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1987.10.DD - Hard Force (France) - Interview with Axl

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1987.10.DD - Hard Force (France) - Interview with Axl Empty 1987.10.DD - Hard Force (France) - Interview with Axl

Post by Blackstar on Sat Aug 15, 2020 6:44 am

As reprinted in the 1994 Hard Force GN'R special issue (hors-serie). Big thanks to @gnr* for scanning all 100 pages (!) of the issue and posting them here:
https://www.a-4-d.com/t4986-1994-mm-dd-gnr-french-magazine-1994-hard-force-hors-serie

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1987.10.DD - Hard Force (France) - Interview with Axl 1987_140
1987.10.DD - Hard Force (France) - Interview with Axl 1987_141

Translation:
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OUR FIRST INTERVIEW
AXL


Here is Axl’s first French interview that Hard Force Magazine conducted in July 1987, after Guns N’ Roses’ passage from Europe. The article started like this:

Their first EP had already aroused a certain interest in the specialized press and the underground scene of L.A. Their album, which is being released by Geffen this month, pulverizes largely all the past productions of the year 1987 with its originality and quality. This album will propel them to the rank of the best current bands, because if they continue like this, they will certainly become as huge as Motley Crue, Aerosmith or Kiss. Their "glam-punk-rock” has ignited the California club circuit in no time, and other bands 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 played three shows at the Marquee, the last of which was recorded. We are recording a lot of our shows for a future live album and a video-documentary on the band, with a show that 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 arrest all the guys with long hair for nothing, and I was their favorite target. At first, I was arrested just because I was drinking alcohol, which is forbidden if you’re under 21; then they would throw me in jail for anything. I may have spent three years in jail,  all my stays combined.

Was that why you went to Los Angeles?

Axl: I went to L.A. several times before hitchhiking across the 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 band. There’s so much competition, so many kids and record labels. It’s easier for bands because there’s a lot of clubs, and, if you play regularly, you quickly create a good 'following': all the clubs want to book you because you attract crowds. But you still have to be good to get there.

Why did you release this mini-LP the two sides of which are identical?

Axl: When we were signed, we couldn't find the producer that would suit GN'R. Also, at that time, we had no management and we had to try three [managers] in four months. Our fans had been waiting for a product from the band for a while, so we decided to make 500 copies in L.A. so that these fans would be able to listen again to songs like "Nice Boys" and "Mama Kin"and have them on record. We paid for everything out of our own pockets to release this mini-LP, and it should be seen as a gift to our fans. Eventually, the distributor wanted to press 20,000 copies to cover its costs. But we’re going back to L.A. to record three or four more live tracks for the B sides of singles. Geffen will then reissue the LP "Live?!*@ Like A Suicide" in another form. So we’re going to remix it, and there’ll be one side with the four songs, which will have the title of the mini-LP; the other side will have live B sides and will be titled "The Sex, The Drug, The Violence, The Shocking Truth!" There’ll 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 old bassist and friend of the band, West Arkeen. He brought us a cassette with several songs and we thought it was so good that we jammed on it. I know it sounds like New York Dolls, but I love this way of singing. I used five different singing styles on the album. But to 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’s a totally different band than us; their audience is different and so is the music. Poison is a band that may appeal to girls, but, other than that, I think their music is without substance. Faster Pussycat is an interesting band. We know them very well, they often opened for us and we helped them find management. It’s strange, because in Europe, I believe that people think that we have copied everything from them, although it’s been quite the opposite. They all love GN’R, come to all our shows and jam our songs at their rehearsals. I wouldn’t say that we are a really original band, but I believe we’re more original than them. I see at least two tracks on their album that they could have signed as GN’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 that’s a phrase in our song "Reckless Life"; maybe it has something to do with it...

We’re only waiting for one thing, to see you live in France!

Axl: We’d 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’ll try to keep quiet and I’ll 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 been on tour opening for Y&T and Ace Frehley. But we plan to open for Motley Crue at the end of their US tour.

Interview by Arnaud Duriex; originally published in Hard Force No. 11


Last edited by Blackstar on Tue Aug 18, 2020 1:58 pm; edited 3 times in total
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1987.10.DD - Hard Force (France) - Interview with Axl Empty Re: 1987.10.DD - Hard Force (France) - Interview with Axl

Post by Blackstar on Sat Aug 15, 2020 6:55 am

Axl: That's right, but you should know that they arrest all the guys with long hair for nothing, and I was their favorite target. At first, I was arrested just because I was drinking alcohol, which is forbidden if you’re under 21; then they would throw me in jail for anything. I may have spent three years in jail, all my stays combined.
This might have been a mistake in the French translation, as Axl couldn't have possibly spent three years in jail. Maybe he had said "three months".

Also this:
Axl: This song [It's So Easy] was written by our old bassist and friend of the band, West Arkeen. He brought us a cassette with several songs and we thought it was so good that we jammed on it. I know it sounds like New York Dolls, but I love this way of singing. I used five different singing styles on the album. But to us, "It's So Easy" is just a "polish punk song"!
Unless West Arkeen had played bass in GnR for a short period - but this is unlikely. Plus, we know that the song was co-written by West and Duff, so probably Axl said something like "by our bassist and a friend of the band, West Arkeen".
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Post by Soulmonster on Sat Aug 15, 2020 7:30 am

Yes, sounds like words lost in translation.

Always fun to have a new Axl interview to work with Smile
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