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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.

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2021.10.14 - Appetite For Distortion Podcast - Interview with Josh Freese

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2021.10.14 - Appetite For Distortion Podcast - Interview with Josh Freese Empty 2021.10.14 - Appetite For Distortion Podcast - Interview with Josh Freese

Post by Blackstar Thu Oct 14, 2021 6:50 pm

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Post by Blackstar Thu Oct 14, 2021 6:58 pm

Josh said that all the songs he had worked on were instrumentals at the time he was in the band. He has listened to the released version of Hard Skool and it hasn't reminded him of something (I guess because it's been a long time and the song has changed a lot). He doesn't think he had a part in writing it.
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Post by Blackstar Thu Oct 14, 2021 8:57 pm

The only reason I know about the track Hard Skool at all is [that] my publishing company emailed me about it, maybe a week ago or a week-and-a-half ago, and said, “Do you know anything about the song Hard Skool? Did you have anything to do with the writing of it? Because it’s coming out” or “it just came out and we want to know what the splits are.” Because I guess it was done when I was in the studio with them. But we recorded so much material, and after I left they worked on so much stuff post me being there. And it was 20 years ago – over 20 years ago now – that I was there, that… There’s a few things that I really had a big hand in on the writing, for instance the title track, Chinese Democracy; I wrote the music to it. There was a few other songs that had working titles that never ended up on the Chinese Democracy record, but were laying around, and I know that at least when we recorded them 20 years ago, Axl liked them a lot. And once again, when I was there they didn’t have any lyrics yet, so they just had these working titles.

So when Hard Skool came out and I listened to it, I went “God, maybe that is one that I wrote that they’ve since… you know, later put lyrics to.” Like, when I was there in the studio with them, the song Chinese Democracy wasn’t called “Chinese Democracy” yet. I think the working title was “Smells like Josh Spirit,” because I wrote it and the chords were really simple – it’s just like kind of these three chords, over and over and over – and someone at one point goes, “This sounds kind of cool, like a Nirvana riff or something.” So it was titled “Smells Like Josh Spirit,” like up on the board where we had all the songs we were working on. Axl hadn’t written any lyrics to it yet, and that didn’t happen until after I left.

So, once again, when I went, “Okay, Hard Skool, let me listen to that, because maybe that’s what this song turned into or that song turned into,” I listened to it and I didn’t recognize hardly any of it, you know… That being said, maybe I did write some of it (laughs) - I mean, because, once again, it was 22 years ago. But there was two or three things that I brought in where I really wrote the majority of the music and I would definitely recognize instantly. As a matter of fact, before the track started playing, I’m like, “I wonder if it’s going to be this one, or this one, or this one,” because there were a few that were pretty cool that didn’t end up getting used, but that wasn’t one of them. Did they release more stuff or just that one track last week?  [Brando mentions Absurd and that it was called Silkworms] Oh yeah. I didn’t have anything to do with that one.  
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Post by ludurigan Mon Oct 18, 2021 5:14 am

josh freese wrote the music to chinese democracy!

WOW, just fucking WOW!!

Facepalm
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Post by Uli Mon Oct 18, 2021 10:49 am

ludurigan wrote:josh freese wrote the music to chinese democracy!  


Yes, he did. It has been known for years and it is mentioned in the album credits (written by...)!
He was the drummer at the time ('98-2000), but he also can play guitar (and other instruments), hence him writing songs!  sfhaetdj

He told me himself (met him back in 2013) that for years when people chatted about the upcoming "Chinese Democracy" album (before it was released), he said "I wrote it" and people looked at him with disbelief! XD Razz
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Post by Soulmonster Mon Oct 18, 2021 2:23 pm

Josh Freese is by far my favorite drummer from GN'R. Not only is he an amicable and funny guy, his drumming is spectacular as evidenced on the Village leaks. Unfortunate the band couldn't release anything while he was still in the band.
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Post by ludurigan Mon Oct 18, 2021 8:12 pm

Uli wrote:
ludurigan wrote:josh freese wrote the music to chinese democracy!  



Yes, he did. It has been known for years and it is mentioned in the album credits (written by...)!
He was the drummer at the time ('98-2000), but he also can play guitar (and other instruments), hence him writing songs!  sfhaetdj

He told me himself (met him back in 2013) that for years when people chatted about the upcoming "Chinese Democracy" album (before it was released), he said "I wrote it" and people looked at him with disbelief! XD Razz

amazing!
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Post by ludurigan Mon Oct 18, 2021 8:17 pm

Soulmonster wrote:Josh Freese is by far my favorite drummer from GN'R. Not only is he an amicable and funny guy, his drumming is spectacular as evidenced on the Village leaks. Unfortunate the band couldn't release anything while he was still in the band.


those 11 or so CDs that leaked had Brain on all tracks or did Josh played in any of them?

what are the village leaks? sorry don't know the first thing about all of this
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Post by ludurigan Mon Oct 18, 2021 8:18 pm

Uli wrote:
ludurigan wrote:josh freese wrote the music to chinese democracy!  



Yes, he did. It has been known for years and it is mentioned in the album credits (written by...)!
He was the drummer at the time ('98-2000), but he also can play guitar (and other instruments), hence him writing songs!  sfhaetdj

He told me himself (met him back in 2013) that for years when people chatted about the upcoming "Chinese Democracy" album (before it was released), he said "I wrote it" and people looked at him with disbelief! XD Razz

gotta tell you ther cd riff and song are one of the few things i like on that album

any idea if josh wrote the vocal melody lines as well? those are good
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Post by Blackstar Mon Oct 18, 2021 11:47 pm

ludurigan wrote:
Soulmonster wrote:Josh Freese is by far my favorite drummer from GN'R. Not only is he an amicable and funny guy, his drumming is spectacular as evidenced on the Village leaks. Unfortunate the band couldn't release anything while he was still in the band.

those 11 or so CDs that leaked had Brain on all tracks or did Josh played in any of them?

what are the village leaks? sorry don't know the first thing about all of this
The Village leaks are those 19 discs. There was Josh on some of the tracks.

ludurigan wrote:gotta tell you ther cd riff and song are one of the few things i like on that album

any idea if josh wrote the vocal melody lines as well? those are good
The vocal melodies were Axl's.
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Post by ludurigan Tue Oct 19, 2021 4:41 am

Blackstar wrote:
The Village leaks are those 19 discs. There was Josh on some of the tracks.
wow, i was under the impression it was all brain on those tracks as (per what I perceived) most of those tracks (specially the instrumentals) were all buckethead's and I was under the impression brain played on all tracks

Blackstar wrote:
The vocal melodies were Axl's.
nice... I want to believe he still has something left in him for when they get together again Very Happy
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Post by Blackstar Fri Nov 05, 2021 11:00 pm

More excerpts from UG:
-----------------------------

When it came to Guns n' Roses, was there ever a point like, 'I want to ride this for a while,' then with the recording of 'Chinese Democracy' and seeing how long it was taking, is that why you decided to leave?

"I will say that Axl Rose, being as intriguing and controversial as he's been in the past as an entity and a rockstar, everyone always wants to, 'Man, tell me some crazy Axl Rose stories...'

"And I've said it a trillion times before, it was just the truth, the time I spent with him, he was generous, he was cool, he was likable.

"I've never had any problem, and I don't have any funny story to tell you other than I got along great with him.

"I was sad to leave because most people take it personally if you quit their band - if you leave the situation - and I don't know how personally he took it or not, but I was hoping that he wouldn't because I like the guy.

"And I've only seen them once since then. I ran into him during Coachella about four or five years ago maybe, he was super cool, he was great, and we had a laugh, and it was really nice to see him.

"For me, the two years I spent in the studio with them, I had a two-year contract, and when it was up, I was able to re-examine it and renew it or not, and I just didn't see them leaving that studio anytime soon.

"And I was going, 'Man, am I going to sit here for another two years in this control room in the studio while they fidget with stuff? I don't know if I want to spend another two years of my life doing this...'

"At the same time, on the weekends, I've been messing around with [guitarist] Billy Howerdel and [Tool singer] Maynard James Keenan and starting A Perfect Circle, and that was a tangible, real thing.

"Like, 'Hey, we're going to make a record, we're going to get a deal and we're going to leave on tour in a couple of months or next month, we're going to book shows, let's go...'

"And I was like, 'OK, this is a regular thing, this isn't being isolated in some ivory tower somewhere away from the rest of the world in a weird bubble,' which I felt like Guns N' Roses was.

"I mean, that being said too, there's a lot of pressure on Axl, and he was doing without his regular band for the first time ever, so I think that was unnerving probably for him, and a little bit scary.

"I enjoyed the time I spent down there, but I didn't want to sit around anymore, and that was kind of what it was looking like was going to happen, and they did not sit around, but they spent a lot more time on the record still after I left.

"And I was glad that I made that record with A Perfect Circle and went out on tour and we started that, that was a little bit more of a real band to me, and something that I was really a part of from the ground up, rather than being the third or fourth drummer in line in a project."

It's always this media - I'd like to think, 'me excluded,' has this perception of Axl that doesn't seem to be accurate. It's those years where he was in public that you worked with him, and people think that he wasn't doing anything. There are so many reasons why it was delayed that you don't even know all of them, and you were there. I think it's more about people being hungry for that time, because when we get a song like, what was it, 'Smells Like Josh Spirit?' Because the music is fantastic, the nerds like me who've heard the leaks, we want to hear it. Are there maybe some of the working titles of the songs that you would recognize if you did hear them on the radio?

"You know what, I don't know why there would be a problem, but I probably shouldn't say them. I don't know legally if there's any problem with that.

"So I always, you know, Axl was a pretty secretive guy about things like that, and so, on one hand, it's like, 'Who cares? I'm not giving out some Wikileaks thing that's going to affect the government or our day-to-day lives.' But yeah, I guess I'd rather not."

https://www.ultimate-guitar.com/news/general_music_news/drummer_speaks_on_why_he_left_guns_n_roses__how_controversial_axl_rose_treated_him.html
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Post by ludurigan Sat Nov 06, 2021 1:19 am

It's so depressing reading about how Chinese Democracy was made, no wonder it sounds like it does...

Those guys are all really respectful to Axl, because Axl surely was nice to them, so they probably genuinely like him and won't never badtalk him to the press.

(on a side note, I remember Izzy being a similar situation and saying that to a journalist once: "No, you won't get me to badtalk the guy")

It is pretty noticeable that Josh here -- and all the others who talked about the endless studio time to do that album -- are very careful with the words.

I am pretty sure that none of them want to attack or to disrespect Axl.

But it looks so much that in private they go "Man that was a drag, things went nowhere" etc...
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Post by Soulmonster Sat Nov 06, 2021 7:19 am

ludurigan wrote:It's so depressing reading about how Chinese Democracy was made, no wonder it sounds like it does...

Those guys are all really respectful to Axl, because Axl surely was nice to them, so they probably genuinely like him and won't never badtalk him to the press.

(on a side note, I remember Izzy being a similar situation and saying that to a journalist once: "No, you won't get me to badtalk the guy")

It is pretty noticeable that Josh here -- and all the others who talked about the endless studio time to do that album -- are very careful with the words.

I am pretty sure that none of them want to attack or to disrespect Axl.

But it looks so much that in private they go "Man that was a drag, things went nowhere" etc...

Yeah, there is no denying that the lack of obvious progress meant that some guys quit, and Axl being a nice guy wasn't enough for them to stay. Those that did stay found some other things to do on the side, a creative outlet, something to do in the down periods when Axl disappeared. The problem was that you couldn't really have a functional band on the side, because you'd always have to make yourself available for GN'R touring and activities - and they were so erratic - and that didn't really work with another band and its band members that needed its own touring and had a recording schedule etc. Solo albums, though, which you could work on in your spare time, worked better. So those that quit were typically guys that wanted to be in active bands (Robin and Josh) while those who could have a solo career on the side stayed (Tommy and Dizzy). A possible exception was Bucket.
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Post by ludurigan Mon Nov 08, 2021 1:09 am

Soulmonster wrote:
ludurigan wrote:It's so depressing reading about how Chinese Democracy was made, no wonder it sounds like it does...

Those guys are all really respectful to Axl, because Axl surely was nice to them, so they probably genuinely like him and won't never badtalk him to the press.

(on a side note, I remember Izzy being a similar situation and saying that to a journalist once: "No, you won't get me to badtalk the guy")

It is pretty noticeable that Josh here -- and all the others who talked about the endless studio time to do that album -- are very careful with the words.

I am pretty sure that none of them want to attack or to disrespect Axl.

But it looks so much that in private they go "Man that was a drag, things went nowhere" etc...


Yeah, there is no denying that the lack of obvious progress meant that some guys quit, and Axl being a nice guy wasn't enough for them to stay. Those that did stay found some other things to do on the side, a creative outlet, something to do in the down periods when Axl disappeared. The problem was that you couldn't really have a functional band on the side, because you'd always have to make yourself available for GN'R touring and activities - and they were so erratic - and that didn't really work with another band and its band members that needed its own touring and had a recording schedule etc. Solo albums, though, which you could work on in your spare time, worked better. So those that quit were typically guys that wanted to be in active bands (Robin and Josh) while those who could have a solo career on the side stayed (Tommy and Dizzy). A possible exception was Bucket.

I almost agree 100% with you

I think you cold "name" the two groups a little differently

The ones who left or who never really stayed are mostly the "creative guys/songwriters with a proper career"

And the ones who stayed are mostly the "non-creative guys/non-relevant songwriters" that before joining Axl were mostly session/touring musicians, and that includes 3 of the 4 current GN'R employees!

The exception is Tommy, who stayed for 200 years but despite that was/is a "creative guy/songwriter with a proper career"
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