ROCK BRIGADE magazine (Brazil)
You released your new album, Abnormal, on
July 1st. What will follow its release: tour, singles, anything?
The normal thing to do would be to tour... but
this is "Abnormal", haha. So I may take some time to make an instructional
guitar DVD instead - it's something I've been wanting to do for years. Although
I always get too involved in other things. I've been experimenting with
some acoustic versions of songs. Meanwhile, I'm getting some retail
distributors for North America, Europe - I need to find a good one for South
Any plan to come visit us here in Brazil?
I would love to. Right now I have no solo tours
planned. I hope GNR will tour in Brazil, there's such a strong connection there.
How was the writing? You scrapped the whole album at some time, right?
Yes, a year ago I scrapped the whole album,
around February '07. There were negative influences that were poisoning the
creative process, and I wasn't going to let that get into the building-blocks.
So I scrapped the album, until the inspiration to re-start would come. Then one
day in October it all came rushing out, I couldn't stop it. Within days half the
album was written, music, lyrics, melodies, instrumentation, everything. Then I
started looking back on some of the songs I let go, and brought them back with a
Part of the Abnormal profit will be donated
to some charity found. Could you explain how it will work? And what about Rock
Yes, I'm selling CDs that have a personalized
autograph with your name, and any special request written... $5 from each CD
sold will be donated to Multiple Sclerosis research. I also did some work with Rock Against Diabetes (
concerts and auctions to fund diabetes research and a children's hospital.
Hopefully we can bring some good to the world.
You said you had better guitar sounds in the new record. Tell us more about
how was to find this new sound.
Main things is that I "re-amped" all the guitar
tracks. This is a different way of recording guitars, where instead of plugging
into your amp and recording the sound from the amp, you record the sound of the
guitar before it reaches the amp. Once you have the performance you want, you
run this raw sound into different amps, with different microphones, and you can
experiment with getting different sounds. You're not committed to the sound of
the first amp you played through. It helped to have more choices of amps and
microphones. I explain some of the recording techniques on these videos...
Some of the lyrics of your work has some funny moments, even if it's about
something as serious as your health. Do you think people wouldn't take you
I'm actually very serious about things, and often
I just don't give a fuck. The combination of the two, the contrast, can come off
as irony, or humor... I try not to think about it, and just let the ideas flow
out in whatever way it happens.
What's your favorite track in the new album?
I hate them all equally. They all suck.
The single Abnormal and the track Objectify showed a good mix of punk and
hard rock. Is it a natural flow after Normal or just came up in some songs?
It just ended up that way. The intensity knob of
what I'm living has been turned up a bit since the "Normal" CD, and the same
happened with the new album.
"Fame is a fuckin' cage / I'm infected with
this rage" - does the lyrics have any relation to your "new" job, the whole as
lead guitar in the Guns N' Roses?
There have been times where the adjustment was
difficult, but it's cool, nothing I can't handle.
In another interview, you said the song
"Simple Days" was written while on tour with GN'R and it would fit in Axl's
voice. Did you write it thinking about the band?
It was the only song I wrote on tour. I didn't
write it specifically for the band, but afterwards I was thinking about bringing
it to them. I thought melodically there was something there that might have been
cool to try out.
How was it to play in several countries to some
huge crowds in the GNR 2006/2007 tour?
It was fantastic. Made a lot of new friends, so
many unforgettable moments... to see so many people enjoying themselves
together, to be part of it all, ya can't beat it.
What do you think about some online boards? People seem to get mixed
reactions about everything the band does, including from your fashion style to
It's like lobster... I hate lobster - all
shellfish. Just the smell of it is like a knife twisting in my stomach. That doesn't mean
it's bad, it just means it's not for me - it's there for the people that like
it. I'd be pretty thoughtless and self-centered if I thought my taste should
govern the world - I should respect that other people like lobster, and that
everything isn't all about me. If you don't like something, that's fine. It
doesn't mean it's bad, it just means it's not your taste. If you're dicky about
it, it's still not bad, you're just a dick that doesn't like lobster. So my
outlook on it is simple - nobody should change for the person that doesn't like
them - that would be like a restaurant taking lobster off the menu because one
customer doesn't like to eat it. It's there for the people that do like it. Be
who you are.
How is your relationship with the other guys?
Nobody's killed each other yet, so I guess all is
Let's talk about the giant white elephant next to you, ok?
Oh, you mean THIS one?
Any news about the negotiations regarding the
Azoff and Gould are the guys to fill you in on all that stuff.
If I do their job, then they're gonna have to play Don't Cry next tour instead
of me. Who knows, that might be an improvement, haha. Better lobster.
How was to record Shackler's Revenge? You did the solo (with your fretless),
some rhythm in the pre-chorus and the last shredding in the ending, right?
If I remember right (barely remember anything more than 5 minutes ago, haha) it
was one of the first songs we worked on. I played all the solos - the fretless
solo followed by the fretted solo, the end tapping stuff and the bends over it -
also the rhythms throughout the song with all the riffing in them.
What do you think about the song?
I like the energy and groove, the vocals really grab ya, I don't think it's what
people expect, like tasting somethin' for the first time... it takes a second to
take in the info and sort it, then ya gotta taste it again, and ya start getting
to know what you're tasting, trying to define it, and figure out if ya like it
or not. That's how you know it's something unique, not your standard... chicken
Is the song the first single? Will it be available to legal downloading?
We'll have to see what management feels is the best route to go with all of
Did you read any review of the song yet?
That stuff will warp your brain, haha. Music is personal, different for everyone
who hears it. Some will love the song, others won't, some are too biased to be
objective. There will be people that feel like the name of a band should have
one set definition of what the music should sound like. I don't agree. I'm a
Beatles fan. What I love about the Beatles is how much they grew and evolved -
if you listen to I Wanna Hold Your Hand, then listen to I Dig A Pony, you'd
never know it was the same band. I'm sure some of the fans they had when the
band were just kids singin' British doo-wop rock in '62 weren't all up for the
ride as the band became loud blues rock guys with their faces buried behind
beards. The same with Guns, the band changed over time, and the sound changed,
and it will inevitably keep on changin'. 50 years from now, I hope people will
look back and appreciate the changes, see it as a life span, and understand more
about the events and the statements made in the music. Right now we're all part
of the moment. There's no distance from it, to give us perspective. I'd like to
read the reviews that will be written in 50 years, those are the ones I want to
Did you try to play yourself in the xbox Rock Band 2 game? How was it?
haha, haven't played it yet.
The two officially released tunes (Shacklers and Oh My God) from the new Guns
N' Roses have some kind of industrial flavor. Do the other new songs have the
same stuff as well or goes in other directions?
You've heard some of them live, yes? Chinese, Blues, IRS, Madagascar, Better,
TWAT... it gets pretty epic. Damn good fucking lobster.
Sept. 22, 2008