Louie B. of Big Wheel online magazine recently conducted an interview with original GUNS N' ROSES and current ADLER'S APPETITE drummer Steven Adler. A couple of excerpts from the chat follow below.
Big Wheel: So when you began to write your book, were you ever concerned with how you were to tell stories involving old friends who may not want to be associated with the things they'd done when they were young and living lives of excess?
Adler: The main thing I wanted to do with my book was to get the truth out and not hurt anybody. In my book I take full responsibility for all my actions, for everything that happened. For 20 years I wasted my life, blaming and being angry with [former GUNS N' ROSES bandmates] Slash, Duff, Izzy and Axl thinking they let me down. Unfortunately, it took 20 years and to have to start working with Dr. Drew to realize that they didn't let me down, I let them down. They counted on me and I messed up. It was a special time in my life, where it taught me growth, from being a teenager to being a man. I got to say I was sorry to each of them, I apologized for blaming them for everything that happened to me and everything I did to throw the band out of whack, my actions threw a wrench into the machine and changed the destiny of the band. Forever I blamed them, and I couldn't grow as a human being.
Big Wheel: Do you feel now, after becoming sober that you are drumming better than you were in your 20s?
Adler: A year and half ago I started taking drum lessons. Man, I had never taken a drum lesson in my life! Man, I was in a band that went on to sell 100 million records, but never once had I taken a drum lesson. . . So, yeah, I started taking lessons to improve as a performer and player, I love playing drums and of course I only wanted to get better, so yeah lessons certainly helped me to get where I am now; I'm the best I can be.
Big Wheel: In the past you had health issues, you suffered a stroke. How did that affect your life and or playing?
Adler: I had a mild stroke. Thankfully, it was only mild. Doing drugs fucked up my body and caused that. I had to take speech lessons to learn how to just speak properly again, I've got the scars from teeth being knocked out. Drugs are fucked up. You know, I wasn't planning on living; doing drugs made me depressed. I didn't care. I wanted to die in a way, but my body took a lot of bullshit. It's actually a rarity to OD on heroin; the body can withstand a lot!
Big Wheel: How do you feel about the legacy of "Appetite For Destruction". Is it your proudest achievement?
Adler: I'm still so excited. The five of us had a goal, had a dream, and accomplished our dream! We were working really hard, and as far as we were concerned it was gonna be our only chance to get to make a record, so we had to make the best record possible. We wanted it to be like an album that could live forever, so that's what we did. I'm always gonna be happy about that. There are times in my life where I wasn't happy because of drugs, but aside from that I've always had that achievement to look back on. It's the best-selling debut album of all time. Now that I'm clean and living sober, I want to live it up, I'm gonna live it up! Look at Izzy, he lives life right, he was the first to get clean.
Big Wheel: The music industry sure has changed for the worse
Adler: Yeah, right! My band is here to give rock and roll a kick in the ass. We've got steel toe boots on and were ready to kick and make things exciting again. I'm glad to have worked with Dr. Drew and to be fully recovered now; it feels great. I've made a whole 180-degree turn in my life. Rehab is one of the hardest things to do; to get through that, it takes a hell of a lot. I came out a better person. If I can get through this, then I can get through anything in life. That's what I said and that's what I did. This is who I was, but now this is who I am. I'm here and ready to do it, live my life. It's good to be alive!
Read the entire interview from Big Wheel.