Steven Adler has battled many demons over the course of his tenure with Guns N’ Roses and the various versions of Adler’s Appetite.
Now the author and Rock and Roll Hall of Famer has finally put the past behind him. Together with Jacob Bunton (vocals/guitars), Lonny Paul (guitars) and Johnny Martin (bass), the new project Adler has released what is easily one of the best hard rock albums in years: Back From The Dead.
Produced by Jeff Pilson (T&N, Foreigner, Dokken) and mixed by Jay Ruston, the new album features guest appearances by Adler’s fellow GnR band mate Slash as well as a blistering solo by John 5.
You can check out my Guitar World interview with Jacob Bunton and Lonny Paul by clicking here.
Every once in a while an album comes along that reminds you of what true rock and roll is really all about. For me, that album is Adler’s ‘Back From The Dead’. I’m also willing to go out on a limb and say that drummer and Rock and Roll Hall of Famer Steven Adler’s new album is the best hard rock album of 2012 and maybe even longer. Yes, it’s THAT good!
Adler’s past may be riddled with personal and emotional demons from his days with Guns N’ Roses and the various incantations of Adler’s Appetite, but this new chapter in his musical book of spells thankfully leaves all of that behind. Along with the top musicianship of Jacob Bunton (vocals/guitars), Lonny Paul (guitars) and Johnny Martin (bass), Steven’s drumming has never sounded better.
Producer Jeff Pilson (T&N/Foreigner/Dokken), also deserves credit for crafting one of the finest rock records in years. One that real rock fans (like me) have been craving for a long, long time. From the acoustic opening of the title track to ‘the anthem message of ‘Dead Wrong’, there is not one weak track on ‘Back From The Dead’. Even Rob Zombie guitarist John 5 contributes a face melting solo on the song ‘Good To Be Bad’. It doesn’t get much more rock than that.
For me though, the strongest track is “Just Don’t Ask”. With an amazing classical guitar intro by Bunton and a guest solo by Adler’s fellow GnR band mate Slash, the song should easily become a hit on mainstream rock radio.
I had the pleasure of speaking with Steven Adler and get his thoughts on the new band as well as his Hall of Fame Induction. For Steven Adler, the best is yet to come!
goJimmygo (gJg): What started this new project?
Steven Adler (SA): I was doing Adler’s Appetite playing the GnR songs and I just felt that it was time to be relevant again. All of my friends are out there playing music and touring and I want to be a part of that. I had so many different trials and tribulations with the drugs and with the people and family. For this project, I decided to just let everybody go and start fresh.
I did a lot of work on myself; my heart and my brain. It took a lot of healing. I had so much help from my guitar player, Lonny Paul. He got me back into shape; picking me up every morning and going to work out at the gym in his house. He really pushed me. Lonny also did much of the leg work for this project. I’m just glad that whatever I did was the right thing to bring these people into my life. I feel so blessed.
gJg: What was it like writing and recording the album?
SA: It was so fun and exciting to make it. I don’t think a band has ever high-fived each other as many times as we did. It was magic! We did it more now with this album than I did with the GnR guys doing Appetite.
gJg: Your drumming has never sounded better.
SA: I actually took drum lessons again for a year before starting to work on this project. I want to be the best I can be in what I do. It’s not just a job for me. It’s my career and it’s my life. It’s who I am. I can’t help it. I enjoy me. I look in the mirror and see a few scars, but I like myself.
gJg: This album is one of the strongest rock albums in years. From start to finish, every song is memorable.
SA: When I was growing up, you would put on a KISS record or a UFO or Aersosmith record and listen to it from the first song through the last song. It’s been so long since a band has put out a record like that.
gJg: You can hear a lot of influences on the album: Dokken, GnR, Journey, Aerosmith, Def Leppard.
SA: That’s exactly what we all wanted. Every song has influences from all of those bands we loved.
What was it like working with Slash again?
SA: It was wonderful. Just to have him be proud enough and believe in me enough again after all of the things that have happened. I have to prove myself every second of every day and it got to where I’ve proved myself enough for Slash to be happy and want to be a part of this record. It feels great that we have such a history together. I really care about what he thinks and feels about me.
gJg: Do you plan to take tour?
SA: Absolutely. It’s all about touring. Some people are built for just recording and some are built for touring and meeting people. We’re those guys; we’re built for playing live.
gJg: Do you have a funny story about your Appetite For Destruction days?
SA: We were touring with The Cult and it was our last show in New Orleans. Usually, what happens is the headlining band will do something to the opening band (assuming they like them). With us, they had the road crew come out and take my drum set apart piece by piece, so I was just sitting there with the snare drum.
So after that (which was something they weren’t expecting), we all put towels around our waists and our heads and I filled this cup with mayonnaise, mustard, raw eggs and relish. I went skipping out on the stage and smashed the cup on top of Ian Astbury’s head. He started chasing me around the stage and ripped my towel off and I was naked underneath. I tell you what, after being naked in front of 10,000 people, it takes a hell of a lot to embarrass me now. [laughs]
gJg: How was your experience being inducted into The Rock & Roll Hall of Fame?
SA: It was the experience of my life and the best way to end that chapter of my life. It would have been cool if the whole band was there but that’s when I realized that it will never happen. There was always a part of me in my heart and soul that had a little belief, but after that, it would never happen. Let me tell you though, it was relief! It was a pain in the ass just wondering and worrying. I’m just glad that I got to work with those guys and that I was a part of the GnR legacy.
gJg: So ‘Back From The Dead’ is a fresh start?
SA: Every musician, their goal in life is to play music that people love and I’ve accomplished my goal. I was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and left that chapter of my life and those people in the past. Good and bad, I’ve loved and am thankful for that chapter. I’m thankful that I SURVIVED that chapter and am able to have a second chapter. I want to start fresh and become relevant again.
Article first published as ‘Back From The Dead’ : Steven Adler Delivers A True Rock Masterpiece on Technorati.