Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Reckless Road to be Released in UK as a "Bookazine"
Reckless Road: Guns N' Roses And The Making Of Appetite For Destruction, in which author Marc Canter tells of the making of the band's multimillion-selling debut, Appetite for Destruction, will be released in the UK on December 1 as a Classic Rock bookazine called Classic Rock Presents Reckless Road: Guns N' Roses And The Making Of Appetite For Destruction.

Marc Canter is an amateur photographer and the owner and general manager of the legendary rock 'n' roll hangout Canter's Deli in Los Angeles, California. He has been friends with Slash for over 34 years and, has had unlimited access to the formative years of one of the greatest rock bands of all time, Guns N' Roses. An avid collector, Canter is proud and excited to share his memories with the public for the first time.

When teenager and amateur photographer Marc Canter set out to document his best friend Saul Hudson's rise as a rock guitarist in 1982, he never imagined he was documenting the genesis of the next great rock 'n' roll band. His friend became the legendary guitarist Slash, and Canter found himself witnessing the creation of GN'R front and center. The candid shots contained in Reckless Road, taken as the band toured in 1985-1987 and made the legendary album Appetite For Destruction, capture their raw, blood-sweat-and-tears performances as well as their intimate moments. Containing original gig memorabilia including show flyers, ticket stubs, set lists, press clippings, and handwritten lyrics as well as in-depth interviews with band members and the people closest to them, Reckless Road offers an explicit, first-person perspective readers won't find anywhere else.

Discuss this story with other Guns N' Roses fans here.

Originally published in America in 2008, Reckless Road contains interviews with Slash, Duff McKagan and Steven Adler, as well as groupies, failed producers, and former managers and bandmates. Canter amassed a treasure trove of memorabilia, including:

* Lyrics to "My Michelle", written on the back of a water-stained flier
* A $37,500 advance check from Geffen that has Slash's name misspelled as "Stash"
* 1,000 never-before-seen photos
* Audio/video recordings for the bands first 50 shows

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Axl Rose Talks State of Guns N' Roses and Addresses Rumors on That Metal Show

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.’”

Discussion thread here.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Slash Shows Off His Band's Chemistry on New Live Disc

On Slash's 2010 self-titled release, the guitarist worked with some of rock's greatest singers – Ozzy Osbourne, Lemmy, Chris Cornell and Iggy Pop, among others. When it came time to tour, those vocalists obviously had other committments, so the guitarist recruited Alter Bridge singer Myles Kennedy, as well as bassist Todd Kerns and drummer Brent Fitz, to travel around the world with him.

He wasn't looking for this to be a long-term band, but the chemistry was undeniable. "It was one of those moments where from on high you get sort of a blessing and get all the right people without looking for them. It just happened," Slash tells Rolling Stone. "From the onset we clicked. We just got better and better over time."

Stream the full album here.

That cohesion is on display on Made In Stoke 24/7/11, a live chronicle of the guitarist's return to Stoke-on-Trent, the town where he was raised until the age of five. Featuring a mix of Guns N' Roses tracks ("Rocket Queen," "Sweet Child O' Mine," "Mr. Brownstone"), Slash's Snakepit tunes and material from Slash, the live album shows the quartet has melded into a real band.

Making it official, they're already at work on an untitled album due in April of next year. Slash knew very early this was the group to make his next album, he says. "I learned way back in March of 2010, when we did our first show at the Roxy, [and even] before that, when we were rehearsing, there was something that clicked with those guys," he says. "It was just always a lot of fun, and I decided that’s who I wanted to do the record with."

Stream the full album here.

Thus far they've recorded three tracks, with 14 more to come in December and January when Kennedy gets off the road with Alter Bridge. Slash is pumped up about what they've done so far, calling it "fucking rad." "On the last record, creatively it was pretty open-ended. This one is very diverse, but it’s one band," he says. "It’s really cool. It rocks really hard. There are some cool epic songs and a couple of really cool ballads. I hate calling them ballads – more bluesy tunes. It just covers a lot."

Full interview and stream here.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Inside Axl Rose's First TV Interview in Over a Decade

For the first time in over a decade, reclusive Guns N' Roses frontman Axl Rose has sat down for a TV interview, chatting with Eddie Trunk, Jim Florentine, and Don Jamieson, the hosts of VH1's That Metal Show, backstage following a stop on GN'R's U.S. tour in Miami on October 29. The interview didn't start until 5:30 A.M. — and it went for close to two hours. There was a lot to catch up on. SPIN got the lowdown on what Axl discussed straight from Trunk. (The interview airs on the season premiere of That Metal Show on National Metal Day, November 11). "Love him or hate him, he's still Axl Rose," Trunk tells SPIN. "And he's masterfully found a way to always be interesting."

How'd this rare interview come together?
The only radio appearance Axl has done in the past few decades was on my radio show about five years ago. He walked into my radio studio in 2006 completely out of left field. Nobody saw it coming and he hung out with me for over three hours on the air. We had some connection, so I had a feeling that there was a chance this TV interview might happen. We have a level of trust. He's been at the top of our list for a long time. But it's always a gamble.

What did you think of the new lineup's performance?
I've seen various versions of GN'R since the original band broke up, some lineups better than others, but I was pleasantly surprised. Axl in particular sounded great. People always ask, "Was it as good as the original band?" No band is ever going to be as good as the original lineup. That shouldn't even a be part of the thought process. That said, they did great renditions of the old songs, they played the new material, and everyone had a solo, a chance to shine.

Why did the interview start so late?
I asked him about his perpetual history of late starts during the interview. He said it's all about when he feels that everything is right and he feels ready to go. He made a joke that being late has plagued him since his childhood. So, when the band went on at midnight I told my producer, "There's no way he's going to play for three hours, then get off stage and do an interview." Around 4 or 5 A.M. I was sure it wasn't going to happen. But sure enough, at 5:30 A.M., Axl walked into the locker room where we set up. He was as fresh as a daisy. He sat down and was in no hurry to leave. He wanted his guitarist DJ Ashba to be on the set with him, too. It was shocking. He's a nocturnal guy, but I expected him to walk off the stage and right out the door to South Beach. He said that in those couple of hours between the end of the show and the interview that he was cooling down. He takes a lot of precautions to preserve his voice. But it's all on Axl time, no question. If you're going to attempt to interview Axl, then you better get plenty sleep the night before, and not have anything to do early the next morning.

What was Axl's demeanor during the interview?
When he first came into the room he had his guard up. He knows me, but he did not know my co-hosts. But he looked great. About five minutes into the interview we had him chuckling. He loosened up and had some fun. We were not going to beat him up for coming in late.

Were there any topics you were told not to discuss?
The only thing he didn't want to discuss, understandably, was a reunion with the original lineup. He's all about this band, this lineup. Journalists constantly bring up the idea of a reunion. But there's nothing imminent about it. It defeats the purpose of what they're doing now. Axl feels like it's disrespectful to his new band. But we talked about past members of the band throughout the interview. Axl brought up some of the old guys before we even did.

So he's really excited about this new lineup?
Yeah. Axl emphasized that this current tour, which goes until the end of December in America, is extremely important to him and the new band. It's hugely important for fans to see him after all the BS and misconceptions. It's really important for fans to see him having fun and championing this band. Yes, this band is very important to him. He pointed out that every member of the band does a solo. He said, "If this was just the Axl Rose show, and I wasn't worried about promoting a band, then I wouldn't be giving these three different guitar players the spotlight." He said, "It's really important to me that people see this as a band."

Do you think this lineup will release new albums and tour more often?
I think so. Axl did say that he wants Guns to be more active. He feels good about the team around him. He has a new manager. Axl's bandmembers told us that he has a ton of songs that they've all heard. It's just a matter of honing in and getting into the studio to recorded and then release them.

Axl said that original GN'R bassist Duff McKagan's band Loaded will be opening select dates on this tour.
Yep. When I asked Axl about Duff playing with GN'R in England, he volunteered that information. However, I don't think there's any definite plan. Axl mentioned it in passing. But since then I've heard from a number of people doubting it, saying, "Well, that's a nice idea." To my knowledge there's nothing locked in yet.

Axl and his former manager, Irving Azoff, have been suing and counter-suing each other. Was that discussed?
We didn't get into the business and lawsuit stuff too much. But without citing specific names, Axl mentioned that various managers, agents, and promoters over the years have been far more responsible for what's gone down than he has. Axl is probably getting sued or countersued every day. It's almost hard to keep track.

Guns N' Roses are nominated for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Did you ask about that? Who from the original lineup would attend the ceremony to accept the award?
Axl said that he doesn't really follow that stuff. He said it's an honor to be nominated, but he doesn't know how it's going to play out. Axl's a huge fan of Elton John and it was an honor for him to induct Elton a few years back. So it seems that Axl thinks that anything that's good by Elton is good by him. But it seemed too premature to discuss. First GN'R have to see if they get in. Then they'll see how it plays out. I've talked to Slash about it, too, actually. Slash and I are friends, and Slash basically feels that if they get into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, then they'll see who shows up and who doesn't. Whoever shows up will stand onstage. Slash remembered the legendary debacle with Van Halen. They had two guys who weren't even in Van Halen — Michael Anthony and Sammy Hagar — up onstage accepting the award! So I know Slash wants to avoid anything awkward like that.

Do you think the Slash Vs. Axl Rose beef is repairable?
I do. I saw Slash a couple days ago in Los Angeles, where I was giving an award for Ronnie James Dio's cancer foundation, and we talked a little bit. He knew that I'd just interviewed Axl, and he asked about Axl and how he was. I said that Axl mentioned him in the interview, and that it wasn't anything negative. Slash said, "Yeah, we've actually been pretty cool lately." Slash is a pretty easy-going guy, and he'll ride with the tide. But it's hard to get a read on it. But outside of Slash, Axl is cool with every other original member of Guns. Izzy [Stradlin] comes out and plays with Axl and the band every once in a while. Duff just played with him. There are no issues with either of the two drummers. If there's a rub with the Rock Hall induction, it would only be about Slash. In talking to both Slash and Axl, though, they're both very committed to their careers right now. Axl is amped about this new GNR lineup, and I just heard Slash's next record, which is coming out next year. It's amazing. The media dwells on their relationship more than the guys themselves do.

Videos by gunsguy

Axl Rose Interviewed On That Metal Show

About two weeks ago, That Metal Show host Eddie Trunk got word from Axl Rose's new manager Peter Katsis that the Guns N' Roses frontman might be interested in appearing on the program. "It was all pretty loose," Trunk tells Rolling Stone. "They said, 'Well, we have a pretty good chance we can get Axl to you if Eddie's there and the crew is ready to go.' [VH1 Classic] was willing to roll the dice and give it a shot."

Trunk and the crew – including co-hosts Don Jameson and Jim Florentine – flew down to Miami, where G N' R would be performing, on October 29th. They arrived at American Airlines Arena at 3 p.m. and set up a set in the Miami Heat's dressing room. Axl arrived at around 8 p.m. and didn't take the stage until midnight, wrapping up the show at 3 a.m. "This whole time, there was a lot of conflicting information about whether or not the interview was going to happen," says Trunk. "So we interviewed the rest of the band, opening act Buckcherry and members of the crew so we'd definitely come back with a show, even if the Axl interview didn't work out."

At 5:45 a.m., Axl walked onto the set with new Guns N' Roses guitarist DJ Ashba. Trunk interviewed him for an hour and a half. "In a perfect world, with an interview of that magnitude, we'd like to be a little more fresh and not coming off 24 hours with no sleep," says Trunk. "But Axl was great. He was alert and awake. That's Axl time. He was in great spirits and friendly and much how I remember him from when I interviewed him on my radio show five years ago."

They covered a lot of ground during that 90 minutes. "He's still a staunch believer in Chinese Democracy," says Trunk. "He believes that the record is finding new fans and he feels that the material from that is going down better and better in the live show." Axl was less committal when asked about new music. "When I asked him about a new record he just said, 'I'd love to at some point, we'll see.'"

In this exclusive clip, Axl explains why he usually takes the stage so late. "I think we’re doing better," he says. "A lot of this goes way, way back to '91 when we were super late going onstage. That really has more to do with that I shouldn’t be on tour. I went on tour for three reasons, our manager had booked a tour without authorization and then I’m going to be sued for it. He also told me that if Slash does heroin, it’s my fault. And Slash is pressuring me. I should not have agreed to that tour."

Guns N' Roses are on this year's ballot for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. If they get inducted, the ceremony is next April in Cleveland. "His attitude about that was, 'We'll see how it plays out if we're inducted. If that happens, we'll see what lineup of the band they like and what members they want and don't want,'" says Trunk. "He also said that he didn't know much about it. He did say that inducting Elton John back in 1994 was a big thrill for him. He took the whole thing as an honor and said, 'We'll see how it plays out.'"

Trunk also gets the sense that lots of Axl's anger towards his former bandmates has dissipated. "There's only one person from the original band where there's residual issues – and that's Slash," says Trunk. "It almost seems to be that that has maybe died down just a little bit. I'm not trying to put words in anyone's mouth or speculate, but there was a clip on YouTube a couple of weeks ago of Axl telling a good story about the time that he was with Slash on the road. It was the first time I saw him talking about Slash where it wasn't just venom."

Now that he has interviewed Axl, Trunk has has sights on future conquests. "Personally, I'd love to interview Eddie Van Halen," he says. "Especially with all of the confusion about what's happening with Van Halen. The world would love to see Ozzy, and Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley on the show too. Some of these holdouts have to realize that this is where there audience wants to see them. They will be interviewed by guys that love their music. If they continue to hold out, they are only shortchanging their fans."

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Velvet Revolver set to resume singer search next month

Velvet Revolver will resume their search for a new lead singer later this year, guitarist Slash has revealed.

The band, who recently admitted that they had recorded an entire album's worth of material with Slipknot frontman Corey Taylor, but opted not to choose him as their new singer, have been without a frontman since Scott Weiland quit the band in 2008.

Both Slash and bassist Duff MacKagan had previously said that the band was on the back burner as they were both recording and touring as part of other projects, but the guitarist has now said that the band will begin auditioning new singers again in December.

In an interview with Billboard, the guitarist said that Velvet Revolver would be reuniting in December to "spend some time with a couple of singers", but stressed that this was all he could say on the matter.

Slash also spoke about Guns N' Roses nomination for the Rock N' Roll Hall Of Fame and said that he believed it was a "huge honour" to be nominated. He said: "It's become very prestigious over the years, and it's become a huge honor for anybody to be inducted into it, or even nominated, for that matter."

He added that he hadn't given much though to whether it would be possible for a reunion of the original line-up to be assembled for the induction. He said: "Of course, you have those thoughts of how it might work in case it does happen, but with Guns N Roses, there's really no guessing exactly how it will go. I suppose if it happens, everybody will get some sort of ducks in order."

Monday, November 7, 2011

Slash Shares "Beggars & Hangers-On" from Made in Stoke DVD Set
On March 31, 2010, the top hat-wearing hard rock guitarist Slash proved he could rock out without a ‘band’, as he released his eponymous premiere solo album. With the (permanent?) hiatus of Velvet Revolver, it was a long time since the public had heard the signature Slash sound, and boy, did he not disappoint. He brought in a laundry list of rockers to help him out, including Ozzy Osbourne, Lemmy, Dave Grohl, Duff McKagan, Flea, Izzy Stradlin, Alice Cooper, Kid Rock, M Shadows, Iggy Pop, Chris Cornell, and Andrew Stockdale.

While the album did fairly well with the critics, Slash’s fans were very excited to bang their heads to his killer guitar riffs and solos. On July 3, 2010, Slash released a live album called Live In Manchester (with Myles Kennedy as sole singer) featuring songs from every band of his career (Guns N Roses, Velvet Revolver, Slash’s Snakepit), his solo album, and even included a Led Zeppelin cover.

For awhile now, Slash has been teasing his fans via Facebook and Twitter by saying how well the production and recording are going for his newest solo album, which is set to be released in the spring of 2012 (this one will again have Kennedy as the sole singer). Recently, though, he announced that he will release Made in Stoke 24/7/11, another live album/DVD, on November 14. To give everyone a taste of what it will sound like, he has made one song available for our listening pleasure

Now, looking at the set list, it seems like Made in Stoke might sound very similar to Live in Manchester. However, the fans will still buy it, and everyone knows it is just marking time until the follow-up to Slash. Get ready to head-bang, fellow rock lovers! R&F’NR!

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Axl Rose Gives Hour-Long Interview To VH1 Classic's That Metal Show

Axl Rose gave an hour-long interview to VH1 Classic's That Metal Show early Sunday morning, October 30 — a couple of hours after the band's headlining performance at the American Airlines Arena in Miami, Florida.

The last time Trunk interviewed Rose was in May 2006 when Axl dropped in on Eddie's Q-104.3 radio show and hung out on-air for two and a half hours. On that occasion, Rose came from a GN'R rehearsal to the Q-104 studio around 12:30 am to join Trunk, Scott Ian, WWE wrestler Chris Jericho and Sebastian Bach, who Trunk says "really made it happen."

Axl answered some questions from Trunk, saying the long-awaited Chinese Democracy CD would be out in the fall of 2006, and deflected others. He declined to identify the band's then-new lead guitarist (later revealed to be Ron "Bumblefoot" Thal) or explain why he aborted a 2002 tour beyond saying the tour wasn't his idea.

Trunk's connection to the GN'R camp goes back to 2003 when a version of a then-new GN'R song called "I.R.S." surfaced on a CD marked "New GNR" that was sent anonymously to then-New York Mets catcher Mike Piazza, who proceeded to play the track on Eddie's show, Friday Night Rocks. Shortly after the song was aired, GN'R management contacted the station and issued a verbal cease-and-desist order before arranging to meet with Trunk to retrieve the disc.

Rose gave a rare interview — his first in-person one with a print publication in 14 years — in December 2010 with the United Arab Emirates outlet Gulf News. Rose granted the interview prior to the band's gig in Abu Dhabi.

Aside from Billboard and Spinner interviews and answering a number of fan questions at a GN'R message board, Rose has done no promotion of any kind for Chinese Democracy.

Related discussion here.

Tommy Stinson Talks Possible New GN'R Album

Dallas Observer
Darryl Smyers of the Dallas Observer recently conducted an interview with Tommy Stinson. A couple of excerpts from the chat follow below.

Dallas Observer: What do you think about all the criticism Axl got for starting GN'R over with the new lineup?

Here's the way it went down. He didn't start over. The other guys just kind of vacated the band. They said, "Fuck it, I don't want to work." Axl just decided to go on. He called me and asked me to do it and got the other guys to do it as well. Axl just wanted to keep working. He didn't want to start completely over after everything the band had been through. I think it was a pretty ballsy move.

Dallas Observer: 2008's Chinese Democracy took forever to come out. Does the band have a lot of songs in the can? Is a new album in the works?

I'm not going to say a whole lot about that, but I tell you right now that I certainly hope we do another album. I would love to get everyone back into the studio and make some more stuff happen. I think we have a good band, and each of us has something interesting to offer. I hope we get on this project sooner than later.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Duff Talks About the Rock N Roll Hall of Fame

The Nervous Breakdown
The Nervous Breakdown: This has been quite a month for you, recognition-wise, because about a month ago, GUNS N' ROSES was nominated for the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame.

Duff: Yeah, it's weird, you know? I've never striven to get into the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame. Never in my life have I thought, "Man, I gotta get a Grammy." In sports you try to win it all, but music's a different deal. So the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame was never on my radar. As a matter of fact, I don't know how we got roped into it, but when we (VELVET REVOLVER) inducted VAN HALEN, it went south. I don't know if you remember that. It just went south. The band (VAN HALEN) was fighting, and the only ones to show up were Michael Anthony and Sammy Hagar, and it was like, "Ohhh, boy…" So when we (GN'R) got announced, that's what I remembered. But I do understand that for the fans, it's important. It's important to the people who buy your records and come to your gigs and connect with some lyric that you wrote or a groove or something. I mean, I'm part of social media — I write a couple of columns online, and people comment on those. I have Twitter and I'm on Facebook and I read people's comments about how they feel about us being inducted into the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame, so then it's important to me. Only then. And I've learned to just say, "thank you."

The Nervous Breakdown: There are a few parallels between GN'R and VAN HALEN, the biggest one being the turnover in membership, both during and after your involvement. Assuming GUNS gets right in, how do you envision your induction? What do you see it looking like?

Duff: I can't. I can't picture it. Your guess is as good as mine. There is no picture. It's bound to happen but I'd love to call the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame, whoever they are, and say, "Hey guys, why don't you put this off for another ten years? Thank you! Thanks for nominating us — it's great, but how about you put it off for ten years?"

The Nervous Breakdown: Would ten years give things more time to settle?

Duff: You know, that's all I need to say about this. I care about our fans and that's it.

The Nervous Breakdown: Slash and Steven Adler both have their own books out, and many other books have been written about GUNS N' ROSES that already cover parts of your life. When you sat down to write your book, was there anything you felt that needed to be corrected or cleared up?

Duff: No. No, I read Slash's book because we were on the road together with VELVET REVOLVER when that came out. It doesn't matter what's correct or what's not correct. There's stuff in Slash's book that I remember in a different way, but that's all there is. My experience of the same situation is different than his — that's what life's about, right? We all have different experiences sometimes with the exact same thing. When that book came out, I had no inclination to write a book. This book sort of wrote itself out of these little side columns that I was writing. So many people have asked me, "How much did you drink?" and "How did you get into that hospital bed?" And a lot of people ask me, "How did you get sober?" In other words, "How did you get out of that hospital bed?" And that's really what I wrote to — that was the mission statement. The arc became clear as I wrote — my family, my mom, my kids- how important all of this stuff is to me. And it's just a guy's story. I happen to be in a couple of rock bands, but it's just that guy's story. GUNS N' ROSES is a weighty subject, but in the same breath, I don't take it that seriously. It was an extraordinary circumstance that happened to all of us. Shit, we all survived! That's great! A lot of my fellows out there didn't. But at forty-seven years old, I look back and see that we fell into every goddamned trap that there was. But we were honest. We were a dangerous, real band. We were real. Nobody was faking it, and I'm proud of that.

The Nervous Breakdown: You open up an interesting discussion about your own struggles with anxiety. When you talk about playing with THE ROLLING STONES — the gig where Axl famously called everybody out from the stage (threatening to disband GN'R if unnamed members didn't curb their drug abuse), you guys kept going after that. What was it like still playing in that band with that threat hanging over your heads?

Duff: He said it and we were like, "Oh, we're discussing this stuff in public, now?" When we were all into it. We took care of our own shit inside, and I'm sure Axl had his reasons for that, and they were probably valid. At the time, I could see it. I was pissed off, too. So half of me was with him, but half of me was like, "No… not here, not now. Not here. Not in front of eighty thousand people…" (laughs) But that's the way he was, and I can't really speak for how he is now, but love him or hate him, at least there was no filter.

The Nervous Breakdown: Was there one memory of playing in GUNS N' ROSES that stands out as your absolute favorite? One thing that really makes you feel proud?

Duff: All of it. I mean, really, most of it. I could write another whole book about the first eighteen months of our band, and it would be fascinating, and fun and good, because nobody believed in us. I touched on it in the book. We just believed in us, and we weren't accepted into any little section of L.A. rock, and so we just did our own little thing. We were just young, young dudes and we just really knew that whether there were two or two hundred people who knew who we were, we were going to change their perspective on music. We were learning how to write songs together, and the chemistry was stunning. We were more punk rock than any punk rock band I've seen. And it was more JUDAS PRIEST than JUDAS PRIEST, and it was more Elton John than Elton John. It was just kind of everything. Some nights we were the best band on the planet.

Read the entire (much longer) interview from The Nervous Breakdown.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Dizzy Reed Discusses Band’s Future: "There’s So Much Material"

Guns N’ Roses keyboardist Dizzy Reed, who with over 20 years served is the second only to Axl Rose in terms of tenure, was recently kind enough to speak to us on the eve of the the band’s first North American tour (see dates below) in five years.

Reed discussed the criticism leveled at Guns N’ Roses for starting their concerts later than most bands, and for spending so much time creating new music. He also explained the common influences that brought him and Rose together, talked about his own upcoming solo album and when fans can expect new GN'R music:

So, you’re fresh off your South American tour, right? How did that all go?

Yeah, yeah! We got through it, we did all the shows, and it seemed great. It’s always great down there, the crowds are always really good in South America and Mexico, man. They like to rock out. It’s also nice to have a couple of days off, though!

Do you think too much attention is paid to when your shows start, or how long it takes you to release an album? Isn’t it a little silly to talk about stuff like that so much?
As a matter of fact, I never thought about it, but yeah, it is silly. It’s a rock and roll concert for Christ’s sake! I would think we get more than our share of that, certainly. But yeah, (music) is supposed to be inspired by creativity and good things in life, and having a good time.

Are you writing new material while you’re on tour?
I think, you know, all of us, as musicians and those of us that would consider ourselves composers, are always writing. I have a studio I take with me everywhere, and when I’m home that’s pretty much all I do. There’s so much material that’s been recorded in the past, that might put its head up sometime. We’re always writing.

So, we can maybe expect to hear some new GN'R music soon?
Hopefully, that’s the plan. But right now, we’re out there rocking Chinese Democracy and some of the older classic songs, maybe some new surprises, and that’s that. But I know, there’s always something brewing. There should be some new music coming out at some point for sure.

You played many Chinese Democracy songs live before the record came out, but are people reacting to them differently now that they’ve got the album?
Yeah, a lot of those songs, we’ve been playing some version of live for about, gosh … 10 years. You know, there used to be some head scratching in the crowd, but since the album’s come out you can see everyone’s getting into it. It’s very infectious, too.

You’ve been in Guns N’ Roses for over 20 years now, what were the common musical influences that drew you and Axl together?
I think we’re both children of the ’70s. We just grew up listening to a lot of the same stuff on the radio. Things aren’t like that now. Whatever city you were in had maybe two, maybe three rock stations and that’s what you listened to, that’s all you got. That being said, to me there was just a lot of great, great music that came out of that time. Anybody that sort of came up around the same time that we did had the same taste too. At least, people that I would choose to hang out and play music with! You just kind of gravitate together, move in the same direction.

Do you think music was better back then?
No, I just think there was less to choose from, and things weren’t as categorized. There wasn’t all these genres, everything wasn’t suddenly assigned something: “OK, this is punk, this is alternative,” you know. There was rock and roll, basically.

Would it be safe to assume given how you’re a keyboardist, that Elton John was a big shared influence between you and Axl?
(Jokingly) Who? Who’s Elton John? No, of course, Elton John. He’s one of the best ever, in my opinion. That’s probably why he invited him to play with us that one time, at the (1992) MTV VMAs. I forgot about that till just now, that was cool.

Does it all kind of blur together — do things from the last two decades suddenly jump out at you like that?
Sometimes, some things blur together. Other things, are completely gone for good. Some things you try to block out, some things you cherish, some things change in your head over time, you know?

So, your covers band, Hookers N’ Blow is over, right? What else are you working on?
I recorded a record last year, called Rock and Roll Ain’t Easy, under my name, that should hopefully be coming out the first part of next year. When Guns N’ Roses aren’t touring I’ve been out supporting that already.

Are you singing? How would you describe the record?
I am singing, or, crooning as I like to say. It’s very rootsy, very groovy, very rocking, a lot of cool piano based songs, and about half of it is guitar-based songs.

Where can people learn more about that record — do you have your own website?
I gotta get on that. I have my Facebook page going, I just don’t really look at it that much. I’m still going through therapy from what MySpace did to my life (laughs), once I get past that I’m going to get back on the web!

Dizzy Reed: "A Lot of People are Waiting for My Record"
Dizzy Reed and Friends

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Former L.A. Guns singer tells of Axl's dark past

This past August, PROUD TO BE LOUD, featured an exclusive interview with Mike Jagosz, former lead singer for L.A. Guns.

Mike makes some dubious claims about his rival Axl Rose. You can read the full interview here.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Tony Kuzminski reviews Chinese Democracy

The Screen Door
...And it only took him 3 years!

Very appropriate for an album that was 14-years-in-the-making.

Tony's review is as ambitious as the record itself, a genuine attempt to review the music on the record, and not just the trappings.

Says Tony, "plain and simple, the world judged a book by its cover and missed out on one of the most emotionally bare records of the last decade."

You can read the full article here.

Dj Ashba talks about Slash

Very nice interview about Crue, and about how he joined GN'R. Dj talks about the next record, but also about Dj's early work (Beautiful Creatures, Bullet Boys, Addiction to Friction), the interview is about 25 minutes long....

This is what he says about Slash:

"(talking about Mötley Crüe): I knew I could bring something to the table, because I understood their music, I grew up on it. And I feel the same way with Guns. And Slash is, I grew up cutting my teeth on people like Slash, and I have the utmost respect for his guitar playing and his style and stuff. And I really feel like I get where he is coming from on that and so, you know, no one will ever replace him, and that's not why I’m here, it’s just to do, I felt like I could do the gig justice as far as staying true to the vision of where everything left off."

Slash used to piss his pants all the time

Axl Rose has revealed that the band's former guitarist Slash was pretty loose with his bladder control.

Speaking to fans in Paraguay in a video which you can see by scrolling down to the bottom of the page and clicking, Rose opens up about his backstage antics with Slash during their band's heyday in the '80s.

Apparently, Rose told fans, he would hang around his guitarist and whichever girl he had brought backstage with him that night until Slash got so drunk that he wet himself and the singer would then steal the girl from him.

He says in the video of Slash's backstage habits: "It was great, because he would pass out and piss his pants, and then I would get to be with the girl. So I always followed Slash because I knew he would pass out and I would get the girl. The girl would be like, 'Ah, he just peed in my bed!' and I’d be like, 'It’s okay, it’s okay.' The next day he would just ignore it. He says it in his book, like once, but no – it happened every time, all the time."

The pair haven't spoken for at least 10 years and this particular revelation is unlikely to bring a much talked about reunion of the original Guns N' Roses line-up any closer to happening.