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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. We especially welcome anyone who wants to share documents for our archive or would be interested in translating or transcribing articles and interviews.

Registering is free and easy.

Cheers!
SoulMonster

2017.07.30 - Appetite For Distortion - Interview with Chris Weber (Hollywood Rose)

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2017.07.30 - Appetite For Distortion - Interview with Chris Weber (Hollywood Rose)  Empty 2017.07.30 - Appetite For Distortion - Interview with Chris Weber (Hollywood Rose)

Post by Blackstar Mon Apr 23, 2018 10:06 pm



Partial transcript:

Chris Weber: We were a glam band. We would spray our hair, long, long hair, spray it straight up, you can see it in the pictures of early GN'R stuff, and, you know, stiletto boots and, you know, tight jeans. It was good, you know. So I spent a lot of time doing that. I was friends with Tracy Guns, who I went to school with at the Fairfax High. And him and I we had a couple really fun years sort of getting, you know, into about 15-16 years old, we're sort of, you know, he was driving and we were going, you know, hitting the beach a lot and going out to venues and stuff. I think he had a band, he did have a band, and I kind of said, "Listen, do you ever want to, you know, have another guitar player," and, "I'd be happy to come down and jam with you guys." And so he came up to me one day, just, "Listen, I met this other guy, I met this guy and I'd like to introduce him to you." Okay. We used to go to the Rainbow a lot but at 16 I spent most of my time in the parking lot which was - if you talk to anybody from that age you'll know that the parking lot was really, you know, just as important as inside, you know, everybody after at 2 o'clock would, you know, roll out to the parking lot for the next hour and a half, sort of hooking up with, you know, the opposite sex or, you know, going to after parties afterwards, so that's where you would go. So anyway, I didn't get in a lot because of my age, I would sneak in occasionally and they were really kind of nice to me, once I got in, you know, they didn't embarrass me by kicking me out. They were good guys. Okay, so one time at the Rainbow Tracii said this to me and I said, "Okay, I'd like to meet this guy." So we went to where his truck was and introduced me to Izzy, who at the time was Jeff. He said, "You guys are both guitar players and I know you're both looking for bands, why don't you guys talk?" So that night I talked to Izzy, I don't know, probably a couple hours, talking about bands we liked and sort of directions, you know, and what he wanted-

Brando: And if you don't mind me asking, like, who were some of those bands? Who were the bands who influenced you to play guitar and that you and is he bonded on?

CW: Let me think. I grew up listening to Zeppelin. [?] In the early 80s [?] Judas Priest was important to me at that time. I was into a lot of Rush although, you know, my style isn't, you know, Rush-like. You know, rock bands, you know, Motorhead, Aerosmith. Yeah, Aerosmith, probably the most most influential to my musical style of writing is Aerosmith, although I don't think I planned it by Joe Perry-

Someone: It makes sense, though, because you definitely hear that Aerosmith vibe in, you know, what would later become Guns N' Roses and even covering Aerosmith.

Someone: Even the Juju Hounds, a lot of it, that's what I would think of Aerosmith, so that makes a lot of sense, that's what you guys bonded over.

CW: [?] Is that John?

Someone: Yeah, John's still here.

John: Did he play Hanoi Rocks for you that night?

CW: Well, yeah, as I was gonna go on, yeah, [?] what Izzy really wanted was to have a band that looked... like, he had this image of what the band would look like. In LA at the time there was a lot of glam but there was also a lot of metal. And I, you know, personally never owned a pair of spandex, I've never owned a, you know, spiked bracelet-

Someone: You just rented.

CW: I felt embarrassed, they just weren't my style, and this is coming from a guy that, you know, had bleached white hair and, you know, pink lipstick on stage, but black spandex wasn't my style at all.

Someone: We all have our limits, we all have it.

CW: We got to draw the line somewhere.

[laughs]

CW: And the guys that looked like that actually got more girls than, you know, the more metal guys. But in any case, Izzy, you know, made it clear that he wanted this particular image and I knew of Hanoi Rocks just from being around, you know, around the scene, especially because of the image. I didn't really know what they sounded like. So anyway, so Izzy talked a lot about how he wanted this band to be styled in the same sort of styling, and I don't think he was necessarily copying Hanoi Rocks but definitely you can see early on that there's a lot of influence. I mean, there's Andy McCoy written all over some of the earlier pictures.

Someone: That's so interesting, that, you know, Hanoi Rocks is a band that you... it's true, you don't hear their music so often, they never had a major hit, but for some reason the image of that band influenced all these bands that we listen to today. You know, you're talking about early Guns N' Roses, or Hollywood Rose at the time, and people say, you know, Motley Crue during that theater era [?], after the death of Razzle, of course, which was, you know, due to Vince Neil's Motley Crue, people say that that image was directly taken from Hanoi Rocks, so there was definitely something to that image.

CW: Yeah. You know, I would say that's correct. You know, I felt that the first... I mean that, you know, maybe I just see it this way, but the first band to really go out there and kind of push that was Hollywood Rose. And there were likely other bands, and certainly within that year there were other bands and I'm sure we didn't inspire other bands to be like that image-wise, as young of a band as we were at the time, but that was just sort of popping off. So we were doing that at a time where, you know most, like I was saying, most guys wore, like, you know, spandex and, you know, sort of, you know, more tough looking. Even Quiet Riot, you know, if you look back at that time, it really wasn't glammed so much, it was kind of that rocked striped shirt look [?], you know. So in any case, that's how I remember it. So anyway, Izzy was, you know, that was a big issue for him and he really wanted that to happen. And that made sense to me, I liked that. I liked that whole that whole look, so started to sort of formulate what the band would look like and at the same time is what it would sound like.

Someone: Yeah, [?], it wasn't an issue of whether Izzy you could play, but he had a great look and he wanted the band to have this look, everything was about this look.

Someone: That sounds like Nikki Sixx. That sounds like the same thing that Nikki Sixx wants.

Someone: What's funny is that we throw that all in there because if you watch that Behind The Music of Motley Crue, they talk about Vince Neil and he's like, "I didn't care if he could sing, I knew the girls went wild over how he looked," and, "he was able to command that stage and we knew we wanted this guy." So I think that was, you know, indicative at the time, and maybe they don't talk about it as much today, but the image of the band is extremely important.

CW: You know what, we used to have that newspaper here in LA, The Recycler, and you would look in The Recycler for, you know, band members. And every time you would look there would be something in the Ad or, you know, the Wanted would say, you know, "Drummer wanted, no short hairs."

[laughs]

Someone: "Short hairs"?

CW: "Must have a great look, no mustaches." It doesn't talk about how well he play, doesn't talk about what their style is.

Someone: That was big at the time, or even before then, I remember, you know, I always go back to other bands here, but, like, Paul Stanley talked about, like, he didn't like seeing bands that had beards at the time, he was like, "No facial hair," [?]-

Someone: Sounds like rock and roll Tinder.

[laughs].

Someone: Like nobody gives a shit [?] the bio [?] swipe swipe swipe. So then Chris, let me ask you, because you went to school with Tracii, was it before or after a Slash tried out for Poison, and he didn't want to do that look, that maybe you had met him, was that also in The Recycler -  I'm trying to figure out the timeline here.

CW: Well, when he tried out for Poison I also tried out for Poison. I think that's at a time that Tracii was in the band because I wasn't in the band any longer but I was that scene and I already had my sort of rock chops going. And if Slash did it as well he either was playing in Hollywood Rose then sort of just went to go see if Poison was a good option for him or its during the time that Tracii was playing, which would make more sense to me.

Someone: Well that's interesting because I wonder, I've been wanting to ask you about this too, Tracii was a part of Hollywood Rose for a period?

CW: By my calculations, yeah. I think I've seen some flyers, I mean... His LA Guns was not, you know, Axl [or AXL] was not LA Guns, you know, LA Guns was a different band. Tracii connected with Axl and played in what I thought was Hollywood Rose.

Someone: I thought it was called... I watched the documentary that you're in, Axl Rose Is The Prettiest Star, that there was a band called Rose first and they had to change it to Hollywood? Maybe that's the time period?

CW: Yeaaah, no, no, we changed it because... The band was originally called AXL and this is when we were still calling Axl "Bill", and we called it AXL and I never liked the name and I don't think Izzy liked the name, but Axl really wanted it. So we... some dat... Something happened and we were kind of like, "You know what, we're out of here," we had a little bit of leverage Izzy and I from something that happened, I can't even remember what, I said, "Listen, we'll keep the band together but we got to change the name," and Axl was fine with it, I guess, I can't even remember it if he put up much resistance. Anyways, we called it "Rose" and we did a lot of shows under the name Rose. I still got a couple Troubadour tickets with them.

Someone: Oh man, I bet those would go on eBay for quite a pretty penny.

Someone: No, no, those are emotional possessions. Why would you try to sell his.... Don't do that to him.

[laughs]

CW: You know what, I think there's a picture on the Cleopatra Records thing, I think I gave them one which they scanned. But in any case, it was a Spinal Tap moment where we did a sort of a search and we saw another band called Rose. And if you've seen Spinal Tap they were going like, "We were the"-

Someone: Sure.

CW: -"whatever and then we were the new whatever" [?] "Well, we're Hollywood Rose." That's how the name came about.

Someone: So if we could back up here a bit. You know, you talked about meeting Izzy bonding on bands and the look and everything, at what point does Axl enter the picture and that you get introduced to Axl Rose?

CW: I think at the time Izzy was living really close to the Coconut Teaserz, so most of the time that I was hanging out with him I would go see him at his house. And probably within a week, maybe, and we're writing songs pretty much every day.

Someone: Was Axl playing in Rapidfire at this point?

CW: You know what, I don't know.

Someone: Okay.

CW: I didn't even hear of Rapidfire to be honest with you, until maybe 10 years ago. So me and Izzy had done this kind of week-long sort of just jamming and stuff like that at his pad and he said, "Listen, my friend is in town," and I don't know if Axl was out of town or maybe he was at home for a while and then flying out, but he said, you know, "Let's go meet him, he's our singer," basically.

Someone: Before you ever hear him, "He's our singer." So you had no say?

CW: I mean, you know, the music didn't matter to Izzy, it was just the looks, so I figured, "Why break with tradition and start worrying about," you know, "who the singer is?" I assumed that Izzy had a good eye for it. So anyway, I went to.... And you know, I've said this before in some books and things like that, but in any case, I went to an apartment on Whitley above Franklin in Hollywood, an area with a lot of very old, very cool old buildings, and went up the type of elevator where you got to close the gate and went up to the top floor and, you know, got out and as I looked across the rooftop in the other corner was this really white figure, you know, and walked over to him and, you know, Izzy said, "This is Bill," you know. And he was just sunning himself, you know, tanning, and that was it. That's when I first met him.

Someone: I always pictured that... I mean, like, with that guy with that pale skin, he must have been ripe up there.

CW: I don't know why I always remember it that way but it must have left some sort of mark because I remember I was like, you know, trying to figure out what this person looked like from a distance but only could see the this sort of, you know, the illuminating whiteness of him.

Someone: Yeah, rooftop in LA in, I guess, the springtime, that is serious sun.

Someone: So what was your first impression? I guess first of all on the looks, since Izzy said this guy has the look for the band? And then at what point did you first hear the voice out of Bill at the time and what was your impression of that?

CW: I was perfectly fine with... because it was Izzy and I thought, even by this point, I thought Izzy was the coolest thing in the world. So, you know, he could have said "We're gonna be in a polka band," and I was like, "All right!"

[laughs]

Someone: Polka is very underrated.

[laughs]

CW: You know, I think... I can't remember exactly but, you know, we started to jam and there was some low tones... I've never heard the Rapidfire record but I hear that's kind of more of a sort of a traditional sounding singer vibe that he had, I don't know if that's correct but he was kind of doing that. But when he started to go to this sort of... his Axl voice, it was like, "Wait, you got to sing every song just like that."

Someone: Yeah.

CW: And he may have already been doing that and may just be circumstance that he wasn't doing that day but when that happened it was like, you know, "This is gonna be great, this is awesome."

Someone: Did you think he was going to be something huge at that point of were you like, "Man, this guy's got a really unique voice"?

CW: You know what, I was 16, I didn't think of, you know... Huge for me was, you know, so far removed. I mean, I had Zeppelin posters on my wall, you know I was never gonna be... And anybody I ever knew was never gonna be [?], you know what I mean? But I thought that this was going to be something that I would like to be connected to. And again as I was saying, you know, I was listening to Judas Priest earlier, you know, in the years before, and people that could scream were, you know, with a good screaming voice and not some crappy scream, were impressive back then, you know.

Someone: And you are connected now because as we celebrate the 30th anniversary of Appetite for Destruction you're credited for co-writing Anything Goes. So can you take us through like the songwriting process, who brought the lyrics to the table, the music? How did Anything Goes happen?

CW: I think, you know, Izzy and I were listening to a lot of Aerosmith and I think Rock And A Hard Place had just come out or come out just, you know, around that time, listening to a lot of that. And it just sort of felt, you know, kind of I felt some of the vibe that that giving off kind of inspired some of my writing. I think Move To The City is a good example, you know a riff that I wrote that-

Someone: I love that tune.

CW: Yeah, it's got that sort of same type of vibe. And, you know, our songwriting was pretty much always the same. Typically, this is my how I remember it, the songs that I composed with them, I was bringing a riff to the table and then me and Izzy would work on it and we would record our parts, right, there's no drums or anything, we didn't have a small studio at that time not even a four track, but just record it on onto a tape, you know, cassette tape, and then give it to Axl. And Axl would go away with it and he'd go away with it for, you know, any number of days. And so he came back and says, "Okay, I've got lyrics to it," and then we would all play, two guitars and the vocals. And then we slowly start to put together a band, in fact when we did the demo tape that Cleopatra Records released, the five songs, we didn't have a drummer at the time, we didn't have a band. It was me, Izzy and Axl solely. And we had to find a drummer that came in and kind of learned those songs, which was Johnny Kreiss, kind of on the day. Maybe we got him a tape a couple days before but it was pretty quick. But the songwriting again,
it was my bringing it forward, me and Izzy working on it, and then Axl getting a tape and writing the lyrics. There's certainly songs that Izzy just wrote and then Axl just wrote, you know, of our sets that we were playing at the time, they never quite made it to the records, I don't think. And with those ones they would bring me and say, "This is the song," and I would create an arrangement over the top.

Someone: So would that be the case, cuz we mentioned Anything Goes and Move To The City, what about Reckless Life and a Shadow Of Your Love, as well? I mean, these are great tunes so you are a part of the history. And before I even knew, you know, the other Chris Webber, I'm rocking out to these tunes. So it's not even like I'm blowing smoke, so I want to know more about my favorite GN'R tunes.

CW: Okay. You know, man, it's a long time, but I mean, that was the songwriting process. So I don't really remember the day that that particular song came up. But Reckless Life at least, Anything Goes and then the other ones off of that Cleopatra tape were the original, you know, were some of the original songs that we wrote. And without having a band, you know, we'd written more after we put a band together to kind of start playing out live.

Someone: So here's the thing, these songs have lived on long, long after your time in the band with Hollywood Rose, working with Axl, working with Izzy. I'm just wondering at what point does Tracii Guns come into the picture as the guitarist for this band and how did the story end up going that you were no longer with them? Because this is a pretty.... Even though these songs are huge and we all remember them, there's a pretty short span of time.

Someone: And I'm reading - and I know that Wikipedia is always correct - that Axl fired you and replaced you with Slash, is that correct?

CW: That's not the way I remember it.

Someone: Wikipedia is wrong!

Someone: Oh my god, it is the first time for everything. So yeah, so I guess to jump on what Ian was saying, I guess the demise of Hollywood Rose and your exit.

CW: You know, I think that the specifics, you know, it's by perception and it changes over time and even one person's view may, you know, change in the light of other information. But the way I remember it we played The Music Machine here in Santa Monica, California, part of Los Angeles, with Striper, I don't know if you guys remember the band Stryper?

Someone: Yeah, of course.

Someone: Still touring today.

CW: Yeah?

Someone: Oh yeah. We were talking about this. sorry to the deviate for a second, Eddie Trunk had on Michael Sweet recently, or he had him on a lot, and Michael Sweet is super active. He's touring, you know, even on Twitter-

Someone: With George Lynch from Dokkin.

Someone: Yeah! And somebody asked like, "What's going on with Michael Sweet?" and Eddie went on some complete, you know, rant. Just like, "How are you fans of these bands and not know about like what's going on with them at the time?" So that's why we enjoy, yes, I mean everyone knows what's currently going on with GN'R cuz they're back in the limelight, we dig deeper because we're nerds but that's why it's as funny you mentioned Michael Sweet - because he's, alive he's alive!

CW: It was those guys... brothers in there, anyway.

Someone: Yeah, Michael Sweet, and his brother is the drummer.

CW: Yeah, and the other guitar player was Oz-

Someone: Yeah, and they're still touring with the original lineup, heading back to-

Someone: And I'm Jewish, I'm afraid of having a Bible thrown at me so that's why I don't go.

CW: Not to say anything negative about Stryper, I don't remember them being sort of, very sort of, you know, being great role models backstage.

[laughs]

Someone: Oh, okay.

Someone: There's some dirt, right there.

Someone: [?] that my terrible joke clearly went over his head in saying that I'm Jewish and I don't want to go to these shows to have Bibles thrown at me.

CW: There was a dude that threw Bibles?

Someone: Oh yeah. There's an infamous story that when they opened for Anthrax the crowd was throwing the Bibles back at them.

[laughs]

CW: I like that, oh my god. My band U.P.O. when we played and the Slipknot fans sat on the floor and looked away from us during the whole set. I thought that was [?].

Someone: Really?

CW: Slipknot fans have a tendency to kind of like unless it's Slipknot they kind of turn the other direction and sit there.

Someone: At some point were you like, "I played with fucking Axl Rose, goddammit! Show me some respect"?

CW: U.P.O. was a great band. We had a lot of success for a couple years and... Anyway-

Someone: No, no, we will get to U.P.O.

Someone: We were listening to it before and John could can verify, we were listening to some U.P.O.

[clip]

Someone: I do want to get into it but I just want to make sure we get back into the departure story.

Someone: We're all over the place unless you haven't noticed.

CW: I guess the best memory that I have, we played that show, Music Machine, Axl got pissed off, I think I bumped into him on stage - I can't remember exactly -  it's something like that, and it was like, "Fuck it, we're gonna end this, I'm leaving." So he essentially left. At the time that he left is when Move To... within that period of time is when me and Izzy wrote Move To The City because Axl wasn't part of it. But in any case, from my memory he did connect with Tracii at that time and I think he was living at Raz's house, which is a friend of Tracii's who kind of helped LA Guns kind of get off the ground financially and with his support, so I think Axl connected via that and obviously Tracii was kind of connected to everybody considering he introduced me to Izzy and was just an all-around good guy and kind of was around a lot. So they were playing. So, you know, we'd all kind of disbanded. I didn't feel fired because we weren't together as a band anymore. Fired would be if they continued playing and then just have somebody else come in. So I think Slash was in the band when... So Izzy would have played and then Slash would have joined. And then Slash couldn't play because he was had to work one night for this particular show so that's when I came back and played again with them. And that's when we played this show at Dancing Waters in San Pedro, California.

Someone: Was that a New Year's Eve show or something?

CW: I think so. I don't remember exactly the date but that was my memory of it was like a New Year's Eve show.

Someone: And Steve Darrow was on base then, didn't he?

CW: Yep and Rob Gardner, the drummer from the LA Guns, the original LA Guns.

Someone: So cool man, it's great getting into all this history.

Someone: I don't know if this is the same point you were about to express, [?], but I want to know how [?] disbanded, you joined for that one show so what was happening during the time period where they're forming that band and then you have to decide to form this other band U.P.O.?

CW: Oh, U.P.O. was a decade later.

Someone: Right, so I mean, so I know we're dealing in decades, so I want to know, I guess.... yeah, yeah, I know it wasn't immediately after, but, like, what was the you know that whole process I guess of what happened and you were looking for another band and I guess that whole time period because we want to know what your life was like during that that tenure where GN'R was forming.

CW: Sure, so late 80s... from then I went to New York for a little bit, [?] New York with some friends, New York and New Jersey for about a year until we got winter and then it was too cold. And so I came home and just played in a bunch of sort of Hollywood bands. I didn't really get my groove going again until much later. I was in a band called Lunatic Fringe, I was in a some other bands that were just Hollywood bands and it was fun but, you know, there wasn't any push behind any of them. You know, if you talk to anybody from then, that was a musician, they'd say you, know, the story would be, you know, we got a demo tape, we have a lawyer who's in the music industry, he's gonna get us signed. I mean, that's a common story. Everybody sort of had this sort of like, you know, this music attorney that was going to make the deal for them, that knew people. So bands who played Hollywood and the Strip and in hopes of, you know, drawing large crowds and then getting, you know, record company guys to come down and see them, then you would do showcases and blah-blah-blah and so.

Someone: So I want to back it up a little bit because I feel like your story is almost similar to Dave Mustaine, you know, who wrote some of the songs on Metallica's Kill Em' All. You wrote stuff that appeared on Appetite for Destruction. Now I know Appetite for Destruction wasn't an overnight success, as some people often think, it took a little bit for the album to gain traction, but I'm wondering once Appetite for Destruction becomes a worldwide success, you have songs on that album, we know Dave Mustaine when he left, when he was kicked out of Metallica, he had major depression for years about this. Look, if you watch Some Kind of Monster it's something that he really never got over. I'm wondering if your experience was in any way similar when you watched these guys that you came up with go on to make, you know, what someone calls the biggest rock album of all time? I just wonder what it's like not getting to be a part of that even though you were an instrumental part of songs on there?

CW: Yeah, well, I didn't have depression so it didn't hit me in the same way that it would have hit Dave. I mean, I think one of the things is that I don't look at it necessarily that I wrote a song on there, I felt like I helped create it from, you know, this sort of infantile sort of beginning. And certainly the other guys, you know, Slash did, you know, the next step. But from the very sort of foundation of it I was part of that. I'm kind of more proud of that than just the songs, or together, you know, that I had maybe a good instinct to do that. But in any case, you know, I kind of just went with the flow. I mean, there were a lot of people that were... I didn't let anybody really know, I didn't have anybody to tell, there was times in my life where I wasn't really hanging around any musicians. I kind of let it just sort of be. When Geffen called me and they said... you know, there were some dealings with Geffen around the songwriting and the publishing and all that, then it became a little bit more real and that's when they were really making a lot of money. But even then those were times of my life that I have to be honest, you know, they were pretty nuts and sort of I wasn't always very present, put it that way. So yeah, you know, I think I weathered it pretty well to be honest with you.

Someone: I'll tell you, one of the things that I remember, the first time that I spoke with you, I guess was about seven years ago, I asked you generally the same question, I'll never forget what you said to me, you said, "Hey, you know, Slash is awesome," and I thought that was the coolest attitude, you know, it wasn't like regret or anything it was praise of him and what he did and what the record is, and I really loved that.

Someone: That made me think, didn't Pearl Jam when they were just inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, they wanted like every single drummer who's ever been a part of that band to be in the Hall of Fame and you are a part of GN'R's history, not just Hollywood Rose, you're on Appetite. Did it ever cross your mind that, "Maybe I should be in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, as well"?

CW: Hehe, no.

Someone: All right.

Someone: I sent Chris a text that night of the show and I said, "You should be a part of this," and I think you had lost my contact, he said, "Who is this?"

[laughs]

[?]

CW: I think everybody played a part and I think it's all important and, you know, I think I'm humble enough to sort of recognize that, you know, the components of that band that made it were probably needed to be exactly how they were in order for that to happen. You know, I don't know if I had the riff... and I know I didn't have the riff for Sweet Child O' Mine, I might have had other riffs that might have been awesome as well, but that particular riff I didn't have. Or Welcome To The Jungle. And those are the two particular songs that elevated them, it may not have happened with me. So, you know-

Someone: That's fair to say. But there's so many people who feel like that album is one of the few albums where start to finish, front to back, they could listen to it and just enjoy that experience and get sucked into this album and escape whatever is going on in their life and, you know, and listeners have been doing so for 30 years, so you're a part of it.

CW: I'm one of them.

Someone: And I will say, this is true, whenever I'm not lazy and I try to work out, Anything Goes is on my playlist. It's like, I think it's one of most underrated tracks. I love that tune so again, you're you're part of it. So just a thought, you never know or, I mean, I know that whole Hall of Fame thing was a catastrophe regardless but maybe you could have been invited but, you know, the GN'R temperature was pretty cold in the room that night anyway so. Again, just a thought. Since your thought process is so healthy, and there's a reason why I say that, I've talked in this show about me being in therapy, I've been in therapy for six years,  I guess I got a refill my [?], it's my anti-depressants, we've talked about Chris Cornell on the show with with Dave Kushner... Actually, quick sidebar, did you also go to high school with Dave as well? John and I wasn't sure of that.

CW: [?] to Fairfax.

Someone: Okay, so you went to high school with Dave Kushner then?

CW: Yeah, but I don't think I knew him. [?] the same year as I.

Someone: Okay, alright. What is it the water in Fairfax? It breathes rock stars. But just to continue, so I we spoke about the death of Chris Cornell and, you know, in addition talking all nerdy about this band, Guns N' Roses, we like the music and, you know, all the players involved, but we talked about the emotions what it does to us and I'm a big proponent of a mental health, trying to get it out there and seeing recently what happened to Chester Bennington so soon after Chris Cornell and learning that you are now a therapist, I wanna make sure I get the proper title, so I wanted to know how that came about because you hear of, you know, rock stars of course being in therapy. I think, you know, we can make the argument that this genre of music that we're all a fan of may need therapy the most or our lyrics are the most therapeutic, is a better way to explain it. So how did you become a therapist because I think that's an interesting story to me.

CW: I  mentioned that there was some troubled time so, you know, I had some substance abuse issues and alcohol issues into my 30s, you know, from my late teens through my 30s. And U.P.O. had released No Pleasantries and did really well... Hang on one second, I'm just going to talk to my daughter.

Someone: Which daughter? I mean, I don't want to take away from your family-

CW: [?] 5-year old.

Someone: Okay, so she doesn't need help with her math homework at that age, okay.

[clip]

CW: So, you know, the U.P.O. record was doing pretty well, you know, we were kind of high on that, we were, I think, number three in the [?] rock charts with Godless and.... Anywa,y it was a crazy year so when I got off the road I kind of of imploded and needed to go away for a little bit. So I went to to treatment and got sober and that was nearly 15 years ago now.

Someone: Congratulations, mazel tov.

CW: Thanks. And-

Someome: This December will be two years since I've drank.

CW: Congratulations, man.

Someone: Thank you.

CW: So the second record, second U.P.O. record by Sony Epic didn't do as well and sort of couldn't turn it into the sort of machine that we had originally thought. And one of the reasons our A&R guy, Steve Richards, died and there was a really tragic thing [?] and it sort of took the wind out of our sails. The second record didn't do quite as well, it was it was my choice to kind of.... Well, I needed to get a job while we were waiting for the second record come out even in the first place, so I got a job at the only thing I could do which is answer phones cuz there's not too many jobs for, you know, guitar players waiting to, you know, do their next record. So I got a job answering phones at the the treatment program I went through. And then went on the road, you know, that took a kind of hiatus from that program, from the job, to go back and support the second record. Well, when the second record didn't hit I kind of, like, I was at a crossroads and I said, "You know what, I kind of liked being in that environment at the," you know, "at the program," so I went back and I kind of, after a short period of time, I went in different area of the program where I was talking more with people and families and then I just went back to school and I said, you know, "What I really want to do is kind of help people and be part of their success." And so I went back to school, you know, did a masters, [?] just ended up as a therapist.

Someone: That's cool, man. That's a great story. And the thing that's interesting is that, you know, you talked about during U.P.O. that a it brought you into this downward spiral and people would probably think seeing Guns N' Roses success might have brought you there, but it was something later on. We touched on it a little bit earlier, the formation-

CW: Mind you, when saying that, during the success that they had, I was, you know, out of my mind.

Someone: Gotcha. So it all accumulated kinda?

Someone: Or it wasn't even like registering with you? You were just dealing with your own demons, it sounds like.

CW: I could analyze... Having grown up in an alcoholic household I was really good at sort of shutting down emotions anyway, so when this feeling which would have been sort of like resentment towards them or to have anything, or just, you know, jealousy or whatever, it was all kind of muted anyway.  So that's how I got into doing that.

Someone: No, I....and forgive cuz, I mean, again it affects me personally and that's one of the reasons why I'm into Guns N' Roses so much. I look at Scott Weiland, even though it was not an official suicide, I mean, it could be looked at like he was just trying to kill himself slowly, so these are things that we've spoken about the show because we pride ourselves on just kind of expanding the rock'n'roll palette, why we like this band, why we like this genre more than most, so I guess you being on both sides of it now being, you know, I argue, a successful musician and now being a therapist, what do you make of how fans treat, you know, their idols?

CW: Well, I mean, I guess there are two things that come to mind, 1) a famous American by the name of [?], have you ever watched that cartoon?

Someone: Say, a super what? What was it called?

CW: Super chicken.

Someone: Super Chicken?

[clip]
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2017.07.30 - Appetite For Distortion - Interview with Chris Weber (Hollywood Rose)  Empty Re: 2017.07.30 - Appetite For Distortion - Interview with Chris Weber (Hollywood Rose)

Post by Soulmonster Sun Jul 30, 2023 6:59 am

Someone:  I want to get back into the formation of U.P.O., because we just kind of briefly touched on it. So we're listening to U.P.O. before we recorded, very different sound from Guns N' Roses and a little bit more indicative of what was going on at that time. So how did the band get formed and also how did you come to the conclusion of this is what we want to sound like and, "We want to," you know, "have a departure of what I've done in the past"?

CW: Well, I was friends with Shawn Albro, the singer for you U.P.O., since I was in my 20s, early 20s, and always had a great relationship, just a friendship with him. I moved to England, probably in 1992, and he had come and visited me there and he took a trip around Europe doing that too and just stayed close. And when I decided to, after six years, return to Los Angeles I was talking to him and he said, "Listen, when you come back," I wasn't in a band at the time and he's, you know, been in band all his life and I just said, "I'm gonna move back," and I moved back and came back to LA and he and I started writing immediately, you know, trapped in a small room with a guitar and a four track and a drum machine. And within the short period of time we had written a couple songs that I thought really good. I didn't intend on having this particular sound but I was listening to bands that probably sounded a little bit more like that at the time so might have influenced me. You know, you can't help but when certain music hits you in a particular way. And I know a lot of people that write music based on what the trend is, I don't think it was a trend, I was just I was listening to stuff that I thought was really great and I kind of just really resonated with me. A lot of dark tones and a lot, you know... Mind you, I'm, you know, if I could have written, you know, Aerosmith's Rocks or something like that, that would have been my dream to kind of write a record like that.

Someone: Oh, I mean, I think every band would like to write an Aerosmith Rocks since it's one of the best albums of all the time.

CW: [?] Rock In A Hard Place, I have to say-

Someone: Oh, Rock In A Hard Place? Okay, I thought you said Rocks cuz I love-

CW: Well no, I was saying Rocks. Rock In A Hard Place I think is one of the most underrated records of all time and people will tell me I'm full of, you know, crap for saying that but it really hits me. I think Jimmy Crespo did a great job on that. I love Joe Perry but I think Crespo was awesome. I think the riffs are fantastic. If anybody hasn't heard it in a while, or if you've never heard it, go listen to go listen to that record. Anyway, so I came out and Shawn and I, you know, wrote a lot of songs, put together a band, started playing shows out here in Hollywood, some of the same venues as I played with Hollywood Rose. And Vicky Hamilton-

Someone: Who's a former guest on the show.

CW: Huh?

Someone: Former guest on the show. We've had Nicky on.

CW: Right, right. Vicky Hamilton put us in and we did some demos. And she was working for, I think... I can't remember where she was working for at the time... It will come to be, Colombia maybe?

Someone: She was working with...Okay. I thought you were thinking of bands, because I know she was with Faster Pussycat for a while-

CW: No, no, she was working at a music company at the time.

Someone: Okay, understood.

CW: So we did a demo for her and that demo got on the on the desk of somebody, which is Steve Richards, that I had mentioned and real quickly we got a deal. I think probably one of the last real sort of old-school record deals that I at least heard of for a long time. It's now, you know, much more, you know, people are promoting through the Internet a lot more, but this was really sort of, like, "I got a tape in my hand and I'm gonna sign you guys to a deal" type of.... And then the band did a couple records with Rick Parashar who did Pearl Jam Ten, who produced that record and he produced a lot of other records, some stuff for Alice in Chains and a lot of that Seattle sound was a result of his work in his studio London Bridge.

Someone: And that's a pretty heavy hitter to have doing your first album.

CW: Yeah. We got really lucky, we had a pretty good deal and we could pick from a lot of great producers that were out there. And we met with a lot of the guys that were sort of making good records at the time. We just sort of liked Rick and liked the music that he created. So, well, with Rick, did that record, soon after the single was released, Godless, we were on the road. I think we went out with Creed, they stuck us on the tour with Creed. Creed was playing stadiums so we were like... or arenas, sorry. So we were more than happy to kind of step into something where we were playing to seven-eight thousand, thirteen thousand people a night.

Someone: Nice.

CW: Yeah. And then the radio really took to Godless and it went to number three, which was, I think, the modern rock charts. We were up there with.... You know, we did a lot of touring with, you know, and a lot of festivals, with bands like Deftones who released White Pony at the time and that was really big. A Perfect Circle came out and that song Judith was released about the same time. So that was our competition so we were in really great company. And, you know, toured all of 2000, went out with The Cult [?] long time. You know, it was good. And then, I had mentioned earlier, I sort of it hit the bricks a little bit and then kind of reemerged, did the second record and that's where I changed careers.

Someone: Yeah, gotcha. Before, cuz I know you got to attend to Beatrice, who is way more important than us, because I know we briefly skipped over it, but I didn't know if there was a story there or if it's just you auditioned or what, but what happened when you auditioned for Poison? Was it like American Idol and you can see C.C. and Ricki and [?] standing like, "Oh! I like this," "No, dawg, I wasn't feeling it"? So what was the audition process like for Poison`

CW: So C.C. wasn't in the band yet.  

Someone: That's right, you were gonna fill C.C.'s would-be spot, that's right.

CW: I think their guitar player's name was Matt, if I remember right, and they'd all come out from Pennsylvania - I think that's where they're from, you guys know maybe better?

Someone: Yeah, they are.

CW: Kind of a working town type of thing. But anyway... blue-collar town. And Matt, I think, I mean, I don't know firsthand, but I think he needed to go back. He just wanted to go back and think maybe he had a child or something that he wanted-

Someone: Yeah, his wife was pregnant, Slash mentioned that.

CW: Yeah, and so they were looking for somebody else. I went to meet them. My experience with them is just going to their apartment in Hollywood, I think they were all there, which is Rikki and Bret and Bobby. I hung out. I think I think I had a guitar, there was an acoustic there, me and Bobby played a little bit and Bret was kind of standing over us and just talked for a while and that was it. That was my audition.

Someone: Was there a dress code? Did you have to, you know, go in there with fishnet and eyeliner?

CW: To be honest with you, C.C. is shorter than me but I have that same look back then and that big long white hair sprayed up to the nines-

Someone: Okay, have your kids seen all the pictures of you back then?

CW: [laughs] I think my older one has, she says, "That's not you!"

[laughs]

Someone: "Where are your mommy, dad, when where you mommy?"

Someone: By the way, Chris, I know that, you know, you have your daughter in the background, if you have to jump at any time and and wrap it up with us, do let us know, but I do have a couple more questions-

CW: Yeah, keep going.

Someone: All right, I appreciate it. So one of them being, I was just wondering if, when you were on the road with U.P.O., were there any, you know, rock nerds that did their research and were like, "Oh! This was the original guitarist who worked with Axl Rose and wrote songs on Appetite for Destruction!" Like, did any fans ever come up to you with a vinyl of Appetite and ask you to sign it or anything like that at all?

CW: I didn't. I don't remember that happening at all except for in some of the radio stations, I remember when we... U.P.O. did a lot of morning radio, I mean, across the country, you know that there, you know, early in the morning there will be some band that [?] talking with whoever the rock jock is at the day, and you have to remember that, you know, these guys have probably played a gig and [?] probably 10 or 11 at night go on and party till 2:00 in the morning and then their crew gets them up, you know, to do this radio thing at 7:00 so they're not that fresh-

Someone: And then talking to some wacky DJ, "Hey! [?]"

Someone: Yeah, that's annoying.

CW: Right. But you know, because Shawn's voice is always so good we would always play Godless live at the time so that was fine. Anyway, but on a couple of occasions when I went to the radio station some of those people had done some of the research and those people would mention, "Hey, aren't you," you know, or, "We know that you're the," you know, "this is your previous band," you know. I don't know how many autographs I did for that particular band but, you know, but that's the only time I've ever heard it from anybody.

Someone: Have you ever had any awkward moments where you're telling people, you know, they're talking about Appetite for Destruction you're like, "Hey, I wrote one of the songs on there"? And has any of them like, "You're full of shit," you know, "you didn't write a song on Appetite for Destruction," because it sounds like a pretty bold claim.

CW: Right. Honestly, you know... I was living in Minneapolis for about a year where I was lucky enough to work at Paisley Park, there's a demo-

Someone: Wow! That's where Prince [?]

CW: Yeah, and I met him but-

Someone: Oh wow!

CW: Yeah, but that doesn't matter. But his-

Someone: It matters! Prince was a big deal.

Someone: We've talked about Prince on this show.

CW: Yeah, I know, he was nice. I mean, he gave me the time for free.

Someone: That's awesome.

CW: Because that was the tape that I was doing that got me my publishing deal with Geffen, the the Guns N' Roses money. So he signed on to that idea of sort of helping me create that, and this is when he was doing the Lovesexy tour so he [?] set up in [?]. In any case, but the only time that anybody ever called bullshit on me is - and this is actually before the Internet - was I was trying to make ends meet so I was trying to give guitar lessons, and somebody had advertised for me trying to get me guitar lessons and had said that I had, you know, been a member of Guns N' Roses, which wasn't exactly accurate but it was close enough to kind of what, you know, the idea would have been.

Someone: You embellish a resume, it's the same thing.

CW: Right. And I certainly didn't do it cuz I'm not that kind of person, you probably asked John, but and so somebody got on the phone and I thought they were going to be a new client  and then they said, "Bullshit!" Whether it's because, and it's just my disposition, and I'd like to say humility, but maybe it's just embarrassment, I don't know, I don't tell people. People find out and certainly with Google now and, you know, much more people know and nobody questions it because you can kind of look, you know. A lot of people go, like, "Hey!" you know, "Hey! I didn't know you had a Wikipedia page!"

[laughs]

Someone: I just think the whole idea of having to call bullshit on some... or you having to call bullshit on them and say, "No, I really did this," is kind of funny. And it's making me think of something, have by any chance any of you guys seen the documentary on Quiet Riot?

All: No.

CW: It's a great documentary but there's such a cringe-worthy moment where the original...the drummer, drummed on...  I don't actually, I might be wrong with which member, it wasn't Frankie - but there was a guy who played something on the original album but he's not on the cover, he's touring with the band now, or at least was at the time of the documentary, and they're doing a signing and he has Frankie sign it, and, you know, just a random fan, and the guy who played on the album but isn't on the cover goes, "Hey, do you want me to sign it as well?" and the fan goes, "No, you weren't on the album," and he's like, "No, look at the credits, dude, I played," whatever it was, "on," you know, "this song," and he's like, "No, you didn't," he's like, "Dude, well get the credit," and it's just such a cringe-worthy moment for him trying to convince this fan that he played on the album and it's almost kind of embarrassing. So it made me think if you ever had one of those scenarios where, "Okay, you want me to sign Appetite for Destruction?" "No, you didn't have anything to do with that album," "Yeah, I did."

CW: Well, yeah.

Someone: Chris, I like the fact that, you know, you said whether it's humble, because I have the kind of the same kind of personality where it's not like you're going around wearing a t-shirt saying, you know, "Ask me about Appetite for Destruction," you know, and you're telling people, or a lot of people saw Steven Adler for many years where it's just he's talking, about obviously he was the drummer on that record, but he just kept talking about it and wouldn't seem to let go. Now that could be argued whether he can really let go because he wants to be the full-time drummer. So your your feelings on it are actually pretty refreshing because you'll hear from the original Iron Maiden singer, the original AC/DC singer, you know, and there might be some bitterness still there. So you seem to have a very healthy attitude and you have the resume to back it up anyway. So you should feel nothing but good vibes.

CW: Yeah, I mean, it's not by design. Or I can't remember how that phrase, but I'm not trying to do it, it's just me, I get embarrassed when there's undue influence, something that I've done that people may have more of a feeling towards than I regard. I don't see it that big of a deal. You know, five more minutes. I don't see it as that big of a deal and maybe that's just what I need to do in order to not have any resentment, I don't know.

Someone: We see it as a big deal as fans. I got to ask one last thing before we wrap up here, just at least my last question I want to get to and you don't have to be specific on this. I know this is a personal thing but a lot of fans probably wonder. You know, your name is on Anything Goes on Appetite for Destruction. The album has sold tens of millions of albums worldwide, you still are a part of those royalties, what type of royalties do you see from that album?

CW: Not as much as I would like.

Someone: Good answer.

Someone: That's a fair response. I like it.

CW: I will put it this way: I work for a living and I work hard to, you know, pay for my family, and the work that I do now. So any monies that I've gotten from that have really already happened, been wasted and taken or, you know, appropriated by other people or just never gotten. That is kind of a sore spot but it's not sore in the fact that I have feelings about it, it's not really a windfall like people would think. What is good about it, and this is worth well more than any money that I ever got, was the fact that my name is connected with something that was so meaningful to people, that has allowed me to do a couple things in my life that I wouldn't have had an opportunity to do by people that are fans of the band. And that's worth way more to me than any financial gains that I might have had.

Someone: Right on.

Someone: That's awesome. Do you have anything you want to get out there now? What's your, I mean, I know you're working, you're a therapist, I don't know if you want to put out a number or where people can contact to you, I don't know if you're actually working on music as well. Is there anything you want to get out to our audience that we may not have touched on?

CW: No. I'm working at... I mean, I'm sure my employer.... I'm working at The Hills Treatment Program in Los Angeles. If you need those services I work there so if you'd like to work with me you're welcome to call them and ask them to, you know, about their program, but that's where I work. And I want to give a lot of credit to John for his passion, really admire that, and having done what he's done for so long and still, you know, trying as hard as he was in the very beginning, like on a daily base.

Someone: Well, I appreciate it. I mean, you know, I was thinking when you're talking about people approaching you about who you were and all that with the way information available now, I mean, I feel like so many people know about you and and this is, you know.... it was seven years ago when I first reached out to you, I was getting that through, you know, books and stuff I was reading and through MySpace - I don't know if you remember - that's how I reached out to you. And I was a little cautious, I didn't want to be as obvious about what I was doing. I was saying I'm writing this movie on the glam scene and and I think you caught on pretty quick, you know, what I was focusing on. And I think I showed up a times a little too wired on caffeine and I appreciate you sticking with me, you know. And it's been years and now you're a buddy of mine. I come out to LA, going  on a long run around the city together, and it's great man, it's been fantastic support. Great thing for me.

Someone: That's awesome.

Someone: Chris and John are frolicking in the fields together.

CW: So I've got a lot of riches from this and it hasn't been financially. Anyway, thanks for putting up with my kids in the background.

Someone: Oh no, we appreciate it man. I was just thinking real quick, any contact with the guys in, you know, Guns N' Roses still and also-

Someone: -[?] the reunion-

Someone: -and also, how do you feel about the reunion yet without Izzy? Because he's such a crucial part of that band.

Someone: And I know you got to go so you can keep it brief if you'd like.

CW: You know, I don't contact anyone anymore, the last person I talked to was probably Steven and that's number of years now. And I talked to Slash when we did a book signing together from the Canter's book. But, and in regards to the Izzy thing, you know, personally I had you know problems when, you know, Steven wasn't in the band and it was Matt Sorum, you know, and then the addition of, you know, the other guys, Dizzy, and they're all great great guys probably but, you know, I'm kind of a purist when it comes to that. I always like that story that Ron Wood tells, you know, he's been in The Stones for what? 40 years? 45 years now? And they still call him the new guy. So it isn't really Guns N' Roses without Izzy. I don't know why he's not doing it and if it has anything to do with them not paying him enough. I think that's bullshit because they should, you know, figure out a way to make that happen. But Izzy's the type of guy that's like if he doesn't want something, you know, you can't pull him in with financial games. He was principled, I don't hang out with him anymore, but he has his own way of life. As a matter of fact, that's why I'm even part of this band is because Izzy was that person. If he was just some schmuck off the street that had, you know, an idea for a band and wanted, you know, a rehearsal space, I would never have done it.

Someone: Let me ask, with that being a purist because of course that's been a topic that we've covered throughout our whole tenure doing this podcast, because Gilby replaced Izzy and Gilby did some mixes on the Hollywood Rose release a few years ago. So how do you feel about that? How do you feel about Gilby doing that? Did you work together with him on that?

CW: No, I didn't work with Gilby on it and for some reason that breaks from... that's the anomaly to my feeling, because I do feel that Gilby has put in enough time with the original stuff. It may also be because Gilby was part of the band that where here in Los Angeles at the time, we played a show at Madame Wong's West when his band Candy was playing, so maybe that there's something of that sort of changes my mind a little bit about Gilby participating. But I really think that, you know, you need to get Izzy and Steven in it to kind of have that original - if you're gonna call it original - otherwise you can't really call it original, for what it's worth.

Someone: I gotcha. A lot of people agree with you, I would say the majority, even though this the tour has been successful. But a lot of people, I mean, we've been waiting for, like, at least another one-off. I mean, they did it with Steven but we've been waiting for Izzy. I mean, we're hoping it happens.

CW: Yeah.

Someone: I keep wondering if, you know, I mean, I'm in Izzy's hometown right now, current home, but I don't know if he lives here or not, but I hear he does. I'm in Lafayette, I don't know if I told you that, Chris, or not. So I'm going to this place called McGuire Music which is like the local, I don't know, like it's the spot where everyone goes and get their stuff and he shows up on occasion. I'm not thinking I'm gonna run into him but I always come here and I wonder, you know, is Izzy in town.

Someone: "Is Izzy in town."

Someone: While John continues to stalk. We'll let you go, Chris. I mean, this was truly an honor. We've been we've been talking about interviewing you ever since we met John and he said he was connected with you. And you know, I just recently watched the documentary and read some stuff up about you so it's awesome to talk to you and all the wonderful work that you're doing now which is just awesome to hear.

CW: Thanks for that acknowledgement, I appreciate that.

[clip]
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2017.07.30 - Appetite For Distortion - Interview with Chris Weber (Hollywood Rose)  Empty Re: 2017.07.30 - Appetite For Distortion - Interview with Chris Weber (Hollywood Rose)

Post by Soulmonster Tue Aug 01, 2023 6:24 am

Finished transcribing the part where they interviewed Weber.
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