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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

2022.05.09 - Appetite For Distortion Podcast - Interview with Billy Howerdel

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2022.05.09 - Appetite For Distortion Podcast - Interview with Billy Howerdel Empty 2022.05.09 - Appetite For Distortion Podcast - Interview with Billy Howerdel

Post by Blackstar Mon May 09, 2022 4:32 pm

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2022.05.09 - Appetite For Distortion Podcast - Interview with Billy Howerdel Empty Re: 2022.05.09 - Appetite For Distortion Podcast - Interview with Billy Howerdel

Post by Blackstar Tue May 17, 2022 2:14 pm

Excerpts from Ultimate Guitar:
--------------------------------------

Although Billy Howerdel is now mostly known as one of the two masterminds behind the acclaimed alternative band A Perfect Circle, the New Jersey-born musician first started making his name in the music industry as a sound engineer nonpareil.

As a sound engineer and guitar technician, Howerdel has worked with some of the most prominent bands in the '90s such as Nine Inch Nails, Tool (where he befriended Maynard James Keenan with whom he formed APC), as well as some established icons like David Bowie.

One particularly interesting high-profile gig that Howerdel's engineering career boasts is working with Axl Rose during the very early stages of the decade-long recording process that resulted in 2008's "Chinese Democracy". Howerdel has recently been interviewed on the GN'R-centric podcast Appetite for Distortion where he talked about his experiences of working with Axl.

Recalling how he got to work with GN'R through Nine Inch Nails guitarist Robin Finck, Howerdel said (transcribed by UG):

"Robin Finck from Nine Inch Nails called me. I was a tech with Nine Inch Nails, Trent's guitar and keyboard tech on the road, and that was '94 and '95. I went on to work with Bowie in '96, because we toured together, and then I just continued on with Bowie. I saved up enough money to go and give a crack at recording my own songs at that point. That's what I set out to do.

"I found a spot, I moved in with Maynard - it was a chance of bumping Maynard at a bar when I was looking for a place to stay, and it just worked out. At that time Robin calls me, so that's like '97 now, and said hey, 'I got this crazy call, I got a call to go down and play with Guns N' Roses and they want unique sounds.' That was kind of my angle, I was good at programming Interesting guitar sounds. And back then it was hard to do; gear was complex, you had a lot of hurdles to jump over, so he just called me up to do that. And I was like, [laughs] 'Okay!' We kind of laughed about it."

Howerdel goes on to describe his position in GN'R recording crew as "ever-evolving", as he was originally brought in to "shepherd" the band into the world of computer recording, but also ended up working with Axl as a sort of co-producer. He began by comparing his experience of working with Nine Inch Nails to his time with Axl Rose & Co.

"Going from Nine Inch Nails tour and then being called to do Guns N' Roses was so different. I mean, even though now you can see they operate in the same universe, but it just felt interesting, to say the least. So I went down there, hit it off Axl right away. It was only supposed to be like two or three days that I was down there, and he asked me to stay on. I kind of reluctantly [agreed]- I wasn't trying to play hardball for any reason, other than I really wanted to do my music.

"And I was 26 or 27 at the time...I was a guitar tech, but I was starting to record with the computer at home. They were not into the computer thing yet, they were still recording on these DA-88, whatever, the VHS cassettes that you did multi-tracks on.

"He brought me in to kind of shepherd them into that realm, but me learn it at the same time. So in a way, Axl was very gracious in giving me the opportunity, believed in me enough to help bring them into the computer [recording] world, but also work on his sounds and with him.

"It was just an ever-evolving position. And then it turned into me working with him during the nights, let's say, and the band working with the producer during the day. It was an interesting process. It was a lot of exploration, a lot of unknowns, and of throwing a lot of money and effort at trying to make a great record."

https://www.ultimate-guitar.com/news/general_music_news/billy_howerdel_reveals_what_axl_rose_was_like_during_chinese_democracy_sessions_compares_working_with_nine_inch_nails_to_gnr.html

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