SLASH: It's _welcome_ to the jungle-the perfect introduction to Guns N' Roses.
AXL: I consider this song to be the most representative of what we're like.
IZZY: It's about Hollywood streets; true to life.
SLASH: That's the first song I had that Axl wrote lyrics to and helped me write. I had the riff part of it.
AXL: Yeah, I wrote the words in Seattle. It's a big city, but at the same time it's still a small city compared to L.A. and the things that you're gonna learn. It seemed a lot more rural up there. I just wrote how it looked to me. If someone comes to town and they want to find something, they can find whatever they want.
SLASH: It came across, I think it was, on the third take. We did the whole album that way. Second or third take. That's where spontaneity comes from. If you don't get it by then, you've lost the feel of it.
STEVEN: I like the cowbell part.
DUFF: A song West (Arkeen) and myself wrote. It's an account of a time me and him, and also the rest of the band, were kinda going through-we didn't have money, but we had a lot of hangers on and girls we could basically live off of...things were just too easy. There's an emptiness; it's so easy.
AXL: I got the greatest picture. I cut this ad out of Hustler magazine. It's this girl bent over so her ass is up in the air and it says: "it's so easy."
DUFF: No way!
AXL: Yeah, it's an ad for Easy Dates.
SLASH: There's a lot to say for that period of time when you start to lose the excitement of just chasing chicks. You start going after really bizarre girls, like librarians and stuff. Just to catch 'em; to say I finally went out and caught a girl that wouldn't be my normal kinda date, cause everything else is starting to get...'it's so easy'.
AXL: I sang in a low voice because that fit the attitude of that song better. Wasn't something I really thought about, I just started doing it. People ask why I don't sing like that on a lot of songs and it's only because I just sing whatever the song deserves. And it deserves being sung different than the other material. It's a hard tight, simple, punk rock song. When I went to England they said punk's been dead for ten years. And I said, "it's really weird because America doesn't know that."
STEVEN: Great rhythm. Just rocks. Personally I like the guitar solo in it. I like that part of the song 'cause me and Duff are rockin'. Has more feel to it than just a machine.
SLASH: At the grocery store the other night some kid saw me looking for wine and he says, 'hey man, let's get some Nightrain.' Anyway...so Nightrain is just like Jungle, it's very indicative of what the band's all about. I remember when it first came together, we'd hitchhiked to the Rainbow and were walking down to the Troubadour and just started yelling 'Nightrain' 'cause we were drinking it...
AXL: It's a dollar a bottle, 19% alcohol and a quart of it, you'll black out. It's cheap.
IZZY: We hung out at the Troubadour, but it was dead and we just started fantasizing and walking back up to the Strip just singing along.
DUFF: We were living in the Gardener Street studio, where we had one little box of a room. We had no money but we could dig up a buck to go down to this liquor store. It happened to have this great wine called Nightrain that would fuck you up for a dollar. Five dollars and you'd be gone. We lived off this stuff.
AXL: At the time we didn't know anything about anybody else's version of a song called Nightrain either.
SLASH: It's more attitude and describing how you feel when you're on it, rather than necessarily how you may be. You feel invincible.
AXL: The lyrics are saying 'I've always been in trouble but I'm still handling it.' Like every time you turn around, someone is trying to screw you over financially, or the cops are banging on your door and you didn't do anything. It's just being railroaded into something and trying to get out from underneath it. You know - parents, teachers, preachers... everybody. The last verse Slash and I put together as a joke 'cause we were talking about how we get in fights sometimes, and how some people get pissed off that you're drunk. But they're the ones that bought the bottle of whiskey to get you drunk on. Some people say I got a chip on my shoulder.
SLASH: I know a big rock star right now who buys all the fucking booze and then drinks it all up and he gets fucking irate. 'Out Ta Get Me' is Guns N' Roses' big anarchy statement.
AXL: We had that as one of our opening numbers for a while 'cause we were headed to a Roxy show and got pulled over by four cops. They picked up a bag off the street; said we threw it out the window and there were drugs in it. There were no drugs in it. And they were just trying to hassle us, saying our advance money in our pockets was drug money. They searched everything, pushed us around and we were late for a show.
SLASH: It's kinda hard to explain this so people can understand it. We were one of the most opposed bands. We had opposition from everywhere, the whole fucking time. Still do. It's not as bad now 'cause we're signed and some people like the shit we do. But we started out with so many people from so many different directions trying to lash out at us. And trying to say don't let them in here, and don't let them do this, and don't let them do that, and watch them, and this and that and the other.
AXL: When we moved out of our place on Fountain and La Cienga, I was the last one to leave, and found this piece of yellow paper wadded up in the corner where Izzy's and Steven's room was. It had the lyrics to Brownstone on it. I read it and went, "this is great". They said they had music for it and we ended up starting to rehearse this thing.
SLASH: A lot of people have a misconception about this song. They think it's about drugs. It's not so much a statement about our drug habits; it's a more a statement about other people's drug habits. It's a good little ditty that people can listen to and maybe think about what they're doing. Try and get themselves in perspective. I know one thing, a lot of people who are doing a lot of fucking drugs all the time don't have any kind of...
AXL: They don't have a job that they're doing at the same time.
SLASH: Yeah, a band can keep you together. Like, we can all go through all kinds of shit, but the band keeps us just enough together. But if you don't have a band, don't have a job, don't have anything you're trying to do, then somehow drugs seem to take over. It's not preaching. Just a statement-you can listen to it or not. You can just listen to the guitars or the drums...whatever you want.
IZZY: It can mean a million different things to a million different people. It's like when you listen to a Zeppelin song, what do you think? I have all kinds of fucking wild ideas about what "Custard Pie" is about.
DUFF: The chords to that song I wrote when I first moved to L.A., when I didn't know me anybody and was kinda feeling a little down. So that kinda came out, like reaching for something, you know?
SLASH: The best songs we do, they're collaborations. The best way to do it is to have the whole band sit there and listen to everybody else's ideas, and out it all together to make something that everybody enjoys playing.
DUFF: If one person brings in a song to this band, it always gets raped by the other four people. It always gets changed around to where its Guns N' Roses.
AXL: The verses are more about being in the jungle; the chorus is like being back in the Midwest or somewhere. It reminds me of when I was a little kid and just looked up at the blue sky and went "Wow, what is all that, it's so big out there." Everything was more innocent. There are parts of the song that have more of a down home feel. And when I started putting the overlayers on the vocals (I put five tracks on there), it seemed that it came out like some Irish or Scottish heritage. One of the weird things is I had a feeling it would go over good in Europe. The kids there sang Brownstone, they sang It's So Easy, Mama Kin, and these other songs that they'd heard on the EP. They also sang Paradise City and they'd never heard it!
IZZY: They sang as loud as our stage monitors. We could hear them over the monitors.
AXL: I know a girl named Michelle and she became a really good friend of the band's, and I was going out with her for a while. It's a true story. Slash and some other members of the band said that's kinda too heavy to say about poor, sweet Michelle; she'll freak out. I'd written this nice sweer song about her, and then I looked at it and thought 'that doesn't really touch any basis of reality,' so I put down an honest thing. It describes her life. This girl leads such a crazy life with doing drugs, or whatever she's doing at the time, you don't know if she's gonna be there tomorrow. Everytime I see Michelle, I'm really relieved and glad. I showed her the lyrics after about three weeks of debating, and she was so happy that someone didn't paint just a pretty picture. She loves it. It was a _real_ song to her, not something hokey.
IZZY: It's a quick love song about drugs, sex, Hollywood and money. Next song.
DUFF: It's Izzy's song.
IZZY: it's just a song, I don't want to dig deeper than that.
AXL: That's a true story about my girlfriend at this time.
IZZY: That's a real love song.
AXL: I had written this poem, reached a dead end with it and put it on the shelf. Then Slash and Izzy got working together on songs and I came in, Izzy hit a rhythm, and all of a sudden this poem popped in my head. It just all came together. A lot of rock bands are too fucking wimpy to have any sentiment or any emotion in any of their stuff unless they're in pain. It's the first positive love song I've ever written, but I never had anyone to write anything about before, I guess.
DUFF: It was probably the hardest song for me and Steve to record, just because you have to keep a steadiness and also keep the emotion in it.
IZZY: No.. it's called 'Fucking Crazy.'
SLASH: It's called 'You're Crazy' on the record.
AXL: Yeah, it's called 'You're Crazy' 'cause I didn't want some asshole picking it up and they go, 'they put fuck on here,' and then they won't even give it a chance. It was written on acoustic, about another girl we know who was crazy.
SLASH: When I play that song, I don't even know what I'm playing. It's just such a kick in the ass for me, so I run around. I try to concentrate on the music and keep kinda stationary, except on that song. I don't play the same solo every night 'cause I'm not on the same wavelength as other nights.
DUFF: That used to be a 12 1/2 minute song.
AXL: Me and Izzy and this guy Chris Weber wrote it a long time ago. It's had different verses at different times. Everytime I'd do it live, people liked it, but it just depressed the shit outta me on stage.
IZZY: Used to be speed metal too.
AXL: Yeah, we did it real fast. Then we wrote another version about our times at the old studio and we kept that for a while. Then we came down to record it, we decided we didn't want to cut the track. But Tom (Zutaut, Geffen A&R man) was very adamant about having that song recorded, so we figured 'we're gonna have to rewrite it.' In preproduction we came up with something we liked a lot better, but the verses weren't written until the night we recorded the song. Basically, I just wanted that song an 'anything goes in sex' type song.
IZZY: I wrote this song for this girl who was gonna have a band and she was gonna call it Rocket Queen. She kinda kept me alive for a while. The last part of the song is my message to this person, or anybody else who can get something out of it. It's like there's hope and a friendship note at the end of the song. For that song there was also something I tried to work out with various people - a recorded sex act. It was somewhat spontaneous but premediated; something I wanted to put on the record.
IZZY: All these qoutes were Axl's 'cause I wasn't there.
AXL: It was a sexual song and it was a wild night in the studio. This girl we know was dancing; everyone wasa getting real excited. The night coulda gotten really explosive, lots of trouble for everyone, and I thought wait a minute, how can we make this porductive. And this is what we got.
|This was an article from:|
|-- Hit Parader Magazine|
|March 1988. number 282, p.14-5.|
The article was written and sent by Renato P. Trindade . Thanx!!!
©1997-1998 Andreas Björlenstam -"We Ain't Dead Yet"...p@ge