Ultimate Classic Rock
Guns N’ Roses frontman Axl Rose might be a difficult guy, even for a metal god, but you’d never know it from his interview he did with That Metal Show on VH1 Classic last night (Nov 11).
Funny, articulate and at times humble, the interview seemed to usher in a kinder, gentler Rose, especially when asked about the band’s nomination for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. If GN’R get inducted, it would presumably team Rose with Slash and his other former bandmates. Although Rose has never reconciled with Slash, going so far as to call him a cancer, he only had kind things to say about the nomination.
“[Elton John] asked me to induct him,” said Rose, wearing shades, a black hat, jeans, and a partially unbuttoned white shirt. “I am very proud of that, still. I don’t know what [the nomination] means in terms of me and the old band … I don’t know — that is still all up in the air. It’s an honor to be on the nomination and I know there is definitely an element of the fans that really like that.”
After telling Rose they and others think he’s a very funny, nice guy, host Eddie Trunk and the other hosts asked him a bit about the rumors that have swirled around him for years.
“There are too many things, two decades of people talking. Most of the time they are talking about somebody who had a bias or might have said something and they were joking,” said Rose, adding that political feuds among publicists also caused him to be set up at times. “It didn’t hit me that I should nip it in the bud.”
He added that he has taken some of the talk personally and it’s taken him a long time to get over it but now he tries to not wade into the rumor mill.
That didn’t stop him from shaking his head over the more bizarre rumors, though.
“When ‘Sweet Child of Mine’ took off, KISS FM [in Los Angeles], the biggest DJ, talked about how I have a tattoo of California on one side [of my leg],” he said. “It’s like in England they wrote about how I ran over my dogs and ate them!”
He also talked about playing London’s O2 arena last year when former GN’R bassist Duff McKagan joined him onstage to play ‘Knockin’ On Heaven’s Door,’ ‘Nice Boys’ and ‘You Could Be Mine.’ He added that he and McKagan would work together again but didn’t mention any other plans to reunite with other former members. Rose has said many times int he past he would not reunite with Slash again.
“One of the two of us will die before a reunion,” Rose told Billboard in 2009. “However sad, ugly or unfortunate anyone views it, it is how it is.”
For now, though, Rose concentrated on his excitement about the current lineup of the band and how much he is enjoying his first U.S. tour in five years.
“I feel great with the lineup and the chemistry and stuff,” he said. “I feel the right people helped make [the 2008 record 'Chinese Democracy'] and the right people are playing that want to be here.”
When Chinese Democracy was recorded, there were a lot of extra songs that didn’t make it onto the album. Rose didn’t say when or if those songs will soon make it onto a new Guns N’ Roses album.
“Yeah, we’re trying to figure it out,” he said. “We’re working with new management and feeling things out in the US as we are going throughout the country.”
Those that think Rose’s spark has dimmed a bit, though, needn’t worry. When talking about the album cover for ‘Appetite for Destruction, he talked about the first cover shot that he wanted for the album.
“The original cover that was never made was going to be the Challenger exploding [in 1986],” he said. “It wasn’t meant derogatory. That photo just blew my mind and [the record company wouldn't let me use it because they said] ‘That is in bad taste.’”
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