Dirty Rock Magazine recently conducted an interview with original GUNS N' ROSES drummer Steven Adler. A few excerpts from the chat follow below.
Dirty Rock Magazine: Do you enjoy this type of up-close-and-personal contact with fans and budding musicians (on the upcoming Australian drum clinic tour)?
Adler: I love it. I get so much love and so much respect from people, besides making me feel good, it's really cool and everybody is enjoying being with me. I've done a few of these and I've been going to these dance clubs and I've been playing with DJ Rush doing a drum set with the DJ behind me and I play for an hour or two on all these different songs and it goes over really great. It's a lot of fun.
The best part of my life so far is being friends with Slash again. He's such a superstar. And it's funny because I've known him since we were 11 years old. It's so cool to see where we started out and where we went. It's really cool because for 18 years we didn't talk. Oh, yeah, and he's working on his solo album and he said he had a song particularly for me to play drums on. That's all I asked — just give me one chance, one song to prove myself to him.
Dirty Rock Magazine: That was going to be one of my next questions. So you're definitely playing on the album?
Adler: Yes. I'm very excited about doing it.
Dirty Rock Magazine: Sounds exciting. So you personally, who were your drumming influences when you started out and who are they now?
Roger Taylor from QUEEN has always been my favorite, and now from more recent stuff, I'd have to say Taylor Hawkins (FOO FIGHTERS). He is the best. And what about Dave Grohl? Where did he come from? I think that's the coolest thing ever. He came from a big band, huge band playing drums and now he's singing and he's out front of an even bigger band! It's harder to become bigger than NIRVANA, and he did it. And that's always been an inspiration to me. It inspired me to get my head together that's how much I'm into it. And some kicks in the butt from Slash, his support, I had a lot of support from that man.
Dirty Rock Magazine: Yeah, it's great to hear that you're friends again. But look, I've got to ask you even though you get in every interview. But GUNS N' ROSES, I just read that Matt Sorum suggested that if a reunion were to happen they should have you and him playing drums. What do you think about that?
Adler: He said they should have him and me?
Dirty Rock Magazine: Yeah if there ever was a GN'R reunion, they should have both of you.
Adler: Well, what I heard, I heard yesterday the same thing, but what I heard was that he said the only drummer for GUNS N' ROSES is me. And I was very happy to hear that, because he's right. I've recently become friends with him and I think somebody heard it wrong, because I heard the opposite. If it is what you said, I'm calling him up and saying, "Excuse me?" (Laughs)
Dirty Rock Magazine: Well, what I read saw was only a small snippet and not the whole story.
Adler: (Laughs) Yeah I heard the opposite. And the way I see it, that's how it should be. And the thing about GUNS N' ROSES is, for starters, Axl [Rose] ran the whole thing into the ground and still is. It's a shame. Two, he should have named his record W.A.R. — W. Axl Rose. Then I think it would have been a bigger hit. You know what?! It's heartbreaking, because I was there from the beginning and helped get it started, and to see what he did and still doing, it's hurtful. That, and I heard that some big rock agency offered us $150 million for us to do 20 shows. And that was very hurtful that Axl said no and doesn't want to do it. Because that doesn't happen.
Dirty Rock Magazine: So is a GN'R reunion as far away as ever?
Adler: The way Axl is, what I know of him, is he could make a call tomorrow and say, "OK, guys we're doing it." I'm not saying he's going to call up and say, "I'm sorry guys, and we're gonna do it." (Laughs). And he is that way, so you never know. Tomorrow he could call up and say, "Let's do this, guys." As long as the five of us are alive, there's an opportunity. But I can't wait, I can't wait, and I'm not going to wait.
I'm enjoying my life again, I saw Duff [McKagan]. I was hanging out with Duff. They have this Rock 'N' Roll [Fantasy] Camp at the studio I rehearse at and I went along and hung out with him and Rudy Sarzo, Kip Winger, Carmine Appice, Alan White… And they had a huge drum circle with four kits set up and I got up there playing with all these huge stars. It was really, really great.
Read the full interview in the latest digital issue of Dirty Rock Magazine at this location.