Axl Rose has had a busy year. As well as taking over from Brian Johnson on AC/DC frontman, he’s been playing with the classic lineup of Guns N’ Roses at festivals like Coachella, as well as their own headline shows. The frontman and bassist Duff McKagan sat down with Brazilian television programme Fantástico, Globo ahead of their show in Orlando in July for their first TV interview since reforming. Now, that chat has been shared and there’s some interesting nuggets of info within.
Axl didn’t have Slash’s number before reuniting
Prior to reuniting (which was provoked by Coachella founder Paul Tollett suggesting it), Axl and Slash were so distant from each other they didn’t even have each other’s phone numbers. Axl had to ask Fernando Lebeis, a member of his management team, to get it for him. Luckily, once he got hold of it, Slash didn’t put the phone down on him.
Duff has taken his children to LA DIY venue The Smell
The Smell is renowned in cult circles for being one of the must-visit DIY venues, although, like many underground gems over the years, it’s currently under threat of demolition. Duff revealed here that he takes his teenage children to shows, including a couple at The Smell. “It’s on Skid Row and it smells,” he smiled. “It’s five bucks to get in. Yeah, it’s [CBGBs] ish.” Axl, meanwhile, says he doesn’t really go to gigs at all.
They’re not bothered that their music will be consumed online
As members of the pre-streaming generations, you might think the pair would be annoyed or at the very least bemused by the way younger fans’ consume music now. Asked if they are sad at the thought of any potential new releases not coming out on vinyl or other physical formats, both replied nonchalantly. The only thing that seemed to bother Axl was new generations missing out on impressive album art.
Steven Adler isn’t in the band because of back surgery, while Izzy Stradlin seems a mystery to Axl
So far, Steven Adler and Izzy Stradlin haven’t played much of a part in the group’s big reunion. Steven has made a couple of one-off appearances here and there, while Izzy has yet to be seen at all. “When this started, Steven had just had back surgery and stuff so I don’t have any idea about that,” Axl said about the drummer. The guitarist, meanwhile, seems more of a mystery to the frontman. “With Izzy, that’s just something that I can’t really describe. I don’t really know what to say about Izzy,” he explained.
Axl will continue to juggle GN’R and AC/DC for as long as Angus Young will have him
Over the last few months, Axl has been fronting both GN’R and AC/DC. There’s not many dates booked in for the latter at present, but he’s said he’s happy to continue juggling both “as long as Angus wants to do it and as long as we can make it work”. “Guns is really supportive of it,” he continued. “I love that it’s my job and I love that Angus is my boss. Singing the early Brian [Johnson] songs are something else to sing so it’s a different kind of animal and it’s a different kind of work.” Duff’s view on the whole thing? “It’s pretty radical,” he laughed.”