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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

2004.11.DD - Rock Hard Magazine (France) - Interview with Duff and Dave Kushner

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2004.11.DD - Rock Hard Magazine (France) - Interview with Duff and Dave Kushner Empty 2004.11.DD - Rock Hard Magazine (France) - Interview with Duff and Dave Kushner

Post by Blackstar Sun Aug 28, 2022 3:40 pm

Original text in French:

http://slashsnakepit.chez-alice.fr/biographie/interviews/vrrimeaveckushner.php

Translation:
--------------------

First of all, what is Izzy Stradlin doing in this hotel?

Duff: Well, nothing much, just hanging out. He came to meet us in Paris, after showing up in Bologna, Italy. By the way, while he was there, Scott invited him to join us on stage and jam on "It's So Easy".

Are you going to do that again tonight?

Duff: I have no idea.

Dave, no offense, you're the unheard-of guy in Velvet Revolver. Can you tell us a bit about your background?

Dave: I only started playing guitar to get into this band! No, I'm kidding. Like a lot of people, I started playing guitar when I was about 16, but I never really made a living out of it. I don't know, maybe I have a big mouth, so I was often kicked out of bands! And then, I was really unlucky; I worked with Dave Navarro for six months and he quit the gig to put together Jane's Addiction! Other than that, I also played with Danzig, Infectious Groove, Wasted Youth... My track record is definitely low-key compared to the other members of Velvet Revolver.

Do you feel more comfortable with the fact that you're in the background compared to the four other superstars?

Duff: We did a signing in London and there was a kid who showed up, fourteen years old at the most, who looked exactly like Dave. A cap, a moustache, glasses! Dave already has his superfans!

Dave: It's not about comfort or discomfort: I'm the new guy, I have no past. In fact, and I think this is what works in the band, is that before I started with Velvet, I played with Duff. We got along really well. I've known Slash for fifteen years... I don't feel like a stranger. I may seem like an outsider, but I've been friends with all these guys for a long time. And to be honest, it's cool to be anonymous: I can go out in the street without people screaming, and I don't get a billion requests for interviews.

There was an incident at the Rock Am See festival in Germany, where the crowd started screaming "Guns N' Roses". It's hard for the fans to turn the page.

Duff: It was only at that festival that we had that issue. At the rest of the shows we played, people were screaming "Velvet Revolver". In the States, the people have really moved on. The other day, I was walking around Manhattan with Matt and we overheard this guy in his thirties saying to his friend, "Hey, look, it's Matt and Duff from Velvet Revolver." Matt and I looked at each other and said that this is it, we've managed to get rid of the past. In France, Guns N' Roses hasn't played a show in eleven fucking years! I don't think anyone remembers GN’R anymore! That band was exceptional, something that exploded worldwide, but it's over. In fact, on our next American tour, which starts in a month, we won't play "It's So Easy" or "Mr. Brownstone" anymore. And to be honest, I didn't hear those "GN’R" chants, I was just told about them. I think that the whole thing about the German festival has been blown out of proportion because of the Internet.

How do you explain that Slash, Matt and you have so easily moved on from mourning the loss of the band, but the fans haven't?

Duff: Quite frankly, the kids don't care about Guns. The older kids are nostalgic for the band and I can understand that. And I don't blame them. I'm proud that I was in Guns N' Roses, that I wrote those songs. But that's in the past. And if we fuel nostalgia, well, it's kind of our fault because we play Guns songs - and Stone Temple Pilots songs, for that matter. Fuck it, we're not a supergroup, we're just five guys playing rock music, guys who are really close to each other, have gone through the same addiction problems, and didn't expect anything. It turns out that Velvet Revolver works, and that's great!

That's your perception, you have to understand that the perception of the outside observers is bound to be different.

Duff: My idea of a supergroup is when a band is pre-fabricated, when guys, encouraged by their record company, get together to make money. Something like The Damned Yankees or The Travelling Wilburys. That's not the case with us. Velvet Revolver is a new band. We have a history, but we don't rely on it.

Dave: If we were a supergroup, we would have gotten an all-around singer, written twelve songs, gone into the studio and done with it. No, we spent a year looking for a frontman, without having a record deal. I don't have any money, Duff and Slash paid for all the rehearsals, the auditions... We worked our asses off. We were doing this little club tour for fun. If we wanted to make money, we could play much bigger venues.

Duff, do you remember your solo show at Bercy in 1993 with Sepultura and Scorpions? You played with Sepultura?

Duff: Yeah... I think so. I have to say that I don't remember much about that tour. I was still getting high at the time. It was weird and completely different from today: I was the frontman of the band, I was drunk all the time, the guys I was with were kids who had never been to Europe. I had just toured for two years for the "Illusions", I was exhausted. Well, to stop beating around the bush, I don't remember that show at all!

How is this club tour going?

Dave: I kind of exaggerated earlier when I said club tour, because we played in London in front of 5,000 people. But we also played in front of 600 fans. We didn't really know what to expect with this record. The label people kept talking, blah blah blah, but we just wouldn't hear. We were in our own bubble. When we started touring in the States, our record wasn't even released yet.

And when it came out, it went to number one on Billboard.

Duff: Yes, and we were the first to be caught by surprise. Rock 'n' roll is not exactly hot on the American charts. The rockiest band that's done well lately is Jet, and they didn't even make the top 10. You never know how the public will react and we were pleasantly surprised. In Stockholm, we had an autograph signing and there were hundreds of 16-year-old kids. They were five years old when GN’R was around. These are Velvet fans, not Guns fans.

How do you react to the fact that the Anglo-Saxon press focuses on Scott's problems?

Dave: Pfft... Unfortunately, I don't think there's anything anyone can do about it. In the US, everyone is interested in Courtney Love's court sessions. People slow down on the highway when there's a car accident; everyone wants to see the crash, but no one wants to be in it. Everyone has that voyeuristic side to them: watching, but staying away. It's hard to fight. But I understand Scott's attitude toward the press; he's the sweetest guy ever, but he's the one who's been in trouble. And aside from his problems, he has a life and he's fed up. So he asked the journalists to stop talking to him about all that, but they continued. He' s a human being and he reacted violently by insulting journalists and refusing to talk to them. We totally support him.

Duff: You mentioned the Anglo-Saxon press, but the Italians are just as bad. There are countries where we are only asked questions about GN’R or drugs. France is okay, you're not so much the "drugs" types, you're more the "GN’R" types. But it's not so bad, because it's a past that I'm proud of; we went from a time when our friends thought we wouldn't live long enough to record an album to ending up playing shows in stadiums around the world.

Dave, did you have any say in choosing Scott [as the singer]?

Dave: I was the one who knew him the longest! So yes, of course I had a say. Everybody in this band does. The funny thing is that when he showed up to sing, we all knew he was "the one".

Why?

Duff: We could see a fucking rock and roll guy in him, his "fuck you” attitude, a guy who went through the same shit as us with drugs and booze, as well as with fuckin’ record labels. And damn, he's a fucking great singer. But we're all on the same level when it comes to business, we know the rules of the game, we won't get screwed by our label.

Dave, did you also have drug problems?

Dave: Yes, unfortunately. But I'm not famous, so nobody knows. I went through a period of severe alcoholism where I would wake up with my bottle of vodka on the nightstand, and I would drink all day until I passed out at night. I crashed my car, got my license revoked, got fired from jobs, got yelled at by my family, got dumped by my girlfriends... But I am the one out of the whole band who has been clean the longest.

Is this show in France just one more gig for you or do you have special memories of our country?

Duff: You know, it's kind of strange for me, because my wife is a model and she lived in Paris for four years. She's actually here with our kids. We went for a walk in the neighborhood where she used to live, we hung out, we went to the cafes. You know, for us Americans, France is really romantic and exotic, especially when you're with a woman. There's something really odd here. We took a cab to go to Ile Saint-Louis, it was very nice. You know that Parisians in particular have a reputation in the States for being rude. I don't understand why. I've never had that kind of unpleasant experience; maybe it's because I try to speak French the best I can, I don't walk into a bar and yell, "Hey dude, fuck, you got a non-alcoholic beer, how do I get to the fuckin' Chomp'zelaizé!” But Americans also think that about New Yorkers, who are actually the coolest people in the U.S. I'm a global person. Well, I care about my country, I want young people to register to vote so that something good will come in November, and I won't say anything more about it. I've had the chance to go all over the world, so I have an open mind. My kids are with me right now and I think they’re really cool about it. The other time in Germany, I was expecting them to tell me that German is a really hard language. Well no, they asked me, "Dad, how do you say ‘thank you’?". I want them to have an international education, not to become typical American kids. But to get back to your question, I think we have to stop thinking like that, because the world is becoming smaller; "What do you think of France? What do you think of Germany?". We’re all from the same planet and it’s not very big.

You talked about the elections and added that you would not say anything more about it. Why?

Duff: Because I'm aware that I'm part of a successful band and that I can influence people with my words. And I don't want that. I want everyone to make up their own minds, think about it. And it's quite possible. When I went to college to take business classes, there were 18- or 19-year-old kids, and I can tell you that they can think and reflect on things. I have no right to interfere with that by speaking out. That's why I'm telling you that I don't want George Bush to be our next president.

How do you determine which Stone Temple Pilots and Guns N' Roses songs you're going to play on stage?

Dave: Like when you pick out your clothes in the morning. You pick the shirt you like the most. Well, there are some Guns songs that work better for Scott. It's not a rigid process, everyone makes suggestions, everyone vetoes, it's a democratic process. It's the same with the other covers.

Duff: We ended our shows in the States with "Surrender" by Cheap Trick. But nobody over here knows Cheap Trick. We can't allow ourselves to do that, so we close out our shows in Europe with Nirvana's "Negative Creep".

Dave: We also recorded Aerosmith and Queen covers, "No More, No More" and "Tie Your Mother Down", but we haven't played them live yet. The process of picking them was the same, there are billions of good songs from those two bands, but we decided on them based on Scott's voice.

You haven't stopped touring since the album came out.

Dave: That was the goal. But I have to admit, we're a little tired now! We were in London on Friday, Switzerland on Saturday, Italy on Sunday, Germany yesterday, Paris today.

Duff: And on top of playing, we do interviews!

Why are you so readily available for interviews now?

Duff: Because before that, we were in GN’R. Besides, we did a ton of promotion back then. Well "we", Slash and I did a lot of interviews. Now that we're a new and not so well known band, journalists don't have to go through 10,000 intermediaries to meet us. Everything is scaled down: our crew consists of seven people. On the Use Your Illusions tours there were 150 technicians, 26 trucks.

Dave: By the way, Duff, I was talking to the tour manager yesterday and you know what he told me? American Express runs a secret survey every year to see who spends the most on their card. When you were at the top, in 1992, the first one was Bill Gates or one of the top guys at Microsoft. And GN’R was second!

Duff: No?!

Dave: Well, if you charged everything on one American Express, like the hotels and all your excess stuff. In one year, you spent $57 million on one single card.


Last edited by Blackstar on Mon Aug 29, 2022 2:59 am; edited 3 times in total
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2004.11.DD - Rock Hard Magazine (France) - Interview with Duff and Dave Kushner Empty Re: 2004.11.DD - Rock Hard Magazine (France) - Interview with Duff and Dave Kushner

Post by Blackstar Sun Aug 28, 2022 3:44 pm

The Velvet Revolver show in Paris was on Sept. 7, 2004, and Izzy did join them on stage. From the izzyontour site:
09.07.2004 - Paris, France, Le Bataclan

set: Used To Lover Her, It's So Easy

info: After 45 minutes of the concert the whole band left the stage and after awhile Scott returned and said: "Hey Motherfuckers!! The fucking gunners are still alive (...) and tonight we got another gunner to play with us - Izzy Stradlin!!!". Fans screamed 'Izzy, Izzy!!' for more than a minute. Izzy wearing bandana and blue shirt entered the stage with his Yellow Gibson SG Angus Young and the band started to play Used To Love Her with Scott and Izzy sharing lead vocals. After the show Izzy talked with the fans outside the club, also gave some autographs and made many photos.
https://web.archive.org/web/20131205022925/http://www.izzyontour.com/2004.htm

Izzy had also joined VR on stage in Bologna (Sept. 4, 2004) and would also join them in Barcelona (Sept. 9, 2004).
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