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2020.10.31 - Ultimate Guitar - Gilby Clarke Clarifies if He Thinks Axl Rose Is 'Bad Guy' Who Fired Him

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2020.10.31 - Ultimate Guitar - Gilby Clarke Clarifies if He Thinks Axl Rose Is 'Bad Guy' Who Fired Him Empty 2020.10.31 - Ultimate Guitar - Gilby Clarke Clarifies if He Thinks Axl Rose Is 'Bad Guy' Who Fired Him

Post by Blackstar on Sun Nov 01, 2020 11:09 pm

Gilby Clarke Clarifies if He Thinks Axl Rose Is 'Bad Guy' Who Fired Him, Talks Why He Declined Joining GN'R Reunion

UG exclusive: The guitarist also talks if the door for Guns is "still open.

During a conversation with UG's Justin Beckner, former Guns N' Roses guitarist Gilby Clarke has addressed the band's ex-manager Doug Goldstein's recent remark that "Gilby still believes that Axl [Rose, vocals] was the bad guy who threw him out of the band."

Gilby is promoting a new single titled "Tightwad" from the upcoming album "The Gospel Truth."

When asked, "I'll bring this up and you don't have to comment on this if you don't want to. I was listening to the Appetite for Distortion podcast yesterday with Doug Goldstein. He kind of seemed to be stirring up this idea that there was still some bad blood between you and Axl. The direct quote was 'Gilby still believes that Axl was the bad guy who threw him out of the band,'" Clarke commented:

"Well, I will comment on it. But look, Axl was the guy who threw me out of the band. That's a fact.

"There have been a lot of statements after the fact, but I can only comment on things that Axl spoke to me. I'm not going to go through hearsay about things that have been written on message boards or anything like that, I'm only going by what he said to me.

"And Axl very much wanted me in the writing process. I know that has been spoken about afterward and why he changed his mind, I don't know. But I know that I was going to be in the writing process of that record.

"Axl and I do not have a bad relationship. I mean, I haven't spoken to him in a long time, we were never close, but while we were in the band together, we did talk quite a bit. He would call me on the phone and we had some very nice conversations about music and the future of the band and all that kind of stuff.

"Also, I may have felt that maybe he had something against me during all these years, but you know, he invited me to come to play with the band when the band got back together. So obviously if he had a problem with me, he would not have invited me. I don't know what Doug is talking about."

That was my initial thought upon hearing that. Because Axl came and was a part of your first solo record right after you left Guns. You were invited to be part of the reunion tour, I heard that your daughter's band had a big gig the same day and that's why you declined.

"Yeah, that's absolutely true."

It's a shame that people are still trying to cast shade on not only your relationship with Axl but Slash's as well.

"Yeah, well, I also think that a lot of people are talking for ulterior motives. Myself, Doug included, have absolutely nothing to do with Guns N' Roses anymore. Nobody calls us and asks our opinion. It doesn't really matter what we say about it.

"I mean, we can comment about things that happened in our time. Look, I'm not going to be involved with anything that has to do with Guns N' Roses going forward. So I don't have any ulterior motives to make everybody happy, I'm just going to speak the truth - my truth - if people want some inside information that I might have."

Is that door between you and Guns open at this point?

"Oh yeah, always. Always. But you know, no matter what, I have respect for the band. I've always thought that even after I wasn't in the band, I always paid the band their respect. I never took it for what it was or what it wasn't but I always tried to treat those years with respect.

"I never try to put the band down or try to gain from that. But if it ever came up, I'd have to see what the situation is. Just like before when people asked me and I said, yeah I would absolutely be a guest.

"But that situation didn't work out for me at that time. There's also something else that's in the back of my mind. When the band was going through changes and we were in flux, Axl did have that idea of three guitars a long time ago and I think I was maybe the only one who was adamant in saying that was a bad idea. I just thought - you have Slash.

"You have a rhythm guitar player that accentuates Slash but Slash is the sound of the band. If you put three in there, you take away one of the great things about that band."

I had heard that was something that was considered and I think you bring up a great point. I think it can really muddy up the waters as far as the guitar tone goes. There are certainly some bands who have been able to make it work...

"Absolutely, but not Guns. We all know... I think about this a lot because to me, what I liked about Guns N' Roses when I first saw the band and first heard the record was, No. 1 - the music. I loved the way the band sounded.

"I like the aggressive bluesy guitars with Axl singing over it. Those songs had a sound to them. But I also loved the rebellious spirit of the band, and we really needed that punk rock-esque rebellious spirit at that time when there were a lot of MTV bands that weren't living that rebellious spirit.

"I don't think the band is very rebellious right now. But that's what attracted me to it in the very beginning."

https://www.ultimate-guitar.com/news/interviews/gilby_clarke_clarifies_if_he_thinks_axl_rose_is_bad_guy_who_fired_him_talks_why_he_declined_joining_gnr_reunion.html

***

The second and third part of the interview:
------------------------------------------------------

Gilby Clarke Speaks on How GN'R Felt About Axl Insisting to Cover Charles Manson Song, Talks Band's 'Chaos, Problems'

UG exclusive: "If it's important to him, you're going to lose that fight."

During a conversation with UG's Justin Beckner, Gilby Clarke looked back on his 1991-1994 tenure in Guns N' Roses, discussing the 1993 covers album "The Spaghetti Incident?", Axl Rose, Slash, and more.

Gilby is promoting a new single titled "Tightwad" from the upcoming album "The Gospel Truth."

A part of the interview is available below.

When you were recording 'The Spaghetti Incident?', what were some of the biggest challenges you faced, and what was your fondest memory of putting that record together?

"Well, during my short time in Guns N' Roses, it always amazed me how much chaos was always around it and how it always seemed to come out golden.

"You know, all the problems always worked out somehow - it was amazing.

"You know, when we did that album, I know people said early on it was going to be a punk covers record. I don't really think that was always what it was. I think it was more about the music that inspired the band and made the band what it was.

"Some of it was recorded during the 'Illusions' sessions and some of it was recorded later. So those were challenges to making it consistent.

"But for me, what I really took from it, and the real success for me was that it was the first time I had played live in the studio with the band and how natural it was.

"I mean, I joined a band that was already successful and already had a way of doing things, and to fit in is not always an easy thing.

"It's almost like you either fit in or you don't. I kind of fit in seamlessly - the way I like to record and the way I like my guitar sound, it just worked. It was seamless. I've said this quite a few times...

"Nobody ever said anything to me about what to play, where to play, what to wear, what to do... I really had a lot of freedom and it was the same with recording.

"Like when we did 'Since I Don't Have You,' which I wasn't really crazy about doing that track, but I could have listened to it and it needs another electric guitar.

"But what Slash was doing was so unique and so important to the song that I thought anything I would do electrically would just muddy the waters.

"So I chose to do an acoustic track because I felt it would really move the song along towards what we were trying to go for. So them giving me the freedom to do that was great and I think it made a difference on the track too."

The other tack I always thought was interesting was the Charlie Manson track, 'Look At Your Game, Girl.' What was the process by which that song came to be on the record?

"I have no idea. I got a phone call one day - because as far as I knew, the record was done. Axl did that song completely on his own. As far as I know, I don't think that any of the actual band members were on that track.

"I think that was something that was just important to him, but yeah, I have no idea how that happened. Sometimes, that's just the way things happened in GN'R - the record would come out and you'd go, 'Wait a minute, where did that song come from?'"

Was there any dissent to that song being on there? Was there anyone who didn't want that song on there?

"Yeah, I think when we all heard about it; I think every one of us didn't think it was a good idea.

"But once again, when the singer of the band... if it's important to him, you're going to lose that fight."

Tell me about your nightmare gig, the worst gig you ever played.

"I have a couple. You know what's odd about it is - they both happened in the same town. Not the same venue.

"The first one was a nightmare gig that ended but turning into a great gig. It was in Las Vegas and we're talking around 1994.

"I was with my solo band. I can't remember the name of the club - but anyway, we went to the club and it had, like, a waterfall in it.

"Somehow it malfunctioned and there was water damage and the stage was destroyed. We got there at soundcheck and everyone was thinking we were going to have to cancel the gig - it was horrible.

"I looked over and I said what if we used that part of the venue over there - we could just set up a little stage and move the PA.

"So we did it, it took all day to move stuff around and make a new stage, but what happened later was amazing because Cheap Trick happened to be in town playing and I was talking with Rick [Nielsen] on the phone and their gig was earlier and our gig was later.

"So Rick, Bun E., and Tom Petersson came out and ended up jamming five or six songs with us at this little club in Las Vegas. So that gig that could have been horrible turned into a good gig.

"The second one was in Vegas too. It was at a different venue and it was almost the same situation. I had never been to that venue before - it was almost like a pool hall or something. I got there and I go, 'Where is the stage?'

"And they point over in the corner and it was literally plywood on top of pool tables. I just went, 'No, we're not going to do that. We're going to fall off!' So those were my two nightmare gigs."

I wanted to also ask about one of my favorite bands, coming from the Midwest, the MC5. You got to play with them and Wayne Kramer. How was that experience and working with Wayne?

"It was a tremendous experience. I learned, and continue to learn, so much from Wayne Kramer. Obviously, the same as you did, as musicians we all admired his work in the MC5, and I do too.

"But I more admire the work he has done lately with his charity work and his passion for it and his realism. It's inspiring. I was part of the Jail Guitar Doors we did years ago where we went to Sing Sing Prison and did a rock show there.

"That was one of the greatest shows I have ever been a part of in my life. It was moving, it was just so intense. That's what I love about Wayne. He's had a rough life and he'll be the first one to say it was a rough life he deserved.

"But what he has done with it and the courage it took him to do that... that shit ain't easy, man. It's hard. It's hard when you're doing a charity organization and you're asking people for money. It's extremely hard and extremely humbling.

"But when you hear him talk and I've heard him give so many speeches at these prisons and other appearances. Every time, I just stop what I'm doing and I just listen. I just listen to the man talk, because he's real. He s the real deal. He comes from experience. He has integrity. He's honest.

"He's all those things that you, as a human being, that you want to have. He'll be the first one to tell you it took years for him to accept that as who he is as a person. That's what I love about Wayne and it almost has nothing to do with him as a musician.

"Then when you talk about him as a guitar player, I love his playing. I love the recklessness about it. It's moving. He had to re-teach me the MC5 songs and when I learned them, I didn't realize how far off I was.

"He schooled me and that was some of the greatest fun I've had as a guitar player, was playing with him in that band."

https://www.ultimate-guitar.com/news/interviews/gilby_clarke_speaks_on_how_gnr_felt_about_axl_insisting_to_cover_charles_manson_song_talks_bands_chaos_problems.html

Gilby Clarke Recalls What He Thought of Nirvana When He Was in GN'R, Shares Opinion on Post Malone

UG exclusive: "Obviously this was way before Green Day, but that was kind of the sound."

During a conversation with UG's Justin Beckner, former Guns N' Roses guitarist Gilby Clarke looked back on his 1991-1994 tenure in the band, while also discussing the lockdowns, Nirvana and grunge, and more.

Gilby is promoting a new single titled "Tightwad" from the upcoming album "The Gospel Truth."

A part of the interview is available below.

There have been some cool quarantine gigs. You did one. Do you have some favorites that you've been checking out?

"Yeah, I mean, I know there are some people who don't love this, but I've got to tell you, I enjoy it. I really really enjoy it. Like you said, I've done a couple, and I have a couple that are coming up.

"One is really cool and it's coming up within the next two or three weeks. It's really fun, it's not part of the record, it's just a cover song I did with some very good friends and it's going to be really good.

"I did one with Matt Sorum, Blasko was playing bass, and we had Lzzy Hale on vocals, and Slash played on it. We did 'Come Together' and we did 'It's a Long Way to the Top' with Robin Zander. That was really fun to do

"I really enjoyed the process. It wasn't live, we sent the tracks back and forth and everybody did their video.

"It's really fun for me to hear people recording in their very own home studios and what they send back and what their tones are and what their vocals sound like. I've really enjoyed that and been having some fun with that."

There have been some really interesting ones. We saw Post Malone do a bunch of Nirvana covers... That was weird.

"Yeah! I saw that! That was incredible. I've actually played a gig with Post Malone before and when we did it, we were all surprised because, you know, we all hear his music, we were all surprised at his musicianship and what he knew.

"I think we even did a Nirvana song and I was really impressed with his talent."

When you joined Guns N' Roses, that was in 1991, the same year that Nirvana came out with 'Nevermind.' What were your initial thoughts on Nirvana and this initial wave of grunge, especially from being within the GN'R camp at the time?

"Well, what was interesting, for me... I actually had a little heads up. Before Guns, I was signed to Virgin Music Publishing as a writer and I had a band called Kill for Thrills in the very late '80s - like '89 or '90, and Virgin was working with Nirvana.

"So I had heard the record before it came out. I did not know, from hearing that record, that it was grunge or punk, I didn't have a label for it. They just reminded me of pop-ish punk-rock from just hearing it and not seeing anything.

"I just thought, 'Wow, those are really great songs and that a really interesting guitar tone. It was very foreign to me. I think I was just like everybody else at that time... I did not see it coming.

"Maybe we all should have seen it coming because the hard rock and the heavy metal world was getting fat and lazy.

"That was the same thing that happened to heavy metal in the late '70s when punk-rock came along - it was getting fat and lazy, and we should have seen it coming. That was my impression.

"I heard that record early and I was really impressed by the songwriting and I was really impressed with the production. I didn't really know how to categorize it because I didn't know what grunge was.

"I thought it was... obviously this was way before Green Day, but that was kind of the sound - like, a pop-punk rock band is what I thought it was."

Given the initial success of grunge and you, having worked for Virgin, when you went in to do your first solo album [1994's 'Pawnshop Guitars'], was there some pressure for you to appeal to that sound?

"Not at all. They wanted me to make the record I wanted to make. They were so supportive. But the second record I did have a lot of pressure. As a matter of fact, I didn't do my second record for Virgin because of that.

"The times had changed by then, I believe that was probably like 1996 when we were talking about a second record and yeah, they were playing me... I can't remember the bands... but it had taken over and they weren't necessarily playing me Alice in Chains or Nirvana.

"I don't remember the bands that were big at that time. I want to say it was like Nickleback or something. Bu the songs they were playing for me, I was just saying, 'Guys, this is not me. Look, we should all be out there trying to write the next great song. But this is just not me.'

"I had to give it a good long think because I had a lot of songs written already and I didn't want to switch gears. So I had to make that internal decision to go down swinging. So that's the decision I made.

"I said, 'Look, in our lives, you're not always number one. Sometimes you've got to have the bad years.' But I thought it was important to be true to myself and say, 'This is what I do.'

"Obviously, we should always try to be looking for new things, but I wasn't comfortable making that change."

Why do you think there was such a big change in the pressure they put on you between the first record and the second record? Do you think it had to do with your connection to Guns and the fact that you had a lot of those guys in the studio with you?

"I think the difference between the first record and the second record was a real-simple thing. Obviously the contributions by all the guys in Guns and even the guys outside of Guns, like Frank Black and Robert Affuso, that was a very big part of it.

"But I think the most important thing on that record was that those songs weren't fresh. The only fresh song on that record was 'Cure Me or Kill Me' all those songs were like my Kill for Thrills songs that didn't make the second Kill for Thrills record.

"Those were songs that I had written for Kill for Thrills up until the Guns gig. So it's that old story of having your 10 years to write your first record and a year to write your second record.

"To me, that played as big a role as having all those guys you just described involved with the first record."

The appearances of Axl [Rose], Slash, Duff [McKagan], [Matt] Sorum, and Dizzy [Reed], was that something you pushed for or was the label pushing for that or was it something they pushed for?

"It was definitely the label that pushed for it. It wasn't a condition. Even though I signed the deal while I was in Guns, like I said, I was a writer with Virgin prior to that. So, we had a relationship.

"The deal definitely came through while I was in Guns. It wasn't a condition but it was something they encouraged. They said, 'Hey, wouldn't it be great to have these guys on the record?'

"And I said, 'All I'm going to do is ask. I'm not pushing anybody. I'm just going to ask.' And they all - every single one of them was there for it.

"I can't answer for them but I think that more than anything it was something to do after being home from a long two and a half year tour. They just needed somewhere to go."

https://www.ultimate-guitar.com/news/interviews/gilby_clarke_recalls_what_he_thought_of_nirvana_when_he_was_in_gnr_shares_opinion_on_post_malone.html


Last edited by Blackstar on Mon Nov 09, 2020 7:45 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Post by Blackstar on Sun Nov 01, 2020 11:12 pm

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Post by Soulmonster on Mon Nov 02, 2020 8:37 am

Gilby is a class guy.
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Post by Blackstar on Mon Nov 09, 2020 7:46 pm

I have added the second and third part of the interview in the OP.
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