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APPETITE FOR DISCUSSION
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.

Cheers!
SoulMonster

1994.01.DD - Hard Force Hors-Série (France) - Guns N' Roses Issue (Slash)

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1994.01.DD - Hard Force Hors-Série (France) -  Guns N' Roses Issue (Slash) Empty 1994.01.DD - Hard Force Hors-Série (France) - Guns N' Roses Issue (Slash)

Post by gnr* Thu Jun 04, 2020 6:18 pm

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Edit by Blackstar:
Translation of the two interviews (with Slash and Robert John) that were conducted for this special issue:

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

SLASH: A WORKAHOLIC
 
By Henry Dumatray
 
Guns N’ Roses topped Hard Force Magazine’s Readers’ Poll. We reached out to Slash at his home in Los Angeles to hear his reactions to the tidal wave that the group has generated among French fans. Relaxed, friendly and funny, he discusses his adventurous past and a very promising near future. The new album is expected to be released later this summer.
 
Guns N’ Roses has been voted Band of the Year by our readers. What do you think?
 
Slash: It's awesome and I'm very happy about it. This means that all the people we played for enjoyed the show! Obviously, I remember the dates we played in your country. What can I say? I think it's great that people love us so much. All I can say to them is a big thank you, and also that I hope to come back very soon. We’re currently working on a new album and we’ll be back in the near future.
 
"The Spaghetti Incident?" has been voted album of the year, Axl the best singer, Matt the second best drummer, Duff the best bassist, Dizzy the best keyboardist, "Use Your Illusion Tour" the second best home video, "November Rain" the third best video clip, your concert at Vincennes the third best concert, Axl sex symbol and you are tenth in the same category...
 
(Slash is listening without saying a word until he hears about the sex symbol category and starts laughing)
 
Slash: Sex symbol? Like what?! I don't know where they got that from!
 
Musician of the year: you, followed by Duff.
 
Slash: Wow!
 
You’re aso the best guitar player...
 
Slash: Stop fucking with me! You’re kidding, right?
 
Not at all!
 
Slash: I didn't know any of this.
 
Would you want to hear even more?
 
Slash: No, definitely not; my cheeks are hurting from smiling. I’m really very happy. It’s truly amazing. We’re a band that does what it wants to do. We’re not trying to go in a specific direction; our only ambition is to try and be good, that's all. When you consider the kind of band that we are, just making music without asking ourselves about it, it's obvious that we don't really know how we're doing. Everything is done in an intuitive way. What we want most all all is to give the best of ourselves and try to be good. We started playing together in this band to accomplish this one goal: to become a good rock 'n' roll band. And now I don't give a fuck about the bullshit rumors around the band and what people may say about the reputation that we have, because what satisfies me above all is that the kids distract themselves by listening to us and that they have the feeling that we're a good rock 'n' roll band. This is my purpose. This is what makes me happy and the results of this poll is a huge compliment to me.
 
Does the immense success you have experienced mean that you now have a lot of confidence in your ways?
 
Slash: Right now the band is working, and gotta say that I love it. I know these guys I work with are the best people in the world. So we’ve already written about fourteen new songs and we’ve had a lot of fun doing it. So much so that even when we go back to the studio - which takes a hell of a lot of work though - we're going to try to be as creative as possible. It will be new and fun, and I think it's going really well!
 
So vacation is definitely not your thing?
 
Slash: I can't stand still! As soon as the tour ended, I went to the studio with the other guys and we finished the last four tracks for "The Spaghetti Incident?". Then I left for New York to mix it with Bill Price. And even when we got back home, to our respective homes, I started to work. I can’t stop! I don’t like to rest. I have a studio in my house, so I recorded stuff.
 
But normal people like to rest, don't they?
 
Slash: No. In fact, my daily rest time is half an hour (an hour, at most) that I spend getting blowjobs by my wife! That’s the whole thing. Another thing I like to do is take a break for a couple of minutes and watch cooking shows on TV. And while I'm watching this kind of show, I'm thinking about what I'm going to do a little bit later in the day, what song needs to be finished, what I need to do to get there... All those things keep my mind busy all the time.
 
Your life is entirely devoted to music then?
 
Slash: 99%, yeah! I never stop playing. I like to work and make progress.
 
And the rest of the band, what are they doing?
 
Slash: Everyone is different. Duff is on tour with his own band, so he’s at work. Gilby is at home repairing what he can of the damage that was done to his house by the earthquake. Mine has been destroyed.
 
Really?
 
Slash: Yeah, I’ll have to move. To continue with what each band member is doing right now, Dizzy is at home with his wife and kids, Matt and I are working on new songs... Then we’ll all go in the studio, because we really want to do it, and we'll start pre-production. So, as of now, everyone is going about different kinds of stuff, but there’s a strong desire to get back together.
 
And you already have 14 songs!
 
Slash: Actually, I think we’ve got sixteen. (At this point, Slash talks to someone in his house and says, “And don't forget the tomatoes!” Genuine - we've got it on tape! – Ed.). They’re good songs and I think they’ll make a good album. It's very hard rock and very bluesy at the same time. Nothing's really finished yet. "Use Your Illusion" was a different thing, because we had so much material that we ended up putting two records out. Some songs were totally Guns N’ Roses and some others were... surprising. The next album will probably be more in the vein and spirit of "The Spaghetti Incident?" at least as far as the sound is concerned, because we’re going to record live and have a lot less samples. As for the music itself, it’s difficult to analyze right now, as we're not even in the pre-production stage yet. The only thing I can say right now is that it sounds really good.
 
What is your involvement in writing the material?
 
Slash: I share the task with the others. Since I have my own studio, I work like this: when I come up with an idea, I first play it on acoustic, and then Matt comes in and helps me develop it a bit. Then I do bass and guitars, and Matt sets the rhythm. Then Duff comes in - or Gilby, whatever - and they, in turn, add their input. Then Axl comes in and evolves the song further with his vocals. But it's really a collective band effort. Do you remember "Welcome To The Jungle"? I wrote the three little basic chords and then the whole band made it evolve and become what it ultimately became. It all depends on the way each one contributes, on how Axl will sing and how the others will feel about their parts.
 
Does the fact that you recorded an album like "The Spaghetti Incident?" urge you towards going to an even darker and more aggressive direction?
 
Slash: We do things in different ways all the time, and that's what makes it both interesting and fun. The whole point for us is to keep exploring; and I like it that way, because it challenges us to play exactly what we feel at a given moment.
 
Do you, basically, write for yourselves or for your audience? Since you have such a big audience, don't you feel obliged to mainly focus on it?
 
Slash: Yeah, we do care about what people think of our music, but... OΚ, that's a very important point you’re bringing up here. The reason you have an audience in the first place is because they like you just the way you are. So what becomes most important from that point of view is to remain above all yourself. You’ve got to record what feels right to you and then see how people react to it. If we didn't do that, we would definitely be like the Bee Gees or something like that! (laughs) In reality, you don't write for your audience, you write stuff hoping that people will like it afterwards. But for doing that, it’s necessary that you, the musician, appreciate what you do in the first place. That’s the first thing: love what you do. Then, if you feel confident enough, you let others listen to what you have done.
 
When you look back on the musical past of Guns N’ Roses, are there certain songs that you don't like as much as before?
 
Slash: No, because when you go into the studio, you really don't have any hindsight of what you're doing, and you mainly try to make sure that things get done in the best possible way. You are too close to your songs. At this point, an almost romantic relationship is developing between the song and you. So, I don't really have a favorite song, because I’ve established a strong emotional relationship with each of them. This is why there are no songs that I like less than the others. And then, once a song is recorded, I actually never listen to it again. To be honest, I don't even own a single Guns N’ Roses album.
 
Really?
 
Slash: I don't listen to anything after the album is finished and the only way for me to hear these songs is when we're on tour and playing them! Honestly, I try to navel gaze as less as possible. I don't have gold records at home, or Guns N’ Roses posters, or any of that shit. Once a recording is finished, and we all agree that it’s cool and the job is done, we just give it to the record company and that's it. I don't hear about it afterwards.
 
You are a top-selling band. Is this helpful when it comes to being able to get complete freedom of control over what you do from your label?
 
Slash: We’ve always been like this, doing what we wanted, since we started. At no time throughout our career has there been decisions taken outside the band. We've always had full control, but I should also add that our record label is very cool and they like it that way.
 
Including when it comes to releasing an album like "The Spaghetti Incident?". By the way, do you think that it’s really a punk cover album as has often been said?
 
Slash: No, this isn’t really the case. It's just Guns N’ Roses playing some punk songs, there’s a nuance. It’s not what you could call, strictly speaking, a punk record, because, moreover, the material that’s on there is very varied. It goes from the 50s to the 80s and there are different kinds of music that are represented.
 
It's true that the Skyliners, for example, is not a punk band...
 
Slash: No, it’s not, actually. And neither is T-Rex. Even the Dead Boys isn’t really what is generally considered to be a pure punk band, even though, in this particular case, it could be just said that it’s a “sort of punk” band. The common denominator is that all those bands shared the same spirit. People have the annoying tendency to put labels on everything: there’s heavy metal, hard rock, blues, fucking jazz fusion... But in the music that I appreciate the most, there’s always one common element, regardless of who plays it: it’s the attitude. What punk rock and rock ‘n’ roll in general – and even classical music – have in common is this willingness to go against what is usually done, this desire to do something different, to have beautiful melodies ... As far as I’m concerned, I buy from the rock 'n' roll store and that’s the word I’ll always be using. Okay, we've done covers of some punk bands, but we're not one, so that's what’s different about “The Spaghetti Incident?”
 
Do you personally think you have an attitude that could be described as "punk"?
 
Slash: When punk came out, there was some bands that I liked, but the majority of the ones that started out in the 80s really sucked! There was very few good ones, but it's also true that there was still a handful of damn good bands that had a sort of neo-punk attitude. Those are the ones that I appreciate. So there’s my answer to your question.
 
Do you think your audience shares your feeling of rebellion?
 
Slash: I don't know... Honestly, I have no idea.
 
Do you know the audience of Guns N’ Roses? Who are they?
 
Slash: I just know the people I meet on the street. Most of the time, they’re very nice. Then, of course, there’s those I see at the shows. I don't care how many records we sell and I don’t give a shit about what the press says, because it doesn't matter. As far as I’m concerned, the record comes out and if people like it, then we go on tour. That’s what my relationship with the public is all about. I’m interested in how people may react to our music, and I explain why it is the way it is to whoever wants to know, but I won’t  change the way I write and the way I think according the expectations of the audience. That's not how music should be! You put your emotions on tape, on record or on cd and then you see what people think of it. What else is there to do? I spent some time with the Stones recently and they’re recording an album. Believe me, they don't really care what people are going to think about it; it's their album, first and foremost.
 
What mood are you in now, and does that influence the writing of the next album?
 
Slash: There is, of course, this earthquake that we went through - by the way, all the tapes that I’ve recorded recently are titled "Earthquake 1", "2", "3". There’s a lot of things going on right now. At the same time, I’m very happy to get back together with the other guys in the band, because we’re really very close; it motivates me and I like it. But the world in general is completely nuts and there are hundreds of things that can inspire us. I couldn't really explain to you what central theme of the next album is, because there definitely not going to be a general direction. Let’s just say that each song will convey its own amount of emotions.
 
Maybe you can tell me about some of the things that inspired you to create the songs?
 
Slash: Yes, there are some things, but... I don't really want to talk about it just yet. It's still too early and things can still change.
 
Overall, what memories of 1993, which was rich in events for Guns N’ Roses, will you hold on to?
 
Slash: We toured a lot. There was a lot of us on this tour, around 90 people. The memories I’ll hold on to are mostly personal things, weddings, births, everything that happened in our entourage while we were on the road.
 
In any case, more personal feelings than scandals!
 
Slash: Fuck no, I don't give a shit about that! There’s always stuff like that in newspapers and magazines, totally made up; and, honestly, I don't care.
 
Isn't it hard not to sink into paranoia, when all the media is so focused on you and Guns N’ Roses in general?
 
Slash: No, I know things have happened to me... If you think about yourself as a person... then I tell myself that, anyway, I'm free to do whatever I want, as long as I don't kill anyone! Plus, I don’t need or want to maintain an image. The worst thing that ever happened to me was when I pulled off chicks in a bar. This story appeared in the "Times". My mom read it and called me afterwards! Other than that, nothing serious.
 
Now let's go back to the music, because that's what people are interested in...
 
Slash: ...This, what you just said, is big progress for us, because when we started, people didn't give a shit about our music and focused only on the scandals that we caused. Now we’re more interested in what we play and it’s much better that way. In any case, it must be pointed out that a magazine stays on the newsstands two months at best, while a record has a much longer lifespan; and that’s what we’d like to remain in people's memory for and not the various facts. Regardless of whatever happens, our music is always the best representation of who we really are.
 
Have you realized that Guns N’ Roses has become a major influence for many bands?
 
Slash: There’s a very cool aspect to that. Before we came out, the record companies saw that a certain type of band was doing well and from then on everything that came out had to be cut from the same cloth. Thankfully, someone wanted to sign us, although we were definitely the most drugged and irresponsible of the destructive bands. We played in clubs, we got pussy everywhere, we played loud... we were terrible! A guy saw our rock 'n' roll behind it all and wanted to sign us, because he liked it. We then opened doors for new attitudes. And now all the record companies in the world want to sign artists who have the same attitude as us. So it's good in a way, but it also goes to show that the industry will never change. There’s good bands that have been signed, but also many others who just copy us. But at least the industry has become open enough that some really hard rock bands can get a deal, and that's a really good thing.
 
What could possibly be stopping you?
 
Nothing has been able to stop us so far! (laughs) We ran into so many obstacles in our career that would have been enough to eradicate many bands, so I really don't know what could stop us from continuing. Nothing, really nothing, except sudden death! (laughs)
 
To conclude, what can we expect from Guns N’ Roses in 1994?
 
Slash: I don't know if we’ll still be leading your polls at the end of this year! What I do know, though, is that we're just going to try to move forward. We’ll try to finish the new album, with a little luck, by next summer. And from there everything will start over, there’ll be a tour, it’ll all take its course again. It’s not a certainty yet, but it's a big hope at this point!
 
***
 
F *** ING PICTURES!
 
By Emmanuel Potts
 
Robert John is the official photographer of Guns N’ Roses. Most of the photos in this special issue are from his archives, and there are plenty of them, as he has photographed the band since a memorable concert at the Country Club in LA in 1985! His career is closely linked to the Gunners to the point of becoming something like a full member, an advisor, a close friend...
 
When was your first meeting with Guns N’ Roses?
 
Robert John: I knew Izzy Stradlin before he joined Guns N’ Roses. I had become friends with him when he was playing with London from time to time. The first time I saw Axl on stage was when he was singing with LA Guns, who were opening for... London. Then I left Hollywood for seven months and, when I came back, Izzy told me he was playing in a new band called Guns N’ Roses and asked me if I wanted to be the photographer for that band.
 
The first time you saw Guns N’ Roses play, did you feel anything special that set this band apart from the competition?
 
Robert John: Yes, the really terrifying energy they gave off! The first time I saw Guns was at the Troubadour and I went there with my friend Don Costa (ex-Ozzy Osbourne). He's a guy who is usually very critical, but he was completely impressed by the GN'R show. As for me, I wasn’t less awed. We didn’t exchange a single word during the show, we were so mesmerized by the power of GN'R! There was only about sixty people at that show and all of them were damn thrilled!
 
Were you flabbergasted by the energy of the band or by their musical talent?
 
Robert John: Especially by this torrent of energy. Total punk attitude! Technically, the band wasn't overwhelming, but their punk energy had incredible persuasiveness. Listening to what GN'R is doing today, I can say that its musicians have made great progress in terms of technique and team chemistry.
 
Are you somehow a member of the band?
 
Robert John: A member ... no. But I am definitely part of the GN'R family. In any case, there’s now a lot of trust between the band members and me. At first, though, it wasn’t obvious, especially because of Slash's extremely suspicious attitude. I remember I didn't like him very much. With Axl, on the other hand, we hit it off right away. Regarding Slash, I think he knew that GN'R was going become a big band and he didn't want strangers poking their noses into Guns’ business. Fortunately, we’re good friends now.
 
Do you have a written contract as the official GN’R photographer? And if so, have you had one since the beginning of the group?
 
Robert John: No, I don't have a written contract and I never had one! It’s a moral contract between us based on trust and friendship. I absolutely don't mind not having a written contract, because I'm a friend of the band and that's what matters the most!
 
We’ve noticed relatively few posed photos of Guns in your work. Why?
 
Robert John: Simply because musicians don't really like posing for pictures. It bothers them. That's why there are few posed photos of the whole band.
 
How far can you go with your camera? Even in the very private moments of the members of the group?
 
Robert John: Oh, I have lots of very intimate photos of the band members but... I don't publish them. Out of respect, above all. I’ve got pictures of some of them with girlfriends, but only because they wanted me to immortalize that. But almost all the private photos related to GN'R stay with me, because the guys are afraid of losing them. At the very least, they know that with me they’re safe and that they will never be revealed to the general public.
 
Which band member is your best friend?

Robert John: It’s two: Axl and Slash.
 
If you could describe the members of Guns N’ Roses in one sentence, what would you say?
 
Robert John: I can do it in two words: cartoon characters!
 
Outside of work, what do you do with these guys?
 
Robert John: I hang out with Slash, Duff and Gilby a lot, and we love to go bar-hopping. With Axl it’s different, though. When we see each other, it’s often at his place and we have long discussions about life. He doesn't really like going out. He’s quite preoccupied with philosophy and wonders a lot about life and its hazards.
 
What about money? Are you making a good living?
 
Robert John: Yes, but I’m not going to say how much! I must say that I don’t work only with Guns N’ Roses, but also with bands like the Cult, Skid Row and Alice Cooper.
 
What is your best memory of working with Guns?
 
Robert John: There’s many, but I can't recall one in particular.
 
And your worst?
 
Robert John: Ah, that I can answer. It was the photo shoot for "Use Your Illusion" where the band posed in front of a canvas depicting a guy sitting on an electric chair. The problem there was that the canvas was painted on glossy plastic. The room where the session took place was tiny and it was already a real nightmare to bring the band members together in front of the canvas... So imagine when I realized that almost all my pictures were messed up because of that horrible, nearly garish, brightness. It's my worst memory and the drama lasted for an hour. Finally, among all the shots, there was one – thank God -  that did the trick.
 
Given that you are privy of the secrets of the band, have you heard any new songs and do you know when the next album will be released?
 
Robert John: I don't know when it's going to be released, but it may not be in the near future, because all I have heard is two sketches of songs. In other words, the backbone of two songs is ready, but there’s no vocals yet at this point.
 
And how does that sound?
 
Robert John: What I’ve heard sounds very aggressive but, again, these are only sketches. It doesn’t mean that the rest of the album will be in this vein... but it doesn’t mean it won’t either!

-----------

The earlier interviews contained in the issue have been posted in separate threads:

https://www.a-4-d.com/t5213-1987-10-08-hard-force-france-the-would-be-stars-slash-duff-steven

https://www.a-4-d.com/t5022-1987-10-dd-hard-force-france-interview-with-axl

https://www.a-4-d.com/t5214-1987-12-dd-hard-force-france-interim-drummer-coury

/t5219-1993-02-dd-hard-force-france-izzy-stradlin-the-dissident

https://www.a-4-d.com/t5223-1993-10-dd-hard-force-france-rock-spirit-duff
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Post by Blackstar Thu Jun 04, 2020 6:26 pm

Wow, this is great. Thank you, @gnr* !
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Post by gnr* Thu Jun 04, 2020 6:36 pm

Your welcome,sorry for those don't understand french.
In "thanks",page 2,it's mention Geffen,Robert John and members of the group who directly or indirectly contributed to the production of this issue.
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Post by Blackstar Thu Jun 04, 2020 8:02 pm

@gnr* wrote:Your welcome,sorry for those don't understand french.
In "thanks",page 2,it's mention Geffen,Robert John and members of the group who directly or indirectly contributed to the production of this issue.
It's awesome, because there are interviews in this issue that we don't have. I'll translate them, but it'll take me a while (and then maybe you could proof read them).

If it isn't too much additional work for you, would it be possible to have better scans (or high resolution photos) of some of the pages? I can read them now, but it would be easier for me if I could OCR the French text, put it through google translation and then make corrections. These pages:

19 (Axl interview 1987)
23 (Slash, Duff and Steven interview 1987)
25 (Fred Coury interview)
63 (Izzy interview)
83, 84 (Duff interview)
89, 90, 92 (Slash interview)
94 (Robert John interview)

(I need only the pages with text, not the pictures).

--------
EDIT: I edited the title of the thread a bit - I just put the date first, because it helps us sort the articles by date.
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Post by gnr* Thu Jun 04, 2020 10:40 pm

hey dude, i just read your post. I understand what you mean doesnt know till now that ocr exist..... no lol
i have good resolution 2160*2880,format before the compress for the site ofcourse. i ve try it and its works well for axl 87 interview, fiew bugs bt easy to b corrected . Do you want i email you original the original scans and u do it or i can if ,you let me time ?

axl interview begin like that for example:( i need be clear in my mind, a little wine abuz tonight, hehe)
Here is the first French interview of Axl that HARD FORCE MAGAZINE realized in July 1987 after the passage of GUNS N 'ROSES in Europe. This article began thus: "Their first EP had already aroused a certain interest near the specialized press and the underground scene of LA. Their album which leaves at Geffen, this month, pulverizes largely all the past productions of the year 87 by its originality and its quality. This album will propel them to the rank of the best bands of the moment, because if they persist in this way, they will certainly become as huge as MOTLEY CRUE, AEROSMITH or KISS. Their "glam-punk- rock "ignited the California club circuit in no time and we are already copying them."
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Post by Blackstar Thu Jun 04, 2020 11:05 pm

@gnr* wrote:hey dude, i just read your post. I understand what you mean doesnt know till now that ocr exist..... no lol
i have good resolution 2160*2880,format before the compress for the site  ofcourse. i ve try it and its works well for axl 87 interview, fiew bugs bt easy to  b corrected . Do you want i email you original  the original scans and u do it or i can if  ,you let me time ?

axl interview begin like that for example:( i need be clear in my mind, a little wine abuz tonight, hehe)
Here is the first French interview of Axl that HARD FORCE MAGAZINE realized in July 1987 after the passage of GUNS N 'ROSES in Europe. This article began thus: "Their first EP had already aroused a certain interest near the specialized press and the underground scene of LA. Their album which leaves at Geffen, this month, pulverizes largely all the past productions of the year 87 by its originality and its quality. This album will propel them to the rank of the best bands of the moment, because if they persist in this way, they will certainly become as huge as MOTLEY CRUE, AEROSMITH or KISS. Their "glam-punk- rock "ignited the California club circuit in no time and we are already copying them."
Great! I won't be able to start working on it right away, so it would be fine if you can do it yourself when you have time. Otherwise, you can send me the high res pics and I'll do it sometime.

I can imagine how much time it took you to scan 100 pages. C'est très apprécié, mille mercis Smile
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Post by Soulmonster Fri Jun 05, 2020 8:00 am

This is awesome, @gnr* !!!!

Thank you!!!
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Post by gnr* Mon Jun 08, 2020 6:50 pm

19 (Axl interview 1987)  Arnaud Durieux (Hard Force Magazine)

Here is the first French interview of Axl that HARD FORCE MAGAZINE realized in July 1987 after the passage of GUNS N 'ROSES in Europe. This article began thus: "Their first EP had already aroused a certain interest near the specialized press and the underground scene of LA. Their album which released at Geffen, this month, pulverizes largely all the past productions of the year 87 by its originality and its quality. This album will propel them to the rank of the best bands of the moment, because if they persist in this way, they will certainly become as huge as MOTLEY CRUE, AEROSMITH or KISS. Their "glam-punk- rock "ignited the California club circuit in no time and we are already copying them."

Axl: We really had fun during this first visit to Europe and I can't wait to come back here. We gave three concerts at the Marquee, the last of which was recorded. We are recording a lot of our concerts for a future live album and a video-documentary on the group, with a concert which will soon be filmed at Whiskey A Go Go in Los Angeles.

I understand you had a lot of problems with the police when you were still living in Indiana?
Axl: That's right, but you should know that they stop all long haired guys for nothing and I was their favorite target. At first, I was arrested just because I was drinking alcohol, which is forbidden if you are not 21 years old; then they put me in jail for anything. I may have spent 3 years in sheet metal accumulating all my stays.

Is that why you went to Los Angeles?
Axl: I went to L.A. several times before hitchhiking across the United States, to Florida, to New York, to San Francisco. I finally stayed in L.A. because it was the best place for me to emerge with a group. There is such a competition, so many kids and record labels. It is easier for groups because there are many clubs, and if you play regularly, you quickly create a good 'following': all the clubs want to take you because you drain the world. But you still have to be good to get there.

Why did you release this mini-LP whose two sides are identical?
Axl: When we were signed, we couldn't find the producer that would suit G N 'R. Also, at that time, we had no management and we had to try three in four months. Our fans have been waiting for a product from the group for a while, so we decided to publish 500 copies in L.A. so that these fans could listen to and have on disc titles like "Nice Boys" and "Mama Kin". We paid for everything out of our pocket to release this mini-LP and we must take this as a gift to our fans. Finally, the distributor wanted to press 20,000 copies to cover its costs. But we are going back to L.A. to record three other four live tracks for the B sides of singles. Geffen will then reissue the LP "Live?! * @ Like A Suicide" in another form. Already, we will remix it and there will be the four titles on one side which will bear the name of the mini-LP; the other side will consist of live B sides and will have the title "The Sex, The Drug, The Violence, The Shocking Truth"! There will actually be two front covers for the same mini-LP.

You adopt different singing styles on the album. "It's So Easy", for example, sounds very NEW YORK DOLLS.
Axl: This song was written by our former bassist and friend of the group, West Arkeen. He brought us a cassette with several titles and we found it so good that we jammed on it. I know it sounds like NEW YORK DOLLS, but I love this way of singing. On the album, I adopted five different song styles. But for us, "It's So Easy" is just a "polish punk song"!

What do you think of bands from the new wave of L.A. like POISON or more in your style, FASTER PUSSYCAT?
Axl: POISON? I'm not too interested in them. It is a group totally different from us; their audience is not the same, neither is the music. POISON is a group that may appeal to girls, but for the rest, I find their music without substance. FASTER PUSSYCAT is an interesting group. We know them very well, they often opened for us and we helped them find management. It is strange, because in Europe, I believe that people think that we have pumped everything on them, whereas the reverse has happened. They all adore G N 'R, attend all our concerts and especially on our rehearsal songs. I would not say that we are a really original group, but I believe more than them. On their album, I see at least two titles that they could have signed G N 'R. So, when people tell us that they are more original than us, I tell them to listen to the two albums.That said, it's very flattering to see that you influence others; AEROSMITH's new album is called "Permanent Vacation" and it's a phrase from our song "Reckless Life", it may have something to do with ...

We are just waiting for one thing, to see you in concert in France!
Axl: We would love to come, but friends have been there recently and told us that everything is pretty strict. They got kicked out of five hotels in one day! So, if we come, I think I will try to keep quiet and I will bring my girlfriend with me. We were supposed to come with AEROSMITH in September, but things are changing so quickly in the business ... We should have gone on tour as the opening act for Y&T and Ace Frehley. However, we plan to do the first part of MOTLEY CRUE at the end of their US tour.

Indeed, things will not have gone as planned. FASTER PUSSYCAT will replace GUNS N 'ROSES on the Y & T / Ace Frehley tour, but the cracked will win a significant first part in the States, that of THE CULT. (Interview originally published in HARD FORCE N ° 11 - Arnaud DURIEUX - 1987)
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Post by gnr* Mon Jun 08, 2020 6:51 pm

I hope english will be correct ...
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Post by Blackstar Mon Jun 08, 2020 7:06 pm

@gnr* wrote:I hope english will be correct ...

Thank you! The English text needs some work and it will be fine Smile
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Post by Blackstar Thu Jan 07, 2021 1:57 am

Translation of the two interviews (with Slash and Robert John) that were conducted for this special issue (I have also added it in the OP under the images). The earlier interviews contained in the issue have been posted in separate threads.

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

SLASH: A WORKAHOLIC
 
By Henry Dumatray
 
Guns N’ Roses topped Hard Force Magazine’s Readers’ Poll. We reached out to Slash at his home in Los Angeles to hear his reactions to the tidal wave that the group has generated among French fans. Relaxed, friendly and funny, he discusses his adventurous past and a very promising near future. The new album is expected to be released later this summer.
 
Guns N’ Roses has been voted Band of the Year by our readers. What do you think?
 
Slash: It's awesome and I'm very happy about it. This means that all the people we played for enjoyed the show! Obviously, I remember the dates we played in your country. What can I say? I think it's great that people love us so much. All I can say to them is a big thank you, and also that I hope to come back very soon. We’re currently working on a new album and we’ll be back in the near future.
 
"The Spaghetti Incident?" has been voted album of the year, Axl the best singer, Matt the second best drummer, Duff the best bassist, Dizzy the best keyboardist, "Use Your Illusion Tour" the second best home video, "November Rain" the third best video clip, your concert at Vincennes the third best concert, Axl sex symbol and you are tenth in the same category...
 
(Slash is listening without saying a word until he hears about the sex symbol category and starts laughing)
 
Slash: Sex symbol? Like what?! I don't know where they got that from!
 
Musician of the year: you, followed by Duff.
 
Slash: Wow!
 
You’re aso the best guitar player...
 
Slash: Stop fucking with me! You’re kidding, right?
 
Not at all!
 
Slash: I didn't know any of this.
 
Would you want to hear even more?
 
Slash: No, definitely not; my cheeks are hurting from smiling. I’m really very happy. It’s truly amazing. We’re a band that does what it wants to do. We’re not trying to go in a specific direction; our only ambition is to try and be good, that's all. When you consider the kind of band that we are, just making music without asking ourselves about it, it's obvious that we don't really know how we're doing. Everything is done in an intuitive way. What we want most all all is to give the best of ourselves and try to be good. We started playing together in this band to accomplish this one goal: to become a good rock 'n' roll band. And now I don't give a fuck about the bullshit rumors around the band and what people may say about the reputation that we have, because what satisfies me above all is that the kids distract themselves by listening to us and that they have the feeling that we're a good rock 'n' roll band. This is my purpose. This is what makes me happy and the results of this poll is a huge compliment to me.
 
Does the immense success you have experienced mean that you now have a lot of confidence in your ways?
 
Slash: Right now the band is working, and gotta say that I love it. I know these guys I work with are the best people in the world. So we’ve already written about fourteen new songs and we’ve had a lot of fun doing it. So much so that even when we go back to the studio - which takes a hell of a lot of work though - we're going to try to be as creative as possible. It will be new and fun, and I think it's going really well!
 
So vacation is definitely not your thing?
 
Slash: I can't stand still! As soon as the tour ended, I went to the studio with the other guys and we finished the last four tracks for "The Spaghetti Incident?". Then I left for New York to mix it with Bill Price. And even when we got back home, to our respective homes, I started to work. I can’t stop! I don’t like to rest. I have a studio in my house, so I recorded stuff.
 
But normal people like to rest, don't they?
 
Slash: No. In fact, my daily rest time is half an hour (an hour, at most) that I spend getting blowjobs by my wife! That’s the whole thing. Another thing I like to do is take a break for a couple of minutes and watch cooking shows on TV. And while I'm watching this kind of show, I'm thinking about what I'm going to do a little bit later in the day, what song needs to be finished, what I need to do to get there... All those things keep my mind busy all the time.
 
Your life is entirely devoted to music then?
 
Slash: 99%, yeah! I never stop playing. I like to work and make progress.
 
And the rest of the band, what are they doing?
 
Slash: Everyone is different. Duff is on tour with his own band, so he’s at work. Gilby is at home repairing what he can of the damage that was done to his house by the earthquake. Mine has been destroyed.
 
Really?
 
Slash: Yeah, I’ll have to move. To continue with what each band member is doing right now, Dizzy is at home with his wife and kids, Matt and I are working on new songs... Then we’ll all go in the studio, because we really want to do it, and we'll start pre-production. So, as of now, everyone is going about different kinds of stuff, but there’s a strong desire to get back together.
 
And you already have 14 songs!
 
Slash: Actually, I think we’ve got sixteen. (At this point, Slash talks to someone in his house and says, “And don't forget the tomatoes!” Genuine - we've got it on tape! – Ed.). They’re good songs and I think they’ll make a good album. It's very hard rock and very bluesy at the same time. Nothing's really finished yet. "Use Your Illusion" was a different thing, because we had so much material that we ended up putting two records out. Some songs were totally Guns N’ Roses and some others were... surprising. The next album will probably be more in the vein and spirit of "The Spaghetti Incident?" at least as far as the sound is concerned, because we’re going to record live and have a lot less samples. As for the music itself, it’s difficult to analyze right now, as we're not even in the pre-production stage yet. The only thing I can say right now is that it sounds really good.
 
What is your involvement in writing the material?
 
Slash: I share the task with the others. Since I have my own studio, I work like this: when I come up with an idea, I first play it on acoustic, and then Matt comes in and helps me develop it a bit. Then I do bass and guitars, and Matt sets the rhythm. Then Duff comes in - or Gilby, whatever - and they, in turn, add their input. Then Axl comes in and evolves the song further with his vocals. But it's really a collective band effort. Do you remember "Welcome To The Jungle"? I wrote the three little basic chords and then the whole band made it evolve and become what it ultimately became. It all depends on the way each one contributes, on how Axl will sing and how the others will feel about their parts.
 
Does the fact that you recorded an album like "The Spaghetti Incident?" urge you towards going to an even darker and more aggressive direction?
 
Slash: We do things in different ways all the time, and that's what makes it both interesting and fun. The whole point for us is to keep exploring; and I like it that way, because it challenges us to play exactly what we feel at a given moment.
 
Do you, basically, write for yourselves or for your audience? Since you have such a big audience, don't you feel obliged to mainly focus on it?
 
Slash: Yeah, we do care about what people think of our music, but... OΚ, that's a very important point you’re bringing up here. The reason you have an audience in the first place is because they like you just the way you are. So what becomes most important from that point of view is to remain above all yourself. You’ve got to record what feels right to you and then see how people react to it. If we didn't do that, we would definitely be like the Bee Gees or something like that! (laughs) In reality, you don't write for your audience, you write stuff hoping that people will like it afterwards. But for doing that, it’s necessary that you, the musician, appreciate what you do in the first place. That’s the first thing: love what you do. Then, if you feel confident enough, you let others listen to what you have done.
 
When you look back on the musical past of Guns N’ Roses, are there certain songs that you don't like as much as before?
 
Slash: No, because when you go into the studio, you really don't have any hindsight of what you're doing, and you mainly try to make sure that things get done in the best possible way. You are too close to your songs. At this point, an almost romantic relationship is developing between the song and you. So, I don't really have a favorite song, because I’ve established a strong emotional relationship with each of them. This is why there are no songs that I like less than the others. And then, once a song is recorded, I actually never listen to it again. To be honest, I don't even own a single Guns N’ Roses album.
 
Really?
 
Slash: I don't listen to anything after the album is finished and the only way for me to hear these songs is when we're on tour and playing them! Honestly, I try to navel gaze as less as possible. I don't have gold records at home, or Guns N’ Roses posters, or any of that shit. Once a recording is finished, and we all agree that it’s cool and the job is done, we just give it to the record company and that's it. I don't hear about it afterwards.
 
You are a top-selling band. Is this helpful when it comes to being able to get complete freedom of control over what you do from your label?
 
Slash: We’ve always been like this, doing what we wanted, since we started. At no time throughout our career has there been decisions taken outside the band. We've always had full control, but I should also add that our record label is very cool and they like it that way.
 
Including when it comes to releasing an album like "The Spaghetti Incident?". By the way, do you think that it’s really a punk cover album as has often been said?
 
Slash: No, this isn’t really the case. It's just Guns N’ Roses playing some punk songs, there’s a nuance. It’s not what you could call, strictly speaking, a punk record, because, moreover, the material that’s on there is very varied. It goes from the 50s to the 80s and there are different kinds of music that are represented.
 
It's true that the Skyliners, for example, is not a punk band...
 
Slash: No, it’s not, actually. And neither is T-Rex. Even the Dead Boys isn’t really what is generally considered to be a pure punk band, even though, in this particular case, it could be just said that it’s a “sort of punk” band. The common denominator is that all those bands shared the same spirit. People have the annoying tendency to put labels on everything: there’s heavy metal, hard rock, blues, fucking jazz fusion... But in the music that I appreciate the most, there’s always one common element, regardless of who plays it: it’s the attitude. What punk rock and rock ‘n’ roll in general – and even classical music – have in common is this willingness to go against what is usually done, this desire to do something different, to have beautiful melodies ... As far as I’m concerned, I buy from the rock 'n' roll store and that’s the word I’ll always be using. Okay, we've done covers of some punk bands, but we're not one, so that's what’s different about “The Spaghetti Incident?”
 
Do you personally think you have an attitude that could be described as "punk"?
 
Slash: When punk came out, there was some bands that I liked, but the majority of the ones that started out in the 80s really sucked! There was very few good ones, but it's also true that there was still a handful of damn good bands that had a sort of neo-punk attitude. Those are the ones that I appreciate. So there’s my answer to your question.
 
Do you think your audience shares your feeling of rebellion?
 
Slash: I don't know... Honestly, I have no idea.
 
Do you know the audience of Guns N’ Roses? Who are they?
 
Slash: I just know the people I meet on the street. Most of the time, they’re very nice. Then, of course, there’s those I see at the shows. I don't care how many records we sell and I don’t give a shit about what the press says, because it doesn't matter. As far as I’m concerned, the record comes out and if people like it, then we go on tour. That’s what my relationship with the public is all about. I’m interested in how people may react to our music, and I explain why it is the way it is to whoever wants to know, but I won’t  change the way I write and the way I think according the expectations of the audience. That's not how music should be! You put your emotions on tape, on record or on cd and then you see what people think of it. What else is there to do? I spent some time with the Stones recently and they’re recording an album. Believe me, they don't really care what people are going to think about it; it's their album, first and foremost.
 
What mood are you in now, and does that influence the writing of the next album?
 
Slash: There is, of course, this earthquake that we went through - by the way, all the tapes that I’ve recorded recently are titled "Earthquake 1", "2", "3". There’s a lot of things going on right now. At the same time, I’m very happy to get back together with the other guys in the band, because we’re really very close; it motivates me and I like it. But the world in general is completely nuts and there are hundreds of things that can inspire us. I couldn't really explain to you what central theme of the next album is, because there definitely not going to be a general direction. Let’s just say that each song will convey its own amount of emotions.
 
Maybe you can tell me about some of the things that inspired you to create the songs?
 
Slash: Yes, there are some things, but... I don't really want to talk about it just yet. It's still too early and things can still change.
 
Overall, what memories of 1993, which was rich in events for Guns N’ Roses, will you hold on to?
 
Slash: We toured a lot. There was a lot of us on this tour, around 90 people. The memories I’ll hold on to are mostly personal things, weddings, births, everything that happened in our entourage while we were on the road.
 
In any case, more personal feelings than scandals!
 
Slash: Fuck no, I don't give a shit about that! There’s always stuff like that in newspapers and magazines, totally made up; and, honestly, I don't care.
 
Isn't it hard not to sink into paranoia, when all the media is so focused on you and Guns N’ Roses in general?
 
Slash: No, I know things have happened to me... If you think about yourself as a person... then I tell myself that, anyway, I'm free to do whatever I want, as long as I don't kill anyone! Plus, I don’t need or want to maintain an image. The worst thing that ever happened to me was when I pulled off chicks in a bar. This story appeared in the "Times". My mom read it and called me afterwards! Other than that, nothing serious.
 
Now let's go back to the music, because that's what people are interested in...
 
Slash: ...This, what you just said, is big progress for us, because when we started, people didn't give a shit about our music and focused only on the scandals that we caused. Now we’re more interested in what we play and it’s much better that way. In any case, it must be pointed out that a magazine stays on the newsstands two months at best, while a record has a much longer lifespan; and that’s what we’d like to remain in people's memory for and not the various facts. Regardless of whatever happens, our music is always the best representation of who we really are.
 
Have you realized that Guns N’ Roses has become a major influence for many bands?
 
Slash: There’s a very cool aspect to that. Before we came out, the record companies saw that a certain type of band was doing well and from then on everything that came out had to be cut from the same cloth. Thankfully, someone wanted to sign us, although we were definitely the most drugged and irresponsible of the destructive bands. We played in clubs, we got pussy everywhere, we played loud... we were terrible! A guy saw our rock 'n' roll behind it all and wanted to sign us, because he liked it. We then opened doors for new attitudes. And now all the record companies in the world want to sign artists who have the same attitude as us. So it's good in a way, but it also goes to show that the industry will never change. There’s good bands that have been signed, but also many others who just copy us. But at least the industry has become open enough that some really hard rock bands can get a deal, and that's a really good thing.
 
What could possibly be stopping you?
 
Nothing has been able to stop us so far! (laughs) We ran into so many obstacles in our career that would have been enough to eradicate many bands, so I really don't know what could stop us from continuing. Nothing, really nothing, except sudden death! (laughs)
 
To conclude, what can we expect from Guns N’ Roses in 1994?
 
Slash: I don't know if we’ll still be leading your polls at the end of this year! What I do know, though, is that we're just going to try to move forward. We’ll try to finish the new album, with a little luck, by next summer. And from there everything will start over, there’ll be a tour, it’ll all take its course again. It’s not a certainty yet, but it's a big hope at this point!
 
***
 
F *** ING PICTURES!
 
By Emmanuel Potts
 
Robert John is the official photographer of Guns N’ Roses. Most of the photos in this special issue are from his archives, and there are plenty of them, as he has photographed the band since a memorable concert at the Country Club in LA in 1985! His career is closely linked to the Gunners to the point of becoming something like a full member, an advisor, a close friend...
 
When was your first meeting with Guns N’ Roses?
 
Robert John: I knew Izzy Stradlin before he joined Guns N’ Roses. I had become friends with him when he was playing with London from time to time. The first time I saw Axl on stage was when he was singing with LA Guns, who were opening for... London. Then I left Hollywood for seven months and, when I came back, Izzy told me he was playing in a new band called Guns N’ Roses and asked me if I wanted to be the photographer for that band.
 
The first time you saw Guns N’ Roses play, did you feel anything special that set this band apart from the competition?
 
Robert John: Yes, the really terrifying energy they gave off! The first time I saw Guns was at the Troubadour and I went there with my friend Don Costa (ex-Ozzy Osbourne). He's a guy who is usually very critical, but he was completely impressed by the GN'R show. As for me, I wasn’t less awed. We didn’t exchange a single word during the show, we were so mesmerized by the power of GN'R! There was only about sixty people at that show and all of them were damn thrilled!
 
Were you flabbergasted by the energy of the band or by their musical talent?
 
Robert John: Especially by this torrent of energy. Total punk attitude! Technically, the band wasn't overwhelming, but their punk energy had incredible persuasiveness. Listening to what GN'R is doing today, I can say that its musicians have made great progress in terms of technique and team chemistry.
 
Are you somehow a member of the band?
 
Robert John: A member ... no. But I am definitely part of the GN'R family. In any case, there’s now a lot of trust between the band members and me. At first, though, it wasn’t obvious, especially because of Slash's extremely suspicious attitude. I remember I didn't like him very much. With Axl, on the other hand, we hit it off right away. Regarding Slash, I think he knew that GN'R was going become a big band and he didn't want strangers poking their noses into Guns’ business. Fortunately, we’re good friends now.
 
Do you have a written contract as the official GN’R photographer? And if so, have you had one since the beginning of the group?
 
Robert John: No, I don't have a written contract and I never had one! It’s a moral contract between us based on trust and friendship. I absolutely don't mind not having a written contract, because I'm a friend of the band and that's what matters the most!
 
We’ve noticed relatively few posed photos of Guns in your work. Why?
 
Robert John: Simply because musicians don't really like posing for pictures. It bothers them. That's why there are few posed photos of the whole band.
 
How far can you go with your camera? Even in the very private moments of the members of the group?
 
Robert John: Oh, I have lots of very intimate photos of the band members but... I don't publish them. Out of respect, above all. I’ve got pictures of some of them with girlfriends, but only because they wanted me to immortalize that. But almost all the private photos related to GN'R stay with me, because the guys are afraid of losing them. At the very least, they know that with me they’re safe and that they will never be revealed to the general public.
 
Which band member is your best friend?

Robert John: It’s two: Axl and Slash.
 
If you could describe the members of Guns N’ Roses in one sentence, what would you say?
 
Robert John: I can do it in two words: cartoon characters!
 
Outside of work, what do you do with these guys?
 
Robert John: I hang out with Slash, Duff and Gilby a lot, and we love to go bar-hopping. With Axl it’s different, though. When we see each other, it’s often at his place and we have long discussions about life. He doesn't really like going out. He’s quite preoccupied with philosophy and wonders a lot about life and its hazards.
 
What about money? Are you making a good living?
 
Robert John: Yes, but I’m not going to say how much! I must say that I don’t work only with Guns N’ Roses, but also with bands like the Cult, Skid Row and Alice Cooper.
 
What is your best memory of working with Guns?
 
Robert John: There’s many, but I can't recall one in particular.
 
And your worst?
 
Robert John: Ah, that I can answer. It was the photo shoot for "Use Your Illusion" where the band posed in front of a canvas depicting a guy sitting on an electric chair. The problem there was that the canvas was painted on glossy plastic. The room where the session took place was tiny and it was already a real nightmare to bring the band members together in front of the canvas... So imagine when I realized that almost all my pictures were messed up because of that horrible, nearly garish, brightness. It's my worst memory and the drama lasted for an hour. Finally, among all the shots, there was one – thank God -  that did the trick.
 
Given that you are privy of the secrets of the band, have you heard any new songs and do you know when the next album will be released?
 
Robert John: I don't know when it's going to be released, but it may not be in the near future, because all I have heard is two sketches of songs. In other words, the backbone of two songs is ready, but there’s no vocals yet at this point.
 
And how does that sound?
 
Robert John: What I’ve heard sounds very aggressive but, again, these are only sketches. It doesn’t mean that the rest of the album will be in this vein... but it doesn’t mean it won’t either!


Last edited by Blackstar on Fri Jan 08, 2021 3:25 pm; edited 2 times in total
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1994.01.DD - Hard Force Hors-Série (France) -  Guns N' Roses Issue (Slash) Empty Re: 1994.01.DD - Hard Force Hors-Série (France) - Guns N' Roses Issue (Slash)

Post by Blackstar Thu Jan 07, 2021 7:34 pm

The date of the magazine, as stated in its official site, is January 1994:

https://hardforce.com/magazine/191/hard-force-magazine-hors-serie-n-hs1-s2

But, since it was an annual issue, it doesn't mean that it was released in January. It was obviously released some time later in the year, as Slash's interview was conducted after the earthquake.
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