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1988.05.DD - Much Music - Interview with Slash and Duff

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1988.05.DD - Much Music - Interview with Slash and Duff Empty 1988.05.DD - Much Music - Interview with Slash and Duff

Post by Blackstar on Mon Mar 04, 2019 4:58 am


[Slash and Duff are shown eating while the intro to Welcome to the Jungle is being played in the background]

Text on screen: “Hi, I’m Duff McKagan.” “And I’m Slash.” We’re from Guns N’ Roses and if we weren’t so busy chowin’ down we’d tell you to stay tuned to the Pepsi Power Hour cause we’re up next....

[Clip from Welcome to the Jungle video]

Laurie Brown: A lot of the press I’ve been reading thinks that your album, Appetite for Destruction, is pro-drugs.

Slash: It’s a Guns N’ Roses record. In other words, it’s what Guns N’ Roses is, five kids who pretty much don’t have a whole lot of influence on the rest of the world as far as we know.

Duff: Right.

Slash: It’s an album based on the daily lives of five kids, basically. It’s not pro- or anti- anything. It just says this, it says that – and, you know, in the general scheme of things, it’s not all that important.

Duff: It’s a story about five guys. I mean, it’s a true story about five guys going through the wringer in Hollywood. And so, all things we talk about on the record are true things. You go through the wringer whether you like it or not.

Laurie Brown: When I listen to the record, I get the opposite feeling; I think it’s more anti-drugs.

Duff: It’s a slice of reality, is all, cut and dry, that’s what it is. We would be the last guys going and pushing drugs on somebody, you know?

Slash: I don’t want to be one of those people that’s, like, a heavy influence on people’s character and stuff. I mean, I wouldn’t mind being remembered as being in a good rock ‘n’ roll band, and all that stuff, and having kids remembering you for that; or, you know, adults in the future going, “Yeah, Guns N’ Roses was something that I believed in when I was a kid.” But, as far as, like, influencing people about working or doing drugs or whatever – whatever bands have an influence on – I wouldn’t really want to be part of that, because we’re not making any kind of a statement, we made no effort to that direction, so I don’t – you know.

Duff: Also, I think kids are – I mean, I know, I was just an average kid. When I was 13 to 15 years old, I was smart enough not to - You know, you don’t take everything seriously. You don’t listen to a punk rock band or something, then one the guys dies and think it’s cool. You don’t think, “Oh, it’s cool, I’m gonna do drugs now and die too.” You know, it’s like a joke, you don’t even think that way. So, I think kids are smart enough to know what’s what.

[Footage from the Ritz 1988]

Laurie Brown: When all this press attention started on you, I read that you were quite astonished that people were interested in how you personally felt about things. They were more interested in the members of the band and what they did off stage than the actual music. How have you handled being in the public eye? What this has taught you about being a celebrity?

Slash: When it’s all said and done, you’re just five regular guys. You’re just a band, you know. And the fact that you became popular enough to get in the public eye, and be part of the media, and all that crap, it doesn’t mean you have to change your personality or anything like that. And you just go in – And as far as I know, I mean, a lot of bands probably don’t believe in what I’m saying. They go and get their make up together, and get their hair together, and get their clothes together; then they come in, they put a little act and all that crap. But, I mean, for us it’s just like, if we’re gonna have to do an interview or something, we just go in as us.

Laurie Brown: Are you starting to feel like you have no control over your own image with all the things getting out there? They really upset you?    

Slash: Before we got signed to a record label, before we got signed to Geffen and all that, we basically were doing what we are doing now. And then, when the record labels got interested, we said, “Well, we weren’t looking for a record deal, so we’re not gonna change anything around as far as you’re concerned.” So, we just went in and signed to the label that was gonna accept us as is. We didn’t change anything. And now that the album sold, like, 1.5 million, that’s sort of like the kind of thing where, if anybody asks us to, we can say we don’t have to, we already proved ourselves.

[Footage from the Ritz 1988]

Laurie Brown: With this sudden amount of attention from the press, were you surprised by the kind of reaction you got from your first album cover?

Duff: How it came about, it was a joke. Axl brought this postcard with that art by this painter, Robert Williams. And we didn’t really want a hassle over our album cover. It wasn’t, like, we wanted to get our picture on the cover of the album just so you can see yourself on the cover. We just don’t want a hassle over it. So, it’s like, okay, we’re all laughing, you know? Fine, record cover, let’s go; let’s get it over with. And, personally – I mean, myself, I don’t think any of us saw anything wrong with it.

Laurie Brown: Wasn’t that the reason that you put that on the front cover? Was it to get some shock value out of it?

Duff: Not to sound stupid or naive or whatever, or close-minded, we didn’t see any rape thing going on. It was, like, exactly what he said. It was a robot vendor getting robbed and she got knocked against the fence, you know? He couldn’t have just...

Slash: And her bra fell out.

Laurie Brown: With her panties around her ankles, I would say definitely that is rape imagery.

Duff: No!

Slash: Okay, alright, fine. We were generally promoting rape. (laughs)

Duff: Yeah. I mean, if you think we’re generally promoting rape - for someone seeing it like that, I could easily get on you for seeing it as a rape. You know, prove it was rape. Why do you think it was rape?

[Footage from the Ritz 1988]

Laurie Brown: I understand you’ve been blowing the headlining acts right off the stage.

Slash: We don’t go out there just, like, to blow away the headlining act. That’s not the point. But some of the headlining acts are sort of blowing. (laughs)

Duff: When we go out on stage it’s really very much fun-contrived, you know? We just go out there every night. There’s no choreography or anything like that. We don’t plan really what our show is gonna be like. There’s change every night. So, I think probably people feel the liveness, you know, and the dangerousness of it.

Laurie Brown: How is the opening slot with the Iron Maiden tour going?

Slash (whispering): It sucks. (laughs)

Duff: Okay, just don’t ask that! (laughs)

Laurie Brown: Oh, no! Why?

Slash: No, Iron Maiden is great.

Duff (talking over): We get no sound checks. They’re nice guys, but their crew is just (?) and disorganized.

Slash: Yeah, they’ve got this major stage production happening, and this is the first time we’ve ever been on the beginning of a tour with another band, so this might happen with every band. So it’s nothing against Iron Maiden. It’s just that their production is not together, and we never get sound checks, and their monitor guy doesn’t work for us, so he doesn’t know what we want. And it’s just been sort of like a disaster. But we’re, you know, basically...

Duff (talking over): Swallowing through it.

Slash: Yeah, pulling it off. The other thing is, that it’s like two sides of coins as far as music goes. You know, it’s like, Iron Maiden sings about Vikings, and gothic-influenced this and that, dragons and stuff. And we, just basically, just hang out. (laughs)


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