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SoulMonster

1994-01-03 - Interview with Axl and Slash

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1994-01-03 - Interview with Axl and Slash

Post by Soulmonster on Tue Jun 21, 2011 11:01 pm

Steve Downs - Axl, good to have you.

Axl - What's happening?

Steve Downs - Not much. And Slash. Fresh from a… An invigorating game of pinball, I understand.

Slash - Yeah, something like that.

Steve Downs - It's somewhat of a rarity to have the both of you in the same place at the same time.

Axl - I don't know…

Slash - Someone asked me: "Are you both guys gonna be on the radio?" I was like: "Yeah!" It's been a couple of years since we did an interview together.

Steve Downs - And you Axl were telling me that when you guys write, it's actually done over the phone.

Axl - The majority of things are done on the phone, until we actually get in the studio. A lot of things over the phone and sending tapes back and forth. And we've done this for years.

Slash - I just delivered my last tape to Axl. My latest tape to Axl.

Steve Downs - Just minutes ago.

Axl - I've been eagerly awaiting.

Steve Downs - Really? Well, we'll eagerly awaiting a chance to hear it some point down the line. Tell me about "The Spaghetti Incident?". How did this thing come together, and what did you want to do with this?

Slash - I think the easiest way to… It wasn't supposed to be taken that seriously in the beginning. It was a… Seriously, in the beginning , it was a… some songs that… It started out with some songs that we were jamming that we were gonna make an EP out of. And then we started adding more songs into it, and eventually it turned into a 13-song record which obviously is the result on the CD.

Axl - We had an idea of this going into the first album… that there were some songs that, what we called "punk" to us, or whatever, that we wanted to record a long time ago, that we wanted people to hear, that we liked a lot. And there's songs that Izzy and I liked, there's songs that Slash and I liked, there's songs that Duff and Izzy liked. Things like that, and then it turned into… We had a collection over about nine years of over ten songs that we really liked and we realized we could make an album instead of just a little EP and throw out there.

Steve Downs - Would you say that what is on "The Spaghetti Incident?" is fairly representative of what the influences were to Guns N' Roses in the early days?

Slash - It's a coup…

Axl - Some.

Slash - It's… A drop in the bucket, you know.

Axl - Some, but the energy of the songs and stuff, but it's a… It's some… Some of the influences that I don't think mainstream radio, and a lot of like, I don't know… Mid-western and things like that, people haven't really heard.

Slash - The funny thing about it though, is that when we started doing this, it was just to levitate the pressure of making the Illusions records. [laughs]

Steve Downs - [laughs] Really?

Slash - I mean really, when it comes down to it, we were jamming stuff in the studio on off-time and that's how it started.

Axl - I was like, going: "Well, jam on these songs". Kinda like steer it into a project for later.

Slash - [laughs]

Steve Downs - The first song we're gonna play tonight is "Hair Of The Dog", which I guess was a part of the early GN'R repertoire, right?

Slash - Actually, that goes back to Hollywood Rose.

Axl - Yeah, we played it only a few times a very long time ago. When we were in the studio, finishing up the recording of the song, Slash is going: "This is cool!". 'Cause he's the one that brought it to our attention to do it for this album and Duff reminded him… He goes: "Remember the old days? This was cool." Duff reminds him: "You hated this song".

Slash - [laughs]

Axl - Slash goes: "Oh, yeah". Which was very strange when he brought it to us: "We gotta do this song." I was like: "You hated it". I was confused for months.

Slash - [laughs]

Steve Downs - "Hair Of The Dog". Guns N' Roses on Rockline

"Hair Of The Dog" is played

Steve Downs - We're back. Just getting underway with a full 90-minutes with Axl Rose and Slash from Guns N' Roses. The phones are lit up so let's get to 'em right now. We're gonna take our first stop at Muscatine, Iowa. Beth is listening to us at 97X in Davenport. Beth, you're on with Axl and Slash.

Beth - Hi Axl, hi Slash. Happy new year.

Slash - Happy new year.

Axl - Happy new year.

Beth - Thank you. I'd like to know what it was about punk that influenced, or attracted you. You know, was it the scene or the sound. Also, you guys have been credited so many times with breathing new life into rock n' roll, and with this success of the new CD doing covers of old punk, and old-time metal or rock n' roll, do you feel you're helping metal make a comeback? Or more importantly, are you helping punk comeback?

Slash - The main thing… We didn't do what we call a punk comeback or anything like that. We just took a bunch of songs which I thought represented where we came from… Had a certain amount of attitude. I mean, punk didn't last…

Axl - Energy.

Slash - …all that long. It's all about a vibe and about a certain attitude directed towards... I don't know. It's the way that the band plays and there's a lot of different types of music that forms the way we sound. So… that's really what it's all about.

Steve Downs - Thanks Beth for the call…

Slash - That was short. [laughs]

Steve Downs - Got to the point. I'm not sure metal needs a comeback at this point.

Slash - No, it's…

Axl - It's got nothing to do with that…

Slash - It's the attitude.

Axl - It's just like, we like the energy and the defiance that punk rock had and that it… It didn't really hit the mainstream all that much. And we are, whether we like it or not, in some ways in the mainstream. So we gotta bring certain songs to people's attention.

Slash - Yeah.

Axl - For me, it was like, some of those songs I liked, I got ridiculed and criticized for at the times those songs were out. So, it was kinda like, well, now maybe some of those people will listen to it

Slash - It's a crime that a lot of the band that we did cover and other bands that we didn't cover, that if we had all the time in the world to do, didn't… They're almost forgotten now. I mean, completely… Out-of-print and out-of-mind.

Axl - Can say we wanted to call the record "Pension Fund". 'Cause we're kind of paying some… Helping these guys pay some rent.

Steve Downs - There you go.

Slash - Yeah, Cheetah Crome's happy.

Axl - Yeah.

Steve Downs - We're gonna go to Louisville, Kentucky now. Jan is on 95.7 WQMF.

Jan - Hi Axl, hi Slash. How you doing?

Axl - Hi.

Slash - Doing great.

Jan - Great. Over the years you've taken a lot of criticism over music. And now all of a sudden, I'm hearing a lot of empathy coming out. Over the last couple of years… Like this new video I just recently saw, with the whales and dolphins. That's beautiful.

Axl - Thank you. And yeah… In some areas there is a different vibe coming and that's really nice.

Jan - Do… Are you going to keep going that way?

Axl - You know… What? Trying to get people to like us, but still doing what we want? Sure.

[everybody laughs]

Jan - Keep progressing, you know, the criticism will stop and they will understand, you know, that the music is for what you make it.

Slash - The two don't often meet on the same ground. We'll always do what we want. 'Cause otherwise we'll get seriously bored and the critics will always have something bad to say about it. It's just… It goes with the territory so we just gotten used to it. As long as it doesn't affect what we do as a band then we're fine.

Axl - I think there's a level of… You know, level of people out there, the so-called "moral majority" and things like that, that will always have a problem with certain things in the media. But then again, these people can be won over in other ways and maybe that'll happen. I guess it depends on how politically correct we are with our incorrectness.

Slash - [laughs] Where do we fit in?

Steve Downs - Jan, thanks for the call. We're gonna go from Louisville to Augusta, Georgia. Carl's on 96 RXR in Augusta. Carl, you're on Rockline with Guns N' Roses.

Carl - Axl, Slash. It's great to talk to you.

Axl - What's happening?

Carl - You have such an incredible sound when you're live. I'd like to know, when do you plan on releasing a full-length live album?

Axl - We recorded every single show we did and there is a… You know, we've talked for a long time about compiling something out of that. I have no idea… I mean, then again, it could sound like crap. [laughs] We don't know.

Slash - Basically…

Axl - We haven't had the time to go back and listen to everything yet, but…

Slash - Basically we're just waiting to find somebody who has the patience to sit trough it. [laughs]

Axl - We'd like to make a movie. We filmed everything that we did on the road for the last few years, and we'd like to make a documentary movie and put out a soundtrack to that.

Steve Downs - That'd be hot. We're gonna… Carl, thanks for the call. We're gonna play another track now from the album "The Spaghetti Incident?". This is the Steve Jones/Sex Pistols tune "Black Leather". A caller earlier was talking about punk and the fact that this album is certainly shedding new light on that era again. And most people think of the Sex Pistols as the… Sort of the, you know, the star of the era, if you will.

Slash - Like I said, the whole punk thing… There was only a handful of bands that were, what you call, really good rock n' roll bands. And as far as the style of music goes, it doesn't matter. It was like a real heart-felt kind of rebellion thing that we picked up on.

Axl - Some of these songs are more obscure than others. Like the Sex Pistols songs that we did. It was a b-side that I just thought was one of the coolest songs they did and thought other people might like to hear it. I mean… You know, we have our version of it, but then again, I like listening to the original better. It depends on what mood people are in. What they want to hear. I mean, I've heard criticism about: "Well, a punk record shouldn't have drums this heavy." And this and that. But we do it GN'R-style.

Slash - That's exactly it. It was GN'R doing all these songs of ours the way that we play 'em. I mean, there's no changing that. So, we're not exactly "the best sounding punk band"… technology and decent marshals at work.

Axl - We just be paying some respect.

Steve Downs - Sounds something like this. GN'R. "Black Leather".

"Black Leather" is played.

Steve Downs - Guns N' Roses. "Black Leather" from "The Spaghetti Incident?". Back to the phones we go. Blaire is in Robertsonville, North Carolina, listening to WRDU 106 in Raleigh. Blaire, you're on with Axl and Slash.

Blair - Hi! I'm a fan of you. I had a question. Are you planning on pulling the Charles Manson track from the album?

Axl - At this time, no. But, we've also been notified by a fan that if we do pull the song, he'll sue us and Geffen Records for one dollar per album sold, as of the date that we pull the song. You know, he'll file s in federal court. But we don't have plans of pulling it as of now. And… You're in Raleigh?

Blair - Yeah.

Axl - Oh, okay. Cool. Hi Jennifer!

Steve Downs - [laughs]

Slash - [laughs] There was a time when we were planning on pulling it because of the fact that it was… I don't know… the messages were all crossed. As far as to what we were really doing. I mean, basically, all we did was do a track that had something to do lyrically with the band. Or… you know.

Axl - I like the lyrics of the song. I also thought it was something that people hadn't heard and was a missing part of the puzzle. And almost everything about Charles Manson has been public, but this was something that wasn't public really, on a big scale, to my knowledge, and just thought that people would be interested in hearing it. But… you know, even the… One of the… The victim's son whose getting money supposedly, was talking about people worshipping Charles Manson and I was like, getting a vibe that people were trying to paint a picture of me worshipping Charles Manson now. It's exactly, for me, the opposite of that.

Slash - It's sort of a parody almost, you know. [laughs]

Axl - He's a pop-cartoon-icon of absolutely how far off the edge you can go, which… I don't have any desire to go that far.

Slash - It's really weird because when the song was done and it was recorded and released, there was no attention drawn to it, and all the attention that's been given it so far has come from the media that's been opposing it.

Axl - 'Cause the make the bucks off that.

Slash - And it's ridiculous. At this point it's like: "Screw you, whatever." You know, it's typical, we've been going through this since we started. So, I'm not faced.

Steve Downs - And as Axl mentioned, the… I guess the royalties to this song go to the son of one of the victims of the Manson murders. They don't go to Charles Manson.

Slash - Right.

Axl - Yeah, but then I did hear also about someone else saying that Charles doesn't have the copyright on that. He does, and he wants the money. So… you know, as long as Charlie's not getting it, that's cool.

Steve Downs - It sounds…

Slash - We don't know what this guy's all about.

[everybody laughs]

Steve Downs - It is an unlisted track on the album. You won't find it, but it's at the very end. It's called "Look At Your Game Girl". Guns N' Roses on Rockline.

"Look At Your Game Girl" is played

Steve Downs - There you go. That's Guns N' Roses from "The Spagehtti Incident?"

Slash - I have to call Carlos and ask him what that last chord was.

Axl - [laughs]

Commercial break

Steve Downs - We're gonna go to the Rocky Mountain state, as a matter of fact. Colorado Springs is where we're headed. Nick…

Axl - Who wrote that Rockline riff?

Steve Downs - Who did write that? Forget who wrote that. Um… Dana Strum from… from… I'm sorry… from Slaughter wrote that riff. Many, many years ago.

Slash - Yeah.

Steve Downs - So, there you go. [laughs]

Axl - Just wondering. That says it all.

Steve Downs - Colorado Springs is where we're headed. Where was I? Kilo, that's where I was. Nick, you're on with…

Axl - Kilo?

Steve Downs - How appropriate.

Slash - [laughs]

Steve Downs - Nick, you're on buddy.

Slash - Kilo, Colorado. No way! [laughs]

Nick - Hey, how's it going guys?

Axl - Kilo, Colorado. I like that.

Nick - Yeah, it works, it works.

Axl - What's happening?

Steve Downs - What's your question Nick?

Nick - Yeah, I was wondering, since Duff did his solo album and Slash, you worked on that Jimi tribute album, is anyone else gonna do any solos or work on any other albums?

Slash - Um… Tell you truth, Duff's solo album… Gilby's doing one, it's pretty much finished. That's basically it. I don't have any plans to do… I don't think Axl… You do have one.

Axl - I'm hoping to… I'm trying to put a project together that is kind of a top-secret weapon right now.

Steve Downs - Oh, really?

Axl - Yeah.

Steve Downs - Cool. We'll look forward to that. Gilby Clarke, of course the second guitarist from Guns N' Roses. Thank you Nick for the call. Jeff is in St. Louis, listening to KC 95. Jeff, you're on Rockline.

Jeff - Hey Axl, Slash. What's up?

Slash - Hey.

Axl - What's happening?

Jeff - First I would like to say the that you did in St. Louis, the last show was the best show I've ever been to and my question is…

Slash - [laughs]

Axl - Wow!

Jeff - I've heard some rumors that…

Slash - Where were you when we needed you?

Jeff - … maybe Izzy would be brought back in to help record things. Is there any truth to that?

Slash - Nothing, no.

Axl - None at all!

Slash - Especially not to help record things.

Axl - Never again! No, not at all. We brought Izzy back in Europe when Gilby had hurt his arm. And then we kinda got blackmailed and we haven't… We really don't wanna have anything to do with Izzy ever since then.

Slash - In all honesty, it was cool to get him back. When the idea came…

Axl - And it was cool when he went away! [laughs]

Slash - We thought it was a good idea to, you know, call him up and see if he wanted to come down and hang out and do a couple of gigs. And then it turned sour at the end so… It took us right back to square one.

Axl - It was nice while it lasted.

Steve Downs - Nice to be back in St. Louis, by the way?

Axl - Um… Yeah. I was back there recently and actually it was… It wasn't bad. It was… It worked out real nice and there was a whole different vibe about things once people got a different side of the story.

Slash - Yeah, I wanna go play there. [laughs]

Steve Downs - Jeff, thanks for the call. Mike is in New York City, listening to 92.3 KROC. Mike, you're on with Axl and Slash.

Mike - Hey Axl and Slash. How you doing, guys?

Slash - Hey, how are you?

Axl - What's up?

Mike - Pretty good. I just like to tell you, man, you're music is fantastic. You're the greatest rock n' roll band in the world to me. Just like to let you guys know that.

Axl - Thanks.

Slash - Thank you.

Axl - We're embarrassed. [laughs]

Slash - Yeah. [laughs]

Mike - … in England. And I was wondering why you didn't put Queen songs on "The Spaghetti Incident?"?

Axl - One, I don't know of a Queen song I can really do the caliber of Queen, you know. That's part of it for me and it just didn't really fit into the project that we were doing at this time. And to pick a Queen song is rough one.

Slash - Yeah. One thing about "The Spaghetti Incident?" is that all the songs are like, pretty spontaneously picked. It was about two or three minutes decision on any of the songs. It just didn't come up. That would have taken thought and planning. [laughs]

Axl - We may work with Brian May on a project upcoming… We don't know… And we're hoping to pull that one off. We get along with Brian really well.

Steve Downs - He opened for some of the Guns N' Roses shows last year.

Axl - Yeah. And Slash and Brian did a pretty amazing job on… When we did "Heaven's Door" live somewhere in Europe. And I've never seen two guitarists get along like that, the way they played together, complementing each other, in my life. It was pretty magical. But the rest… The whole band, we were all kinda waiting: "When is the solo gonna end."

Slash - [laughs]

Axl - After five minutes we're all running around and we're getting tired and these guys are still soloing.

Steve Downs - [laughs]

Axl - It was pretty wild. It was great.

Slash - He's one of the most unpretentious rock stars of his caliber that I've ever met and… You put the two of us together onstage playing guitar, and it basically free rain. [laughs]

Axl - "Dead On Time" would have been a good song to put on this album. "Dead On Time" would've been great.

Steve Downs - Yeah, that'd be good.

Slash - Metallica did a Queen song.

Steve Downs - Yeah.

Axl - "Stone Cold Crazy".

Steve Downs - "Stone Cold Crazy", yeah. Going back to "The Spaghetti Incident?" You did a Dead Boys tune, the band out of Cleveland originally, with Stiv Bators, called "Ain't It Fun", which is a real kicker on this record.

Slash - Yeah. We were talking about it earlier, that the lyrics to that song pretty much sum up where we come from as a band. Like, you know… Especially on the surface.

Axl - Or things that we've been through, stupid mistakes we've made.

Slash - And when I hear it, I just go: "Yeah, ok, check, check". [laughs]

Steve Downs - That's right.

Axl - It was also a tribute to Stiv. And Mike Monroe, who guest sings on the song, from the band Hanoi Rocks, was a really good friend of Stiv's and… He turned me onto a bunch of Dead Boys stuff. I already knew the song, and it was a song I liked and he got me all these tapes and things. And then I was like: "Why don't we just play it?". And it was kinda like a tribute for him, 'cause it was really hard on Mike and… And other people in his life when Stiv did pass away.

Steve Downs - "Ain't It Fun". Guns N' Roses.

Axl - For Cheetah.

"Ain't It Fun" is played.

Steve Downs - "Ain't It Fun" from Guns N' Roses off "The Spaghetti Incident?". You quoted that line at… I think it was in the liner notes to "Use Your Illusion I", right at the end of everything it says: "Ain't It Fun - Stiv Bators".

Slash - Yeah.

Axl - Yeah, that's why it was on the end of Use Your Illusions, kinda like a hint. 'Cause we did that on the first album too. We gave a hint from "You Could Be Mine".

Steve Downs - Right.

Slash - Yeah, a lot of people been talking, over the last couple of years about the way that Use Your Illusion sounded and how it was… You know, a different kind of direction for us, and I'm going: "No, it wasn't." We do whatever. And we recorded this stuff, which is really raw and they go: "Oh, that's a great departure." [laughs]

Axl - We did it at the same time, it's just different songs.

Steve Downs - Right. We're going back to the phones now. Albany, Georgia is where we're headed. Kelly is listening to us from Rock 104 in Tallahassee, Florida. Kelly, you're on with Axl and Slash.

Kelly - Hi Axl, hi Slash. How's it going?

Slash - Hey.

Axl - It's going great.

Kelly - I've been a fan for quite some time now and I really love you guys.

Slash - Ooh.

Axl - [laughs]

Kelly - I heard that you all were making a home video, explaining the trilogy and other past videos. I was just wondering what it contained and when it'll be released.

Slash - That… that's expensive.

Axl - We released a making of… One for "Don't Cry" and one for "November Rain" and we're making one for "Estranged"… Actually "Estranged" isn't… in some ways a part of the trilogy. It's more like part four. Part three was a mutual self-destruction of the couple that was in "November Rain". And… well, someone had other plans and we were in a position, where something we had worked on for five years had to be rewritten to kinda transcend it. So, it's a video about transcendence of a real life situation, that didn't have a whole lot to do with the story that was intended. And actually I'm kinda glad we made this video instead of the one we were going to make. To know about the story that was in "November Rain", you have to wait on Del's book. It's a story called "Without You".

Steve Downs - Cool. Look forward to that. Thanks for the question Kelly.

Axl - "The Language Of Fear".

Slash - [laughs]

Steve Downs - Philadelphia is where we're off to. 94 YSP is the station and Phil, you're on Rockline with Axl and Slash.

Phil - Hey, what's up guys?

Slash - Hey Phil.

Axl - Talking to you.

Phil - What was the inspiration behind "Civil War" and how did it end up on the benefit album, "Nobody's Child"?

Slash - Umm…

Axl - It ended up on the benefit album 'cause Tom Petty called me and asked me, which was really weird, asked me if George Harrison could call me.

Slash - [laughs]

[laughs]

Axl - And then George Harrison called me and we we're talking, and all of a sudden he started talking about his wife flying to Bangladesh… It just… All of a sudden my mind was like, boom… hyper-space, I'm talking to a Beatle. And he was very Beatle-esque talking about Bangladesh. [laughs]

Slash - [laughs]

Steve Downs - Yeah, of course [laughs]

Axl - It was pretty wild. They asked for the song and the inspiration was… A friend asked me to write a song about just how crazy the world is and certain things and… I just thought it was an interesting subject and just… Slash had this music and it exactly fit what I'd written.

Slash - There's something very unnerving about having George Harrison around, let me tell you. [laughs]

Steve Downs - Oh, I can imagine.

Slash - He came to my house once when I was… I was like: "Whoa". I should have brought the picture with me that he left. This Indian picture, it's hilarious. But, it meant a lot to him to leave…

Axl - Plus, I was trying to be the fifth Wilbury.

Steve Downs - Fifth Wilbury! That's right. There you go.

Axl - I was working.

Steve Downs - Alright. Phil, thanks for the call.

Commercial break

Steve Downs - We go back to the phones now. Lancing in Michigan is where we're headed. Q106 is the station. Shannon, you're on Rockline with Guns N' Roses.

Shannon - Hi Slash.

Slash - Hey.

Shannon - Hey Axl. I almost love you.

[everybody laughs]

Axl - Almost?

Shannon - Almost. Well, I don't know you in person, so…

Axl - Don't love me. People that do usually cost me lawsuits.

Slash - [laughs] That's true.

Axl - [laughs]

Shannon - Well, I won't do that.

Axl - I don't wanna be loved. [in a mock accent]

Steve Downs - What's your question Shannon?

Shannon - I just wanted to know, in what musical direction maybe we can expect their next CD, or CDs may go.

Slash - Umm...

Axl - I'm about to hear it tonight. [laughs]

Slash - Well, that's too much pressure. Musical direction with the band really has to do with what the band… you know, what we do as a group or as an organization of people. You know, the six of us, constitutes.

Axl - And then I throw in the… [inaudible]

Slash - [laughs] No… I mean, it's really simple and it's a lot less complicated than most of the public thinks.

Axl - How about it's like, compared to the "Illusions", the direction will be a shorter direction. [laughs]

Steve Downs - There you go. Shannon, thanks for the call. Sarah…

Slash - It was no answer.

[everybody laughs]

Steve Downs - It was close enough.

Slash - It'll be what we think is good at the present, that's all.

Steve Downs - Well, it's been three years, almost, since the last original material.

Slash - Yeah, but we weren't dicking around. We did tour for two and half years.

Axl - [laughs]

Steve Downs - That's true.

Slash - Just to set that straight.

Steve Downs - You did have a real job. Sarah is in Woodstock, Connecticut listening to 107.3 WAAF in Boston, Massachusetts. Sarah, you have a question for Axl or Slash?

Sarah - Yeah. Actually both of them, whoever wants to answer. I'd like to know what you guys like to do in your like, spare-time? When you're not in the studio recording.

Axl - Slash feeds snakes.

Steve Downs - You have quite a pet collection?

Slash - Yeah.

Steve Downs - I don't know if you call them pets, but…

Slash - To tell you the truth, most of the time I spend, as far as free-time is… Just working with Guns stuff. It's a never-ending thing. He would say the same thing. It's like…

Axl - Yeah, it's like, we… There's no real split between business and personal things, so it's still Guns N' Roses. I mean, I don't know when we'll go out again. We're aiming at '96 and we'll probably be doing a lot of recording, and trying to put a lot of things between now and then. But, we're still trying to move ahead as… And just keep this moving as hard as we can. So, there's not really a whole lot of free-time. I mean, now and then you kick back watching a movie or something.

Slash - [laughs]

Axl - Other than that, it's just trying to keep your life together. And people from taking it away.

Slash - It hasn't been any nude horseback riding or… [laughs]

Steve Downs - None of that, huh?

Axl - Damn!

Steve Downs - Damn!

Slash - I'm really working on my boogie-boarding-style.

[everybody laughs]

Steve Downs - Sarah, thanks for the call. We were talking about George Harrison earlier and…

Axl - I wear drag. [laughs]

Steve Downs - … and we're gonna play the Paul McCartney tune "Live And Let Die", that you recorded. It's funny 'cause you were talking about… Axl, when you met Paul and… you know…

Axl - He came up and… It's like, some guy goes: "Are you gonna get another tattoo made?" And I wasn't feeling very good and just kinda like: "Oh, great. Another…" Ok, "jerk", I'll use that word. And I looked up and it's Paul McCartney. I was like: "No way!".

Slash - [laughs]

Axl - And I was like: "You look pretty relaxed". And he was like, there up until two minutes before the show. Then it hits.

Steve Downs - Here it is. Guns N' Roses. This is from "Use Your Illusion 1". "Live And Let Die".

"Live And Let Die" is played

Steve Downs - "Live And Let Die" from Guns N' Roses, who we are spending 90 minutes with on our first show of the 1994 season here on Rockline. We're gonna take it down to Memphis, Tennessee. Shaun is listening to us on ROCK 103 in Memphis. Shaun, you're on.

Shaun - Hey.

Axl - Hey Shaun.

Slash - Hey Shaun.

Shaun - Hey… Man, I'm tripping here.

Steve Downs - Okay.

Axl - Really? Are you really?

Shaun - My question is for Slash. I was wondering what kind of an influence Joe Perry had on you.

Slash - Oh… In the days when I really started playing and like, getting into the whole thing, amongst other guitar players, Aerosmith and Joe Perry and Brad Whitford were definitely an influence. They're just the coolest, most screwed up band in the world. [laughs]

Axl - [laughs]

Steve Downs - And they're still here to tell the tale, man.

Slash - They love to tell you about it. [everybody laugh]

Steve Downs - Thanks Shaun for the call. We're gonna go to Wheezie. Wheezie is in Austin, TX listening to KLBJFM 94. Weezie, you're on with Axl and Slash.

Weezie - Hey, what's up guys?

Slash - Hey.

Axl - What's up, homes?

Weezie - Listen man, on "The Spaghetti Incident?"… 20 years ago I found myself a big Marc Bolan/T-Rex fan. 20 years later I'm listening to Soundgarden and then boom, I buy the disc and you guys have put a Soundgarden and a T-Rex song together. Whose idea was that and how did that come about?

Slash - Well…

Axl - That was mine.

Slash - Yeah, 'cause I got a phone call… I got a phone call…

Axl - And I played it for him.

Slash - In the middle of the night over the phone. The song was already recorded and Axl was singing the Soundgarden thing. And I was like…

Axl - 'Cause the riff was very similar, if not the same. And I just thought it added something to it and… Plus, we really like the Soundgarden guys, and that particular song is, I think, a song that… I just consider a cult classic, whether it is or not. And it fit together with the T-Rex thing. And when we put the album together, Slash was a big fan of that particular T-Rex song, and I remembered that and I asked if he wanted to that on here as one more song. 'Cause I thought that would balance things out. And get something else out of the closet that was waiting to be recorded.

Slash - So I had to sing it. [laughs]

Axl - [laughs] Yeah, so you had to sing it.

Steve Downs - Yeah, you two guys sing together on that.

Slash - But the combination of the two songs and all that was… The song was more or less done and then Axl sang just real naturally over the end of it, and put the Soundgarden vocals there.

Axl - It's a real sexy song and the end gets kind of aggressive. And so an aggressive sexy song on top of that.

Steve Downs - Aggressive would be an understatement. It pretty much cuts to the chase.

Axl - Cuts right to the chase.

Steve Downs - Absolutely. Alright, we're gonna go to Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. ROCK 100.5 The Cat is the station. William, you're on with Axl and Slash. What's your question?

William - Hi guys. How you doing?

Slash - Good.

Axl - I'm doing alright.

William - Umm… Hi from Amy. I gotta make this quick.

Axl - Hi Amy.

William - How did you come about to the song "Since I Don't Have You"? I really like that one.

Slash - That's a good one.

Axl - That song, for some reason… When we started rehearsing, living in a little craphole on… Craphole, like that?

Steve Downs - Yeah.

[everybody laughs]

Steve Downs - We can use that one.

Axl - Off Sunset and Gardener. It was just a song for some reason I wanted to do & Slash wanted to do a long time ago, and we don't really know… we felt indicated…

Slash - No, the reason why was 'cause I heard you singing it when you were living at my house.

Axl - Oh.

Slash - And since you sang it with so much… [inaudible]

[everybody laughs]

Axl - I don't know why I really liked that song, I just did and then… We were on the road, we had three days off in Boston, and the song just fit things at the time and we had some time so we went in and did it without having any clue of what it was gonna sound like musically. Because it's a completely different string arrangement and everything in the original. And we went in and just had fun with it.

Steve Downs - Originally done by a group called the Skyliners, out of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. 1958. Here it is, from Guns N' Roses.

Axl - Punk rock at its finest.

"Since I Don't Have You" is played

Steve Downs - Nice little groove towards the end of that and…

Axl - Voodoo, or something.

Steve Downs - Yeah.

Axl - We don't know what, or how that happened.

Slash - There's a good story going behind that song because I think that was one of the first songs that really started to turn this "Spaghetti Incident" thing into an actual album.

Steve Downs - Really?

Slash - And we did it on off time on the road and recorded it in Makeshift studios in Boston. Brought rental gear down there 'cause all our gear was on the track. And that was how badly we wanted to do it. We just… you know, pulled out whatever we had. And talking about Gilby's guitar… We used his practice guitar and we used rented gear and this and that. We couldn't find a guitar store in Boston.

[the rest of Slash's sentence is cut out by a jingle]

Steve Downs - … 90 minutes tonight with Slash and Axl Rose from Guns N' Roses. Lots of phone calls. Let's go to Houston, TX- Actually ??, TX and Christine is listening to in Houston, on 101 KLOL. Christine, you're on with Guns N' Roses.

Christine - Hey guys! What's up?

Slash - Hey.

Axl - Not a whole lot. How's Texas?

Christine - Not a whole lot here either.

[everybody laughs]

Christine - I just wanted to let you guys know that you're my favorite band and I just want to know, are you planning on making any videos off "The Spaghetti Incident?"

Slash - We're talking about it.

Axl - Yeah, we're talking about "Since I Don't Have You", and Slash is working on project for "Hair Of The Dog", actually. I have no idea…

Slash - [laughs]

Steve Downs - We'll look forward to it. Christine, thanks for the call. Moses is in Texas also. El Paso this time, listening to 95.5 KLAQ. Moses, you're on with Axl and Slash.

Moses - Hello Axl.

Axl - Moses, what's happening?

Moses - What's up guys? Quick question, why the release of the "Estranged" video with "The Spaghetti Incident?" album coming out?

Slash - There was…

Axl - It was just planned to make that video for a long time, and it was just the time to put the video out. We got it done and we wanted to put it out, and we also had "Spaghetti Incident" and… Plus, it's Guns N' Roses and it's confusing to everybody…

Slash - I was gonna say the same.

Axl - It's confusing for us and we wanted everybody else to celebrate and join in the confusion.

Slash - [laughs]

Steve Downs - I'm confused. You talked about the video for the song a little bit earlier. Originally, if I understood it correctly, it was supposed to be part of a trilogy and it didn't necessarily end up that way, or did it?

Axl - Umm, my friend Del James wrote a short story called "Without You", that was influenced by me and my ex-wife, in some ways. And then I ended up writing a song that fit that story, which was "Estranged". And so… You know, that was about, I don't know, four or five years ago and… The story started, then a couple of years later the song came about and then we started working on this project. And then in the middle of the project, or two thirds into the project, real life kind of changed all the plans. And we had to make something else and figure out how to rise above… As an artist, I had to figure out how to rise above my own creation that meant a lot to me. That I was kinda stop dead in my tracks and had to figure out how to make something else and… Like, write a whole new thing on top of something I'd been living to make, that I liked even more. And it was a really hard challenge and myself and the director, Andy Morahan was involved in this whole thing all along. And so was Del James and the band and… For all of us, it was a really hard challenge to rise above. Plus, we've spent 2.5 million dollars and we had to put it out.

Steve Downs - Had to do something. [laughs] From "Use Your Illusion II", "Estranged".

"Estranged" is played

Steve Downs - We're back live all over the United States and Canada with Axl Rose and Slash from Guns N' Roses. We got time for one more call. We're gonna head back to Raleigh, North Carolina, to WRDU 106 in Raleigh. We have Arleen, or is it Arlene? Listening to us in ??, North Carolina. You're on with Axl and Slash.

Arlene - Good evening Axl and Slash.

Slash - Hi.

Axl - Good evening.

Arlene - And my name is Arlene.

Steve Downs - Arlene.

Axl - Arlene in Raleigh.

Arlene - Yeah. My question is…

Steve Downs - Hi Jennifer.

Axl - Yeah. [laughs]

Arlene - If you could change a myth, or any of the myths the public may have of Guns N' Roses. What would it be?

Slash - There's too many. Really, when it comes down to it.

Axl - Change one myth? Uuh, wow that's a…

Steve Downs - Something the public perceives of you and the band that is not true.

Axl - I don't know… When Use Your Illusions came out, I actually read a review that said we should have titled the albums "Our Hitler", meaning me, or something. And I would like to change the myth that we want to control the media, and control people. That's not… You know, there's some people that believe that, or something. It's like, I don't wanna control the media, I just want things to be accurate. It's the only control that we want, is that it's accurate and the things that we say and do are there as we say and do them. Not changed around or taken out of context or distorted. A lot of times we don't get an opportunity, or chance to rectify things without having to go through a whole lot of trouble that opens up a whole new can of ones.

Steve Downs - Right.

Slash - Yeah, the main thing about… What I've been seeing since we've been off the road is… The simple fact that the media is the one that's really backwards and very twisted. And I think it's actually sicker what they do than anything they even try to make us out to be. And it's a drag because when it comes down to it… We've been together for a long time and I know these people and it's like… be taken that seriously for one and then, from a completely wrong direction is just… you know, it's a drag and you don't have any control over it. After a while you have to take a…

Axl - We've been working on a book since we started as Guns N' Roses, with Del James. We've been doing interviews for this book for a very, very long time, to try to get an accurate picture with all our own personal mistakes and our own personal nightmares. And actually it's very exposing. But, we wanna show, like, an accurate picture of who we are and where we've been. It's not necessarily favorable for us in some places. It's a lot of times: "I said that? What an idiot! I can't believe I said that." But we're gonna put it all out.

Steve Downs - Well, hopefully… And also to have you in a venue like this is hopefully an opportunity to sort of set the record straight.

Slash - A venue?

Axl - This is what? Third time Rockline? Or is this fourth?

Steve Downs - I think this'll be number four altogether.

Axl - Four, wow.

Slash - Everybody's up at my house right now, so I have to say hi. I'm late. [laughs]

[now Steve Downs thanks the crew and talks about upcoming shows]

Steve Downs - … and finally to our guests tonight. Axl Rose and Slash. It's great to have you guys here, and especially to have you together.

Slash - It's been a great time.

Axl - It's bizarre that we're here together. It's a good thing.

Steve Downs - Bizarre in a good way.

Axl - Yeah.

Slash - Yeah, absolutely.

Axl - Yo, Beta.

Steve Downs - It's been great.







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