APPETITE FOR DISCUSSION
Welcome to Appetite for Discussion -- a Guns N' Roses fan forum!

Please feel free to look around the forum as a guest, I hope you will find something of interest. If you want to join the discussions or contribute in other ways then you need to become a member. Registering is free and easy.

Cheers!
SoulMonster

1990.08.31 - MTV - Famous Last Words (Axl)

Go down

1990.08.31 - MTV - Famous Last Words (Axl)

Post by Soulmonster on Fri Jun 10, 2011 4:25 am



Kurt Loder: Hi, I'm Kurt Loder. Welcome to another edition of Famous Last Words. Our interview subject this time out is Guns N’ Roses frontman Axl Rose, maybe the finest hard rock singer on the scene right now and certainly the most charismatic. With their debut album Appetite for Destruction and it's follow-up EP GN’R Lies, two records that have sold more than 12 million copies,  Guns N’ Roses established itself as a band apparently capable of doing anything it set its collective mind to. Now, hard at work on a long awaited second LP due out in January with former Cult drummer Matt Sorum recruited to replace the departed Steven Adler, Axl Rose took a couple of hours off recently to talk to us at the house in the Hollywood Hills he shares with his wife Erin, a place so new they had to buy lawn chairs for this backyard interview, which went like this:

[Show titles]

Loder: You have mentioned there's yet some goals for this record and you guys are in the position where you're, like... you're the hard rock band in the country, if probably not the world. Where do you go next? I mean, what are you trying to demonstrate?

Axl: Um, there's lots of kinds of material. Basically, with all kinds of different reactions in the press, and this and that, it was kind of like, the only way to show where we've been and and to make ourselves happy was to just try to put it all out; try to put all the material out at once, which, you know, 148 minutes that hasn't really been done. I mean, Springsteen put out a five album box set, but it was live - you know, it had been done over the years. Most of this is new material and there's a couple of cover tunes in it.

Loder: Is this album gonna be also mixed up like GN’R Lies? Is there gonna be a lot of the acoustic stuff on it too, different stylistic things going on?

Axl: Yeah, there’ll be, um, there’ll be a few acoustic things. There'll be some songs that are acoustic going into electric back to acoustic, and stuff like that. I actually play guitar on a couple songs for the first time (laughs).  I only play two strings but it's some pretty cool punk rock type stuff (chuckles).

Loder: Well, how come Steven left the band at this critical juncture...

Axl: Steven didn't leave the band.

Loder: Er, how come you...

Axl: Steven was fired.

Loder: Ah, okay.

Axl: Steven, um... We gave him every ultimatum.  We tried working with other drummers, we had Steven sign a contract saying if he went back to drugs, then he was out. He couldn't leave his drugs and... Other things have happened involved with Steven, that Steven is basically someone I used to know. That makes me feel bad, but there's other things beside the band that he was involved in with his drugs that’ve been very dangerous and scary, and I want nothing to do with him.

Loder:  Is that what you were talking about when you were opening for the Rolling Stones in L.A last year and you said, “Somebody in this band has been dancing with Mr. Brownstone” (?)

Axl: Oh, there was... The majority of the band was at that time - or too much alcohol or too much something. Me, I was eating too much or whatever, and just sitting on my ass too much.

Loder: Yeah... How's it going with the new drummer, is he fitting right in? It must be very hard at this point to bring somebody new into the band.

Axl:  It... was a miracle.

Loder: Yeah.

Axl: He has saved the band’s life. He came in, he's in an up mood, he works, he writes his own material. He writes a lot. He works real well with us. He takes suggestions while he keeps everybody in line, keeps the timing great... Yeah, I mean, he played 29 songs in a month.

Loder: You mentioned that one of the covers you're doing is You Only Live Twice. Why that of all the songs in the world?

Axl: No, no, Live and Let Die.

Loder: I’m sorry, Live and Let Die, that’s...

Axl: Live and Let Die. I don’t know, I was watching the... I thought about it once a long time ago, but just thought, “You’ll never be able to get that the way it sounds.” It’s got done that well.  And then I was watching...  I've rented the movie and I was watching it. And I just went, “This song sounds like Welcome to the Jungle II”, you know? (laughs) It's like, “Now that you're here”, so... And it just felt right, so we ended up playing it a little bit in rehearsal and it started working. And now that we actually gone and started recording it, you know, we're finding out that, “Wait, we are good enough to play this song”.

Loder: Yeah.

Axl: And we didn't think we were, you know. We didn't think we were good enough to get it done right. But slash is doing most of the string arrangements on his guitar with a harmonizer. I mean, so it’s kind of like, to me it's like Tom Waits meets Metallica or something (chuckles). ‘Cause the way I sing it, it's so rough and scratchy but, you know, that I sound like Tom Waits or something on it, kind of, it's working out really good and it sounds like us.

Loder: Yeah.

Axl: So, I mean, everybody that hears it goes... thinks that it sounds like the perfect song for us to do.

Loder:  You’ve got anything coming up that... You have mentioned there's something, a song on this album that's coming up that might cause some problems, you think? Is there anything...

Axl: There's a song called Coma that it’s, like, 11 minutes and 45 seconds long with no chorus (chuckles).

Loder: (Laughs)

Axl: Okay? And I think there was only one verse that, like, somewhat repeats itself. It’s Slash’s baby, it’s his monster. The song used to be called “Girth”.

Loder: (Laughs)

Axl: But I started writing about when I OD'd 4 years ago, and the reason I OD'd was ‘cause of stress. I couldn't take it.

Loder: Yeah.

Axl: And I just grabbed this bottle of pills in an argument and just got them down. I ended up in the hospital and... But I liked that I wasn't in the fight anymore and I was fully conscious that I was leaving.

Loder: Yeah.

Axl: I liked that, but then I go... All of a sudden my first real thoughts though where that, “Okay, you haven't toured enough the records, it’s not gonna last, it's gonna be forgotten," and this and that. "You have work to do, get out of this”, and I went, “No” and I woke up; you know, pulled myself out of it. But, in the describing of that, some people could take it wrong and think this means go put yourself into a coma, you know. And so, it's really tricky as I'm still playing with the words to figure out how to, like, show some hope in there.

Loder: Yeah. You seem to have, I mean, from a couple of years ago, like, OD'ing on pills, come a long way since then. You feel more settled down now and you seem pretty relaxed and together?

Axl: Yeah, but it's been a lot of work to do that, because there's, you know, part of we got used to, like, as the Eagles would say, “Everything all the time.” And, you know, living that way and going for it, and all of a sudden you started to reel... And then, that's what got us here, that's what got us signed, that's what got us on top of things. And then you started... then you got to a point where you go, “Wait a minute, everything that got me here is also starting to self-deserting, I'm trying to self-destruct, it’s starting to tear up my life. I have to figure out how to channel my energies other directions." It’s a weird one, settling down. It's a weird one, you know.

Loder: Do you think it’s just a function of, like, getting older and learning more and being more aware of what's going on...

Axl:  It's realizing there's life after, you know, 21; life after 25; life after 27. 27 was the hardest year. I met Prince, and I was talking with Prince, and he was like, “Oh you're 28.” Then he goes, “Last year was the hardest, wasn't it?” and he was saying how 27 is, like, the bitch - it's the hardest year.

Loder: Really?

Axl: 27 was definitely my hardest year.

Loder: (Chuckles) That's all behind you now.

Axl: Yeah. It’s still a mess but, like, I'm used to it when it gets a mess.

Loder: Yeah. Did you consider that valid when people say, “Well, you're up there in front of kids, you have to set a good example.” I mean, a lot of people say, “Well, now that I'm an artist, I don't have to set an example, I just do my art.” How do you feel about that?

Axl: It's real tricky. When we... Our first major tour was with Motley Crue and the audience was younger than most audiences that we played, like on Aerosmith tour or on other tours or on our own tours and the tours with The Cult. And it was real hard to do the song It’s So Easy...

Loder: Yeah.

Axl: ...because there's a line in there, I drink and drive/and everything's in sight. We were talking about, kind of, how we got away with things and we're lucky to be here.  It was real hard knowing that some of these kids would just go out and go, ”Yeah, I drink and drive and everything's in sight.”  I mean, Izzy put it best when he said that a lot of people think our record means you know, party and do cocaine and rock ‘n’ roll. And it's like, that just ain’t what it is.  So Izzy was gonna quit at one time because he was... didn't like the way people reacted to it. I heard something on the radio last night; when Frank Zappa broke up The Mothers [Of Invention] it was ‘cause people were clapping for all the wrong reasons.

Loder: Yeah.

Axl: It's hard when you know that you're doing your material and the audience - the majority of your audience - isn't getting what you meant.

[Break]

Loder: What's the first music you remember hearing when you were a kid? Was there one thing that turned you on and you said "Wow, this is what I wanna do”?

Axl:  When that happened, when it turned... I mean, I was already playing and singing church music and all kinds of things. When it happened, that "it’s this what I wanna do" was Led Zeppelin's D’yer Mak’er. When I heard that, I was making fun of it all day long, ‘cause I was always writing down the lyrics to all the joke songs that were out – Spiders and Snakes and stuff - and passing it out to all the kids. But I heard that song and I was going, “Yeah there's another one, [mock singing] Oh, oh, oh, oh”, let’s make a little fun of it. But by afternoon recess, I was in the corner with the radio waiting to hear that song.  That and Bennie and the Jets just made me go, “I want this”.

Loder: It's funny, I wouldn’t normally picture that there was an... Elton John, like, launching your consciousness of music.

Axl:  Elton John is it. It’s like, yeah, his...  especially the first seven albums.  Bernie Taupin to me is the  best lyric writer that’s ever lived on the face of the earth. And Elton John was just amazing in the studio and the recording of everything. Some of it is so art. I mean, to me, that's my classical music, because some of his stuff is classical, you know, and I listen to Elton John all the time.

Loder: (?) arrangements and...

Axl: I'm always supposed to meet them. I think they're the only two people I'm, like, nervous to meet.  (Chuckles) You know, and it's like, something always comes up, I don't feel (?), I just can't meet them.

Loder:  Yeah. How did you... What were you doing, when you was...  The first thing you did in music, was it church stuff? I mean, you’d just be going to church and sing or you were singing in a choir or something?

Axl: Um, church stuff, singing since I was a little kid. Like, my brother and sister and I would have to sing in a trio, which was then “The Bailey Trio”. We would sing in front of the church, which started, like, in that little back room of the library and built up towards a big brick country church.

Loder: There was, like, Nearer My God To Thee and stuff like that?

Axl: Yeah all that, and Amazing Grace and everything. Actually, Sebastian Bach and I are talking about doing a version of Amazing Grace together.  Well, I think it's a whole new idea that him and I are gonna do this together, ‘cause everybody wanted us to be enemies, kind of, a bit in, you know, press things, “Who's better or this and that”. And it's kind of like, we just hit it off.

Loder: Have you patched up your differences with Vince Neil and the boys? I get there was a scuffle last year backstage.

Axl: Oh, no way. No way. Haven’t patched-up anything.

[Cut to MTV News video:
John Norris: The Video Music Awards were not a picnic for all concerned, however, including Guns N’ Roses guitarist Izzy Stradlin who was punched in the face by Motley Crue vocalist Vince Neil, as Stradlin walked off stage with his manager Alan Niven. This was apparently Neil's reaction to a 1988 incident at an LA rock club in which Stradlin allegedly assaulted Neil's wife Charisse then had her ejected from a room at the club.]

Loder:  What's the dispute there?

Axl: Well, I mean they think that I've read in the interviews of theirs that they feel that it’s like I'm just, you know, standing up for Izzy and stuff, but Vince should be careful what golf course is he's mouthing off about Axl on and who he is playing golf with, you know. When he goes out playing golf and mouths off about Axl -and he happens to be playing golf with people that work for me - stories come back. And he likes to put in magazines that he broke Izzy’s nose or, you know, and how Alan Niven wasn't even there, a manager or anything like that, and no one was around. I don't know, we didn't want to take it to court because it would be too much trouble and too much hassle but when, you know, Tom Petty’s security crew wants to be witnesses in court you, know... It's, you know, it's funny because Izzy is, like, going - ‘cause people think it's gonna happen sooner or later or whatever; and it’s like that Vince is now getting into it or something, you know - and Izzy laughs, because he's like, that guy had a full-on free shot, you know, and hit like a powder puff and it was like... (chuckles) So it's pretty scary if the guy thinks about a real hassle,. I put in in a magazine, you know, anytime he wants it, anywhere, Atlantic City, I don’t care.

Loder: (Laughs)

Axl: Put the money on it, you know. I don't care. And then he tried to turn it around and say the same thing, but, you know, the invitation is there; I'm easy to find. If you really want a hassle, you know, we can have it out.

Loder: I always thought everybody in the L.A scene was so tight and friendly and everything, now there’s the...

Axl:  I don't know. It gets real, real competitive. We tried to help a lot of bands when we knew we were taking off.

Loder: Yeah.

Axl: And even some of the bands that we were helping - I don't want to name names or anything - ended up getting very jealous because, they were happening to, like, kind of like exist in our shadow a bit. And that was really hard because we were like, “We could have given the gigs to somebody else,” you know. We could have helped someone else.

Loder: Geez. Do do you still feel a part of the scene? I mean, you still go out, right? Can you still go to clubs and stuff?

Axl: A little bit, yeah. I can go out more now. People don't... It's not as crazy as it was. It's the ball starting to get rolling again and it's starting to get crazy again, but I can go out a little bit. About a year ago it was a mess, you know. Now it's mellowing out and I think people are a little bit - I don't know if it's intimidated or what - they're just... now they kind of look at me like, “Oh my god, no, that can't be him”. Even if they're talking to me, they don't think that they would see me; which is kind of cool (chuckles)

Loder: You don't see each other as much as you did when, you were all, like, living in one place.

Axl: Yeah, everybody has their own lives. I mean, Izzy basically has five Harley's, and every time you're looking for Izzy, you find out he's in Mexico or he's in London or he drove to Texas or he's up in Yellowstone or something, you know. He's always somewhere.

Loder: What about the rest of the guys, are they pretty scattered too? I mean, Slash, does he go and play all the time?

Axl: He's always working on something, working on his house or working on someone else's record or something like that. So we don't really hang that much but we call each other up on the phone to tell each other what we did, you know. We’re best friends, even though we have separate lives somewhat, you know. And we brought that friendship back together, you know, because otherwise it was getting to a point where “Okay, then we are gonna go separate.”

Loder: Can you imagine yourself ever going off and doing, like, a solo album?  Can you imagine finding a band that would be for you what Guns N’ Roses is?

Axl: No. I can imagine finding people that play really good that I want to do songs with and see about possibly putting a solo project together at some point, but not getting the same effect. But I can't really see trying to duplicate what Guns N’ Roses is, because Guns N’ Roses is so much more than we ever thought it really would be.  It's actually... it's like a dream band having that, like, the... [points at something] Hummingbird, wow... It’s gone.

[Break]

Loder: You were doing a thing with... I'd heard that you were gonna do a version of Welcome to the Jungle with Ice-T and it was funny, because we were talking to Chuck D and Public Enemy recently and he's really into, like, slamming music, and he said... I asked him, “So what do you listen to, what do you like?” and he said, “Guns N' Roses, they do slamming music”; which is odd, you wouldn't expect to hear this in the rap circle...

Axl: I listen to Public Enemy now, all the time.

Loder: Really?

Axl: Yeah. I listen to Public Enemy, Ice-T, N.W.A and The Ghetto Boys.

Loder: Do you think there's a future for you in rap? I mean, are you good at this?

Axl: I'm not that good at rap. You know, I listen to it a lot. It's like, I like it because it keeps me awake and aware of what's going on.

Loder: Yeah.

Axl: You know, it's like, I watch Yo! MTV Raps more than I watch Headbangers Ball. Headbangers Ball has a lot... some stuff is good, some things are, like, I don't know...  I look at it like, yeah I was there five years ago or six years ago - I want to move on. I listen to Public Enemy a bit more because of all the social issues they bring up in in their things, in their songs and stuff. So that's like, I don't know what I agree with them and what I disagree with at this point; I'm just listening to it and enjoying it and enjoying that someone's taking that strong a stand on what they believe.

Loder: Would you - let's take 2 Live Crew as an example and this has been a good and a bad year for them. What do you make of the fact that’s happening in the United States for the first time, a record can be declared illegal, essentially?

Axl: I think it's crazy. I mean, I think it's like, you know, saying The Diary of Anne Frank causes... influences people in a bad way; or something off the dictionary, if it has a definition for a four-letter word in a bad way. I mean, there was an article in Penthouse magazine, saying that if you want to, like, point fingers and say what influences people in a bad way and most powerful influence and, like, what damage has been done, it's like, the Bible has caused more wars and death and anything by people reacting to it however they feel they should react to this more than any other book, you know. So unless you're gonna get rid of Shakespeare, unless you’re gonna get rid of the Bible and things like that, back off. And, you know, I'm sorry if it makes your job of raising your kids a little bit harder. Maybe, you know, you should have thought about that beforehand, before you had your kids, so...

Loder: Do you think you'd feel different about this after you had a kid?

Axl: No. No, not even if something... Even if I had a kid and he did something because he thought... because the record said “Do it”. I don't think I would feel different at all, ‘cause I think about that a lot.

Loder: What was your experience with religion as a kid? Was it essentially positive - I mean you had the musical aspect of it that was good or (?)

Axl:  It was essentially positive about teaching you the King James Bible, what the Bible says. But I just watched my church, I watched everybody become very hypocritical and self-righteous to the point that they started, like, destroying the unity they had that built the church. You know, ‘cause I was there from the beginning til when it became a big church.

Loder: Is it a Baptist church?

Axl: No, it was Pentecostal. And it was, like, about eight miles out in the country and then it just got very hypocritical and self-righteous. You know, like, you could sit there as a kid and watch people on this side of the church saying something bad about the people over here, you know. And it's like, it just got like who was more religious within the church, who was pure, who was going to heaven and who wasn't in the congregation, and it was like... It was just very, very negative at that point.

Loder: Yeah. Does it tell you (?) Because these seem to be the people, the fundamentalist people, seem to be the people that are attacking popular music, and especially rock and rap now. And we, like, discovered a record burning - believe it or not – again. These guys are the Peter's Brothers and they're throwing in all the old Ozzy records and all this stuff. And it's incredible this is coming back again here, it’s 1990...

Axl: Yeah. It’s like Dave Mustaine says though, you know; if you burn them you had to go buy them (chuckles).

Loder: (Laughs) Good thought – I suppose.  

Axl: It's like, go ahead and burn the record, make some news. Make some news for me.  I think people are just scared of art, you know; which, art, is very powerful. And it's hard to say which art  should be in the hands of babes, you know, that they don't understand what they've got in their hands. I mean, The Wall is a very powerful piece of work that, like... I know people that, like, got into The Wall and didn't come out of it for five years, you know? They just locked themselves in this frame of mind or whatever they were getting out of that album.  And most of it seemed to be positive, but during the five years they became very distant from everybody, very alienated. But Roger Waters was giving everything he had describing where he had been in his mind and what life said to him. So I don't know, art is a very powerful thing. And I just don't think they know what to do with it and I don't think they can stop it, but you have to go out and fight. You've always had to do it and just because we're in the 90s and it seems like it's easier, you know, it's really no different than, like, back in the 17th century, you know. You fight for a book to be printed or something.

Loder: Yeah. Do you still paint or anything yourself?

Axl: I'm just starting to draw and paint. A few years ago I was like, okay you can go take photos or you could build this sculpture... you probably stir yourself into the band. It was like going all thing for Guns N' Roses to get to make this happen, to give me the chance to do whatever I wanted. It's like, there was other reasons for Guns N' Roses fighting to get this successful; it was so that we could do what we wanted, and get away with it, and be able to live comfortably doing it, you know, and have some security.

Loder: What did you... When you finally got on the stage with the Stones last fall, were you expected them to be, you know, 27 years on in their career? Did they still have something going for them, did you think...?

Axl: It was great playing with them. It was a definite dream. I mean, it was something that we told people we were going to do and people were going, “No, they broke up.” “I don’t care, we’re going to open for the Stones, you wait. We’re going to do this, I don’t know how, but we’re gonna do this.” And then, you know, I told Keith Richards that and he's like, “Well, you've made it, mate. Let me have a cigarette.”

Loder: (Laughs)

[End titles]


Last edited by Soulmonster on Wed Nov 07, 2018 7:44 pm; edited 2 times in total
avatar
Soulmonster
Tour plane captain

Admin & Founder
Posts : 8387
Plectra : 54254
Reputation : 740
Join date : 2010-07-05

Back to top Go down

Re: 1990.08.31 - MTV - Famous Last Words (Axl)

Post by Soulmonster on Tue Nov 06, 2018 3:43 am

I have come to this interview now. Any chance you have already typed it out, [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.] ? [You must be registered and logged in to see this image.]
avatar
Soulmonster
Tour plane captain

Admin & Founder
Posts : 8387
Plectra : 54254
Reputation : 740
Join date : 2010-07-05

Back to top Go down

Re: 1990.08.31 - MTV - Famous Last Words (Axl)

Post by Blackstar on Tue Nov 06, 2018 3:53 am

Haha, unfortunately not.
I'm trying to transcribe the Howard Stern one with Duff and Steven.
avatar
Blackstar
ADMIN

Posts : 548
Plectra : 4074
Reputation : 52
Join date : 2018-03-17

Back to top Go down

Re: 1990.08.31 - MTV - Famous Last Words (Axl)

Post by Soulmonster on Tue Nov 06, 2018 3:57 am

Okay, then I will get going on it! But first I need to return back home, at a conference and don't have much time available.
avatar
Soulmonster
Tour plane captain

Admin & Founder
Posts : 8387
Plectra : 54254
Reputation : 740
Join date : 2010-07-05

Back to top Go down

Re: 1990.08.31 - MTV - Famous Last Words (Axl)

Post by Blackstar on Tue Nov 06, 2018 4:36 am

I have some time available now, so if I finish with the other one by tomorrow maybe I will be able to do this one too.
avatar
Blackstar
ADMIN

Posts : 548
Plectra : 4074
Reputation : 52
Join date : 2018-03-17

Back to top Go down

Re: 1990.08.31 - MTV - Famous Last Words (Axl)

Post by Blackstar on Tue Nov 06, 2018 11:32 am

I'm working on this now.
avatar
Blackstar
ADMIN

Posts : 548
Plectra : 4074
Reputation : 52
Join date : 2018-03-17

Back to top Go down

Re: 1990.08.31 - MTV - Famous Last Words (Axl)

Post by Blackstar on Wed Nov 07, 2018 12:55 pm

Done. [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.], I'm posting the transcription here (and the video) if you want to copy-paste it in the OP (and then I'll delete it from this post).

EDIT: Transcript in the first post - deleted from here.


Last edited by Blackstar on Wed Nov 07, 2018 8:52 pm; edited 2 times in total
avatar
Blackstar
ADMIN

Posts : 548
Plectra : 4074
Reputation : 52
Join date : 2018-03-17

Back to top Go down

Re: 1990.08.31 - MTV - Famous Last Words (Axl)

Post by Soulmonster on Wed Nov 07, 2018 7:43 pm

Awesome job! And so quick!
avatar
Soulmonster
Tour plane captain

Admin & Founder
Posts : 8387
Plectra : 54254
Reputation : 740
Join date : 2010-07-05

Back to top Go down

Re: 1990.08.31 - MTV - Famous Last Words (Axl)

Post by Sponsored content


Sponsored content


Back to top Go down

Back to top


 
Permissions in this forum:
You cannot reply to topics in this forum