Saturday, November 8, 2008

Izzy Stradlin Interview, Part II

Izzy: "At some point in the mid-'80s, I heard a song of mine on the radio and for the first time, I felt that something really important had happened. Still, from time to time I listen to songs that I composed and recorded in the '80s on the radio, and I to say myself "Wow, incredible, there I am, but I was still just a teenager who just wanted to play the guitar."

What do you think about the fact that Live ... Like a Suicide and especially Appetite For Destruction became so popular?

Izzy: "I didn't have any idea that the band would become so big. Our lifestyle was very self-destructive, but at the same time we were very motivated by music. Nevertheless, I never imagined that we would ever become so famous."

What do you remember about the record GN'R Lies?

Izzy: "Good times. Those were very crazy times. I have memories of recording sessions, filming videos, touring, more recording sessions, more videos... It's a cycle that was repeated for seven or eight years."

People think that being a Rock Star is easy, but of course it isn't.

Izzy: "It is hard to stay sane when you are surrounded by madness."

What do you think is the reason that Guns N' Roses ended up separating? Do you think that the drugs played a great role in the breakup of the band?

Izzy: "I don't know if the drugs were the reason. When I left the band, I was completely clean for two and a half years, from 1989 on. And when I was myself again, I really didn't know what happened, because I wasn't there any longer."

But, the drug consumption in the band caused you to make the decision to leave?

Izzy: "Yes. As I told you, I was clean for two and a half years already. I was seeing how my friends were dying, and after some time of that I decided that I'd had enough. I didn't want to continue being a part of that. Now we're all clean, and that's great."

Most of the fans blame Axl Rose for the breakup of Guns N' Roses. Is he as problematic as he seems?

Izzy: "Axl is a very complicated guy, but very talented."

Yes, but everything seems to point to the fact that he was in charge when the band separated.

Izzy: "As I said, I wasn't there anymore, so I don't know."

Yes, but in your last years with the band, I suppose that you saw it coming?

Izzy: "At that time, my opinion was that the band should've taken a year off. But there was no where to go. When the flame is burning, it's very difficult to say: "OK, now we'll take a break." That never works."

After spending so many years sober, do you think it's possible for you to return to playing with your old friends?

Izzy: "Yes. Duff, in fact, appears on three songs on my new album. I spoke with Slash the other day and I was on the brink of performing a show with him, but it didn't work. Everyone is very active, healthy, and have lots of work to do."

Do you believe in Chinese Democracy? And I'm not talking about if there is democracy in China.

Izzy: (Laughter) "I believe that somewhere there's a disc with the title Chinese Democracy. (Laughter) I have listened to some tracks off the record and I enjoyed them."

With the album delayed for so many years, have you ever considered the possibility of re-recording Chinese Democracy with the original GN'R lineup?

Izzy: No. (Laughter)

Thanks for your time, Izzy. This is the first interview you've given this year, so it's a great honor for us.

Izzy: "Thanks for calling me."

It wasn't easy to get in touch with you again, so, thank you very much for taking the time. In closing, we always ask the musicians we interview what their five favorite albums are. So, can you please choose five albums that have had the greatest impact in your life?

Izzy: "Dark Side of the Moon by Pink Floyd, Toys in the Attic by Aerosmith, Never Mind the Bollocks by The Sex Pistols, Road to Ruin by The Ramones and Exile on Main St by The Rolling Stones."


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