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1989.02.DD - Burrn! - Guns N' Roses in Japan (Axl, Slash, Izzy, Duff, Steven)

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Post by Soulmonster on Mon Dec 03, 2018 11:38 am

1989.02.DD - Burrn! - Guns N' Roses in Japan (Axl, Slash, Izzy, Duff, Steven) Uten_121
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The Axl interview seems to be continued in the next issue. The last three pages seem to contain reviews of the bands show in Japan.

Translation by bikka at mygnrforum:

IZZY

Me, I’m the same as I was before. Going to a club with a body guard? No way!
 
As I pushed the door open, he was lying stretched out on the sofa. He looked extremely tired. With a stubble unusual for him and wrapped in a green leather jacket to keep out the cold, he gave a pitiful impression. Not changing his position, he extended his right hand to introduce himself. A soft hand…
 
He coughed lightly as if he tried to bring himself back to life, raised slowly to a sitting position and looked into my eyes. Or so it looked to me, but I couldn’t really tell as he wore dark sunglasses.
 
How is your first time in Japan?
 
It feels great. Food is good… (laughs)
 
Laughing lightly he glances at the articles in this magazine. Starting with the basics, I want to know what type of a guy he is.
 
When did you start playing guitar?
 
Around 1980… Before that I played bass for around a year. And even before that it was drums. I [threw away?] bass and became a guitarist because I wanted to write my own songs and needed something more melodic. I thought guitar would be [better?] to express myself… in my opinion, that is…
 
Why did you choose drums at first?
 
No reason apart from it being fun. There was a guy in the neighborhood who started a band in his basement and we often made some noise. We would play whenever my pals would come… and there were always plenty girls hanging on. (laughs) At that time, drums seemed pretty fine. I didn’t have any special heroes, but I was a TV child: I absorbed a lot of different music that was played on TV.
 
Do you think that having played bass and drums helps you personally as a guitarist?
 
Yeah. When I write a song, I can intuitively hear the drum part. As if I had drums in my head.
 
You mean it made you sensitive to the rhythm?
 
So to speak.
 
Some people say it’s harder to play cool rythm than to play complex solos. How is it for you?
 
How… Well, it depends on the song, but I simply play as I feel, so it is hard to expain what I’m doing. Basically, I try to mesh well with Steven’s drums.
 
What is the difference between yours and Slash’s style?
 
First of all, no matter whether he is doing a solo or not, he is more technical then I am, and he has a good phrase. These days we have a good combination. If I play a single line, he starts a riff around that… We manage to make some surprisingly good stuff.
 
I guess there are other bands that put focus on rhythm and have people in similar position to you, but out of other bands’ guitarists who has been a particular inspiration for you?
 
Andy McCoy. Playing, songwriting… he’s simply a genius! Once in a while we meet, and we always hang out then.
 
Don’t people say you’re similar?
 
Ah… I know we have similar faces. (laughs)
 
When the first Guns n’ Roses pics and videos reached us, everyone said “Izzy is a guitarist somewhere between Joe Perry and Andy McCoy”.
 
That’s too homey. (laughs) I was on tour with Joe Perry, and Aerosmith was the band I grew up listening to, the first time I heard their songs I was really blown away. I love Aerosmith…
 
They also once had that bad boy image, but now they are completely clean. Do you feel there’s now a gap between you?
 
It’s not like that. I’m glad we could go on tour with a band like them. Sometimes we take off and it can be dangerous. If we were to tour with a similar band, it would be unthinkable. When I wake up hungover after 2 days of drinking, Steven Tyler is happily running around already. And looking at that makes me think “why am I doing such stupid things?”. I think there’s merit just to be made think that way.
 
Right now there is even a no smoking rule in Aerosmith interview room. Do you think you will be like that in 10 years?
 
Living that long would be nice! (laughs) I don’t know what will happen. I think there are things to think about as you get older but at this point I can’t say anything.
 
As people get older, the rock n’ roll lifestyle seems to fade, don’t you think?
 
Well, there’s a limit to partying. I don’t care if the band breaks down tomorrow or if I’m penniless. I will survive. I know how to survive. Now with a little success that we’ve had, with money coming in, the band are all leaving behind the street life. Becoming normal people. No one is walking the Sunset Strip anymore. But for me, nothing changes. I’m hanging out with the same bad company as before, and I stroll the same places, with the same people. Walking into a club with a body guard? No way!
 
You mean you don’t want to lose yourself?
 
Right. I want to stay myself, and I don’t want to lose my songs. Even now, I often go to clubs. By myself… I don’t need to be walked in! (laughs)
 
The club scene is now full of bands that copy Guns n’ Roses, right?
 
That is common. But it’s not a bad thing, it’s more like a tribute to us. In a club in Tennessee I was surprised to run into a band covering „Welcome to the Jungle”. They played all parts lower [in lower key?], but it was pretty good. Maybe better than us. (laughs) I never thought other bands would play our songs… I was happy.
 
You seem to really like clubs, but right now you play big arenas, would you still want to go back to the club scene?
 
It’s ok now. Sometimes between the big gigs we play in theaters with capacity of 2000-3000 people. But playing a club-scale live gig is a good thing.
 
When touring with Aerosmith we played a lot of big venues. When playing outdoor stadiums, once you connect with the audience, the feeling is pretty good. Still, the Texas Stadium on the last day was the worst. It was cold. The stage was 15 feet high and it felt like the audience were far below. I hate things like that. And at the Giant’s Stadium – I don’t know why, but people threw tennis shoes at the stage. Hundreds of them.
 
If we had printed this interview 2 months ago, the Japanese fans might have copied that. (laughs)
 
Please, no! (laughs)
 
Changing the topic, you’ve known Axl for around 13 years now, right?
 
Yeah… it’s been 14-15 years already.
 
You probably know some things that even other members don’t know, don’t you?
 
Might be. I might be the person who knows [him] the best.
 
Because of his attitude, he seems the type of person to be easily misunderstood.
 
Oh, certainly, he’s a man that invites misunderstandings. But he’s a normal guy. At least for me. (laughs) Me and him, we’re not exact opposites but, how do I put it… we fit together like puzzle pieces. Sometimes he disappoints me, sometimes I disappoint him. If he’s in trouble, I help, and sometimes I need help from him. I trust him. That’s what this kind of relationship entails.
 
There are bands that sound like you, but what is different about Guns n’ Roses is that you seem to have the position of “spokesperson  for the kids”? What do you think?
 
Hmmm… I think if you read the lyrics you would understand, we just sing about the stuff that is happening around us. For example, I don’t know how it is in Japan, but in West Hollywood police are the worst. Even when you haven’t done anything, you’re just wandering around, you get approached with a gun ready. Thanks to the cops, we, the general public, can’t walk around in peace. Weird, isn’t it? (laughs)
 
Once before I happened to be caught with drugs on me… that was the worst. The cop wrote more than 3 pages, making up a bunch of things I didn’t say. I don’t think I should be talking about this now…
 
By the way, the album has reached No. 1 in the US…
 
Can you believe it? (laughs)
 
Ha, ha, ha… Did you expect it?
 
Not at all! It still seems unreal…
 
Do you remember the moment when you learned you have reached the top?
 
Yes, I didn’t think a thing. (laughs) That’s because we were on tour. When you’re on tour you’re all in mess, you know? You hope everything will go well, and you have your head full of things. At that time, I was told “You’re number 1!” but I was like “Great, where is my guitar by the way?” (laughs)
 
Nobody made a toast or anything. Only later, when you think carefully, you notice the importance of it.
 
Since the start of the tour, it’s been…
 
15 months. Long! (laughs)
 
This band doesn’t seem to be the type to think one week ahead?
 
That’s cruel… Well, it’s true. (laughs)
 
Why do you think you have been on tour for 15 months?
 
I don’t know. Sometimes, I wonder myself how strange… it’s a strange journey. You can’t stay put. When I returned to my home in LA after we finished the US tour, I had like 5-6 days of free time but there was just this one suitcase rolling around in my room and nothing to do. Not even a sound check. (laughs) So I quickly arranged a flight to Germany and flew to my girlfriend there. Then I came to Japan. I don’t know why, but I get irritated when there’s nothing [to do]. I feel restless.
 
We can play as long as possible, and if we get to visit a few places here and there, it’s enough for me. I like that. That’s why I’m very happy to come to Japan for the first time, and I really look forward to going to Australia after that.
 
You’re already a tour addict.
 
That's what it is. I’m not particularly good at German…
 
By the way, I remember reading a comment that [you] tried to learn from a Japanese text?
 
Yeah, about that… I had that Berlitz text. It was pretty good. But I lost it and haven’t done anything since then. (laughs) Here, there’s no way to chat in German…(having said that, he says a few words in German)
 
Finally, I want to ask the simplest and the most difficult question…
 
What?!
 
What is Rock n’ Roll for you?
 
Difficult, for sure. It’s not something you can put into words…
 
He didn’t say „it’s my life” or “the origin of everything”. This way the interviews with 4 members ended without problems. However, it was still unknown if the tentatively scheduled interview with Axl would take place.

***

SLASH

As long as my attitude is right, I don’t have to have the best technique
 
I’ve heard various rumors about Guns n’ Roses, especially about Slash. 1) A heavy drinker who empties a whole bottle of Jack Daniels before and after shows, 2) His body is soaked with the smell of alcohol, 3) He is also a heavy drug user, 4) Among the five of them, he is as dangerous as Axl…
 
On the other hand, there were also these hard to believe rumors. 5)  He has a very gentle voice, 6) He is a very quiet young man, 7) He has artistic sensibility. However, most people believed 1-4 and disbelieved 5-7.
 
I love dangerous musicians so at the editorial meeting I volunteered without hesitation to interview Slash. I’ve interviewed Chris Holmes of W.A.S.P. It’s not such a scary thing…
 
Still, waiting in the interview room for someone you haven't seen yet can make you quite anxious. He came in quietly. After an introduction from the band’s publicist, Slash laughed lightly and extended his hand. A powerful handshake. He seemed happy looking at an article with his interview that was carried out by Yoko Hayashi in NY.
 
It seems a lot has changed in your surroundings in this one year period. But what do you think?
 
There were big changes. The biggest difference… I still live in Hollywood, and even with the band’s success some habits don’t change. Like sleeping on the floor. (laughs) I mean, I haven’t changed at all, but the thing that has changed is that my face is now recognizable. Sometimes it makes things difficult. I forget that I’m now a celebrity and walk down the street or eat outside a café. But I can’t eat my lunch peacefully, because cars stop and people come to take pictures or get an autograph. It feels strange…
 
Do your friends or other people now give you weird, “you’re now a superstar” looks?
I have a few good friends and with them it’s not a problem because I’ve known them for a long time. But the number of new acquaintances has grown. I don’t trust them though. (laughs) But I like being surrounded by women. (laughs) I can go out with Tracy Rose… (laughs)
 
When I look at you, I get a feeling that you lead the life of a true rock n’ roller, living on a “tight rope”, just like Keith Richards or Ozzy Osbourne. Is that right?
 
It’s great to hear that. The most important thing for me beside the band is being honest, playing from the bottom of my heart, staying emotional, and believing in what I'm doing. But rock n’ roll has been fixed in its ways for the past ten years. For example, there’s no heart & soul in techno pop. I really wanted to be in a true rock n’ roll band and so it makes me really happy that you think this way.
 
For example, Keith Richards and drugs… his lifestyle, called “dancin’ on glass”, does it resonate with you?
 
Keith has always been a cool guy. We also had problems with drugs. But at the time Keith was doing drugs, it was considered a big issue. With him as an example, we knew that we shouldn’t do it and that it would be trick. In other words, what the effects could be. So we were careful. Now, I have basically stopped doing that. (laughs) Still, Keith is great. He had a great influence on all Guns n’ Roses members.
 
Your nationality is British. Does it cause any problem for your current band?
 
Sometimes it's a hassle when we go through customs.
 
When you come back to America?
 
Yes. I’ve lost my green card and I always have my passport checked. When we finish work in Europe and come back to America, the other four can enter the country without problems but I always have to go through various checks. And I’ve been living in LA longer than any of them. I moved to LA when I was about 11 years old. My mother is American, so when I was little I traveled back and forth between Britain and the United States. Now I speak American rather than English, and I don't really care about my nationality.
 
Your father designed an album cover for Joni Mitchell, your mother designed costumes for David Bowie, I guess it had great impact on you…
 
Indeed. I have heard a lot of varied music and met celebrities since I was little. Well, I guess it was a completely different lifestyle than children usually have.
 
I was so surprised to find out that your mother lived with David Bowie... Of course, I didn’t think you were Bowie's son ... (laughs)
 
Ha, ha, ha…
 
Were they just roommates? Or were they lovers?
 
They were lovers. I was too young so I don't know the details of where they met and such. Well, I think it was after my mother started making the costumes. At the time, I didn't really like him, so I don’t want to talk about it much. Because, after my father, he was the one in charge… you get it, right?
 
Yeah. By the way, I would like to talk about GNR Lies, which was released in Japan recently. On the B side all songs are played with acoustic guitar, right? What does acoustic guitar bring in [to the record]?
 
I think it’s a great instrument. When I was beginning to play guitar, it was acoustic – I didn’t need to plug it in and so it was simpler. (laughs) “Mr. Brownstone”, „Out Ta get me”, „Paradise City”, “Nightrain” and “You're Crazy” are all songs written on acoustic guitar. After finishing the album, we played a few songs acoustic and recorded them. So we decided to release them. To show the other side of the band. “Patience” is an original recording, with drums. I play a telecaster [there].
 
But your image, it is all Les Paul.
 
Yeah, that's right. Especially when playing live, it's always Les Paul.
 
Don’t get me wrong, but it's hard for me to imagine you composing songs while playing an acoustic guitar. (laughs)
 
What is the image you have of me? Because, basically, I’m a quiet person…
 
I would think you compose songs in your head, without playing instruments. Also, that you have great sensitivity…
 
Right, that’s correct. The process starts with composing the song in my head, and then playing it on instruments. Especially in the apartment, just turning on the amp means complaints are coming in. (laughs) Anyway, it’s because I play with crazy volume. Acoustic guitar is great for coming up with ideas.
 
What are you thinking when you play live?
 
My energy levels are totally different when on stage. It's aggressive and the energy levels are so high that many things go around in my head. How is the guitar sound? Next song? Or the girl in the front row… and, did I feed the cat?!
 
I’ve heard a rumor that you empty one bottle of Jack Daniels before the show and another one after, is that true?
 
I quit Jack Daniels, it’s vodka now. Sake in Japan. (at this moment, with great timing, the hot sake that Slash had ordered arrived). For me, alcohol is like vitamins. It’s better than doing drugs. I have never emptied a whole bottle of Jack Daniels at once, as the rumor would have it. I didn’t want to stand drunk on stage, so I watched myself how much I was drinking. That’s right… I never drank more than this much. (he shows the amount with his hand)
 
That's almost one bottle... (laughs) Isn't drinking a lot masochism or maybe desperation?
 
After gigs I did drink a lot. I switched to vodka because it’s better for the body than Jack Daniels. When I drank too much, in the morning my hands would shake... and I'm so nervous that I have to drink. I don't think it's good, but thanks to drinking I'm less nervous. I was drunk on stage only three times last year. Not bad, right? (laughs) All three times I was dead drunk though, and I fell off the stage. (laughs)
 
That kind of nervousness or sensitivity often comes out in songwriting. I think you care a lot about the guitar sound…
 
I care about music. That's important. I don’t slack when writing songs. I want to make them sound good... When I compose music, I try to express the ideas in my head the way they are. In a live show... how do I say it... I have to get to a certain energy level and play as accurately as I can. But sometimes compromises are needed.
 
The sound of your guitar… for example, when I put on the record and the first guitar sounds come in, I get the chills. It’s there in “Welcome to the Jungle”, and “Sweet Child o’ Mine”. There are only a few guitarist like that…
 
That makes me happy. Like nothing else… After all, playing is the most important thing.
 
Maybe that's because you're British. British people are nervous and also perfectionists...
 
I never thought that way myself, but my whole family are artists and, for sure, because of that background I think that art is really important. I don't know if it has anything to do with being British... But it's definitely a good thing.
 
So, for a person like you, are bands like POISON and FASTER PUSSYCAT to be booed?
 
I try not to talk about other bands. In the last 5 years, the only rock band that I liked is METALLICA. You can see they’ve been really working hard. Others just pretend to be rock stars. Even punk bands, if only they have a fitting attitude, they don’t have to be technically good musicians. I won’t say any names, but there are many bands that use only three chords but as long as they have the looks everyone thinks they are good. No soul in there… terrible!
 
By the way, you wear a silk hat, just like Ritchie Blackmore before, is there any special meaning to it?
 
Not really... When we were still playing clubs… like "Roxy". Well, the day before we played Roxy, I went into some store on Melrose and saw that top hat. There was also a belt... I thought "It’s good" and bought it. Now it's my trademark. I wasn't really aware that Ritchie Blackmore had a similar one, I simply thought it was cool. Tommy Bolin was also wearing one, but that's also different. If I don’t wear it, I get questioned “[where’s] the hat?”. But I don’t wear it off the stage. I would be too recognizable.
 
Please, don’t be like Tommy Bolin.
 
Right. He died in a traffic accident, no?
 
No, of drugs!
 
…I see… (laughs)
 
Regarding future songwriting, do you think it will change a little? Or will it be the same?
 
First of all, writing a song does not mean you have to make an album, when I want to write a song, I write it. I don’t know how many albums we will make in the future… Whether we’ll be finished or whether we will make another 10, I don’t know, because I don’t have many plans. But when it comes to the next album, everybody approaches it like "this is the last album". That’s why it will be worked to perfection.
 
Do you already have some songs in stock?
 
I don’t have a lifetime worth of songs! (laughs) I can only focus on songwriting in the short periods after the tours end and so I only work on one next composition. There are deadlines too… The songs that will go on the next album are serious… Axl has made a set of 2. I have learned a lot from our first album and first tour. The same goes for the Axl, which is why we plan to make and record a lot of songs. The songs I've written so far were complex in many ways, but I think that will change from now on.
 
What do you mean by that? Will they get simpler?
 
No, it doesn't mean that. They are not as raw as it used to be. The live-like quality is not changing, but what will they sound like, I don’t know until it’s finished. I think the technique will be better, and there will be more melodies. I think that what I’ve written now is better than what I wrote last year. All members are naturally better than before, so let’s wait and see…
 
When you write songs, do you fight with each other?
 
Everyone is stubborn. We say things straight. When someone writes a song, he brings it and plays it. Then looking at others all is clear. We like it or don't like it. Axl and me are fighting more than others. But basically there's not much conflict. It's painful to say "No!" to a song you've wrote, but if someone says "No!", we don't use that song.
 
Would you agree that not going for compromise with each other raises the tension within the band and leads to better songs?
 
That's exactly right. We’re rock n’ rollers, but we’re also artists.
 
It’s almost time [to end]. Finally, please give a message to BURRN! readers and young, heavy drinking idiots! (laughs)
 
Ha, ha, ha… Well, I'm really happy to have come to Japan. I wish everyone a happy Christmas and New Year. A big, big thank you for supporting GUNS N' ROSES.
 
What about young drunkards?
 
Ha, ha, ha… I can’t say anything. How about “Let’s be careful not to drink too much”? (big laugh)
 
When I was a child, there was a master carpenter in the neighborhood who always had a red face from drinking too much. The first floor of his house was made into a workshop, but when he didn’t work he sat on timber placed under the eaves and drank sake from a tea cup. When he was bringing the cup of sake to his mouth, his hand trembled. However, when work time came, the master spit a splash of alcohol into his hand and planed wood without going amiss. His craftsmanship was amazing, and his work was highly regarded in the town. Now that I think of it, he was a very sensitive person, and when doing the creative job of a carpenter, he became nervous and perfectionist, putting on the artistic skin.
 
Talking to Slash, I was vividly reminded of the master carpenter’s story. From what he said, it transpired that he has artistic sensitivity. Rumor 7) mentioned in the preamble is correct. Of course, 5) and 6) were also correct. 1), 3), 4) … well, sometimes that might be right. 2) was completely disproved. In the meantime, the manager got in and the interview was interrupted. When the manager walked out of the room, Slash apologized, "That was bad" but his words only made me charmed with him more.
 
GUNS N 'ROSES was playing from the editor room stereo today again. The moment I heard the first guitar sound of "Welcome to the Jungle", once again I had chills running down my spine...


Last edited by Soulmonster on Sat Mar 21, 2020 8:38 pm; edited 21 times in total
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Post by Soulmonster on Mon Dec 03, 2018 11:53 am

I started trying to transcribe and translate, but this does not look promising. This is the first text, the one in red font, from the part with Slash:

"I think that it is not technically the best if only r posture is shocked."

And tried it again with another OCR software:

"Attitude tombs are powerful, L 織 Rose, Technical octo
I do not even have to be VEST, I think."

...Lost in translation Doh!
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Post by Soulmonster on Mon Dec 03, 2018 11:58 am

Found a third OCR machine and this time it seems to have worked!

"I thought that it is okay not to be the best in terms of skill if even my posture is shocking."

That sounds like a quote from Slash, albeit with a bit of stunted language.
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Post by Soulmonster on Mon Dec 03, 2018 12:00 pm

Then I tried it on the first paragraph, and this is what I got:

"
61X5 ゞ 03 and 5, especially about the slash was clothes! ^ Were throwing: ① Jack. Dani ni, Les to make a show of the show large enough ② I'm stylish "Ikono 1, I'm getting involved 3) 15 people dragging drugs ^ ^, excite and 冏"? I do not know ....
On the other hand, Shih Taku also came. X gentle Tsutomu 's farewell celebration year ^ Specialistic & ... But, I believed most people ^ ^ ① ~,,:!: ~ 2: denied.
I have interviewed Chris and Holmes of the comparatively minusi 's favorite harvesting (九 ^^ っ て as an interviewer of Sra / Sini, ___ ___ ___ ___ 0 ___ ___ ___ 0 Absent…….
Nonetheless, it is quite uneasy that the interview meeting the old brother's ancestors still exists in the room.
Sramash came in to hemp. With the Kondo of Brissist at Nondo, Deng laughed and smiled smiling: /! Strong HasiNike, hands 3 泎 泎 2 2 N / A "
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Post by Soulmonster on Mon Dec 03, 2018 12:07 pm

Final attempt. This time I started with a scanned source (instead of a photo of the page) for better resolution:

"01 ^ 5! ^ 'Only 05 Tachimi, among other things, listen to various prayers for the slash ^ 1 ① a big drinking bottle that makes Jack, Daniel one at a time before and after the show ② The smell of sake is soaked in the body ③ Drugs also do gang gang ④ Among the five people, dangerous people equal to Axel ... ... 〇 ○
On the other hand, unbelievable beaks came in. ©️ Owner of a sorrowful voice ⑥ Very quiet youth ⑦ Owner of artistic sensibility ... .... However, most people believed ① ~ ④ and denied ⑤ ~ ⑦.
A dangerous musician; ^ I love you as a slash interviewer at the editing meeting without hesitation.
I also interviewed Chris' Holmes. There is no scary thing ...
Nonetheless, interviewing, waiting for an unseen partner in the room is quite uneasy.
A slash came in quietly. With the introduction of the band's publishingist, he smiled smiling and came hands. It's a powerful shake 'hand. Hayashi Yoko reporter is happy looking at the interview article done by N \"

Better but still not good enough. I suppose I will have to hire a translator.
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Post by Soulmonster on Sat Mar 21, 2020 4:00 pm

Uploaded with better scans. I also now noticed that the Axl interview says to be continued in next issue.

Also, the last three pages are reviews of the band's shows in Japan. Would be really great to have some more info on those shows.
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Post by Blackstar on Mon Mar 30, 2020 11:50 pm

bikka at mygnrforum sent us the translation of the Slash interview. I added it to the OP.
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