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2001.07.DD - Guns N' Roses Brazil Fan Site - Interview with Fernando Lebeis

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2001.07.DD - Guns N' Roses Brazil Fan Site - Interview with Fernando Lebeis Empty 2001.07.DD - Guns N' Roses Brazil Fan Site - Interview with Fernando Lebeis

Post by Blackstar on Mon Apr 27, 2020 10:59 am

The original text in Portuguese, listed here
https://web.archive.org/web/20020610185151/http://gunsnroses.mercadors.com/artigos.htm
is not accessible via archive.org.
There are various English translations, slightly different, around, so parts may be paraphrased. I picked the wordings that make more sense and changed the grammar a bit. I relied mainly on this translation:
http://www.mygnrforum.com/topic/170189-old-fernando-interview/

-------------

Q: When did you move to the U.S.?

F: In '93 or '94.

Q: Did you already know GNR?

F: I knew them, but I wasn't a fan, I didn't know their work in depth.

Q: What was the first time you saw Axl like?

F: The first time I met him I was 13, and I was at my cousin Stephanie's house (Beta was married to the model's uncle). I was washing the car when he stopped, grabbed my hand and spat the water he had in his mouth on me. Since then, he has always joked with me. He sees in me someone close to what he'd like to have been when he was a child.

Q: Do you go out together?

F: Well, we're always working, but he likes to go out at night, go to the movies, have dinner, and we come back home around 3 to 4 am.

Q: How did your mom start working for Axl?

F: My mom worked for Stephanie, and when she was fired she went to Northern California and Axl called  the next day saying he had liked her and our family. Three or four days later, she started to work for him. So I began to listen to his songs.

Q: What do you think about Stephanie?

F: I hate her. She's a synonym for trouble. Fake, not to be trusted, doesn't know what being in love is or liking someone without having other interests in the relationship. Her mother is also like this.

Q: What kind of woman is Axl searching for right now?

F: He's not searching. His focus is on the album, he doesn't want any distractions. He sometimes looks for women, but he's not running after women.

Q: What's the reason for the delay of the new album?

F: It's like, every time he tries to do something, something always goes wrong. Like everything was going well, but suddenly the guy who's responsible for some technical detail makes a mistake, for example. I can say it because I was with him in the studio and it's unbelievable, it's like something tries to pull him away from this project. I've listened to the new record, and I can say that all the songs are beautiful, not even one track is filler. The record may have 16 or 17 songs and they're all very strong. I don't say this because I work for him, or because I'm his friend. My friends, for example, whenever they listen to any of the songs, they always say it’s very good. "Catcher in the Rye," "That's Called the Blues," "Chinese Democracy," they are all very beautiful.

Q: What's the creative process like?

F: First, Axl works on the rhythm with the band. He already has the lyrics in his mind. He's working very hard to see what kind of word fits exactly to the words he's already got in his mind and to the sound he's listening to. He's one of the brightest people I've ever known.

Q: Rolling Stone published an article saying Axl throws Halloween parties every year. Is it true?

F: I think it started in '95. But RS published this article saying people were there only out of obligation, which was a lie. He throws two kind of parties: the first one is during daytime, for children, friends' kids and poor kids, abused by their parents, blind... About a hundred kids come to the party, and when they arrive they get amazed. He makes like an amusement park with toys and everything else. The other one is for adults, and RS said people were hating the party, that we're serving Jose Cuervo when in fact we're serving the best tequila, we serve the best one can buy. We even rented a tequila fountain, but RS didn't mention that. The people who came were the same as every year, they always call a few days before the party asking asking about it. This is one of the few parties Axl does. People think his house is surrounded by booze and loud music, but that's not true. He only drinks tequila and never gets drunk or mad, he's the most kind person I know. He's always kind to my friends, and every time trouble comes close, he turns around and walks away.

Q: What about the internet?

F: He likes to surf, he could spend hours, but when he reads lies about him and can't do anything, he gets upset. The fans read the public chats and the stories are repeated so many times that they start to believe them.

Q: What do you know about Xozi and Renato [that Axl mentioned at Rock in Rio]?

F: I can't remember, but there are people who are specialized in spreading lies or posting private phone numbers and personal addresses. They must be one of these people.

Q: And what about Karen McNeil?

F: She's a person who needs help. Once she followed the maid and got into the house. She's scary, she thinks Axl communicates with her through letters and, go figure, she thinks he has some love relationship with my mom, which is not ture. But she thinks that if it weren't for my mom, Axl would marry her.

Q: What's the relationship between Axl and Slash?

F: They haven't talked to each other for years. But it's a relationship in which people see Axl as the villain. If something went wrong, whose fault is it? If Slash does something, nobody even gets to know, like Snakepit, and what's so special about this album? It's not on any MTV charts, nobody buys it, but "Slash is the key of GNR," "GNR is Slash and Axl"... He was a good guitarist, but it's not like that, Axl doesn't have to be blamed for everything. Slash has used drugs and has been in the hospital because of an overdose, and that's no big deal, but if it was Axl... For example, one of these days I was home when I saw someone running in the garden. Axl's room is above mine, so I thought the person might have jumped through Axl's window and run. I went to his room and knocked the door but Axl was in the shower and didn't hear it, and I called the police. When they arrived, the paramedics came along and said they were here to help someone who OD'd. I never mentioned anything about an overdose, they just assumed the emergency was an overdose because it was Axl's house. Slash wanted to end Guns, take the band to clubs. Axl told him it wasn't possible, they couldn't play for 1000 people when they attracted crowds of 200,000. But if Axl had agreed with Slash, people would blame him for the failure of the idea.

Q: So, this is Axl's version for Slash leaving Guns N' Roses?

F: Everybody talks about Axl's version and Slash's version. There is no Axl's version, because what he says is the truth. Axl doesn't lie, he only speaks the truth. But Slash wanted the Snakepit songs on the Guns album and Axl didn't want them. So he started making things difficult. He wouldn't accept other songs except his own songs.

Q: And why did Duff leave?

F: He quit because he wanted a family. His daughter was born and he wanted time for his family. That's what I've heard, I don't know anything about the legal process. They were friends, but they haven't called each other in years.

Q: What is your personal opinion about Slash?

F: I met him when I was still a kid. He has a different... voice. I'm not friends with him. He knows me, he knows I'm Beta's son...

Q: Duff?

F: I think I saw him 3 or 4 times, but we never really talked. He seems to be a cool guy.

Q: Matt?

F: I don't like him. He thinks he's better than he really is.

Q: Buckethead?

F: He's very cool, he's like a child, he's the most gentle and kind person I know, besides Axl. We're very good friends.

Q: Brain?

F: Great, more than cool.

Q: Finck ?

F: He was criticized for playing Sossego, but do you know any other person who would do that? He learned that song one day before the show. Axl... Guns loves Brazil, they feel a connection with the fans, they really love it, without any pretense. Robin noticed that and saw Brazil in the same way. He learned to play it and sing it by himself.

Q: Does Axl speak Portuguese?

F: No, just a few dirty words.

Q: What is he like as a boss?

F: Everybody loves him, he's always willing to hear what you have to say. He pays very well, and always wants to know what's happening. But don't lie to him. If you do it, he says: "Well, if you're gonna lie to me, better go somewhere else." Even more if the lie has something to do with Guns.

Q: Are the rumors that Sabrina is his girlfriend true?

F: No, he trusts Sabrina, she's a great friend.

Q: What about Suellen?

F: Who?

Q: Is he pro Napster?

F: If it's for research, to see if you like something, he's pro. But if it's only to pick up songs for free, he's against.

Q: Now, I' m going to ask you a few things. You say if it's true or false. Did Axl pay millions for an exorcism?

F: (laughs) Lie.

Q: Did he dress as a prince to ask Stephanie to marry him? Whose idea was it?

F: There was a white horse... I think. I don't know whose idea it was.

Q: There's a Brazilian VJ, Cuca, who has stated that Axl flirted with her, but she didn't want him because he was short, stinky and ugly. Do you know anything about it?

F: Never heard about it, but he's not short, his height is about 1,75m, and I can confirm that he takes like two baths everyday. And ugly ... I don't think so. But this is personal. I didn't know this story.

Q: What are your musical tastes?

F: I'm not radical. I listen to everything that can offer something new, everything that has a flavor. I like rock, country, pagode, brazilian funk, opera, I don't have prejudices. Except for heavy metal, I don't like it.

Q: What did you miss the most when you left Brazil?

F: I was worried about moving and not knowing anybody, only my mom and my brother ... I missed my family and my friends.

Q: Which is your favorite Guns song?

F: "That's called the Blues" and "Patience".

Q: Is he happy?

F: Yes! He gets angry when people feel sorry for him, thinking he might be sad. He's happy!
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