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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.


2005.01.DD - - Interview with Slash and Duff

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2005.01.DD - - Interview with Slash and Duff  Empty 2005.01.DD - - Interview with Slash and Duff

Post by Blackstar Fri Nov 30, 2018 3:26 am


[The interviewer is Martin Hughes from the band Red Top Matches]

Hughes: We’ve actually met before...

Duff: Yeah, you look familiar.

Hughes: (?) in September. (?)

Duff: Yeah, yeah.

Hughes: So, I was saying, all these are from the forum members.

Duff: Oh wow.

Hughes: So what we did was we got them to submit as many questions as they wanted, and I’ve just gone through and chosen.

Duff: Okay.

Hughes: What we’ve got left, so this is all going to go off on Rick’s site.

Duff: Okay.

Hughes: Alright? Cool. So first question being from Rick – I thought we’d better let him have the first one. So, Slash...

Slash: Mmm-mmm.

Hughes: Quoted in Rolling Stone saying that the band wants to get back into the studio immediately after the world tour to preserve momentum. Do you have a lot of finished material and how would you say it sounds compared to Contraband?

Slash: We don’t have any finished material, but we have a lot of material. I couldn’t tell you I think it’s gonna be... I mean, it might be redundant saying this at this point, but Contraband is cool. It’s really fucking satisfying to have people – it’s growing up as opposed to just comes out and it’s either good or bad. Anyway. So the next one is gonna be, I think, a musical evolution from that. It’s gonna be heavier, it’s gonna be produced a little different and it’s gonna have some really cool shit on it. So, I mean-

Duff: You gotta remember, Contraband, we were really only a band with a singer for a month-and-a-half or two months before we just went in and did the record. So we’ve grown so much, we’ve been touring now since May and we won’t be done till August or September, or whatever. So all the riffs that we write at soundcheck, and the more we’re together and just play together, the more we’ve grown and gotten to know each other as players in this new band, Velvet Revolver.

Hughes: Cool. Okay. Band members often play tricks on each other – I know, because I’m in one. Slash, what would you do if you woke up and one of the band members had cut some of your hair?

Slash: I’ve never thought of that happening. (To Duff): Would you do that? (laughs)

Duff: No, no. We’ve been around for so long and we know how to function as a band and how not to press people’s buttons. Those antics are really, like, when you’re 21 and you’re drunk, and you think it’s funny and, you know.

Hughes: Cool.

Slash: I would say that the whole thing about being in a band, one really important thing, is-

Duff: Trust.

Slash: It’s trust, and mutual respect, and consideration for everybody involved. So, actually, nobody fucks with anybody inside the band. We fuck with everybody else (chuckles).

Hughes: Yeah, yeah. That’s how my band (?)

Duff: Yeah. And when you’re crawl in your bunk and shut your curtains it’s fucking off-limits, dude. I mean, don’t even dare, like, fucking, creep to the curtain and open it if you’re outside of it.

Hughes: Yeah, cool. Okay.

[Slash and Duff are joking about something – inaudible]

Hughes: If it was possible to travel back in time, which band would you’ve liked to have been a member of?

Duff: Oh, Jesus Christ, really? How back? I would have liked to have been in one of the sessions of Prince’s first three or four records. Or Iggy Pop, the Stooges.

Slash: There’s musicians that I’d like to have played with, but there’s no band that I’d want to actually be in, because they didn’t need me.

[Inaudible cross talk]

Hughes: This is a good one. Duff, did you enjoy wearing the tiara and the pink dress on Halloween?

Duff: I really enjoyed that, especially the fishnet stockings. It made me feel proud of my feminine side.

Slash: Everyone will think that you think that, too.

Hughes: It’s not everyone. It’s like 4,500 members on the forum, they’ll all be watching this. Everyone wants to know who “Yoko” is.

Duff: We can’t tell you that.

Hughes: Come on!

Slash: No, we can’t tell you.

Hughes: I think you’re a prime candidate.

Duff: I am?

Slash: No.

Duff: Wrong.

Hughes: Okay. And if I have to keep guessing...

Slash: Nobody in this room is “Yoko”.

Hughes: Okay.

Slash: (Laughs) Let’s put it that way.

Hughes: One for Slash was, how have you played the guitar for so many years with a cigarette hanging out of your mouth and not put your hair on fire?

Duff: You got that question yesterday.

Hughes: Did you get it yesterday?

Slash: It’s always been – I’ve been asked that for years and the thing is, I have caught my hair on fire, but I sweat a lot, so it puts the fucking flame out. Simple as that.

Hughes: Cool. Okay. Not sure if you know this, but everyone wants some insight into Sucker Train Blues, especially the lyrics, “Come on motherfuckers and deliver the cow...”

Slash: You know, you’re talking to the wrong guys for that.

Duff: Yeah.

Slash: Because I don’t know what the fuck the song is about, to tell you the truth (laughs). Not enough at least to explain it – it wouldn’t give Scott proper merit.

Hughes: Cool, it’s fine. This is from someone – when you’re in a band and you should give everything on stage, and you come off and you’re obviously on a high but then you’re exhausted after, how tired do you get, like, hours later? How do you keep on the next night and the next night?

Duff: Well, because this is what we fucking do, man. We’re tenacious motherfuckers and hell or high water we will get to the next gig, and... Yeah, I’m not gonna say that we don’t get tired. We just did this British tour – you know, you travel from L.A. to London and all of a sudden you’re in this whole new time zone, and you gotta adjust and you gotta go rock, and you’re gonna then move on to the next city, and blah blah blah. You just do it, man.

Slash: Last night was a really good example, because I was-

Hughes: How was that?

Duff: My back fucking hurt last night so bad. I had Beth walk on it.

Slash: Did you really?

Duff: I had, yeah. Then she would icy hot it and then (?) like a fucking grind into my back.

Slash: I was just tired, but somehow you set up to do the show. But the thing is, last night I had all these fuckin guests. It was like, last night it was fucking everybody-

Hughes: Last night was the first one that sold out when they were announced.

Slash: Yeah.

Duff: It was.

Hughes: It was the first date that sold out from pre-sale in about an hour.

Slash: I had half a bar full of people. We actually closed the bar and went to the fucking lounge that serves – you know, the lobby, and hung out there. And then, finally, I thought, “I gotta go to bed because I’m fried.” I was fried after the show, but somehow you just manage to do it, you know? But you gotta pace yourself, too.

Duff: But you... yeah. And once you get on stage, our audience that we’re blessed with, you know, with the type of music we play and the audiences we attract, and we obviously give to them what they give back to us. That gives a lot of energy.

Slash: Yeah, and you can’t sell them short either. You gotta give it to them.

Hughes: Cool. Is there anything non rock ‘n’ roll that you have in your dressing rooms, like someone to do your nails or kittens?

Duff: No.

Slash: What?

Hughes: Is there anything really non rock ‘n’ roll that would surprise people and you ask for in your dressing room?

Slash: Yeah. It depends on what non rock ‘n’ roll is.

Duff: Things like if we get our nails done or have kittens back there.

Slash: Oh. I got the kittens part. But, I mean, no. Actually, I did take my dogs in Las Vegas (laughs).

Hughes: Alright.

Slash: My wife brought my fucking dog – our dog – her dog, really - to Las Vegas when we played on New Year’s Eve.

Duff: Yeah? Your dog was there?

Slash: Yeah, Foxy was there!

Duff: (Laughing) Get out of there.

Slash: She loved it. She fucking-

Hughes: What type of dog is it?

Slash: It’s a fucking Pomeranian. But she’s the only Pomeranian I like, because I’m not one of those little yappy dog types.

Hughes: You want a big dog.

Slash: She came home with this dog and I said, “Oh, fuck.” It was the precursor to fatherhood for me, because she was pregnant, so I sort of learned how to nurture this puppy till the point where she’s a real fucking character. So she was in Vegas and she was like, “Yeah!” As soon as we got off the plane, we took her out of the bag and she was like fucking strutting down the airport (laughs).

Duff: (Laughs).

Slash: At the hotel we had, you know, sort of fucking at least 100 people on the floor, and she’s walking around saying “hi” to everybody. As far as I was concerned, it was sort of rock ‘n’ roll.

Duff: Slash, the dog knows how to say hi?

Slash: Well, she does (laughs).

Hughes: Okay. This came up lots: what would you do if you lost your ability to play instruments? In terms of-

Slash: Don’t even talk about it. Don’t even ask me that-

Hughes: What else would you do?

Slash: I don’t want to get into it.

Hughes: Cool. This one’s for Slash: when you play live and you vary your solos with this breakdown, do you do that purposely to keep it interesting to yourself or sometimes you get into it and you just change things?

Slash: It’s a sort of a combination of both. The whole live experience is, like, certain songs, from the moment we wrote them all the way to now, I hear that same melody every time the section comes up. But then there is certain parts where you have a magic fucking night and it’s like, “Wow, the guitar is amazing” and it’s all improvisation. And then there’s other nights, where you really fucking want to do something completely different than you did the last three nights just to keep it interesting, and then you’re really fucking making shit up (laughs); you know, it’s like it’s totally out of the fucking pocket, it’s got strange notes in it that you’re not sure if they’re gonna work or not, and this and that.

Hughes: Cool. Okay. When you guys eventually make it into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, what do you want your musical contribution to read as?

Slash: That’s a good question. I don’t know.

Duff: We’re gonna make it into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame?

Slash: You know what’s funny?

Duff: Come on!

Slash: You know, like, it’s so fucked up. You have to either burned out or been around for so long or die to get into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Usually, they wait till you die and then they put you in there. But it’s like, I was thinking if Guns N’ Roses ever - you know, because we did make a pretty...

Duff: Big game record.

Slash: ... record breaking kind of thing. If it was ever inducted in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, Axl wouldn’t show up (laughs). You know, like, it’s just... (chuckles).

Hughes: Yeah.

Slash: Anyway. But, I mean, for this particular band, since we’re just in our first year of touring, it’s really such a far off concept that, you know...

Hughes: It’s a hell of an achievement in the first year so far.

Duff: Yeah, it’s been great. It’s been an amazing ride. I mean, we had no idea before this... you know. We were just making the best music we could, and being what we were and who we are, and we made the record that was a snapshot of us at that point, you know. And it seems that a good part of the world has taken to it.

Hughes: I would say a fair bit, yeah. What were the first songs you ever learned how to play on your instruments?

Duff: The Ocean song by Led Zeppelin when I started playing bass. I started out playing drums, bass and guitar at the same time, so bass was The Ocean song and Today Is Your Birthday by the Beatles (sings the music)-

Slash: For me-

Duff: Which taught me the fucking blues scale, really.

Slash: Which song?

Duff: Birthday song (sings the music again).

Slash: Oh, Birthday! I remember learning that. I think the first thing I learned on playing guitar – I only had a guitar with one string on it. And that was... It sort of was-

Duff: (Sings the riff of Smoke on the Water)

Slash: It was Smoke on the Water, obviously. But, you know, it was actually the Chicago song, um...

Duff: (Sings the riff of “25 or 6 to 4” by Chicago).

Slash: Yeah (laughs). Steve taught it to me. I knew nothing about guitar.

Duff: “24 or 65.”

Slash: Yeah.

Hughes: Cool. Okay. [Talks to someone] Where’d you get your inspiration clothing-wise? You know, the way you got your style. Do you have people that go and get you-

Duff: No. I mean, there’s a... We’ve done a couple of videos with this cool chick, Carol, who’s got... One day I’d like to have her go out shopping for me, because she’s got really good taste. But, you know, like t-shirts and shit, I just go, like, to Urban Outfitters, and this coat I got from friends of mine with Chrome Hearts. These pants were given to me with (?), Dave game me these shoes. But, like, the boots, I go to this place; I find cool boots at this one particular boot store that I’ll find in different cities - and belts, like cool belts. But usually I just end up buying the old school punk rock studded belt.

Hughes: That’s right. Whenever I go and look for a belt, if I buy stuff for the band, then we always go and look in women’s stores.

Slash: Really?

Hughes: Really decorative, like (?).

Duff: Yeah, well, like the pants I wear are women’s pants.

Hughes: Really?

Duff: Yeah.

Slash: I’ve been wearing the same shit since I can remember.

Hughes: (Laughs).

Slash: You know? Seriously (laughs). So the only stuff I actually have, you know, leather pants-

Duff: [About Slash’s jacket] This is new?

Slash: Someone gave me this.

Duff: Exactly.

Slash: You know, I bump a shirt, like you could be wearing, and it’s something I might want.

[Inaudible cross-talk]

Slash: So I get shit from different people. And I keep it forever. So then, what happens, like now it’s the same fucking clothes I’ve been wearing for the last year. I might go, “Hillary, if you see a cool t-shirt, pick me up something” and she doesn’t mind (?).

Duff: No, no.

Slash: So I still bump off people that throw them up on stage or in the dressing room, you know, the backstage area...

Duff: Yeah, we’ve got a lot of cool stuff from people. You know, like, I’ve got t-shirts that I wear.

Slash: But influences, I think, when we were kids, you know, there was a definite – and I’m speaking on both our behalf, because I know him pretty well – we had a definite, like, line between what was cool and what was not cool.

Duff: Yeah.

Slash: So you sort of pick up on the cool shit and then you develop your own sort of variation of that.

Duff: I let my girlfriend at the time, a long time ago, dress me up. I was really into Johnny Thunders – I still am, but especially was when Guns first started and when I came down to L.A. from Seattle. My girlfriend was Hungarian and she dressed me, you know, for this photo shoot. She, like-

Slash: I know exactly what (?)

Duff: You know what I’m talking about? That fucking tie-

Slash: The bow tie with the-

Duff: And she’s telling me, “God, you look great. This is just the fucking best look.” So I’m thinking, “I’m not feeling it, but, you know, if you say I look this good, that’s great.” We did those photos and those fucking photos have lasted the test of time, they’re on that Live Era thing. I’m wearing this tie and, like, some stupid shirt, and my hair is all teased out, that fucking thing, and it’s my worst fucking-

Slash: Girlfriends – why doesn’t girlfriends have an interesting influence on your fucking clothes (laughs).

Duff: So, to this day, I’ve never let my – I don’t let my wife dress me. She might say, “Don’t wear that because it doesn’t match” and I’ll trust her, because I’m colorblind, so...

Hughes: Yeah. I think we’re going to wrap it up anyway, but [cut]

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