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Appetite for Distortion - Ep. 42: BRAIN

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1 minute ago, Silent Jay said:

Sorry.

That would be a good guess except that Freese didnt record on Sorry since its a Brain/Bucket song.  He said the orchestrator had written out a solo Josh did if Im not mistaken?

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@Gambit83  An epic podcast - many, many thanks for bringing Brain to us.  What a delight he was to listen to - incredibly interesting, a very funny, cool guy.  I feel like there's so much information to process now. LOL  I can imagine how you guys must have felt at the end of that - just so many points of interest and intrigue to ponder.

One of the highlights (and there were many!) was Brain's description of trying to emulate Adler's drumming and how surprising and exciting Adler's style was to him, how he finally got the kind of spirit and energy Adler brought to AFD.  Hearing that from another drummer, and one as awesome as Brain, was really something special.  A great moment.  

Anyway, I feel like listing to some of Brain's 'ambient' music after that! LOL  And you guys were great throughout too, set the right tone, asked all the right questions...you did a fantastic job.  Thoroughly enjoyed listening.  

Edited by MyPrettyTiedUpMichelle
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Always thought it strange people like him leaving the band, interesting that it sounded like he has a case "what might have been". I mean it's hardly likely to get bigger of better than that, somebody would have had to force me out. And if you stuck it out, who knows what would happen.

It was frustrating that Brain couldn't remember song names!

Pretty cool, I was a fan of him in the band, he just nailed it.

I found it interesting hearing him talk about Steven's parts with something verging on admiration. When you think about it, the drumming is pretty great on that album (along with everything else).

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11 hours ago, Oldest Goat said:

BRAAAIIIN!

Please save us from Frank.

P.S. Thanks a lot @Gambit83 and @ArtTavana

P.S.2. For anyone interested, this is the videogame Brain mentions being involved in with Melissa. It's been on my radar for a while but I had no idea.

 

Oh shit, thats awesome they are involved in that. My most hyped game by far. Witches 3 is a masterpiece 

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6 hours ago, soon said:

Listening now.  Great stuff.  Seems that Brain believes he has a drum solo on the album CD?

I think he was talking about There was a time :lol:

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14 hours ago, Gambit83 said:

Appreciate the feedback, hopefully he comes on again to get more and talk the HOB show. 

Yup GNR 2001 hit on everything i was was going to write about. The mother goose punk song was clearly Silkworms. Which Pittman put together with Izzy. As a matter of fact I think Axl introduces it as this is a song put together by Chris Pittman and Dizzy Reed. So anyway I was practically screaming at phone to Brain it's Silkworms!!!! But Brain had no idea then you I thought you were going to save them day when you corrected him but you asked if he was talking about the Blues! The most Illusions style ballad on the album.

That was even more infuriating to me!:lol: Silkworms is probably one of the weirdest songs, not anvante garde we've ever heard. But hey can't really fault anyone for messing that one up. Not everyone is crazy enough like use to have followed every single detail about this band over the years especially the dormant years of Chinese Democracy.

I do think you were right on the 2nd one he couldn't remember the name of when he said the song with the crazy drums at the end. It has to be Prostitute. Although it is a slower song the drums on it are pretty prominent and a very intrique part of the song. And very powerful. Then Brain thought it was There was a time. 

Although as I'm posting it might've been twat. The drums at the end are very powerful. Very Zeppelin/Bonham like. It's overlooked because Bucket's solo is so phenomenal. 

Even though those parts drove me crazy Brain was frickin hilarious. It had me laughing so hard. Brain is such a fascinating guy and came across so well in this interview. He is very humble and into music for all the right reasons not just money. I'll always have the upmost respect and a soft spot for guys like he, Bucket and Izzy. 

You said to me, wait until I hear Brain's answer and it would shock me when I asked if he was still involved with GNR in anyway and would he ever consider rejoining if frank stepped down and they needed a someone to step. His answers were so good. He was so candid and human like you guys mentioned. I would kill to see him up there with Slash, Axl & duff!

I also forgot that I read in print interviews that Brain passion in music since day one is Rn'R and Led Zeppelin, ACDC, Rush etc. but you forget that with his uncanny versatility and his work alongside so many avante harde musicians. 

Gnr 2001 I don't think Brain is the write guy to ask about songs that didn't make it on the record when he can't even name songs that we on the outside know the history of lol

Keep up the Amzing work guys. So  entertaining. I actually look forward to these episodes now. We haven't had  much to look forward to regarding GNR since the initial reunion shows or as far back as the release of cd or the period between 99-2006 when the GNR online community was like no other and we were like a kid in a candy store with every little rare tidbit of new.

Now I can't wait to hear Rod Jackson and Drew-duff from Mr. Brownstone. We share a common love for Faith No More. I never missed a show in They were the most entertaining and energetic GNR tribute for sure. I became friends with all the guys. Gerard, Matt, Tommy(Earl lol) Good times! Hard to believe I was 18 when I first saw them at the Knitting Factory in Brooklyn. Sold out show. The place was packed, GNR fans going wild. Gotta remember people were starved for gnr live music in the early 2000s so those shows were a big deal. Not your run of the mill tribute band shows. They proved that gnr was still really relevant outside of the mainstream.

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11 hours ago, soon said:

Listening now.  Great stuff.  Seems that Brain believes he has a drum solo on the album CD?

Yea that part was very confusing. Just goes to show that the recording process was so infuriating to those guys that they virtually mentally blocked it out of their memory. Even those timeless songs we all love so much. Talking about it must be like reflecting on your relationship with an ex-girlfriend of many years.

Edited by Top-Hatted One

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13 hours ago, TheSeeker said:

Good stuff

You missed a follow-up question on why Paul Tobias was fired and replaced by Richard Fortus - I don't think that story's ever been told publicly 

Also Brain inadvertently confirmed that Pittman was fired. Though it was pretty obvious to us when he was talking about how Melissa came into the picture. He said he didn't have all the details of what went down but "after they kicked Pittman out" they brought her in after Caram made the suggestion.

Seems like he was pretty close friends with Pittman and eventually even Tommy. Richard/Robin I'm not so sure 

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On 1/12/2018 at 5:42 PM, MyPrettyTiedUpMichelle said:

@Gambit83  An epic podcast - many, many thanks for bringing Brain to us.  What a delight he was to listen to - incredibly interesting, a very funny, cool guy.  I feel like there's so much information to process now. LOL  I can imagine how you guys must have felt at the end of that - just so many points of interest and intrigue to ponder.

One of the highlights (and there were many!) was Brain's description of trying to emulate Adler's drumming and how surprising and exciting Adler's style was to him, how he finally got the kind of spirit and energy Adler brought to AFD.  Hearing that from another drummer, and one as awesome as Brain, was really something special.  A great moment.  

Anyway, I feel like listing to some of Brain's 'ambient' music after that! LOL  And you guys were great throughout too, set the right tone, asked all the right questions...you did a fantastic job.  Thoroughly enjoyed listening.  

Yup another highlight I forgot to mention. It just seals the deal on the magic of Steven Adler and the afd 5 when you hear another world class drummer like Brain  breakdown the key intricacies that make Appetite so special. 

That was another moment where I wanted to jump in and say that Adlers parts are so exciting because he plays from the heart not by the book. All 5 of them in general. And like you guys hit on its even sloppy at times but it is unique and truly magical.

Edited by Top-Hatted One
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13 hours ago, History2010 said:

I recall one of Axl's chats saying Tobias simply moved into a background role and he stepped away because he didn't like touring. So either Axl was lying or Brain misspoke.

Also Paul helped put together the album notes in 2007/8 so he was clearly still around and on good terms with Axl.

Eh Axl always has a similar excuse. I don't blame him at times.  He has to play a role of publicist. GN'R is a huge brand to protect.

i gotta go with Brain here 

Edited by Top-Hatted One

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2 hours ago, Top-Hatted One said:

Yup another highlight I forgot to mention. It just seals the deal on the magic of Steven Adler and the afd 5 when you hear a virtuoso drummer breakdown the key intricacies that make Appetite so special. 

That was another moment where I wanted to jump in and say that Adlers parts are so exciting because he plays from the heart not by the book. All 5 of them in general. And like you guys hit on its even sloppy at times but it is unique and truly magical.

I love Brain, but wouldnt a virtuoso drummer be more of a Mike Portnoy type?

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7 hours ago, Top-Hatted One said:

Also Brain inadvertently confirmed that Pittman was fired. Though it was pretty obvious to us when he was talking about how Melissa came into the picture. He said he didn't have all the details of what went down but "after they kicked Pittman out" they brought her in after Caram made the suggestion.

Seems like he was pretty close friends with Pittman and eventually even Tommy. Richard/Robin I'm not so sure 

Pretty sure he said Chris quit. 

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18 minutes ago, Coma16 said:

Pretty sure he said Chris quit. 

Correct. He said "after Chris quit".

Buckethead gave him the nickname "Mother Goose", by the way.

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12 hours ago, default_ said:

I think he was talking about There was a time :lol:

Looks like youre right.  Dude's so spacey:lol:  He also said it this way in a previous interview:

"So about a month later [the transcriber] calls me and I get back, I go and pick it up at Sony Studios I get like, it must have been like that thick (holds hands about a foot apart) of sheet music and it was every song written out note for note and these were some seven minute songs."

With, at the end, Josh doing soloing. Actually, like 'Ba-budda-bah-pssh-budda-bash'. Like every note was written out and he had like the exact solo of the end of 'There Was A Time', maybe that was like literally, I dunno, like 2 minutes of the vamp at the end of Josh just going crazy. All written out!" (Brain, EQTV, 10/08)

http://www.gnrevolution.com/viewtopic.php?pid=55612#p55612

I had a fuzzy memory of reading this.  I think I had initially read him as saying that at the end of a take, Josh just went into soloing on his own.  And yet he uses the word 'vamping' which is essentially improvising with in a well delineated structure.  What I think now is that since Josh's take of There Was A Time was pre-Buckethead, that Josh and band, minus Finck who's parts had already ended (the song had technically ended) did indeed just rock out longer with what was essentially a drum solo.  Then Buckethead came in a recorded over that section transforming it into a guitar solo with Nick Mason on steroids drum fills accompanying.

I really cant see someone of his caliber calling that outro a drum solo, unless it literally was handed to him as a solo originally.

8 hours ago, Top-Hatted One said:

Yea that part was very confusing. Just goes to show that the recording process was so infuriating to those guys that they virtually mentally blocked it out of their memory. Even those timeless songs we all love so much. Talking about it must be like reflecting on your relationship with an ex-girlfriend of many years.

That is an excellent observation!  I could see that.  It must have been painful as a person and as an artist. You wanna look back with fondness but it was just so piecemeal and arduous.  Like they never got to sit with songs and be able to identify with them, but it was more like being in college for music where a section of music is presented and you must just execute - including with feeling and emotion - but its just cold, hard expectation.  One doesn't have ownership.

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3 hours ago, soon said:

cold, hard expectation.

Aaaand that nicely sums up Axl as a boss - or at least how he used to be.  I'm sure Axl is absolutely lovely to those 'he likes' as the Blind Melon guy Thorn says, 'he's got your back'.  Otherwise, I'm guessing he'd have been difficult to please, difficult to communicate with, difficult all round.   I thought that came over pretty obviously from Brain.  Nothing we didn't already know of course, but always interesting to hear it alluded to from a former employee band member.

So two things caught my attention in that regard: Brain's 'surprise' that Axl had given his permission for the remixes (for Brain and Melissa show) and his comment along the lines of 'I hear it's different now' when finishing his tale about Axl running a tight ship, being a perfectionist and diligently taking notes after a show. 

Makes me wonder what, if anything, has changed since Brain worked with him?

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1 hour ago, MyPrettyTiedUpMichelle said:

Aaaand that nicely sums up Axl as a boss - or at least how he used to be.  I'm sure Axl is absolutely lovely to those 'he likes' as the Blind Melon guy Thorn says, 'he's got your back'.  Otherwise, I'm guessing he'd have been difficult to please, difficult to communicate with, difficult all round.   I thought that came over pretty obviously from Brain.  Nothing we didn't already know of course, but always interesting to hear it alluded to from a former employee band member.

So two things caught my attention in that regard: Brain's 'surprise' that Axl had given his permission for the remixes (for Brain and Melissa show) and his comment along the lines of 'I hear it's different now' when finishing his tale about Axl running a tight ship, being a perfectionist and diligently taking notes after a show. 

Makes me wonder what, if anything, has changed since Brain worked with him?

Great points.  I was surprised about the live performance of the covers too, I guess thats one point in favour of Axl being ready to release but maybe the label or lack there of being more of the issue?

I feel for the guy, he goes on paternity leave, has an off day back and makes a decision in the moment, turned down offer to return along with Frank to be good by Frank, now he sees them playing with Slash and Duff and loves the idea of being part of it, plus he hears that the downsides of the job as he knew it dont seem to be there anymore.

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1 hour ago, soon said:

Great points.  I was surprised about the live performance of the covers too, I guess thats one point in favour of Axl being ready to release but maybe the label or lack there of being more of the issue?

I feel for the guy, he goes on paternity leave, has an off day back and makes a decision in the moment, turned down offer to return along with Frank to be good by Frank, now he sees them playing with Slash and Duff and loves the idea of being part of it, plus he hears that the downsides of the job as he knew it dont seem to be there anymore.

Funnily enough, I just happened to be watching the 2016 interview for Brazilian TV (the one with Duff) and I never caught the significance of Axl's words before hearing Brain's take on how Axl worked.

Axl says that the band (with Slash and Duff) basically rehearsed on their own with Frank, because they had their own way to work with him and they made changes to the tempo and found their own way into it and he just left them to it.

I know Axl has always 'just left the band to it', to an extent, but I got the impression that this time round maybe he wasn't so hellbent on controlling how they sounded?  Especially since he let them speed up the tempo.  And well, from what everyone says, Frank is no Brain! So he doesn't mind that either! LOL

Hopefully this means he has mellowed somewhat and is more flexible and easier to work with.

If he is, it's a shame Brain couldn't be part of this NITL tour.  Axl clearly loved the feel of his drumming back then (a feel he obviously didn't get from Freese despite how good the parts were) and you can't help but wonder how the songs might sound with Brain?  I know I loved what Slash and Duff brought to the CD songs.  Imagine Slash, Duff AND Brain on those?  :drool:    

 

Edited by MyPrettyTiedUpMichelle
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11 minutes ago, MyPrettyTiedUpMichelle said:

Funnily enough, I just happened to be watching the 2016 interview for Brazilian TV (the one with Duff) and I never caught the significance of Axl's words before hearing Brain's take on how Axl worked.

Axl says that the band (with Slash and Duff) basically rehearsed on their own with Frank, because they had their own way to work with him and they made changes to the tempo and found their own way into it and he just left them to it.

I know Axl has always 'just left the band to it', to an extent, but I got the impression that this time round maybe he wasn't so hellbent on controlling how they sounded?  Especially since he let them speed up the tempo.  And well, from what everyone says, Frank is no Brain! So he doesn't mind that either! LOL

Hopefully this means he has mellowed somewhat and is more flexible and easier to work with.

If he is, it's a shame Brain couldn't be part of this NITL tour.  Axl clearly loved the feel of his drumming back then (a feel he obviously didn't get from Freese despite how good the parts were) and you can't help but wonder how the songs might sound with Brain?  I know I loved what Slash and Duff brought to the CD songs.  Imagine Slash, Duff AND Brain on those?  :drool:    

 

Thats true, allowing them to speed up the tempos seems to show a change in Axls need to control.  I just hope its not a wholesale not caring anymore (and I dont think it is). I would prefer slower tempos so that might even demonstrate how useful Axls sensibilities and insistence was.

Knowing Brains up for playing in this lineup, in addition to Adler and one would assume Sorum, is beyond painful!  I do imagine it and it sounds incredible.  I bet Brain would be even more true to the recorded parts, in a way he wasnt with Brownstones intro.

I think theres lots of room to think Axls mellowed out and is easier to work with.  Hope that if they are recording that Axl is still assertive with his proven instincts.  To strike the right balance.  I hope he'll still notice the missed kick drums.

Brain.  Slash.  Duff.  Axl.  Oh, what could have been. 

 

 

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4 hours ago, soon said:

Great points.  I was surprised about the live performance of the covers too, I guess thats one point in favour of Axl being ready to release but maybe the label or lack there of being more of the issue?

I feel for the guy, he goes on paternity leave, has an off day back and makes a decision in the moment, turned down offer to return along with Frank to be good by Frank, now he sees them playing with Slash and Duff and loves the idea of being part of it, plus he hears that the downsides of the job as he knew it dont seem to be there anymore.

I wonder if Brain if would be ok with playing 3hr+ shows with Slash and Duff there now?

Edited by Top-Hatted One

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53 minutes ago, Top-Hatted One said:

I wonder if Brain would be ok with playing 3hr+ shows with Slash and Duff there now?

Thats true, even though he said he would be into being a part of NITL, he also said that he cant imagine playing those long shows.  Id love to see it so I hope that once he got out there he'd get energized!

Edited by soon
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