Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Slash at Quart - Slash & Friends Setlist

Slash & Friends
Tuesday, June 30, 2009 10:30 PM - Midnight
Quart Festival, Kristiansand, Norway

Slash and Friends is:

Slash and John 5 (guitars), Chris Chaney (bass), Jason Bonham (drums), Franky Perez (vocals), & Teddy 'Zig-Zag' Andreadis (keybords).
Featuring special guests Ron Wood, Ozzy Osbourne, and Fergie.

"Immigrant Song"
"Highway to Hell"
"Hair of the Dog"
"Fall to Pieces"
"Black or White"
"Honky Tonk Women"
"Stay With Me"
"Knockin' on Heaven's Door"
"It's Only Rock N' Roll"
"Sweet Child O' Mine"
"Black Dog"
"War Pigs"
"I Don't Know"
"Crazy Train"
"Whole Lotta Love"
"Paradise City"

I don't have any audio or video of the set yet, so in the meantime, if you like, you can try out this pair of Snakepit shows from this same weekend - 14 years ago.

Slash's Snakepit - Paris - June 29, 1995
Slash's Snakepit - Roskilde Festival - July 2, 1995

Slash at Quart - Interview with Perla Hudson

In this interview, Perla talks about how Slash got involved with the Quart Festival.

Slash at Quart - Today's Main Stage Lineup

• Slash & Friends
• McQueen
• Skambankt
• Juke Kartel

Opening the show today will be Melbourne, Australia-based band Juke Kartel.

Hand-picked by Slash himself to open the show "Juke Kartel is about one thing only. Forget the branding, strip away the hype. All that matters is the music.Rocking loud and hard, with a respectful nod to the blues, Juke Kartel is a charismatic blend of talent, passion and dedication with a downright mischievous streak."

Next up is Skambankt, a Norwegian hard rock band from Klepp.

They play a mixture of classic rock'n'roll, punk and hard rock in the tradition of bands like Motörhead, AC/DC, Sex Pistols, Ramones and The Stooges. All the lyrics are in Norwegian, and they convey the real spirit of punk: against the state, against the system, against corruption, capitalism, monitoring, religious fanaticism, and generally hate and treachery. (Wikipedia)

Playing the penultimate slot is Brighton's own McQueen.

One of Slash' own personal favorites, in 2008 McQueen signed-up with new Manager Tom Zutaut, former head of A&R at Geffen Records and the man who signed Guns N' Roses.

"Zoot" wasted no time getting McQueen on the bill with Velvet Revolver for their UK tour before shipping the band out for a bullet tour of Australia and New Zealand, supporting Finnish band HIM.

Slash told Classic Rock Magazine that "the main band that I am excited about at the moment is McQueen. They’re one of those off-the-wall sorta left-field bands, all-girls, sorta heavy metal, but they’re really fucking committed - they take their shit very seriously. I played Nightrain with them in Nashville - and I haven’t played that song since before I left GN’R - and the singer, Leah, sang Paradise City at a Camp Freddy gig. It was impressive - she sang in key; there was no auto tuner on her voice. They have a lot of attitude, but if you don’t fuck with them, they’re very well behaved!"

However, the biggest star of this show may be the stage itself. The largest stage ever built in Norway - 576 square meters not including support stages or ramps - is situated at the base of the "Amfiet," a 10 acre lawn with spectacular view of the skerries outside Kristiansand.

Slash at Quart - The Artists Arrive

Slash at Quart

On June 30, 2009, legendary rocker Slash, will take the stage in Kristiansand, Norway for the 2009 Quart Festival.

For the opening night of the festival, Slash has invited several of his friends to join him on stage.

Slash will be joined by living legend Ozzy Osbourne, acclaimed rock drummer Jason Bonham, former Marilyn Manson guitarist John 5, Rolling Stones guitarist Ron Wood and Pop Star Fergie of the Black Eyed Peas.

"We've got a great set for Norway, but we're not playing any songs from my new CD," says Slash. Instead, Slash and Friends will perform some of music's greatest Rock N' Roll hits, including "Sweet Child O' Mine," "Crazy Train," "Black Dog," and many more.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Alex Grossi Interview

In a brand-new interview with Icon vs. Icon, South Windsor, Connecticut-born rock-guitarist Alex Grossi talks about his stint with Adler's Appetite and his work on Dizzy Reed's solo album with producer Del James.

Interview by Jason Price.

For those how might not know, how did you get involved with Steven Adler and Adler’s Appetite?

I have been working with Steven on and off for about five years now. I initially got contacted by Kevin DuBrow of Quiet Riot, to do some solo show before Quiet Riot reformed in 2004, that turned into the Bad Boys of Metal tour. It was a summer package that featured Joe Lesté of Bang Tango, Jani Lane of Warrant, Steven Adler of Guns N’ Roses and Kevin DuBrow, with me playing guitar for all four bands. I was literally on stage for four hours a night. During that time, Steven and I became really good friends and after the tour we kept in touch. I did some solo shows with him and after his stint on Celebrity Rehab with Dr. Drew, he decided to reform the band and called me. The rest is history!

Adler’s Appetite parted ways with one singer and now you have brought Rick Stitch in to handle the vocals. What does Rick bring to the table?

It is really, really difficult when you are trying to emulate something that people are so familiar with. Appetite for Destruction sold well over 30 million copies worldwide and people know every note from that album. We just played over in Argentina. They don’t speak English but they can even sing the guitar solos! So, we needed someone who can be true to the music but we also don’t want to be a tribute band. The drummer in this band, Steven, wrote a fifth of the music playing on that album. When we made the singer change, a lot of people would contact me or Steven through Myspace. They were wearing the bandanna and one even went so far as to have the fake Axl Rose tattoos put on. That wasn’t what we wanted. We wanted a guy who can hit the notes and do the stuff but at the same time is not a clone. We’re not Steel Dragon, ya know! [laughs] Rick has been great. It is nice to have a guy who is on the same page off stage as he is on stage. What people don’t realize about a touring band that works as hard as we do is that you have to live with these people twenty four hours a day. You may have two straight days off in the middle of God knows where or Iowa and you have to be friends. Certain people get along, certain people don’t but that is the nature of the beast. Instead of being married to one person, try being married to five or six! That’s basically what it is like.

You mentioned recording guitars for Dizzy Reed’s solo debut and I know Del James is serving as producer on that release. What can you tell us about this project and any idea on when it may hit stores?

I have no idea about it’s release date. I know that they are mixing it right now. Once Chinese Democracy came out, I am sure it took a little bit of a back burner. Working with Del was great. For a guy who doesn’t really play an instrument he has a really great ear. He will walk into the room and say “No, no! Do it more like…” and then throw out some crazy analogy that ends up making perfect sense at the end of the day! It was really great working with those guys. As a Guns N’ Roses fan, and I am sure not too many people will be a fan of me saying this, but it is cool to work on every end of the spectrum. By that I mean, I am working with a guy who was there at the very beginning, Steven Adler, all the way up to the guys who are in the band now. Whether that ties the two things together, I can tell you 100% that it does not, but it is really cool to hear the stories and the history of the band. If you think about it, as far as I am concerned, they are the band of my generation. You had The Who, Led Zeppelin and The Beatles for previous generations. As far as rock bands and anyone that is in their early thirties to forties, our band is Guns N’ Roses or Nirvana but definitely one of the two.

Have you had a Spinal Tap Moment on stage?

[laughs] This entire tour has been a Spinal Tap Moment! [laughs] The most recent one was about a week and a half ago. We played a show called Cornstock. It was held in a huge corn field. Big, big show! Tons of people, great show! However, when we got there the promoter came onto the bus and said “Fellas we have a little bit of a problem here. See that there inflatable beer can?” because it was sponsored by Budweiser and they had one of those giant fifty foot beer cans. They had to tear down the entire stage and move it around this beer can. All I could think about was Stonehenge! It was what Stonehenge should have been if it were a can of beer! We had to wait four hours in the sun due to a giant inflatable beer can, so that was very Spinal Tap. Whoever wrote that movie must have been in a band or followed a band around because they were dead on. They actually predicted the future in a lot of ways. They always say watch Spinal Tap and then go on tour for ten years and then watch it again, you will be laughing so hard your ribs hurt! [laughs]

What should we be on the lookout for from you in the coming months?

Definitely the new Adler’s Appetite record! Right now, I have a song out in the new Sandra Bullock movie The Proposal, so if you feel like hearing a song by Beautiful Creatures in a Walt Disney picture, a family movie, that was written by a very un-family band, check that out! [laughs] It is pretty cool! Also look out for possibly some more Paul Reed Smith Road Show dates and a ton more of Adler’s Appetite dates, that’s for sure!

There's much more to this interview, and you can read the entire thing here.

Bumblefoot Interview - Brazilian Guitar Player Magazine

There's a "new" Bumblefoot interview in the current issue of Brazilian Guitar Player Magazine (with Joe Satriani on the cover).

It's pretty much the same Bumblefoot interview we've read several times before - but at least he's talking!

Guns N' Roses' Ron "Bumblefoot" Thal
by Henrique Inglez de Souza

Delayed, expensive, polemic. Those are some of the most common words for Chinese Democracy, the so spoken of latest album from Guns N' Roses. Released at the end of 2008, it was the first studio record in 15 years and brought significant changes. Among other things, the band is really different from the time they had Slash. The band's hard rock added eletronic music elements and now has not only two, but three guitar players - the current ones are Ron "Bumblefoot" Thal, Richard Fortus and DJ Ashba.

Putting aside comparsions, Chinese Democracy is historic. Now you can read this exclusive interview with Bumblefoot, one of the five guitar players who recorded the album.

How do you join Guns N' Roses?

In 2004, Joe Satriani put me in contact with managers, producers and band members.

When did you record your parts for Chinese Democracy?

Before the North-American tour in 2006, in Los Angeles studios. After the tour, we finished in New York, in the begining of 2007.

What was your work?

When I joined the band, the songs were already written and recorded. I added my parts and some new stuff, like the fretless guitar in the title-track verses. We spent 10 hours or more a day in the studio. I recorded everything I brought, testing different ideas with the fretless guitar for rhythm and solos. At the end of each day, we heard the material and decided the final touches.

What was your gear in those recordings?

For the most part, I kept a simple setup: Gibson Les Paul plugged in a Marshall JCM800. Sometimes I used a wah-wah (Vox or Dunlop) or distortion (Boss Blues Driver). I used a lot of the fretless guitar Vigier Surfreter.

Your tone mixes rawness with some blues.

Yeah, it's a classic rock very simple, which creates a good contrast and balance with the other guitar tones in the album. We tried some amps and also different guitars and pickups setups for each song. We tried everything and we chose the best tones. Credit goes to the sound engineer guys and producers, they were amazing.

Are there songs for two more albums besides Chinese Democracy? Are you making some kind of trilogy?

I wouldn't expect a trilogy because I learned that each album gets its own life and it doesn't matter if we want to plan this kind of thing. It doesn't always work. The songs on Chinese Democracy were not all of what we recorded. There's more and we expect to use it on the next albums.

Which of the old songs do you like to play live?

Some because of its energy and groove, like "My Michelle" and "It's So Easy," others for the solos, like "Nightrain" and "November Rain," besides the ones the crowd loves like "Welcome to the Jungle" and "Paradise City."

Do you keep the original line or come up with something new in the old songs solos?

In some I keep faithful to the original because there is solos that are more than just solos. They are an important melody and gives an identity to the song. To change it would be like changing the lyrics. This is the case in "November Rain" ending solo. But in songs like "Nightrain" and "Paradise City" I can jam something different every night, playing with my inspiration.

How do you, Fortus and DJ share the guitar parts?

In a general way, I do the most crazy stuff, DJ gets the melodic parts and Fortus plays something in the middle of all this. It's a good way of keep our identity in this wall of guitars. We do something like that in the rhythm, when I play the low tonic of the chords and riffs with the bass. Fortus fills up the rest of the chords while DJ puts something on top of that. This is the general idea, but it all depends on what sound better for each song. We're getting along well and working a lot on our guitar sounds. We tried different instruments and heads. We're polishing the sound that the crowd will hear, which is very important. After all, whats the use of getting a great guitar tone on stage if the sound that makes to the crowd is bad? Everyone, band and staff, worked hard to make sure that the sound that people hear will be the best.

Is there a solo on the new album that could be as classic as Sweet Child O' Mine?

Oh, I don't know! The current band and the old one sound different. It's hard to say. I'm more of a fan of the song as a whole than the solos. To me, "Sorry" and "This I Love" stand out from the others in a general way. "Better" could also be the song of this album. It starts with a remarkable riff. It has a cool sound.

Are you inspired by any of the Guns N' Roses ex-guitarists?

I try not to be. Not to be direspectful, but because I want everything to be authentic, untied and without any influence in relation to how a particular guitar player would play. Otherwise I wouldn't be truthful to myself. Integrity is everything in life. I've already met Gilby Clarke a few times and Izzy Stradlin was with us in the 2006 tour. They are both great guys. If it was to be inspired by them, it would be in a personal level in a way I could play with integrity and still be myself.

How is to work with Axl Rose?

Axl has a vision of work in which I believe. Part of it is to let your bandmates be themselves, creativity-wise and letting them do what they have in mind. It's great!

From the things we hear and read about Axl, what is not true?

Almost everything. [laughs] Don't believe in half of what you read and doubt the other half. People don't want the truth, but instead they want to be entertained. They believe and repeat whatever story is entertaining, even if it trashes a person's name. Don't believe it unless you have seen it with your own eyes.

Thanks to Voodoochild at HTGTH.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Adler's Appetite on Eddie Trunk June 29

The band will appear on Eddie Trunk's popular syndicated radio program on 6/29 at 6PM.

Check out Eddie's site for more info.

Here's Eddie interviewing Steven at last year's Rocklahoma Fest.

Is it just me, or does Eddie Trunk remind you of Seth Rogen too?

Last month, Steven told Beat Magazine that his autobiography will be out in late-January 2010.

Adler's Appetite Upcoming Tour Dates:

27 - Monroe City, MO - The Dam Rally
28 - St Louis, MO - The Library
30 - New Bedford, MA - New Wave Cafe

01 - Rumford, ME - The Shak
02 - Farmingdale, NY - Crazy Donkey
03 - Cinncinati, OH - Riverstar Entertainment Complex
04 - Bridgeville, IL - Toyota Park Festival
05 - St Paul, MN - Taste Of Minnesota (Harriet Island)

15 - Lake Elsinore, CA - Storm Stadium Rock Fest
28 - Universal City, CA - City Walk

Friday, June 26, 2009

Guns N' Roses Bootlegs

Periodically I find a site/blog that I feel is worth more than just a link on the sidebar. I've been aware of Ulises and his blog for a while, but lately, he's started uploading live shows so frequently, I thought he deserved a mention.

Guns N' Roses Bootlegs is an MP3 & FLAC audio blog that features no official material, just bootlegs and live recordings.

Chances are - if you're looking for it - Ulises has got it.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

The King is Dead

But not forgotten.

R.I.P. Michael Jackson
August 29, 1958 – June 25, 2009

Artwork Update

Visual artist Sandra Yagi posted the following update to her blog this morning.

Guns N' Roses album

Axl Rose had purchased three of my paintings late last year, of which two pieces were to be included in a limited edition album release. To my knowledge, it was never widely released, though I received a copy from the band. I was looking at some stats for my website, and noticed a big spike in views and it appears that there is a big discussion among the GNR fans about the unreleased album, and in particular the images. Here is a link to a blog that discusses it, and they even included my painting "Lizard Part of my Brain."

Beyond the Comfort Zone

This explains the typos and errors we found - the booklet is 6 months old. These promo copies of the album are going to be quite the collectors' items. I haven't seen them on eBay yet, but they are being sold at Amoeba Music in Hollywood for $100 a pop.

Thanks to Olorin and TOTAL LOSS at GNR Evolution for the find.

More Leaked Artwork
Well Anyway It Feels the Same

GN'R Road Trip Parts I-III

A Lena Boone 'toon.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Dizzy Reed and Friends

Dizzy Reed & Friends will be appearing at The Viper Room every Saturday in August at 10PM.

The Viper Room is at 8852 West Sunset Boulevard, in West Hollywood, California.

I'm going to go ahead and guess that this latest Dizzy Reed project is in someway related to his "upcoming" solo album.

Featuring keyboards and vocals by Dizzy Reed, and lyrics by Del James and Dizzy Reed, the album was recorded over the past 5 years or so in California.

It features guitars by Richard Fortus, Ron "Bumblefoot" Thal, Alex Grossi (Bang Tango, Beautiful Creatures, Adler's Appetite), Todd Youth (Danzig, Murphy’s Law, D-Generation), Whitey Kirst (Iggy Pop), Ricky Warwick (The Almighty), Jeff Duncan (Armored Saint, DC4) and Bobby Hamble (Biohazard).

Bobby Hamble plays on the track "Cheers To Oblivion."
Jeff Duncan plays on the track "Mother Theresa."
Alex Grossi seems to be the "main" guitarist, he claims to have played on every track.

Tommy Stinson, Mike Duda (W.A.S.P.), Greg Coates (The Bangkok 5) and Chuck Wright (Quiet Riot), all share bass duties on the record.

On the drums, Dizzy has Frank Ferrer, Frankie Banelli (Quiet Riot), Mike Dupke (W.A.S.P.) and Adrian Young (No Doubt). Anthony "Tiny" Biuso (The Dickies, T.S.O.L.) also plays drums on two tracks.

The disc is due out sometime this century.

I've been looking forward to hearing more of Dizzy's material ever since I heard these 2 tracks of his from The Still Life Soundtrack.

I really do like his voice and I hope the new material he's got has the same "glam" feel as these 2 tracks.

Did I mention that I love Bowie and T-Rex?

"The Air"

"Silent Light"

Monday, June 22, 2009

Duff McKagan's Loaded Live in Munich

June 14, 2009. "Queen Joanasophina" and "I Wanna Be Your Dog."

Loaded Tour Dates:

6/22/09 - Wettingen - Sportzentrum
6/23/09 - Cologne - Palladium
6/26/09 - Milan - Idroscalo Festival
6/27/09 - Dessel, Belgium (Graspop Metal Meeting)
6/28/09 - Amsterdam - Melkweg

More dates to come. Check this link.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Dads Who Rock

This week, Rolling Stone is featuring a 34 picture photo gallery of 'Dads Who Rock.'

Above is guitarist Slash and his little boy Cash at the Nickelodeon's 2009 Kids' Choice Awards on March 28, 2009.

Happy Fathers' Day guys.

-Daddy Mack (aka The Mack Daddy)

Friday, June 19, 2009

Alumni News

Via his Twitter account, Slash posted a recent picture of himself and his mother Ola Hudson. Great shirt Slash, and thanks for being so open with your fans during such a difficult time.

Slash is scheduled to play Norway's Quart Fest on June 30.

Canadian guitarist and vocalist Rob Lamothe just the posted MP3s of his Velvet Revolver audition on his official site.

I think he has a pretty cool voice.



(right-click, save as)

Meanwhile, former Velvet Revolver vocalist Scott Weiland recently told ARTISTdirect that Stone Temple Pilots has "18 songs written, and vocals are written on about 10 of them."

Former Velvet Revolver bass player Duff McKagan was interviewed on June 10 at the Caribana festival in Switzerland. The interview focused mainly on Duff's new disc with his band Loaded. According to Duff, "it's a straight-up Rock 'n' Roll record."

Next week I'll be publishing my belated review of the album - Sick.

An extended video of Adler's Appetite playing this past Monday night at the SoDo nightclub in Colorado Springs, is embedded below.

Their set: Nightrain, My Michelle, Civil War, Mr. Brownstone, Knockin' on Heaven's Door, Rocket Queen, Mama Kin, Sweet Child O' Mine, Paradise City, Welcome To The Jungle.

Finally, thanks to the kind folks at ChopAway.com, I was able to put together this video slideshow of Izzy Stradlin performing "Battleship Chains" live. I'm guessing that the recording is from his 2000 European tour. Thanks for the audio guys. Enjoy.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Happy Birthday Diz

Darren Arthur "Dizzy" Reed, was born on this date, June 18, 1963 in Hinsdale, Illinois.

He is best known as the keyboardist for Guns N' Roses, with whom he has played, toured and recorded since 1990.

Aside from frontman Axl Rose, Reed is the only member of Guns N' Roses to remain from the band's Use Your Illusion era.

These days you can catch Dizzy playing with his newest project, 'Empty V.'

Empty V plays once a week at the Dragongly in Santa Monica, California.

In 'Empty V,' Dizzy is joined by Eric Dover (Slash's Snakepit), Scott Griffin (LA Guns), and Troy Patrick Farrell of White Lion. They play the "hottest hits of the Eighties," everything from Huey Lewis to Prince.

You can listen to Dizzy's Glam-Rock masterpiece, "The Air," by clicking on the video below.

Happy Birthday Diz!

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

More Leaked Artwork

Well Anyway It Feels the Same

"Everybody's acting like we can do anything and it don't matter what we do.
Maybe we gotta be extra careful because maybe it matters more than we even know."

I'm told that second and third album covers, along with the new book will be available for purchase on June 30.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Chinese Democracy Guitar Tab Book

Coming June 30 from Hal Leonard, The Chinese Democracy Guitar Tab Book.

Awesome. It's great to see things moving again with this project. I hope the book is well done. There's a lot of guitars on this record, so it could be a pretty sweet book (if they do it well).


Duff at Download: Talks Sick, VR and Money

Duff McKagan's Loaded played Download 2009 over the weekend, and I have just a few videos to share, but first, the news.

Duff told Contact Music that he expects their new singer to "land in their laps."

He said, "either you've got the guy or you've not and we've worked with some really talented guys. The trick is getting the chemistry right. Slash is making his solo record, which he's desperately needed to do for years, so I'll keep working with my other band Loaded, he'll do that and music will happen when it's supposed to happen. The right guy will fall into our laps when he is supposed to and maybe that's why it hasn't happened yet."

In a separate interview with Noisecreep, Duff says, "anybody that spends too much on a record these days, that's fool's money spent. Nobody sells records like we did in the '90s or '80s. It's not the business model anymore. People get their music for free off the Internet."

"We signed with a small, indie label which was really cool. There's not a lot of pressure like you get from a major. Major labels are becoming a thing of the past."

"The great thing about this band is that we just don't give a fuck. We'll play anyplace, and it's refreshing. It is kind of rewarding when you become the buzz of a town when someone sees you and finds you are playing. We sell records at the gigs. Who knows? By July this could be an underground summer record."

Friday, June 12, 2009

Adler's Looking Forward to Seeing You

Don't miss Adler's Appetite at Toyota Park in Bridgeview, IL on July 4 where they will be on the same bill as LA Guns and Lita Ford with Bumblefoot.

13 - Las Vegas, NV - Cheyenne Saloon
15 - Colorado Springs, CO - Sodo Niteclub
16 - Oklahoma City, OK - Rock Theater
18 - Tolono, IL - Radmaker’s
19 - Cedar Rapids, IA - Rock 198 KFMW Festival
20 - Shaumburg, IL - Chicago City Limits
21 - Greenville, WI - Route 51
23 - Warren, MI - The Ritz
25 - Harris, WI - The Back Door
26 - Waterloo, IA - Reverb Rock Room
27 - Monroe City, MO - The Dam Rally
28 - St Louis, MO - The Library
30 - New Bedford, MA - New Wave Cafe

01 - Rumford, ME - The Shak
02 - Farmingdale, NY - Crazy Donkey
03 - Cinncinati, OH - Riverstar Entertainment Complex
04 - Bridgeville, IL - Toyota Park Festival
05 - St Paul, MN - Taste Of Minnesota (Harriet Island)

15 - Lake Elsinore, CA - Storm Stadium Rock Fest
28 - Universal City, CA - City Walk

Slash and Conan Go Guitar Shopping

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Duff: "Why Are We Rehearsing at 3 in the Morning?"

On the corner of a big Los Angeles intersection stands an office block you could pass a thousand times and not take in. At ground level, there are a few shops, a couple of places to eat and the ubiquitous Starbucks. Nothing the tiniest bit special.

It's here (armed with a skinny cappuccino) that I meet someone totally out of place in the mundane surroundings - Duff McKagan, American hard-rock institution.

Taking in the fortysomething with short, spiky blond hair and aviator shades, you know he couldn't be anything but a rock'n'roller.

Founder member and bassist of Guns N' Roses, he's now bassist in Velvet Revolver (with his GN'R mates Slash and Matt Sorum) and frontman of his own group Loaded.

I also gather he's a seriously daring mountaineer, martial arts expert, financial guru for Playboy.com (yes, really) and budding radio presenter in his home town of Seattle where he also writes a local blog.

Tonight, he brings Loaded and songs from the band's riotous new album Sick to Download 2009 at Donington Park, on the same bill as a much anticipated performance from the reformed Faith No More. But, as we take a table outside Starbucks in the early LA summer sunshine, this pencil-thin, sober, super-fit character tells me he's "just happy to be alive".

He experienced it all - the women, the drugs, the extreme highs, the devastating lows and, most of all, the booze.

"If I wrote about what happened to me in 1994, it would have to be called All The Shit I Don't Remember," he explains.

That was the year he contracted acute alcohol-induced pancreatitis (his pancreas swelled to the size of a football) and he was told to give up booze or die.

"And I wanted to die because it hurt so bad and there was no escape. I was pleading with the doctors to kill me."

1994 was the year he became sober.

"If I drank, I would have died. It was very black and white," he continues. "When I got sober, I really started to get in touch. I took up martial arts. My sensei told me to look at myself in the mirror every day and say, 'Yesterday, I did everything right that I could do'. I'm proud of that."

It was at this point Duff began to realise he wanted out of Guns N' Roses, which, with Axl Rose at its helm, had become the biggest band in the world.

"I met my wife Susan and she got pregnant. And as I was about to have this kid, I started thinking , 'Shit, there's only me and Axl left (of the original members).'

"Why are we rehearsing at three in the morning? I don't want to do it anymore. I got a life.

"I was kind of hoping the band would get back together. I was under a lot of pressure but I was looking like the level-headed guy.

"Our manager was calling me every day for advice. What a scared little prick. I'm going, 'Dude, manage the fucking band. You're the manager!' I started to look around and go, 'What a bunch of morons'."

It's sad to reflect on the disintegration of a band who made some of the finest rock albums since Led Zeppelin - Appetite For Destruction, Use Your Illusion I and II.

Duff remembers the band's humble beginnings in LA. "Five guys who started in this town. We were living in squalor with nothing but a united belief in what rock'n'roll was,

"And we brought enough different shit and we trusted each others' opinions and we liked each others' influences. We toughed it out. We didn't care. Then not just America but the whole world were like, 'Yeah, we relate to this whole thing'."

All these years later, I ask Duff what he thinks of Chinese Democracy, the Guns N' Roses album that took an excruciating 15 years to make with only Axl of the original line-up present.

It's a question he gets asked a lot. "Number one, what does it matter what I think of it?" he replies. "But for the record, Axl sings great on it. There are some songs I really like and some I don't.

"People have read it as, 'Oh, Duff doesn't like it,' but it's not like that at all."

This brings us on to the subject of Velvet Revolver, formed in 2002 as a kind of hard-rock supergroup made up of ex-G N'R members, Dave Kushner from Wasted Youth and, until he left, Stone Temple Pilots' singer Scott Weiland.

For Duff, the lead-up to Scott's departure in April 2008 was a particularly harrowing time.

As someone who's been sober "apart from a couple of stumbles" since 1994, he was watching the singer going "over to the other side".

"Our last month and a half of touring with him was brutal," says Duff. "I guess maybe it's not fully known that Slash, Matt, Dave and I decided that we were going to get rid of him.

"We tried to bring him back but we couldn't do it. His old demons popped back up. Look, I'm a drug addict, I totally get it but he was too far gone. None of us had the energy to go through that.

"So we actually fired him on April Fools Day after the gig in Amsterdam. I wish him the best of luck."

Now VR are on enforced hiatus as they look for a new singer. "We've written all the music for the next album and the songs are huge," says Duff. "Scott was an amazing frontman, one of the best on the planet, but I think we still have our best record to come.

"But until Velvet Revolver find a singer, I'm putting 110% of my energy into Loaded. The new record was really fun and really inspired."

You can see elements of Duff's other bands in Sick but there's a clear nod to his youth and his love of punk rock - "the 13-year-old kid who saw the Clash in Seattle in 1979".

This is Loaded's third album, arriving a full eight years since Dark Days, and finds Duff swapping bass for lead vocals and guitar.

One song kind of sums up Duff's life less ordinary - Slide. It goes, "The Seventies gave us punk rock/The Eighties gave us crap/Nineties junky chic so cool, I don't remember much of that".

Then he turns to me and smiles: "Well fuck, I survived all that shit and I'm here feeling really great about it."

The Sun

Duff in London Town

From Duff's Twitter:

Just got to London. Playing live on Radio 5 and Absolute Radio today. Giving Manic Street Preachers a MOJO award tonite. Tomorrow DOWNLOAD!!

And from Duff's Seattle Weekly blog:

My family comes to Europe tomorrow, and I am more than excited to see them. Tomorrow in London, Squires and I will play live on the radio to something like eight million listeners. No pressure. Later that day, I will present an award to the Manic Street Preachers at the MOJO Awards (a big British awards show). On Friday, Loaded plays the Download Festival, probably the pinnacle of any rock band's career. I have played it with GN'R, and twice with VR. Next week? We start our European tour with Mötley Crüe. Oh, the stories I could tell . . .

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

New Music From Izzy Stradlin

Nomad Recording Studio
Friday, March 20, 2009

"JT Longoria is the process of mixing new tracks for Izzy Stradlin (Guns N' Roses)."

Keep in mind, this update is from nearly 3 months ago, so we may hear some new music from Izzy "soon."

Last week, it was announced that Izzy will play guitar on Slash's solo album.

Thanks to ChopAway

Monday, June 8, 2009

Ola Hudson 1947-2009

Slash's mother, Ola Hudson, passed away unexpectedly on June 5 after a battle with lung cancer. She was a professional costume designer named who designed clothing for acts such as John Lennon, Diana Ross, Ringo Starr, Flip Wilson, Helen Reddy, Linda Ronstadt, James Taylor and the Pointer Sisters. She was best known for designing David Bowie's Man Who Fell to Earth wardrobe.

On behalf of myself and Guns N' Roses fans worldwide, I wish to extend deep and heartfelt sympathy to Slash and his family in this difficult time.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Some Things Didn't Work So Well

The Daily News has a short piece today on their Gossip page that says Axl Rose has fired and rehired his manager, Irving Azoff, at least three times in the last five weeks. It also says that Rose is an "admitted manic-depressive." This is untrue - Rose has never admitted to having a mood disorder. The fully story after the jump.

From The New York Daily News Gossip Page:

Axl Rose has been having mood swings. The Guns N’ Roses front man, an admitted manic-depressive, has fired and rehired famed manager Irving Azoff at least three times in the last five weeks, according to a source. The reclusive rocker is said to be resisting Azoff’s pleas to try to revive sales of the band’s recent album, Chinese Democracy. “Axl doesn’t want anything to do with it,” says the insider. “He won’t come out of his house.”

A source close to Azoff admits, “Axl is Axl. People get hired and fired all the time in this business.”

But Azoff’s rep says that, as of last week, he and Rose are talking again: “We’re in daily contact with Axl, and we look forward to continuing to support him and Guns N’ Roses.”

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Slash at Quart Fest

Slash (via Twitter) announced the linep for his Quart Fest gig today.

The band consits of Jason Bonham (drums), Chris Chaney (bass), John 5 (guitar), Franky Perez (vocals) & Teddy 'Zig-Zag' Andreadis (keyboards).

Special guests will include Fergie, Ron Wood & Ozzy Osbourne.

Slash: "Should be a gas."

Part II of NEW Bumblefoot Interview

A HUGE "Thank-you" goes out to eye2eye at the Chinese Democracy Forum.

Q : Which song on Chinese Democracy did you contribute the most to?

Ron :
Oh, that's not an easy question. In "Shackler's Revenge" there is of course my solo. But sometimes I played things normal listener won't hear. For example in the song "I.R.S". I don't play solos on this, but I laid down a lot of guitars in the background, the most among the Chinese Democracy songs. They're not heard at first, but they're there for sure. Only know, when we start to play those songs during rehearsals, I start to remember how many guitars I recorded. I totally forgotten about them. Hmm, if I have to point songs with my biggest contributions I'd choose "Shackler's Revenge", "Catcher in the Rye" and "Chinese Democracy" on that one my rhythm parts changed song a lot. I also used fretless guitar on "Scraped". Those songs really show my guitar playing. Also I add small parts here and there, for example short bluesy solo at the end of the second verse of "Better". Generally I really like my rhythm parts, for me they're the most important think I recorded, they changed a lot. After those parts songs became more rock n' roll than industrial.

Q: What do relationships inside the band look like? Is it democracy inside or it is "Chinese democracy" with one man rule?

I'd say that there is democracy inside. We all have great contributions to the band, we share opinions, ideas. We all make choices...People from outside like to make theories, that in GN'R there is only one man ruling. It's not true. Of course, Axl has all the rights to the name. If some is to make a definitive decision, of course it's up to him. But it's not a dictatorship. He treats as all very well. And we respect it. I won't run all over the world with statement that Guns N' Roses is my band and everyone do what I tell to do. We won't behave that way, Axl as well not. As far as ideas - musical or other are concerned everyone gives opinions and we all are interested in all points of view, others feelings.

Q: Do you meet each other outside the studio?

Ron :
Of course. There are weeks, when we go out together almost every day, sitting whole night and going into trouble (laugh). We're in touch all the time. For example last week I went to San Diego to play charity show with Nashville country artists. I played on acoustic guitar with them, then as a band member. It was all for navy veterans. On the way there I exchanged about 30 messages with Axl , basically doing jokes all the time. It's how it look like. Last night, phone rings, I reach for it and I see funny message from Axl I replied immediately. And we write to each other like this all the time almost without stop. Or Richard sent us all e-mails in which he was making fun of George Bush. Yesterday I, Frank and guys from the band were at the hotel and started a party. Customers made a lot complains about noise , co we have to go down to continue party in the lobby. We all make such things as it happens in the pack of friends.

Q: How often do you make rehearsals?

Ron :
I've been in L.A. since January. At first we had try-outs for new guitar players. Then I took care of my equipment: amps, etc. I was checking what would be the best for the tour, it took some time. Also we needed some tweaks when DJ joined us. Those months were very intense, because of practicing all the stuff. I hope we'll move our asses and start touring.

Q: Is there any new material played on those rehearsals?

Ron :
At the moment no. We're focused on Chinese Democracy. We must played that material through before we do something new. I feel that we are not finished with it - no matter how stupid it sounds. We didn't do everything what is right, with that album. We didn't make a tour, some other things lacked. So before we start something new, we must be sure that we did everything he could with that album.

Q: There were information about Chinese Democracy being first part of trilogy, It is rumored that the material has been already recorded. Or maybe you started recording something new in that line-up?

Ron :
I would like it to be that way, to create together. But I played on many other songs, I added solos, rhythm parts, fills some of them didn't make it on the album. I don't know if it be a trilogy out of this or it was only a rumour , which gone out of control. Maybe there was such idea, but ideas change. When you record an record, you start with one idea, but finish with something totally different and have to discard previous ideas. It's hard to say, maybe on the one stage there were plans of doing trilogy, but as far as I'm concerned I don't think it will happen. But it is possible it was an idea or it was only loud thinking and someone took it as a definitive plan. It happened with my albums as well. Last one was supposed to be double - one CD with heavy stuff, second with ballads. I discarded that idea and I created Abnormal.


ANOTHER New Bumblefoot Interview

Thanks to eye2eye @ the Chinese Democracy Forum.

Q : Having this in mind. I want to know how you share guitar duties in Guns N' Roses. In the past it was simple : there was guy who played solos, and there was guy who played rythm. Now there are three guitar players...

Ron :
You're right, in the post there was rythm and solo player. Now you got three solo players, and every with totally different style. DJ is someone like Slash, he plays melodic parts, but also can play very fast. He is very talented guy. Richard Fortus can play everything on awesome level. I'm also very flexible considering style, but I play usually all weird stuff - tapping, untypical sounds etc. So I think that I am responsible in GN'R for all the crazy, weird, new parts, DJ is for melodies and Richard has a share in everything. We share it that way, but it is also why I don't play as much melodic parts as I am able to. But that is how it works in Gn'R.

Q: Does the proportions changed when DJ joined the band ?

Ron :
Not really. We tried to keep it as it worked in the past. By the way some songs have as much as three solos so everyone plays one in that case.

Q: And how it looked like on Chinese Democracy?

Ron :
I played a lot of things. Many rythm parts, many solos. In some songs, solos had been recorded for years. And after such time it seemed that playing anythind different in that place wouldn't be a good idea. We simply left it as it was. Live I play all the parts, orginally written and recorded by Buckethead and those, which I recorded myself. DJ will take Robin parts along with Richard. Richard of course plays his parts as well. Guitar wise there is a lot of interesting things on Chinese Democracy.

There's much more to this interview here.

Fall to Pieces

Mary Weiland, the estranged wife of Stone Temple Pilots/ex-Velvet Revolver singer Scott Weiland, will publish her memoir, Fall to Pieces, on October 27, 2009 via William Morrow, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers.

A description of the book reads as follows:

"A visceral, rollercoaster ride inside bipolar disorder, rock 'n' roll, celebrity culture, and the competitive world of modeling from a rock star wife and recovering drug addict.

On the surface, Mary Weiland had a fairy-tale life. She was a highly paid fashion model married to successful rock star Scott Weiland, the notorious frontman for Stone Temple Pilots and Velvet Revolver. Then came the rampage in a Burbank hotel room and the resulting media frenzy that revealed to the world her bipolar disorder and drug abuse.

In Fall to Pieces, Weiland describes the extreme highs and lows of her life, the volatility of which long hinted at mental illness. Working with acclaimed journalist Larkin Warren, Weiland tells her story with refreshing candor, unflinching detail, and more than a little humor. Reminiscent of celebrity memoirs by Tatum O'Neill, Brooke Shields, and Valerie Bertinelli, Weiland's story offers a window into the world of modeling and rock 'n' roll celebrity while providing deep insights into a serious and misunderstood psychological disorder."

Scott Weiland had this to say regarding the book:

"When I was 16 years old I dreamed of being a famous rock star. I never knew what came along with it - the good, the bad, and the straight up bullshit. I thought that creating beauty would bring beauty... Not always. At 16, Mary dreamed of being a famous model. She came close but she gave up her career for Noah, Lucy, and myself. She never got to see the 'what could have happened.'

Well as everyone knows by now we are getting divorced and yes, Mary is writing a book which I have not read. But what I want everyone to know is that it has nothing to do with infidelity. Neither the divorce, nor the book. Please don't place the red letter upon my children's mother.

One last thing... My love for her will never end. We just forgot how to be friends. She has now chosen a public career and one that brings both accolades and public scrutiny. There will be more of this sort of thing to deal with as time goes by... both good and bad.

Divorce is hell, I remember it well and we deal with it every day. And if you think about it, we both have our 'what ifs' and 'why nots,' but it's no cheaters story and all I ask is to not see her cry."