Tuesday, February 21, 2012

4 Wheels, No Axl: Taz Bentley on Guns N' Roses lost sessions

Interview with Taz Bentley (Izzy Stradlin's drummer) from the Dallas Observer.

Did you ever play any shows with Izzy Stradlin?

Yeah, we toured Japan once. About once every year we go out and do an album. He doesn't believe in "the machine" at all. He hates the industry, so initially he licensed the albums overseas and wouldn't tell anyone in America. He's a really big fan of the Internet. Now we'll go record and he'll slap it up on iTunes. That's been a hoot. Duff's on most of them. There was a time when Slash, Izzy, Duff and I got together a few times and recorded some stuff. I think it was Duff who called it Four Wheels, No Axl. But none of that stuff ever got released. It's kind of fun to sit around, be a fly on the wall, playing the drums with these guys and say, "How did I get here?"


Izzy has become one of my very, very best friends. When The Burden Brothers stopped touring, Zack quit because he and his wife wanted to start a family, and then Rizzo took that cue to leave as well. So the three of us had the wind taken out of our sails. Towards the end of that last album, touring was really sparse, it was hard and we weren't drawing because nothing was on the radio. What had been on the radio had run its course. That was a real stinker. We have been on hiatus for about four or five years now.

But that first phone call was to Izzy and I said, "I'm done." I was fucking furious. He goes, "No, no, no, just write it down on a guitar." I said, "You're not listening to me, I'm done." He goes, "You have a guitar?" And I go, "Yeah, I have a guitar, but I'm done, I don't want to play music. I don't want to hear music. I'm gonna throw every radio in my house out the window." But he knew exactly what was going on, and he had been through this, obviously in a much bigger arena. In that moment, I really found how close we had become. He really helped me get through this. About a week after that initial conversation, I come home and there's a brand new acoustic guitar on my front porch with a note that says, "Write it down." I started writing and that's the music you heard at my show.

Full interview here.

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