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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.

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2019.04.15 - Rock Scene Magazine - Interview with Tracii

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2019.04.15 - Rock Scene Magazine - Interview with Tracii Empty 2019.04.15 - Rock Scene Magazine - Interview with Tracii

Post by Blackstar Mon Mar 18, 2024 8:54 pm

In this exclusive interview with Rock Scene, Tracii Guns looks back on his early experiences with music. He remembers being a young boy and sitting in the back of his mother’s boyfriend’s car in 1971 and hearing Led Zeppelin’s “Whole Lotta Love” for the first time. “It was overwhelming audio fear,” he recalls. “I remember thinking, I have to recreate that noise right now!”

On the way to the airport, they stopped by a newsstand. Tracii saw Jimmy Page, decked out in his dragon suit, on the cover of CREEM magazine. His mom told him, “That’s the guy making that noise on the record.” I saw that picture, and I’d never seen anything like it in my life,” Tracii says. “The imagery, the sound, it completely captivated me when I was five-and-a-half years old. From that point on it was all about, ‘Mom, play me something like that!’ Led Zeppelin II    was all I ever listened to until I was seven years old. The theremin coming in on the ‘Whole Lotta Love’ solo, that riff, the way Jimmy used reverb…everything had plate reverb on it. Everything sounded scary and dark and damp. I kinda pictured these dark figures in a really cloudy overcast environment being very moist and depressing. And I was so drawn to that.” Shortly after, Tracii heard a Black Sabbath greatest hits album. “The imagery on the cover was just, like, all these skeletons in a community, and the first song was ‘Iron Man.’ I was like, ‘Oh! There’s more of this.’ It was like a horror movie for your ears.”

Tracii met Slash when he was 12 and the two started learning guitar together. “By the time we were 13 or 14 we could really play. It was pretty amazing,” Tracii says. “The first Def Leppard and Iron Maiden records came out, and beyond Van Halen and Ozzy and Sabbath we were really into Aerosmith and Zeppelin and it was all about learning all those riffs. We had enough friends that played drums and bass and we had a little band.”

Tracii talks about when he first saw Motley Crue’s Mick Mars, who had such an impact on him. “At the time there was no one like him. He was fucking nasty. He was really tight, really nasty, a cool kinda distortion.” He also talks about how he got his sound and his style by listening to Ted Nugent’s “Stranglehold” at age 13, as well as the other tracks on the Double Live Gonzo! album, which was blues-oriented rock ‘n’ roll. “If I didn’t get exposed to that I may have never gotten exposed to that as part of my style,” Tracii says. “If I’m gonna learn ‘Stranglehold’ that means I’ve gotta learn the other three sides of that double album. That’s where I started picking up on the basic rock ‘n’ roll blues sound. The blues is the discipline that goes into creating metal.”

Tracii goes on to talk about the formation of L.A. Guns, which happened after going to see the band Shire, which featured Izzy Stradlin on bass, at the Roosevelt Hotel. After hanging out with Izzy, and band members coming and going, Tracii finally asked Axl, who had played with Izzy in Hollywood Rose, to sing in L.A. Guns—which he did, for a year. After living with Axl, Tracii fired him from the band but they remained friends. He then started talking about making a record label with Axl called Guns and Rose. They realized that should be the name of a band. Then Tracii called Izzy and he joined Guns N’ Roses with Axl as the singer. After six months, Tracii left the band and went full force with L.A. Guns.

The L.A. Guns sound came about as a result of all the music Tracii learned and was exposed to growing up. Today, he approaches the music much in the same way as he did more than 30 years ago for the first L.A. Guns record. “This is what I love—it’s my sound,” he says. “Phil [Lewis] sings on it, and the chemistry is identifiable. When I write a piece of music with that really weird fucking guitar sound and Phil sings on it, that’s L.A. Guns.”

https://rockscenemagazine.com/today/tracii-guns/

The GN'R related part starts around 15:50 minute mark.




Transcript of selected parts:

[...]

Tracii Guns: And that eventually, as we got into high school, I met Rob Gardner, who was the drummer that replaced Dave Melford. But Danny hung out with me for a long time. And then eventually we got Mike Jagosz to play singer, I think in 1982, right before I was sorta graduated high school, we changed the, you know, it was called LA Guns. That's it, that's the only band I started there and that's how I still am. Rob was in school, Rob Gardner was my high school buddy, Danny Tull I met at summer camp, and Mike Jagosz was a friend of Rob's from the time I was in high school, middle school, I think they went to John Burroughs and I went to Bancroft. So Rob told me about Mike. And then, let's see, that's not true. I went to see... somebody knew Dave. Okay, Rob knew Dave, that was Mike Jagosz' brother. Dave Jagosz. He was like classical, badass, you know, Klaus Mein kind of singer, you know. He had a band called Shire. They were playing at the Roosevelt Hotel. I remember this. I went there and Izzy was the bass player for that band. And they did like five songs. Immediately after I walked right into Izzy, "Hey man, who are you?" He was like, "Oh, I'm this guy." You know, we're like, "Oh, cool." And then we became friends like right away. And, we went to a Shire rehearsal at Dave and Mike's house and Mike Jagosz said, "Hey, I'm a singer, if you're looking for a singer, I want to be your singer." And [?] was like, "Well, I don't know, man, if you really sing, you sing like your brother?" and he's like, "I'm better than my brother." "No way, nobody's better than Dave." But he was, he was great, man. And he was like that Dio kind of thing too, just like really metal. And I really like metal, you know, and he's on the, you know, we did a recording, we have an EP that we did. That's Mike Jagosz, Rob Gardner, and a guy named Ole Beich from Denmark who was King Diamond's bass player back then. He committed suicide later. That was my first real band. We called it LA Guns and we played metal. We were off to the races.

That somehow evolved. Mike Jagosz got fired and I knew Axl from Izzy and they had a band, Hollywood Rose, but they had broken up because Izzy joined London. And we fired, Michael got fired and I just asked Axl, "Hey do you want to sing for LA Guns for a while?" And he's like, "Yeah!" So he was in LA Guns for about a year. And then Axl got fired from LA Guns. And Izzy quit London. And me and Axl lived together. And then we decided that, "Well, you can[?] fire me but we can still play music together." And like, "Yeah." So we had a great idea for a label. And the label would be called "Guns and Rose". We would make our own recordings, label. Five minutes later, we said, "No, that should be the name of the band." It's a great name, "Guns and Rose", that was the first thing. And we did it. I called Izzy and said, "Hey, we're gonna do a new band." And he was all in, and we were Guns N' Roses.

[...]
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2019.04.15 - Rock Scene Magazine - Interview with Tracii Empty Re: 2019.04.15 - Rock Scene Magazine - Interview with Tracii

Post by Soulmonster Thu May 02, 2024 9:05 am

Transcribed the relevant parts.
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