Axl Rose + Duff McKagan Talk Guns N’ Roses Reunion, Izzy Stradlin + More
The North American leg of Guns N' Roses' "Not in This Lifetime..." tour is in the books, a remarkable success all the way around. The reunion of original members Slash and Duff McKagan with Axl Rose was one of the most highly anticipated moments in rock history and now Rose and McKagan have opened up about it all in the first public interview since taking the stage together again.
Speaking with Globo (video above), the singer and bassist shed some light on the inner workings of the reunion. Axl first began explaining how the wheels were set in motion, stating, "Actually, it had a lot to do with Paul Tollett of [the] Coachella [festival]. He started talking about [booking a reunion of the classic Guns N' Roses lineup for his festival]. It seemed real. So at that point, I just told my people that they could go ahead and start talking to people and see what's going on. And then as it became more real, I texted Fernando [Lebeis, who is part of the Guns N' Roses management team] and asked for Slash's number. And then Fernando texted his mom [Beta Lebeis, who is also part of the Guns N' Roses management team], and he was, like, 'If this is a joke, I'm gonna kill you,'" [transcription via Blabbermouth].
After Axl said this reunion wasn't conceived as just a one-off appearance, McKagan said the band wasn't looking too far into the future. "Getting into rehearsals, it was really just kind of one day at a time," the bassist began. "I don't know that I thought too much about how far ahead. It was just really cool to play some of the music with the guys that I was playing it with."
Describing how Slash had dinner at his house in October of 2015, Axl then said he hung out with McKagan roughly a week later to get the ball rolling. As for the remainder of the original lineup, drummer Steven Adler and guitarist Izzy Stradlin, the singer said, "Steven did join us [on a couple of dates]. At the same time, I have no idea. When this started, Steven had just had back surgery and stuff, so I don't have any idea about that. And with Izzy, that's just something that… I can't really describe to say… I don't really know what to say about Izzy. It's, like, you could have a conversation and think it's one way and the next day it's another way. And I'm not trying to take any shots at Izzy. It's just his thing is kind of his thing, whatever that is."
Axl is currently on the road again with AC/DC, stepping in for the sidelined Brian Johnson before GN'R head to South America in late October for another round of "Not in This Lifetime..." dates. See a list of upcoming stops at the GN'R's website and read our review of their N.J. show with photos here.
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