APPETITE FOR DISCUSSION
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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

20. NOVEMBER 1996-AUGUST 1997: ROBIN REPLACES SLASH BUT MATT AND DUFF QUITS

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20. NOVEMBER 1996-AUGUST 1997: ROBIN REPLACES SLASH BUT MATT AND DUFF QUITS Empty Re: 20. NOVEMBER 1996-AUGUST 1997: ROBIN REPLACES SLASH BUT MATT AND DUFF QUITS

Post by Soulmonster Sat Aug 15, 2020 6:05 pm

WHAT ROLE DID MANAGEMENT PLAY IN THE BREAK-UP OF THE USE YOUR ILLUSION LINEUP?


Shortly after it was announced that Slash would be leaving Guns N' Roses, rumours started to swirl that the band's management had had a role [The Baltimore Sun, December 6, 1996]. The management would be Doug Goldstein who operated Big F.D Entertainment, mostly focusing on Guns N' Roses and Axl [Rolling Stone, May 11, 2000].

An anonymous music-industry source would describe Axl and Goldstein's relationship:

If Axl says, 'Jump,' he says, `Fine'. 'If he's in the air, he says, 'How much higher?


Later, Slash would imply that some people in Axl's circle weren't "doing [them] any good":

When the band's popularity exploded, Axl became more and more isolated once other people started getting involved. Those people weren't doing us any good. With the exception of the other original band members, whom I am all still friendly with, I don't want to talk to any of those people anymore

Just the thing got built into such a monster, which was led by a guy who had no real idea what was going on from a reality point of view. And then, everybody that worked for us that were, basically, hand-feeding him all this bullshit. And it would just keep going on, and I had no control over it anymore.


And Dizzy would claim the lack of communication was the fault of "the powers that be":

I don't think there was an actual downfall as much as everybody sort of outgrew what was going on.  People lost track of how they got there.  Sometimes when you're that young and you have that much success that fast you grow out of it.  I think that had a lot to do with it.  There was a definite lack of communication also, which when you have a group of people that work together that closely all the time, communication is extremely important. When there is a lot of money to be made, sometimes the powers that be will keep that communication from happening for fear that it might break up what's going on.  Thus, the money machine will shut down.


This would also be implied in this quote from Duff:

I was in a weird spot. At the end of the Use Your Illusion tour, I was completely wasted and collapsed physically. That's when I decided to go into rehab. From that moment on, I was the only one in the band that was sober. So I became the guy who would always get the calls from the record company, the manager and Axl: 'Try to get Slash back, try to get Slash back.' [He turns to Slash:] You didn't know that, did you? Everyone was calling me continuously to see if I could keep the fucking mess together! Eventually I told our manager: 'Look, I can only do so much. If you want to keep the whole thing on track, you would have to take responsibility and tell Axl the truth, or there won't be any band left for you to manage.' But he never did. So when it was apparent that Slash left definitely, I said 'Fuck it, I'm also out of here'.


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20. NOVEMBER 1996-AUGUST 1997: ROBIN REPLACES SLASH BUT MATT AND DUFF QUITS Empty Re: 20. NOVEMBER 1996-AUGUST 1997: ROBIN REPLACES SLASH BUT MATT AND DUFF QUITS

Post by Soulmonster Sat Aug 15, 2020 6:05 pm

LATE 1996
DUFF STARTS WORKING ON HIS SECOND SOLO ALBUM


By late 1996 Duff was still single and living a quiet life:

I don't have a social life. I don't even have a girlfriend. Maybe I will find one tonight! [because Duff would be going out to a Sex Pistols concert in LA]
Hard Metal, August 1996; translated from French

Well, you know, actually when I go back to... I live a pretty – I try to live a pretty normal life. I don’t really go out that much. I’m not interested in, you know, going out just to be out and be seen. You know, I do martial arts and I water-ski... […] And I do a lot of other things, you know? I had enough of the excess, I did that, you know? So now I just got my life together in my house, you know, so – And I go to basketball games and I go sit wherever, and if somebody comes up to me, I just talk to another human. I don’t try to run away, I just go, “Hi, yeah. Yeah, I am Duff. How are you doing, man?” You know, “I’m here to watch the basketball game, let’s watch it, man, come on.”
Rock & Pop Argentina, September 1996; translated from Spanish


Duff had divorced his wife, Linda [The Howard Stern Show, July 25, 1996], likely in late 1994 or 1995. The marriage had lasted three years [The Howard Stern Show, July 25, 1996].

In September 1996, Duff would be asked if he was interested in a second solo album but state that he was too busy with other projects at the moment:

I have a studio in my house and, you know, I go down there and I always kinda put together songs. So, I'm kinda busy right now. You know, Guns is… is doing their thing and we're out touring with Neurotic. And that's… Our album's coming out tomorrow. So… I'm pretty busy right now.


Yet, not long after, in early December, he had started working on his second solo album [Online Chat, December 17, 1996].
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20. NOVEMBER 1996-AUGUST 1997: ROBIN REPLACES SLASH BUT MATT AND DUFF QUITS Empty Re: 20. NOVEMBER 1996-AUGUST 1997: ROBIN REPLACES SLASH BUT MATT AND DUFF QUITS

Post by Soulmonster Sat Aug 15, 2020 6:05 pm

OCTOBER 1996-MARCH 1997
"300 DATS OF IDEAS, LOOPS AND SKETCHES"


Despite Slash being out of the band, media would report that the band was aiming for a summer 1997 release [Philadelphia Daily News, November 1, 1996; The Orlando Sentinel, November 1, 1996].

According to a band representative, the band expected to work more efficiently now:

Things will move faster now, because working out the differences between Axl and Slash has been a major issue, so it’s reasonable to expect that Guns N’ Roses will move along at a quicker pace. Axl wants something out by summer.


Duff would also concur that he thought the band was better off now than a year previously [Online Chat, December 17, 1996].

It would be reported that Axl had "seven works in progress" and that he was considering which producer to use [Daily Press, November 22, 1996].

Duff would later briefly mention the songs they were working on:

We have song titles, but no album title. I don't want to let the cat out of the bag.
Online Chat, December 17, 1996


Yet, when asked in December, Duff would imply that they would be entering the studio first in February, 1997.

Duff would also be asked about the rumours that Axl wanted a different musical style for Guns N' Roses, to which Duff would prevaricate:

There are a lot of rumors going on. […] I don't know [if we will change our style]. We progress naturally. As far as the rumor that one person wants us to change, that's just not true.
Online Chat, December 17, 1996


Matt would end up leaving the band in April 1997 [see later section], and he would later discuss what had been done by the time he left:

[…] I was hanging around rehearsal rooms for years working on material. We had over four hundred hours of jams, riffs, and songs recorded on ADAT.


By March 1997, a GN'R source would claim that at the moment they had 300 DAT tapes with "ideas, loops and sketches" that was not "that different from the sound you know" and "electronic influenced" [Addicted to Noise, March 19, 1997].

Todd Sullivan, the talent executive at Geffen, and possibly the source for the quote above, would say something similar:

Most of the stuff [Axl] had played me was just sketches. I said, ‘Look, Axl, this is some really great, promising stuff here. Why don’t you consider just bearing down and completing some of these songs?’ He goes, ‘Hmm, bear down and complete some of these songs?’ Next day I get a call from Eddie [Rosenblatt, Geffen Chairman] saying I was off the project.



WHAT ABOUT PAUL?


Paul was still involved, and it would be reported that it wasn't only Slash who had been opposed to Paul, but also Matt and Duff [News Pilot, November 15, 1996]. Allegedly, Axl had been working with Paul continuously throughout the past periods and Slash had refused to enter the studio to work on the new album if Axl or Paul was there [News Pilot, November 15, 1996].

From an earlier interview in August, while Slash was still in the band, it would be implied that Paul's role was only to help teach Axl guitar:

We rehearse every night and I play bass! Axl is playing the rhythm guitar, and it works very well! We work from Monday to Friday, ha, ha! There's me, Axl, Slash, Matt, Dizzy. There's also a friend of Axl who helps him to learn to play guitar. But we play, and it works!
hard Metal, August 1996; translated from French


That Paul was indeed still in the picture would be indicated from other sources too [Metal Edge, November 1996]. But the fact that Paul wasn't immediately and officially part of the lineup now that Slash was out [Daily Press, November 22, 1996], could be explained by Duff and Matt also not being warm to him and that his intended role was more to work in the background.

Later, in 2004, Dizzy would discuss working on new music in the late 1990s and say complimentary things about Paul:

I was down in a rehearsal studio recording ideas with a couple other guys, a guy named Paul Huge who was in the band for a little while, and basically that's what I did five days a week. Five or six days a week, I was just down there recording ideas. A lot of great songs came out of that. Its all still there. Something will happen with that stuff eventually. That was a very cool creative period and it was great working with Paul.



DECEMBER 1996: DUFF LEAVING, TOO?


Rumours would also be claiming that Duff was leaving the band, which he would deny:

I will not elaborate, but yes I am [still in the band] & everything is going to be cool as far as that is concerned.


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20. NOVEMBER 1996-AUGUST 1997: ROBIN REPLACES SLASH BUT MATT AND DUFF QUITS Empty Re: 20. NOVEMBER 1996-AUGUST 1997: ROBIN REPLACES SLASH BUT MATT AND DUFF QUITS

Post by Soulmonster Sat Aug 15, 2020 6:07 pm

AXL, THE DICTATOR?


Being a member of Guns N' Roses wasn't always easy. Matt would allude to this when he in September 1996 talked about his relationship with Axl:

I think [Axl] has respect for me, he thinks I'm a good drummer et it's cool. I heard him say that and I was happy. You know, humm, he fired me 2 or 3 times and he called me back… […] (Laugh) You never heard the rumors? Yes, we all have been fired at least 1 time! You never heard about it (laugh)? Seriously, it's true that he sometimes goes too far. Sometime I open my mouth and I say "Ok, Axl, fuck off!", then he fires me. So? I know he will call me the next day. I feel I'm in security and I know I will be the GNR drummer for a long time.
Hard Rock, September 1996; translated from French


In a Rolling Stone Magazine issue from presumable late 1996, and which we don't have in our archive, it is implied that Axl was now completely in control of the band and that the other band members would have to jump when he said so. Duff was confronted by this and replied:

Absolutely not when it comes to AXL's permission. What was printed in Rolling Stone is incorrect & I'm pissed off about it.


But later Duff would point to problems with Axl acting like a "dictator":

Susan, my girlfriend, was pregnant. We were going to have a baby, but this band was becoming a dictatorship, everything had to get done Axl’s way or it wouldn’t get done at all. It wasn’t like that when we started out.


And Matt would indicate this too, when looking back at the band in 2005:

GN'R turned into a Gestapo - It was run by one guy who had his vision of what Guns was supposed to be, at that point. In [Velvet Revolver], we like hanging out together and playing music with each other, it's like we can't wait to come up with a new riff. With Guns, we'd come up with a new riff and Axl would be like, "That sucks!" Nobody says, "That sucks," now.


Slash would indicate something similar:

It seemed like a dictatorship. We didn’t spend a lot of time collaborating. [Axl]’d sit back in the chair, watching. There’d be a riff here, a riff there. But I didn’t know where it was going.


Duff would explain why it had come to this:

Because many people around him maintain [Axl] in that state of mind. They kept telling him he was right. Some of them feared him cause they were scared they were gonna lose their job.


And more:

Music wise, he was invaded completely by guys his brought. He brought a guy and said "He is our new guitar player." I said "What the fuck?" That's not right. That's same thing I bring a guy and say "He is a new member." There was no democracy. Slash started to take it seriously said "Fuck it. Is that his band? Since when?" That's ridiculous. Even if I went to rehearsal at nine at night, AXL shows up at four or five in the next morning for about two years. I could not keep up with the schedule. There was no respect for me.
Burrn! Magazine, December 1999; translated from Japanese

If you give too much to someone like Axl. Let's put it this way. If everyone around you is answering "yes" for years, if everything is reduced to "yes, yes, yes", then in your relation with other people, when someone says "no" you think that person is wrong. You're gonna tell him to fuck off! You're in this band from the start, and then suddenly everything turns autocratic, just because one person is surrounded by people saying yes to everything. It's not autocracy legally, but there is just one person thinking that's his band. Well then, keep your damned band! One can't stand it anymore. I love each and every member of Guns N' Roses, and that feeling is not going to fade away. I would do anything for them, no question. But people change. I have changed. I've got a larger goal in life now. So, what could I do? Be pissed and make a lot of money? To me, making music is not oriented to making money. If you're in it for the money, then you're in it for the wrong reason. You'll never make any good music, I tell you.

I told Axl this was his band, he had ignored everyone and had hired his best friend for the band. I couldn't play with him. Paul Huge, that was the guy! He's a friend of Axl, he's a 'yes man'. […] Man, you can't be in Guns N' Roses just like that. That was a real band. […]  imagine you and I grow up together and you're my best friend. OK, I'm in Guns N' Roses and I tell the rest you're going to join the band. "OK, Slash, Axl, Matt, guys, this guy is in the band". "Duff, you got a minute?" "No, he's in the band" "Well, no. Everyone in the band has to vote it, Duff, so no way!" "Fuck you, this guy is in the band! I'm not doing anything unless this guy is in the band" "OK, you know what? We'll try and play with him, since you're that much interested in it. Hey Duff, the guy can't play" "I don't care" "Well that's not very reasonable." "I don't care" At that point, what would you do? I came to a point where I couldn't even look at him [Paul]. If I were in such a situation, if I were the friend joining the band, I'd say "Hey guys, you've done very good yourselves alone, I'm not going any further. Hey, Duff, thanks for the offer, but I'm breaking your band." But he didn't say it.


Despite Duff arguing that the band had become a dictatorship, Axl would insist that the new version of Guns N' Roses in 1999 was a proper band and that the "new material has been composed collaboratively with the new players":

It's not an Axl Rose album, even if it's what I wanted it to be. Everybody is putting everything they've got into singing and building. Maybe I'm helping steer it to what it should be built like.
Rolling Stone, January 2000; interview from November 1999

Now people can say ‘Well Axl, you're after control of the band too.' You're damn skippy. That's right. I am the one held responsible since day one. When it comes to Guns n' Roses, I may not always get everything right but I do have a good idea about getting things from point A to point B and knowing what the job is that we have to do. Within those parameters, I give everyone as much freedom to do what they want something Slash has verified in several interviews.


Chris Cornell, who was working with Josh in 1999, would confirm this:

I think they actually have a lot of creative freedom with what they’re doing with Axl, they’re getting to write parts and stuff - and when he’d come to work with me it’s almost the opposite of what you would think. I would tell him exactly what to play when the song was finished.
Metal Hammer, October 1999


But as far as deciding what to play at shows, Axl called the shots:

Axl decides on the spot. He says “this [song]” and we play it.


Tommy would later talk more about how Axl wanted everybody to contribute and interestingly suggest this was due to how it had been back in the old version of Guns N' Roses:

[Comparing Axl to Paul Westerberg]: Axl, by a long shot [is the easiest to work with]. I’ll tell you why, and I can explain this really well, actually. Paul liked to do it his way. He would hear things a certain way in his head but couldn’t tell you how it was going to happen. It would get kind of frustrating. He would have a vision and would fucking beat it to death trying to get there. With Axl, he doesn’t really have his own vision. He likes to take everyone’s two cents and throw it into the soup, get everyone involved and kind of mold it that way. Axl could really take production credit on this record because he took the best of each of us on each song and crammed it together and made it a musical piece. I can’t tell you how much I learned about collaborating with people while making the record, where Paul just kind of does it his way.

[...]

Paul would be way more of a dictator than Axl. Axl is more of a collaborator, maybe even to a fault sometimes. He wants everyone involved. Part of that may have come from the old band, where everyone wanted him to sing their songs but didn’t want to play the other guys’ songs. It would be like, “I’m not going to sing on your song unless you play on his song,” and then it becomes infighting and that kind of shit. That doesn’t really keep a band together. On the new record, everyone’s got a bit in there, their part of a song. It lends itself to us feeling a part of the whole record.


Interestingly, Gilby would provide a synthesis for these apparently different views on Axl:

Axl isn't really... well, (laughing), Axl is definitely an egomaniac. Not in the sense the word is usually used... Axl isn't an egomaniac in the sense that he wants all the glory to himself. I mean shit, look at GNR songs over the years, even the new ones, he lets everyone in the band get their stuff in and shine. The problem is, he's an egomaniac in the sense it has to be HIS way. So it's like, "yeah Slash go ahead and do whatever solo you want, but it has to be on MY song, the song I WANT, and if I don't like the song then we aren't using it". He sort of disregards what the rest of the band thinks and does it his own way. It wasn't always like that though.


See later chapter for more details on how the Chinese Democracy sessions took place with all band members contributing.


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20. NOVEMBER 1996-AUGUST 1997: ROBIN REPLACES SLASH BUT MATT AND DUFF QUITS Empty Re: 20. NOVEMBER 1996-AUGUST 1997: ROBIN REPLACES SLASH BUT MATT AND DUFF QUITS

Post by Soulmonster Sat Aug 15, 2020 6:07 pm

THE BREAK WITH SLASH ONLY TEMPORARY?


Slash would comment on the break-up repeatedly and often indicate that he and Axl might find back together again:

Axl and I have not been capable of seeing eye to eye on Guns N' Roses for some time. We recently tried to collaborate, but at this point, I'm no longer in the band. I'd like to think we could work together in the future if we were able to work out our differences.


Slash's manager, Tom Maher, would also echo this:

You don't want to close all the doors. Right now, though, Axl and Slash just aren't seeing eye to eye.


Somewhat later, Slash would claim he hadn't officially quit the band, even implying it was exaggerated by the media:

For some strange reason, Guns N' Roses is like the catalyst for controversy, even before we had any kind of record deal. We were always the band in town that everybody liked to make up stories about. It's more of the same, only on a bigger scale. […] Axl and I have just not been able to have a meeting of the minds of such that we can actually work together. We've been through this a dozen times. It seems like a big deal now, but to me it's more of the same. I haven't really gone anywhere. I haven't officially quit the band. It's just that we're not seeing eye to eye on where Guns should be going. It's just such a pain in the ass. […] let the smoke clear and maybe we can talk about it later, rather than try and force something unnatural and have everyone go 'We waited around all this time for THIS?' Axl's whole visionary style, as far as his input in Guns N' Roses, is completely different from mine. I just like to play guitar, write a good riff, go out there and play, as opposed to presenting an image.


And again he would indicate this could be just temporarily and that it was a disagreement over musical direction that caused the split:

In a nutshell, Axl and I aren't really seeing eye to eye as far as musical direction is concerned. Where he's taking on a visionary direction, I'm still rooted in the original concept [from] when we first got together. We're sort of butting heads on that.

When I came back from the last Snakepit tour, I did go back to rehearsals [with Rose] to see if we could rekindle any kind of flame, but it just didn't work out.

If we ever decide at some point that we need each other, that we want to get back together, if we ever get back in a room together and it clicks, that would be great. In the meantime, I'm not gonna sit around and play rock star. I want to work. […]


And later:

It's not a real big concern with me right now because if it gets together, you know how I always put it, if we get together we get together, and in the meantime there's so many other things to do. […] [Axl] does [want to have the band back together], but he wants to... I don't know. For me personally we're just not...uh, let's put it, like a more civil kind of way of putting it, is we're not seeing eye-to-eye on the direction point of view and it's a lot of friction and it's just worth it. […] Once it falls together, it will. We've been through this so many times.


In April he would state that, despite Axl's fax to MTV, he wasn't officially out of the band [San Antonio Express-News, April 4, 1997].

I am not officially out of the band. […] I'm tight with the band; it's just that there's this thing with me and (lead singer) Axl (Rose). If we can have a meeting of the minds and put out a good rock 'n' roll record, I'll be there. I'd be more disappointed putting out a (lackluster) Guns album than none at all.



In May, Slash would indicate that the decision to go their separate ways wasn't necessarily mutual between him and Axl:

Uhm, it's real simple. Me and Axl had more or less a musical... difference of opinion as far as musical direction. Simple as that. You've heard it a million times. It's a rock n roll cliche. And instead of going where I didn't feel comfortable, I just said, "You know what, you do what you're gonna do, I'm just gonna go out and jam, and then, whenever we meet on the same ground, I'll be around." Simple as that. […] It wasn't necessarily mutual, you know [laughing] It's my way of looking at it and then his is probably a lot different, but...


And in December he would admit it wasn't at all amicable:

Um, no, it wasn’t really amicable, but it was sort of inevitable. This is a better way of putting it, you know (laughs).


Interestingly, in an interview published in December 1997, Slash would disregard the most recent problems with Axl from late 1996 entirely when discussing when he left the band, and say he left the band three years ago, in other words in 1994 when he started focusing on Snakepit [Fuzz Magazine, December 1997]. This sort of aligns with Axl's fax to MTV [see earlier chapter] where Axl, too, would say that Slash had been out of the band for a while except for a few weeks of rehearsal trials.

This would probably be alluded to be Del James:

Slash QUIT Guns N' Roses after his solo projects flopped. Geffen Records President Eddie Rosenblatt literally begged Axl to keep the door open for Slash. And Axl did so what happened? Slash came back for some writing down at the studio, totally negative and belligerent, quits the fucking band and then publicly spins it into somehow he got pushed out. Didn’t go down that way, man.


Things weren't much better between them in 1998:

Actually, I'm really good friends with everybody [from Guns N' Roses] with the exception of one [smiling]. You figure it out.


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20. NOVEMBER 1996-AUGUST 1997: ROBIN REPLACES SLASH BUT MATT AND DUFF QUITS Empty Re: 20. NOVEMBER 1996-AUGUST 1997: ROBIN REPLACES SLASH BUT MATT AND DUFF QUITS

Post by Soulmonster Sat Aug 15, 2020 6:08 pm

EARLY 1997-OCTOBER 1997
LOOKING FOR A PRODUCER - MOBY?


According to a GN'R spokesperson, in March and April 1997 it would be reported that Axl had met with several possible producers for the band's next record [MTV, April 18, 1997]. One of these was Moby [Allstarmag, March 18, 1997; MTV, March 18, 1997; Addicted to Noise, March 19, 1997]. Apparently, according to the sources, Axl and Moby had "spent time together, and gotten along well on a personal level, and now they're going to see if they can make some musical magic together" [Addicted to Noise, March 19, 1997].

Years later, Moby would tell an anecdote that highlighted how Axl was a fan of his music:

Well, this is why I'm one of the worst judges of my own music. Because my favorite record of all the records I've made was this album called Animal Rights that I made in 1996. No one else likes it. Of all the ones I've made, that's probably the only one I really go back to and listen to. And it sold nothing. And it got terrible reviews—I think Rolling Stone gave it one out of ten stars. But you know, it had three fans, and they were the weirdest—Terence Trent D'Arby wrote me a fan letter to say that he loved it, on Terence Trent D'Arby stationary. Bono, in a bar, told me that he liked it as much as the first Clash album. And Axl Rose told me that he listened to it on repeat. So the three of them liked it, and no one else! And the tour for that was the most depressing tour I've ever done, because the first part of the tour I was opening up for Soundgarden, and Soundgarden's audience just had no interest in me. And then I did my own tour, and my own audience had no interest in me. And we were playing tiny shows—averaging fifty to a hundred people a night. And the people who would show up—I remember we played at this place in Paris, this punk rock club-collective, the Balaklava? No, it was called the Arapajo—I forget. Maybe seventy-five people showed up, and by the end of the show there were twenty-five people there. It was just depressing. And it wasn't like I was twenty-one years old; I was thirty-two, thirty-three years old, thinking, "Really? I don't have a career." If it wasn't for Daniel Miller, I'd be working at Kinkos. Not that there's anything wrong with working at Kinkos; I'm all for—potheads need to have a job too.
Anthem Magazine, June 11, 2009


Moby had earlier talked about Guns N' Roses and was said to like the band and had also defended Axl Rose for speaking his mind [New Musical Express, October 26, 1991].

The news that Moby was working with Guns N' Roses was first announced by Moby himself on a panel at the SXSW festival [Addicted to Noise, March 19, 1997], which lasted from March 8-17, 1997.

At the risk of sounding like a sleazy music biz guy, I met with Axl last week to hear their new demos. They're writing with a lot of loops, and believe it or not, they're doing it better than anybody I've heard lately.
Allstarmag, March 18, 1997; quote from SXSW, 1997


Another newspaper would present Moby's quote slightly different:

[Axl is] writing with loops and experimenting with electronics. Strangely enough, they’re doing it better than everybody. It completely blew my mind.
Hartford Courant, March 23, 1997; quote from SXSW, 1997


In May, MTV News would report that Moby is "producing some tracks for the next Guns n' Roses album" [MTV News, May 28, 1997].

Later, in October and November, 1997, Moby would talk about his role and indicate that he likely wouldn't do the job:

They've asked me to be the producer, but I'm not sure I'm capable of doing that because, if nothing else, making this record is going to be a long, long process.

I went out and met with (Axl Rose) a few times, but I don’t think I’m going to work on that record, because it would mean working on it at the exclusion of my next record. I don’t want to spend a year in Los Angeles just working on Guns ’n’ Roses.


And in February 1998, it would be confirmed by Bryn Bridenthal that Moby wouldn't produce the record [MTV News, February 11, 1998].

Talking about his decision to decline the project:

It was a very hard decision to make. The music they're working on is really wonderful.


Despite Moby's decision, Doug Goldstein would still say Axl was interested in letting Moby hear the music and offer his insights [Rolling Stone, February 20, 1998].

Moby developed a strong relationship with Axl and would defend him from criticism, particularly from Alan Niven who would publicly lambast Axl for what happened to Guns N' Roses [see previous chapter]:

[…] the ruthlessness that these people attribute to Axl, I can't relate to it. I've never seen it in him. Since I've become involved with him, I've developed this weird sort of protective, paternal feeling with him.


Moby would continue to talk about Axl and Guns N' Roses to the media in the years to come [see other chapters], resulting in Axl exclaiming:

I appreciate all the publicity he's been getting us, but shut up already!
Rolling Stone, January 2000; interview from November 1999


In 2000 Doug Goldstein would talk about the various producers who had been involved, and indicate that Moby's role had been very small:

The others were people we met with or tried out on some tracks [with]. With Moby, we just had a meeting with him.


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20. NOVEMBER 1996-AUGUST 1997: ROBIN REPLACES SLASH BUT MATT AND DUFF QUITS Empty Re: 20. NOVEMBER 1996-AUGUST 1997: ROBIN REPLACES SLASH BUT MATT AND DUFF QUITS

Post by Soulmonster Sat Aug 15, 2020 6:08 pm

APRIL 1997
MATT IS OUT


It got really bad. The band was going down the toilet. We grew up listening to great bands like Led Zeppelin and the Stones. Guns N' Roses made that kind of music and the lifestyle we wanted went with it-rock music, drugs, and women. You see these bands today talking about the excess and shit on VH1. It's all, "Waah waah, whine whine." It wasn't "waah" - it was a blast.

____________________________________________

In early April 1997, reports would surface saying Matt left the band and was replaced by Igor Cavalera, former drummer in Sepultura [News Pilot, April 4, 1997]. Nothing seems to have come out of the Cavalera rumour.

In an article from October 1997, when listing the band members, neither Matt or anyone else would be mentioned [Icon Magazine, October 1997], indicating that Matt had indeed left the band.

In February 1998, when asked about what the current lineup was, Bryn Bridenthal would not confirm that Matt was out [MTV News, February 11, 1998]. Around the same time, Doug Goldstein would say the following regarding Matt's status while confirming the band had rehearsed new drummers:

The jury is still out on [drummer] Matt Sorum.


Later, Duff and Goldstein would shed some light on what had happened:

Matt was never a full member of the band, he was on an ejector seat and Axl said: “I’m gonna fire him.” I answered that this decision required more than one person since we were a band, that he alone didn’t own the majority. All of this because Matt told him he was wrong. The truth is, Matt was right, and Axl wrong indeed.

[…] Matt Sorum came into the studio and announced to those working that night, "Watch..I'm going to get myself fired tonight".


And elaborate on what the issue between Matt and Axl had been:

About schedules and the way Axl was late for the next album.


Axl would also discuss Matt's departure:

That was [Matt's and Duff's] choice to leave. Everybody that's gone did it by choice. Matt was fired, but Matt came in attempting to get fired and told many people so that night. So it's kind of like everybody left by choice. They really didn't think I was going to figure out a way to make a record, [and they] didn't want to help really make a record. Everybody kind of wanted what they wanted individually rather than what's in the best interest of the whole.


And Matt would give his version and indicate that Paul had been central to the final argument between Matt and Axl:

In '97 I got into a little bit of an argument with Axl about the state of the band. He'd brought in another guitar player, Paul Huge, and none of us really wanted to play with him. Axl really wanted him in the band and we didn't really want to play with the guy. Me and Duff were showing up, trying to be professional and get the work done but it just didn't seem to be going anywhere, and obviously it still hasn't.

I'm so glad I left because it was just stagnant. It didn't make any sense to be a musician to be sitting there not being able to put any of your creative energy out to the world. All my stuff was on some tapes on a shelf and four years had gone by. I was still making a lot of money. The band was paying me really well, and I was a member. I was getting a big check every month and living the high-life up in a big six-level house with a Porsche and all my (expletive).

One day I just said (expletive) this. I want to play you know, let's go! Me and Axl had an argument and I said, 'You should get Slash back and we should put the band back together. Get out there and do it.' He was like, 'I don't need Slash.' And I said, 'Well I think you do.' And he asked me, 'Are you gonna quit?' And I said, 'No I'm not going to quit.' And he said, 'Well you're fired.' So I left, and I remember walking out the door and I went back to my six-level palatial estate, where I was producing a band called Candlebox, they were in my house. And I said, 'I've just been fired from Guns N' Roses.' And we sat down and we celebrated.

I didn’t want to be part of a band where all the original members were gone, with the exception of Axl.

Then Paul Huge walked into the studio and made a bad comment about Slash. I said, 'You don't say that when I'm in the room'. Then Axl laid in, I argued with him and it was over. Huge followed me out into the parking lot and said, 'Come back'. I said, 'I can't come back, he's fired me. Do you feel good about breaking up one of the greatest bands that ever lived?' […] Paul Huge is the Yoko Ono of GNR.
Q, July 20010; interview from November 1999

And I remember one day sitting there - it was three years later, in 1996 - thinking, "I'm making a lot of money, but I'm not being a musician anymore. Somehow I've dug myself into a hole and my life has become more about my lifestyle and the money I'm making and not so much about my drumming."

I had let my drumming go a little. I was living an extreme rock 'n' roll lifestyle, and I wasn't practicing as much. I had bought a huge ranch in Malibu and a condo in town, and I wasn't playing. And when I was, I wasn't enjoying it anymore. So I said to myself, I have to quit this band. I really didn't want to quit, because I always try to see things through to the end. But Axl and I got into it and he ended up firing me.

At that point, Slash wasn't around, so I said, "We've got to get Slash back and start making this record." Axl said, "We don't need Slash," but I said, "Seems to me all the great songs - 'Welcome To The Jungle' and 'Sweet Child Of Mine' - were very much you and Slash. We need you two guys together." So he said, "Are you going to quit then?" I said, "No, I'm not going to quit." And then he said, "Well, then you're fired." And about a month later, I got the notice from the lawyers that I was out.

[Being asked when he left Guns N' Roses]: An evening in 1997. (laughs) I can't remember the month. All I remember is that I was had a candle box at my house, so it was freezing. I came home, and I said "I've just been fired". I remember what time of the year it was... I think it was summer time. Might have been April... March or April. I think so, 1997. […] We weren't getting along. (laughs) We weren't playing live. I wanted to get out and play. But no one else wanted to play so we... […] I like to call [Paul Huge] the Yoko Ono of Guns N' Roses. (laughs). […]  The man who broke the band up. You are the first guy who ever got me to say that. But, yeah. (laughs) […] So I guess Axl's lawyers are going to be contacting you. (laughs).

Years had gone by when we stopped touring, where we were trying to make the next record. We stopped touring in 1993, we were still in the studio trying to record a record in 1997. I started not feeling anything for the music anymore. I'm like, "Man I'm hanging out because I'm still getting this check, and getting paid. Man, I gotta get back to playing music. I'm a musician."

I said, Listen motherfucker [Ed note: To Paul Huge], when I'm sitting in the room, I'd appreciate it if you don't fucking say shit about Slash. He's my friend. Then Axl got in my face. I said, Axl, man, you're fucking smoking crack if you think this band's GN' R without Slash. You're gonna go play Sweet Child O' Mine with fucking Paul Huge? Sorry, dude, it ain't gonna sound right. Axl says, 'I'm Guns N' Roses-I don't need Slash. I'm Guns N' Roses.' I said. You know what? No, you aren't. This bullshit went on for about another 20 minutes. And then Axl finally said, 'Well, are you gonna fucking quit?' I said, I don't fucking quit! So he said, 'Well, then you're fucking fired!'

Paul Huge chased me out to the parking lot and said, 'Just come back in and apologise!' I said, Fuck you, Yoko! I'm gone! And that was it. I went home to my fucking six-level palatial rock star estate with two elevators. About a month later I got the letter from the lawyers.


Later Matt would say that it had been impossible to tour with Neurotic Outsiders because Slash would ask him to come back and record with Guns N' Roses, but then Slash wouldn't come to the studio, leading to so much frustration that Matt eventually quit:

Every time we went out on the road [with Neurotic Outsiders], Slash would pull us back in and say, ‘Don’t tour, we’re going to record,’ and then he wouldn’t show up at the studio. So it started to be a pisser. It became a real thorn in my side, and I was like, ‘I’m going to have to let down the moniker of ‘Drummer of Guns ‘N’ Roses’ and just go back to being ‘Matt Sorum, Drummer.” I felt the music was becoming secondary to my position or status, so I let go of that. [...] Then in 1997 we got into an argument and I said, ‘This is not right, we’ve got to pull the band together. This is not brain surgery, this is rock and roll: two guitars, bass, vocals, and drums. Don’t over-think it.’ He said, ‘Are you going to quit?’ I said, ‘No.’ He said, ‘You’re fired.'


It is also possible Matt is referring to Axl not showing up at the studio.

In 2005, it would be reported that Matt received a one-time settlement of $125,000 when he quit the band [The London Times, March 18, 2005].


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20. NOVEMBER 1996-AUGUST 1997: ROBIN REPLACES SLASH BUT MATT AND DUFF QUITS Empty Re: 20. NOVEMBER 1996-AUGUST 1997: ROBIN REPLACES SLASH BUT MATT AND DUFF QUITS

Post by Soulmonster Sat Aug 15, 2020 6:09 pm

MATT AFTER GUNS N' ROSES


After leaving Guns N' Roses, Matt played jazz with The Buddy Rich Orchestra, did a one-off Christmas performance with Billy Idol, produced a record for Candlebox, and collaborated on Poe's hits, "Angry Johnny" and "Hello" [Lawrence Journal World, June 28, 2001]. He formed a production company called Orange Curtains Productions with his partner Larry Cordola, but eventually quit:

I said, ‘I’m tired of this band business.’ It was getting too political. So I got into making music with people.

I paused for thought, dabbled in production (including the first Poe album). I felt I'd had enough of being in a band, but soon realised that production is a lot like babysitting and I'm not a babysitter.


In November 1997 it would be reported that Matt would have a role in an indie movie called "The Sound Man" [MTV News, November 25, 1997] and together with Slash, Duff and Joh Taylor, Matt would make the soundtrack for the movie [Lawrence Journal World, June 28, 2001].

At some point in likely early 1998, Matt would describe himself as "happily divorced" [Rock Express, 1998]. He would also talk about his hobbies:

I collect sports cars. I have a Porsche, some old corvettes. I recently started collecting corvettes and dreaming of buying a Cobra one day, an old and very rare model. […] n expensive hobby, but I can afford it and as I said, I want to get the most out of my life. We have sold over 60 million records so I don't think how much money I have. Millions (laughs). But girls are my real hobby (laughs). I try to live life as much as possible, I love to travel, I love the sun and I try to be where it is as much as possible. In short, I enjoy life and strive to maximize my pleasure. My second hobby is pinball, I started playing pinball when Slash gave me a G'n'R pinball pin that he designed. He is really a fanatic and he invented a bunch of video games and pinball machines. In the G'n'R pinball player receives a bonus of 6 balls, as many musicians, and each bears one's name. The object of the game is to use as many of these bonus balls as possible. When you throw a ball where it belongs, the name that the ball bears appears on the screen. Of course, during that time, the music, Paradise City, came out of the pinball machine. No wonder all the big rock bands have their pinball machines. I was gifted this Slash pinball machine for my birthday. He is really a fanatic, he has about 20 pinball machines in the house, he goes crazy for them, he plays all day.
Rock Express, 1998; translated from Serbian


The same year he would also go to rehab and meet Scott Weiland:

One time we were in together with Scott, as roommates! He was trying to kick his heroin habit and with me it was coke, this was all back in 1998. I'd ran into Scott earlier, but that was the time that we really got to know one another. I don't think we ever did any drugs together, though.


Matt would also talk about getting sober, although it is not clear when this happened although it could of course have been spurred on by the rehab in 1998:

When I got undressed and a year passed - and that is a long time - without the use of narcotics, I was very proud of myself for having endured so much and for realizing I could do without them. And I started to feel much, much better without them. While using narcotics, I thought that by doing so I could feel better, that I would be able to solve all problems so easily, and that, for example, I could recover and gather new energy. but in the morning when you wake up you see that the problems have not only disappeared but new ones have appeared and instead of getting better, you get worse and worse. When I stopped, my life changed from the root, I became more cheerful and more energetic, more to look forward to, to travel - to enjoy more, more resilient, fresher. I'm happier.
Rock Express, 1998; translated from Serbian

I've got my life in perspective. I'm all cleaned up. I'm in better shape than when I was in Guns. That was one big party.


To get sober Matt spent time in rehab, and there he would share a room with Scott Weiland [The Howard Stern Show, May 24, 2004].

A few years later, Matt relapsed:

Everyone [in Velvet Revolver] is really good right now. But a few of us lapsed back into some old habits. The only one who stayed completely sober actually was Scott. Dave doesn't count because he has been clean for years.


Matt went to rehab, where Duff was also admitted [Rolling Stone, August 9, 2007].

And talking about his friends:

[Duff] is very close to me and probably the closest friend to the band. And Slash of course, Slash is an OK guy. In fact, I have many friends among musicians, Rob from Skid Row, Tommy Lee from Motley Crue. Tommy is one of my closest friends in general, a brother in arms (laughs). Admittedly, while he was with Pamela, I rarely saw him, I guess she didn't let him out of the bedroom (laughs).
Rock Express, 1998; translated from Serbian


In late 2009, Matt would talk about possibly marrying his girlfriend Ace Harper (from the Darling Stilettos) [Vegas DeLuxe, December 18, 2009].


THE CULT


In April 2000, Matt would rejoin with Billy Duff and Ian Astbury from The Cult at a Neurotic Outsiders show at The Viper Room in Hollywood [Music News Of The World, April 6, 1999]. They would play three Cult songs together [Music News Of The World, April 6, 1999].

Billy Duffy came and stayed at my house in the summer of '98. I had a gig down at The Viper Room (in Los Angeles), and I invited Billy and Ian to come up onstage with us. We played a couple of Cult songs and the room went freaky and loved it and we said, 'Why don't we put the band together?' So we booked a tour around the country and we did 25 almost-sold out dates. It was very cool and it felt very good. We had a good lineup and the band was rockin'. We did seven nights at the House of Blues in L.A. All the celebrities were showing up and it felt real exciting; it felt like people really wanted us back.

We took a year and a half to make the record because we were searching for the new sound of the band. We wanted to be viable now. We didn't want to be the retro-Cult. We didn't want to be a band reforming for the sake of getting back together. Ian refers to it as unfinished business. It's modern, you know? It'll compete against anything that's out there ? Any Limp Bizkit, but we don't want to be Limp Bizkit, we never were. It's heavy and it's a rock 'n' roll album, and I think what I sense from people out on the street is that there's a lack of it. There's a lot of attitude-rock and a lot of soft (expletive), but there's nothing in the middle. Aerosmith is more of a pop band now. There's Stone Temple Pilots, but their new album is even a bit soft. There's not that many.

I ran into The Cult guys again. They asked me to go out on the road. We put a jam together and played at The Viper Room when Billy Duffy [guitarist] came into town. Then we called Ian [Astbury, singer] who came down and sang with us and the crowd went nuts. We decided to book a tour last summer and it sold out everywhere. Then the labels started coming around and we got signeed. The album itself took quite a while to make. We finished it up this spring. The drums were cut pretty quickly - a couple of weeks. I cut four or five takes, and they edit them together, which is how a lot of people do it these days.




The Cult
2000



In 2002, The Cult had been dropped by their label:

Getting dropped is part of life as a musician. We could see the whole thing coming. Ian and Billy put themselves under a lot of pressure to resist external meddling and write the album themselves, but ultimately they came up with more of a dark, trippy record than a pop record.

Ian and Billy are the same old guys, really, maybe a bit lazier. Some of the old issues came back to me and there was a bit of patchin’ up to do. There was some ego adjustment to being a drummer in a rock 'n' roll band from the drummer in the world's biggest rock 'n' roll band. It started out as, 'Let's get the best Cult lineup together’ and ended up being just about Ian and Billy. I found the whole corporate thing hard to deal with, too. It was a more personal journey for me this time. I mean, it's okay not to get hammered your bandmates every night, as I used to, and do more stuff during the day.

We got back together for a reunion tour, had an awesome time, and then a bunch of labels had a bidding war. We made a record with Bob Rock, Beyond Good and Evil, which came out on the Lava/Atlantic label, and did a big tour around that. It was very fun, but Ian (Astbury) and Billy (Duffy) really didn’t like the radio business and that kind of stuff. Times have changed, you have to kiss a lot more ass, and we weren’t willing to do it. [...] The record sold 200,000 copies, which isn’t bad, but not much in this day and age. We opened for Aerosmith and did some arenas, which is where I feel at home – I love that stuff. But then there was a lot of stuff happening with the record company. It got bought out by AOL Time Warner, and any band that hadn’t sold enough units was let go. We were let go.



RELATIONSHIP WITH AXL


When 'Live Era' was released in 1999, Matt was listed as "additional musician":

That hurt. It was the biggest dig he ever took at me. But Axl said he wouldn't release the album if it was changed. That's how spiteful he got. I didn't mean what I said badly. I felt sorry for him.

I mean the reason why I was listed as additional musician is because me and Axl were not getting along. He made that call.


And on talking to Axl:

I've phoned Axl 4 times to let him know I'm still here, but Axl, he's a...private...person.


In 2002 Axl would mention that he didn't consider Matt an important past member of the band:

For me Matt doesn't figure into the equation and for as much as I was a friend to him he was incapable of reciprocating and life is much better without such an obvious albatross. [...]  And for the record I'm referring to Slash and Matt in regards to their actions and behavior, Duff played more of a supporting role (for reasons I've never understood). For the fans to attempt to condemn me to relationships even only professional with any of these men is a prison sentence and something I wouldn't wish on my worst enemy. I'd say my parole is nearly over. I'm practically a free man and if you don't like it you'll have plenty of time to get used to the idea.


After Velvet Revolver started Matt would get more questions about Axl, and also about his new looks:

I'm not feeling it. And I don't know what's going on with the hair.

Axl Rose was a training ground for everything that you could possibly ever imagine to test your patience.

I didn’t make the money Slash and Duff made with Guns–Axl’s done everything in his power to fuck me out of royalties.


Yet, Matt would not deny Axl's greatness:

We had Axl Rose, one of the greatest frontman ever - Not just of the early-'80s and the early-'90s, ever! It's like Freddy Mercury, fucking Ozzy -

What [Axl, Ian Astbury, and Scott Weiland] all have in common is a great ability to entertain a crowd. They each bring a different passion to the songs that they perform, and each one realizes that it is a rock show, not just a songfest. It's pretty amazing when I consider that I have been blessed to play drums behind three of the greatest front men of all time.


But say he didn't like him:

It was such a wild ride with Guns, that it was really hard to hold on, it was just fucking endless reckless abandon. There was so much drama, and there were so many people with their hand in the cookie jar, and in that situation I felt so out of control - My destiny was appointed by a guy that I didn't really like. It was like that guy was controlling my life and, now, I actually have something to say in [Velvet Revolver].


In April, 2006, Matt met Axl in New York and they seem to have squared up:

Then last night I went to a club called 6 and 8s.
While getting out of the cab I run into Sean Lennon who was leaving and when inside there was AXL ROSE. Oh my God.
I hadn't seen him in at least 6 years.
I walked over and said Hello.
We shoke hands.
And it was pleasant.
Later that evening I ended up in a loft somewhere in the East Village.
Where Axl was again.
We spoke for quite sometime. And it was nice to clear somethings up.
I told him how great of a frontman he was while I was in the band and no hard feelings from me at all.
It was an all around
Good vibe I think.

After the party ended. Axl gave me a
Ride back to my hotel
In his suburban.

I told the story last week that I ran into him [Rose] in New York and actually talked to him, and it was fairly pleasant. It was very pleasant, actually, but we were both drunk, so that helped. [Laughs]

Well, I ran into Axl in New York and... you know, you know. There's still a lot of tension between us.


In may 2008, after Scott Weiland had left Velvet Revolver to return to Stone Temple Pilots, Matt would favorably compare the two frontmen:

I actually have a newfound liking and love for Axl Rose (laughs). You can print that (laughs). I've said a couple of bad things about Axl, and I think they've come back to bite me in the ass. The one thing I know about Axl Rose, as much as a d--k as he was at times, the stadium was usually sold out (laughs)! A little difference between those two guys. I'm talking 50,000 not 5,000 (laughs). I could deal with that. A jet, I'm not talking just a Jet, a 727, my own limo and a guy to carry my s--t (laughs).



2000: WONDER GIRLS WITH SCOTT WEILAND


In 2000 he would guest with the supergroup Wonder Girls which featured among others Stone Temple Pilot's Scott Weiland [Loudside, April 9, 2000].


2002: AZTEC CIRCUS


The new record is coming out through Earthlink and cost $20,000 to record.  If we can sell 20,000 copies then we are laughing, and we did it without anyone telling us what to do, which is cool.



2002-: CAMP FREDDY


From May 2002, Matt would be playing in the cover band Camp Freddy together with Dave Navarro and others [Blabbermouth, September 17, 2002]. The band would have a lineup of five members but feature many different guests [Blabbermouth, September 17, 2002]. On June 14, 2002, Camp Freddy played a show at the Moomba and Slash and Moby would guest [Moby.com, June 16. 2002].

In October 2003, it would be reported that Camp Freddy had signed with Sanctuary Records [Blabbermouth, October 8, 2003] and in January 2004 they were working on their debut album [Blabbermouth, January 28, 2004].

In February 2006, Matt would announce that Scott Weiland had been added as a member in Camp Freddy [Blabbermouth, February 16, 2006; originally from ABC News Radio].

[Weiland] loves it, man. He comes and plays with us, and we do Bowie, and we, you know, he does some Iggy Pop maybe, whatever he wants to do. And he has the best time because it's not stressful at all. There's no real, like, corporate thing behind it. And it's not like you have to come up with the goods — you just do it, you know.
Blabbermouth, February 16, 2006; originally from ABC News Radio



2002-2004: VELVET REVOLVER


Matt's time in Velvet Revolver will be discussed in a separate chapter.


JUNE 1, 2004: HOLLYWOOD ZEN


In 2001 Matt been working on a solo album called 'Hollywood Zen':

Like a lot of other drummers, I sometimes feel I'm not getting enough input in a band situation. I've found that I've got other talents and I can take those talents into other forums. Like the film work that I'm doing, for instance. It's been really fun and there are a lot of cool things I can do with percussion and film, plus I play other instruments, which is helpful. I've scored about five films, and the latest is one for Dreamworks. I've been able to do some very percussive scores and use some Native American instruments, which was fun. Anyway, my solo album happened because I wrote some songs for this Cult album that didn't get on there. So a friend of mine gave someone from Conspiracy Music a tape of my songs and they called me and asked me to do a CD for them because they love my style. It's called Hollywood Zen and it will be out later this year.

While I was waiting for The Cult record to finish up with guitars and vocals, I wrote a few songs. Then a friend of mine gave my tunes to a label called Conspiracy Records, and they called and asked me to do a record for them. It's called Hollywood Zen, and it's coming out shortly. It's about my experiences. There's a song called "3% Solution," which is real jazzy. There's a drum solo at the end over a chord progression. There's a tune called "Sunset Blvd," which is really mellow. I play super light on that one, and I padded up the snare drum with a wallet, like Ringo. I did all the drumming, sang, played guitar, and wrote the songs - kind of a Dave Grohl/Phil Collins approach.

I'm known for being a rock drummer, but I'm trying to diversify. I'm looking for other avenues for my drumming, like the film scores I've done. I'm studying more world music and other aspects of music. I'm constantly listening to a lot of new music. So I'm focused on the new, but with one foot in the old.

It's a personal album; it's about my experiences living in Hollywood. I've been living there 21 years. So it's sort of coming to the terms living there.

[Talking about how his drumming had changed after leaving Guns N' Roses]: I gotta tell you, I backed off on some of my big stadium moves. It was hard at first, because when you play with Guns it's such a big thing. A lot of what I did on the drums got very big and grandiose. I pulled back and got rid of a lot of my antics and tightened up my drumming again.

With Guns I was more on top of the beat, more aggressive, and punkier. The Cult has more of a pocket, more groove, especially the older stuff. The newer stuff is more agressive, but on the older stuff I have to emulate drummers like Mark Brzezicki and Mickey Curry, who played on those early records. I have to take all the different styles from the music The Cult has done and mesh them into a middle ground.


He also planned on turning it into a band and play live:

I want it to be a real band and I'm talking to a girl drummer who's pretty famous. I will be fronting the project - playing guitar and singing. I think all of us drummers are frustrating guitarists [laughs]. But now I have newfound respect for singers after trying it myself. That is really hard.


On June 1, 2004, the record was finally released.



Hollywood Zen
June 1, 2004



It’s called Hollywood Zen and it was produced by Lanny Cordola, who I’ve worked with on various soundtracks and things before. It’s really not a ‘solo drum record’ at all. It’s about songs and I sing and play guitar on it. Slash plays guitar on a track too, which is cool.

I’ve always been aware of playing around vocal phrasing - accenting certain phrases or leaving space for lyrics to come through. But I’m so much more switched on to that stuff now having been through the experience of making this record. Because I’m playing drums and singing, I know exactly where all the space needs to be, and I’ll be taking the lessons learned on it into everything I do.



LOOKING BACK AT HIS TENURE IN GUNS N' ROSES


I became sucked into the glamour. I don't have a family and I took advantage of everything on offer. Music became minimal importance to me. The fact that Axl Rose started acting like a total moron to everyone in the band didn't help either.



VELVET REVOLVER


Matt summarizing his past up to 2004:

I got into The Cult in 1988, joined Guns in 1990, left Guns in 1996, did a shitload of drugs, drank a lot of alcohol, went into rehab, got cleaned up...[laughs] After I got cleaned up, here’s The Cult again... Okay, now you’re not in The Cult any more... Hey, there’s Slash and Duff! Now I get to do this again. But this time, do it right. Make the right decisions, stay together, be positive, don’t f**k it up - all those kind of things came into my head. There was a lot of gratitude.


The band Velvet Revolver is discussed elsewhere.


BIOGRAPHY


People might try to offer me [some coke], but I'll just blow 'em off. And if they give me grief about it, I'll just say, 'Been there, done that, bought the T-shirt!' Dude, you don't even fuckin' know. I'll write a book, you read it, and you'll probably fucking OD just reading it. [laughs] You'll have a fucking seizure just reading that motherfucker!



ON REUNITING WITH GUNS N' ROSES


No. You mean with Axl? [Laughter] Nuh huh. Nononononono. No.


Matt would also reveal Velvet Revolver had been offered an opening slot for Guns N' Roses in Lisbon, Portugal:

Actually we were offered a gig in Lisbon, Portugal opening for Guns 'N Roses [Laughter]. The NOW Guns 'N Roses, whatever that consists of, but we actually said okay. We'd love to be there. It'd be very exciting. I think it would be quite a spectacle. Sure. Why not?


In 2008, Matt would say he was certain Guns N' Roses would reunite, but that he was also certain he wouldn't be involved:

I'm sure it'll happen eventually. [...] They could be having meetings about it right now. They could be in a bomb shelter, with Axl and Slash and Duff. And Izzy! Maybe Steven Adler - I don't know. I'd probably be the very, very, very last guy to get the call.


And in 2009 he would suggest if there was to be a reunion, both he and Steven should be involved:

If it's me on drums or Steven or whatever, if it happened, it'd be great, you know. I would actually say to them, 'Hey, bring both of us back,' you know. Let me play the other stuff. We'll have two drum kits. I don't care. If Appetite (For Destruction, the band's debut) sounds better with Steven playing it, have both guys up there. They can afford it.



2008: "SORUM NOCE"


In 2008, Matt would launch his own brand of clothing, Sorum Noce:

I'm working with a really cool Italian dude named Max Noce. He used to work with different designers including Dolce & Gabbana. He's up on all of the trends with making fine clothing.

I've been hanging out with [Noce] for quite a while. We actually worked on the line for the last couple of years. The original idea was just to go out with a kind of wholesale-vibe. We tipped that on a little bit. I've been touring and doing all this other sort of stuff that I do. He opened up this vision of the line and was able to work with that angle. Together, we built it through there. Everybody that has seen it is totally into it, and I've got a lot of friends that want to help—people in the clothing business that I know, as well as rock 'n' rollers, actors and promoters in town. Everybody's willing to help. So it's pretty exciting.

We're trying to keep it pretty classic. We don't want to look like some kind of dated, rock n' roll thing. It's more about fine men's clothing with an edge—guys that want to go out on the weekend and wear some leather. We also have fine tailored suits. We've done those in beautiful Italian wool. We're doing knitwear, shirts, ties and slacks. It's all cool. The way we mix it up makes it look really classy with a groove on it.

Well, my partner Max does all the designs of the clothing. I bring him things and ideas that I like. I say, "Hey, I see something I like. Let's do a jacket that’s take-off of a '67 biker jacket. Or let's take off an early English biker jacket or a three-piece suit and leave the jacket this length." I met a tailor and I said, "let's cut the pants a little more tailored with a slight flare," so I have a lot of this influence on that kind of stuff. But when I go to my partner with an idea, he orchestrates it.



2008: STEVIE SALAS


In late 2008 it would be reported that Matt was playing with Stevie Salas [Fazer, November 26, 2008]. Salas had previously auditioned for Guns N' Roses [see previous chapter].

Yeah, we met a recording studio years ago. [Salas] was working with George Clinton on the other side of the studio and we ran into each other in the hallway. I think we were both in our early twenties at that point, and over the years we’ve crossed paths. But recently we got more musically involved. I have a recording studio, and he came over and was working with some other artists and ended up recording a lot of his last record there. I just happened to be in the backyard, because it was out back of my last house, and he said, “Hey, what are you doing?” So, I went in and played a couple of drum tracks and it was just really cool. The vibe there at my studio was just about making music, no time restraints really. So, it was really casual, and I think that when you’re making music, if the vibe is good then it’s going to come out on record as being good.



2009: DEAD CONFLICT


In June 2009 it would be reported that Matt had partnered with the music industry pioneers to launch a new label concept called Dead Conflict in which artists would retain ownership of their music:

Having a musician who has been there and done that will bring a lot of confidence to the artists we bring on board. They'll know that I know what it takes to make a great record. We're here to let them know we have their back. While they focus on making great music, we take care of the rest. Commerce isn't our goal — great music is.



2009: MOTÖRHEAD


In 2009, Matt would also tour with Motörhead after their drummer, Mikkey Dee, was busy taking part in his country’s version of TV’s I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here!

I was absolutely blown away and was very honoured to get the call. I got a text from [Motörhead bassist/vocalist] Lemmy and called him back right away and said: ‘Why are you calling me?’ [laughs]. I was at home by the pool, rubbing lotion on my lovely girlfriend, and now here I am. I manned up!

Matt was right up for it immediately. That’s really rare, a lot of guys wouldn’t do it on short notice.

It’s been one of the most challenging things I’ve ever done. It’s the best tour I’ve ever done: I’ve lost a few pounds and got about 25 blisters, which is great!


Being asked how it came about:

I have no idea…[laughs] No, I just happened to be at the Rainbow, [laughs]. No, I have played with Lemmy a few times out in L.A. guess he liked the way I played “Ace of Spades.” So he figured I could play the rest of the stuff [laughs]. He called me up, well he texted me first cause he does not do email, and he asked would I be up to coming out and playing. I thought that was a real honor you know, so I called him back right away, asked when can we get together and rehearse.



2010: GLOBAL SOUND LODGE


In early 2010, Matt would form a musical project with a humanitarian objective called the Global Sound Lodge:

Longtime musical partner [American guitarist, songwriter and producer] Lanny Cordola [Giuffria, House Of Lords, Magdallan] and myself have formed Global Sound Lodge, a new musical consciousness. Our first song, entitled 'Hands Together', was written for the Hatian people in this time of tragedy in their homeland.

We hope to build a group of international musicians with varied humanitarian efforts based on situations around the world that need our attention.

John Coltrane believed music can heal the world in his song 'Love Supreme'. John Lennon had this vision as well.

Global Sound Lodge have songs ready to record for Aung San Suu Kyi, Neda [Soltan] who was shot during the Iranian elections.

After many years traveling the world playing music and meeting so many people.I believe it is in us all to come together with love and music to help one another.


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20. NOVEMBER 1996-AUGUST 1997: ROBIN REPLACES SLASH BUT MATT AND DUFF QUITS Empty Re: 20. NOVEMBER 1996-AUGUST 1997: ROBIN REPLACES SLASH BUT MATT AND DUFF QUITS

Post by Soulmonster Sat Aug 15, 2020 6:09 pm

APRIL 1997
CHRIS VRENNA COMES AND LEAVES


In April 1997, reports would surface saying that Matt had left the band and was replaced by Chris Vrenna [Rolling Stone, April 4, 1997; MTV, April 18, 1997]. Vrenna was a friend of Robin and had played in Nine Inch Nails previously.

At the time it was not confirmed that Vrenna was coming in to replace Matt, but Vrenna would later discuss having worked with Guns N' Roses in this period, but soon left to focus on his own project, Tweaker:

Fairly brief...two years ago, April of '96 [Vrenna must mean 97], right after Matt Sorum left the band, they had already gotten Robin Finck. They wanted the option of experimenting with electronics. The dude [=Axl] is super well-listened, he was always a big Nails fan. I got a call from those guys about going down and jamming. We messed around. Duff was still in it. It was a bunch of. the band was reshaping itself. It was jams. It was still rock. It wasn't cheesy electronic. They would still do stuff over loop. My role was supposed to be drumming and programming.they sent me a contract to continue to work with the band, but my own project Tweaker was going. My production stuff had taken off. I was in NIN for ten years and I wanted to do my own shit.

It was going to be a long commitment. There was no firm lineup. Axl had a definite direction he ultimately wanted to head toward, but at the time there wasn't even a song yet.

Matt Sorum had left the band, and I was one of the first people down there. Robin Finck, who was in Nails, was already down there as a guitar player, kind of in the Slash role. It was very new at the time. They were just putting stuff together, and I went down there for a little while, just for a few nights. It never materialized into anything […]

I was with the Pumpkins for six months. Then during that time I checked my machine one day and Axl Rose called and that's when that whole Guns N' Roses thing happened. [...] When Axl was rebuilding the band every week I was the first guy that was going to be the new drummer after Matt Sorum left. So I was going to be the programmer, drummer and Moby was going to produce. It was like the first incarnation of new people. Duff was even still there and Buckethead wasn't.


Talking about working with Axl:

He was really mellow. Real soft-spoken. One of the politest people. I go from Trent Reznor to Billy Corgan to Axl Rose and he was the politest person.

[…] but it was fun. I really liked Axl. I thought he was a really great guy.

Everyone was really nice but I just didn't really want to do that. I just got out of ten year group and if I was going to do it I would have had to sign a long term commitment. I said if you've already spent eight years trying to make a record and you're only still doing this, then it could be another eight years. It was not long after that when I started jotting down stuff about tweaker.


And the music:

They were trying to get ideas together, see who was compatible with who as far as a band vibe.


Before Vrenna left the project, he got to rehearse together with another drummer, Dave Abbruzzese [see later chapter].


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20. NOVEMBER 1996-AUGUST 1997: ROBIN REPLACES SLASH BUT MATT AND DUFF QUITS Empty Re: 20. NOVEMBER 1996-AUGUST 1997: ROBIN REPLACES SLASH BUT MATT AND DUFF QUITS

Post by Soulmonster Sat Aug 15, 2020 6:10 pm

APRIL-OCTOBER 1997
"A CLOSET FILLED WITH DAT TAPES"


Chris Vrenna would describe Paul and Axl's relationship:

Paul and Axl go back to Indiana. He's kind of like the guy that's always there every night. They record all their jams and study them. I remember Paul spent like a month going through thousands of hours, just compiling. He was the guy who was making sure everything got done.


Matt would later discuss what had been done by the time he left the band in April 1997:

[…] I was hanging around rehearsal rooms for years working on material. We had over four hundred hours of jams, riffs, and songs recorded on ADAT.


In May, Matt talked about the progress while attending Music West conference in Vancouver, Canada, and claim they had recorded "4,800 hours of music" and that they had "15 really strong songs" which will be ready "hopefully by next year" [MTV News, May 22, 1997]. Matt would also state that the music was leaning towards a Soundgarden style of rock although there were tracks where the Nine Inch Nails influence was evident [MTV News, May 22, 1997]. Matt told the small crowd that Axl's new favorite saying has been "loop it, loop it!" [MTV News, May 22, 1997].

Duff was attending the same conference and would say that "things had come together in the studio for Guns n' Roses just over the last month and a half" [MTV News, May 22, 1997].

The unstable lineup caused problems, as implied by Chris Vrenna:

They wanted to guarantee that people would do the album and commit to the tour. With the shake-up that [the] band [had], I think Axl was just looking for a little stability.


And Vrenna would discuss how he thought the record would turn out:

I think it's gonna be much more of an old-school rock record than people are expecting. I have a feeling it's gonna be more like Appetite. Pretty rock.


And discuss Dizzy's setup:

Dizzy's got a monstrously cool keyboard set up. Macintoshes and pro-tools and sequencing. Drum beats and loops. They'd sample Matt's drums.


In an article published in October 1997, Moby who was now involved as a possible producer, would comment on the mood in the band and recording studio:

Whenever I hang out in Guns N' Roses' studio - it's in some big warehouse in Los Angeles - the atmosphere there is just so nice. Everyone involved really likes one another. There's no rancor and they're all totally clean-living young adults. As far as I can tell, they're all completely straight now. You're not even allowed to smoke in the studio!

The music they're working on has a very dramatic quality to it. They're using some modern technology. Axl's really excited about sampling. He loves the DJ Shadow record and Nine Inch Nails. The stuff I've heard is much more concise than, say, 'November Rain.' Not bombastic. Very stripped down. Very intense. It's not hard-rock music in the way that 'Welcome to the Jungle' was.


Around the same time a "source close to the band" would describe the music:

I wouldn't feel comfortable describing the music at all. There's going to be a techno influence, but it will still be recognizable as GN'R. It's not Axl's intention to make some wholly new cloth.

There's a huge closet filled with DAT tapes, but there isn't one final song for the record. Everybody brings their sketches, but the person who is most concerned with refining things is Axl. But he wants other people to bring a lot to the table too - he loves the fact that Dizzy is down there every night working with him. Axl gets agitated when people don't show up and contribute.


Later, in an article published in 2000, Moby would again describe the music and project around this time:

I found it difficult to chart a linear development of the songs that they were working on. They would work on something, it would be a sketch for a while, and then they'd put it aside and go back to it a year, six months later.

[Axl] became a little bit defensive when I asked him about the vocals. He just said that he was going to get to them eventually. I wouldn't be surprised if the record never came out, they've been working on it for such a long time.


The lineup at this time would be comprised of Axl, Robin, Paul, Duff and Dizzy, with Mike Clink being involved [Icon Magazine, October 1997].

In October 1997, spokesperson at Geffen Publicity would indicate that the record wouldn't be out until 1998, at the earliest:

They haven’t even begun recording any new songs and the soonest it will happen is the fall of next year.

At the moment Axl is far too busy learning to play guitar and doing lots of reading.



APRIL 1997: SHAQ FREESTYLES WITH THE BAND


In april 1997, Shaquille O'Neal would take "a break from his own recording session in the same building and rapped over some Guns music":

I saw Guns N' Roses listed on the bulletin board in the lobby of the studio so I stuck my head in to check it out. They asked me to join them, so I started freestylin' over their track. It was the first time I ever performed with a rock group, and it felt good.


Dizzy would later explain what happened:

I don't know if anything's happened since... but I jammed with Shaq. At one point I was down at this rehearsal... this rehearsal place in Santa Monica writing songs with Paul [Tobias]. And my friend Syd was playing drums- just drumming for us. We were basically just writing and recording stuff- writing and recording constantly, just basically waiting for everyone else to basically show up. And there are these satellite recording studios around that soundstage and they do a lot of commercials and back when Shaq was still with the Orlando Magic- he was doing a Taco Bell commercial next door so he heard that we were next door so he wanted to come say hi... but there like the only one there is Dizzy so he says 'well, I'll say hi to Dizzy' so the door opens and this gigantic man comes in and I'm like 'who the hell's that?' and he's like 'hey dizzy!' and he's getting closer and closer and bigger and bigger- I realize its fuckin' Shaquille O'Neal. Holy shit. So.. we talked for a little bit and then he asked me to play my keyboard and I said 'sure' and he sat down and disintegrated my stool... smashed it into little pieces [everyone laughs]... granted shaking Shaq's hand is like shaking a frying pan.  ... well.. I mean its so big. Anyway, so he breaks my stool into little pieces and he looks at me and goes 'man, I broke Guns N' Roses' stool.' And I say 'yea, we'll send you a bill for that later' and he doesn't say anything and so I'm like "just kidding..." And so we got him another stool and he sits down and starts playing this... polysynth [?] sound... this riff on my keyboards... and it was really cool. And so... I look over at the drummer and motion for him to.. you know... get a hiphop beat going... and Syd goes into this groove... and Shaq started vibin' on it and Paul started playing guitar... and Shaq looks over at me... and like this magic thing happened- he says 'take over' and so I watch what he's playing and I sat down and started playing it. And he got this groove- this vibe going and he and his buddies grabbed the mic and started doing this rap. And our engineer Tommy was rolling tape the entire time... so... and I mean it was really cool... I mean the time he was just joking around and they started dancing and they danced their way out of the studio and we kept playing the beat 'cause it was cool and they came back in, sort of like an encore, and did some more stuff. like Shaq started doing the worm- I mean if you've ever seen a 7 foot... 300 pound guy do the worm... its the most amazing thing. And they bailed. It was the most amazing thing. And I mean I don't know if anything's happened since then but that's probably where that story comes from.


In 2008, Axl would comment on this event and suggest the media attention it got was mean-spirited:

Imo that was just cheap shots from media jerkoffs knowing that Shaq wasn't the most popular or respected rapper publicly. I've never met the man. He goofed around with Paul and Diz and it went from there.


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Post by Soulmonster Sat Aug 15, 2020 6:10 pm

APRIL (?) 1997-1998
DAVE ABBRUZZESE JOINS THE BAND


In late May 1997, Dave Abbruzzese (formerly of Pearl Jam) was said to be rehearsing with the band while the band management refused to confirm Matt was out of the picture [MTV News, May 22, 1997].

Before Vrenna (nicknamed Pod Boy) left the project (probably in late April 1997), he and Abbruzzese rehearsed together as a drummer-duo, suggesting Axl had considered having two drummers in the band at the same time:

The rehearsals with [Dave] Abruzzesse and Pod as a duo were really cool; it was a shame then that it didn't work out but seemed for the best once we found Josh.


If Chris Vrenna was out of the project by late April 1997, it would suggest that Abbruzzese started being connected to the band at least that early.

It seems that Abbruzzese played with them until early 1998 [Michael Bland, personal communication, April 27, 2021], before he was eventually replaced by Josh Freese.


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Post by Soulmonster Sat Aug 15, 2020 6:10 pm

THE LONG WAIT


Media was quickly speculating on when the new record would be released, Bryn Bridenthal would comment:

All I can tell you is there will be an album when Axl says it's done.


The quote above indicates Axl had no intention of rushing the process.

There would also be suggestions that Axl wouldn't be able to pull it off and release a new Guns N' Roses record. Alan Niven would muse on the reasons:

I still say he has a remarkable voice, and he has an intense analytical focus that allows him to write with insight. I think him quite capable of creative excellence. His problem was always balance and self-editorial. If he can effect some balance, he could produce a good record. At the same time, I tend to think of Sly Stone, of how he self-destructed and compromised his creativity. Maybe Axl requires hate to drive his muse. David Bowie once told him that this drove his creativity, and the comment made a big impression on Axl. Maybe now he needs a new source of inspiration.


When asked when the band would be ready to release the album, an anonymous source close to the band would say:

That's the funniest thing I ever heard. They've been hoping to release this record every quarter for the last few years. So it could be a couple more years. Anything's possible when it comes to Axl.


Later, Tom Zutaut, who was involved with the project in 2001-2002, would say:

It’s because of Appetite that it’s so hard for him to let go of Chinese Democracy. He made it clear that he was trying to put out a record that would change the world as much as Appetite, and be better than Appetite.


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Post by Soulmonster Sat Aug 15, 2020 6:11 pm

1994-2004
THE PRESS SPECULATES ON AXL'S PHYSICAL APPEARANCE


With Axl leaving the public life in 1993/1994, the media would speculate about his looks and life. In particular would Axl's old enemies take the opportunity to ridicule him, like Courtney Love who would spread the rumour that Axl was balding. Moby would be asked about this and say:

Axl's always worn a hat when I've been around him. I don't even know if he has long hair anymore. He has a beard that's clearly not been groomed. If you passed him on the street, you wouldn't stop and say, 'Oh, there goes one of the most successful rock stars on the planet.'

The way I'd characterize him right now? He's really striving. He wants to make a great record. He wants to be a healthy, happy person. And he's certainly making very positive steps towards achieve those goals.

If you were walking down the street and Axl passed you, you'd never notice. He looks like a regular, decent guy.


In August it would be speculated that the band hadn't played any live shows because Axl had put on considerable weight [City Pages, August 5, 1998].

In November 1999, Axl would do an interview with Rolling Stone magazine, and be described like this:

At 36 Rose looks a bit older and more solidly built than the lean rock god of his ''Sweet Child O' Mine'' days, the result perhaps not just of the passage of time but of his kickboxing regimen and a lifestyle that's said to be largely nocturnal but zealously healthy.

He's dressed tonight in Abercrombie & Fitch, with his reddish hair intact and cut to a Prince Valiant-ish mid-length.


Later, an anonymous friend of Axl would state:

Axl's really easy to hate, and he doesn't understand why. He lives in a fantasy world, a parallel universe. He's self-­centered, like a child, but not so naive. When he calls, all he wants to talk about is his record and how Interscope can't fix things for him.


And another "friend":

A family is what Axl wants more than anything in life. He wants to find within himself the ability to show affection. He's really, really incapable of showing gratitude and affection.


When the press finally got to see him in early 2001 it would be reported he was a bit stockier than in his youth. Beta Lebeis would defend his looks:

He hasn’t got fat! He loves feijoada, he loves black beans with rice. But now he’s leading a healthy lifestyle. He has a personal trainer and has gained 20 pounds (nine kilos) in muscle. He works out four to five hours a day and goes running every other day. Axl is very healthy, he doesn’t smoke and he doesn’t do drugs.


Izzy would not:

I just saw a report on them in Q, in England. There was a photograph where Axl was not really to his advantage, he was large and puffed up. I hope that that sounds better than it looks.
Guitar & Bass (France), June 2001; translated from French


Media would occasionally discuss Axl's appearance, and occasionally former band mates would take the bait:

I have nothing to say against him except for all I know is he never had that much hair when I hung out with him. But that's alright. Some of us have it, some of us don't.


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Post by Soulmonster Sat Aug 15, 2020 6:12 pm

WHY CONTINUE WITH GUNS N' ROSES?


As discussed in previous chapters, Axl had at different times considered releasing a solo album. Why then did he decide to continue with Guns N' Roses when the personell had changed so significantly since Appetite and the Illusions?

Moby would be clear that Axl didn't consider Guns N' Roses his solo band, but wanted the entire band to contribute:

I don't think this new music is just a vehicle for him as a solo performer. He wants this to be a band where everyone contributes. On the music I've heard, you can hear everyone's distinctive voice coming through. Honestly, they're the nicest bunch of people I've ever worked with.


And an anonymous source "close to the band":

You were talking about the way Axl tarnished his image. I think it's consistently the more interesting figures in music, or in cultural in general - they tend to be ambiguous. They're creative people who want to explore other elements of themselves. Sometimes they make mistakes. But I'd much rather a public figure make mistakes than just end up making Phil Collins-type records one after another.


Axl's decision to continue Guns N' Roses would also come in the face of harsh critique from the media:

While rumors of a new Guns N' Roses album coming sometime this year abound, fans can only speculate what the Big Return will be like. Right now, the album exists only in Axl Rose's bony cerebral orb, and considering the amount of gray matter taken up by his ego and advanced dementia, it will be a major miracle if we see a new Guns N' Roses album by the time the last bottle of champagne celebrating the new millennium has been uncorked.


In late 1999, Axl would finally shed some lights on the process, and remark that a change in lineup was overdue and imply that other band members hadn't been interested in figuring out how a modern GN'R record should sound:

So once it was really understood by me that I'm really not going to be able to make the right old-style Guns N' Roses record, and if I try to take into consideration what Guns did on "Appetite," which was to kind of be a melting pot of a lot things that were going on, plus use past influences, I could make the right record if I used my influences from what I've been listening to that everybody else is listening to out there. So in that sense, I think it is like old Guns N' Roses as far as, like, the spirit and the attempt to throw all kinds of different styles together.

[…]

To be honest, it was a long time for me since Guns N' Roses as the old lineup had been fun, and the new guys have been a breath of fresh air. People are really excited about what we got. They're really proud of it, and it was, again, it was just time. I'm not trying to put the other guys down. It's like, I think people really wanted to do different things other than try to figure out the right record here for Guns N' Roses. But at the same time, Guns N' Roses was a big thing. How do you walk away from that? It's a very complicated thing, I think, for everybody involved.


After having talked to Axl in June 2000, Gilby would indicate that this could be the case:

[Axl] talked about the new record and the new band. He was very excited. He said he's making the record he's always wanted to make and it sounds phenomenal.


Axl would also imply he felt obligated to keep the band going:

What we're trying to do is build Guns N`Roses back into something. This wasn't Guns N`Roses, but I feel it is Guns N`Roses now. […] It is something I lived by before these guys were in it. And there were other people in Guns N`Roses before them, you know. I contemplated letting go of that, but it doesn't feel right in any way. I am not the person who chose to try to kill it and walk away.
Rolling Stone, January 2000; interview from November 1999

It is the old story that you are told when you're a kid: 'Don't buy a car with your friends.' Nobody could get the wheel. Everybody had the wheel. And when you have a bunch of guys, I'm telling you, you are driving the car off the cliff. The reality is, go buy those guys' solo records. There are neat ideas and parts there, but they wouldn't have worked for a Guns N' Roses record.
Rolling Stone, January 2000; interview from November 1999

[being asked if he ever thought about playing under his own name and not Guns N' Roses]: Sometimes. But it’s more important to do the Guns N’ Roses band, and I felt that, you know, Guns N’ Roses has an important place in many fans’ hearts and I personally want to be able to try to live up to that for them. And I’m lucky to find people who wanted to help me do that.


Axl would also express being hurt with people who didn't have any faith in him continuing with the band:

There is the desire definitely to do it, to get over some of the hump of the people that are trying to keep you in the past. There are people that I thought I was friends with who are all of a sudden in the magazines, going, 'They'll never get anywhere without Slash.' Thanks a lot. Like I made this happen, you know. I basically figured out a way to save my own ass. There was only one way out, and I found it. Otherwise, you know, I believe my career was just going down the toilet. I figured out how to save my ass and then tried to bring everybody with me.
Rolling Stone, January 2000; interview from November 1999


In 2002 he would go in more detail:

If one were to say well then why not do it now [either work on the material written while Slash was in the band or reunite with previous band members] there are several reasons.1) My band, too much time, too much effort and hardship. Confidence in our material. Excitement in watching this grow and being a part of the whole experience. 2) Money. You get what you play for and nothing's free. Can you cover the cost of this venture and its financial potential that I am just supposed to walk away from and for what? To where? I do not believe in any true effort or potential regarding most of my past relationship from the other party or parties, creatively or emotionally. Without that the money from a reunion doesn't mean much and though I'm sure the alumni is up for it for me it would be as or more lacking than it was during our attempts to work together previously. As a friend and former friend of Slash said to me in regards to working with Slash, "you can only do so many pull ups." This is my shot and you can root for me to fail all you want, but there is simply way too much put into this to cater to someone else's selfish needs and destroy peoples dreams I truly care about including my own. Not too mention that though I've fought what feels like the heart of the nature of this entire industry, my own people would probably eat me alive if I opted for a lesser course. 3) Slash has lied about nearly everything and anything to nearly everyone and anyone. It's who he is. It's what he does. Duff's support for the man though understandable in one sense in regard to his circumstances, is inexcusable, and furthers my distance from the two of them. For me Matt doesn't figure into the equation and for as much as I was a friend to him he was incapable of reciprocating and life is much better without such an obvious albatross. Don't get me wrong, I'm not taking anything away from the alumni in regard to their prior performances on record or touring to support the albums. I know how I was treated and more importantly I know how they treated others during both of these things, it's not a way anyone should be forced or even asked to work. And for the record I'm referring to Slash and Matt in regards to their actions and behavior, Duff played more of a supporting role (for reasons I've never understood). For the fans to attempt to condemn me to relationships even only professional with any of these men is a prison sentence and something I wouldn't wish on my worst enemy. I'd say my parole is nearly over. I'm practically a free man and if you don't like it you'll have plenty of time to get used to the idea.


In 2008, Axl would talk more on this issue:

Why keep the name? I’m literally the last man standing. Not bragging, not proud. It’s been a fucking nightmare but I didn’t leave Guns and I didn’t drive others out. With Slash it’s been nothing more than pure strategy and saving face while manipulating the public like he used to me. I earned the right to protect my efforts and to be able to take advantage of our contract I’d worked hard for where Slash’s exact words were that he didn’t care. I get that some like a different version or lineup the same way some like a specific team line up or a particular year of a specific car but because you and I are getting played I’m supposed to throw the baby out with the bath water?

There’s been a lot of pressure to go with using my name (all external) but that never felt right to me for this band and the parameters in regard to this music have lots more to do with the mindset of Guns than something else.

As far as a new name…this is who I am not whatever else someone else thinks of. I don’t see myself as solely Guns but I do see myself as the only one from the past making the effort to take it forward whether anyone approves or not and giving beyond what many would or fight for to do so. The name helped the music more than you could ever know and I’m not talking in regards to studios or budgets I mean it as in being pushed by something and having to get the music to a place where I can find my peace regardless of what anyone says. And that wasn’t fully achieved until the last round of mastering and swapping out a version of a track at the pressing plant that had gotten inadvertently changed at the last minute.


Alan Niven would scornfully comment on this:

Everyone has the right to make the music they want to with whomever they wish. But just be up ’n’ up about it. All this ‘last man standing’ stuff from Axl is horseshit. He wore us all out. Drove us all off. And for a personality like Axl, only solo work makes sense. If he wants to be Elton Rose then more power to him. He has the talent. But don’t pretend that one person alone represents the idea of Guns N’ Roses. That band, in my opinion, played its last show on April 7, 1990. Farm Aid, Indianapolis.


In addition to these personal reasons, Axl would also point out that the industry expected him to release music under the Guns N' Roses name:

Also the name was what the industry wanted as well and the burden of keeping it was something to endure in order to make the record. After the monies invested by old Geffen (that were decisions made that have worked out for me but I'm on record as having opposed) dropping the name became suicide.

I wasn't legally obligated [to continue with Guns N' Roses] but we probably would have gotten dropped [by Geffen] and I would have been driven into bankruptcy.


And that he wouldn't buckle because of any public demand caused by a former band member's lies (extremely likely to be Slash he is referring to):

That said because someone leaves the shop I started in which I still legally have the rights to the name I started it with… makes up a bunch of nonsense to win public and legal support in an effort to get whatever it is they want at mine and the public’s expense… I don’t feel any reason whatsoever I should have to throw what I’ve not only worked for but fought and suffered for away because some hurt, angry, betrayed, misguided and lied to people with a lynch mob mentality, joined by others who could care less (especially in the media), enjoying the controversy and hate, choose one over the other regardless of what’s right because they want what they want. And you can still prefer then as opposed to now and no one’s arguing your right to do so.


And that he hadn't any other choice:

It wasn’t so much that it was a good course or that if looking back I could do something differently it’s that for better or worse it was the only course and had I not done this Slash would have succeeded in destroying me publicly much more than he, others or myself have so far and I would have gone bankrupt.

One man forced me to work with others. One man forced me to work with others to survive. And I can't say what would have happened on different terms. I say yes because it was agreed from day one. You have to realize we were on the street. It wasn't the first band. Whoever thought of the name kept the name unless he gave it up or moved on. Everyone was always having a new version of whatever their band name was. I wouldn't have thought of using L.A. GUNS or any of Slash's band names. We all knew that we could break up the next week. You had to have that stuff somewhat sorted between each other going in. It was a deal that we made. The issue becomes the value or perceived value now and the fans attachment and or acceptance. Really weren't things we consciously considered even during the breakup.


And talk about his commitment to the band:

As for selling more records it’d be nice to be in a position to possibly do so at some point but that’s never been my base reasoning. I would think it fits into not feeling I shouldn’t be forced to throw away possible opportunities in a hostile attempted takeover. I believe I should fight for Guns in a patriotic sense or sense of loyalty or honor. Not just my vision or direction for Guns as those things can evolve and you can make forward moving positive compromises by what others bring to the table but I mean more as in what principles I feel were important to Guns in regard to an overall commitment to the music.


And what "Guns N' Roses" means to him:

I don't exactly know what GUNS N' ROSES is, but I know it's my job in the sense of an obligation and I'm good with that.


He would also mention that with the name came responsibilities and public expectations that made them work harder:

It helped us get here but most of that was with Universal and the positives of that wore off years ago until recently and after the initial run it’ll be about the music and us. Then it’s about touring and there’s not a question the name’s helped at most everywhere but not so much the states. With that it comes down to the strength or quality of the performance. Having the name kicks your ass every night as it’s not some side project or something u can fuck off in. You don’t deliver u get your ass handed to u. So it makes us work much harder than I feel we would outside of it and it hasn’t been too ugly yet.

Keeping the band name alive was very important. Not out of ego and I don't know exactly why in the sense of putting into words, but I think it has something to do with the global effect it has and how GUNS surviving in some way is sometimes inspiring to others around the world and in that there's a sense of obligation.

I don't regret keeping the name though I wish more were supportive or at least not as aggressively opposed.


As for what could make him change the name of the band:

As to what would possibly make me change the name would be some form of evolving that I don’t feel we’ve reached yet and not in any way consciously trying to at this time. It’s really hard to say. I’d have to feel it was right for me and those involved and whatever we’re doing at that time.


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20. NOVEMBER 1996-AUGUST 1997: ROBIN REPLACES SLASH BUT MATT AND DUFF QUITS Empty Re: 20. NOVEMBER 1996-AUGUST 1997: ROBIN REPLACES SLASH BUT MATT AND DUFF QUITS

Post by Soulmonster Sat Aug 15, 2020 6:14 pm

AXL GOES MISSING


I pretty much stay to myself, and that's about it.

______________________________________________

Axl was keeping a very low profile and was rarely spotted. In April 1996 he was spotted backstage at a Red Hot Chili Peppers show:

He’d cut his hair short and grown a beard. I didn’t recognize him.


Other musicians would joke about his vanishing act:

Has he gone missing or something?

Is he on a milk carton?

I haven't seen Axl since '93, I don't think -- no. I don't think anybody has. Has anybody seen Axl since '93? I just fuckin' -- I miss the competition. (Laughs) I just wish: Fuckin' make a record.


As Gerri Miller of "Metal Edge" would say:

He's a recluse. I haven't even seen the guy. I live in L.A. I've lived here for four years. I've not run into him once. He doesn't go out.


Tommy Lee from Motley Crue would also have a theory:

I would imagine that he's maybe avoiding going through some of the painful things that we've actually been through. When you release a record, and it's just a different time and just a whole new wave of music and a lot of changes took place. Maybe Axl's got his storm windows up and they're all boarded up and he's waiting 'til it passes.


Bryn Bridenthal would comment:

Well, he's been doing a lot of reading and learning a lot of new instrumentation, he's been learning how to play guitar.


In July 1999, Spin magazine would release a large feature about Axl Rose and his current life [Spin, July 1999]. Marc Spitz, addistant editor for Spin, and one of the researchers of the project, interviewed 40 people as part of the article but was not able to get an interview or comments from Axl [Indianapolis News, June 22, 1999]. "Through the grapewine, Spitz had received the information that Axl thought the article was a bit premature:

I think [Axl] thought it was premature, which is a little ridiculous. How can something that’s five years in coming be premature? I see his point, but the world wants to know about him.


Spitz would say the following about Axl:

I think he’s a very smart person in terms of what’s going on now. He’s very aware of his place in rock ’n’ roll and very aware of how to preserve his relevance.



NEW DEPRESSIONS?


Moby would indicate that Axl had not being doing good psychologically:

Being the most successful rock star on the planet for a few years really took a psychological toll, and I think he invested a lot in his marriage and his friendships with the people in the band-and those things fell apart.

[Axl] seemed emotionally reserved and a little bit suspicious. He seemed a little bit like a beaten dog.

He seemed like he had an idea of what be­ing at peace would be like, and he was working toward that.


Later, Izzy would indicate that Axl's isolation wasn't doing him any good:

But I mean... the weirdness of his life. To me, I live pretty normal. I can go anywhere. In 2001, I don't think people really give a shit. But for Axl, I knew for the longest time, because his face was all over the television, and stuff. I don't think he could really go anywhere or do anything.

And I think because of that he kind of got himself in a little hole up there in the hills. He kind of dug in deeper and deeper and now I think he's gone so fucking deep he's just... I mean, I could be completely wrong. But I know he doesn't drive [unheard of in LA] and he doesn't... he doesn't do anything. I've never, never seen him in town. Isolation can be a bad thing, but Axl's been at it for a long time now. you know, he always stays up at night....


Youth, who was involved with Guns N' Roses as a potential producer in 1997/1998 [see later chapter], would also indicate Axl was suffering from depression:

But Axl was deeply unhappy. I sensed he was clinically depressed because he only worked from 9pm to 9am. He was living a hermit lifestyle. In the end, he told me he wasn’t ready. He was trying to get to some spiritual level that would make him happy. By the sounds of it, he still hasn’t got there.



1998: "WHITE TRASH WINS LOTTO"


In March 1998, likely without Axl's blessing, a musical satire was under development loosely based on Axl, called "White Trash Wins Lotto" [E! News Online, March 6, 1998]. In October 1998 the musical would be performed in Hollywood [Los Angeles Daily News, October 9, 1998].


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20. NOVEMBER 1996-AUGUST 1997: ROBIN REPLACES SLASH BUT MATT AND DUFF QUITS Empty Re: 20. NOVEMBER 1996-AUGUST 1997: ROBIN REPLACES SLASH BUT MATT AND DUFF QUITS

Post by Soulmonster Sat Aug 15, 2020 6:16 pm

MAY 1997
ROBIN FINCK JOINS THE BAND


STEVE JONES?


Immediately after the announcement that Slash was out of the band media would report that the band was looking for a guitarist to replace him [Philadelphia Daily News, November 1, 1996]. In early 1997, the rumours had it that Steve Jones, band mate with Duff in the Neurotic Outsiders and previously of the Sex Pistols, would take Slash's place, but this was denied by a source at Geffen [Addicted to Noise, January 13, 1997].

In March it would be said that the band was still looking for a new guitar player and had worked with a few to record "sketches and ideas for guitar parts on the demos", according to a band source [Addicted to Noise, March 19, 1997]. One of these guitar players was allegedly a young and unnamed player who Axl particularly liked [Addicted to Noise, March 19, 1997].


ROBIN FINCK


Then, in May, on MTV News on May 22 would be confirmed that Robin Finck was replacing Slash [MTV News, May 22, 1997]. Just a few days later, MTV News would report that GN'R spokespeople refused to confirm the hiring of Robin [MTV News, May 28, 1997].

Matt would say that it was he who found Robin playing at Cirque Du Soleil and that he recommended Robin to Axl as a replacement for Gilby:

I told Axl to see him and he said, 'That's our guitar player,' I said, 'Bring in Robin to play alongside Slash,' but Axl said, 'I want him to play lead.'




Robin Finck



Robin would explain how it happened:

About 18 months into [playing at Cirque Du Soleil], I got a call from Axl Rose, who I never met at the time. He invited me to the studio as he was writing and recording songs. It was an invitation for a casual listen. Eventually, after about 8 weeks, we started playing together.  We played some of my songs and finally I left the circus and was doing records with Axl, Josh, and Tommy, and what would have been a new Guns ‘n Roses, if you will.

[Axl] asked me to casually listen to some tapes and songs that he had been writing and recording. […] Gradually, after six or eight weeks of listening, playing and writing his songs and my songs, I left the circus and started doing a record with Axl.


Duff would talk about playing with Robin before Duff quit the band:

I played with Robin a few times and he’s a great guy.


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20. NOVEMBER 1996-AUGUST 1997: ROBIN REPLACES SLASH BUT MATT AND DUFF QUITS Empty Re: 20. NOVEMBER 1996-AUGUST 1997: ROBIN REPLACES SLASH BUT MATT AND DUFF QUITS

Post by Soulmonster Sat Aug 15, 2020 6:16 pm

ROBIN BEFORE GUNS N' ROSES


Robin joined Nine Inch Nails in February 1994 for The Downward Spiral tour and quit the band two months after NIN's tour with David Bowie ended in October 1995. Previous to joining NIN, Robin was in the outlandish "Impotent Sea Snakes" [Allstarmag, August 4, 1999].

Talking about joining and leaving NIN:

[I joined NIN] in ‘93, right after the completion of the recording of The Downward Spiral. I met Danny [Lohner] and the rest of them and we did the Self Destruct tour for what seemed like thousand years.

It was difficult for me [at the end of the last NIN tour]. The Manson crew and the Jim Rose Circus were with us for most of a year and it got pretty stupid.




Nine Inch Nails, Robin second to the left
1994



After quitting NIN Robin spent a year in New Orleans:

Then coming off the road and landing in New Orleans - that's a tough place to try and re-collect yourself, because it's a city built on night-life and alcohol.


Before joining Cirque du Soleil as the guitarist in the orchestra and its musical director [Kerrang! December 11, 1999], and did that gig up until joining GNR.

It was exactly what I needed – a 180-degree, polar-opposite change.

I had to do something that was the complete polar opposite to Nine Inch Nails. So I joined the circus! Then Axl Rose called me up.

That was kind of a trip [laughs]. I jumped two feet over the fence and I don’t know where I landed - I landed in some crazy place. It was wonderful and it was very romantic and charming and I met some lifelong friends through that experience, and I married one of ‘em. And it was quite an inspiration too, just to step away from the rock world, specifically the touring life of a rock band at that time for me in my life. Really, the music: that was all second to the lifestyle that I was seeking. I was looking for something to turn my world around, first and foremost, and playing music was really secondary.


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20. NOVEMBER 1996-AUGUST 1997: ROBIN REPLACES SLASH BUT MATT AND DUFF QUITS Empty Re: 20. NOVEMBER 1996-AUGUST 1997: ROBIN REPLACES SLASH BUT MATT AND DUFF QUITS

Post by Soulmonster Sat Aug 15, 2020 6:16 pm

MAY 1997
LOOKING FOR A PRODUCER - MIKE CLINK?


Despite Moby recently being confirmed as the producer select, an MTV News report from May 1997 would claim the band had settled on Mike Clink [MTV News, May 22, 1997]. This did not exclude Moby, and a source at Geffen refused to confirm that Moby would participate but state that "I expect he'll be working on a couple of tracks" [MTV News, May 22, 1997].

Later, in November 1998, Rolling Stone magazine would claim Clink had left the project after just a few months [Rolling Stone, November 14, 1998].

Clink would comment on what Axl was doing:



Later, Goldstein would talk about producers who had been involved, and not mention Clink [MTV News, April 28, 2000].


1997: AXL EXPRESSES HIMSELF WITH A CAR


In late 1996, Axl was considering which producer to use [Daily Press, November 22, 1996]. At some point in 1997, Todd Sullivan who was a talent executive at Geffen, sent Axl a sampling of CDs produced by different people, encouraging Axl to choose one for Chinese Democracy, only to be informed later that Axl had run over the CDs with his car [The New York Times, March 6, 2005].


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Post by Soulmonster Sat Aug 15, 2020 6:17 pm

MAY 1997
LOOKING FOR A PRODUCER - RICK RUBIN?


At the same time as Mike Clink was said to be the producer of the next record, or at least parts of it, Matt would say that Rick Rubin was involved in the project [MTV News, May 22, 1997]. This rumour was quickly shot down, though, when a spokesperson for Rubin said it had been discussed a while ago but that "it didn't work out" [MTV News, May 22, 1997].

Later, Doug Goldstein would talk about producers who had been involved, and not mention Rubin [MTV News, April 28, 2000].


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20. NOVEMBER 1996-AUGUST 1997: ROBIN REPLACES SLASH BUT MATT AND DUFF QUITS Empty Re: 20. NOVEMBER 1996-AUGUST 1997: ROBIN REPLACES SLASH BUT MATT AND DUFF QUITS

Post by Soulmonster Sat Aug 15, 2020 6:17 pm

MAY 30, 1997
WEST ARKEEN DIES


On June 2, 1997, the following story would be published by MTV News:

June 2 [8:35 EDT] -- West Arkeen, best known for co-writing a number of Guns n' Roses songs, died suddenly at his home in Los Angeles on Friday. Sources close to Guns n' Roses as well as posts on the Internet suggest that he possibly died of a drug overdose.

Arkeen co-wrote "It's So Easy," "Patience," "Bad Obsession," "The Garden" and "Yesterdays" for Guns n' Roses and also penned "Make Your Play" and "Pressure" for Brother Cane. He's not known to be involved in the G n' R material currently being composed and about to be recorded.

Arkeen had been working on his own project, The Outpatience, a band he formed two years ago with vocalist Mike Shotton, bassist James Hunting, guitarist Joey Hunting, drummer Abe Laboriel Jr. and keyboardist Gregg Buchwalter. The band just released their debut album, Anxious Disease, in Japan and were shopping the record to labels in the States. The album boast strong G n' R connections: Axl Rose, Slash and Duff McKagan appear as guests (Rose sings backup on the title track), and former G n' R member Izzy Stradlin co-wrote one of the songs.

Stradlin and McKagan are among those mostly closely associated with Arkeen. The trio played in the The Drunkf**ks side project together; Arkeen co-wrote two of the tunes on McKagan's solo record and he played bass on Stradlin's Ju Ju Hounds CD.


The next day it would be reported that West's manager, Dan McConomy, confirmed it was an opiate overdose and that West had been using opiates as a pain killer after suffereing severe burns from a barbeque accident [AP/The Sacramento Bee, June 3, 1997; MTV News, June 3, 1997].

Duff would write a song about West called 'Missing You' intended for his album 'Beautiful Disease', which was never released:

I lost so many best friends to heroin. This song's about [songwriter] Wes Arkeen in particular. Wes trained with me. He lasted a year. I got him out of the hospital with gangrene on both of his arms. Open abscesses. They were going to remove both arms! So he came from that to my dojo and turned into another person. I thought, "Aah, he's finally made it." But I told him again - I said, "Wes, if you ever go back to heroin, I can't go through the pain of you dying, so I swear to god, I'm gonna just detach myself from you 'cause you are gonna die." Sure enough, after a few years, he fell back in. When a friend of his died in his bathroom, I thought that would make him up. It didn't. So I stopped returning his calls. He would call so stoned. I'd hang up. Until someone else called me to tell me he was dead. He was my best friend! But there was only so much you could do, and my first reaction was, I WAS PISSED!


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20. NOVEMBER 1996-AUGUST 1997: ROBIN REPLACES SLASH BUT MATT AND DUFF QUITS Empty Re: 20. NOVEMBER 1996-AUGUST 1997: ROBIN REPLACES SLASH BUT MATT AND DUFF QUITS

Post by Soulmonster Sun Aug 30, 2020 8:52 am

AUGUST 1997
DUFF QUITS


When I was a kid, I had a baseball coach who told me, "When the going gets tough, the tough get going." I know that's a silly cliché, but it's true, and it's something that's always stuck with me. The wimps go by the wayside; only the tough are gonna persevere.

What did I do today?
Some people think I went and threw it away
But that was yesterday
I can't remember much of that anyway

I wonder who's to blame?
Or does it really matter much anyway
Or if we stayed the same?
If anyone of us would be here today... yeah
Lyrics from the song Who's To Blame? off Beautiful Disease

The thing ran its course

_____________________________________

In August 1997 Duff quit the band [Popular 1, July 2000]. It apparently wasn't etched in stone, though, because in February 1998, when asked about what the current lineup looked like, Bryn Bridenthal would not confirm that Duff was out, but say it was "difficult" to predict his status in the band [MTV News, February 11, 1998]. And around the same time Doug Goldstein would say the spot was open to Duff, and indicate he had decided to quit because he had recently become a father [Rolling Stone, February 20, 1998].

I was in the band until I quit. I was pretty miserable. I wasn't having fun.

There was a period when I got disenchanted with music. But I realized what I was disenchanted with was the lawyers, the big macro aspect of it. I'd never got into the music for the money, and I realized one day that, 'Why the hell would I want to start now?' That's when I decided to leave Guns.

I don’t want to do anything that goes against what I am now. I’m honest with myself and with the people surrounding me. Had I stayed with Axl, I would have acted against my personality. And nothing worse could ever happen to me. In this story, the real losers are Guns N’ Roses fans, unfortunately.

I left Guns N’ Roses because the band didn’t correspond to me anymore. What’s left of the band has nothing to do with what we had created.

About a year ago, Axl and I met and made tapes and met with Slash, but he's hired all new guys now. I'm probably just as confused about the situation as anyone. It all stems from big business stuff. I chose not to go that route. I'm not in it for the money. I backed way away from it because it's the real ugly side of music.

Then I went back to dealing with Axl, and I realized I just didn't need it anymore. It was just me and him. Slash had left, Izzy had left. It wasn't the same band, and I just thought: 'What's the point?"

I sat down with Axl and said this is no longer a band, it's an autocratic situation where you're calling all the shots and that's not a way to run a band. That is not how the band was formed, the band was a family. I am not interested in the Axl Rose Band under the guise of Guns N' Roses.


Although Duff didn't agree with Axl and his decisions to continue with Guns N' Roses, he would stress they were still friends:

Yes I am [still friends with Axl], but it doesn’t mean we agree on everything. We’ve been thinking too much about this band. We’ve been teenagers together, we became adults together. Nobody can ask me not to be friends anymore with my brother.


Later, Axl would emphasize that it had been Duff's decision to quit and that he hadn't forced anyone out:

That was [Matt's and Duff's] choice to leave. Everybody that's gone did it by choice.


Despite this, it seems like the press would indicate Duff had been fired, because in an interview from December 1999, Duff was eager to point out he left of his own free will:

Actually nobody could fire somebody in that band, because everyone was the equal partner. I quit. I left the band two weeks before my daughter Grace (she is two now) was born. It was not fun. That's the reason. The reason why I stayed in the band was to be a bridge between Axl and Slash. That's what I stick to. But I didn't want to stay there, cause that's not GN'R any more. There were only three guys left. What they want us to do? Me and Axl release the album as GN'R?

Cocaine dealer has all kinds of drug and start to hang out with them, cause they give me drugs for free.  That's it why we all five were falling apart. Each of us were surrounded by close friends and they all have their own point of view. So I had to deal with Axl and dozen of his guys, not only Axl. That's same situation from Axl to me. I want to be hard on myself. I'm very responsible. I was trying real hard. I have been sober since around '94 and I thought we could do better when I recall and analyze. Me and AXL were getting along well and we had very good conversation. Three of us could keep doing together. There was no doubt about it. There was no progress though. And it came to the end without facing and shaking hands saying "What the fuck were we doing?" […]

I didn't want to stay the band. It was not good as it used be. It won't go well. Only three guys, not five. And Axl wanted to do something else. He didn't know what he was doing.
Burrn! Magazine, December 1999; translated from Japanese

I'm planning to fix the story that I got fired. The reason I didn't say anything is that it is OK for me knowing for myself how it happened. I don't care what the rumor is, fired or I quit, cause I know what I have done.
Burrn! Magazine, December 1999; translated from Japanese

That's enough, so I quit. I went to dinner with Axl and his manager. He was a manager of GN'R and still Axl's. I said "Axl, We had much fun together, but it's your own band now. I'm not interested in you as a dictator. I didn't come here to talk about the money advanced for the next record. You can have it. See ya." That's it.
Burrn! Magazine, December 1999; translated from Japanese


And later Doug Goldstein would also stress that Duff wasn't fired:

In 1998, Duff had been working on the project for a few years and called myself and Axl to dinner. It was at this time that he informed us that he didn't want to pursue music anymore, he had just had a daughter, and wanted to concentrate on being a good father and go to college. Again, he was not terminated, he CHOSE to walk away.


Later Duff would shed more light on his decision to leave and Axl's becoming a dictator:

If you give too much to someone like Axl. Let's put it this way. If everyone around you is answering "yes" for years, if everything is reduced to "yes, yes, yes", then in your relation with other people, when someone says "no" you think that person is wrong. You're gonna tell him to fuck off! You're in this band from the start, and then suddenly everything turns autocratic, just because one person is surrounded by people saying yes to everything. It's not autocracy legally, but there is just one person thinking that's his band. Well then, keep your damned band! One can't stand it anymore. I love each and every member of Guns N' Roses, and that feeling is not going to fade away. I would do anything for them, no question. But people change. I have changed. I've got a larger goal in life now. So, what could I do? Be pissed and make a lot of money? To me, making music is not oriented to making money. If you're in it for the money, then you're in it for the wrong reason. You'll never make any good music, I tell you.


And that the band had become a "disaster":

I’ve got over the situation about having to leave my ownband. I had to leave that fuckin disaster. I had to leave while it was still cool.

I met my wife Susan and she got pregnant. And as I was about to have this kid, I started thinking , 'S**t, there's only me and Axl left (of the original members).

Why are we rehearsing at three in the morning? I don't want to do it anymore. I got a life.

I was kind of hoping the band would get back together. I was under a lot of pressure but I was looking like the level-headed guy.

Our manager was calling me every day for advice. What a scared little pr**k. I'm going, 'Dude, manage the f***ing band. You're the manager!' I started to look around and go, 'What a bunch of morons'.


And Axl's insistence that Paul was in the band, was also a major issue to Duff:

[Being asked how he quit]: Yeah, just talk, sit down and talk. I told them I had changed. I said if they needed help, they could just call me. I told Axl this was his band, he had ignored everyone and had hired his best friend for the band. I couldn't play with him. Paul Huge, that was the guy! He's a friend of Axl, he's a 'yes man'. […] Man, you can't be in Guns N' Roses just like that. That was a real band. […]  imagine you and I grow up together and you're my best friend. OK, I'm in Guns N' Roses and I tell the rest you're going to join the band. "OK, Slash, Axl, Matt, guys, this guy is in the band". "Duff, you got a minute?" "No, he's in the band" "Well, no. Everyone in the band has to vote it, Duff, so no way!" "Fuck you, this guy is in the band! I'm not doing anything unless this guy is in the band" "OK, you know what? We'll try and play with him, since you're that much interested in it. Hey Duff, the guy can't play" "I don't care" "Well that's not very reasonable." "I don't care" At that point, what would you do? I came to a point where I couldn't even look at him [Paul]. If I were in such a situation, if I were the friend joining the band, I'd say "Hey guys, you've done very good yourselves alone, I'm not going any further. Hey, Duff, thanks for the offer, but I'm breaking your band." But he didn't say it.


And also Axl's desire to modernize the sound of the band:

That's a long story, it's a fact that the band fell slowly apart at the end of the 90's. Attempts to glue the band together failed because it was impossible to make good agreements with Axl. There were also many differences in opinion. He wanted a so-called modern sound with an important role for electronica. I just want to play in a rock and roll band. So there you have it.


Duff would also said he had been put in an unattainable position by the, presumably, Doug Goldstein, in trying to get Slash back to the band, but that when it was clear that wouldn't happen, he quit too:

I was in a weird spot. At the end of the Use Your Illusion tour, I was completely wasted and collapsed physically. That's when I decided to go into rehab. From that moment on, I was the only one in the band that was sober. So I became the guy who would always get the calls from the record company, the manager and Axl: 'Try to get Slash back, try to get Slash back.' [He turns to Slash:] You didn't know that, did you? Everyone was calling me continuously to see if I could keep the fucking mess together! Eventually I told our manager: 'Look, I can only do so much. If you want to keep the whole thing on track, you would have to take responsibility and tell Axl the truth, or there won't be any band left for you to manage.' But he never did. So when it was apparent that Slash left definitely, I said 'Fuck it, I'm also out of here'.


Fernando Lebeis would later discuss Duff quitting and indicate that Axl and Duff were friends at the time but that they later lost contact:

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



REGRETS


Basically, I think the fame got to us. It got too big and no one knew how to contain each other and keep some sort of continuum going. It was a volatile situation, which made the band exciting, but big business and volatility don't mix. There was an electricity within the band, so that even at rehearsal, it was just blazing. And like with any electrical circuit, if you chop the wire, remove any source, it's not going to run at full power. Or if you add more lamps, it's just not gonna be the same. It's a shame because I think we should have at least made a record for all the fans all over the world who supported the Use Your Illusion tour so well. I am so proud of what we accomplished, not on a business level - which obviously was also huge - but just as five guys who met on the streets of Hollywood with one idea - to make uncompromised rock and roll and make it be heard. And we did that, man. We succeeded.

I regret that Guns N’ Roses never recorded one last album for its fans. This is probably my biggest disappointment. This band didn’t have a proper ending. If we’d had a crystal ball and we could see what was going to happen, we might have acted differently. I know I'm not the only one who is disappointed. The fans are, too. We never gave them that last album.


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20. NOVEMBER 1996-AUGUST 1997: ROBIN REPLACES SLASH BUT MATT AND DUFF QUITS Empty Re: 20. NOVEMBER 1996-AUGUST 1997: ROBIN REPLACES SLASH BUT MATT AND DUFF QUITS

Post by Soulmonster Sun Aug 30, 2020 8:53 am

AXL OFFERS DUFF A BETTER DEAL


From the following quote it can seem like Axl offered more money to Duff for joining the band again:

So much has gone on in my life over the last few years. Some of it was less then thrilling, but other parts have been really good. Having to battle against the ravages of my lifestyle was really difficult, but overcoming my dependencies was the best thing that ever happened to me. It opened my eyes-it turned my life around. It made me realize what was really important to me. I was offered a lot of money to stay in Guns N' Roses, and I was very honored by that. But I realized that I had never gotten into making music for the money in the first place, so why should I start doing money for things now?


Later it would be revealed that this money likely came from an offered show in Germany:

Susan, my girlfriend, was pregnant. We were going to have a baby, but this band was becoming a dictatorship, everything had to get done Axl’s way or it wouldn’t get done at all. It wasn’t like that when we started out. At one point, we were offered a huge sum of money to play a concert in Germany. I thought, “I never played for money and I’m not gonna start now!” I’ve got a house, I’m secure financially. Post-Neurotic was the worst moment of my career in Guns. I went out for dinner with Axl and I told him, “Enough is enough. This band is a dictatorship and I don’t see myself playing in those conditions. Find someone else.

Yeah, I was [offered money to return]. But it's nothin' but big business these days. That's where it all went, and I was wrapped up right in the middle of it. I had folks yelling in my ear, "Hey man, you can't walk away from this million and that million, blah, blah, blah." I had been doing it more for other people then myself. The manager, the label, the band, a bunch of other people. I finally woke up one day, I swear to god, it was just like, "Well, I never started doing this for the money in the first place. So'¦" Hey, when I moved down to Hollywood, I never thought money when it came to music. There was no way I was ever in music for money. Fame, yeah. Girls, yeah. To be up there on stage, shit yeah. But money? And it didn't really hit me until I had already got the house, the car, then two houses, then two cars, and I realized, whoa, I was doing it for the money. It wasn't fun anymore. So when they asked me back, I asked myself, "If I went back now, it would only be for the money, so why should I start doing it for the money now?" No way. It was ridiculous. It was an absolutely ridiculous thought and that's when I just went, "Screw this, screw the lawyers and the accountants and everything else that's supposed to be so damn important. I want out. I wanna do my music." So that's what I did.

Everybody was trying to persuade me to stay in the band for money.
Burrn! Magazine, December 1999; translated from Japanese


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20. NOVEMBER 1996-AUGUST 1997: ROBIN REPLACES SLASH BUT MATT AND DUFF QUITS Empty Re: 20. NOVEMBER 1996-AUGUST 1997: ROBIN REPLACES SLASH BUT MATT AND DUFF QUITS

Post by Soulmonster Wed Feb 03, 2021 5:53 pm

DUFF AFTER GUNS N' ROSES - PERSONAL LIFE; VARIOUS PROJECTS; MARK LANEGAN


On August 27, 1997, Duff and his girlfriend Susan Holmes became parents to Grace [Online Chat, March 16, 1999; Guitar, September 1998; Los Angeles Time, November 27, 1998], and later they had their second daughter, Mae [Loaded Online, February 21, 2002].

In August 1999, Duff and Susan married [Popular 1, July 2000].



From Susan and Duff's wedding
August 1999



The same month it would also be reported that he was selling his house at Lake Arrowhead [Los Angeles Times, August 19, 1999].

Duff would also keep himself in good shape:

When I got my head back on straight, I was 29. I met a sensei, Benny The Jet, he's the middleweight world kickboxing champion. I also started mountain bike riding, and got one of the guys from The Stone Roses into it, and he broke his collarbone and they had to cancel all their gigs. Ooops. So I was getting into martial arts stuff, very hardcore training.

He took me down to nothing, like boot camp, and built me up a little each day. He would crush me, then say something... a mental pick-up while he was building me physically. It's brought me peace of mind. Like my analogy is this: I drive a lot and a lot of people are very aggressive on the freeway. I see it all the time, but it doesn't affect me. I feel sorry for them. Back then, I probably would have a gun or a baseball bat.

On the road, I bring a jump rope and gloves, and if we're staying in a high rise I'll run the stairs a billion times. I do light weights only as I don't want a big chest. I mostly do push-ups, sit-ups and pull-ups, hitting the bag and jumping rope. Yesterday I ran three miles, did two miles on a Stairmaster at full speed. I think this is the best shape I've ever been in - no red meat, low fat, high protein diet. It's a lifestyle.

So much has gone on in my life over the last few years. Some of it was less then thrilling, but other parts have been really good. Having to battle against the ravages of my lifestyle was really difficult, but overcoming my dependencies was the best thing that ever happened to me. It opened my eyes-it turned my life around. It made me realize what was really important to me.

Studying martial arts has helped immensely [to keep me sober]. I'm studying with the real guys, guys that have what it takes to get a real black belt. Now, you pay two grand and you can buy a damn black belt these days. It means next to nothing anymore, it's like buying doughnuts. Especially in Los Angeles - there's a dojo in every strip mall. But back in the day of the real full-contact karate, these guys I train with would just tape up their knuckles with black duct tape or black electrical tape, tape up their toes, and go. That was it. They'd really blood each other out, really hurt each other, but that was the development of American contact fighting. […] The physical part of it is only about 30-percent. My sensai trains a lot of kickboxing champions, and I'll get in the ring as just a sparring partner for somebody getting ready to fight. I'll get my ass kicked, but I'll get in the ring. That's how far you can go without any fear. And it has nothing to do with being a macho guy. It has more to do with being so at peace with yourself that you can do anything without fear. It gave me the self confidence to walk and talk without compromising. I got broken down to a point where I was below human, but through a lot of work, a lot of pain, and a lot of truth, I'm back. And I'm glad for every minute of it.

The thing is, I don't crave it. I'm a recovering drug addict. "Recovering" means I'll be that was until I the day I die. That was a different life. Physically, I broke down my muscles to the point where big poisonous boils were actually coming out of my skin! This is when I was kicking drugs and trying to get back into shape. The condition was so hardcore, that stuff was just oozing out from deep within me. But, it's all out of my system now. I don't even crave a drink or anything. It's totally cool.

I've taken up jogging in the last four months. Duff got me inspired to start running. He ran a marathon! This is a guy I used to see in the hallways of hotels and wouldn't recognise him, because he was so fucked up from alcohol - vodka, specifically. Here's a guy who almost died from having something blow up inside him - I forget what it was, but it was something important!


Looking back at having left Guns N' Roses and whether he has a love/hate relationship with the band:

Not towards the music we created. You know what’s great? I can come to France and play in bigger places thanks to my past in Guns N’ Roses. The public comes to see what I do now thanks to the interest they had in my previous band. And I do hope they’ll like Loaded cause it’s a cool band. It’s a plus. I don’t want to be tied to GN’R, but the fact is that it opens some doors if I want to go to Europe, South America or Japan and play big places. That’s the smart side of the story.



TEN MINUTE WARNING


In late 1997 it would be reported that Duff would release a debut EP with his old Seattle band, Ten Minute Warning [MTV News, December 31, 1997] on the label Sub Pop [Guitar, September 1998]. Duff had played with the band back in 1995, too [see previous chapter], but now being out of Guns N' Roses he probably had more time to release something with them.

Jonathan Poneman [of Sub Pop] said he'd really love to have the real history of Seattle. Ten Minute Warning was two years prior to Green River, and before Sub Pop, and we toured with the Dead Kennedys and Black Flag. We were the biggest band in Seattle.

The guys from Sub Pop [an underground label of punk and grunge bands] called and told me, “We’ve got all the Seattle bands since 1985, but you were there before and we’d like you to record an album.” Ten Minute Warning was quite a legendary Seattle band and Sub Pop would have completed their collection of the city’s music history with our album. We talked about it, we played together and it felt right. So we recorded an album. Afterwards, we didn’t think, “Let’s go on tour, let’s form a real band.” We recorded this album just for fun.



THE GENTLEMEN


After returning to Seattle after having quit Guns N' Roses, Duff would play in a due called the Gentlemen together with Dave Dederer of the Presidents of the United States [The Seattle Times, April 17, 2005]. They wore suits and ties and played mellow songs while sitting down [The Seattle Times, April 17, 2005].


PLAYING ON IZZY'S SOLO ALBUMS


In 1998, Duff would be featured as the bass player on Izzy's solo record 117 Degrees [see previous chapter for more information on this].

In 2000 Duff would also tour with Izzy in Japan after Izzy had released Ride On [see previous chapter].

Talking about how it was to play with Izzy again:

Awesome! We are real fast friends. By the way, when my pancreas fucked Izzy phoned too. We've always been friends and our friendship has gone beyond music. We've been through a lot of things together. I play in his records, which usually takes no more than two days. It's like "Here's the song, play, thank you". For this last record he wanted to go away and play some shows with me. We were rehearsing in Hollywood for a week and then we wanted to play some shows, which were really fun. It was so easy! In Japan everybody was around us freaked, seeing the two of us together. It was exciting. We are recording a new album in two weeks time. Rick [Richards, guitar] is coming from Atlanta and Taz [Bentley, drums] will come from Dallas. The same guys that were in Japan. It's nothing but that - things are pretty easy with Izzy. The songs are not very hard actually, they are based in good old rock roots. That's what I like about Izzy. I think he's keeping something essential - rock roots. They are slowly being lost and no one seems to do what he's doing. He's mixing country and rock and roll, and he's good at it.



1998-2000: MARK LANEGAN


In April it was reported that Duff was collaborating with fellow Seattle musician Mark Lanegan [Allstarmag, April 1998]. Together they completed 15 songs and were considering founding a band [Allstarmag, April 1998].

It's a totally new entity, and it's really bad-ass, with a stylistic range from funk to Burt Bacharach. And Mark loves Burt Bacharach.

Nothing is done yet, but it’s very likely to become a reality in the future. We’re friends. I think I’m gonna play on his solo album first. Actually, right now he’s downstairs [in Duff’s house in Seattle] so I don’t want to talk too much about him. He would become big-headed....no, I’m kidding.

Well, like I said before I'm in a new band. It's me, Mark Lanegan, Mike Johnson and a drummer from Seattle. We are going there tomorrow to do some playing. Mark, Mike and me are demoing stuff with a drum machine. He's the drummer in New American Shame. This is a project Mark and myself have been planning for a long time now, and it is the first time I tell anyone, because it's been quite secret. There was even a rumor in MTV News that we denied, because we wanted no one to know about it. When you are in the music business you need to keep some things surprising, so that people will say "Wow, this and this guy together!". Though the truth is, the fact that we come from different bands does not affect us in any way. We knew each other already, because we actually come from the same place and we grew up listening to the same music - The Saints, Bad Company, Stranglers, and I could go on and on about our common influences. I wrote a record for Geffen, "Beautiful Disease", and when it was about to be released Geffen was absorbed and the priorities changed, so in the end it was never released, and never will. However Mark loved some of the songs. Maybe all this was bound to happen. We're gonna record three cuts from that album, so now we're working on the songs. Like when the Neurotic Outsiders thing, which was not anything too serious for any of us. We never rehearsed the songs with Neurotic. We just wrote them in five minutes or Steve Jones had already done. We were not into in 24/7. This is what we are doing now.

I'm playing both guitar and bass in the current sessions. We're thinking of looking for a bassist, with me and Mark on the guitars, but who knows. I offered myself as the bassist, but Mark likes my guitar playing a lot so that's what it's gonna be.

We're gonna record a demo and play live like everybody else does. But we're going to record a demo that no one will be able to reject, so we'll choose whatever label we please. That's the plot, world domination and all the stuff! (laughs). I'm very happy to be working on something that's going to redefine me to the audience.

Our goal is to sound as good as Pink Floyd in "The Wall". Is it going to sound like Pink Floyd's "The Wall"? No! Everybody knows what Mark Lanegan's voice sounds like and the darkness it hides. All that is going to be in there, but regarding the songwriting this is where Mike Johnson and I come in. The songs are oriented to places where Mark would be likely to feel attracted to. The common influences are the same, like Burt Bacharach, Badfinger and the list goes on.

We've written some 30 songs […].


For unknown reasons nothing came out of this, although Duff would feature on some of Lanegan's later releases: the drummer and bassist on the song 'Fix' off the 2001 album 'Field Songs'; together with Izzy as background singers on the song 'Strange Religion' off the 2004 album 'Bubblegum'; and the bassist on the songs 'Deepest Shade', 'Brompton Oratory', and 'Autumn Leaves' off the 2013 album 'Imitations'. It is possible that some of these songs stemmed from their 1998 collaboration.

Lanegan talking about Duff and Izzy contributing to Bubblegum:

Having them singing on the record is like having Keith Richards and Ron Wood singing with you. I’ve known Duff and Izzy for quite a while. I was sort of a houseboy for Duff and his wife for a long time.
Rolling Stone, September 11, 2003

It was like having Keith Richards and Johnny Thunders both singing on your song. They looked at the words [to the song Strange Religion] once and did it, and it was perfect. Then they spent a couple hours telling stories.
MTV News, June 6, 2004


Duff would later briefly mention transitioning from working with Lanegan to establishing a new lineup for Loaded:

Geoff [Redding] and I started playing. We started playing. We were going to do this thing with Mark Lanegan, who was the singer from Screaming Trees. But Geoff and I started playing a lot and Geoff kinda pushed this thing like “Hey man, let’s, you know, let’s pursue this, you know, with Mark or not because him and I were Jello --– it was just guitar, I was playing guitar and he was playing drums. You know, would I love to play bass with him? Yeah, but it just didn’t work out that way because we were writing the songs – I’d write ‘em on guitar...


Talking about musicians overcoming their addictions:

People like Mark Lanegan (ex-Screaming Trees and Queens of the Stone Age) should be celebrated. He's gone through hell. He's a really good friend of mine. He may not be as popular as Scott, but he is a really good fucking singer.


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20. NOVEMBER 1996-AUGUST 1997: ROBIN REPLACES SLASH BUT MATT AND DUFF QUITS Empty Re: 20. NOVEMBER 1996-AUGUST 1997: ROBIN REPLACES SLASH BUT MATT AND DUFF QUITS

Post by Soulmonster Fri Feb 05, 2021 1:41 pm

1997-
DUFF ON REUNITING WITH GUNS N' ROSES; RELATIONSHIP WITH AXL


If it's something democratic between the five of us, that's something I would love to do. Not long ago we were offered several shows to begin the new Millennium in Australia. But there's no way it could be like the old days. Things have changed.

[Being asked if he would ever go back to Guns N' Roses]: It seems that people mellow with age...we will see.


In 2002 and 2003 when Velvet Revolver was starting to become a reality, the band members would get more questions about a proper reunion involving Axl:

Slash is having a baby. It's changed him so much already. I have two daughters, a beautiful wife, and a house. So any kind of reunion would have to be a real relaxed, family-type affair, like it was in the beginning. I talk to Izzy all the time, see him around. So does Slash. We're friends. It's not worth screwing that up. You know, Izzy had to leave last time to save his life. He got clean of heroin, and he had to get out... [...] We went through so much. I mean, not like war or anything, but a lot. There are things that I can only talk to them about. Things that not even my wife, who I sleep with every night, knows, because she wouldn't understand that stuff. It was pretty heavy stuff. The Loaded album deals with that. It's a little snapshot of a guy's life. A guy who's talking about life after seeing some pretty heavy stuff. I mean, in my 20s they were pretty fucking intense.


And about the rumour that a manager had already got the five of them in therapy somewhere:

Hey, I heard that! If it's happened, nobody told Slash. I asked Izzy, and nobody had told him. I think it's just some big manager saying: 'I can get them back together. I'll get them in therapy and go from there.' There have been a couple of offers tabled for the reunion tour. We're not talking about it right now. I'm not saying in two years time or three years time I won't be talking to you about the reunion tour, but not right now.


As Slash when Velvet Revolver became serious, Duff would close the door to a reunion [The Howard Stern Show, May 24, 2004].

[Being asked if he cold imagine ever playing with Axl again]: NO. No, it’s not gonna happen.


Later Duff would seem more open to it again:

I don't know if we are really out there enough to hear the [reunion] rumors. We're kind of insulated from a lot of stuff. It's only when we do interviews and people ask that it comes up. It's always the first time I hear about it. I think promoters are behind that a lot, starting rumors. It definitely doesn't come from us. It's not like the five guys in GN'R have sat down and talked about a reunion. Not even close. I dunno ... life is going to evolve. There is nothing we can do to stop what's going to happen. I've finally figured that out. Whatever is going to happen is gonna happen. Right now, Velvet Revolver is what feels amazing.

It would have to be kind of a cool groovy situation, a feel-good situation, for us to do it. You know, I think it could happen someday, somehow, because of the fact that we're all still alive. It's really not something I waste any time thinking about. As far as my music goes, I have a great band, I love what we do. I love the record we made.

It would be a lot of fun as long as it was on a fun level and say just 10 shows to huge crowds. But we're not really hanging around for a call or with our breath held.

[...] there is no backroom talks, there never has been.. but anything can happen, you see all these bands getting back together. I guess hell froze over for the Eagles and they did it. But it's not something I count on, or even need in my life

Like, OK, well, everybody is alive and perhaps one day. And if we did it, it would be a blast. It's not anything, by any means, that I sit around and wait for or hope for. If it happens, it happens, and if not, that's fine too.

People ask me that all the time. I certainly don’t sit here and go, ‘God, I wish that’s going to happen.’ I don’t even know what’s going to happen in four weeks from now in my life so I’m not going to be one of those guys who’s like, ‘Fuck that, that’ll never happen.’ It could very well happen. It would have to be right and it would have to be righteous for everybody and for the fans and it would have to be like a kick ass thing or it would just kind of be sour I think… I mean, I love Axl. We’ve been through a lot of shit together and shit nobody can take away from us no matter what people try to make of a squabble.



RELATIONSHIP WITH AXL


[I have talked to him a] couple of times. [...] I don't know if [our relationship] is for him. I don't know. I think Axl is really pissed at me now. I think he's getting more and more pissed. First time I saw him, everything seemed to work out fine, but it looks like things have changed.


And yes, Axl was pissed at Duff and suggest it came down to Duff's support of Slash:

Duff's support for the man [=Slash] though understandable in one sense in regard to his circumstances, is inexcusable, and furthers my distance from the two of them. [...] And for the record I'm referring to Slash and Matt in regards to their actions and behavior, Duff played more of a supporting role (for reasons I've never understood). For the fans to attempt to condemn me to relationships even only professional with any of these men is a prison sentence and something I wouldn't wish on my worst enemy. I'd say my parole is nearly over. I'm practically a free man and if you don't like it you'll have plenty of time to get used to the idea.


In late 2002 Duff would say that that previous comments between band members have been misconstrued and taken out of context, he would also be reluctant to say anything about Axl because of fear of hurting the brand (Guns N' Roses Inc.) to which he still was a partner:

Things have been misconstrued and taken out of context in the past. [...] [I am] concerned when damage is done to the name [=Guns N' Roses Inc.].


Duff would describe Axl as a bitter man:

I think he's a bitter man. I just hope he finds some kinda happiness in his life.
Dagbladet, February 17, 2004; translated from Norwegian

I’ll never talk shit about Axl. I hope one day the guy will be happy. We were five guys who came out of nowhere, in a shitty room, half the size of this one, no bathroom, no kitchen, wrote our own songs, started playing clubs, got a record deal and toured on Appetite for Destruction for a year before it broke. We became a household name, and we did it together.


Despite claiming he would never say shit about Axl in the quote above, the following quote appeared in a newspaper in October 2004:

Axl made it an Axl thing, but it really wasn't. He never wrote any of the music. That was part of the reason it broke up, because we'd play shows and he'd say, 'Here's a song I wrote about ...' and it would be a song he had nothing to do with.


After the publication of this story, Duff went public to retract the comment:

Oh yeah... Just one more thing to ponder for you guys. Please don't believe everything you read (see my 'interview' for the Voodoo Fest for example). A lot of times things are taken out of context or just plain misquoted. This not only happens to me, but to all of the guys in the band. Interviews are often done on the phone, or in a crowded place jotted down on a piece of paper, then... the article will be written a couple of days later. We all know what can happen to one's memory even in that short of a period. No one is perfect, and sometimes we come out of these things looking like stupid jerks... trust me, we are not. Interviews are a necessary evil that more often than not turn out to benefit the band and hopefully enlighten a new audience to our brand of high-octane 'fuck you' rock n' roll.
Peace.... Duff

To all concerned

I will now officially retract a statement made in an interview for the Voodoo-Fest in New Orleans a couple of weeks ago. To paraphrase, I was quoted as saying that Axl wrote none of the music for Guns N' Roses (supposedly in the time that I was in the band). This was an ABSOLUTE misquote and I do believe that my past record in doing interviews period, would show me saying something like this as a serious deviation from my normal responses to 'Guns' questions.

Axl, and all 'Guns' fans, I wholeheartedly apologize and am quite embarrassed by this whole episode. I have always looked at the 'glass as half full' when it comes to the amazing things we accomplished, and the amazing songs we wrote as a group. 'My world' is still one of my favorite songs!!!

Much respect and love.... Duff


Despite this retraction, not long after he made a similar comment to Mojo:

Axl believed he was Guns N' Roses, but there was a whole way that this thing worked that he just kind of forgot. And he was never the lead guy, music-wise, ever. We'd write the songs and give them to him-a lot of times with vocals on.


Around the same time, Duff would refer to Axl as an asshole for putting fans at risk when he came late to shows:

Anyway, the tragedy at Donington in '88][ was why it was such a big deal when Axl started missing shows. When that asshole wouldn't show up for hours we were scared for the safety of our fans. There would be riots.


Being asked if drugs were the reason the band fell apart:

No, it was Axl. [...] What I do regret is we let down a huge fan base that was there waiting for a next record, and Axl made us all... we all bailed at one point or another.  We couldn't deal with him.  There wasn't any sort of rationality... it's just too bad.  God, I don't want to come off bad mouthing him, because the guy has a lot of great attributes...


Being asked if he still has a relationship with Axl:

No. Not a good one anyhow. Not an existing one. [...] It's kind of sad. We went through so much together. I hold no animosity toward him or toward my past. Our past lead us where they lead us. But, nope, I haven't talked to him since about 1996.


In March 2006, Axl would counter-sue Duff and Slash after they have sued him in 2005 (see later chapter), and in an associated statement released to the press, Axl would scathingly attack Slash and Duff:

The [2005] lawsuit also attacks Axl's integrity as Slash and Duff, in a vindictive attempt to aggrandize their own stature, re-write history through false statements, which have been repeated by the media. Their attacks on Axl stand in sharp contrast to Rose's conduct. Axl has at all times worked diligently to maintain the artistic integrity of the band by choosing with great care which properties to license GUNS N' ROSES songs to and refusing to participate in what he believed were potentially embarrassing projects. He has fought to avoid the release of material that does not live up to the highest of standards demanded by the band's history and its followers. Axl chose not to respond through the media while taking the high road in the face of Slash and Duff's attacks. Hudson and McKagan, by contrast, have told ever changing — and false — stories regarding the formation of the band and its history and believe that the band's catalogue should be exploited without careful consideration — for the GUNS N' ROSES brand and their loyal audience — or Axl's input as if it were fast food by anyone willing to pay for it.


The statement would also claim that Slash had made a visit to Axl's home in October 2005, where he, allegedly, badmouthed his bandmates in Velvet Revolver, including calling Duff "spineless":

In October of 2005 Slash made an unannounced 5:30 AM visit to Axl Rose's house. Not appearing to be under the influence, Slash came to inform Axl that: 'Duff was spineless,' 'Scott [Weiland] was a fraud,' that he 'hates Matt Sorum' and that in this ongoing war, contest or whatever anyone wants to call it that Slash has waged against Axl for the better part of 20 years, that Axl has proven himself 'the stronger.'


Duff's response:

I think, you know, a lot of it's really unfortunate, very difficult, I've always just wanted to make great music and that's what I plan on doing. As far as a rebuttal to what he said, or what Slash has said, I won't get involved in a war of words, you know. People say all kinds of stuff and I'm not going to be one of them.
Blabbermouth, March 10, 2006: originally from Launch


In 2008, Duff would state there had been no communication between him and Axl:

[...] there has been no communication. I've grown up. There are so many other things that made me realize, in my life, that made me realize, 'Oh, you're an adult now,' you know? Petty things just go by the wayside. I don't really have time for any of that stuff anymore. As an adult, I see what you guys see. Like, OK, well, everybody is alive and perhaps one day. And if we did it, it would be a blast. It's not anything, by any means, that I sit around and wait for or hope for. If it happens, it happens, and if not, that's fine too


And in 2009 he would talk about wanting to reconnect with Axl:

Look, I saw some really amazing stuff with Axl. We worked really well together. We were good friends. And I hope to perhaps have that friendship back one day, although it’s not something I wait around for. But I look forward to it.

[Being asked if he throught the five of them would ever be friends again]: Wouldn’t that be great? I think Guns were five dudes with this shared vision. We met and it was the exact five right guys. I’d been in enough bands before that to know there’s always a weak link in a band. The moment we got in a room and played the first three chords, we all knew it. We didn’t have illusions that we were going to be huge or anything. But people started coming to our gigs and then labels started coming to our gigs and we made the record we wanted to make. And all of a sudden it hit, and it seems like a whole generation of the world had an affinity for that record.

We went through some growing pains together. Everybody knew who we were. Man, you’d go to the grocery store and people would be like: “Woah! Dude!” How do you cope with that? All we had was each other to help us understand. We all survived. And that’s pretty amazing, that we’re all alive to talk about it.

So yeah, as part of a perfect world we could all go out to dinner without our wives or anything and say: “’Congratulations. We’re all alive, and people still freak out over what we did.’ Will that happen? I don’t know. It’s probably Utopian.


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20. NOVEMBER 1996-AUGUST 1997: ROBIN REPLACES SLASH BUT MATT AND DUFF QUITS Empty Re: 20. NOVEMBER 1996-AUGUST 1997: ROBIN REPLACES SLASH BUT MATT AND DUFF QUITS

Post by Soulmonster Tue Apr 27, 2021 6:12 pm

STEVEN, AFTER GUNS N' ROSES: RELATIONSHIP WITH HIS FORMER BAND MATES, MARRIAGE AND JAIL-TIME


RELATIONSHIP WITH SLASH, DUFF AND IZZY


In 1999, Duff would be asked why Steven wasn't playing on his second solo album:

I'd use [Steven] in a second, but he's another one of those guys that you know the phone call is gonna come'¦ I mean, I hate to say that, because I love the guy, but I think he's back in jail now. Drugs'¦ I saw him about two years ago - Izzy, Wes and I went to his house. We tried to talk to him - "Hey man, you're gonna die," we said. It didn't work. He was a mess. If I let him drum in my band, he'd fool himself into thinking he was OK because I was using him. I'd be what's called an "enabler." And I wont do that.


And in 2000 Duff would talk more about Steven:

[Being asked if he keeps in touch with Steven]: Very little. Steven damaged himself a lot. The only thing you can do for the guy is cry for him. It's hard to talk to him sometimes. He's still the same guy, but there's a lot of things that have changed him forever.


And when asked if Steven is doing anything musically, Duff simply replied, "No" [Popular 1, July 2000].

In October 2000 Steven tried reuniting with Slash at a Snakepit gig, but was turned away:

Steven stopped by the Whiskey in Hollywood on Thursday night to catch Slash's Snakepit. Unfortunately, what could have been their first substantial reunion in years, turned sour.  It seemed as though Slash was just plain disinterested to see his old friend. After some chitchat, Stevie asked the guitarist what songs they were planning to do, absolutely willing to jam on anything if asked.  It was clear that no such request would be posed. During the conversation, Steven noticed that his girlfriend wasn't being allowed into the VIP area, and asked Slash if he could let her in.  Slash stated something to the effect of "no". Steven was genuinely hurt and offended that his old friend would show him such a lack of consideration.. He planted a firm middle finger in front of Slash and stormed off.  This was an incident between old friends, nothing more, and hopefully these two can just chill and hang out sometime! Ironically, Slash has spoken affectionately of Steven in recent interviews, and has said that the two keep in touch. Unfortunately, they do not - much to Steven's regret.


In 2001, Steven met Duff and Izzy:

I saw Izzy and Duff last year! It was great! They were at Rumbo, where we did "Appetite." That's where Izzy was doing his new record , and Duff was playing on a song.  I rode down with the dog, Shadow, and Carolina. We talked, we hugged, and I sat down behind the drums and the drummer says, "Dude, I really love you, you were my idol",  this and that, and I say "Hey" to McBob, Duff's bass tech who was there. I started playing the beat to "Rocket Queen" and me and Duff just started playing. It was fun. Quick and fun. Then me and Izzy went out to lunch - twice. I mean, maybe that's a start.


Also in 2001, Slash would talk about staying in contact with Steven, but that he was broken:

He's the Humpty Dumpty of the band. No insult to Steven, but they could never put him back together again.


In March 2003, Steven hung out with Slash at the Whiskey Sky Bar in the Green Valley Casino in Vegas and even got to play with him:

Last night at Camp Freddy’s appearance at the Whiskey Sky Bar in the Green Valley Casino in Vegas, Stevie showed up and was reunited with his old friend Saul Hudson, AKA Slash. It was the clubs' one year anniversary, and what a celebration it was! The two guys hung out for a couple of hours before Slash took the stage for two songs. The show was running late when they waved Steven onstage to make an appearance to an extremely gracious crowd. Slash was excited to hear about Steven’s new project and promised to check out one of their shows!


In 2005, Steven would say he was reconciling with Slash:

Slash and I are slowly getting a relationship together, but I mean... He called me on my birthday when I was in Spain or in Rome. We're starting to build a relationship together. Izzy and I recorded a song called "Do you love me". A sixties - seventies song (sings). It came out really cool. Axl I haven't talked too in ten or fifteen years.


On September 21, 2003, Adler's Appetite did a concert at the Key Club in Los Angeles with Izzy and Slash guesting on Mr. Brownstone, Knockin' on Heaven's Door and Paradise City:

[...] it was real nice. Well, the guys in my band, Jizzy, Kerri...are great, too. I love playing the songs with them. Having Slash and Izzy up there with us made playing those songs more real, y’know? They are my brothers, we accomplished a lot together. Playing with them again was great. I hope the fans liked it. I mean, meeting the people, everyone has been so nice. I’d like to say “thank you” for comin' out to all the shows, showin’ how much you guys really love the songs. Every show, I tried to tell everybody that I met, “thank you so much”. It’s been so great, I want to play for everybody forever, y’know? I love to play Rock N’ Roll music, I love playing for you!

One cool thing was that Slash and Izzy came to play with us at the Key Club [in Hollywood]. And Izzy now wants to come to South America with us. We’re due to play some shows there in a few months, and he says he’d like to come with us. I’d love Slash to come along too, if he’s not busy with Velvet Revolver. He called on my birthday, on January 22, which was nice.


Slash would later talk about the experience and how Steven's band was only a cover band playing shit versions of GN'R songs:

The only one who plays in a coverband is Steven Adler. He just brings old Guns N' Roses songs, under the name of Adler's Appetite - the poor guy... Not too long ago, Izzy and I played with him - just for the fun of it, which was very interesting. We went to the show and listened to the whole set. With guys from various L.A.-bands, and that was really funny. If only because of the involuntary realization that Guns N' Roses must have been damn good - cause the covers simply sounded like shit. Honestly. The songs were OK, but something about them was off. You know what I mean. Nevertheless we went on stage and played a few songs. That was nice.


In March 2004 the admin of Steven's official fansite would report that Steven had been recording with Izzy:

Steven flew back to LA last night where he was picked up at LAX by none other than Izzy Stradlin! Izzy invited his former bandmate to collaborate on some new music. The plan is to record two songs, possibly to be included on Izzy's next release. I hope to have more info for you asap!

Steven returned from LA with a CD-R featuring two songs of his collaboration with Izzy! One new original song, and a cover of the classic oldie, “Do you Love Me?”. Izzy’s friend JT flew in from Texas. He plays bass on the tracks and he also engineered the session. Izzy took the lead vocal duty and Steven contributed backing vocals. The songs were recorded at Izzy’s home on his digital 8 track. They did about five takes of each song, and Steven was surprised when JT complimented him by saying, “Dude, you are an amazing drummer!” Steven says the recording sounds "fucking great!" and would like to send the tracks to some radio stations, most likely those in Europe. Also, the three of them plan to return in April to record five more songs!


On December 24, 2004, the cover of "Do You Love Me" was released on Steven's website.

In the early 2000s Steven would make lots of disparaging comments towards Axl [for more detail see later chapters including Steven's comments on Axl continuing Guns N' Roses and Axl's relationship with past band members]. When Dizzy was asked if he felt sorry for Steven, Dizzy responded:

Can’t feel sorry for someone who has had so many chances to get his shit together. And he should really just not say anything.


Some time in 2005, Dizzy played with Steven:

Wow... what to say about this guy... I just recently played with Steven with the Starfuckers... actually it was both him and C.C. Deville of Poison. It was like this really hyped up concert because here's two big names playing with us... and let me tell you... at the concert... you could hear a pin drop. C.C. DeVille was terrible.. the guy can't play for the life of him... and Steven... he can't even hold a beat anymore let alone play drums. We'd look bad and the guy was literally smoking crack while on stage during the songs. It was possibly the worst concert of my life... I mean... there's only so many times that a guy can die from an overdose and come back alive…


In 2006, Steven would talk about Slash and complain about Slash never wanting him in his bands:

He’s my Indian blood brother, and you know what that means right? [...] And I’ll always love him, and I miss him, and I’m gonna kick his little fanny when I see him. All these bands he puts together, after he doesn’t say anything about them throwing me out, he never even gives me a chance to play even one song on the records. I mean not even, you know, call me and ask me to be a part of the band. But, not even, dude, not even calling me to play, to be the drummer in the band, hurt me bad enough, but not even to come in and play one song.[...]  But see, but see, but see he’s a, he’s an asshole. But see I don’t mean that in a bad way. Because even when we were kids, when we were eleven, twelve, thirteen years, he was an asshole then. But, that, but he’s the coolest guy. But, that’s how he has to be successful. If you want to be successful you can’t be a nice guy.


And talk about Izzy:

I talked to Izzy, he might even come to the show tonight. God, Jesus, it would be fabulous. But it was really when I played with them over at the Key Club off Sunset about a year or so ago. But I talked to Izzy a couple months back. [...] I played with Izzy and Slash, they came and played with my band yeah.


Slash was somehow involved in helping Steven out of drugs in 2007-2009 and it seems like their friendship was rekindled:

We started together, and I thought we were going to end our lives apart because of what happened, but our friendship is stronger than ever. If you read his book ("Slash"), you'll see where me and him come from. It's wonderful just talking to him and working with him again.


Apparently, Slash had promised Steven he could play on one song on his forthcoming solo record:

It’s just been so wonderful to have my best friend Slash back in my life, and me being a part of his life and he being a part of mine. He says he has one song, ‘cause he’s working on a solo record and he has the one song that he says is specifically for me. All I ask is that one opportunity to get in there because I wanna be his drummer! I mean that’s how we started out.

You know, we’re both more level headed and still alive and better players than we were, we’re in a better place then we ever were. I WANNA BE HIS MAIN DRUMMER!! My main goal, I got my best friend back, now I just wanna finish what we started. I mean it’s a shame I missed out on all the other records and all the people he’s played with. Because of my drug addiction I missed out on so many things, I’m grateful to be alive and to have the opportunity to be able to get back together with him.

The best part of my life so far is being friends with Slash again. He's such a superstar. And it's funny because I've known him since we were 11 years old. It's so cool to see where we started out and where we went. It's really cool because for 18 years we didn't talk. Oh, yeah, and he's working on his solo album and he said he had a song particularly for me to play drums on. That's all I asked — just give me one chance, one song to prove myself to him. [...] I'm very excited about doing it.


He also tried to keep in touch with Izzy and Duff:

Izzy is like the hardest person to find because he’s a jet setter, everywhere, anywhere. And Duff I’m going to be running into next week for the Vh1 Rock Camp.


In November 2009, Steven would play with Slash and Duff at the LAYN Benefit show:

When Steven came to rehearsal last Friday for that benefit show, the scars of his hard-lived life faded instantly, replaced by his kid-like grin. The drugs over the years had done every diabolical trick they could, but they did not steal his talent and backbeat. It was a pleasure and an honor to play with my brother again after a 20-year absence. He absolutely killed it last Sunday night at the Avalon Theater in Hollywood. I pulled for him. Slash pulled for him. The whole audience pulled for him.

I have not felt so comfortable in over 20 years. It was surreal. Like we have never stopped playing together. Like no time had passed and we had never been apart. Those guys are family.



1998- : BIOGRAPHY


In February 1998 it would be reported that Steven was working on his biography [MTV News, February 3, 1998]. The book had the tentative title "No Bed of Roses" and would be co-written with his mother, Deanna Adler [MTV News, February 3, 1998].

Well, my buddy Brooke and I are working on it, but, it’s mostly me, when I feel it’s right, the motivation will come to me and everything will happen. I try not to push things to far and to fast ‘cause I just want everything to be right.


According to reports in mid-2002, Steven had refused an offer from a book company that "simply wanted Steven to trash the band" and "dig up dirt about each member" [Steven Adler Official Site, July 11, 2002].

The book would be described like this:

Their story depicts the struggle of a family, chronicling Steven's life from his days as a child on the streets of LA,  his rise to fame as drummer for Guns N' Roses, his subsequent firing from the band, and the dismal, downward spiral into the seedy underworld of hard drugs that followed.


Around the same time, Slash's official page would claim that an early version of Steven's book contained claims that Steven and Slash had prostituted themselves, something Slash denied he had done [Snakepit.org, July 19, 2002].

In 2006, Steven would be asked about these passages in his forthcoming book:

That’s not in my book. [...] When I was 12, 13 years old, I grew up in Hollywood, off Santa Monica Boulevard and Fairfax. [...] Okay, Santa Monica Boulevard is a gay neighborhood. Where people, pick up, where guys will pick up guys. So, you know Slash, I lived on Hayworth, North Hayworth, and Slash lived on Sweetzer. So there was a couple times I’d walk down the street and I got a blow job from some guy. I was thirteen years old, I use to walk around with a fucking hard-on, and you know 24 hours a day. And I, was, you know you’re a teenager, and you’re not getting girls doing it. And so I was partying with somebody, and I got a blow job. I was thirteen years old, I was, WHAT! I’m the only one? [...] o, I know, but for the people reading this, that, if, people say, oh well that never happened to me or I never thought that, or blah, blah, blah, you know they’re fucking full of SHIT! Cause I’m not the only person who ever walked down the street and smoked a joint at 12, 13 years old, smoked a joint with someone and all of a sudden I’m getting a blow job from the guy. Okay, it’s not something I was looking for, it just happened – I was a teenager growing up. There’s nothing wrong with it. You know, and I’m pretty sure I’m not the only one who’s ever had that happen to. [...]  I love woman. Dude, I was 13 years old, I couldn’t get a woman to suck my dick.


When asked if he had ever wanted to have sex with men:

(pauses) You know, not in, not in a lot of years. You know, not, (pauses) like the young teens, you know what, no, but, in the younger teenage years I was all; “yeah I wouldn’t mind if this guy sucked my cock!” [...] You know, but now you know, I, I love the girls, I love the pussy, I hate woman, I hate girls, as long as their mouth has a cock in it, or it’s taped up with a pair of panties in it.


In 2005, Steven would hope the book would be out by the summer:

I have a book that's hopefully coming out in summertime too. About my experiences and my extravaganzas. Growing up with Slash and... [...] it's called "Our (?) lives no bed of roses" and that title will give you an idea. It has some good stuff and some happy moments and some sad moments too. Like pretty much everybody's life!

[When asked if he has a bood deal]: No, but I got a publishing lawyer who's working on publishing...


When asked if he wrote the book himself or had someone help him:

No, I wrote it already, it's done! A friend of mine, Brooke Ellis, he runs my website and he was so great. This guy followed me around for fifteen or twenty years and knew dates. I was asking questions and he'd go, "That was March 15 1987!". And I was, "How do you know that? It's my life and I don't even know that!" So it was very easy and a great guy to be around with. And I don't put anybody down! Everybody knows in GN'R or from GN'R who is a jackass and who isn't a jackass.


In 2007, Steven was still working on the book:

Yeah, I have a book. I’m still working on it, a little touching up here and there, little things that keep popping back up in my head that I remember. So, hopefully by Christmas we’re gonna have something with that.


And in 2009 it was almost done:

It’s almost completed, it should be out by late January of next year. Basically it takes Slash’s book, Nikki Sixx’s book and puts everything together as one. Because we were all together – we’ve known Nikki forever – so if you read his book and you read Slash’s book and when you read mine, everything, all the pieces of the puzzle will be put together. That’s how it works, and yeah, it’s very exciting.

In February 2010, a release date of June 22 was announced [Blabbermouth, February 17, 2010].


1997-1998: DOMESTIC VIOLENCE AND JAIL TIME


In February 1997 was involved in a domestic violence case, but failed to turn up in court for sentencing, resulting in a warrant for his arrest [MTV News, September 24, 1998]. As a result of this, Steven was sentenced to 4 days in jail, to attend 52 Alcoholics Anonymous meetings, and was placed on a three-year summary probation [MTV News, September 24, 1998].

In 1998 he violated this probation when he again committed domestic violence, against two different women [MTV News, September 24, 1998]. These two incidents happened on January 27 and June 7, 1998 [MTV News, September 24, 1998]. The January incident happened as a result of a fight with a 43-year old women over Steven's drug use [MTV News, September 24, 1998]. Steven fled the scene and wasn't found until the spring, living in a condominium in Century City, California [MTV News, September 24, 1998]. The June incident happened while Steven was awaiting his trial for the January incident [MTV News, September 24, 1998]. In this incident Steven was fighting with a woman over money and pushed her head into a wall and threw her clothes off a balcony [MTV News, September 24, 1998].

Steven pled no contest and was sentenced to 150 days in jail and three years of summary probation including one year of domestic violence counseling and a ban on drugs [MTV News, September 24, 1998]. In addition, both victims of the attacks received protective orders [MTV News, September 24, 1998].

In October 1998 Steven started serving his sentence at L.A.'s county jail [MTV News, December 8, 1998]. After some time he was moved into a minimum security lock-up, but when he failed to show up again after a doctor's appointment, he was returned to county jail [MTV News, December 8, 1998].

I went to jail. Some girl said I beat her up, some crazy psycho girl wanted to go out with me, she lived in my building, she asked me over to eat, now I might not be big, but I eat like a pig, I'm not gonna say no. She beat her leg up, she had a little charlie horse on the right side of her leg, this was just when OJ did all that stuff and the cops were so ridiculous. If I was going to hit somebody on the side of the legs 50 fucking times- who's going to stand still? I did 3 months and I cried every single day.



1999 - LAWSUIT FROM PETER PATERNO


In early 1999, Steven would be sued by his former lawyer, Peter Paterno [Allmusic, February 12, 1999]. After Steven was fired from Guns N' Roses, Steven sued Paterno's law firm for "legal malpractice, breach of fiduciary obligation, fraud and misrepresentation and negligent misrepresentation", but lost [Allmusic, February 12, 1999]. Paterno was now suing Steven for "compensatory, exemplary and punitive damages in the $25,000 range" [Allmusic, February 12, 1999].


2000 - FINDING OUT HE IS A DAD


I'm 35 now, he reflects, and I'd love to have kids, I loved my wife, and I miss her more than anything, I've got a new girlfriend now and I love her very much too. And just about 4 or 5 months ago I found out that I have a little girl, she's 12 years old, I knew her mother in LA and she was a very beautiful girl, she was only 18 and she put the girl up for adoption, but I've never met my daughter, and I'd never try to let her know who I am, I could never go up to her and tell her I'm her father, I'm glad she's just happy.

It makes me sad though. Kids are the greatest thing apart from playing music, Hey, I'm the smiling drummer, though, I'm a rocker man...and a roller too...



STEVEN AND MATT


There was no love lost between Matt and Steven:

I didn’t even think about him when I came into the band. The only time I ever think about him is when I see his face in magazines still, after almost two years. To me, he was just a drummer that blew it and I was there to step in. I hope he gets something else going, but it doesn’t seem like he can. [...] I'm trying to forget him, to be honest with you. I am the drummer and I don’t need to hear about that guy. I did two records that were probably four times the magnitude of Appetite. Even though Appetite was a great record, I just feel that the past is the past and we’re looking toward the future now.

I said to him, if it wasn't me it would be someone else. You know? That's basically the truth. Unfortunately, it did not work out for him.


Later Steven would take the high road:

I met him a couple times, and he's totally a nice guy, but he knows that I'm the man. He got to sit in the seat that the real man started. He says "I'm better then you, I play more than you" and the live album he's all, "I play on all the songs" and I say, yeah, but I helped write all those songs! So it was always back and forth like who was better than who, but it's ridiculous. He's a nice fella, I want the best for him. He's a great timepiece.


And after seeing Velvet Revolver live, Steven was almost gracious:

I love Slash and Duff. They’ve got such a presence. Scott [Weiland, singer], the snake boy, is a great performer as well. I don’t know Matt Sorum. He didn’t fire me, so I don’t hate him. I don’t even know him. Until he screws me over he’s fine with me!


In January 2006, Metal Sludge would ask Steven to rate various famous drummers on a scale of 1 to 10. Steven gave everyone a 10 except Tommy Lee ("fucking amazing!"), Alex Van Halen ("Ten Thousand!"), Neil Peart ("Umm…I don’t think the number is high enough"), Carmine Appice ("Is God!"), Terry Bozzio ("he’s in the Ten thousands too!"), and Matt Sorum:

Can kiss my ass. Sorum, I’ll give him a five. Cause he don’t do nothing special. And I have nothing against him because he took my, you know, he was hired to do my job. But, it wasn’t his fault; you know it’s just a gig to him. But he ruined all those songs that I wrote, cause Use Your Illusion, me and Slash and Duff wrote all that fucking shit.


In 2007, Steven would again complain about Matt:

[...] he took over my life, practically. Everything I worked for, Slash and the guys just gave it to him. [...] The crowd wasn’t excited about him [when playing in South America]. They were excited about still seeing Slash, Duff, Izzy and Axl performing. He was just in the background. They were just missing something.


And in 2009, he would claim Use Your Illusions would have been much better with him:

Yeah, I know that [=Matt Sorum could never fill those shoes]. And all the other guys know that. It’s just Axl doesn’t want to admit it. That’s why the songs work—because of all five of us. Use Your Illusion would have been bigger than Appetite [For Destruction] if it was recorded the way the demo tapes sounded. But every record they did with less members sold less and less.

I did write and record the demo tapes for Use Your Illusion. I’ll never forget telling everybody I knew, ‘this was going to be even bigger than Appetite’ and it would have been… if it had been recorded the way Appetite was; the way it was supposed to be - with five guys. It would be even bigger! It was supposed to happen.


After Matt had suggested a possible GN'R reunion should include both he and Steven, Steven was asked about this and responded:

He said they should have him and me? [...] Well, what I heard, I heard yesterday the same thing, but what I heard was that he said the only drummer for Guns N' Roses is me. And I was very happy to hear that, because he's right. I've recently become friends with him and I think somebody heard it wrong, because I heard the opposite. If it is what you said, I'm calling him up and saying, "Excuse me?" (Laughs)


Then in July 2009, Steven and Matt would hang out at Slash's birthday bash:

I'm hanging out w/Steven Adler & Matt Sorum, who would have thought?



JANUARY 2002: MARRIAGE


On January 23, 2002, Steven would marry his girlfriend Carolina [KNAC.com, March 4, 2002].


2004: TOURING WITH THE BAD BOYS OF METAL


In late 2004, Steven would take a break from working with Adler's Appetite to tour with the Bad Boys of Metal, also featuring Kevin DuBrow and Bang Tango [Glam Metal, August 18, 2004].

Yeah. Myself, Kevin DuBrow [of Quiet Riot], Jani Lane [ex-of Warrant] and Joe LeSté [Bang Tango / Beautiful Creatures] with a house band. We’d go on and play half a dozen songs each with them. It was 27 shows in 31 days, which was pretty insane.


When confronted with DuBrow referring to the tour as the most "untogether and unpleasant" he'd ever experienced, slamming Steven for "buffoonery", drunkenness and even the cancellation of one particular show [Classic Rock, April 2005], Steven responded:

I wasn’t fucked up. I know what really annoyed Kevin. At first, he was headlining. I was happy with that; I wanted to go on second or third anyway. But after I was done, pretty much everybody would leave. He’d end up singing for bartenders and waitresses and a handful of fans. After the third show, he wanted me to go on last and I refused. I’ve got nothing bad to say about Kevin, who’s a very nice guy.



RELATIONSHIP WITH THE PRESS


[The US press is] Disrespectful. [...]  American people are very spoiled and have to have it their own way. And people hate to see other people progress, get successful, and doing something that they wanted to be doing. American people are like, if they can't do it, then nobody should do it. That's the kind of attitude I feel when I go to America. [...] And usually they [the American press] don't even know about the person's personal life. [...] It's things that they make up. I, like, have this bad reputation, because of press in America, because of what happened with Guns N' Roses in the '90s, that I'm, like, this super-fucked-up person and this, and I'm on drugs… I didn't invent drugs. I'm not the only one who's ever done drugs. And I’m sure I’m not gonna be the last person to have done drugs. It’s just a reputation, let’s say what people want to hear. People just wanna bring me down in America. Like I said, if they can't do it, nobody can do it. And it's wrong.



2009: STEVEN'S STALKER


In July 2009, a restraining order prohibiting Lisa Jill Martin-Cahn from contacting Steven or Slash would be issued [TMZ, July 29, 2009]. Martin-Cahn had stalked Steven for quite some time and allegedly hired three separate private detectives to try to hunt him down [TMZ, July 29, 2009]. In her efforts to get in contact with Steven she had pestered Slash, which was the reason for that restraining order [TMZ, July 29, 2009].

In August, 2009, Martin-Cahn was jailed for violating the restraining order against Steven when she sent letters to Steven's lawyer [TMZ, August 13, 2009]. The "letters" were copies of the restraining order where she had scribbled on the back side[ TMZ, August 13, 2009]. In the letters she wrote that she believed Steven wanted to communicate with her this way, and that she was his "runaway kitty cat" [TMZ, August 13, 2009].


APRIL 24, 2010: "DAHMER VS GACY"


In 2009 it would be reported that Steven would play the role of Stevie in the upcoming comedy-horror movie "Dahmer vs Gacy" [Blabbermouth, February 24, 2009].
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