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1994.10.06 - Syracuse Post-Standard - Rock Hound (Gilby)

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1994.10.06 - Syracuse Post-Standard - Rock Hound (Gilby) Empty 1994.10.06 - Syracuse Post-Standard - Rock Hound (Gilby)

Post by Blackstar on Thu Aug 15, 2019 10:31 am

1994.10.06 - Syracuse Post-Standard - Rock Hound (Gilby) 1994_120
1994.10.06 - Syracuse Post-Standard - Rock Hound (Gilby) 1994_119


Rock Hound

Guns N’ Roses guitarist brings good-time attitude to Lost Horizon Sunday night

By Mark Bialczak
Staff Writer

Make no mistake about it: Gilbv Clarke loves the life of a rock star.

“It’s a total rock 'n' roll band, says Clarke, who's played guitar for mega rockers Guns N' Roses since 1991. “We get into a town, we go out anywhere we want, and people treat us nice. People scream when they see us play, then we get to go out to the bars and sit and hang out with our friends.”

Things arc a bit different these days between tours for “G and R." as Clarke preferred to call the band last week during a phone chat from his L.A. home.

Instead of stadiums or arenas, Clarke is on the dub circuit with a group of his musician buddies, backing up his just-released solo effort on Virgin Records, “Pawn Shop Guitars.”

Clarke and his band, longtime friends Ryan Roxie on guitar, Will Effertz on bass and Mark Danzeisen on drums — will pull into the Lost Horizon in Syracuse for a show that starts with opening band Buddah Heads at around 9 p.m. Sunday.

While Clarke was selected to replace Izzy Stradlin in G and R for his ability to play loud, crunching heavy metal guitar, his solo work consists more of loud, crunching power pop guitar.

In short, he says, he’s writing songs the way he likes, with a memorable melody and good-time lyrics.

“There's a good and a bad side to this tour," Clarke says good-naturedly as he takes a break from packing to leave for the first stop on the American tour. He's had about a week break since returning from the European leg and he sounds fresh.

“One good thing is, the band I’ve been playing with is all my closest friends for 10 years. I hand-picked the crew and the band, and when we're together, we just laugh all the time. We enjoy what we do," Clarke says.

On the other hand, he says, none of them will get rich from playing clubs. "Good thing we enjoy it so much," he says.

“To me, this is the best of both worlds. I get to play really loud guitar, which I love to do. With G and R. it's such a big production. It's not personal. This is my own stuff. One pays the bills, the other you just enjoy it," he says.

Clarke says he wasn't surprised he landed the spot with Axl Rose and company three years ago. He was friends not only with Stradlin but also with G and R guitarist Slash and drummer Matt Sorum since his days in the '80s with the group Kills for Thrills.

He learned 50 G and R songs in a week, and he was the only guitarist the group auditioned.

Slash and Sorum got in touch with Clarke to compliment "Pawn Shop Guitars” as soon as they heard it, he says. He hasn't heard from Rose, who joined the rest of the G and R crew on backup portions on the album, along with Clarke's other music buddies like former Pixies leader Frank Black and Skid Row drummer Rob Affuso.

"I didn’t expect Axl to call. That’s not the way he is,” Clarke says.

One reason he's so happy with the 11-song collection, he says, is because famous producer — and session guitarist — Waddy Wachtel pretty much let him call the shots.

"Sure, Waddy played a big part of it, but I don’t think the record is shek,” Clarke says. “It’s got lots of reverb, it’s tough, it’s punchy. We sat down, and I told him what I wanted, and he said, 'From what I hear on the demo tape, that’s what I was thinking, too.'

“1 totally agree with the thinking that’s it's a pop album. But then, my sense of pop is strange. But it has catchy melodies, yeah,” he continues.

"It's 100 percent myself. I didn't make it to sell records or to have people try to understand the meaning. I made my record. If there’s a big audience for it, wonderful. We go out with maybe five songs set and then we just jam. It's a different show every night,” Clarke says.

“Slash is doing a record himself this year, then he and I and Matt might do something together.

Then G and R together again? Definitely. It just has to be the right time,” he says.

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