Axl Rose on Guns ‘N Roses, then and now

CNN  — 

As the current Guns N’ Roses lineup prepares to launch a set of 12 shows at the The Joint in the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas tonight, it seems frontman Axl Rose is feeling reflective.

While he’s preparing to perform with GNR’s current lineup, he recounted in an interview with USA Today that there’s at least one thing he misses about the original group.

“Here’s what I miss about the old Guns the most – and this is really before we got ‘Appetite (for Destruction)’ out. In the very beginning, you had three people (Rose, Slash and guitarist Izzy Stradlin) who were on the same page for a short period looking out for the best interest of that band and its goals,” he told USA Today.

In that time period, Rose had “two other guys I could rely on,” he continued. “I don’t necessarily have that now because it is more my thing, but I do ask everyone’s opinion about everything.”

We’re curious if “everything” also includes his songwriting, as Rose said that the opinions of Slash, bassist Duff McKagan and his ex, model Stephanie Seymour, left him tapped out creatively.

“To those three, it was all crap. It beat me down so much,” he said. “At the time of the (‘Use Your Illusion’) tours, Slash and Duff said, ‘You’re an idiot, you’re a loser.’ I didn’t write for years. I felt I was hindered for a very long time. I was also trying to figure out what I wanted to say, when it’s right to be venting and when you’re digging a bigger hole.”

The arrival of the 2008 album took its time, and Rose said that the music wasn’t holding up the record as much as industry hurdles were.

“I’m not trying to be bitter or cynical, but it’s an ugly business,” Rose said of the music business. “People want you to care about them or their lives, their kids, but in the end, you’re just a commodity. I don’t feel that way about this Guns lineup. I’m not trying to use them. I have to treat it like a business, but I don’t want to make decisions that are detrimental to anyone’s welfare.”

The next album, he told USA Today, “will come out sooner.”

And as for whether fans are disgruntled with the new form of GNR, Rose isn’t concerned.

“They can think whatever they want,” he said. “I’m not interested in their opinions.”