Maybe he’s excited by his surprise appearances on a few of these year-end lists (way to blaze trails NY Post). Or, despite what he says, maybe he realizes talking to the press/fans helps sell records. Whatever the case, last night Axl Rose answered questions submitted by message board denizens on two Guns N’ Roses fan sites. In his responses, we learn that there’s a new video for “Better” coming “in a week or so” (“a week or so” = 2013?) and why he always takes so long to appear on stage at his shows. Also, he likes Kanye, Death Magnetic, and comes off like an OK guy.
QUESTION: How come you always come on stage so late at gigs?
AXL ROSE: I’ve been an after-midnight type since I was sneakin’ out of my house in junior high [school]. With [the] old Guns [lineup], we preferred [to take the stage at] 12:00 a.m. or so. When we moved to theaters etc., obviously that changes but it’s never changed inside me. Doesn’t matter what I do, so generally that’s when I’m more myself. This isn’t to mess with anyone that has an early schedule to keep, it’s just personal preference. And in regard to the size [of] venues, I’m on record as preferring whatever venues allow for our schedule, but management and promoters can do a lot in their own interests behind the scenes that can rarely be avoided and their greed or whatever leads to a lot of double talk and ugly behind nonsense that generally eventually ruins things for everyone. Translated: once a tour is scheduled, however, it’s like parting the seas to change. As far as being late, I’ve been that way my whole life. It drove Izzy [Stradlin] crazy but he would check himself and freely admit I was generally actually doing something that had to get done rather than watching basketball, etc.”
QUESTION: Axl, how do you feel about Kanye [West's new album] outselling Chinese Democracy? Do you like Kanye’s music?
AR: I met Kanye at the Versace awards. He was very gracious. I love “Gold Digger” and told him so. I’m a big fan of his stage performance as he seems to go for it physically which I relate more to. Before our release, I sent him a message that any nonsense from the media had nothing to do with us and wished him the best. I’m humbled we’ve done as well as we have considering.
QUESTION Axl, are you still thinking of suing Dr Pepper’s ass?
AR: Sure, but the actions taken so far had nothing to do with me and I was taken off guard as I had specifically told our team, ‘Who fucking cares?! Right now we have a record to deal with.’ My feelings are after their public response. It was cute. Maybe the guy who got it rolling originally meant well, but it turned out sour and maybe it’s just me, but he seems like maybe he wants a bit too much attention so…
QUESTION I know this is jumping the gun big time, but any tentative idea when you would like to see the next CD come out?
AR No, maybe same bat time, same bat channel next year but we’ll have to see.
QUESTION: Is there anything in the past that you have now looked back on and thought, “Maybe I could have handled that differently?” Also, what are your ongoing hopes for Guns N’ Roses in the future? I have cyclothemia and sometimes get this feeling that I can’t be around people and need my own space and area. How do you find the bipolar affect you, if you don’t mind me asking, that is?
AR Of course, but in the world of sports and litigation … I’ve not been diagnosed as being bipolar though many misconstrue statements I made earlier as alluding to such and unfortunately there’s been an abundance of misguided or unqualified speculation of various events but I definitely can relate to needing my own space.
In my world, all bipolar means (and not to offend or make light of those suffering from a genuine condition or involved with those who are) is that someone can try to take cheap uneducated shots or try to claim I’m bipolar thus justifying why they should get paid a financial settlement for whatever nonsense they’re up to. Fortunately that hasn’t proved successful.
QUESTION What is your honest opinion on why the old lineup disintegrated? What is your honest opinion on why it took so long for Chinese Democracy to come out? I think that’s what most people want to know but dare not ask.
AR: Two great but complicated questions, and I agree that people would like to know at least my take on things. Not avoiding them here, but they deserve more than I can give, as we’ve been at this a little while. But I’m attempting to speak out on several issues, these being a major focus over the coming weeks and months. What I can say now is you’ve been told a lot of things in order for others to promote themselves that factually they cannot back up in regard to either. They are complicated legally, financially and have devoured a good portion of my life.
The record Chinese Democracy you may have is nothing short of a miracle in almost each and every way that either it or I exist, in my opinion, under the bizarre and ugly conditions of the last over 15 years.
QUESTION Axl, I would like to know why you avoid the press so much. I think it’s definitely hurting album sales, I mean, you haven’t even done one interview. I know for sure you’d be able to get a few magazine covers. So why don’t you? Why be such a hermit/recluse?
AR: That’s your opinion and it very well could be true. What I have to say a lot of people have no desire to hear.
QUESTION: I have one question for you, Axl. What is stopping the fans from seeing you Slash, Duff and Izzy back on stage together?
AR: You’ve been lied to and misled for such a long time that sorting through all that here is virtually impossible. A lot will come out over time, but the truth has been out there for a long time as well but that doesn’t give you what you want, so this dance just goes on and on.
QUESTION: Just wondering what stops you from playing more guitar live?
His thoughts on Death Magnetic: “Yes, [I have heard the new Metallica]. I like it.” Convincing endorsement. You can read more — Axl re: Buckethead, Steven Adler, why he titled certain songs what he did, etc. — at Blabbermouth. If you want to read the entire Q&A, head to previously mentioned fan sites, My G N’ R and Here Today… Gone To Hell!. Also, mark this on your calendar: “Monumental promotion” for the “Better” video begins “very soon.”