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Five Things We Learned From Axl Rose’s First TV Interview in a Decade


National Metal Day (11.11.11) had its share of highlights, from the Black Sabbath reunion to that Tumblr dedicated to Spinal Tap's Nigel Tufnel. VH1 Classic's The Metal Show saved the best for last though by securing an interview with notorious media hater W. Axl Rose. The last time the Guns N' Roses singer allowed himself to be interviewed was for Billboard in the months following the release of 2008's Chinese Democracy, and even then he only granted the article because he could answer questions over email. That was Rose's first interview in a major music magazine in nearly nine years; this is his first televised Q&A in over a decade.

Axl doesn't feel like he's loved in the U.S.
"I mean different things to different countries. There's a way that Brazil likes me that is different in the way Argentina does that is different in the way Chile does. Then all of its is different than America. America is a different thing. It's a whole other animal."

It's not Axl's fault that Guns N' Roses go on stage late. It's everyone else's fault:
"Well, not complaining or being a wuss or whatever, but there's a lot of times, day of show, for some reason, everything starts going wrong. People are making mistakes. You're making mistakes, they're making mistakes, and nobody knows why… It's like everybody gets hit by A.D.D. So you're trying to sort with that, and get yourself in the right headspace, and the physical whatever you need to work through. It's like sports, and having to play the big game."

In his response, Axl also discusses a '91 GNR tour where he was pushed by his management to go on a trek that he didn't feel like he should be embarking on. In his answer, you can sense some of that unsolved hatred toward Slash, going as far as saying the guitarist's then-seemingly inevitable heroin overdose was a reason why the band toured that year. "I didn't know how to get out of it after it got booked," Rose said of the '91 jaunt.

Axl likes Chinese Democracy more than 99.999% of Guns N' Roses fans:
When asked if Rose's long-in-the-works disc has met the expectations he pinned onto it, Axl responded, "I think that it's done a lot of that, and I think it's going to do more. People all over the world like a lot of things about it. There's certain songs we do live and they react."

Someone needs to inform Axl that MTV doesn't show music videos anymore:
Guns N' Roses' videos for "November Rain" and "Welcome to the Jungle" were MTV mainstays back in the day, but Rose harbors a love/hate relationship with the channel. "[MTV] became only bands being able to make the videos that had people's interest, and then maybe people would ignore the song. That band doesn't get as big because of maybe the physical image. Sometimes, music to me is that you're just supposed to hear the song, you don't have to write a script to it. That's part of the reason why there are not videos for Chinese yet. I wanted people to have a certain amount of time."

(It's been three years since the album came out. Best Buy is selling the leftover CDs for $2. It's safe to say that no music videos from Democracy are ever coming.)

Don't expect a new GNR album until Axl gets his business in order:
When asked if the band has any plans to record all the leftover songs from the Democracy sessions, Rose responded, "We're working on new management, and we'll be figuring out to do with the label, and feeling things out in the U.S. as we're going across the country."

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