Joe Daly of The Nervous Breakdown recently conducted an interview with ADLER members Steven Adler (drums; also formerly of GUNS N’ ROSES) and Lonny Paul (guitar). A couple of excerpts from the chat follow below.
The Nervous Breakdown: You recently said that you haven’t been this excited about playing music since your days in GUNS N’ ROSES. What is it about this lineup that’s so different?
Steven: It’s just a great team. Growing up and having Slash as a best friend, I couldn’t have been more blessed. But to meet someone when you’re forty seven years old, like I did with Lonny Paul, to have another best friend when you’re forty seven is a double-blessing. I just love being part of a team. I love that camaraderie where we’re all on the same page, we’re all after the same goal… we’re like a Super Bowl team! We’re trying to get to the Super Bowl, which for us is the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame.
The Nervous Breakdown: Speaking of that, the last time I saw you was on the day that you received word that GUNS N’ ROSES had been nominated for the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame. You walked into the Rainbow that morning, having just received the call. Looking back now, having been inducted, how did it all go down for you, personally?
Steven: I couldn’t have asked for a better way to end that chapter of my life. And now, with this new record and new band, I couldn’t have asked for a better way to start the new chapter of my life.
The Nervous Breakdown: When you sat down to put ADLER together, did you give any thought to how it might relate to your GN’R legacy? Specifically, was there a conscious decision to avoid sounding too much like “Appetite For Destruction”?
Steven: It didn’t even enter my thinking. Of course, there’s nothing wrong with the GUNS sound; I love the GUNS sound and I’m proud of the GUNS sound. But that was five different guys. And now there’s four different guys that I’m working with now, and this is what we came up with and we had a blast making it. I just hope that the people listening to the record can hear the fun and the excitement and the passion that we had making this record. We’re hoping you can hear that.
The Nervous Breakdown: Slash guested on this album (on the song “Just Don’t Ask”). Steven, didn’t you teach Slash his very first guitar chord?
Steven: Yeah, I first met Slash in junior high school. After we met up, we went to my grandmother’s, where I lived off of Fairfax and Santa Monica. I had a little amplifier and a little cheap guitar and I knew two chords and two scales and he came over my house and we went into my grandpa’s room and put my KISS record on, turned the little amplifier up and I did these crazy little Ace Frehley moves. I showed him the two chords and two scales that I knew and within a week he was already playing and writing songs. He’s brilliant, and I couldn’t have asked for a better best friend growing up.
The Nervous Breakdown: With everything that you guys have been through, together and separately, what was it like to finally play with him again?
Steven: It was the best way to start this new chapter of my life. He wouldn’t let me watch him record… once he got there, we said hi, and he said, “Get out!” [laughs] But I didn’t get out. I was hiding in the laundry room, right next to him. I was right next to his room! It was great. It made me feel good because he’s very particular about who he works with. He wouldn’t work with me in the past because of my addiction problems, and he just doesn’t want to be around it. So for me, to have got myself to a place in my life where he’s willing to come around me and wanting to be around me, I couldn’t be happier and more proud. Things have changed. I’ll tell you, the biggest change was when Dr. Drew got a hold of Slash and I got the opportunity to apologize to Slash for blaming him for everything that happened in my life. Once I took responsibility for my own actions and started making amends, everything in my life became so much easier. Of course, I still have issues but that’s to be expected; I did drugs for thirty five years! It’s like going in the ring with Manny Pacquiao; it’s gonna take some time to heal after they kick you out of the ring. [laughs] It’s just nice that I got to the point of my healing where Slash is wanting to be a part of my life again, and to have him work with me is a plus.
Read the entire interview from The Nervous Breakdown.