The ex-manager of the hard rock band Guns N’ Roses, Alan Niven has recalled the times when he managed the band between 1987 and 1991 and said about the frontman Axl Rose that he would never let Axl do an interview on his own.
During a recent conversation Niven had on ‘Rock Talk With Mitch Lafon‘, he has talked about the lead vocalist of the band, Axl Rose. Niven looked back on Rose’s approach to interviews in these years and unveiled the fact that Rose demanded that they present every potential interviewer with basically a contract which gave him the right to have final say over the edit.
Revealed that he always made sure there was somebody with Axl Rose from the band there, Alan Niven said Axl would talk about himself more than he would talk about Guns N’ Roses during the interviews.
Looking from the artist’s point of view, Niven admitted that the interviews may be a pain in the ass sometimes. However, he added that it’s incumbent on the management and the artist to choose who you want to talk to and avoid the dummies.
Here is what Alan Niven said about Axl Rose:
“And to be perfectly honest, I was quite happy to employ that because it meant less people would be talking to Axl. Bless his heart, but Axl would talk about Axl more than he would talk about Guns N’ Roses.
And in the early days, if you go back and look at this, I’d never let Axl do an interview on his own. I always made sure there was somebody with the band there – if not the entire band there – to keep the interviewer intimidated a little bit maybe. You know, try taking on four or five in one go if you want to be a wiseass.
I can see from the artist’s point of view that it’s sometimes a pain in the ass to do the interviews.”
“However, with that said, I think it’s incumbent on the management and the label and the artist to choose who you want to talk to and avoid the dummies, the wiseasses, the ‘gotcha’ guys, the snarky guys, and just brush them off and just talk to people who are going to give you an intelligent conversation.
And to not allow a legitimate journalist the opportunity to develop a conversation with this subject I think is anathema – I think it’s arrogant, and I think it’s this is absolutely absurd.
At the end of the day, it’s a control freak’s action, and control freaks obviously have a certain healthy ego. It’s not a downright arrogance, and it’s dismissive.
If you’re going to do an interview, pick somebody that you think that you can have a decent conversation with, and have the conversation because you know better than anybody because you’ve been doing this for a long time and you’re very good at your craft.”
Niven shared his opinion about the process of an interview and said:
“In the course of an interview and in the course of any conversation there are moments when you can go left, right, up, or down, and that’s part of the beauty of a genuine interview.
You get the opportunity to come back with a question, come back with a third observation, and that’s how an interview should be. This is like lip-syncing on stage, there’s nothing authentic about it.
It’s basically… if you want to ask my humble moderately experienced opinion, it’s fucking bullshit.”
You can check out the rest of the interview below.