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Interview with Steven Adler about His Appetite For Destruction: Sex & Drugs & Guns N’ Roses

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After my recent review of the book My Appetite For Destruction: Sex & Drugs & Guns N’ Roses, I had the opportunity to talk with the author, Guns N’ Roses’ original drummer, and founding member, Steven Adler.

My Appetite For Destruction, sets itself apart from the average, over-the-top, rock star autobiography by taking a raw, hard, honest look at the life and impending death of one of America’s most powerful, and talented, hard rock bands. steven_adlers_appetite_interview Guns N’ Roses might still be kicking, but with only one original GN’F’N’R member left to carry on the fight, the rigor mortis is begin to show.

The book shares Steven Adler’s inside perspective of the rock star lifestyles, and extreme personalities, within the hardrocking, hard-partying, volatile band. The book not only chronicles the band’s history and the infamous internal feuds, but Steven Adler’s life before and after GN’R; his youthful friendship with co-founding guitarist Slash and the final betrayal that left him drug addicted, suicidal and broke.

Just like the band, and the album, that it takes its named from, this book promises to hold its mettle, and its metal, as a classic rock memoir.

Through it all Steven Adler has managed to rebound. His new band, Adler’s Appetite, released its first single today, “It’s Good to Be Alive”, along with the release of My Appetite For Destruction: Sex & Drugs & Guns N’ Roses. Steven wrote the book to set the record straight about a few things; a way of coming clean while getting clean, but also as a way to inspire others–and to dispel the misinformation and hyperbole that became heavy metal gospel to the misled.

You can listen to a bit of Adler’s Appetite’s new single, “It’s Good to Be Alive”, and Steven talking about how he worked things out with his best friend Slash, and Steven Adler’s explanation of his ‘hands-on’ involvment in the infamous O.D. of friend and fellow rocker, Motley Crue’s Nikki Sixx.

You can tell by our conversation that Steven is a loving person and it’s almost impossible not to love him right back. *Axl Rose could not be reached for comment.

Steven, Your positive attitude really comes through in this book. You’re like a soldier, no matter what happens you’re undaunted. You always get back up.

Well, you gotta do that. You gotta pick yourself up. Sometimes you just gotta do it over and over, but you gotta do it. You can’t give up. I wouldn’t give up. I didn’t give up–or doubt myself, in becoming a successful musician with a successful band. I knew somewhere in my heart it was there, I was just stuffing so much anger inside, that I was not capable of moving on with my life until I got rid of it. And having the opportunity to do this book really let me do that.

Anybody and everybody can write their own book, that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s going to get published, but they can write their own book and get their own feelings out. It helped me a lot.

I learned a lot working with Dr. Drew and his staff.

You shared such a unique experience with the other guys in Guns N’ Roses–Most bands don’t ever make it big. But even if you guys do find the same success in other bands, it will never be like the first time.

You know what the crazy part is? We didn’t finish what we started. And that’s the one thing that does bother me about not working with these guys. They are my brothers, Slash and Duff and Izzy and Axl, and we didn’t finish what we started — but we’re still alive, the five of us. So, we have an opportunity to do it. And I hope the rest of the guys and Axl would like to do it, because I know it would be a wonderful thing, and not just for us. I know if you got the five of us in one room we would do nothing but hug each other. And probably cry. I know I would.

You get the five of us in one room, I know we’d be inseparable. It’s like Freddy Mercury said, “Each one of us alone can do some stuff that’s really cool but, as a unit, as a band, the four or five of us, are a force to be reckoned with. And we are unstoppable.”

So, I’m hopeful. But I love what I’m doing now. I love my band, Adler’s Appetite. I’ve finally recorded a single with my new band and it’s called “It’s Good to Be Alive”, which it is! If you go to our website AdlersAppetiteOnline.com, you get a free download when you buy the book. And today I’m debuting the song on The Howard Stern Show on Sirius XM.

steven and slash partying hard

The thing that affected me the most in the book was the breakdown of your friendship with Slash because, as we had talked about before, you two shared a unique experience apart from the band. You grew up in the same neighborhood, you both lived with your grandmothers, you both got into trouble. But most importantly, you both shared the same dream and, more than likely, neither of you would have followed it without the other. Alone, it was just a dream, but when you two found one another you both just knew in your hearts that this was it. No doubt. We’re going to be rock stars. You’re a perfect match, and in ways that no one else would ever understand. No one will ever know or understand Slash better than you, because you’ve seen the very root of what makes him the man he is, and no one will ever know you in such depth either. But that also means that no one else’s betrayal could have hurt you more. And that really hit home with me.

I tried to share some of that. I tried to create a picture of it–a good picture of it. Because, for me, it’s like it was yesterday. I remember we were sitting in his grandmother’s stairwell, at their apartment, and he was practicing guitar. we were writing songs. And, for some crazy reason… we decided to become indian blood-brothers, you know, where you cut your palms. And we were saying “we’re gonna make it to the top. We’re gonna make it.” Together we believed in ourselves, back then even. And for me, that’s the best part of still being alive. Having Slash back in my life again.

So… you guys are going to start working together again, right?

Yeah, well, we recorded songs on the solo record he put out, with Flea who we also we grew up with…

[Haha! Yes! I remember that from the book, your grandma called him an angel.]

and Alice Cooper. That was really cool.

But Slash did turn his back on you, and he was closer to you than your brothers. I know you and Jamie were close, and you and Slash have drifted in and out of each others lives, but no matter what happened, you’ve always ended up together. It’s a connection that can never be broken. It is inevitable.

It is inevitable.

He’s such a big influence on me too. He has six years sober–and if that man can sober up, then I can. If he can get it together, then I know I can do it.

The new song is called “It’s Good to Be Alive”–interesting choice of titles. Do I need to ask what inspired that?

You know what? It. Just. Happened. It just worked out that way. It wasn’t planned; it was magic. And that’s how it works. We weren’t thinking about it. Then I went, “Hey! That reminds me of me.”

My new bands great. It’s hard to find five musicians who know what the other is going to do, before they do it. And that’s what we had in GN’R. Working with Chip Z’Nuff and Michael Thomas, Rick Stitch and Alex Grossi–we’re really close that way. And Chip playing Bass and me playing drums, we demand to be like that.  And we don’t have to be, there’s no effort to it.

In the book you talked about when the local metal bands were making it, you were young. And watching drummers at the Starwood; Slash would head straight for the backstage stairs, you found a little cubby hole behind the drum area and you’d hide back there and watch them play. You said you learned from Tommy Lee what a rock star should be, because he was always so happy when he was playing. Who are your favorite drummers?

Oh! Roger Meadows Taylor from Queen is my all-time, number one, favorite. Peter Criss from Kiss. John Bonham, Carl Palmer… mostly English drummers. I liked the ’60s, ’70s English drummers.

Fans can get “It’s Good to Be Alive”,  the brand new single from Adler’s Appetite, for a limited time, when they buy a copy of Adler’s tell-all autobiography, “My Appetite for Destruction: Sex, and Drugs, and Guns N’ Roses“, before October 27, 2010.

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  • the real bob

    Wow! These live interviews are so, so, SO much better than the ones done by e-mail. They bring so much more authenticity. Yay for you.

  • nothingprofound

    Great interview. Well-written. Glad he’s gotten his life together-these guys have such intense lifestyles. Must be difficult to keep a sense of proportion about oneself.