By Jeb Wright
luxurious drug and alcohol rehabs
Steven Adler is going to be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in a matter of days despite playing on only one entire, full length studio album. That album, however, was Appetite for Destruction by Guns N’ Roses. The album was aptly named for the iconic drummer, as Adler nearly died as a result from a drug related stroke. He continued using drugs for years after his near death experience and came to even more fame on national television as a patient on Dr. Drew’s Celebrity Rehab. While Steve is no stranger to luxurious drug and alcohol rehabs he has not come by sobriety easily, however, he comes by charm and like-ability without any effort at all.
He has a huge smile and a great sense of humor. He seemingly has few boundaries, yet he is endearing, genuine and loveable…and out of his freaking gourd. Without the vices of drugs, or alcohol, Adler is preparing to release his first album in a quarter of a century. The man who has lived to tell tales that would make the most seasoned porn industry vet blush is now living clean and sober and gaining the support of his best friend and musical hero, Slash, who appears on the album. He has recruited two musical soul mates and enlisted music industry vet and former Dokken bassist Jeff Pilson to produce the band. On April 10, 2012, the entire world will hear the band Alder’s first single.
Jacob Bunton, Lonny Paul and Steven Adler took time out of their schedules to speak with Classic Rock Revisited’s Jeb Wright about their music and why they are hopeful this will be the second chance that Steven Alder has been searching for.
In typical Steven Adler style, he began the interview not with hello, or how are you. He started off by saying, “Fuck off” with a big grin on his face. I would expect nothing less.
Read on to discover the wild world that is simply known as Adler.
Jeb: Let’s start with Jacob. Do you understand what you’re getting into? Have you seen Celebrity Rehab?
Jacob: I absolutely understand what I’m getting myself into. The thing about Steven is that, as soon as we met, face to face, I noticed that he exudes a positive energy. He is always projecting love and I love being around people like that, as there are too many negative people in the world. Steven is 100% clean and sober, he’s not like you saw on Celebrity Rehab. He is focused more than anything. He is so into this band. This is the first record that he’s done in twenty-five years. We will finish it in a few days and then we will be ready to mix it and start mastering it.
Jeb: I am very happy to hear Steven is clean and sober. Steven deserves a chance. I want to ask Lonny what happened to break up Adler’s Appetite.
Lonny: I joined Adler’s Appetite two weeks before the last tour that we did over the summer – that was my first, and last, experience with that project. We were pretty much just playing Guns N’ Roses songs. When we were on tour, during the downtime, I played Steven some of my songs from my past bands and he said they were great songs and that we should look into doing some of this when we got back home. Once we got back home, we started looking for a singer. We found Jacob and it was really obvious that he was the one.
Jeb: It can be very difficult to find a good singer. I recently interviewed Fast Eddie Clarke and he told me that if the singer is any good that he has to be an asshole. He said if they are not an asshole then they must not be a very good singer.
Jacob: I’m not an asshole, you cockscker [laughing].
Lonny: When Steven and I were talking after we met Jacob, we were saying that it was too good to be true. He doesn’t drink and he’s not an asshole. The one fault that we do have with him is that he’s a vegetarian.
Jeb: My daughter is a vegetarian. I just don’t understand you people.
Steven: If you’ve got a daughter then you’re life is in turmoil [laughter].
Jeb: The last time we talked you were doing Adler’s Appetite. I am glad you’ve found some band members that feel like family, as you have not had that for some time.
Steven: It has been a long time and thank you very much for saying that. All I can say is that hard work, persistence and believing in your self is what it takes. Jacob and Lonny came into my life and it has been great. I got rid of the old circle that was in my life and once I did that everything came together.
Jeb: The last time we talked you were trying to get Slash to record with you. Slash and another great player, John 5, both appear on this album. How did that happen and what was it like working with them?
Steven: Slash has been my favorite guitarist since I was twelve years old. We did a couple of singles with Adler’s Appetite and I wanted Slash to come down, but I wasn’t in the right state of mind and it wasn’t the right time. Now that I have been working with Lonny, Jacob and with our producer, Jeff Pilson, I have found that I’m in a better place in my life. Slash isn’t going to come down just for anybody or anything. He came down because I’ve earned his respect and I’ve paid my dues. I am making an effort with my life and my career. John 5 came down too. These guys are superstars. Slash is the guitar hero of the world and John 5 is like the Eric Clapton of the 21st Century. I had to earn there respect for them to come down and I did.
Lonny: From my point of view, I’ve always been a fan of Guns N’ Roses and Dokken, so it was great to work with these guys. I love John 5, as well. I was telling my girl that I feel like I am in an out of control car accident but I am not freaking out. I am totally staying in control. I mean I am playing with these guys and I’m not freaking out, but inside I am totally beside myself.
Steven: The way that Lonny felt inside, I felt that way too. The last Adler’s Appetite thing that we did with the old circle of friends and family was New Year’s Eve. On January 2nd, I started working with my new circle of friends and family, Lonny, Jacob and Jeff, and it has been ho, ho, ho, it’s been heavy.
Jacob: When Slash walked into the room it was a goose bump moment. You can genuinely feel the love that these two guys have for each other. These guys have been best friends since they were 12 and you can feel it. I remember being in the vocal booth and looking through the glass into the control room and thinking, “Everyone in that next room, Jeff Pilson, Slash and Steven Alder, were hanging on my bedroom wall.” I really had to pinch myself.
Steven: You don’t have to pinch yourself anymore. I am going to pinch you because you have a cute little tushy [laughter].
Jeb: We’ve talked about the songs. Tell me what I am going to hear when I hear the first single, “The One That You Hate” on April 10th?
Jacob: You’re going to hear the introduction to the band Adler. You’re going to hear a straight ahead rock song. It is actually one of the first songs that Lonny and I co-wrote. We had the music lying around for a while. One day we were in Lonny’s office and I was playing around with the music and when I got to the chorus Lonny started going, “I’m the one that you hated.”
Steven: They were singing about me [laughter].
Jacob: The song just flowed. The lyrics for that particular song are about two people that are no good for each other but, for whatever reason, they won’t break up. I’ve seen it a million times over the years. It could be the sex, or just the convenience, but they just won’t move on, or start over. A lot of people are attracted to the people they hate. Love and hate are actually intimately linked within the human brain.
Jeb: That song will be the introduction, so tell me, when the album comes out what will we get then?
Steven: A head crushing, heart breaking rock and roll band is what you’re going to get. We are out to crush souls, destroy dreams and break hearts.
Lonny: The album has really great rock and roll songs; it really does.
Jeb: I hate comparing bands but if you had to how would you describe it?
Steven: It is where Appetite for Destruction takes off. We did everything possible to not be like the bands that are out there now. Jacob writes songs for a lot of other musicians and singers. When we were in the studio Jeff would say to try this sound, or that sound, and we would. The engineer said he has seen a lot of bands record entire albums with the same guitars and the same amps all the way through. We liked experimenting with the sounds. The world needs a new rock and roll band and we’re just the guys to give it to them.
Jacob: Our sound has the Guns N’ Roses edge to it because Steven has such a signature sound on the drums. He is one of those drummers that you hear and you instantly know it is him. We listened to a lot of old albums from bands that had identifiable sounds because we wanted to have an identifiable sound as well. This is really a great rock and roll record.
Steven: We stole from the best. You show me a musician that has never stolen anything from anybody and I will show you a band that doesn’t have a record deal.
Jeb: Are you booking any live dates yet?
Jacob: The plan is the single right now. We have new management with the same guys who manage Motorhead and Anthrax. Everyone in the industry wants us to wait until the album is ready but we don’t want to wait. We are so proud of the music that we’re making that we want people to hear it now.
Lonny: This is Steven’s first album in twenty-five years and we are very proud of it. We are shooting a video for the song and we have a ton of TV stuff that we will be doing. We’re trusting our managers to do the right thing and our focus right now is on the single. Once it is out then we will go from there.
Jeb: Steven, I’m going to ask you a serious question. The industry has changed over the last quarter of a century. The rules have changed. People, like it or not, or going to steal your music. How do you counteract that?
Steven: You don’t. All we can do is go out there and give it our best and believe in it. The more people we can play too the better. If you get a Gold record nowadays then that is huge and that is so sad.
It really is all about playing live. It is all about playing for the people. I want to play to big bikers with big beards who wear leather jackets and I want to see them crying.
Jacob: I want to see boobs.
Jeb: I agree with Jacob. I’m more of a boob man than a beard guy.
Steven: I want to see people crying because if they are crying then they are loving it. I want to see smiles on their faces and tears in their eyes.
Lonny: There is no way to combat what is going on in the music industry. The new generation has grown up with internet access and there is always going to be sites like Napster. You can do what Metallica did and fight them but all that did was piss off a bunch of Metallica’s fans. I am not saying to embrace people illegally downloading your music, because you need people to buy it, but there is just nothing you can do about it. We want people to buy the record, but at the end of the day, we want people to hear our music.
Jeb: Is this album better than Chinese Democracy?
Steven: Of course it is. Can you name one song off of that album? Within one day of this record coming out you’re going to know the names of every song.
Jeb: Adler, you have a good gig going on. You get to sit back and bring these guys with you who are writing some awesome music. If this music is half as good as you’re saying then you’ve got it made.
Steven: Yeah, I have a high profile name, and I’m thankful and I’m glad to have it, but it is not me bringing these guys along; it is them bringing me along. These guys are superstars in their own right.
Jacob: Lonny and I have actually sold 80 million records [laughter].
Jeb: Last one: If Axl won’t get up and play at the Rock n Roll Hall of Fame induction, why don’t you get Slash and Duff and the three of you up there and play some tunes?
Steven: That is a thought, but if that doesn’t happen, then I am going up there with just a drum set and I’m playing along with the CD. Guns N’ Roses, the original band, has not performed for 22 years and we are still respected around the entire world.
I feel that when a band is put into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame then they should play. I am dedicating my award to the bands that should be in there. If it wasn’t for Kiss, UFO, Deep Purple and Journey and bands like that, then there would be no Guns N’ Roses.
We owe it to the fans to play and it is just a god damned rock and roll band. All we do is play music. Why can’t we just get on stage for ten minutes and play for the fans? Are you telling me those assholes can’t get onstage and do that? We should do it for the fans.
Jeb: I am going to let Lonny and Jacob have the last word because Steven is used to having it [laughter]. Share your thoughts on what it is like to work with Steven Adler.
Lonny: The moment I met Steven he made me feel instantly like he was a normal guy. I know he is a legendary rock and roll drummer but he made me feel like he was right at home. You are in the presence of a superstar but he makes you feel like you’re right at home from the moment you meet him.
Jacob: One thing that I’ve learned about Steven Adler is that he’s fucking nuts. He’s a crazy man but in all the right ways.
When we started making this record Steven would bring these ideas to the table that were crazy. I thought, “This guy is nuts. There is no way this is going to work.” We would try it and it would work; he was absolutely right about that stuff. He is a huge music fan and he has these wacky ideas in his head from all of these different bands that he loves. He stores it all in his head and merges it all together. When we were tracking guitars for the album he actually went over to the amp and started cranking on the knobs. We were like, “What are you doing?” I hit a chord and it sounded great. The one thing that I’ve learned from Steven Adler is to expect the unexpected.
Steven: I want to let everyone who wants to check us out know where they can check us out at. Go to www.adlerrocks.com or go to our Facebook page. The single will be out around the entire world on April 10th so everyone check it out.
Jeb: I hope to see you out on the road later this year or early next year and when the album comes out we will do this again.
Steven: Get prepared to get hugged, brother.
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