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SoulMonster

1989.07.DD - Circus Magazine - Up Close and Personal with Guns' Slash and Duff

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1989.07.DD - Circus Magazine - Up Close and Personal with Guns' Slash and Duff

Post by Soulmonster on Fri Jun 10, 2011 9:47 pm

Up Close and Personal with Guns' Slash and Duff

"We're gonna try this out tonight, it's for my girlfriend," explained Axl Rose at the Celebrity Theatre in Anaheim, California on February 10, 1988. He sat down on the stage, proceeded to pucker his lips, and then started to whistle a long introduction to the song.

What's this? The Andy Griffith theme or something? Actually, Axl was whistling the now famous intro to "Patience". Nearly a year and a half later, it became the fourth Top 10 hit single for the band.

Speaking of patience, that is something that fans will have to practice as they wait for the release of the next Guns N' Roses album. Unfortunately, the new record won't be coming out until the end of the year or possibly later. Recently, the guys started preproduction in the studio with producer Mike Clink. "November Rain", a nine minute ballad, is one of the songs that they are working on, in addition to a bunch of tunes that they wrote on the road. Will "You Could Be Mine", "Yesterdays", and "Don't Cry" appear on the LP? Stay tuned.

In the meantime, Axl, Slash, Izzy, Duff, and Steve are keeping themselves busy with different projects. Axl has been working with former Sex Pistols guitarist Steve Jones on his second solo album, which will include a Pistols classic. On the other hand, Slash is spending some of his spare time babysitting his, umm, pet snakes: Sid and Nancy, Bonnie and Clyde, Monte, and sweet Pandora, who appears in the "Patience" vidclip.

As it will probably be awhile before we see or hear from Guns N' Roses again- their being prisoners of the recording studio for several months- it's the perfect time to turn back the clock to a previously unpublished and amusing conversation with Slash and Duff from their days on the road with Aerosmith.

How do you feel about the limited amount of exposure the band received in the beginning? Weren't MTV the only ones nationally supporting the band at the time when they aired the Ritz concert from New York?

Slash: Ahh, I hate that concert.

Duff: It's bad, it's terrible!

Why?

Slash: You know everybody likes it, but it was the worst playing...especially on my part. It was just bad.

Some people pulled out your guitar plugs...

Slash: Yeah, they did everything to me! They untuned my guitars and they pulled my jacks out.

Duff: My bass went out of tune for two songs.

Slash: Same here. We were all out of tune for the first three songs. It was chaos.

Duff: I think people like it (the concert) more like in the way when you drive past a car accident and somebody's mutilated, you know, it's like you can't help but look at it!

Do you feel that club shows like that helped the group get ready for bigger places?

Slash: You have to prove yourself when you play the cities that are real hip to what's going on. They see the best all the time. So, you really have to be good, you know, and if you can be good enough in New York or Los Angeles, you can play anywhere else in the country and be that good.

Do you think the band is finally getting some respect from the industry?

Duff: You're talking about respect from the industry, from the rock critics, and 'Rolling Stone', and that type of thing, right?

Yeah.

Duff: Well, the band could really give, you know - a shit about that. Or give a ....

Slash: Hoot!

Duff: But as far as like the crowds and our fans, that's all that matters.

Guns N' Roses seem to have one of the most dedicated followings around.

Slash: Oh yeah, we see people with like major tattoos all over the country.

Really, with your names?

Duff: Well, all kinds of different stuff. Like a guns with the name of the band.

Slash: I saw somebody who had my name tattooed into her ankle and she said that she had done it at home the night before and then displayed it proudly at the gig.

Duff: I was in Philadelphia once and me and my friend were walking down by the Liberty Bell and all that, and there was this girl who was a carriage driver, when all of a sudden we hear her screaming. She goes, "Hey, I'll give you guys a ride for free!" And on her back, well she was this big gigantic girl, and she had this Guns N' Roses tattoo. I was just like "Wheew!"

When you have time off from the road what do you guys like to do?

Slash: Drink.

Naah...really? How about something besides that. What about some kind of hobby?

Slash: No, basically our life is on the road, where you get up every morning, pack, go to the gig, then afterwards drive to the next city and just drink in between. That's all we really do, you know, and practice and stuff. But there is so much stuff to do as far as the band is concerned that there really isn't any time to get into anything else.

Does it ever get depressing on the road?

Slash: No, it's great. I live for this, you know. I wouldn't know what to do.

Duff: There are a lot of times when we don't get any sleep. For instance, when you're on the bus, the only way to sleep on the bus, at least for me, is to just get bombed and pass out. So, then you wake up like three hours later on a sugar high from all of the liquor.

Slash: Yeah, all shaking.

How do people actually get a good nights' rest on a tour bus?

Slash: Well, some people can sleep anywhere, but I unfortunately am not one of those people.

Duff: Nor am I.

Slash: Like you'll eventually crash just from sheer exhaustion, but it doesn't mean you're going to sleep the whole ride.

Duff: Yeah, it's real claustrophobic and it's hot in the bunks.

Slash: Hotels I can deal with.

How does the band go about putting songs together?

Duff: Sometimes, say Slash will come in with a riff, either Izzy or I will come up with something else. It's never really planned when you write a song, it's like you'll even hear somebody else in their room before a gig playing some riff and then I'll come up with another riff and put them together. It's real rare when somebody will come up with a whole song.

What about lyrics?

Duff: Axl.

Slash: That's basically Axl. Like 80% is Axl, 15% Izzy, and 5% me and Duff just adding words here and there.

What about Steven Adler?

Slash: He plays drums. Steven's not the most vocal person in the world.

Why? Is he shy?

Slash: Well, no, maybe vocal isn't the right word, more like illiterate would be the word. (laughter)

Duff: Put it this way, the Navy wouldn't take him!

Do you think your music has influenced kids in any way?

Slash: It seems to have been doing that. I hear a lot of stories about incidents with people acting out some of the lyrics in our songs and stuff like that.

Duff: Got a lot of people drinking Night Train now.

Yeah, that seems to be the new trendy drink.

Slash: Well, basically, winos drink it because it's cheap and that's why we drank it - 'cause it was cheap.

Duff: That was the original thing behind us drinking it, because we lived down the street from this liquor store.

Things have been going great for the band and it doesn't seem like anybody in the band is caught up on that "rock star" trip.

Slash: That's why we're doing so well. I think that the sincerity of the band itself is coming across.

Duff: Yeah, it's because the music comes first and that's the only thing that does come, you know, it's the music.

Slash: And Steven! (laughter)

Is there anything we didn't cover?

Slash: Oh yeah, you know you can say that, contrary to popular belief, none of us have passed away! The going rumor right now is that one of us passed away at some point. There is like three of them (rumors) going around right now. You know, I died, Steve died, and Axl died.

So now you're back, like Elvis!

Slash: We are all replacements, we're all session replacements.

Duff: And we're all cured of AIDS, too, by the way!
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