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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.


1991.11.09 - Kerrang! - We Are The Roadcrew! (Steven)

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1991.11.09 - Kerrang! - We Are The Roadcrew! (Steven) Empty 1991.11.09 - Kerrang! - We Are The Roadcrew! (Steven)

Post by Blackstar Thu Apr 08, 2021 8:34 pm

1991.11.09 - Kerrang! - We Are The Roadcrew! (Steven) 1991_133
1991.11.09 - Kerrang! - We Are The Roadcrew! (Steven) 1991_132
1991.11.09 - Kerrang! - We Are The Roadcrew! (Steven) 1991_134
1991.11.09 - Kerrang! - We Are The Roadcrew! (Steven) 1991_135


They’re called ROADCREW. They’re the new band featuring ex-Guns N’ Roses drummer STEVEN ADLER and former Vain vocalist DAVY VAIN. Is this new partnership full of promise? Or is it an unlikely liaison set for drug-fuelled disaster? It’s early days yet, sez STEFFAN CHIRAZI, and there are testing (ONE-TWO!) times ahead... but as Adler himself proclaims, “It’s a mean, cool f**kin’ name... did you ever hear of a pussy Roadcrew?”
A FLAT SPANISH- STYLE house in the Valley hills. Pug­faced mutts skip around my feet. A young lady wearing spray-on bike shorts and a couple of bleary-eyed rockers step out to greet me.
It’s 1pm on a sticky, muggy, smoggy Los Angeles day and this is my first sighting of a new partnership involving ex-Guns N’ Roses drummer Steven Adler and former Vain frontman Davy Vain.
Each cheerfully offer a hand in greeting. Then out come guitarist James Scott and bassist Ashley Mitchell (both also ex-Vain), to be followed second six-stringster Shawn Rorie.
Someone sings, ‘We are the Roadcrew!' and we all have a laugh. Because that’s what they're called: Roadcrew. A blunt enough name, for sure.
STEVEN ADLER: “What it means to us is, we love travelling, we love being on the road and we're five guys. A crew. I can't wait to go on the road. I love it, I love playing for people... plus it’s a mean name, a cool f“kin' name... did you ever hear of a pussy Roadcrew?"
In many ways Roadcrew is the resuscitation of talents- in-a-coma. Davy Vain suffered the pain and anger of seeing his band’s second album being rejected by Island Records. And Steven Adler? Ah well, you've probably read about it a million times. Guns N' Roses... booze... coke... smack... near-death experiences. Some of it’s even true. U-G-L-Y.
And it ain't over yet. Were it not for a timely intervention, Adler, Vain and I would've been forced to conduct this interview in front of a lawyer. That's what happens when lawsuits are being slapped    around - and Adler’s pinned one on his former comrades, charging them, amongst other things, of defrauding him and defaming his character.
The lawsuit claims that the other members of Guns consistently supplied Adler with heroin and encouraged his continual use of the drug. There’s much more - but you probably know most of it by now. The whole thing is a huge and pathetic tragedy, another fine example of how much trouble a few drugs and no brains can cause.
To be totally honest, I expected Steven Adler to be a complete f**k-up. Told him so myself. And it’s true, the man ain’t no genius. But y'know what? He also happens to be a faultlessly nice, caring and generous guy.
You can’t help but feel that Adler will always be taken advantage of by the more predatory members of the LA rock community.
"Hollywood's just one giant National Enquirer," Adler states. “But I feel comfortable here, I guess cos I've lived here since I was seven years old. And everything is here, the beach, the movies, the mountains, y'know..."
Bitting on the floor in Adler’s favourite room, wood beams overhead and a large TV screening silent MTV images, we start to talk about this Adler/Vain relationship...
“The first time we met was in late '86/early '87. It was the first time Vain had played the Stone in San Francisco,” remembers Davy. "We were supporting Guns N’ Roses, in fact. I remember the gig because Steven and Duff (McKagan) hung out for our set and watched us. It turned out that a good friend of mine, the super-roadie McBob and his brother Tom Mayhue, ended up working for Guns. We were always the derelict rock kids from this town called Santa Rosa and when McBob and Tom started working for Guns, that was the beginning of the connection. When we were in LA we'd always stop by and say hi, and I got to know Duff and Slash quite well."
What were the factors Guns and Vain had in common at that stage?
Adler: "Rock n’ roll... we both kicked ass!”
Vain: “We were both coming from kind of the same place, except Vain were going for the sex thing and Guns were going more for the drugs angle with a bit of sex on the side... when they were sober enough to do it, that is! Ha-ha-ha... I’d been in bands before I ever knew Guns N' Roses were around. It’s not like I saw them and thought, 'Ooh, now it’s all explained to me’. They're a great outfit and they’ve done more than just about any other band. But it's not like if they hadn’t existed I wouldn’t be doing the things I'm doing.”
So you’ve been around this guy Steven Adler for a while now. What do you see in him?
“He's a rock star. You’re either a rock star or you're not. It’s hard to define, but you just feel it when a rock star walks into a room, they have that 'thing'."
And what does Steven reckon of Davy?
Adler: “Besides the fact he’s a phenomenal singer with star quality too. he's a great guy to be with. Our manager asked me, if there was anybody in the world I'd like to put a band together with, who would it be? And I immediately said Davy and Jamie. I've been thinking about this for a long time."
I TELL STEVEN that, as happy as he seems to be right now, there seems to be a little sadness there as well.
Adler: “Well, I was always very independent and I did what I wanted to do, but I never did anything really wrong. Obviously everybody Knows about the drug thing, but, hey, I didn't think I was being foolish.
“I know drugs aren’t right and can screw your life up, I know first hand, but I didn’t think I was doin' anything wrong because I was doin' them with my band. They were doin' it, so was I, and I didn't think I was doin’ anything wrong.
“Obviously it didn’t work out... I personally haven’t changed from when I first started playing drums when I was 12 and I moved out and lived on the streets, which is when I met Slash. We were hangin' at the rock clubs, makin’ out with girls... I’m the same person I was then. But they changed, my other band changed, and that’s why we weren't getting along. We may have been partying together, but I don’t think it was the drugs really that got in the way...
“I wish that maybe someone could've given me a hug and said, 'Hey, y'know, slow down'. But like I said, I was doing the drugs with my band, okay? And it didn't seem abnormal back then."
Vain: “If all your best friends are doing something then it doesn’t seem wrong, but later you have to suffer the consequences. But I’d personally like to add that we don't see it as this big ‘war’ between us and Guns N’ Roses or anything. I certainly don't, and if I ran into Slash and Duff I hope we'd still be cool. I’ve always got along with those guys and I don't have any problems with them myself.”
Adler is a little more forthright. "I was their scapegoat. Everybody knows that Guns N' Roses were drug-orientated, everybody knows that.”
Don't get me wrong, there's nothing bad about being bad, but when you remember that Guns are the band that marketed the f**ked-up shirt depicting a skull and two syringes, there can be little argument.
I ASK DAVY about sadness in his life. “Well, y'see, I'm not a very complicated person. It’s not like I read the Wall Street Journal and I really care about politics, I just care about things that are very simple. The things I really love are music and girls. Those are the things that affect me on a daily basis, so those are the things I write about. On the first Vain album most of my songs were about that, but then I came into this 'business' and actually had some guy in some office completely f*'k me up. That was the biggest frustration for me. Whether tons of kids want you or not. it’s up to that guy in that office to decide your fate."
“It’s a shame that you have to hit rock bottom before you realise what's goin' on," adds Steven Adler. He's talking about his darkest drug-filled daze, the time after his sacking from Guns N’ Roses.
"Like I say, I didn't think I was doing anything wrong. As bad as I know it is, I didn’t think it was wrong because I was doing it with them."
And y’know what? It's sad. Because as much as we all know how stupid smack is, it's only now that Steven Adler has come to realise this. Sad but true. I ask him to look back at the time just after his firing from Guns and recount what was going through his mind. What were his musical thoughts for the future? Did he have any? Did he want to quit the whole business?
“I’ve always enjoyed this business and what I do." he sighs. "As I say, I was the scapegoat for Guns N' Roses. They had the record company comin’ down on them tellin' them to straighten up... and no way were they gonna straighten up.
“So to make it look like they were gettin’ straightened up it was ‘point the finger at the nice guy’. Because at the time I was no more f*'ked up than they were. Besides losing my best friends and my family, which was that band, my wife left me..."
You were married?
"Yeah, I was married and my wife left me. First the band treats me like I’m dead, then my wife leaves me. At that point I was feeling so sorry for myself it was ridiculous. The people who helped me pull it together? The fans. I got thousands of letters from the fans saying that they loved me and wanted to see me back out there. I got fed up feeling sorry for myself...
“One thing that also helped me a lot was meeting other musicians who’d had drugs f**k them up, people like Nikki Sixx, Tommy Lee, Steven Tyler. Seeing those people made me realise that I wasn't the only one. Because I felt like the only one, y’know... the only one who’d ever got thrown out of a band and got f"ked up on drugs. But it's happened to a lot of people. I was lucky because I got to speak with people who I can relate to; I can relate to the kids, because I'm a fan too."
Of course, history is fascinating... but we mustn’t digress from the main plot for too much longer...
Vain: “When Steven first called me, Vain were still happening despite the problems. He told me what was goin' on, that he’d read in Kerrang! that Vain weren’t signed any more and he wanted to know what was goin' on. To me it was like a chick calling and saying, "Hey, come and move in with me" even though you're married.
"I was flattered because I knew there were a lotta people he probably could’ve got. I thought about it and I told my manager and band. Everyone gave me this weird look and told me I should check it out. I think at that point everybody in Vain had been so beaten down, they thought I should look into it because we had the bitter- sweet thing of sold-out shows and no record deal again.
"It was very hard and very frustrating. It wasn’t like I said, ‘Hey, see you later, I’m off to do Steven’s thing’. It was a very hard thing to do.”
WE’VE ESTABLISHED that most of Adler’s pain stems from losing his long-time friends in Guns, so how easy is it for him to trust the people in this new band?
“I feel very comfortable and very safe. Davy and Jamie aren’t into the ‘drug’ thing. I wanted to get out of that, so it works well. I know what we can do, what we’re capable of. I know what we can all do together, and people can look forward to a lot of wonderful things from Roadcrew. And I know what the kids want, because I’m a fan too.
“I’m a private person but I do like to be around people; I hate being by myself. And, with Guns, I was treated like I was dead. But I wasn't dead because I could still think about everything that had happened. I got screwed up and screwed over and f**ked...
"But Davy and these guys I'm playing with are nothing like the people I was working with before, because those people do not share. To tell you the truth, they’re the meanest people I ever met in my life. That’s why we didn’t get along. I got along with Slash and Duff, but with Axl it was just a total difference in personality.”
So taking all this into account, we can bet that Roadcrew music isn’t exactly going to be all sweetness and light, right?
Adler: “Nobody’s life is just 24 hours of happiness and f**king.”
Vain: "We have this song called 'Didi' which is about a girl I know who’s having a lot of problems now. She just turned 20 and it’s about her not even really having a childhood, just growing up too fast. And the older she gets the more screwed up she gets. It’s the same for a lot of girls like her, they never got a chance to play with Barbie Dolls, they went straight to dicks instead.
"Then we have a song called ’Get Up’, which is about all of us in a way. It’s about really being down, picking yourself up and letting your love for something bring you up and out of it.”
HOW ABOUT the inference from some quarters that you guys aren’t the most brilliant scholarly types when it comes to songwriting, that you prefer to write about women rather than topical issues...
Vain: "Well, I could write about anything... but we dig what we’re doing. There's plenty of people out there who're acting like they’re into the new thing and being open-minded - and they’re full of shit, they’re going home and they really wanna hear about chicks and whatever. But some people are just so desperate to be hip that they’ll do whatever it takes. Yeah... I think I could write a song about more or less anything. We’re just doing what we believe in.”
Obviously a story to be continued...

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