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1992.07.20 - MTV - Interview with Slash

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1992.07.20 - MTV - Interview with Slash

Post by Soulmonster on Sun Jun 19, 2011 6:46 am



Transcript:
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Re: 1992.07.20 - MTV - Interview with Slash

Post by Blackstar on Wed Feb 06, 2019 8:00 pm

TRANSCRIPTION:
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[Tabitha Soren: I doubt you remember.

Slash: No, I remember.

Tabitha Soren: We got you in the bathroom?

Slash: I really looked stupid.

Tabitha Soren: It was funny. You were very nice. (To the crew): Tell me whenever you’re ready. (?)

Slash: Huh? Yeah.

Tabitha Soren: (?) just to go with you. Don’t worry about it.

Crew guy: Okay. We have speed coming.]

Tabitha Soren: Alright. Why don’t you tell me about the shows this weekend? This was the first time that you played with Metallica and Faith No More. Was it different than – or how was it different? I’m sure that...

Slash: I mean, all things considered, walking into a production of that size after being off the road for two weeks, not really knowing how it was gonna feel like or look like, walking into the building and just having that, sort of like, slow perspective of how big it got as you’re walking down the halls all opening up and you finally get outside to where the actual stage is, seeing 100 and, God knows, how many people putting up this fortress so that you can go out and play, it was a little overwhelming. And considering we didn’t plan ahead for any kind of show - you know, same way we’ve always done it.

Tabitha Soren: In terms of a setlist, is that what you mean?

Slash: The setlist and all that. We just went in and we rehearsed some tunes that we haven’t played in a while in case they came up. And that was basically it, and then we just started the first show in Washington, and just said, okay, click, click, click and you’re on. And we just – you know, what we’re gonna play first...

Tabitha Soren: Are you telling me that Guns N’ Roses is watching the clock so that they go on on time?

Slash: We’re trying to be a little bit more considerate about that, especially because of the heat. You know, the day is long enough for the people who are going. It starts, like – the doors open at 2:00.

Tabitha Soren: Right.

Slash: You know, Faith No More goes on for 45 minutes to an hour, Metallica’s on for 2 h and, sometimes, 2 h 15 minutes. And then, you know, the set change between us and Metallica is 1 hour 15 min, because they’re both big productions and so, turning the stage around like most bands do, we have to take down Metallica’s stuff and put our stuff up, and it takes a long time. So by the time we get on, unfortunately most of the kids are burnt out (laughs). But then, you know, we play for 2.5 hours, 2 h 45, something like that. So we try and get on as soon as possible. For the first time at Giants Stadium we were actually ready to go and the stage wasn’t up yet.

Tabitha Soren: Oh my! (laughs)

Slash: All of us were standing around. You know, it was an unprecedented event.

Tabitha Soren: It seems that that 1 h 15 though, the kids could also use it to rejuvenate. I kind of appreciate having a break, you know, go get a coke or hotdog or something.

Slash: Well, I think they just fall asleep.

Tabitha Soren: Really?

Slash: Or get really, you know, degenerate (laughs)

Tabitha Soren: Did the crowd seem asleep when you were playing?

Slash: Well, they’re into it, but it’s...

Tabitha Soren: It’s in Jersey.

Slash: You can tell that they’re heat fatigued and you can sense it’s been a long day. I know it’s just a vibe, you know. Especially when it’s 105 degrees in Washington. I mean, you can’t expect anybody to sit there standing, you know, one of 60,000 people for 12 hours.

Tabitha Soren: Right. Well, the people that saw the show on Saturday night, all mentioned to me that it seemed like all of you came out in incredibly good mood in New Jersey, that you walked out...

Slash: Well, the tour is exciting. I mean, I’m not knocking the tour itself. I’m just saying why it might be difficult for people to deal with the entire thing, because it’s a long day. But, you know, all that aside, it’s a huge rush.

Tabitha Soren: Was there anything in particular on Saturday night? Was it just the tour being exciting and you being happy to be touring with these bands?

Slash: No, actually just being happy about...

Tabitha Soren: Cuz they’re sort of saying, we saw them a couple of months ago and obviously some people associate sort of the anger and the rage that the band represents or is fueled on in terms of sort of a teenage angst as well. I think a lot of your fans identify with, you know, being angry about things. But you came out and the show was just as good with everybody having smiles on their faces.

Slash: Well, I mean, if you think about it, we pulled off something that, especially in the 90s, it’s more of an accomplishment to get all these bands who are so much against the system, and against the industry standards, and pull it together and make it the biggest thing of the summer. I mean, there’s a sense of accomplishment, so yeah, you’re excited. And if you feel like you’ve changed a few rules, you know...

Tabitha Soren: You made your own rules.

Slash: ... and you can do your own thing, and the people all buy tickets because they relate to it, and that’s the biggest sense of communication, that I think bands have a hard time, you know, getting that chance to really communicate their points and how they feel, and having them accepted or even being able to have the channels in which to communicate; you know, usually they’re blocked off, people won’t let them do their own thing. So we managed to get through it and it’s, sort of like - okay, you know, it’s like a (whispers) “fuck you” to the whole business (laughs). And you can go out on the limb and take some chances, and people are into it. And, yeah, the record business has to, sort of like, let their hair down a little bit, and realize there’s a lot of stuff out there and take some chances as well. You know, cuz people - I mean not just kids, I mean of all ages - are really into it and they just never have the opportunity to be involved in it, because the record company doesn’t want to take any chances, you know, with whatever band it is. I mean, there’s a lot of stuff going on, like with Alice in Chains, Pearl Jam, Nirvana, Soundgarden, Faith No More, us, Metallica... I mean, I could go on and it’s all, like, almost spearheading at the moment, you know? It’s a good feeling, it’s exciting and it basically makes you feel like it’s worth fighting this hard, and working this hard to make your point, because you can break that barrier.

Tabitha Soren: Well, in terms – if other people, if fans have seen you last time around, what will they see differently? Is there anything? Have you changed the show at all? You mentioned songs that you were rehearsing that you’re not playing them that often? Can you mention titles?

Slash: Yeah, they just come up every so often, but since we’re so spontaneous, it’s good that the band, like, rehearses it, just so we don’t completely forget it, you know?

Tabitha Soren: Is there anything...

Slash: I don’t wanna get into it, because I don’t wanna get anybody’s hopes up. I mean, in particular (?)

Tabitha Soren: How about in terms – do you still have the whole, like, backup singers and...

Slash: Yeah, that’s all still there.

Tabitha Soren: ... piano and...

Slash: If anything, it just got bigger. The stage is just a little bit different and it’s a little bit more dynamic, you know. There’s some pyro stuff, some explosions that go off, and we’ve been having a good time with it. And we can just throw in any song whenever we feel like it.

Tabitha Soren: Have you ever had any bad experience with pyro?

Slash: No, but I know a lot of people who have. Our pyro guy, for one (laughs).

Tabitha Soren: (Laughs) The pyro guy shows up and he’s like all...

Slash: He got blown off the stage one night. Not with us, but with another band.

Tabitha Soren: Tell me, you were mentioning that the fans...

[Interruption

Someone from the TV crew: (?)

Tabitha Soren: Alright. They’re just gonna keep rearranging the shot.

Slash: Can I lose this pillow?

Tabitha Soren: Sure.

Slash: I don’t wanna fuck up the continuity or anything.

Tabitha Soren: (?) comfortable.

Slash: I didn’t know who was going to fall asleep first, me or him.

Tabitha Soren: (Laughs)

Slash: I mean, I was tired and burnt, and I’ve been at it all day.

Tabitha Soren: He hangs at your every word, you know?

Slash: And he starts asking me questions I wasn’t prepared for, you know. And...

Tabitha Soren: So his was a rehearsal and now I’ll repeat a lot of it, and now you’re ready and prepared.
Slash: I was pretty toasted too, but...

Tabitha: Well, you looked like you were having fun.

Slash: ... because I was at the end of the day. Well, yeah, it’s just that sometimes he gets a little too serious and just...

Tabitha Soren: He does? I think it’s just the look on his face. He’s not a very serious guy.

Slash: It depends. I mean, if you don’t let him affect you, you’re fine, especially if it’s, like, a quick thing, you know? But when it’s a long drawn-out interview, then, you know. Axl’s good at that kind of stuff, he just gets real solemn and he’ll just talk for hours. But with me it’s like, you know...

Tabitha Soren: Well, next time you should make him, like, smoke a joint or something.

Slash: Who? Kurt? I don’t think he could go that much slower. I could give him some acid or something (laughs).

Tabitha Soren: (Laughs) (?) Are you ready? Alright.

Slash: I can see him now, like, “What’s the general aura you get...” (laughs)

Tabitha Soren: (Laughs)]

Tabitha Soren: Well, you mentioned the fans seeming a little fatigued by the time you get on because of the heat and stuff. What do you have to do to keep your intensity night after night? You guys have been on the road forever.

Slash: I was talking about this last night. One of the reasons that we go on late is so that we can get mentally and physically prepared to go out and do 150% for every single gig, right? And there’s such an emotional involvement with the songs that every single tune, whether we play for 1.5 hour or 3 hours, regardless – you know, every single song has to mean something at that moment. So the intensity is really just in the band itself. And we don’t work any other way. We don’t go through the motions. We don’t fake it every night and just, like, ride on some setlist and really wish we were somewhere else. You know, it’s like, we’re there to do this and it’s not really like a so-called job. It’s more – it’s what the band does, this what we’re happy doing, this is our life, so every show is like that. So every show is as intense as we feel, you know? And it’s easy to keep it up. We interact with the crowd a hell of a lot. That’s one major thing, if the crowd happens to be particularly hostile (laughs) for some strange reason, you know, or, sort of like, dead in the front row. But then we react on that; you know, it’s just natural.

Tabitha Soren: When you see them dead in the front row, do you try to jazz them up or you just stop?

Slash: Yeah, we fuck with them a little bit and see if we can get them going or, you know – you usually blame yourself, like you’re not playing hard enough. And that’s where some of us are, like, jumping off ramps and all that stuff. I think it initially came from so much adrenaline and then the crowd would just go nuts, and so that would make us just get, you know, more into it, and the next thing you know, it’s like, we’re one and the same. It’s like, a stadium full of people, and basically the six of us on stage plus, you know, the extra people, but all getting off on material that we wrote and there’s a great vibe going on, you know? So it’s worth really getting into it every single night, because that’s the only reason you’re there.

Tabitha Soren: Well, you have to when you play for as long as you do.

Slash: It’s not because of the money. We go over time so much and have in the past, to the point where we didn’t make a dime, you know. And it doesn’t really matter to us.

Tabitha Soren: Because of union stuff, you mean?

Slash: Well, union stuff, and promoters, and, you know, different things (laughs).

Tabitha Soren: Well, this other person asked me to ask a question about rehearsals. But now that I think – you guys don’t rehearse before each show or anything like that.

Slash: Not before each show.

Tabitha Soren: Did you rehearse before this tour or did you have a break? I mean, it seems like you’ve just been on the road constantly.

Slash: We stayed on the road, we had two weeks off and we had one day of rehearsal in Washington before the show in Washington. That was basically it. And we don’t even get soundchecks anymore, you know? So we all have our own ways of warming up before every gig. We’ve been playing the songs long enough, to the point where I don’t think we necessarily have to rehearse on, you know – except for the old stuff that we haven’t played.

Tabitha Soren: I think Axl was telling Kurt in the limo, I guess last Sunday, about the fact that he rehearses separately from the band? Maybe he was talking about before you guys even started on the road. Is that true?

Slash: Well, ever since the band started we’ve never really rehearsed with vocals, cuz we were too loud.

Tabitha Soren: Would you prefer he was there or – how do you feel about that?

Slash: Well, I mean, obviously there would be a preference if we could all play together. I mean, we all feel that way, Axl included. But because we won’t sacrifice the band’s actual sound - we have to play that loud - there’s no rehearsal PA that can handle it. So we rehearse sometimes, like, you know, at Axl’s place or my place or Duff’s place if we want to get parts together, and then we just go and wing it at the shows.

Tabitha Soren: So what you’re saying is that you couldn’t really hear him anyway.

Slash: He couldn’t hear himself, which is worse than anything because it’s bad on his vocals, his vocal cords.

Tabitha Soren: Alright. So in terms of last Sunday and the fact that no plea bargain was reached, how are the court dates are going to affect the tour? Do you have any idea?

Slash: That whole thing’s been just a general pain in the ass, you know, to be totally honest.

Tabitha Soren: It seems like it has been drawn-out over – in several months.

Slash: It’s this guy’s fault at this point, you know.

Tabitha Soren: Who’s this guy?

Slash: I can’t remember his name, it doesn’t really matter to me. He’s just been a thorn in Axl’s side and even when we try to – or, you know, not saying “we” because we’re just, sort of like, on the sidelines seeing what happens. Even when Axl tries to deal with it and face it, and just to get it over with, he keeps screwing things around; you know, this prosecutor. So now it’s at a point where in October there’s gonna be some trial dates, I think. I think it’s in October.

Tabitha Soren: Do you have to reschedule any shows?

Slash: No, the tour is fine. You know, we’re safe on that, on that end.

Tabitha Soren: It must be sort of a headache though, even inadvertently, for the rest of the band.

Slash: You know what? With this band nothing fazes me. So much stuff is going on. And it’s like, we used to have this old, sort of like, standard joke amongst us, which was, you know, it’s just another test, you get through it, there’s another one. It seems like we’ve had any obstacle known to any rock ‘n’ roll band thrown at us and we just have to get through them. You know, once you get past it, then you go on and another one comes. After a while it’s just like, “Huh, whatever, alright.”

Tabitha Soren: So let’s make me more resilient. I mean, I feel that way about my day to day life, in general.

Slash: There’s a lot of truth to the fact that, you know, you do get jaded after a while (laughs). You can’t help that.

Tabitha Soren: Somebody said the other day, like, ever had one of those decades?

Slash: Well, if you play everything by the book, it’s probably easy to get by. But I don’t think there’s any integrity in that, because I don’t think – I mean, who wrote the book anyway? So when you go up against – I wouldn’t say society – when you go against the set rules that are made by whoever, you know, the set law or whatever...

Tabitha Soren: The system.

Slash: ... then you have to know that you’re gonna have problems. Yeah, the system could be the word for it. And you’re gonna have problems, and you just have to be smart enough to make your stand and have that stick, so that you become an obstacle yourself, you know?

Tabitha Soren: I think it’s easy to see that the fans respect you for fighting the system. And that’s what it comes down to.

Slash: Well, yeah. I mean, the general public’s dealing with it on a daily basis just in life in general. I think that one of the reasons the band has gotten so popular is because we do speak out about things that people in everyday life are sort of taught to keep quiet. And even some of the emotional stuff that we sing about are things that aren’t really orthodox, you know?

Tabitha Soren: Like what?

Slash: Well, you know, having to do with sex and family conflicts, violence in general, dealing with the law is a real good one, dealing with the community that you live in and the way that’s running; all that people are usually taught at school not to go against; like you were saying, the system. And it’s when a band comes out, and actually can get as big as we’ve gotten, and say everything that all these people can relate to, sort of like makes us the underdogs, you know? (laughs) And, you know, there’s a legion of people out there that really are going through all that, but you wouldn’t know it, cuz they’re not on MTV.

Tabitha Soren: They don’t have the power to change a lot of it also.

Slash: You know, but then there’s a lot of bands that are, like, overly aggressive about politics, and about world issues and so on, which we’re not really like either. We, sort of ,more or less deal with what we personally go through, you know? And if something inspires you to write a song that you see going on in the world, then fine. But we’re not out to send any real messages or direct, like, everybody in one direction.

Tabitha Soren: Mmm-mmm.

Slash: Sort of like the Tommy syndrome, okay? (laughs) We’re not like that.

Tabitha Soren: Spare us from Tommy 2. Well, tell me about another thorn, maybe a thorn in your side, that Black Death vodka thing?

Slash: That’s not a thorn in my side, because that just gets me to the point – you know, when I got hassled for Black Death vodka, it just made me go, “Oh, cool, it must’ve screwed them around,” you know? So it’s like, people are gonna look at me as a public figure that’s influencing the youth of America; and I was like, no, that’s not it at all. It was just cool vodka and a great label, and I said I would endorse it. And I got hassled by the Surgeon General and all that kind of stuff, and I was in, like, the Wall Street Journal. And it’s like, how does some rock guitar player becomes so significant? You know, had it been Joe Blow on the street it wouldn’t matter, and people just, I think, go after us because of the fact that we’re as public as we are, or as visible as we are. So I was just like, yeah, well, the attitude that I’m gonna take is “screw you.”

Tabitha Soren: Well, it didn’t seem like the government – I mean, they’ve been around forever and they have this (?) and they didn’t go after them until you got involved.

Slash: But they were in Europe then, before. And Europe’s a lot less uptight about things like that than the States are. You know, everybody’s trying to make some, sort of like, moral rule as a standard, and try and have everybody abide by it.

Tabitha Soren: But they obviously saw you as a role model and you’re not. You’re kind of – it seems like you’re saying, “I’m not.”

Slash: I’m not a role model at all. The other thing is, you know, Black Death, they’re trying to change the name or trying to make them change the name. And they’re still fighting it, and I’m like, “Cool.” So, you know, I’ll hang in there with them.

Tabitha Soren: They fight the system with you?

Slash: It doesn’t mean everybody has to go out and drink it (laughs).

Tabitha Soren: Well, that’s the thing. I mean, they think that people are such lemmings, you know?

Slash: That’s every individual’s prerogative. If you’re part of the Pied Piper group, then that’s your own problem. But you make your own decisions, you know?

[Interruption to change the camera tape]

Tabitha Soren: Okay, so let’s talk about Steven Adler’s band, Road Crew. Can you give me a little background on the name and how you feel about it?

Slash: Okay, Road Crew was a name that I came up with. It was a while before Guns N’ Roses even started and before I even met Axl. And there was different versions of it, you know, I could never find a singer, so it didn’t do that much. And there was one point when I did have a singer when we played a bunch of places. I’d known Steve previous to that and he was in the band for a couple of weeks; when we first met Duff and we rehearsed together, we had a big fallout and we broke up. And that’s when Guns N’ Roses consequently started to come together. Anyway, just recently I find out that Steven has started a new band called Road Crew and I was like, he had nothing to do this; and I’m like, where does he get off? You know, I haven’t even hassled him in the press or anything, nothing compared to what he said about us, and finally I just got to the point where I was like, “No”. Because it’s just personal to me and if I ever did, like, some sort of outside project from Guns N’ Roses, I don’t want to have that taken away from me, especially because he had nothing to do with it. So I feel a little bit... agitated; I think this is a good word for it (laughs).

Tabitha Soren: Very ill-tempered of you (laughs).

Slash: I trademarked the name and everything.

Tabitha Soren: Back then.

Slash: So I don’t know what he’s gonna do. But if he had any kind of imagination, or any sense of integrity, or any brains whatsoever, he wouldn’t have used it in the first place. At this point, I’m going, don’t use it, because if you do, there’s gonna be a big conflict, because I will defend it, you know?

Tabitha Soren: Have you called him up and told him this?

Slash: No, I don’t talk to that guy anymore. (Whispering) He’s a fucking idiot.

Tabitha Soren: Basically, I think the way he presented it, I’m not accurate, but I believe – I was under the impression that he made it seem like his three weeks in the band were a lot longer. He gave us the impression it was his old band that he was there.

Slash: No. The band round was for a year. We just rehearsed in a little room on Highland in Hollywood for – I mean, literally - a couple of weeks; like, maybe, seven songs we got through. And Duff can attest to that too, because all three of us went through it together. So my message to Steven is just leave it alone, don’t – because he doesn’t want to mess with me. Steven knows that. He doesn’t want to get started. And haven’t hassled him at all. So it’s, like, time to think of a new name, because it’s something that it’s just... You know, I don’t want to go “It’s mine, mine, mine.” It’s just, like, real personal to me, and I think he should go out and do his own thing anyway, you know?

Tabitha Soren: I think it’s alright to be sentimental about a name.

Slash: Yeah, and it’s a cool name too. It’s, like, perfect for a heavy metal garage band that I want to, like, sort of do, you know, on the side or something. So that’s my feelings on it. I got a fax from his attorney saying - One of the contentions in this lawsuit that Steven and Guns N’ Roses have been going through was, “... and I want the rights to the name Road Crew.” You know, anytime somebody comes up to you and challenges you like that, for me, it makes me just want to go out and fight. It’s part of my nature, so if that’s what he wants to do, then fine.

Tabitha Soren: But any lawyer would know that if you already have a trademark, he doesn’t have a case.

Slash: Yeah, but that’s why he was forced to ask, you know, or demand the rights in this deal that he was trying to come up with, so that we can settle on the whole breakup story; which is the whole thing in itself.

Tabitha Soren: Well, we’ll let him know. Have you heard any of Izzy’s stuff? Are you in touch with him at all?

Slash: I haven’t heard any of his –

[Interruption

Tabitha Soren: Yes, I try to think before I talk.

Slash: Yeah.

Tabitha Soren: You should try it sometime.

Slash: (Laughs)

Tabitha Soren: (?) such a jerk. You’re alright? Okay.]

Tabitha Soren: So have you heard Izzy’s new record or have you seen him lately?

Slash: I haven’t heard any of his new material. I know he does have a band and he’s got a record that’s gonna come out in November. I saw him for the first time here in New York. We met in a neutral place, a neutral hotel. And it was great, because there’s so much red tape and so much politics involved, that you don’t communicate at all as people. You go through, you know, management calls so and so and so and so, calls the accountants, messages go back and forth. Everything snowballs and you get to a point where it’s so out of hand, this whole split. I can admit that we, like, hated Izzy, because he wouldn’t deal with us directly, he didn’t quit directly. You know, he sent a memo, a letter of resignation to the accountants and to the management, so we were just like, “You know, where you...?” You know, cuz that felt closer than that. But there was a lot of stuff in the way that this band has evolved, that has gone on emotionally, technically as far as business is concerned, the whole stature of it just being sort of overbearing, and all that. So we got a chance to actually talk about a lot of the personal things that we felt in all of this, you know, sort of Guns N’ Roses hype, and hysteria, and all that; because, as band members, we never felt like a part of it, it was always what was built up around us. And it got to a point where he didn’t want to be involved in the amount of work that it took and the amount of stress, and energy, and sleepless nights that took to keep it going so that it didn’t fall apart. So he just bailed and we took that really personally. But having seen him recently, it was nice. I missed the guy, you know. It was nice to actually see him. And we talked about how we want to make this a clean break without going to court, without having to make it, you know, insanely public and bicker back and forth in the press; which is really easy, because attorneys can send out letters and they print them in the press, and then we, you know, the band or the members of the band, see it and go, “How can he say that?” and it’s really not what came out of his mouth. And that builds up after a while and then you tend to misjudge somebody altogether. I mean, as long as he’s happy it’s cool, as long as we have an amicable split on the technical side, then everything will be fine.

Tabitha Soren: So talking to him did it make you feel like it was less personal and you could sort of understand the pressure he felt?

Slash: It was a lot more personal than what we’ve been dealing with over the last year.

Tabitha Soren: But talking to him made you understand how he felt, like he wasn’t trying to hurt you.

Slash: Well, no, there was things that we disagreed on. You know, we disagreed on a lot of stuff all the way through this. But at least we could talk about it as friends and as people, as opposed to...

Tabitha Soren: Through your handlers.

Slash: You know, through black and white, and all the logistics that the perception the people that work around us get in the way that they communicate.

Tabitha Soren: Do you feel like the wounds have sort of healed in regards to him? Is that why you were able to meet with him?

Slash: Well, yeah, the wounds I guess have healed at this point. I mean, we’ve just gone on to do what Guns was planning on doing and he’s gonna do his own thing. And so we don’t really give a shit at this point, you know.

Tabitha Soren: Did you have fun with him?

Slash: With Izzy?

Tabitha Soren: Was it like seeing an old friend?

Slash: Yeah, we had a great time. We, sort of like, took all the fax papers, sort of put it aside, and just talked amongst each other. You know, and then there was that point where it’s like, okay, we need to bring the subjects up again and make notes and so on, but [cut]

Tabitha Soren: My home away from home.
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