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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.


2005.04.09 - Kerrang! - Face 2 Face (Slash, Duff)

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2005.04.09 - Kerrang! - Face 2 Face (Slash, Duff) Empty 2005.04.09 - Kerrang! - Face 2 Face (Slash, Duff)

Post by Blackstar Tue Jan 12, 2021 12:01 am

Face 2 Face

Hotel Intercontinental, Sydney, 23.02.05

The view from the 21st floor of the hotel intercontinental is straight out of an Australian tourist brochure: Sydney Harbour Bridge to the left, Opera House to the right; glistening blue water in front, all under a canopy of beautiful, untroubled sky. You could stand at the window and stare for hours, and indeed probably would – if that is, Duff McKagan, Slash and Dave Kushner were about to walk through the door to be interviewed by five lucky Australian Kerrang! readers.

As Jenna Edwards (15), Paul Southwell (33), Adam Morris (26), Laura Dewer (18 and 17-year-old Emma Cooper wait eagerly for the Velvet Revolver trio in a plush hotel suite the seconds seem to drag like days. Having already had the location of their interview changed, then pushed back, they pace nervously around the room. Then Jenna announces that its possible she’ll start crying as soon as the three make their entrance, which could prove a little awkward.

Fortunately she doesn’t but that’s probably because Slash and co immediately put everyone at ease by cracking jokes and, in Dave Kushner’s case, announcing that he was forced out of bed at the ungodly hour of 8:30 this morning to go to nearby Manly Beach. As Slash lights up a cigarette and an assistant brings him and Duff a coffee each (black with one sugar for Slash, black with sweetener for the bassist), the trio sit back and steady themselves for the first of the K! readers questions. So that’ll be talking about being broke, the wisdom of Socrates and fighting Vanilla Ice then…

Adam: You started out as underdogs so what do you consider your finest achievement in Velvet Revolver?

Slash: Just getting the band together! (laughs)

Duff: Just being a band and garnering enough interest to be able to go out and tour the world. We’ve been touring the album for a year and were going to continue touring until probably August or September.

Slash: Its our first record and in the climate that the industry is in now, the chances of selling enough copies to tour the entire planet on your first record are pretty slim. So that in itself is great.

Paul: Dave, I’m under the impression that you were a touring guitarist for Vanilla Ice. Is that right?

Dave: Ha Ha! That’s funny! Okay, I’ll tell you the story…

Duff: Make it short will you, Dave?

Dave: Yeah. Ross Robinson, the guy that produced Korn and Limp Bizkit and all those bands, he approached me because he had just produced a Vanilla Ice record (1998’s ‘Hard to Swallow’). It was all heavy and he used some of the players from Snot and Puddle of Mudd and other people. I had no money or anything and he said ‘ You should check this out, I know it sounds like a joke but check it out.’ The record was really heavy and they needed some touring guys for this little US thing, and I talked my buddy into it who plays with Weezer now, and we just said ‘Fuck it, lets go.’

Paul: What’s Vanilla Ice like?

Dave: He's a jerk! He stiffed me for money and I almost got into a fistfight with him on the bus…

Duff: You should have kicked his ass.

Dave: I don’t remember why we didn’t actually fight. We were about to. The reason I played with him was because I couldn’t get a job anywhere else and I needed to pay my bills. I could sleep at night knowing I wasn’t sponging off my dad for even more money and I wasn’t having to worry about that kind of guilt. When I was in this band and I had no money, these guys lent me money…

Slash: And now we want it back!

Emma: Scott Weiland once said, ‘True rock n’ roll is a marriage of sex and violence’. Do you think that, with the rise of sex and violence in the news and on video games, society’s become desensitised and, consequently rock n’ roll’s lost its edge?

Slash: That’s a good question.

Duff: Yeah, that very well put. I think what lost its edge is the industry itself. There was a time when the industry was entirely privately held companies; like Geffen records was owned by David Geffen, and A&M was owned by Herb Alpert. And these small labels would develop bands like U2 – it took them four albums to develop. But all these companies were bought out and then they became publicly held companies with stock holders who wanted to see a bottom line, so along came the boyband syndrome and all that shit. But it sold so the stock holders were happy, everybody else was happy and rock n’ roll subsequently lost its edge. There was no audience for it, so it went underground. And that was a good place for it.

Slash: The other thing is rock n’ roll is all about risk. And when people stop taking chances you just get a very diluted music scene that is very safe and predictable.

Duff: But it put your comment into a relative term, you asked is everybody so desensitised to it now. Well Socrates said ‘What’s wrong with our kids today?’ And that’s 4000 years ago. And we’re still asking the same thing.

Jenna: You’ve all been in the music industry since the 80’s and you’re still so dedicated and passionate about what you do. What do you love about music and where do you find your inspiration?

Duff: Playing music is amazing. I discover new things about it all the time.

Slash: I think it’s a gift. I’ve always loved music since I was born; I always knew what I liked and I didn’t like. I was really into the stuff I liked. And when I started playing guitar I wasn’t like ‘Oh, I want to be a rockstar’.

Dave: I think we’re just fans like you guys. You find something in music and it affects you emotionally in some way that it doesn’t affect other people. We’re just lucky enough to have some talent thrown in that drives us.

Slash: First and foremost were rock fans, and that’s what got us going – we locked onto something related to it and off we went. The kind of band that you want to see is the kind of band you try to put together.

Laura: What’s the best thing about playing in Velvet Revolver compared to the previous bands you’ve played in?

Slash: That’s a good question too, because the great thing about this band compared to, say, Guns N’ Roses, if you want to name all those other bands we’ve been a part of…

Dave: Vanilla Ice!

Slash: We have such a passion for what we do, yet we’ve been doing this for such a long time, so we also have experience mixed in. Most people who have as much experience as we do are sick of doing it…

Duff: Or dead.

Slash: And we really want to do it. This is the best time I’ve had in a band because not only am I enjoying what I’m doing but I also have this wealth of knowledge from what I started that helps me really appreciate it. When we were kids we were out of our minds and I can hardly even remember any of it!

Duff: I’ve been to Australia three times…apparently! (laughs)

Dave: For me its just to be able to play with these guys. I mean it sounds really corny but its true – they’ve been some of my favourite players since I was younger and Scott is just such an unbelievable singer. For me to go through this success later in life means I get to benefit from their experience. I mean they’ve been through everything and come out survivors, and then actually made some good decisions. Like when I got my first cheque that was of any size…

Slash: We told him to put it under his pillow.

Dave: And it doubled! No, but Duff was like, ‘Dude buy a house!’. And I was like ‘Ah, okay!’. Its nice to have that experience.

Duff: I didn’t tell you to buy that Cadillac though.

Dave: That’s why I didn’t ask you.

Paul: When you first started Velvet Revolver you were jamming with Joshua Todd from Buckcherry. Why didn’t that work out?

Duff: He did the benefit show that we did for Randy Castillo (former Ozzy Osborne/Motley Crue drummer who died of cancer in 2002). We played for three or four weeks with him and Keith (Nelson, Buckcherry guitarist). We were just writing songs. And after that we decided it wasn’t working out, he wasn’t the guy. We really tried to make him the guy, and he’s a great singer, great work ethic, nothing bad to say about him. But his range and where we wanted to go did not match.

Slash: Before this band started I was in the process of starting another band, and I was scouting singers. When Randy died and Matt (Sorum) and I hooked up to play this fundraiser, we called Duff, and it was supposed to be a one-off thing where we were going to get together and jam. I needed a guitarist and singer for it, and I knew that Buckcherry was disbanded so I called Keith. In the back of my mind I was scoping Josh out. We had such a great time, Duff and Matt and myself just totally locked in, we tried to work with the Buckcherry guys, but it was a different level of… something.

Duff: We had this imaginary benchmark that we knew was there and we could attain it…we didn’t know how we were going to attain it, but we found Dave, and that was another part of the equation. And then we finally got Scott.

Adam: What advice can you give to up and coming bands?

Duff: Do what you believe in. Don’t cave in to something that’s trendy, do what’s true to your heart.

Dave: You have to like yourself at the end of the day and you have to have integrity. Even when you’ve played with Vanilla Ice…

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