Interview with Slash of Guns N' Roses

Guns N' Roses



It took, for me to realize what true Guns N' Roses was perceived as, ... reading something in the press, or getting a response from some kid at a show, or something like that. I mean, I know what it's suppose to feel like, but I never put a label on it. So, right now it feels great, it feels better then it has in a long time, but there's been so many changes and this and that and other, that I never knew what the fuck it was suppose to be. You know, the definitive Guns N' Roses It would take looking at the back of a compilation record, put together by the record company, for me to even get an idea of what that was suppose be. And then ... I'm sure would go: "No, that's not fucking right, at all." And then I could start to analyze it. Otherwise, it's just sort of like keeping what you think you should be doing intact, and pursuing that and not letting anything else sway you. And I feel that's what we're still doingWhen Guns N' Roses first started actually trying to get gigs, we'd be lucky if we could get an opening slot on a Sunday night, if I remember correctly. And we persevered. We went from doing that and taking all the bullshit, you know, no pay and whatever other pitfalls there were. And then, going from that to making a Monday night, maybe a middle slot, and ... working up through the week. And a lot of it was, you know, word of mouth. I mean, we worked our asses off doing the flyers, and doing whatever promotion that had to be done; scamming like crazy, I mean, pulling all the stops -
Just to continue on, without having any sort of prospects for the, you know, the distant future of getting to be a big bandAnd so, we went up the ladder - to me what [seemed] like such little, teeny-tiny steps - that, when we finally did get to a point that we were successful, it didn't seem like that big of a jump to me until we finished the Aerosmith tour in the States, and we were finally off the road after like two years that we'd been on, straight. And before that, you know, we didn't live anywhere. So we've been on the road for ages, physically speakingBut, you know, the tour was done, and suddenly, we were back on the street again. And not only we were back on the street again, but everybody we were used to seeing on the street looked at us completely different, and that was a shock. So, you know, we managed to go into a complete rut from that. And, lose... not loose interest in music, but lose interest in trying to get to any other plateau, because we didn't even realize where we'd gotten to, in the first place. And once we did finally get to a point where we could go back out and start performing again, we were on a higher level then we'd left at. You know, regardless of the slump that we felt that we'd been in for a whileAnd, so now we're just doing those same little steps, you know, as we were doing in the early days, only starting from a different level and working our way up. Now that we're headlining and all that, it's all been such a long haul; it's hard to look at it as being some supersonic jump from street-level to stardom. And it's been a short period of time, I suppose, I mean, we've been together for seven, eight years now. But the whole time has been a struggle. We didn't do like any bands, I won't mention their names, where they were focused on a top-40 hit, and kept writing top-40 hits until we finally made it and then got big all of a sudden. I mean, we've played from UCLA, all the way to where we are now - everything in between - and ... survived a hell of a lot of shit that most bands, I don't think, could survive. And I don't wanna pat myself on the back or anything, but I mean, credit where credit's due: we've worked our asses off to get here. And it wasn't like we were looking to try'n be the biggest band, or anything like that, we've just been playing and playingAnd we have a lot of ideas, and things that we want to branch out with. And luckily, from the albums or the recordings, people have been pretty responsive to it, and that's why we have an audience in the first placeI think the best to keep everything under control, as far as sanity is concerned - and it's not easy - but one of the first things that comes to mind is, with everybody else looking at us from a distance and either seeing us as a bunch of cartoon characters that you just, like, plug in and there they go, or people that actually know us and wonder how we can keep it going for so long, or what makes it tick. It's like, the main focus is coming from the guys in the band and the people that are actually hands on, on the road, and we're all trying to keep it together, and it's so personal and you see what everybody else is going through. And all the individuals involved in making it work become so close that you do it for them. If you start to fall apart, you grab on to somebody else that's keeping it together, for strength. And it goes on like thatI think there's a lot of people that could attest to that. You know, it's like, if everything seems to fall apart, there's always another couple of guys that didn't happen to have that same particular situation and are doing fine, and you can hold onto them and you make it through the next day. So, it's not an easy thing, you know, you really have to sort of, you know, reach for solace so that you can stabilize yourself

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