transcription.
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Re: 1989.MM.DD - MTV - Interview with Axl

Post by whatashame on Sun Oct 21, 2018 8:41 am

I recall watching some MTV news video in which Kurt Loder said "the band is back together working on the new material. This is what Axl had to say to MTV during our recent hook up in Chicago", and then they played this, so If I remember right I'd link the video to Chicago sessions. But I'm typing it now without re-watching the interview so maybe what Axl says in the interview contradicts with what I'm saying now
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Re: 1989.MM.DD - MTV - Interview with Axl

Post by Blackstar on Sun Oct 21, 2018 8:55 am

[You must be registered and logged in to see this link.] wrote:I recall watching some MTV news video in which Kurt Loder said "the band is back together working on the new material. This is what Axl had to say to MTV during our recent hook up in Chicago", and then they played this, so If I remember right I'd link the video to Chicago sessions. But I'm typing it now without re-watching the interview so maybe what Axl says in the interview contradicts with what I'm saying now

Thanks!
It's possible that the interview is from then. In the beginning of this clip, another MTV guy (not Loder) says that at the time the band members were in different parts of the country and mentions the strained relationship between Axl and Slash. So the interview could have been recorded right after Slash, Duff and Steven left Chicago and Axl stayed behind; that would make it mid-July, probably. Then Axl went to New York with West Arkeen (when the footage at the Scrap Bar and the other interview in the documentary is from) and joined by Izzy soon after.
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Re: 1989.MM.DD - MTV - Interview with Axl

Post by Soulmonster on Sun Oct 21, 2018 8:46 pm

As [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.] says, Axl did one interview with MTV when he was in New York in July 1989. Parts of it is shown in the MTV Rockumentary above (for example at 9:06). I am sure it is from July 1989 because Axl wears exactly the same as he did when playing with West Arkeen at the Scrap Bar (the same t-shirt, the same hat and scarf).

On the video in the first post Axl looks very different. It could just be the lighting of course. But is it reasonable Axl would have done two sit-downs with MTV in the same month? First in Chicago and then 1-2 weeks later in New York?
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Re: 1989.MM.DD - MTV - Interview with Axl

Post by Soulmonster on Mon Oct 22, 2018 7:56 pm

So with [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]'s discovery that the MTV Rockumentary was aired on November 4, 1989, we have confirmed that this interview was taped before November, at least.
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Re: 1989.MM.DD - MTV - Interview with Axl

Post by Blackstar on Tue Oct 23, 2018 11:31 am

Yeah, so we can say that it was recorded between April (because the April issue of RIP magazine is displayed in the video) and October.
GnR were banned from the AIDS benefit concert in mid-March 1989. The MTV guy in the video (his name is John Norris) says that it happened "earlier this year". I guess he wouldn't have used that expression if it was just 2 weeks or a month before, so probably the interview was taped in May or later.
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