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APPETITE FOR DISCUSSION
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.

Cheers!
SoulMonster

2021.05.20 - Misplaced Straws - Interview with Gilby

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2021.05.20 - Misplaced Straws - Interview with Gilby Empty 2021.05.20 - Misplaced Straws - Interview with Gilby

Post by Blackstar Fri Jul 09, 2021 12:20 pm

A Conversation With Guitarist Gilby Clarke

Gilby Clarke first hit the LA scene as the leader of bands like Candy and Kill For Thrills before getting his big break to replace Izzy Stradlin in Guns N’ Roses just prior to the Use Your Illusions tour. Since leaving Guns, Clarke has played with bands like Heart, MC5, Nancy Sinatra, and Rockstar: Supernova. He has also enjoyed a successful solo career and just released his latest solo record The Gospel Truth. Gilby took some time to talk about the new record and his entire career.



On why he had a 19-year gap between solo records:

That’s a good question. There’s a couple answers to this question. One of them is, first of all, I never really set out to be a solo artist. It was just kind of something I did. For the first record, I was in Guns N Roses. I had downtime. The second record was I wasn’t in Guns N Roses, just finished five years of solid touring, and I just wanted to stay home and make a record. So it just kind of evolved over the years. When I put out Swag, it was a busy time, actually. (I) did the Swag record in the Col. Parker record same time, which was out on V2. To be honest, I mean, that was a lot. I produced both records and really wrote the majority of the songs on both records. It was a lot of work. After that, I just kind of went back and forth touring with Heart, Nancy Sinatra, MC5, RockStar: Supernova and all those weren’t really, with the exception of RockStar: Supernova weren’t really making records. I was just touring, touring, touring, producing, producing, producing. So the time just kind of went by and I started doing some solo dates again and I kind of got into this feeling of, “What do I need to make a record for?” I have my live dates, I’m getting booked out as much as I want. I’m getting booked. People are showing up.

Making a record is hard. It’s a process, especially a solo record. So I like to refer to it now that I’m reflecting as my “Bad Attitude Period”. But then I went to Motley Crue’s last concert at Staples Center and I ran into a friend of mine and we were having this conversation and he just kind of looked at me like I was full of shit and it kind of took me back. He goes, “Well, do you consider yourself an artist?” And I said, “Yes, I do”. He goes, “Well, what are you creating?” I started going, “I’m doing that and I’m doing this”. He goes, “Well, whether you think or not, you have people that respect you and your career and like your records. Whether you feel that you deserve them or not, it really isn’t the point. It’s a process. It’s a creative process of writing and recording and that’s who you are”. I thought long and hard about that. I admitted that I was wrong. One of my favorite bands is Cheap Trick. Look how prolific they’ve been. That record is fantastic. Records in between, Rockford, fantastic record. So it really made me reevaluate things. Once I started the process of writing, recording, getting the guys over, one thing about being a solo artist is I can use different people and that’s inspiring. I remember I like the process. I like writing it. Don’t get me wrong, it’s hard. It’s hard work. It’s challenging. I’ve made a few solo records. I didn’t want to be redundant. I didn’t want to be repetitive in my lyrics. I didn’t want to be cliche. I worked hard that you didn’t know what the next chord change was going to be or you didn’t know what the next rhyme was going to be. I put work into that. I worked with so many acts over the years where I know every chord change before it’s going to happen. I know every rhyme. I didn’t want to be that. I wanted it to be good. So, therefore, that process started this. This is the end result of that long explanation. :57

On the origin of the songs on The Gospel Truth:

I think, like with most guitar players, we have our riff library. Mine’s on my phone. I often am sitting watching the Laker game, and I have a guitar on, there’s a lot of commercials, or sometimes I go through a period where I have an acoustic guitar and I’m watching a Laker game. I’m playing guitar and I start compiling ideas and stuff. So these were all new songs. Nothing was leftover. I think there might have been one riff that my wife and daughter laughed about, “We’ve been hearing that riff for a long time”. But finally when interpretation became something. But yeah, for the most part, it’s pretty much all brand new stuff. Even though I did go in with (the thought), “I need to make a new record”, I go song by song. My rule is simple, the song wins. Whatever the song calls for, I’m pretty good at being objective. Like the second song on the record is called “Wayfarer”. Believe me, that was a completely different song until Teddy (“Zig Zag” Andreadis) put that Hammond organ part on, and I just went, “I got to get out of the way”. I took my guitar parts off because I thought that really move this song along. Like I said, the song won. 4:33

On Nikki Sixx, Kenny Aronoff, and Steven Perkins guesting on the record:

I’m lucky that I have friends because these are all friends that have been in my house. We’ve had dinner, coffee, drinks together. These are friends. I’m lucky I have talented friends. Kenny Aronoff could easily play on every song on the record. Steven Perkins, they’re talented. They can do it. But I like that. I like changing things up. I like giving them a challenge of, “Here’s what I hear”, and then let getting out of the way and letting them do their thing. That’s what I do. So they help energize me, they inspire me. Let them do their job. They know what they’re doing and they bring a new life to it. 5:55

On developing his skills as a producer:

When I was very, very young, one of the first gigs I had was working for Kim Fowley as a ghost guitar player. I was like 19 years old, and I would go into the studio at midnight and Kim would give me a sheet of paper of all the parts I had to fix from midnight to 6:00 in the morning, I’d be using their guitar, their amplifier, fixing out of tune parts, out of time parts. I learned that early. Then when I went to make the first record with my band, Candy, my ego got hit pretty hard where Jimmy Lenner did not hear the band the way that it myself in the band members heard. We had to make compromises, which I really didn’t feel like I wanted to make those compromises, but I had no choice, either do it or get off the boat. So I’ve had good and bad experiences even working with Mike Clink in GNR, we found a common ground, but it took a moment to find that common ground. Everybody works in a different way. Where I am now is from all those years of working with different amazing, talented producers that have taught me those lessons. So I know when to get out of the way. 7:03

http://misplacedstraws.com/2021/05/a-conversation-with-guitarist-gilby.html
Blackstar
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