Randall Roberts of the Los Angeles Times recently conducted an interview with GUNS N’ ROSES lead singer Axl Rose. A few excerpts from the chat follow below.
On having fired two managers in the last year, the most recent of which, Peter Katsis, was let go in early December:
Axl: “All these managers, they all believe in one thing: sell a reunion tour and get their commission. It’s just a phone call. It’s a half a day’s … work, or however long they want to keep the bidding war going. They get their commission and they don’t care if it falls on its face.” (Axl‘s current management team is headed by Beta Lebeis, a Brazilian woman Rose met when she was his ex-girlfriend Stephanie Seymour‘s assistant; and Lebeis‘ two adult children, Fernando and Vanessa.)
On whether music is still the driving factor in his life that it once was:
Axl: “Well, it wasn’t for a long time. It was hard to make myself want to do the old songs again. It was like, I wasn’t going around my house dancing to ‘Jungle’. To even figure out how to even make myself move to those songs — and how I was going to move to them — that was a big thing to figure out in ’06.”
On his clashes with former GUNS N’ ROSES guitarist Slash, who — according to Axl — was much less involved in the songs than Rose and guitarist Izzy Stradlin:
Axl: “It was really a fight with me and Slash. Izzy was doing the same thing, but the fight with me and Slash started the day I met him. He came in, popped my tape out and put his in and wanted me in his band. And I didn’t want to join his band. We’ve had that war since Day 1.”
On who will perform onstage as GUNS N’ ROSES at the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame induction ceremony:
Axl: “I’ve got mixed emotions about what the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame actually really is, but at the same time, there’s a lot of people — the fans — that it just means something to them, and they’re happy. It’s like you won the Heisman or something.”
[After mentioning that the last thing he wants to do is ruin the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame experience for others and referring to Marlon Brando sending an American Indian activist to accept his Oscar and give a protest speech “and everybody getting … off, or when Michael Moore got up at the Academy Awards and said whatever about George Bush.”] “People don’t want that associated with their awards shows, even if you have a big audience. In one way it might be right, but it usually backfires on whoever does it. So I really don’t want to spoil it for everybody else — or take the beating.”
“There is no plan yet. There really is no plan. We’re still busy with this lineup. We’re gonna be busy — we’re gonna be busy all next year. We’ll be putting out new stuff as soon as we can figure out what our deal is with labels, blah blah blah.”
On whether he feels that he bears any responsibility for the state of limbo he’s in:
Axl: “You can say it’s my fault, but to me it’s like if you’re on a plane and somebody trips you and the air marshal arrests you for falling — like it’s my fault for allowing somebody to trip me?”
Read the entire interview from the Los Angeles Times.