Holy shit!!!! Fuck Obama's mad grab at total control of American society and Limbaugh's calls for Atlas to shrug. As far as I am concerned, this is the biggest and most important story of the week.
Axl Rose has broken his silence.
Rock star recluse (and egomaniac) Axl Rose, front man of the current incarnation of Guns N' Roses, has broken his typical rule of never saying more than a few words to the press (something common even during the GNR salad days)and decided to speak. He granted an interview to Del James, Rose's old friend and the writer whose short story "Without You" served as the basis for the group's epic video "November Rain".
What makes this interesting is less the fact that Axl is talking to the press, and more the fact that we actually give two fucks about what a junkie has to say about his former glory days. Of course he holds bitter resentments to Slash and Duff for finding a way to make money long after having parted company with their often troubled former front man. For his part, Axl plays up the villain role, sliding insults and accusations to his former band mates (going so far as to even question their musical abilities).
What did Rose have to say???
Let's have a gander at some of his more choice clips...
Did you break up the old Guns?
"It is my belief that the commitment to end old Guns came long before the band started in the heart and soul of one man. After that, it became more visible sometime before/during [the 'Use Your Illusion'albums], when the others opted for personal reasons to change our approach, styles and methods of working together. At the time, I unwittingly chose as a means of what I felt was both my own and Guns' survival to adapt, and threw myself into whatever I could get out of that to support and promote our efforts.
The group shot of the band in front of the piece 'Dead' was not a coincidence but not something I felt could be talked about openly, and something I hoped would change. I couldn't reach Izzy [Stradlin] and couldn't manage or curtail Slash and his personal objectives to take over Guns anymore than I did at the time, and I'm lucky to have survived, got what we did out of it and some still enjoyed the results. But for all intents and purposes, the 'Appetite [for Destruction]' lineup and approach was already dead, and with the addition of Matt [Sorum], the end of the then-lineup and what Guns was really about was only a matter of time. Only heartfelt choices by the others could or would change that. Unfortunately, nothing did.
I'm generally blamed for the time it took to release 'Illusions,' but again the reality of my fault would be in not finding a way to manage Slash complete with his addictions and bring both him and Izzy together either similar to 'Appetite' or in some other progression more conducive to Guns than how 'Illusions' was accomplished. Unfortunately, that never truly happened, and both Guns and the public suffered for it. I'll take the responsibility in the sense that had I known how to achieve those goals we would have made what I feel would've been a more effective and powerful album at the time.
See? There's the catch, right? All this time, most thought I changed the direction with 'Illusions.' A lot of nonsense theories, speculation and complete nonrealities put together by others, based on Slash and others' crap and off one interview taken out of context I did with Kurt Loder where I said I hated 'Appetite.' That sentence has been used and twisted in every conceivable way since to vilify me and purports to prove my guilt and responsibility, when I wasn't speaking to the music itself but the overwhelming and at that time seemingly drowning success of our record.
My statement was in specific response to the feelings I had listening to DJs at the L.A. hard rock station KNAC at the time complaining about having to play the entire record for the umpteenth time for fans. I simply wanted to make another record and have it be as good or better. If you don't think I would've liked to have five 'Appetites' and been living like the Stones at the time, you're high. With that, any other avenue I hoped to pursue musically would more than likely been available as well. This was something I could never get through to the others with. Personal need to dominate in Guns was very important to them. Izzy has to be in charge or he's not comfortable, same with Slash. Duff [McKagan] tries convincing himself he's equal partners with Slash. Each to their own."
Would you consider a reunion with the 'Appetite' or 'Illusions' lineups?
"A lot more reasons than I'll get into here now. Different reasons for each version and each individual. The Izzy bit was fun -- and also fun because we didn't have to rely on him in any way, which is how he prefers things and works better for everyone. That said, you never knew if Izzy would be there or not or if he'd remember the song or decide to leave early. It didn't cause any problems, because we were doing our show regardless and didn't have to depend on anything, but it did open everyone's eyes a bit and blow minds.
He called, asked to come out and negotiated a deal with management that it's probably best that none of us knew about or the fun would've seemed a bit more like being used or taken advantage of spoiling the moment. As it was, we had a great time.
It'd be highly doubtful for us to have more than one of the alumni up with us at any given time. I suppose Duff could play guitar on something somewhere, but there's zero possibility of me having anything to do with Slash other than by ambush, and that wouldn't be pretty. He wrote that whole bit about not having his guitar in Vegas, I'd assume, to save face. I was told by both the Hard Rock and different Guns industry people who had come out to be supportive of the new band and were a bit surprised to see him there, especially guitar in hand, but just assumed it was a surprise for the show and we were in on the arrangement."
Do you think he [Slash] can play guitar?
"I prefer listening to others in general, especially those who both push their talents and infuse them with a level of energy that I've seldom heard in his efforts over the years. I'm not taking anything away from the man that are his to claim for his past efforts; it's just that for whatever reason for me, whether the approach, style or basic hands-on technique is there, the passion and true dedication to the art of guitar in his chosen area other than being, in my opinion, a whore for the limelight has generally seemed absent or lacking with most efforts for a long time. To me, it's sad. I don't get it. Where does it go? Is it a choice? Sometimes it's there on covers; I think Clive [Davis, legendary record executive] fell for that.
It wasn't there with me on 'Sympathy [for the Devil]' or ['The] Spaghetti [Incident?'] and it took years for me to get there again, in my opinion, and in the ways I wanted it to be. Will I keep it? Who knows? I'd like to, but who can say?"
**Excerpts taken from the interview, found at www.spinner.com
James, for his part, asks the normally elusive Rose a battery of tough questions. And for his part, Rose- not known for being too open with the press- did his best to answer the questions like the great rock star he is... making as little sense as humynly possible. Weaving fragmented idea to fragmented idea with an almost philosophical tone makes this interview work. If not for the putting on of heirs and acting as if he was actually being wise, the disjointed and in comprehendible Rose does little more than to show the world that despite what he alleges, what really broke up Guns N' Roses was the fact that Axl Rose is fucking insane.
The entire interview can be found at www.spinner.com and to be truthful is worth the read if you are a fan of GNR.