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2020.11.07 - Rock Talk with Mitch Lafon - Conversation with Alan Niven

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2020.11.07 - Rock Talk with Mitch Lafon - Conversation with Alan Niven Empty 2020.11.07 - Rock Talk with Mitch Lafon - Conversation with Alan Niven

Post by Blackstar Yesterday at 9:25 am

Excerpts transcribed by UG:

During an appearance on Rock Talk With Mitch Lafon, Alan Niven - who managed Guns N' Roses from 1987 to 1991 - talked about the band's new material, 2008's "Chinese Democracy," the early demos, and more.

Asked about a possible new album from the group, Alan replied (transcribed by UG):

"The idea that it [the new album] would just suddenly appear is, forgive me for saying this, but it's something I would have done after all the ridiculous waiting for 'Chinese' demos.

"I mean, my viewpoint on 'Chinese Democracy' was that the biggest mistake was to release it at all; I would have rather it remained mysterious. I would have rather that the songs from that would be snuck in to live shows - one here, one there and just play with that.

"And just make it even more full of mystique and even more fascinating and then finally drop it if you have to. But to drop a new record without any pre-press or any bullshit, that smacks to me, 'Never mind all the rumors, never mind all the bollocks - here it is, fuckers.'

"And that, for me, is pure GN'R right there, that is perfectly GNR, so it fits, to that kind of approach."

The idea that it would just sort of appear out of the blue without any of the pre-hype, you see what's going on with AC/DC, a lot of pre-hype, but in this digital age and this Twitter world...

"I wouldn't say complete genius, but I would say it's exactly what I would've done."

It's exactly what Gene Simmons would've done...

"Gene Simmons couldn't have got it out by dropping it out of the sky because he needs time to make all the lunchboxes and coffins to go with it.

"But in this case, just to suddenly go, 'Boom - there it is, motherfuckers,' I think undermines all the cynicism of, 'Oh god, they take forever and they can never get anything done' - completely wipes that out.

"And it would be a fire of excitement and interest because this is the first record with Slash being involved in a long time."

Niven added:

"I'm really interested to see if Axl's demonstration of using Twitter translates into some of what he's writing. I want to hear some fucking politics from it, you know?

"On the other hand, he's been very vociferous about what he believes in and for me, that goes back to 'Jungle,' that's part of why I got involved with them - because I thought that was a brilliant lyric and a brilliant song.

"It was one of the weakest performances on the demo that I was given by Geffen when they were asking me to work with the band.

"And once I spent time with the demo, I went back and I said, 'There's one song on here that we've got to pay attention to. It may sound weak on the demo, but it's maybe the most important song on the demo.'

"And that was 'Jungle'; and that really got my blood going. And I thought it was really exciting because - here was a band and some rapscallions from the gutter who had a political viewpoint. I mean, go back and look at the video of 'Welcome to the Jungle'...

One of the 25 most influential videos of all time...

"Well, apparently so, which is rather nice that it hit that hard, that it's still being mentioned 30 years later or being put in a list like that.

"If you go back and look at that while everybody else was, 'Party all night,' or, 'Ain't nothing but a good time' and so on and so forth...

"I had news footage put into that video to make it absolutely clear, 'This is a band that's got an intelligence and a point of view about our social condition.'"

Elsewhere in the conversation, the interviewer talked with Slash's bassist Todd Kerns, who said about new GN'R material:

"I haven't heard anything, but I'm always very sort of like - I'm like you, I'm hovering around waiting - I keep waiting for being in the car and kind of like, 'Oh, just press play here...'

"I haven't heard anything, and I don't know what the hell is going on."

With an album, if it ever comes out, it's sort of damned if you do, damned if you don't because it's going to come out and the first comment on Twitter is going to be, 'This sucks!' The angry people always tweet first.

"I'll be there in line to get that new Guns N' Roses record."

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