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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

18. NOVEMBER 1993-NOVEMBER 1994: AXL AND SLASH DISAGREES; GILBY IS DISMISSED

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18. NOVEMBER 1993-NOVEMBER 1994: AXL AND SLASH DISAGREES; GILBY IS DISMISSED - Page 2 Empty Re: 18. NOVEMBER 1993-NOVEMBER 1994: AXL AND SLASH DISAGREES; GILBY IS DISMISSED

Post by Soulmonster Wed Aug 05, 2020 4:43 pm

OCTOBER 1994
SYMPATHY FOR THE DEVIL


That’s the sound of the band breaking up right there (laughs).

____________________________________________________

In October 1994 it would reported that the band had recorded a cover of Rolling Stones' 'Sympathy for the Devil' [Los Angeles Times, October 27, 1994; MTV, October 1994] intended for release on January 2, 1995 [Raw Magazine, November 1994]. The song would be featured on the soundtrack for the movie 'Interview with a Vampire' [Raw Magazine, November 1994], replacing the Gene Loves Jezebel's song 'Who Wants To Go To Heaven', which had been intended to be included at first [The Courier Journal, October 15, 1999].


Sympathy for the Devil
December 1994


In an interview in February 1995, Slash would say that they were in the studio "doing" 'Sympathy for the Devil' on Halloween 1994, in other words on October 31, 1994 [The Howard Stern Show, February 1, 1995].

Although the song would not be released until December 1994, radio stations would already be playing advance copies and Geffen would claim to not know who actually played on the song, except that it was "Guns N' Roses" [Detroit Free Press, November 25, 1994].

Being asked if they would make a video for the single:

No, there is no video. We didn't shoot a video. We were the last thing in production of the movie. We were the last considera­tion and they really had to rush it out. The timing wasn't right to get a video done. As long as we got the song done, you know?



GETTING THE BAND BACK TOGETHER


Slash would say he had thought it was a good idea to just to get the band together again:

It was an offer that I thought it was a great plot to get Guns more or less together and just start working as a unit. But I think we pulled it off really well, compared to a lot of other bands that would have been offered to do it, that I don’t think could have gotten to the vibe as well.


In an early interview Slash had listed "Interview wit a Vampire" as his favorite book [Metal Edge, January 1989], so naturally it was important to him that the film came out right. When hearing who would play in the movie, Slash was critical:

The movie is about a subject matter I’m very romantic about. It was like this gothic brat pack thing. I like Brad Pitt, but I like him better as a hick. […] ['Sympathy' was] a song that didn’t need to be copied.

Tom Cruise? As Lestat? I don’t think so. I think it’s going to be pretty lousy. But I went to go see the screening anyway, as a favor, and the Stones version was in there at the time and I thought it was fine, because the movie bored me to tears. Axl, of course - always being my nemesis, right? – went and saw it, and loved it. So he goes, “Let’s do the song.” I thought it would be a great vehicle to get everybody’s creative juices flowing and sort of start getting geared towards the next Guns record.
The O-Zone, February 1995


Slash would also say that Axl wanted to do it, and that Slash saw it as an opportunity to "get the band into one room and get die wheels rolling for what would be pre-production for the next Guns album" [Detroit Free Press, December 22, 1994]. But things didn't plan out that way. According to Slash, Axl didn't show up resulting in Slash, Matt and Duff having to figure out their parts on their own [Detroit Free Press, December 22, 1994].

In late 1994 and early 1995, Slash would talk more about how it went down:

A few months ago. Got a phone call from [Geffen A&R man) Tom Zutaut who said, "I want you to do me a favor. David Geffen's doing this movie and they really want you to do 'Sympathy for the Devil' in it." Originally they had the Stones' version in it. I asked who's in it, and he said Tom Cruise.' I know the story backwards and forwards and I said, ''Tom Cruise as Lestat?" They told me the whole cast and I thought, "the new brat pack" So I went to a screening for it, and I'm such a horror fan that it didn't do it for me. It was well made and Tom tried his best, you gotta give him credit for that. Everyone has to take their chances so I'm not gonna knock it but I didn't like the movie that much. I fell asleep at one point. I left before the lights went on so I wouldn't have to answer questions. Axl went to see it the next day and he liked it, which is ironic. So typical. He didn't know I hated it. He saw stuff in it that I didn't and vice versa. He wanted to do the song so I said we'd do it. I wanted to do the movie because it would get the band together in one room and maybe start getting things rolling. It didn't work. Matt, Duff and I got together In the studio and did the music—we're the brick-layers, you know—and Axl came in later and did the vocals. Matt, Duff, and I rocked, that part of it was great, but it didn't do what I hoped. The single isn't that huge. The fact that it's related to a Tom Cruise movie and it's a cover, it was a sacrifice made to try and do something positive but ended up being like, whatever.
Metal Edge, April 1995; interview from December 1994

There's a funny story to 'Sympathy...'. When the movie came out (in the US) a couple of months ago, Geffen called and said, 'Could you do us a favour?'. That movie coming out was a big issue for me, because the books (The Vampire Trilogy by Anne Rice) were great. They have a real kind of passion in there — a sort of dark romanticism — and I'm a real heavy-duty, old-time vampire horror movie freak. And it was like Tom Cruise AND Brad Pitt. No f**king way! So I got this call saying would we do 'Sympathy For The Devil' for the movie.

I thought, 'Well okay, maybe it will be a vehicle to get the band back together and get the wheels in motion for some pre-production stuff. So I went to the screening in one of those stiff theatres full of showbiz f**king suits, and I'm half asleep! I'm not having a good time, and I couldn't just get up and leave, so I was trying to be cool.

I started smoking cigarettes, which is not something you're meant to do in an LA cinema... it's like murder! So I got up and left before the lights went out. I have to say Tom Cruise did the best he could, but the film's laughable to me. The Stones' version of the song was playing in the screening in the same place ours was meant to be.

Anyway, I got up and went home. I called Doug [Goldstein] and said, 'Leave it: the Stones version's fine! There's no need to do a song that doesn't need to be redone!'.

Then Axl went to see the film the next day, and it's inevitable that he likes it and comes out of the movie completely at odds with me! It just goes with the territory — I love this singer/lead guitarist relationship in bands... it's just f**king stupid!

So Axl went and saw it and said he loved it. He was ecstatic. 'Let's do the song!' he says. So I said, 'Okay'. We show up at the studio... who shows up? Matt, Duff and I. That was it.

While we were doing it, we literally had to write down how many bars each section was, because without vocals you don't know where the next change is going to come. But we got it done and the guitar solos on and everything […].

We were supposed – I figured we would all show up, and Duff and Matt and I showed up. So we were sort of like to brick layers, we got the music down, then Axl showed up a couple of days later with his entourage.

[Recording 'Sympathy'] didn't do what I was hoping it would do – let's just leave it at that. When it came down to it, there was only three of us there together and then Axl did his part on his own.

Tom Zutaut called up and asked for a favor, and he said, “Would you do Sympathy For The Devil for David Geffen’s movie?” I talked to Axl about it and Axl said, “No, I don’t wanna do it.” And I said, “I’m gonna see the movie” - you know, see a screening. I saw the screening and I was bored to tears; one of the worst vampire movies I’ve ever seen, actually, and I can say that without feeling bad about it, because I love vampires and horror movies, and all that. So I went home and I said, “Nah, the Stones version” – it was already in the movie – “is fine. Just leave it.” And then Axl went to see it and loved it. So it was like, “Okay, no problem.” He said, “Let’s do the song” and so I said, “Fine.” I thought this could be a good vehicle to get Guns N’ Roses in one room and get the wheels turning for a new record. The only thing is, Matt and Duff and me were the only ones that showed up, and Axl took a few days.

What happened was that the people at Geffen called me at home and asked me to do the song as a favour. So I went to see a screening of the movie, and I liked Brad Pitt’s performance, but Tom Cruise as Lestat... there was nothing gothic about that. I’m a fan of vampires and I love monsters, as you can see (Slash points at the dinosaurs that are part of his living room’s decor). I didn’t like the movie, but the idea of ​​putting the Stones’ version at the end seemed fine to me. The next day Axl went and saw it, and he loved it. Then I said, ‘Okay, if this can get Guns in a room together, then it's worth doing it.’ Duff, Matt and I went to the studio, but Axl didn’t show up. We did our thing and he came days later to record his parts alone. So I didn’t feel like the band had gotten together. It was just another cover for another movie. I didn’t get what I hoped for. But, anyway, the song came out good. I listened to it on the radio today and I think it sounds good. […] The actors who played villain roles are very good, like the little girl, but something is missing... I’ve read the book three times, I've grown up with this kind of thing, and when I found out they were going to make the film I thought, ‘You’d better be careful with what you’re doing.'
Popular 1, February 1995; translated from Spanish

Well, it’s a Geffen release for one. We got a phone call from David Geffen asking if we'd be interested in doing it. And I was sort of, ehh, you know. I went and saw a screening of it just to make the effort, just to see what was going on. The scene where the song is featured, it had the Stones’ ver­sion there and as far as I was concerned, the coolest scene was the closing scene - and I thought, well, the Stones' version sounds fine. But, they really wanted us to do it, so basically, me, Matt and Duff just went in and got the basics down. Axl went in later and did the vocals. That was it. But, it's nice because it’s totally featured as opposed to being on a - you know in movies, instead being on a stereo in the background of a party with people talking over it or off a boom box or something like that - it goes all the way up to the credits. You don't hear any dialogue or anything like that. It should sound good. I haven't seen the movie with our version in it. My wife's going to go check it out at the screening - I'm not going to go. I can't be bothered to go. You know, "The Premier." Waving to the people and stuff. Tom Cruise there — no. But, she's going to go and I just said, well tell me how it sounds.

It didn't work. We didn't all show up at the same time in the studio -- put it that way. And that was pretty indicative of what I didn't want to happen.

Well, what happened was when I went to see the movie, it was a screening. A friend had asked us to do it for a favour so we went along. I was like, Tom Cruise is the star? I don't think so. But I went along. I was bored to tears. And I'm really passionate about horror movies and Dracula. Anyway, finally, finally the end of the movie came and the Stones' version of 'Sympathy' was on it and it was fine. So I said, leave it. Then Axl went, loved the movie; I don't know why. Well I do. If I don't like it he'll like it, if I don't he will. So Axl wanted to do that song. I went along with it because I thought his enthusiasm might get the Guns N' Roses wheels in motion again.



AXL BRINGS PAUL ALONG


And when Axl came in to lay down his vocals, he brought Paul Huge with him who laid down his own guitar track on the song, to compliment Slash's.

Then Axl went on to go do the vocals, and he brought another guitar player with him. It was a guy that’s from Indiana, who I can’t stand; and he sort of added a little rhythm guitar there. They also put little answers on my guitar solo, my first one – there’s two solos in the song. The first one, if you listen to it, you’ll hear my guitar, and then there’s little teeny little thing in the background; so that fucked me off. As a result, we ended up doing another cover song, of a song that didn’t need to be covered, for a lame movie and it didn’t do anything for the band. So it was an effort made, but an effort that was wasted, too.
The O-Zone, February 1995

We went in and did the music, then Axl came in to do the vocals… but he also brought this other guitar player in. That really pissed me off. And this was a guy that I can't stand. As far as I was concerned it just ended up as a cover of a song that didn't need to be covered.


Slash would discover that Axl had invited Paul Huge in to lay down guitar tracks when 'Sympathy' was being mixed, on October 31, 1994. This caused a severe rift between Slash and Axl [see later chapter].


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Post by Soulmonster Wed Aug 05, 2020 4:43 pm

NOVEMBER 1994
UZI SUICIDE IS RESURRECTED


In November 1994 Axl would be reported to intend to revive the label Uzi Suicide which Guns N' Roses had used to launch their first EP back in 1986 [Kerrang! November 4, 1994; RAW Magazine, November 1994]. With distribution lined up via Geffen, Axl organized a showcase gig for Geffen executives on October featuring four of the bands he was interested in: Soul, Davy's Farm, Salt Of The Earth and The Assassins [RAW Magazine, November 1994].

The Assassins featured Axl's brother Stuart Bailey on guitar. Bailey was previously best-known as a vocalist with Dr. Whiskey. The Assassins' music, which Bailey has a hand in writing, is in the currently hot Southern Rock vein being pursued by the likes of Pride & Glory and Blind Melon [RAW Magazine, November 1994].


Uzi Suicide Record Company


Uzi Suicide obtained the rights to Hanoi Rocks' back catalogue in 1990 [Kerrang! November 5, 1994] and re-released it all in the US in 1993 [RAW Magazine, November 1994].

But I'm glad that Guns paid tribute to Hanoi by re-releasing our records and paid some respect and didn't hide like Poison or some weaklings like that who didn't have enough of their own thing so they acted like us. "Hanoi who?? What?? Never heard of them." That's bullshit. GnR had enough of their own thing and were secure enough to acknowledge Hanoi and pay tribute to us.

[Axl] actually said nobody would know about Guns 'N' Roses, Motley Crue or any of that stuff [if it weren't for Hanoi Rocks]. I think Guns N Roses have a strong thing and they always did. That's why they were not afraid to mention Hanoi as one of their influences. But certain other bands, for sure, would have paled in comparison had we been luckier. I don't know, it's hard to say. Who knows? It's possible. I think Guns 'N' Roses and Hanoi would have been good together. I think Hanoi Rocks is more like a rock 'n' roll band, sound wise, and Guns 'N' Roses were much heavier. They're more like a Led Zeppelin, Aerosmith type of heavy. We're more like the Stones, but punky. They had their sound which I think was pretty heavy so they're different types of bands, really. I think there would have been plenty of room for both. There can never be too many good rock bands in this world!
Metal Sludge, March 2, 2004

Sure, we got some kind of an advance, but mainly it was great to have those records available in the States. I'll always be grateful to the Guns for releasing them. However, Hanoi not functioning at the time didn't help the sales... then again, Hanoi's greatness has never really reflected in the record sales so far...
Metal Sludge, March 2, 2004


In January 1995, Axl would be said to devote his time looking for new bands to sign to Uzi Suicide while Slash was occupied with Snakepit [Kerrang! January 14, 1995].

In July 2000 Slash would mention the label:

Uzi Suicide is a dead issue. It no longer exists. It never was a real record label.


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Post by Soulmonster Wed Aug 05, 2020 4:44 pm

NOVEMBER 1994
GILBY SAYS HE HAS QUIT GUNS N' ROSES


Despite Slash explicitly stating Gilby was out of the band in June 1994, no official statement was released by Geffen, Gilby would not confirm he was out, and media would continue to speculate that he might still be in the band.

In October and November, with Gilby being on tour, the rumours were again spreading [Orange County Register, November 25, 1994]. Again, Gilby would still not explicitly state he was out of the band, but indicate that if the band wanted him again he would be there:

I mean, I have no idea what’s going [with my position in GN'R] on right now. I really don’t. […]  I haven’t spoken to some of the guys in a long time.

The most important thing is that Guns N' Roses won't ever, ever go away. Guns N' Roses is pretty much Axl, Slash and Duff. It's what and when they decide to make an album, the rest of us have to work around that album. Some of the members will change over the years. But as long as Axl, Slash and Duff want to make a record together, it'll continue.

I'm really at their mercy as to when they decide they want to do things. It could be a year, and I just don't think it's very productive to sit around and wait.


Gilby would also be asked "whether the real personalities of Slash and Rose are as difficult as their public personae":

I always just tell people that some of the guys are OK. In fact, some of them are my best friends in the world.


And when asked if he would "go so far as to leave arguably the biggest group in rock today to concentrate on a smaller but more rewarding solo career":

I'd do it in a heartbeat. I'm very serious about it. I've been touring since July, and we're booked through springtime, with a chance of being booked through next summer. I've already spoken to everybody in GNR and said, 'Look, I'm doing this until it's done, and if you need to make a record in between, you make a record without me'.


And in late November it would be reported that Gilby was no longer a members of GN'R when he "finally decided this fall that there wasn't a place for him in the band" [Arizona Daily Star, November 25, 1994].

The realization that he was really, undeniably, out of the band probably came with the song 'Sympathy for the Devil' which was recorded in October 1994, recording sessions for which Gilby had not been invited. In fact,on October 8 Gilby would be asked when the band last rehearsed together and claim it had been a year ago [MTV Headbanger's Ball, October 8, 1994], indicating he wasn't aware of the 'Sympathy' recording having taken place.

We’re still just on a break we were taking a year ago. Nobody is ready to make another record yet. […] With GNR, it’s never like we have band meetings. Someone will just call you some day. There’s no schedule. Me, I stay in close contact with Slash and Matt.


But Gilby was wrong. Unknown to him the band had come together to record a cover of 'Sympathy for the Devil' while Gilby was touring to support his solo record.

Although the song would not be released until December 1994, radio stations would already be playing advance copies and Geffen would refuse to answer who played on the song [Detroit Free Press, November 25, 1994].

When Guns N’ Roses did that project for the ‘Interview with the Vampire’ soundtrack, I was no part of it. I didn’t even know about it. I was out doing my tour and didn’t know anything about it.


And in January 1995, Gilby would also finally admit he was out, but spin it like was him who had quit the band [AP/Daily World, January 16, 1995; Argus Leader, January 19, 1995]. Gilby would also state musical differences with Axl as the reason for leaving the band:

Axl Rose has a different vision for the next Guns ’N Roses album and it’s not the kind of music I’m comfortable playing.

How I feel about it is, Slash and Matt are two of the best friends I’ve had in the world. It was a fun ride. I’m glad I did it, and I really enjoyed it. I wouldn’t replace it for the world. But some of the ideas that Axl has about the band, I don’t feel comfortable with it. It’s to the point, I really don’t care what happens. I’m doing what I want to do and having fun.

What really prompted the decision is that the band has been in limbo for the last year. I just don’t really fit in anymore. […] I’ve spoken to the band many times about how they want the next record to sound. The sound Axl wants is not compatible with the way I play guitar. That’s why I’ve always done my solo work and the record they wanted to do.

It was a reasonably amicable split. We just had different ideas about what we wanted to do with the music.


Later, in 1997, Gilby would mention that he was supposed to discuss his future in Guns N' Roses with Axl after returning from his tour, but that this didn't happen:

We never talked when it was all done. It was clear I wasn’t part of the band any more.


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Post by Soulmonster Wed Aug 05, 2020 4:44 pm

GILBY
LOOKING BACK AT HIS TENURE WITH GUNS N' ROSES


It came at the strangest time. I was at that point where I was really happy. I had my big band, I really liked the band. I was making my own songs and everything was perfect. Then boom! ‘No! We’re changing directions.’ I knew it was going to end. I always had that feeling that something bad was going to happen in that band. I was just bummed.

It was great. The band was at the top. All I did was enjoy it.

I have a little luxury. I got to be in a big band. I got to do things like play stadiums. I got to be on MTV and all that stuff. So for me it’s a luxury, I can at least say that I did it.

What I did with the band was fun. […] I can't get away from it [being an ex-Guns N' Roses member]. As far as I'm concerned, until you do something that outshines what Guns N' Roses did, that's the way it is. Everybody wants to take a piece of that and to be a part of it in some way. But I don't have a problem with it. What are you gonna do? Life could be worse. […] I gig all year 'round; there's always some place that wants a little rock. I'm pretty content now. I produced both of the Beat Angels records, and Windigo for Pavement. I have a family, and I make a really good living playing guitar and putting out records.

It was quite a trip. Since (I was) a kid, I always said I wanted to play guitar in a rock 'n' roll band. Every time (Guns N' Roses) walked onstage, I appreciated it. It was great- it was everything I ever wanted. […]

It's really odd. Sometimes I look back and go, God, if I didn't get that GNR gig, where would (I) be right now?' It definitely was a boost for my life.

I am lucky because Guns & Roses was a successful band so I have a little cushion. I might have a different opinion if I was starving. […] I loved being in the band. It was a great rock band. The lifestyle was wonderful. We had a great time. It was not that hard to survive come to think of it. When it was over it was kind of shocking. When you are thrust into that world you adapt fast but when you leave it adapting is very, very hard. […] It is just about keeping a straight head through all of the phoniness. I think unfortunately people like Slash and Axl have not heard the truth in a long time because people want to be their friends so they are nice to them. They don’t really tell them the way it is. Then when they have to go out and face the world it is a shock to them because now they are hearing reality and they have not heard that for a long time. […] I never believed it. Even through all of that I knew that I had my Les Paul and my amp and that I was playing on a really nice stage but I knew it was not for real. I never believed it.

When I got the gig, all I wanted to do was play guitar in a loud rock band. At the time, that was probably the best rock band around. I had a great time.

It doesn't really bother me [to be forever remembered as a GN'R replacement]. I had a fucking awesome time with GNR. Even though it was a short tenure, a lot of cool shit was going on back then. We were on tour for like 2 1/2 years. Unfortunately, there was a lot of bullshit that came along with being in the band. That I could definitely have done without.


Regarding taking advantage of having been a part of Guns N' Roses:

Spitfire still labeled the album [=Swag, 2002] “Former Guns & Roses Guitarist.” They still do things like that.


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Post by Soulmonster Wed Aug 05, 2020 4:44 pm

GILBY AFTER GUNS N' ROSES


In 1995, Gilby and his wife Daniella, gave birth to their daughter, Francesca (Frankie) [Trojan Daily, April 14, 1999]. Daniella would later found the successful company Frankie B. Jeans:

Daniella has made, in, like, one year, five times more money than I've made in my entire musical career [laughs]. She's the owner and designer. I mean, neither of us graduated high school, and she's running a $15 million company.


In November 2006, the family had just moved into a new house in Sherman Oaks in Los Angeles [Los Angeles Daily News, November 18, 2006].


1995: THE BLOOZE EP


Gilby would finish his tour in promotion of Pawnshop Guitar in December 1994. In 1995 he released an EP, "Blooze".


Blooze
1995


In September 200 Gilby would answer what he remembered the most from the 90s:

Going from playing stadiums one year to playing empty clubs the next.



LATE 1996 - FREAKS IN THE ROOM, WITH STEVEN


In late 1996 it would be reported that Gilby was playing with Steven for a new band tentatively named 'Freaks in the Room' [News Pilot, November 15, 1996]. The lineup included Coma-Tones guitarist Joel Soul and bassist Stefan Adika and allegedly the band sounded "kick-ass" [News Pilot, November 15, 1996]. But in January 1997, Gilby was apparently not part of this band anymore [The Howard Stern Show, January 22, 1997].


1997: THE HANGOVER


Some time after this Gilby would try to release his second solo album, The Hangover, but in an echo of Axl's rejection of the music Slash and Gilby had worked on in early 1994, Virgin balked:

We completely didn't agree on what the record should sound like. I wanted to do what I've always done, and [Virgin] wanted me to sound like Seven Mary Three. I turned in my songs and they said, 'That's not very current music.'


But Gilby wouldn't budge:

It's important to write and record what you’re comfortable with. What I like is very old-fashioned rock and roll. When my first solo record came out in '94, it still was a very '70s thing with lots of loud guitars.


Gilby then signed with the smaller label Paradigm Records to release The Hangover [Lincoln Star Journal, November 16, 1997].


The Hangover
1997


Whether you sell a million records or five records, that's not the point. The point is to make a good record, that you would like to hear. I’ve done that.


In April 1997, Gilby was about to finish an acoustic tour with Ryan Roxie and was about to release the album [MTV, April 18, 1997], and in September it would come out in the US [MTV News, September 29, 1997].

In 1997, one song from Kills for Thrill, his pre-GN'R band, would be released on the compilation "Poptopia" [The Plain Dealer, November 7, 1997].


1998: RUBBER


In 1998, Gilby was working on his third solo album, Rubber [Guitar, September 1998].


Rubber
1998


To tour this album Gilby drafted in Tracii and ex-Kiss drummer Eric Singer [Daily Trojan, April 14, 1999].


1999/2000 - STARFUCKERS


In 2000 or 1999, Gilby started a new band with Tracii and Slim Jim Phantom, Starfuckers, who would soon be signed to Atlanticc Records:

It started out as a jam band.It was an excuse to show up once a week and play your guitar through an amp as loud as you can. It’s something we’ve been doing for fun—getting signed is icing on the cake.



RELATIONSHIP WITH OLD BAND MATES


In April 1997 it would be reported that Slash and Gilby had reconciled their differenced after Gilby sued Guns N' Roses [MTV, April 18, 1997]. Later in the year Slash was wrongly advertised to play on at least three shows at Gilby's tour (in promotion of The Hangover) [MTV News, September 29, 1997].

I see and talk to Slash and Matt all the time, I never talk to Axel [sic].

I talk to Matt every couple weeks, I see Slash, but never really hang out with him, and obviously, I haven't spoken to Axl in like four years. Occasionally I run into Duff - I saw him at a Prince concert, and we hung out for the rest of the night.

[Being asked if he is still friends with Slash]: A little bit. I don’t really talk to him much anymore. I see him and say “Hey what’s going on?” but I really don’t sit down and have a drink with him anymore. The last couple of years we have really, really lost touch.



2001: The BAND COL. PARKER


In 2001, Izzy released the record Rock N Roll Music with his band Col. Parker, which included ex-Stray Cat Slim Jim Phantom and Teddy "Zig Zag" Andreadis. Being asked what happened to this band:

Well I gotta tell you, that was a really unfortunate circumstance, Because I actually REALLY, REALLY, REALLY like the Col. Parker record. Obviously Muddy still plays with my band. I really thought it was a really good record, it was all about the record company, V2 is just not a very good record company. We knew the president of the label, and he put the record out, he loved the record. It just didn't do well. They just didn't know how to market it. When we were out on the road, it was brutal out there. And we really wanted to make another record. We just kinda said it wasn't a good idea to do it on V2. I'm not saying we'll never, ever get to do that. I think that in the future you'll find me working more with Jim and Muddy on my stuff.



2002: SWAG



Swag
2002


Realistically, this is the fourth album that I have made on my own. They are not much different from each other. My goal is to make an album that I would want to buy. I just keep writing and writing and when I get 12 songs then we start cutting. To me, what is different about this record is that it is much more rock. The other albums were more versatile as they had some roots, some blues and some pop. This is pretty much a rock record.

Tracy [sic] has been playing guitar in my solo band for two years. The two tunes he plays on [Swag] he has been playing live so I thought it would be natural to have him on the record because I really liked what he brought to it.

The record does not come out until the end of January. We are just going to take it as it goes. Whether I have an album out or not, I go play live. I do what I call “Weekend Warrior” stuff. I will do a Vegas run or a Jersey run. This will just give me an excuse to go out an play. […] I am going to play regardless. It is great to have some new songs to play. It gives people a reason to go out and see Gilby in 2002. […] I will go out in January and do some dates. I don’t know about a full tour but I will do some dates.


Talking about writing lyrics:

I hate to say it but I am pretty simple and I am pretty much about the same stuff. It’s everyday in my life -- what I think about or what I watch on TV. I am usually pretty current. I am just trying to figure out new ways and more colorful ways to say things. That is what “Alien” is about. It is a more comfortable way to talk about the same old shit!


And why he keeps touring:

It is a very simple reason. I still like strapping my Les Paul on, turning an amp on and playing a couple of bar chords. After all this time I still get the same feeling I got when I was 16 years old. I also like people clapping after I do something! My wife says, “You don’t need to tour. You don’t need the money. You just want people to clap for you.” You know I think she is right.



2003-2005: TOURING WITH HEART, BLUES MAFIA, AND MC5


In 2003, Gilby would become a touring musician with the band Heart:

Before I signed on, I asked them, `Which Heart? The '70s Heart or the '80s Heart?' And they go, `We don't really play a lot of '80s stuff.' So I was like, `Okay. I'll do it.'

I still love to play. I just don't like singing. I had a great experience with Heart - I really needed to do a tour. I had been in the studio doing the Col. Parker thing and my solo record for a couple years; I sang and played on both.

Heart was... Let’s say it was an interesting experience (laughs). [...] I had a good time with them. There were some really good things on that tour. When they first contacted me, I was a bit confused, because I like old Heart, 70s Heart. I don’t like 80s Heart with all those classic songs. They assured me that they didn’t play many of those songs. When I went there, I felt right away that I was too rock ‘n’ roll for the whole thing. So I don’t think the chemistry was great. I believe I played well with the band and we had some really good nights, but I just don’t think we fit so well together. Mike Inez is one of my best friends in the world, so that went well. I made some other good friends during that tour; Darrian, who played keyboards, Ben, who played drums. Great guys. The travelling was fantastic, I liked it a lot. They're very family-centered, so my family came along, too. The tour was fun, but we didn’t have the right chemistry.


He would also play in a band called Blues Mafia:

Blues Mafia is basically like a low-budget Rat Pack of rock 'n' roll. It's part comedy and it's part music. We start with a couple of blues standards--you know, John Lee Hooker, B.B. King, Robert Johnson--but at the end of the night, we play the Ramones. It's really just a couple of guys that have played in some pretty big bands and who are letting their hair down, having a couple of cocktails and just fucking around.


And in 2005 he would tour Europe with MC5:

It’s just a tour. When Wayne [Kramer] called me for the first time, he told me that the reason they were called DKT/MC5 was that it’s a tribute to the original band. But the singers and the guitarists in the band change all the time. Lisa is the only one who has stayed for so long and is a regular. If I was asked to do it again, I would. I had a great time with them. The music is very entertaining, and, being a guitarist, it’s very difficult to find music that fits your style and gives you as much freedom as you need. And in this case I’ve had a lot of freedom to do what I want, so I’ve had a great time. I don’t think I’ll record with them, though. If they make a record, Wayne will do all the guitars. I might play as a guest. We get along very well. Maybe they’ll record in my studio, everybody does, so... (laughs).


At some point he also played with Nancy Sinatra:

Amazing! Nancy was something really good for me as a musician. When you play with better musicians than yourself, you learn a lot. It was a challenge for me to play with those musicians and I had an awesome time. Many people ask me why I didn’t join Velvet Revolver or other bands. The answer to that is that I was never asked to join, but even if I were I wouldn’t do it, because I don’t want to play rhythm any more. With MC5 I play lead. I’ve always been a lead guitarist. The reason I played rhythm in GN’R is obvious. But the experience with Nancy was fantastic and I learned so much.



2005-: NEW SOLO RECORD


I’m working on a solo album. But what I want right now is to find a singer so that I can just play guitar. [...] But I mostly want to play guitar. I like it more than singing. I’m gonna put the record together and if I find a singer I’ll have him sing on the songs, otherwise I’ll sing myself again. I want to go out there and play festivals again, like I did with MC5, Heart, Nancy Sinatra...



ON REUNITING WITH GUNS N' ROSES


My part of the band was with Matt, Slash and Duff, but you can never say never.

[After Axl had jammed with Gilby in June 2000]: Whatever reasons he came down I really don't know. It is what it is. I don't have any interest in putting the band back together, and I don't think he does either.

If anything like that ever happened, I'm sure it would be with Izzy. [...] If I ever got the urge to play in a loud version of the Rolling Stones again, maybe, but I don't see that happening.

(laughs) Hey I'd love it dude, as long as all the drama is pushed to the side. I'm sure most Guns fans are gonna want Stradlin (laughing), but I would do it if asked.

I haven't closed the door on it, because no matter what happens number 1, I love the music of Guns N' Roses, number 2, I still think it's a powerfull band. But I just think, what Axl is doing right now, he needs to do. Wether he wants to continue with it, it's really up to him. I have no problem playing with any of the guys again. So, I'm just gonna leave it at that. You know, it's not about money for me, I hope it's not about money for the rest of the guys too. It's the same thing why we did the MC5, you know, being able to bring that music to a generation that never got to see it the right way. And that's why also I've been playing more GN'R songs in my set. I used to never do it. And I just think it's important for them to see it being represented the right way.


And discussing what the lineup of a reunited Guns N' Roses would look like:

I think if it did ever happen, obviously we're all just talking crap (laughs), everybody would wanna see the original lineup with Izzy and Steven, but the fact is that Steven couldn't do it anymore, he's just not capable of doing that set, playing the songs that Matt has recorded as well as the ones he has, so probably Matt would be the drummer. Obviously I'm sure they would ask Izzy before me, if Izzy wanted to do it he would do it, if he didn't want to do it, then they would probably ask me, I would hope (laughs). It would have to come down to what the circumstances were. Like I said, I still love the music, I still love performing. We would just have to see. It's a fun question to talk about, but we really don't have that answer.



2005: THE GUNS N' ROSES REVISITED WORLD TOUR OF SINGAPORE/THAILAND


In the summer of 2005, Tracii was supposed to travel to Singapore and Thailand for a "Guns N' Roses Revisited World Tour" together with Steven and his current band mates from Adler's Appetite [htgth.com, July 31, 2005; Arbiter Online, November 7, 2005]. Tracii would say it was originally planned with Gilby:

It was originally booked as a tour with ex-Guns guitarist Gilby Clarke. I agreed to do it because they called and offered me a basket of money, but it ended up being cancelled.


Presumably, it was cancelled when Guns N' Roses objected to their use of the Guns N' Roses logo... or just because it was a really bad idea:

I heard [Axl's lawyers objected], because of the use of the Guns N’ Roses logo.



2006: ROCK STAR: SUPERNOVA


In 2006, Gilby would team up with Jason Newstead and Tommy Lee for the reality TV series Rock Star: Supernova [FHM, June 2006]. The concept of the series was for this new supergroup to find their singer [FHM, June 2006].

Reality TV is reality TV. It's part of the future, cause people are tired of watching crappy television shows that were written by the same 5 guys. Reality TV is unpredictable to a point. So, this is more about a band. The 3 of us, myself, Jason and Tommy we only think about the band, we don't care about TV. TV is TV. Let the TV people do their thing. It's a great way to find a singer. If we knocked our heads to find a singer, we wouldn't have anybody. So, it's great to see a lot of people, that we would have never seen before, in perfect circumstances. I wish everybody would have this chance. Believe me, Velvet Revolver wished they had this chance until they found Scott. So, it's great. [...] [Rock Star: Supernova] was Tommy's idea. Tommy run into Mark Burnett, who's the producer, they were in Malibu where they live, and they were just talking about the show and Tommy goes "I got an idea, what if we put a new band together and you found a singer?" and Mark liked it. So, when they started knocking around heads, ok Tommy will play drums, who should be playing guitar, who should be playing bass, there was a list of people, and I was on that list, and I got the gig.



GILBY AND AXL


A lot of people make him out to be a reclusive drug weirdo, and he’s not. He’s a pretty talented guy. [Chinese Democracy] will be a good record.

People don't believe me, but I really don't have a bad relationship with Axl. We get along great when we see each other once every six years!
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