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1989.09.DD - Metal Hammer (Germany) - Revolution Calling (Izzy)

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1989.09.DD - Metal Hammer (Germany) - Revolution Calling (Izzy) Empty 1989.09.DD - Metal Hammer (Germany) - Revolution Calling (Izzy)

Post by Blackstar on Mon Mar 02, 2020 2:08 pm

Big thanks to @Surge for sending us this interview!

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1989.09.DD - Metal Hammer (Germany) - Revolution Calling (Izzy) 1988-021
1989.09.DD - Metal Hammer (Germany) - Revolution Calling (Izzy) 1988-022
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1989.09.DD - Metal Hammer (Germany) - Revolution Calling (Izzy) 1988-024
1989.09.DD - Metal Hammer (Germany) - Revolution Calling (Izzy) 1988-027

Translation by Soulmonster:
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REVOLUTION CALLING
 
While everyone is waiting for the new album by the most dangerous band in the world, they are holding back when the drooling public asks for more information about the next long player. Getting an interview with one of the musicians at the moment is almost impossible. The Gunners don't feel like it, and for good reason - on the one hand they want to rest after 14 eventful and stressful months on tour, on the other hand they want to concentrate and work undisturbed on the record, which is perhaps the most important of their careers. It has to be proven that the sensational success of APPETITE FOR DESTRUCTION was not a coincidence and the band is very well able to defend and expand its position at the top with an album of the same quality.
 
Guns N' Roses is no longer a purely American phenomenon. At first it seemed as if only the US kids had realized that the band was the biggest thing since the invention of sliced ​​bread. APPETITE FOR DESTRUCTION kept climbing up the billboard charts and easily passed every hurdle, such as Def Leppard, on its way to first place. The title of the mega-seller of the defeated competition, HYSTERIA, aptly describes how the American rock world reacted to the appearance of Guns N'Roses. Platinum en masse was the result.
 
The Guns N' Roses virus has proven to not be contained in the New World. Precious metals have already been handed over in Japan and England, and Germany will be added to the long list of G N'R strongholds these days when APPETITE FOR DESTRUCTION exceeds the limit of 250,000 copies sold, gaining gold status.
 
In plain language this means that millions of fans around the world are excited about the new work of the Gunners and expect a lot from the band. The pressure is enormous and to withstand it and to create another excellent album should be anything but an easy game that the quintet, ambitious as it is, but wants to win at all costs. No wonder that they isolate themselves and refuse any request for an audience in order to be able to take the big matriculation examination undisturbed.
 
The fact that we nevertheless came to an interview with Izzy Stradlin is due to a happy circumstance. It happened that the guitarist was just in Germany when everybody's Manfred E. celebrated his umpteenth birthday. Through a friend, Izzy found the way to a cozy drink in the ad manager's domicile, where we took the opportunity to catch up on the latest news about the new Guns N' Roses album in our news section. This led to a longer conversation that deviated from the actual topic more than once and still seemed interesting enough to us to turn it into more than just a 'news'.
 
What is the reason for your stay in Europe? The trip has nothing to do with the band, promotion etc.
 
,,No. You could say I have been in exile for seven or eight months, travel here, travel there - as I feel like it. I don't have a really permanent place where I always am. Of course, I spend a lot of time in Los Angeles. In three, maybe four weeks I will go back there and meet with the band. When will the issue with this interview appear? In September? Then it's too early to talk about certain things. But I can already tell you that we're going to do two gigs with the Rolling Stones on the west coast. Further shows are still being negotiated, but October 19th and 20th are confirmed. Then we open the Colliseum in LA for the Stones ... and bury them!
 
It cannot be ruled out that we will already have half the record in the box, because as soon as I am back we will record the basic tracks for the new album. In a perfect world the record would have been on the market long ago, then we would have gone straight to the studio after the last gigs in Japan, Australia and New Zealand and recorded the part. But nothing's perfect, you know? It just didn't work.”
 
Was there a reason for that?
 
,,Reasons ... Let me put it this way. It's always the same with Guns N' Roses, when we're ready, we do something, and at the time, we just weren't ready. Each of us tries to get ahead and not stand still, but sometimes the process is very slow, like in this case.”
 
Were the changed living conditions for you perhaps one of the causes? Since its great success, nothing is the way it used to be. Everyone wants something from you. The impact of APPETITE FOR DESTRUCTION undoubtedly has an effect ...
 
,,... especially in America, man, you don't have a quiet minute anymore. Impact ... The impact is different in America. This is a very troubled country anyway. I don't know what's going to happen there in the next twelve months. But if my intuition is not deceiving me, if my ideas are only half reality, then there will be an explosion. America is facing a huge uprising.”
 
A rebellion?
 
"Yes, a very violent uprising, carried out with baseball bat and firearms, cannons of all kinds."
 
What makes you so sure that this will happen?
 
,,It's a feeling. I have visited every state in America for the past two years and have always had this mild feeling in my stomach that the soup is starting to boil over. People are fed up with all the shit in the United States. They'll grab baseball bats and cannons and start something that will make huge waves all over the country. You have the faxes thick of the bullshit.”
 
What exactly do you mean by bullshit?
 
"Bullshit ... For example, the cops throw you in jail just because you smoked a joint. You get thrown there for every small thing. America is a great country to live in, but ... the shit will hit the fan this year, and that's our big problem because we're right in front of the fan. The kids just watched it long enough and don't want it anymore , I have spoken to many, everywhere, in every state. They are fed up with the randomness of the cops.”
 
And probably also of ridiculous laws that are so easily exceeded. You can be prosecuted on the beach in Malibu if you only drink a beer.
 
"Malibu? That is a 100% jail time. They catch you there with a beer in hand and book you in for at least 48 hours. Then when you pay $ 200, they may let you out. That's bullshit. The country no longer wants to do this to itself. The kids, I know some who have been put in a correctional facility for a year, which is like a prison. There they watch each of your steps on monitors. And all because the boys smoked in a joint.

In the Midwest and on the West Coast, they believe it is the best way to address drug abuse with determination. Bullshit. In New York, they don't care if you have a three-leaf book. They are even glad that you only smoke one joint and not kill anyone.”
 
What do you think an uprising will change?
 
“The cops will be put in their place; I know the kids will go that far. I've seen it at every one of our gigs in the past 14 months. We also played ballads and ... (He thinks for a long time.) As a musician you want to give people something with your music. You want it to come over to the fans. I often wish that they really listen to the song. But then we play a ballad in front of 20,000 people and in the first three meters in front of the stage they beat their heads in. Mind you, with a ballad. That shows me how much frustration there is.
 
It's all because of the cops, the damn cops who think they can do what they want. If they catch you doing anything in LA, you may be lucky to have a California ID card, because then they may let you go. But if your ID card was issued in Indiana, New York or Florida, you will go downtown. My little brother visited me in LA and came from Indiana. The first night he got drunk in the Rainbow and was arrested by the cops. He had no beer with him (drinking alcohol on the street is illegal in the United States), he was just very drunk, and that's why they put him in jail.”
 
Do the cops treat you differently now that you are rich and famous?
 
"Logical. If someone has money, they know it, and then they try to somehow get their share of the money. You have to protect yourself, they say. If you don't respond to their ideas,  they try with intimidation and blackmail. They just want your money. If you don't give them any, you're the ass.
 
I had bought a house at home in Indiana, in the middle of nowhere. The cops grabbed some kids and said. Guys, we're going to tell you where one from Guns N' Roses lives. That's how they handle it. The only bad thing was that I immediately sold the place again. I have an instinct for it, if you want to make me a fool, I always react pretty quickly.
 
But anyway, America is fermenting, and when we go on tour again, it will explode. I'm hanging around here in Europe now because I want to get away from all the crap. Too often I've got hit in the face for nothing. Some people over there feel like they are going to give you a rubdown just because you are a member of Guns N' Roses.”
 
The cops too?
 
"I got pissed off by cops and stupid assholes in some shitty cities. What the hell? You keep going. There is nothing else you can do but keep going. This group will do their thing until each of us has died. For the simple reason that there seem to be enough people who like our music. In every city we have been in, the kids have given us a great reception. That makes it worth it, you understand?"
 
You were recently in Chicago to put together the material for the new album ...
 
,,A brutal city. Maybe not as violent as the south of the States, but by no means the right place for choir boys. We thought it was a cute, peaceful town, not far from the place that Axl (W. Rose - vocals) and I come from. I have to admit afterwards that it was a damn bad idea. Chicago is typical America. What is typical America? If you have enough money, you go to a shop and buy a machine gun. Then you simply shoot all your problems away. If you have this mentality, you can do it easily, and many in the USA have this mentality: I'm buying a UZI now, so let's see if I and the idiots can not settle our differences. As we sit and talk here, probably someone in America is trying to resolve a conflict this way. It's crazy, but it's true.
 
America, as I just said, is a great country to live in, but I always have my phase where I have to go somewhere else to escape the hustle and bustle and just relax. That's why I'm here. I really don't mind people coming up to me and saying hey Izzy, I think your band is awesome. But sometimes it's too much, people go too far. Europe is more relaxed than America in every respect. Here all this shit is an exception rather than an everyday occurrence. I saw too many people over there who got their teeth knocked in for no reason or were even shot. I don't like it, but you get used to it.”
 
How can you get used to something like that?
 
,,How? I've been living in Los Angeles for almost nine years - any questions? (He laughs.) That's how it goes there. As I said before, man, while we're talking here someone in LA might be getting filled with lead from an UZI. But we were talking about Chicago, weren't we? We put the album together there.”
 
Although Chicago, according to you, wasn't exactly what you can call an environment that encourages creativity?
 
“It was a very intense environment. But that was OK, because our music has always been intense; maybe it needs such a push. In Chicago we cobbled together nine or ten songs within three nights. No problem, man, after a few start-up problems, things went like clockwork. I mean, we lived in a bus for 14 months - Stevie (Adler - drums) , Duff (McKagan - bass) , Slash (guitar ), Axl and me. In that time we wrote all the music. What else can you do while touring? You live on the bus and in hotels, so you just use the gaps and compose the basic structure of a song.
 
I will say, we came to Chicago and the songs just needed to be brought into the final form. We had a studio there and - importantly - our guitars. Axl and I sat down and put together a list of over 30 titles. In three nights we tore it down. It was cool. The cops came and asked questions. They always want to be part of the action. As I said, Chicago was very intense. Even creative in this regard.”
 
Did the atmosphere influence the songs to such an extent that, say, you have become more musically aggressive?
 
"No, I wouldn't say that. We played the way we always play. We don't even think about that. For me that's okay.
 
This band releases another album, which I see as a blessing from God. Why? Because we've survived all that shit so far, and as long as we live, we'll keep going.”
 
It kind of reminds me of a quote in the press info about APPETITE FOR DESTRUCTION. It supposedly came from an employee of your Geffen Records label, and the wording was something like: Guns N 'Roses can become one of the most successful bands in the world ...
 
"...if they live long enough or something. Man, I've heard the shit at least a million times.

We left Los Angeles to do our first tour, and people were betting over $ 10,000 to $ 20,000! Liket this: Guns N 'Roses will not survive three days on tour. We survived 14 months!”
 
You sound like you thought it was a miracle.
 
"It's a small one, I think. And we will do more. As a musician, you have no other alternative. Each of us has made enough money to spend the rest of our lives the way we want - unfortunately no one knows how he wants to live in the future. The fact is: everyone knows that the music has made us what we are. This sting is deep. If I fly back to LA, I'll get off the plane. have a guitar and a bag in my hand and that's all that interests me. I know we'll make another record. That is enough for me and confirms me as a musician. That will probably never change. That's an attitude, you know?”
 
Wie Joe Perry sagte: 'Once a rocker, always a rocker'.
 
"Maybe, man, maybe. It may be so. I dont know."
 
Have you ever thought about living after Guns N 'Roses?
 
"Yes. There is none. We die too early for that. ”
 
Then the pessimist shimmers through.
 
"I am one. Man, I live in America (laughs). In a damn pessimistic country. It may look optimistic when you are politically active and have the illusory world of God’s own country in front of your eyes, but the street is the reality and it gives you anything but an optimistic feeling.
 
I mean, you told me yourself how you were robbed 50 yards from your New York hotel. That is everyday life. I was in New York for two days, got smashed [?] and was robbed too. The boys pocketed ten dollars because luckily I had left my other stuff in the hotel. One guy had a gun in his hand and threatened me. He didn't want to shoot me, he just wanted my flaps. So I gave it to him, said take the ten dollars, fucker, that's all I have with me!
 
What should I do? You have a choice between your life and ten dollars and that is not worth the fun. If you play the hero, the wanker bangs you over the head and takes the ten bucks, possibly also your jacket, your boots, your passport and if he is in a bad mood, he will even cut your ass. Then you really have nothing left! Or?"
 
Absolutely!
 
“America is a violent country. God knows why. I live in this country and all I see is violence. That bothers me. I am 27 years old and I want to have some of what I have achieved. I am not demanding. I just want to live a peaceful life."
 
Is this wish compatible with the self-imposed 'bad boy' image?
 
"FUCK the bad boy image, man! I want to find this peace, but it doesn't work as hard as I try. I think I can count myself lucky if I only have two or three seconds of rest in the next five years, and the rest of the time is just shit. I can live with that, of course. But somehow everyone longs to find peace, right?
 
This image, that image ... the problem is - no matter what hole in the States you live in - you need a gun or at least a pistol. Because otherwise some asshole will come into your house and burn your fur if you don't give him what he needs. Then you are history, maybe appear again in the newspaper: 'This person left us yesterday. We are sad.'
 
I was away for three days and these motherfuckers get in there and steal three guitars, my VCR and other things. If only I had been there! I would have shot them to pieces. I would have taken the gun and completely re-papered my walls with the guys. You have to defend yourself in the USA, otherwise they will steal everything you own. I learned my lesson. I come from a small town in Indiana that is nowhere to be found. Maybe 3,000 people live there. But I've learned my lesson.”
 
To come back to the band ...
 
,,The band is the ticket. Guns N'Roses is my life. I spent so much time with the boys. If they are buried, I will be buried with them. It's like ... if this band dies, I die too.
 
But before that, I'll go back to the west coast and we'll play at the Colliseum on October 19 and 20. Imagine. Man! This is the largest stadium there, 60,000, maybe 70,000 people have space there. I'm not sure I'm right with the capacity, but it's definitely the largest stadium on the West Coast.
 
When I left Chicago and drove this car to the west coast to start this band, I passed the Colliseum. Now I'm playing in the Colliseum. it seemed so out of reach at the time that I never even dreamed of playing in it!”
 
So you drove to the west coast by car and not the Greyhound bus?
 
,,FUCK that shit! That was Axl. How he can spend so much time in the Greyhound is beyond me. I'll always be there sooner than him because I'm driving a car. The Greyhound is slow. You go with him from New York to Chicago and it takes five days. If you hitchhike, you need two. If you have your own wagon, you can do it in one day...”
 
(He asks for a cigarette, lights it calmly and deviates unexpectedly and radically from the last topic after a few puffs.)
 
,,This album was shit, this LIES album was shit.”
 
If I remember correctly, the purpose of LIES was useful, because die-hard fans in the States for an original copy of your LIVE LIKE A SUICIDE EP, which was re-released on LIES, suddenly had to pay more than 100 dollars. At least that is what I was told in the Geffen office.

,,100 dollars is nothing, man. I was at a Stones concert in 1981 and they sold backstage passes for no less than $900. So what are 100 bucks?
 
But you're right, that was one of the justifications for LIES. Still, the thing doesn't count for me. IT DOESN'T MATTER, do you understand?”
 
Understand.
 
“Before APPETITE FOR DESTRUCTION was produced, we recorded 30 to 40 songs as demos. I'm not going to say that the demos were better than LIES stuff, but ... let's just forget about LIES, OK?”
 
OK. However, Axl told me something two years ago that you almost confirmed. He would have loved to see APPETITE FOR DESTRUCTION released as a double album because there were so many songs available. At that time, he said, Geffen got in the way because Guns N' Roses were nobodies and if they were debuting with a double LP, market-wise it would have been impossible.
 
“Axl always does everything double. I want to fuck two girls now. Now I want to hit two guys who have booed us. This is his lifestyle, do you understand? Axl is just like that.”
 
But you now have a status that allows you to decide for yourself about prosperity and spoilage. If you want to release a double album, you can.
 
"Everything I can say about this from here ... where are we actually? Cologne? Oh, Dortmund, I forgot. No matter, man, what I can tell you now is that I'm going back to LA, then it will be recorded. We have almost 40 songs in our pockets. Not all of them are fully worked out, but if we record 20 tracks, it may be a double album. I myself have no need to release 20 or 30 songs to the public right now, but if we do it, we will do it.”
 
How do you write a song?
 
"When I'm drunk, I start writing."
 
Do the others do the same?
 
"No, just me. The others always take a long time. I write a song in three minutes, it takes them two months. 'Mr. Brownstone’, for example, I wrote it in five minutes. 'Think About You' in maybe two. I don't want to show off, but it doesn't take long for me. I have a lot of patience with the other guys. ‘Patience,’ you know? ”
 
Back then Axl also said that originally a musician from his fave band Nazareth was supposed to produce APPETITE FOR DESTRUCTION. In the end, Mike Clink was at the controls.
 
“Back then we wasted a lot of money flying people from Scotland to LA. Axl said that the guy (Manny Charlton - guitar) had a hell of a lot of credits as a producer on some Nazareth albums, and Axl wasn't that wrong. As I said, we let Manny fly over and Slash and I drove him through some valley. What did he say? Boys, the last inspection of this car was a long time ago, wasn't it? Cars are not inspected in America, so you can buy a part for $ 100. I loved him, but firstly he was too scared and secondly he did a bad job. We lived in this studio for 72 hours, doing nothing but recording. You can find many of the things on bootlegs now. In that sense: The session brought us NOTHING!”
 
What about new song titles?

"I'll tell you three: 'Could Be Mine', 'Rock 'n' Roll Rose' and 'November Rain'."
 
And who will produce? Mike Clink again?
 
"I produce, man. I buy a studio. Now switch off the tape ... ”
 
Oliver Klemm
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Post by Surge on Mon Mar 02, 2020 6:50 pm

That was great. He sheds light on a number of things here that it's interesting to see his take on. I've delved into Izzy stuff lately and he's definitely near the height of his paranoid period here. I think in retrospect, he should be glad he wasn't in Indiana during that break in in his house.
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Post by Soulmonster on Mon Mar 02, 2020 7:02 pm

@Surge wrote:That was great. He sheds light on a number of things here that it's interesting to see his take on. I've delved into Izzy stuff lately and he's definitely near the height of his paranoid period here. I think in retrospect, he should be glad he wasn't in Indiana during that break in in his house.


He really did come across as very paranoid in this period. The same impression from the The Face interview he did around the same time. I wonder how much this played into his decision to quit the band. Maybe it was simply drug-induced?
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Post by Blackstar on Mon Mar 02, 2020 7:17 pm

I agree with both of you about Izzy's paranoia during that time. Alan Niven also refers to it in a later source.
I think Izzy was in the phase of quitting heroin and trying to get through it by drinking too much (and possibly with other substances).
Ironically, considering his fear of the cops and him saying that he had gone to Europe to escape from them (among other things), he would be arrested for peeing in the plane during his returning flight from Europe to L.A.

Another interesting thing in this interview is what Izzy says about the writing process in Chicago. It seems that he and Axl worked together there, probably after the rest of the band had left.
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Post by Surge on Mon Mar 02, 2020 7:31 pm

@Soulmonster wrote:
He really did come across as very paranoid in this period. The same impression from the The Face interview he did around the same time. I wonder how much this played into his decision to quit the band. Maybe it was simply drug-induced?


Seems to me that Izzy was always a little paranoid, even after he quit drugs. I was a little bit in touch with him at some point and he seemed that way even then. When you look at interviews from the early 90s, he gave a thousand different reasons for leaving, but the ones that truly stand out is that he was afraid of another Donington/one or his band members dying/himself relapsing. We can only speculate about what went through Izzy's head as he sat there waiting for the late Axl most nights on that leg of the UYI tour, but he did say he did not like it and that he was afraid of the consequences of Axl's suddenly leaving the stage/not showing.

The other main reason for leaving is that he lost his hand on the wheel. That makes this interview interesting. He says he and Axl wrote down 30 songs and they did those. That would've been unthinkable 12-18 months later as Slash and Axl had taken over completely.

Real shame how those guys never saw that they had to give Izzy some input to keep him in the band.
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Post by Soulmonster on Tue Mar 03, 2020 8:17 am

@Blackstar wrote:Another interesting thing in this interview is what Izzy says about the writing process in Chicago. It seems that he and Axl worked together there, probably after the rest of the band had left.

Yeah, those quotes fitted nicely in this chapter: https://www.a-4-d.com/t4046p120-the-history-in-their-own-words#15965
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Post by Soulmonster on Tue Mar 03, 2020 8:19 am

@Surge wrote:
@Soulmonster wrote:
He really did come across as very paranoid in this period. The same impression from the The Face interview he did around the same time. I wonder how much this played into his decision to quit the band. Maybe it was simply drug-induced?



Seems to me that Izzy was always a little paranoid, even after he quit drugs. I was a little bit in touch with him at some point and he seemed that way even then. When you look at interviews from the early 90s, he gave a thousand different reasons for leaving, but the ones that truly stand out is that he was afraid of another Donington/one or his band members dying/himself relapsing. We can only speculate about what went through Izzy's head as he sat there waiting for the late Axl most nights on that leg of the UYI tour, but he did say he did not like it and that he was afraid of the consequences of Axl's suddenly leaving the stage/not showing.

The other main reason for leaving is that he lost his hand on the wheel. That makes this interview interesting. He says he and Axl wrote down 30 songs and they did those. That would've been unthinkable 12-18 months later as Slash and Axl had taken over completely.

Real shame how those guys never saw that they had to give Izzy some input to keep him in the band.

I recently summarized the various reasons that have been given for Izzy's departure: https://www.a-4-d.com/t4046p210-the-history-in-their-own-words#16100
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Post by Soulmonster on Tue Mar 03, 2020 8:22 am

I have written a little bit about Izzy's paranoia inside another chapter, but I believe it deserves it's own chapter in the next revision.

Interestingly, I just spoke to Mike Staggs, who is a childhood friend of Axl, and he said Axl had always been a bit paranoid.
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Post by Soulmonster on Tue Mar 03, 2020 9:02 am

So the band considered recording the Hollywood Rose song 'Rock and Roll Rose' for the Illusions?
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1989.09.DD - Metal Hammer (Germany) - Revolution Calling (Izzy) Empty Re: 1989.09.DD - Metal Hammer (Germany) - Revolution Calling (Izzy)

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