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November 8th, 2002
Axl interview KISW Seattle
KISW Seattle, November 8th 2002
Prior to the Guns N' Roses show at the Tacoma Dome, Axl Rose called KISW's Ditch to give his first US radio interview in ten years.

Ditch: I'm Ditch and we're gonna interrupt the road rage 12-pack today because.... Well, I'm at the controls and when a guy named Axl Rose calls me, that's exactly what I'm gonna do.

What's going on Axl?

Axl: Whats happening? Getting Ready to play!

Ditch: Yeah man. So welcome to Seattle dude!

Axl: Yeah well. Right now it's beating Vancouver! [laughs]

Ditch: Yeah, so you wanna adress last night at all?

Axl: Ahh, sure. Umm, we were gonna play a show and the plug got pulled on us and we were fully able to... To meet our commitments and we don't really understand, what happened right now, why the show was pulled. We have a legal team looking into it. Ah, to get to the bottom of it. And we have to sort out things about the people who bought tickets and things like that. But basicly ahh the building manager just decided, and in our opinion, prematurely, that the show was just cancelled.

And he didn't discuss it with anyone. He just announced it over the P.A, we found out, my guys found out over the Public Address system.

Ditch: I had read that you were like stuck in L.A or something, and and.... They were...

Axl: No, I was in the air. I was in a plane on the way to the show.

Um, it gets complicated. Um, the, the bu... The manager of the building, said that ah the doors wouldin't open until he had confirmation that we were wheels up, that the plane was in the air, and as soon as he had that confirmation he cancelled the show without telling anybody.

Ditch: That takes some balls man!

Axl: And not only did he cancel the show.

He canceled the show and before this... I dont know if it was a riot or disturbance whatever started, they had police at the airport, trying to find out what was going on with me.

So... it's all kinda screwy.

Ditch: Well, let's look ahead till tonight. Tonight's gonna be the kick-off and tonight I know is gonna be exciting night for a lot of people because... You know, other than your appearance on MTV....

Axl: [laughs]

Ditch: You looked great on that dude, you looked really really good, like you know what? Axl has not lost, he has not lost a step, not lost a beat. You were on it and tonight people have been waiting, dude. You know this is gonna be the biggest night in a lot of people's uuh uh, the biggest night in a lot of people's lives in 9 years bro!

Axl: Well you're too kind, but the, the MTV thing was a lot of fun and... And we just basicly, we were working on putting that little medley together on that day cause we didn't know we were playing it until a couple of days before it. Cause it was still in negotiations. So you know, we were really happy to be able to do that, it just umm, it was just... It just blew all of our minds. When, you know, we were out there and doing it, it was... When the curtain went up it was like is this really happening?

Ditch: [laughs]

Axl: So, and we're excited to be doing this, this is ah ah, still a pre-lim of trying to get some road legs with this line-up, with this band, you know? We just did a mini-tour in Asia and in, in Europe a little bit and now we're doing this and we're also out to show people that, you know, this band rocks. This band can play, this band does justice to the old material, and its a real exciting thing to watch in its on right.

Ditch: I gotta say, regarding the MTV thing, when you said "Is this really happening?" from a viewers standpoint, I was saying the exact same thing!

Axl: [laughs]

Ditch: I couldn't believe it. Well, what has been... What has been the, the biggest challenge for you, and actually on the other side of that the, uhh. The best thing for you of getting the new line-up together and, and getting out there?

Axl: Umm, well the biggest challenge is that. In working with these people. You know, I developed a kinda one on one individual relationships, and little.. Little groups in putting this thing together rather... I mean this isn't a band of a bunch of guys who met at a bar, or found each other through, you know, ads in the paper or anything.

It's been, you know, I carefully looked for these individual people and their personalities and how exciting each one of them is and what they bring to this project. So then, the challenge was, you know, working with all those different personalities and bringing those personalities together. Especially personalities that, ahh you know, when they have to learn how to play other people's material, then that's difficult as well.

So there was a lot of challenges in bringing that together, but now everyone's pretty excited. Everyone got pretty excited doing the little mini-tour, and that brought us together more as an actualy band rather than a studio band, where everyone is kind of working separetely maybe even on the same songs. In little clusters here and there, but it's not the same thing as actualy being a stage and road band.

Ditch: You've really, you've... It sounds like really nurtured relationships with these guys, and the new disc "Chinese Democracy". Umm, do you have any idea when the fruits of those labours will come to harvest?

Axl: Uhh, sometime during the next year.

With the guys, I mean. I do have, a really positive relationship with the individual members and each one of them ahh, you know excites me with what they bring to it creatively or just as a person and how each one of them works really hard, because I think anyone that ahh watches this project at all, also sees, the abuse that this project goes through. And these guys shoulder that really, really well and... And they dont have a problem dealing with it, and I have to, you know, just respect the hell out of that with these guys.

Ditch: Absolutely, I mean it's... With everything that Guns N' Roses has been through over the decades and now you're back, and you got the new line-up uhh... And you yourself Axl I think, have you made a conscious effort over the years to remain out of the public eye or does that just come natural to you? Cause....

Axl: No no, it didn't exactly come natural but, umm. I, I would say that, you know, originally I was shy and then we would fight through it and.... You know, a lot of substance abuse will get you out there in front of those cameras. You know, you get like "hey I can do anything".

Ditch: [laughs] Yeah...

Axl: But, and that was like in the past. But also, this... A lot of this has also having to do with the... There's a lot of really difficult legal situations that have gone on through over the years, and I haven't quite the recluse that people make out, I just dont go to places where I know people are taking my pictures, or I know that's gonna happen, or there's gonna be interviews or looking for the public spotlight, I have stayed out of that.

Um, there's also though talking in interviews, that anything that I would say, would turn around and be used against me in these various behind the scenes court cases and they were all very very complicated. Um, and things lasted for years, in all kind of cases that the public doesn't really know about yet. And it's little, by little be more time for me to talk about those things, but I'm more interested in then having the music talk first, then I'll say what happened later.

Ditch: Absolutely, lets talk about the opening band, bands. Tonight you've got, uhh, the mix master from the Bestie Boys with you, is that right?

Axl: Ah, Mix Master Mike. He's done some work with them and he's actually done some work with Brain and Bucket on.. You know, in the past, but ahh.

Separate from Brain and Bucket having worked with him, Tommy, was the person that, that turned me on to Mix Master Mike by having me go see a, a scratch show. Umm, when they had this movie out Scratch, and go to a performance of that. And Robin and I went with Tommy down to watch that and it was really exciting to watch. And he just, he just moved the people in a cool way. And it was cool that Tommy and Robin really liked it so much, and then, by this guy, they didn't know that this guy already had a relationship with Bucket and Brain. So it just kinda seems natural because of their enthusiam and then the other guys already knowing him and being excited about it.

And then we're also playing with CKY, which is, you know, kind of a thing people are into right now. And, and they have a really interesting attitude so. It should be fun!

Ditch: Absolutely, looking really forward to it man.

Axl: We wanna, we wanna get people a, a full show, I mean of a few different things to see.

Ditch: Those people who are sitting right now in their cars listening to this, on their way to the show, and anticipatin what they're gonna see... Ahh, is this gonna be a typical in your face, lots of explosions, lots of loud rock Guns N' Roses show that we've come to know?

Axl: It's gonna be a big rock show, yeah. We've... There's, there's a lot going on in, on the staging of it, you know. And pyro and different things like that, so it will be a, a big show.

But also this show is something that is, is designed to be growing. You know, over the next couple of years. It's like, this is the start of something, but then remember we will be putting out a record and then... About a year of so after that, we'll be putting out another one. So there'll be a lot more material added to the set with a lot more things going on. This is the beginning, and we need to be showing people, you know, a lot of the older material, but it will grow.

Ditch: I'll let you go Axl cause I know you, your guy told me you had a couple of minutes left.

Axl: Yeah, I've gotta get down for the soundcheck...

Ditch: Yeah, I got one last question...

Axl: Before they cancel the show!

Ditch: [laughs] Oh yeah.

One last thing. What are some of your fondest memories of the past that you hope to carry forward dude?

Axl: You know.

What I like best about performing, is when, you know that you've done a show that, that the crowd, not like where they go like "Oh yeah, Axl you were the man" or some.... [stream cuts here]


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