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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.


1994.10.08 - MTV Headbangers Ball - Interview with Gilby

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1994.10.08 - MTV Headbangers Ball - Interview with Gilby Empty 1994.10.08 - MTV Headbangers Ball - Interview with Gilby

Post by Blackstar Mon Nov 04, 2019 3:22 pm

Thanks to @Surge for sending us the video.



Riki Rachtman: Right now we’ve got Gilby Clarke joining us on the Ball, and we hooked up with you - last time was, I guess, at the barbecue at my house.

Gilby: That’s right.

Racthman: You had a cast on that some people, for some reason, were almost blaming me for or something.

Gilby: We did blame you, because it was all your fault (laughs).

Rachtman: Yeah, there was a, sort of like, celebrity motocross race, and they put us guys, who, of course, have always ridden Harleys - and they put us on dirt bikes.

Gilby: They put us on dirt bikes (laughs).

Racthman: And it wasn’t a good idea, so he broke his arm.

Gilby: And gave us a bunch of bumps and everything like that, and said, “Have a good time.” Look, I’ve got a scar from it and everything.

Rachtman: So can I say that scar was mine (?)?

Gilby: All your fault – you can say it (laughs).

Rachtman: Alright! So, for people, of course everybody knows that Gilby was with Guns N’ Roses. Or still is with Guns N’ Roses. What do you know?

Gilby: I mean, I have no idea what’s going on right now. I really don’t.

Rachtman: There’s no talk on –

Gilby: No, I haven’t spoken to some of the guys in a long time.

Rachtman: When was the last time that Guns played?

Gilby: Um, it was a year ago. Like a year ago.

Rachtman: When was the last time everybody got together and rehearsed?

Gilby: About a year ago (laughs). I see Slash and Matt all the time.  

Racthman: Cuz they’re all doing solo stuff, too. Slash –

Gilby: Oh, yeah. Yeah. Duff did one, I did one, Slash has one coming out next year.

Rachtman: Now you’ve got your own record out now, called Gilby Clarke: Pawnshop Guitars.

Gilby: Pawnshop Guitars, yeah.

Racthman: But the band – does the band have a name? You said -

Gilby: Yeah, we call it The Tequila Brothers (laughs).

Rachtman: And the record is on the stores, and right now you’re out touring.

Gilby: Yeah. We started in the States, like, about a couple of months ago with Motley Crue. And then I went to Europe, and then I’m starting back in the States for the rest of the year. And then I’ll go to South America with Aerosmith.

Racthman: Mmm! Yeah, yeah!

Gilby: That’s really cool.

Racthman: Now, you played before in other bands and – don’t worry, I’m not gonna say, I was in trouble last time.

Gilby: (Laughs)

Racthman: Last time I said all the different bands –

Gilby: (Laughs) It’s all your fault.

Rachtman: - that Gilby had played in, and all I know is that three minutes after it was on TV, the phone rang, “Blah blah blah.” So I’m not gonna say it – while he’s here, just next Saturday I’ll tell you all the dirt, don’t worry about it.

Gilby: When Ryan comes on (laughs).

Rachtman: When Ryan comes on (laughs). But for your band, you kind of got all the people that were always friends of yours from even way before Guns N’ Roses.

Gilby: Way before, yeah. I mean, we’ve actually – all of us have played in bands, you know, together at one time or another. And it’s like, I mean I just got off the road and if I’m gonna do this again, I’m gonna get people that, you know, we can hang out 24 hours a day and just, you know, have fun and stuff.

Rachtman: So it was almost like a band that was sort of together.

Gilby: Together already.

Rachtman: I mean, I know you played - Ryan, I know you played with years and years and years.

Gilby: (?) Well, he and I played together in a band called The Blackouts, like, kind of in between Kill For Thrills and GNR.

Racthman: So is there anything that you kind of learned from going out on the road with Guns N’ Roses that you did take with being out on the road with Gilby Clarke?

Gilby: Yeah, I wanted to get a private plane this time, but they wouldn’t let it.

Racthman: It didn’t work.

Gilby: (Laughs) They said, “No, you gotta wait a little while.”

Rachtman: Now you have your own seat on an airplane.

Gilby: Exactly.

Racthman: Sometimes. So that’s almost (?)

Gilby: I have a seat on a bus (laughs).

Racthman: (Laughs) We’re gonna come back with Gilby Clarke, as Headbanger’s Ball continues.


Racthman: Gilby Clarke. Gilby Clarke has got his own record out now, called Pawnshop Guitars. And when people are going to your shows, are they expecting - what are they expecting?

Gilby: You know, they – half of the people heard, like, the song on the radio and half of the people are just GNR and stuff. And it’s like, at first we start out and play, like, a song off The Spaghetti Incident, then play songs off my record, a couple of Kill For Thrills... And then we just jam and play covers. Sometimes we’ll play – like, last night, I think we played like five Stones songs. It’s like, you know, we just get it going.

Racthman: Cuz they’re one of the bands that you were really influenced by.

Gilby: I mean, I really love, like, Beatles and Stones, and a lot of early 70s, like T-Rex and Bowie. A lot of stuff we always liked.

Racthman: Mmm-mmm. We’re gonna play a video right now from Gilb. This isn’t your first video.

Gilby: No.

Racthman: You’ve done other videos.

Gilby: Oh yeah.

Racthman: Even in Kill For Thrills.

Gilby: Kill For Thrills, we did a couple.

Racthman: (?) Even – some time, I know, since I’ve been a host on Headbanger’s Ball, I know we played that video once.

Gilby: Yeah, you guys have played them. Yeah.

Rachtman: So look for it, kids. It’s somewhere out there.

Gilby: (Laughs) Somewhere out there. The record is in a store somewhere.

Racthman: But now let’s play... “Cure Me... Or Kill Me...”?

Gilby: Yeah.

Racthman: Anything you wanna say about the video?

Gilby: This video was kind of fun. We kind of put it together fast, because we didn’t even expect to do a video for this song. We put it out, and, the next thing you know, we had to make a video real fast, so – it’s alright.

Racthman: Let’s play it. We’ll be back with Gilby Clarke.

[“Cure Me... Or Kill Me...” video]

Racthman: Welcome back to Headbanger’s Ball. Right now we’ve got Ryan Roxie, who also plays guitar in Gilby’s band. And, Ryan, you played guitar with Gilby years and years ago, way before he was ever in Guns N’ Roses, and stuff like that.

Ryan Roxie: Years and years ago in the Seaworld.

Racthman: Go ahead and say what it is, because people gonna think that Seaworld means something else.

Ryan Roxie: It’s... Candy!

Racthman: They were in a band called Candy, which was like a real poppy bubblegum – but it was a fun band.

Gilby: Yeah. We were, like, a cross between The Raspberries and Johnny Thunders and The Heartbreakers. What do you say?

Racthman: Sure.


Racthman: A little bit of Bay City Rollers – the good Bay City Rollers.

Gilby: (Laughs) The good period.

Ryan: Bigger hair than Nikki Sixx. That’s it.

Racthman: Now, you were playing with him and then you saw, like, a lot of people that were in the whole scene, like in the later 80s, kind of went on to bands and got bigger. And you kind of (?)


Rachtman: And you saw everybody doing really good. And you saw your friend Gilby doing good, and yo were probably wondering, “When is my turn?” But then Gilby his own record and called you back up. So now you’re finally getting to play with everybody and –

Ryan: I think everybody gets a shot eventually, you know? And you just take it.

Gilby: You know, this is pretty much the reunion of, like, the opening of Cathouse, huh?

Rachtman: Yeah –

Gilby: Minus Axl and Slash (laughs).

Rachtman: The three of us in 1986. So right now you’re going out and you’re playing. And obviously, being in Guns N’ Roses, being in, like, the biggest rock ‘n’ roll band in the world, doesn’t hurt things. It’s got a lot of people going to see you?

Gilby: Yeah, definitely. I mean, the people that like GNR - you know, like rock ‘n’ roll and stuff. So when they come to see us, it’s like, they don’t get mad because I really don’t play any GNR songs. But, you know, they go out to a good rock ‘n’ roll show, so they dig it.

Rachtman: Now are you writing all the songs? Or do you have people like Ryan and the other members of the band?

Gilby: Nah, I didn’t know them (laughs). I wrote everything, pretty much, for this record. That is the reason why I made it – you know, cuz I wrote a bunch of songs and they really didn’t fit with GNR. So I just did it on my own. And then, you know, I recruited all these guys to come and play in the album. And then when I did the tour, you know, I just grabbed them.

Rachtman: So what were you doing right before you were out on the road with Gilby?

Ryan: Yeah, well, see, we have a good deal worked out. You know, Gilby is my producer and I’m a guitar player.

Rachtman: Cuz you’ve got another – do you have another band that you’re working with now, too?

Ryan: DPM [points to Gilby’s sweatshirt]. Dad’s Porno Mag.

Rachtman: That’s a magazine you’re working in? I mean a band or –

Gilby: It’s his band.

Ryan: It looks like a fragrance company. But it’s actually my band.


Rachtman: We’re gonna come back, and talk to Gilby Clark and meet the other guys in his band, so stay tuned.


Rachtman: Now, see who’s got the counterfeit watch and ho’s got the real one. They guys in the rock bands got the real one. I’ve got the counterfeit. That’s a whole another story! Right now we’re with Gilby Clarke and this is Will, who also plays in the band. And when did you basically get set up in Gilby’s band?

Will Effertz: Well, like you said, we played before in a band called The Blackouts. And then he was on tour with Guns N’ Roses. And then, when he came back...

Gilby: “Let’s get the band and take it out on the road. Come on.” (laughs)

Rachtman: Yeah, like, “But this time we’re not gonna call it The Blackouts, we’ll call it Gilby Clarke!”


Racthman: And everybody’s like, “Oooh!”

Gilby: “Oooh!” (laughs)

Racthman: “We’ll call it what?!” But it’s kind of nice. I mean, not to just, like, say nice things about Gilby, but back in, like, the late 80s, when all the bands were starting to make it, Gilby was one of the ones that was one of the few people in L.A. that everybody kind of got along with.

Gilby: Oh yeah. Yeah.

Rachtman: No, I was asking Will. You were not supposed to say that.

Gilby: (Laughs) (?)

Racthman: He was supposed to say yes.

Gilby: I’m silly now.

Racthman: So it was nice that you kind of got a lot of the old guys together to go out and play.

Gilby: Yeah.

Will: Yeah.

Racthman: What are some of the stuff that you’re listening to right now? Cuz going out on the road, you get to be exposed to so many different types of bands.

Gilby: Yeah, we always go, you know, to a record store, do our raid and everything. But you turned me on to a band, Rancid. That’s a really good record.

Rachtman: (?) my video from them.

Gilby: And Green Day. Green Day is really, really good.

Racthman: So you like a lot of little punk stuff.

Gilby: Yeah. I mean, that’s stuff we always liked. As long as the guitars are loud and angry, that’s cool.

Racthman: And do you have, like, a lot of local bands opening up for you and you guys go out and play?

Gilby: We’re taking a band called The Buddhaheads, which is a local band from a L.A. Remember B.B. Chungking?

Rachtman: Yes.

Gilby: He’s gonna be opening for us.

Rachtman: Oh, really?

Gilby: Yes.

Rachtman: Right on.

Gilby: And then we always have, like, a local band, you know, first on the bill.

Rachtman: And how long does this tour...

Gilby: This is gonna go – I mean, we’re pretty much hooked up through, like, next spring, you know, cuz we’re going all over. We’re going to South America, we’re going –

Rachtman: Last night you played on a boat?

Gilby: We played on a boat –

Rachtman: I heard you almost got sick on the boat?

Will: No, no, no. Just a rumor.  


Rachtman: See, Guns N’ Roses was playing a big thing, like football arenas. Gilby Clarke and his band play boats.

Gilby: Boats (laughs).

Racthman: We’re gonna be back with Gilby, and we’ve also got a video from Pantera coming up. And something from Stabbing Westwards. So stay tuned.


Rachtman: We’re back on the Headbanger’s Ball. And this is Marc who plays drums with Gilby Clarke. And Marc has also been around for a while and played and -

Marc Danzeisen: Featured. Featured everywhere (laughs).

Rachtman: Have you been on the show before?

Marc: No, but I should have been.

Rachtman: Did we talk to you when you were with –

Marc: Not with – numerous bands.

Rachtman: You’re sure?

Marc: No.

Rachtman: Tell me about some of the bands that you played with.

Marc: Oh, man, name dropping.


Marc: Let’s see. Okay, I drummed for Little Ceasar, River Dogs, Francis X and The Bushman –

Rachtman: Right. (?)


Marc: Boyz II Men... Oh, God.

Rachtman: Because you used to be called Bell Biv DeVoe Marc.


Rachtman: When he was called Bell Biv DeVoe Marc, and then he did fit on the t-shirt and they got rid of you for some reason.

Marc: I had a drum set.

Rachtman: But so far how has the tour been going?

Marc: Great! Slamming.

Rachtman: When you’re playing are people always going up to you going, “Play a Guns N’ Roses song”?

Gilby: (Laughs) They start out like that, you know, all the guys in the front row and stuff. And after a while they forget about it – you know, once we get going and everything. But they’re pretty cool. Like I said, they’re all rock ‘n’ roll fans. It’s just like, they don’t care, as long it’s loud, they don’t understand what I’m saying, it’s fun...

Rachtman: And you’ve had some changes in your personal life now?

Gilby: Yes, I have!

Rachtman: You’re a papa?

Gilby: I’m a papa. I had a baby girl named Francesca.

Rachtman: So is it really tough being out on the road now? Because, I mean, your wife almost had a baby while you were out on the road.

Gilby: Yeah, well, Daniela is used to it by now. It’s like, I mean, we’ve been together for a long time, and over those years, like back in the Seaworld days and stuff, we couldn’t afford to have her come out, so now I can have her around all the time.

Rachtman: Mmm-mmm.

Gilby: But Marc had a baby three days after.

Rachtman: Geez!

Marc: The wives called each other.

Gilby: Riki, you’re married now! (laughs)

Rachtman: I have no babies though. No babies.


Rachtman: We’re gonna play a video right now. We’re gonna come back with more on the Headbanger’s Ball. This is Stabbing Westward.

[Video break]

Rachtman: We’re back on the Headbanger’s Ball. Coming up in just a little bit we’ve got part 2 with Dominic on what’s happening in the world of music according to Dominic. So that’ll be coming back in just a little bit. And we’re here with Gilby Clarke. Now, were you writing some of your music while you were out on the road with Guns N’ Roses? Or were you writing it before you were with Guns N’ Roses? Or how is this music being written?

Gilby: Some of this stuff was before GNR - you know, when we were playing in The Blackouts and stuff. And then, some of it I wrote on the road, but, you know, I didn’t have any time to write songs and stuff while we were out. But, as soon as I got off the road is when I went in to make it, you know, just a – I didn’t know what we were gonna do with GNR, so I just wanted to go in as fast as possible.

Rachtman: Now, obviously there’s a lot of people that are going to the shows because they know you as Gilby Clarke from Guns N’ Roses and getting turned on to your music. What would be the way that you could kind of tell people, you know, what type of music you guys are? Because a lot of people are just gonna go, which is good.

Gilby: Yeah.

Rachtman: You have a built-in following to play music that nobody has ever heard, which is good and also tough, though.

Gilby: Yeah. Well, I think we’re retro (laughs).

Rachtman: (Laughs) I just like these words, “new wave.”

Gilby: (Laughs) I like these new words. We’re kind of retro new wave.

Rachtman: Grungy.

Gilby: Yeah, grungy.

Rachtman: Grungy new wave.

Gilby: Grunge punk (laughs). But, I mean, it’s -

Rachtman: I mean, there is a lot of the 70s influences and –

Gilby: Yeah, there’s a lot of it out of that. But, I mean, it really is just like – it’s kind of like the old-fashioned rock ‘n’ roll. But we’re really loud, you know, the way that we play and everything. And we play, like, old Bowie songs, like I said before a lot of Stones stuff... But it really is just like real old-fashioned kind of rock ‘n’ roll.

Rachtman: How much time did you spend in the studio?

Gilby: Not a lot (laughs).

Rachtman: Cuz sometimes I hear, like, Guns has spent years in the studio. Sometimes, like take a rock ‘n’ roll record, you can do it in, like – I mean, how much time did you spend working on it?

Gilby: Well, we took, like, about three months to make it, and that was too much longer than I wanted to do it. So I kind of like (?). “I know you wanna work harder on it,” “Nah, it’s just fine, man, let’s just leave it.”

Rachtman: And you were working on any type of videos that we’re gonna have?

Gilby: Yeah, we got – well, you guys have “Cure me...” and we just finished –

Rachtman: We just played it.

Gilby: You just played it. And we’re gonna do – we just did a new video for Tijuana Jail and we had Slash in it, cuz he played the guitar on it and everything. And now that’s gonna be really cool.

Rachtman: And are there a lot of people that you’ve always been – now that you’re, you know, a known musician, being a fan of so many other bands, are there people now that you get to kind of come in contact with?

Gilby: Yeah! I mean, what’s cool is I get to meet a lot of people that, you know, I admired over the years. Like I met Ron Wood, hung out with him a little bit. And Mick Ronson, before he passed away; he’s, like, one of my guitar idols.

Rachtman: Very cool. Stay tuned. We’ve got more Headbanger’s Ball.

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