How is India treating you?
I was here with GNR last year too.
I love the enthusiasm of the audience. This time in Mumbai, we
got down from the stage and a swarm of people collapsed on us.
So much love!
Heard you fainted before the Delhi gig?
It's been hectic. Flying,
soundcheck, performing, two hours of sleep... My body and mind
simply shut down. I didn't faint, but it was a near collapse.
How is it being a part of Guns N' Roses?
is a big runaway roller coaster of chaos and destruction.
Aren't you worried this statement might be misconstrued?
Trust me, I mean it the way it
sounds. It causes destruction in its path wherever it goes, and
I am not only a part of it but also the reason
for it. So I take full responsibility.
Share some anecdotes.
Okay, so the weirdest story I can
remember is this one time in Prague, we had just finished
performing. It was six in the morning. The hotel opened up the
bar downstairs for us. So it was just us, except for this one
kid, probably in his 20s, sloshed. We heard him telling the
manager of the band, 'I am the manager of this band.' And we
were like, 'Really!' and the kid refused to leave. So there was
a full-fledged bar fight going on downstairs, while I was
talking to these two Slovakian models who were teaching me the
language. Beside me, there was another touring member of the
band, absolutely zonked out, trying to teach music to these
women. So he shouted, 'Do you like show tunes?' and these two
were like, 'What the hell is he talking about?'
Picture all this going on at the same time! And then upstairs,
we found the guy, blurred, along with his parents, and a camera.
So, I went to him. And he said, 'I am really sorry, I am so
drunk! Can my parents take a picture of me with you guys?'. We
clicked a picture with this kid, who we had just beaten up. How
weird is that! Then we went to the room of Axl (Rose), the
frontman of our band, and talked for about 20 hours. The only
reason I had to leave was because I had to get on the plane to
get to the next country for a gig. Then Axl arrived, he was
miffed and said, 'I thought we had two days off between the
gigs', and I was like, 'You did man, you talked through both
days! The shades were down, so you didn't see the sun rise or
set!' With him, you are in the AXL time zone, an odd vortex
where time and space defy the laws of physics. I have been
living in that zone for seven years now!
So how has the journey been?
Full! Very full! Here's another
incident. Once in Japan, we were up for 43 hours, hanging out.
Again, it ended up in a bar fight! This model guy, he started
throwing ice cubes at us. Then he came and sat down,
unfortunately on someone's girlfriend. So everybody was yelling
at the guy and he threw a punch! And next thing we knew, he was
on the ground pinned down by two other guys. And me, I pick up a
couch and I was telling my friends,
'Move!' cause in my brain, I was going to put this couch down on
this guys and sit on it and continue having a nice time! And
then I heard Axl's assistant screaming, 'Bumble, put the couch
down!' So we got out of there. It was about six in the morning.
We went to the fish market of Japan, got ice cream and ended up
having an ice cream fight. We went back to the hotel, went to
the bathroom and chatted right there till 1.30 in the afternoon.
Again, the only reason I had to get up and go was because of
this video interview. The interview turned out to be wacky
because I was all messed up and sleep-deprived for 43 hours!
Bollywood is big here. You know that right?
Bollywood? What's that? (laughs
out loud). Of course, I know. Everybody knows. It's 'Baw-leeewood'
Do you ever listen to Bolly beats?
Well, I do. But I won't be able to
identify songs. I like the style. You learn from different
Axl is infamous for turning up late. How do you deal with that
since you are big on your commitments?
Being on time is a sign of
respect. I had the hardest time with Axl. It's been more than
once when I walked out because I was so angry!
Didn't put you in a tight
spot since you are just a newcomer in the band as
compared to Axl?
For me, honour and character are more important than
anything else. I can walk away from anything if I feel it's
compromising on integrity. But ultimately, GNR is like this
big dysfunctional family. And we enjoy every high, every low
together. We get along so well, because we don't really make
issues out of petty things. Also, the GNR shows have been
doing well lately, and Axl's mostly been on time. In fact,
in one of the shows, he turned up a couple of minutes early.
I remember, we were to start from 8 pm and he turned up at
7.58! That's huge, right? (smiles).