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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.


1990.04.18 - Raw Magazine - Wearing Flippers in the Sand (Slash, Duff)

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1990.04.18 - Raw Magazine - Wearing Flippers in the Sand (Slash, Duff) Empty 1990.04.18 - Raw Magazine - Wearing Flippers in the Sand (Slash, Duff)

Post by Soulmonster Mon Jun 20, 2011 9:37 pm

Mystical phases, new studio albums, wild nights in Los Angeles, nine minute songs, success, divorce and one syllable names! Duff and Slash from Guns N Roses (bass and guitar respectively) stop recording to natter shamefacedly to RAW’s Anders Tengner.

So after all the furor over “Appetite For Destruction’, world acclaim, tours, scandal and success, Guns N Roses have finally hit the studio again.

DUFF: We didn’t hit it, we walked in…..”

SLASH: “Oh, no, let’s not have one of those interviews, C’mon…ha, ha. We’re in the studio now and we’re putting together a healthy chunk of songs. We’ve already done 13 and we’ve still got another, what, 16 left to do. We’ll probably do a double album. Like, 18 or 19 songs on it, as much as we can fit. The rest we’ll use for B-sides and that kind of shit.”

You seem to go to extremes. You started with an unbelievably huge album and follow it up with the obscure re-release of the very first recordings plus a bunch of half-acoustic stuff  (Lies…) and then top it off with a double album! It’s not the conventional strategy.

SLASH: “We’re not conventional. Trust me, we’re far, far, far away from being conventional. But, to make it simple, yes, this is our follow-up to ‘Appetite’ and we’re doing it our way.”

Why did it take so long for you to get started on the follow-up?

DUFF: “We had some shows to do….”

SLASH: “We toured for a long, long time. Off and on for two-and-a-half years…”

DUFF: “No, two years.”

SLASH:” Two-and-a-half…I know my facts, man. Martin Luther King died in 1965…”

DUFF: “Yeah, yeah, yeah…”

SLASH: “But the album started to happen for us over a year into the tour. And then we had to tour some more. And there was a certain type of demand, and then there were the three Stones gigs at the LA Coliseum…and just adjusting to all this Rock star bullshit. Getting a house together….a life. Just getting a life.”

DUFF: “ It’s a whole new life compared to what we were used to. It’s like going from one extreme to the other. It takes time to adjust to it all.”

So how do you deal with it?

SLASH: “ I don’t think we’re sure yet. I cope with it by not coping with it. Period. I try to go through life pretending it’s not really that real. It only really slaps you in the face when you’re out in public where there’s a lot of your so-called crowds and your so-called bands. Especially going to concerts and clubs. We haven’t been doing that lately. That’s pretty much where it’s realistic. When you’re at home you forget about it. You watch TV or fuck your girlfriend… everybody else does.”

When you started out, you must have anticipated years of struggle, but you never
really had them. You made it with your debut album. Were you relieved at that?

SLASH: “We never thought about it.”

DUFF: “We sat in this exact room, three years ago, without that thought ever coming to our minds. We were just makin’ a record. Seriously, we didn’t think about if it would sell ten copies, never mind one million copies. We didn’t know. We didn’t really care. We just recorded the music we’d been playing two years before that.”

It must be a case of hitting the right formula, putting the right elements together.

SLASH:” You’re nit-picking, understand why people wanna know how all this stuff works, but we don’t know how it works, it’s a sorta redundant concept as far as laying questions on us about how it works. I can’t answer them. There’s really no formula. We do it day by day.”

Did you start writing stuff for the second album fairly soon after the first one or...

SLASH: “Well, some of the stuff was written even before we did the first record. We just said we’ll hold that for a second record for whatever reason it was. But over the course of touring there was a couple of riffs here and there that we came up with, and then we would go into rehearsal and get pretty tied up. We did a few songs. But now we’re really working on it.”

How much of the material is brand new?

SLASH: “I suppose most of it’s brand new. Out of the 13 songs we’ve done, there’s about five old ones. If that. ‘Back Off Bitch’, ‘Don’t Cry’, ‘Ain’t Going Down’. These were songs which could have surfaced on the first album, but we weren’t really working on them at the time. We were concentrating on the songs that came on that first album, so we saved them for later. Some of the new ones are ‘Coma’, ‘So Fine’, ‘Dead Horse’ and ‘Civil War’.”

A lot of people looked at ‘Lies'. . . and thought it was the follow up to ‘Appetite'.

DUFF: “It wasn’t a follow-up.

No, you and I know that, but the public really thought so...

DUFF: “Oh man, they must have been disappointed, ha, ha. It was only because our first EP (‘Live ?!*@ Like A Suicide’) was selling for enormous amounts of money in record stores that we released it. If the kids wanted it, we’d give it to them for the right price. And we had some acoustic shit lying around, so we threw that in too.”

SLASH: “The new album is so diverse, and it goes to extremes that we haven’t really communicated to the people who listen to us. Maybe in concert, we’ve come close to it. It’s a lot heavier in concert than the ‘Appetite‘ album. We seem to be extreme in two ways. It’s really heavy or really mellow. There’s acoustics and horns and shit like that.”

DUFF: “We intend to do ‘Live And Let Die’ by Wings. . .we’ve got a horn section that’s played with us before which we’ll use and we’ve got one piano song, ‘November Rain'.

So, will there be a lot of surprises for diehard Guns fans when they hear the new album?

DUFF: “I think diehard Guns fans don’t expect anything in particular. That’s what makes them diehard. The people whom we’ll surprise the most are the fucking critics who like to fuck with people. They’ll try to take this album apart and shit. They’ll analyze it. But the fans will know what’s going on.”

SLASH: “In the beginning our critical acclaim was zero, the industry wanted us dead. There was no support from the business at all. What made us what we are were out shows, ‘cause the kids believed in us. The kids will know if we’re doing it right. I mean, after hearing ‘Appetite’ and ‘Lies”, how can you expect anything?
“But it’s going to be different. The songs are longer, and the lyrics are very serious. Very defined and very direct at certain issues. Very harsh.
“When we did ‘Appetite...’, I didn’t think it was going to be commercial, but it was. So I don’t know what this will do in that sense. It doesn’t sound like a commercial album to me.”

You said the lyrics are deeper, more serious this time. Can you talk about it?

SLASH: “I’d like to keep that in the dark for a while..

DUFF: “There’s some things about what’s gone in our pasts, some stuff that’s gone on in history that we all care about. Sex, things about Hollywood, different aspects of sex.”

You must view Hollywood and all that goes with it in a different way now.

SLASH: “Yeah, after going through all this shit, we’re a lot wiser. You see things in a different way. We don’t have blinders on like we used to. We were just so used to the old ‘This is Rock ‘n’ Roll, let’s go’ attitude. Now you’ve gotta predict the situation you’re walking into. Shit like that has changed.”

How do you look at the fact that you opened a lot of doors for new bands?

SLASH: “If we helped a new band, a genuinely good and original band, because of our success, that’s great. Like Little Caesar from LA. But not just any clone band, or Glam[/i9 band or, you know, bands that have to have other people coming in to play for them or to sample their fuckin’ drums. That would be extremely regrettable.”

DUFF: “We’re really lucky, ‘cause no-one ever opened any doors for us, so we’re really lucky that we got a break.”

SLASH: “The only door that opened for us was this one guy who saw us and signed us to Geffen (Tom Zutaut). The rest was playing live, playing live, playing live. First big tour we did we were opening up for The Cult and nobody knew who the fuck we were, man. We started in Canada and the album wasn’t even released. It started with Motley Crue, that’s when we started to get big. We did it our way, and we didn’t compromise our beliefs. And if that opened up some doors and changed around some attitudes in the business, then I’m proud."

The new album is being recorded in the same studio (Rumbo) that the first album was put together in. Is there any particular reason for that?

DUFF: “Yeah, just because we’re familiar with it. We could have chosen any studio we wanted, but it’s not that expensive, and we’re even using the smaller studio here, not the big one. We use the same room, the same producer (Mike Clink). It’s like the ‘If the dog doesn’t bite you, why kick it in its ass’ theory.

SLASH: “That sounds great, man.”

DUFF: “I just made it up, honestly. I’m gonna use that from now on. Words of wisdom.”

Do you think your image, attitude and lifestyle helped a lot to make you successful?

SLASH: “Do you know what I think helped? I’m pretty positive that during the ‘70s and early ‘80s, music got to be so tucking commercial, and run by money. It was tucking stale and predictable and boring. People were getting forced to buy it, and when people saw and heard us they understood that we were genuine, so they went for it. I don’t wanna sound egotistical, but at the time we were the only ones out there doing it.”

You dared to go against the stream.

SLASH: “We went so against the stream it was like wearing flippers in the sand.”

DUFF: “It wasn’t like we dared to do it, it was just us being ourselves. We didn’t dare anything. We just went out there and did it.”

Yeah, but you refused to follow the given rules.

DUFF: “The given rules didn’t even enter our mind. We never even thought about them. Except, whenever we were faced with them, whenever we were fucked with, whenever we couldn’t get a gig...fuck, we hated those rules then.”

SLASH: “We were rebels. We are rebels, and there weren’t any rebels around in the early ‘80’s. Fuck, even Punk got to be a fashion, and then it was dead. So the whole element of Rock, that whole attitude, disappeared. We brought it back in a way. Kids got into it. All the way from little kids who don’t wanna take a bath at night to teenagers who are generally fucked up anyway, right through to people who relate to this shit from their youth.”

You live a life full of partying. You drink, you smoke, you swear and basically do whatever comes to mind. Things everyday people would be almost scared of being arrested for. You make money doing it! In Rock ‘n’ Roll you can get away with it! Do you ever think about that?

SLASH: “Yeah, that’s why people get shot on the fuckin’ freeway. It’s a sense of release, a channel for aggression. People get up in the morning, against their will, because they have to go to work, in order to support their families or themselves. So they go to work, fuck around there all day long, get off at five and go to a bar to have some fun. It’s a release, and for some people it goes wrong somewhere. That’s what Rock is all about. It’s a release. Most people can’t live like us, but they wish they could. A few just explode out of frustration.”

DUFF: ‘But in the whole scheme of things. like we get asked a lotta questions about the world’s problems, this and that, the racist bullshit. . . in the whole scheme of things we’re just a Rock ‘n’ Roll band. Nothing more, nothing less. We’re sitting here smoking cigs and having a drink, then we go home, fuck our girlfriends and go to bed. Then we wake up, go back to the studio to do another song or two. Fuck, man, we have been asked to comment on things and stuff that are totally out of our league and we are apparently supposed to know everything about everything, just because we’ve sold a few million albums. Fuck, what do know about Nelson Mandela being free? I think it’s great, I care about it a lot- but I’m here at Rumbo recording an album. The Berlin wall coming down and all, I think it’s great, but it’s not my fucking thing to comment.”

SLASH: “We’re only as good as our last fucking record, and we’re only gonna be as popular as the last album. We’re not that important. Because of all the money that’s being spent for this little vehicle to happen we’re important. To the business we’re important. But if we didn’t do this next record, just sit on our asses, we would be forgotten and no-one would care. It’s a very temporary thing. ‘You’re only as good as you make it. We do music just because we want to, not because other people want to, not because our label Geffen wants to make a certain amount of money, not because promoters all over the world want to make money. “In day-to-day life there are so many other things that are important, more permanent things. You come down here to ask us questions, because right now we’re important, but nobody knows how long it will last, and I don’t know how significant that is. What it comes down to is that there’s so much shit going on and we’re just a Rock band. There’s much more significant things going on in the world than us. It’s reality.”

Did that reality affect you, create stress?

SLASH: “No, we fucking sold our lives to what we do so long ago that this is just what we do.”

DUFF: “I’m 26 now, I’ve been playing since I was 14 and dreaming about it since I was 11. I’m doing what want to do, and I’m doing it without compromise. And to be successful at that is the biggest dream anybody can have. We’re not like God or anything, we’re five guys who do what we wanna do and we’re happy doing it. That’s that. It stops right there.”

Speaking to a lot of successful people, they all say it’s harder once you’ve made it, ‘cause you don’t want to lose what you have.

SLASH: “Yeah, there’s a lot of outside pressure. You know the old cliché about how money doesn’t make your life any simpler? What happens is that instead of sitting around and spending it 24 hours a day, creating music and hanging out with the band, you deal with business problems, mortgage payments, car payments, dealing with accountants, attorneys, divorce. . .and at the same time you’re supposed to get all your creativity in there somewhere. Some of it gives you inspiration, but most of it doesn’t. Most of it is killing the inspiration, It takes away the passion, but we try. We try to push aside all this other shit, lie it’s not there, so you can concentrate on what you’re supposed to be doing. But it’s hard, ‘cause it’s your life you’re pushing aside.”

Your language on the recently televised ‘American Music Awards’ created big headlines and has got you banned on a few radio stations. Did you think about not using the F-word on TV?

SLASH: “I said Ooops’... I know that things like this add to our image. I understand that now, but still - who cares? “And when Axl said that this was gonna be his last show with the band at the first Stones gig he was just pissed off at something. He’s done it before, when he was even more pissed off. We don’t calculate this shit. We’re not creating a hype. I can’t figure us out, so why analyze it? I reckon it’s just that our lives are a whole lot deeper than the press can print on a fucking page.”
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