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Dropping the Needle: Alan Niven talks GNR


AndreCC

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Niven is bitter and full of shit. UYI is "entirely" an Axl solo album? Are you fucking kidding me? How could anyone agree with or defend that statement?

I think most objective people would agree with it. Not only do we have the Rose penned ballads in NR and Estranged, but we have the other Rose penned songs in Dead Horse and Breakdown and Back Off Bitch, etc., PLUS, we have the ridiculous overdubs and demonic vocals all throughout the album, piano everywhere, synthesizers everywhere (not just in the Rose penned ballads), etc.

Are you suggesting that all of that piano and those synthesizers and those overdubbed demonic voices, etc., were the desire of Izzy, Slash or Duff? Please. That was Rose, and just like Rose insisted on One in a Million being included on Lies, Rose insisted on all of those things just mentioned being included on UYI albums.

Now, maybe you are saying that referring to it as a "solo" album is incorrect. I would agree with that. But I would say that it is a continuation of the trend of Rose insisting on things being the way he wanted them to be, and I consider UYI albums to be much more Rose influenced than AFD.

This!

It's funny that Axl would have about 7 or 8 songs for himself, and then still would have to go mess around with the other guys songs, and STILL think it was fair LOL

Edited by AndreCC
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I feel though that people are not paying attention and dismissing the two key points here:

Point 1. Axl was being unprofessional because of whatever was going on backstage. Axl was doing stuff behind other member's back. ( the piano adding in almost all the songs, and the added speech vocals, late starts, diva behavior thing), so the other members were talkin on and off about firing Axl.

Axl felt his position in GNR was at risk, and that he might really officially get fired.

Instead of having a talk and a meeting with all the members involved to clear things out, he saw this as a threat to him, and decided to follow Goldstein advices and presented everyone with a contract that would give him the rights for the name. He probably also felt that since the other members were pretty much on drugs all the time, that Niven might have wanted to take advantage of them and grant him some rights to the name Guns N'Roses himself.

So in Axl's head, he did all of this (the name thing) to prevent managers (like Niven) from getting any percentages of the name and also to make sure his job as a Guns N'Roses member wasn't at stake, and at risk of being fired.

The thing is, instead of taking this in a more clear and respectful way and make a compromise with the band and have a meeting with the band clearing out all the stuff. He didn't try to reach them (maybe because he thought at that time they wouldn't distinguish right from wrong, because of all the drugs and addictions) and he instead, he took Goldstein advices, and took over the name himself, instead of making a compromise with the band and actually talk about solutions that could avoid the unprofessional behavior he was having at that time and that prima donna attitude.

So Axl in my opinion had a very self righteous attitude, in a very unprofessional way to try to resolve the issues.

Point 2: When he was already in a position to dictate what was right or wrong in Guns N'Roses (when he had the name already), in the process of making a new album, he was gonna do the same thing all over again (what he did with the illusions albums). It is highly documented he spent fortunes in synths and other instruments that were gonna be used on the next album... further more, he fired Gilby and he brought im Paul Tobias without anyone's consent. He awarded himself with a better paycheck then the others, because in his mind he was the boss and he had the most input on the music as well as in the writing process!

Now imagine this and put yourself in the other members place:

What if your boss asked you to elaborate an essay for a project, and then he would tell you to deliver the final draft to a guy who's above you, and that guy proceeded to write a few lines and change your final draft, put himself on the writting credits and take you out of the credits of the essay and then awarded himself more money, because he had already written other pieces and had more input then you?

How would you feel?!

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Now imagine this and put yourself in the other members place:

What if your boss asked you to elaborate an essay for a project, and then he would tell you to deliver the final draft to a guy who's above you, and that guy proceeded to write a few lines and change your final draft, put himself on the writting credits and take you out of the credits of the essay and then awarded himself more money, because he had already written other pieces and had more input then you?

How would you feel?!

Singers can't just sing to just any piece of music presented! A singer has to believe in a piece of music 100% so that the audience will believe in it. Someone just playing an instrument can sort of relax somewhat - they don't expend nearly as much energy in presenting it! Just saying.

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Now imagine this and put yourself in the other members place:

What if your boss asked you to elaborate an essay for a project, and then he would tell you to deliver the final draft to a guy who's above you, and that guy proceeded to write a few lines and change your final draft, put himself on the writting credits and take you out of the credits of the essay and then awarded himself more money, because he had already written other pieces and had more input then you?

How would you feel?!

Singers can't just sing to just any piece of music presented! A singer has to believe in a piece of music 100% so that the audience will believe in it. Someone just playing an instrument can sort of relax somewhat - they don't expend nearly as much energy in presenting it! Just saying.

A singer is not the whole band!

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Now imagine this and put yourself in the other members place:

What if your boss asked you to elaborate an essay for a project, and then he would tell you to deliver the final draft to a guy who's above you, and that guy proceeded to write a few lines and change your final draft, put himself on the writting credits and take you out of the credits of the essay and then awarded himself more money, because he had already written other pieces and had more input then you?

How would you feel?!

Singers can't just sing to just any piece of music presented! A singer has to believe in a piece of music 100% so that the audience will believe in it. Someone just playing an instrument can sort of relax somewhat - they don't expend nearly as much energy in presenting it! Just saying.

I think most drummers would disagree with you

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Btw,

" and take you out of the credits of the essay and then awarded himself more money"

are you refering to a real instance in GN'R there and if so which?

That was an example.

Obviously Axl will always have participation in every song, since he's the singer... unless another member sings a song and doesn't participate in it.

Point is you surely wouldn't like to have a guy adding stuff to your essay without consulting you first and taking credit for it. Would you?

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I guess not.

The Sympathy For The Devil Paul Huge overdubs scenario is the one I can think of and it was fucked up for sure -- not sure what the personal issues were there and mostly I don't care -- but that poor attempt at a cover was doomed from the start. The band was too disjointed in general to pull it off. For starters they needed Adler.



Now imagine this and put yourself in the other members place:

What if your boss asked you to elaborate an essay for a project, and then he would tell you to deliver the final draft to a guy who's above you, and that guy proceeded to write a few lines and change your final draft, put himself on the writting credits and take you out of the credits of the essay and then awarded himself more money, because he had already written other pieces and had more input then you?

How would you feel?!

Singers can't just sing to just any piece of music presented! A singer has to believe in a piece of music 100% so that the audience will believe in it. Someone just playing an instrument can sort of relax somewhat - they don't expend nearly as much energy in presenting it! Just saying.

I think most drummers would disagree with you

What I mean is in terms of projecting your personality and 'voice' into a song, not calories expended... it has to be just right, you've gotta be 'on' all the time.

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I'm sure this point has been made before but as a singer you are very naked on stage therefore are giving a piece of yourself more than a musician with an instrument. The instrument, guitar, drums whatever... acts as a bridge or barrier between you and the audience and offers some protection of self. This is one of the reasons that many frontmen are revered and cosseted by those who manage them despite their flaws, Jagger and Tyler spring to mind.

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I guess not.

The Sympathy For The Devil Paul Huge overdubs scenario is the one I can think of and it was fucked up for sure -- not sure what the personal issues were there and mostly I don't care -- but that poor attempt at a cover was doomed from the start. The band was too disjointed in general to pull it off. For starters they needed Adler.

Now imagine this and put yourself in the other members place:

What if your boss asked you to elaborate an essay for a project, and then he would tell you to deliver the final draft to a guy who's above you, and that guy proceeded to write a few lines and change your final draft, put himself on the writting credits and take you out of the credits of the essay and then awarded himself more money, because he had already written other pieces and had more input then you?

How would you feel?!

Singers can't just sing to just any piece of music presented! A singer has to believe in a piece of music 100% so that the audience will believe in it. Someone just playing an instrument can sort of relax somewhat - they don't expend nearly as much energy in presenting it! Just saying.

I think most drummers would disagree with you

What I mean is in terms of projecting your personality and 'voice' into a song, not calories expended... it has to be just right, you've gotta be 'on' all the time.

Machine Gunner - You have other examples.... Breakdown, Pretty tied Up, 14 Years, Don't Cry, Dust N'Bones, Bad Apples etc etc etc Where Axl lowered the guitars and put in speeches and piano parts over it without anyone's consent

Edited by AndreCC
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I'm not all that aware of all specific examples of conflicts about mixes and production. Logically, I'd just say that the writer(s) of any specific song should have the most say about that stuff.

But the end result was a spectacular success! I'm sure there's a million ways they could have made UYIs but they sound fine to me. In light of all the money they all made from them compared to from what they've done since, I'm not sure who would care about that stuff anymore!

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No one cares really, it's just fun to discuss. It's fun when people in the business give us something that we didn't know about before, like Alan Niven did. It was a very interesting interview. Great entertainment. I just wished he told us more stories about GNR.

As for the Illusions, they're great albums! Use Your Illusion 1 is my favorite record ever! Not because of the Don't Cry's and November Rain's, but the whole album itself...

Double Talkin Jive, Perfect Crime, Coma, Dead Horse, Don't Cry, November Rain, Back Off Bitch, Dust N' Bones, Bad apples, Right Next Door to Hell, Bad Obsession... all great fucking tunes! I feel it's a record that is much more easy to listen then Appetite, even though Appetite is what defines Guns N'Roses!

If they had taken off Live and Let Die, You ain't the first, Garden of Eden, The Garden and Don't Damn me, and put Estranged, You Could be Mine and Civil War. They would have had the most successful album ever in my opinion!

It would be great if Alan would come here and chat with the fans! About Old and New GNR!

Edited by AndreCC
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I guess not.

The Sympathy For The Devil Paul Huge overdubs scenario is the one I can think of and it was fucked up for sure -- not sure what the personal issues were there and mostly I don't care -- but that poor attempt at a cover was doomed from the start. The band was too disjointed in general to pull it off. For starters they needed Adler.

Now imagine this and put yourself in the other members place:

What if your boss asked you to elaborate an essay for a project, and then he would tell you to deliver the final draft to a guy who's above you, and that guy proceeded to write a few lines and change your final draft, put himself on the writting credits and take you out of the credits of the essay and then awarded himself more money, because he had already written other pieces and had more input then you?

How would you feel?!

Singers can't just sing to just any piece of music presented! A singer has to believe in a piece of music 100% so that the audience will believe in it. Someone just playing an instrument can sort of relax somewhat - they don't expend nearly as much energy in presenting it! Just saying.
I think most drummers would disagree with you
What I mean is in terms of projecting your personality and 'voice' into a song, not calories expended... it has to be just right, you've gotta be 'on' all the time.

Have you heard Rose live lately?

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^

Yes, just saw him in Sydney. Although i felt that he was holding back somewhat -- it could have been a longer show, more rasp employed, etc -- he still has a very high level of performance artistry - quality and conviction of voice, facial expressions, gestures and body language articulation, etc. It's hard to sing like he does for 2hrs! Nobody other singer in the world is really able to bring Guns songs to life like he does.

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I think really had an influence on AFD whereas he could nt get Slash and Izzy to collab on UYI as much. Its more an Izzy song or a Slash or a Rose. YCBM seems to have everyone. Bad Apples too.

There was a decision to hold Nov Rain back for the second record. But when it was Axls turn they said no we wont do it.

Also i felt RNDTH is one of Axls most insightful lyrics about their situation. And not just about hitting someone with a bottle.

Niven really split GNR by pitting the band againgstAxl. Divide and conquer is amateur hour.

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I think really had an influence on AFD whereas he could nt get Slash and Izzy to collab on UYI as much. Its more an Izzy song or a Slash or a Rose. YCBM seems to have everyone. Bad Apples too.

There was a decision to hold Nov Rain back for the second record. But when it was Axls turn they said no we wont do it.

Also i felt RNDTH is one of Axls most insightful lyrics about their situation. And not just about hitting someone with a bottle.

Niven really split GNR by pitting the band againgstAxl. Divide and conquer is amateur hour.

I didn't understand that bit actually... why did he say it was about hitting someone with a bottle?

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I think really had an influence on AFD whereas he could nt get Slash and Izzy to collab on UYI as much. Its more an Izzy song or a Slash or a Rose. YCBM seems to have everyone. Bad Apples too.

There was a decision to hold Nov Rain back for the second record. But when it was Axls turn they said no we wont do it.

Also i felt RNDTH is one of Axls most insightful lyrics about their situation. And not just about hitting someone with a bottle.

Niven really split GNR by pitting the band againgstAxl. Divide and conquer is amateur hour.

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