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1989.04.22 - Kerrang! - Gun In A Million (Slash)

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1989.04.22 - Kerrang! - Gun In A Million (Slash) Empty 1989.04.22 - Kerrang! - Gun In A Million (Slash)

Post by Soulmonster on Mon Jun 13, 2011 11:56 am

1989.04.22 - Kerrang! - Gun In A Million (Slash) Uten_142
1989.04.22 - Kerrang! - Gun In A Million (Slash) Uten_143
1989.04.22 - Kerrang! - Gun In A Million (Slash) Uten_144


Media pressures, compliments from peers, violent audiences, having to live with Axl's "offensive" lyrics, his success in the Kerrang: Readers' Poll. . . SLASH opens his heart to MICK WALL on all of these things. Read on to discover the shocking truth in the second and concluding part of the first major GUNS N' ROSES interview of 1989, begun last week.

WHEN DO you plan to have the next Guns N' Roses album out?

"I don't know, I really don't. We don't have a plan we're sticking to or anything What is it now, March? I guess we should be in the studio working on it by June...July?

So will the record be out this year?

"Hopefully," he says hesitantly, guessing as he goes. "But then that's in a perfect world, I don't know. We shall see ...he said as he lodged his foot firmly in his mouth..."

I heard somewhere that the band were thinking about putting out a series of EPs like a Punk EP, a Metal EP and a Rap EP - what's the story there?

"Well, we've been talking about doing an EP of cover songs, maybe. There's a lot of stuff we want a record eventually. We'll just put these things out as and when we record them.

"The cover songs we've been talking about doing, though, are things like a Steve Jones (erstwhile Sex Pistols guitarist) song - a Pistols song that Steve Jones sang and wrote called 'Black Leather'. And we're talking about maybe doing 'Jumpin' Jack Flash' by the Stones; an old Misfits song; and a couple of different things ...

"I don't really like to get into talking too much about it, though, I'd rather just let it happen ... I don't like bands who talk too much."

Nevertheless, Guns N' Roses-particularly you and Axl - have become big media stars now . . with everybody from Kerrang! to Life magazine after a hot quote from one of you. Do you still read the press?

"I don't really read the magazines that much any more... I like to look at the pictures."

I read a very loaded interview with Axl in a recent issue of RIP magazine. He talked about everything from drugs, to his alleged manic-depression, to his massive collection of guns, to the undisguised deathwish inherent in the 'Axl is Dead' stories that continue to circulate on an almost weekly basis... It was fascinating stuff, but it was also a very Messianic portrait, I thought. What did you think of it?

"Uh ... what did 'think of it? I don't know ... I have it here, let me look at it. (Picks up copy of RIP off the floor, flicks through to the article and pauses, thinking about it.) There's some stuff he said about drugs in there that I wish he hadn't said ...

"I mean, at this point in time, what with having such a bad reputation, and having had so many run-ins with the cops, I'm really wary when I see stuff like that in print. It makes me nervous. I mean, this is the real world now, and anything can happen out there - and usually does where this band's concerned!

"You know, I heard the Feds are after Sam Kinnison (American comedian who recently released his own hilarious version of the Troggs' `Wild Thing'— Slash appeared in - the video, alongside Motley Crue and *model' Jessica Hahn.)"


"Something that he did happened to do with drugs, and, like us, because of his reputation for outrageousness he happens to be a prime target for people like that.

"Luckily, I don't live in West Hollywood any more, so that helps, but it's like you just shouldn't say anything about drugs. I just don't talk about them any more.

"And I've got to the point where I've come to understand what the media's all about, and what these people really want out of you ... Some people are serious hounds for any shit they—can pick up and print about us, to the point where you just sit there and look at them and you just see them as pathetic.

"And then there are the ones who are a little more subtle and they just want to have something that's interesting to write about for a change, You just try and wheedle the nice guys out.

"Nothing shocks me about it any more, though. People like reading all the dirt. Some people do, anyway ..."

I know you're refusing to do any more American press interviews at the moment - do you think there will come a time when you'll just refuse to do any interviews at all?

The only reason were not doing any American press right now is because just so much American press has been done. We don't want to be overexposed to the point where people bum out on us . You know,  when its almost to the point where you're on cereal boxes!

"We just need to lay back right now - which is cool, because I don't really feel like talking to anybody right now . . Apart from you, of course," he smiles like a dog. But then you don't give a shit either."

HOW DO you react to all the compliments you keep receiving from other, people in the music business? I've read countless quotes by everyone from Mark Knopfler to the manager of U2 saying how they consider Guns N' Roses to be the most exciting new band to have emerged in years ... I've also read Bernie Taupin, Elton John's lyricist, praising Axl's lyrics in public.  

"I don't know, those compliments are scary. For me, it's like certain compliments come from different sources and I take them in different ways ... Like, getting Best Guitarist in Kerrangl- that right there is one of the all-time greatest compliments, right?

"And then not only does t happen, but I find out Gibson's putting out a Slash model Les Paul... And this is all completely f**kin' amazing stuff that I would never have dreamed of happening to me when I was a kid!

"But instead of letting it go to my head, the way I honestly feel about it is, like; really don't see my playing as being truly worth that, y'know? I tend to put it down to record sales and 'cause it's hip to like Guns N' Roses right now.

"I mean, it would be a real joke if I was to start thinking of ,myself as the world's best guitarist, because that's just not true, and I should know...

"I mean, God, I would hope I'm twice the guitarist now than I was when we recorded the first album. But in another way, it gives me the energy and motivation to really play my ass off on this next record, so I can at least prove myself of being even just a little bit worthy of all the praise and attention I've had and the band's had this last year or so.

"It's fatal to believe in your own hype ... I've seen it happen to people in other bands - they win some poll and immediately they start walking around thinking they're the f**kin' greatest! Believing too much in your own image - it's instant brain death."

Do you think some sort of backlash is inevitable on this next album?

"I personally leave room for that to happen, yes. I mean, we're really big right now, we've sold a lot of records, and the next record will be as good as we can possibly make it, so we'll be happy ... But whether we'll still be flavour-of-the-month by the time it comes out, I don't know.

"So people might not be that interested, y'know, It happens."

It seems highly unlikely, though, at this point, doesn't it?

"Not to me, it doesn't. It doesn't to me at all. At the back of my mind it still feels like anything at all could happen between now-and-when the next record comes out. It's happened to enough bands. I mean, look what happened to Aerosmith they were huge at one point, and then all of a sudden ...''

I READ a quote from you on some American magazine that interested me... Something about doing certain gigs where the audience has just been on the edge of almost rioting, where you actually felt they were going to invade the stage at any moment, and you said there was a kind of thrill in itself knowing that you'd whipped up all that emotion . .

"I read something in a magazine - it might have been a quote from me or from Axl, I can't remember - where it said we liked seeing an audience at the point where everybody's about to beat each other up and that we get off on that kind of thing ... that we've generated that much excitement, that much intensity.

"But to correct myself on anything I might have been quoted as saying in the past, I don't really want to see anybody beating themselves up, because crowd violence is not a pretty sight.

"Any individual getting hurt during a rock show really isn't what it's all about ... But it is a fine line because you do generate that much of power where you can get people to go crazy like that. And it makes you crazier, and suddenly it can be like the whole place is about to explode!

"And that's great, but to get the crowd going that nuts you have to be able to find a way to stop it going any further from that point. You have to find a way to cool out or something f**kin' heavy will happen ..."

Like at Donington last year (where two fans died during their set)?

"There's been a couple of gigs where we've had to consciously slow down a gear ... Donington, of course, was one of them. There was another gig, in Upstate New York on the Aerosmith tour, which was particularly intense, too. After we got of stage, the medics booth outside, where all the casualties pass through, was just loaded with kids...

"It just brought me back to the days when I used to go to rock festivals; ... and it's heavy. You have to be strong; it's sort of like you against the rest of the crowd, y'know? When the whole crowd sways yo have to like, hold on to your own and just go with it. And it's rough; it is rough. But those were the kind of gigs I liked going to …"

And would you go crazy and et yourself go out of control?

"No...I have always been sort of like more calm than that and just watched the band. I was more into it for, uh, different reasons then.

"But then I go to Slayer gigs now, or Megadeth gigs, and get real drunk and then start slam-dancing and climbing into the pit down the front... And I have a ball doing it. But that's pretty violent, right there.

"I remember going to a Ramones gig in New York and just jumping right in, and man, it was intense..."

Do you ever worry that because of the kind of appeal you've generated now - you know, the Most Dangerous band in the World and all of that - that somewhere down the line some weirdo might be waiting to have a pop at you, either with a fist, or a knife, or a gun?

"I haven't really... I mean, I think that... that concept's popped into my mind, like, a couple of times. A lot of sitting around the house wondering, you mean?

"You know, there's been things that we've said - more recently - that I'm realising old. . . offend some people. And then you start to think, you know, you have to watch this shit that you say...

"There's a line on the 'GN'R Lies' LP, in a song called 'One in a Million', where it says 'Police and niggers'... and that was a line that I really didn't want Axl to sing, but, you know, Axl's the kind of person who will sing whatever it is he feels like singing...

"And I knew it was gonna come out and finally it did come out. What that line was supposed to mean, though, was 'niggers' in the sense of ... not necessarly talking just about the black race. Hs, was more or less talking about the general sort of street thugs that you run into in LA.

"Especially if you're a Midwestern, naive young kid just coming to the city for the first time, and there's these guys trying to pawn this on you and push this, and all that. It's a heavily intimidating kind of thing for someone like that. I've been living in Hollywood for so long, I am used to it...

"But I didn't want it to be taken wrongly. Which always happens. I decided once or twice that I was gonna do a sort of international press release to explain what all that was supposed to mean. And then I though, f**k, you know... that's a waste of time."

It obviously till bothers you, though.

"I don't know... that kind of thing bothers me in particular because, you know, I am part black... and I don't have anything against black individuals at all.

"And what else bothers me is that one of the nice things about Guns N' Roses is that we have always been a people's band, and we never really segregated - is that the right word for it? - our fans. And then with the release of that song I think it did something that wasn't necessarily positive for the band...

"It kind of put us in a doubtful light, y'know? So whenever given the chance I try and say my piece about that... I mean, it doesn't even have to be about the blacks; the term 'nigger' goes for Chinese, Caucasians, Mexicans, whatever... It's about a type of people, not a race."

If in your opinion, the line was always going to be badly misunderstood, do you believe it is still artistically valid to go ahead and make the statement anyway?

"Personally, no. I don't think that statement should have been made. I think that should have been kept at bay. But... Axl has a strong feeling about it and he wanted to say what he wanted to say, 'know?

"But God forbid any of us should get arrested and end up in County Jail, and someone wants to go, 'Yeah, that's the guy who wrote that song,' y'know? You could be in some serious f**king trouble then, boy...

"And it's a shame, because 'One In A Million' is a great track.... at least I think it is. But now everybody's homing in on that one line, and I can't complain because I understand why.

"On another level, I talked to my mom - who lives in Europe - for the first time in ages a little while back, and I asked her on the 'phone if she'd heard the EP yet, and she told me no, right? But my little brother was out there with her, and when he came back he told me yeah, she actually had heard it, but she was so shocked that we'd actually said something like that, that she didn't know what to say to me about it ...

"And I thought about that, and I thought, you know, I can understand it. And there's nothing I can say in the press that's going to change it."

IT'S PAST am when we finally wind up the interview. I still have one last Sapperu to kill though, and so I end it by asking if Slash has anything he wants to say to the fans in Britain who voted for Guns N' Roses in the Kerrang! .. Readers' Poll.

"Yeah," he says, pulling the  hair out of his face and letting me see both eyes. "Let's put it this way: for me, personally, and for Izzy - I can speak for Izzy because I know he feels the same way - there's playing the States, you know, which is great; and then there's going to England and playing in England - and that's, like, the ultimate!

"Because the English crowd is just f**king balls out! And that, to me, is the epitome of a rock 'n' roll gig - is to pack up your gear and go over to England and play...

"You're laughing at me, but I am serious" he chides me. "I'm serious... if you can be good in England and go there and be well-received, you can go anywhere else in the world and be that good, too.

"The fact that we won anything over there is pretty surprising, y'know, but I mean, f**k, all I can say is thanks - 'cause it just makes me feel that they feel the same way about us as we do about them, y'know? And that means a lot to me.

"And I'll tell ya something else, he says, loosening up at last. "When this record comes out, we're all very adamant about going to England first to tour... It seems like out of everywhere we've played we've sort of, like, cut England short. We haven't given it, I dont think, enough of our time.

"I mean, we did a tour in Englan with Faster Pussycat, and there were a couple shows that were great, bit the whole tour itself was sort of half-assed. It was only five shows and I don't think we gave enough in a lot of those shows...

"Next time 'round we really wanna show what w can do! I'd like to go over there and do a big tour and be, like, one of England's f**kin'... an England band, y'know? Like, no matter what bands go over there they always know that at least they have Guns N' Roses to come over and f**kin' do the job properly for them!

"It would be great if we could do that. I would be.. just... f**kin' ... great ..."
1989.04.22 - Kerrang! - Gun In A Million (Slash) Attachment
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Last edited by Soulmonster on Fri Mar 27, 2020 6:59 pm; edited 26 times in total
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Post by Soulmonster on Sun Jul 08, 2012 10:01 pm

Updated with complete interview in .pdf format.
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Post by Soulmonster on Sun Sep 09, 2018 6:43 pm

Hmm, I have uploaded the wrong pdf to this article. The one I have uploaded is the one from April 15, not April 22. Anyone have pdfs to the April 22 article?

EDIT: Turns out I had it myself, and I have now replaced the file with the right one.
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