Guns N’ Roses React To What Axl Rose ‘Has Done To His Voice’


Guns N’ Roses bassist Duff McKagan discussed what Axl Rose has done to his voice in a new Mohr Stories interview.

“I had a lot of respect for us as a band as I was pre-rehearsing all this stuff [before the ‘Not In This Lifetime’ reunion tour]. And then when Axl came in to rehearse, and then when we played our shows… What he’s done to his voice…

“The first time I saw him sing… I was this punk rock kid from Seattle, and I saw him in late ’84,” he continued. “And he was like [Henry] Rollins — he had the intensity of Rollins, but he could sing. He had this dual-voice thing — he’d do a low and a high thing at once. Sure, he was born with certain gifts, singing-wise, but he works his ass off. He was doing vocal lessons, he was doing vocal warm-ups, warm-downs back then. And nowadays, when we go out and play, he starts his vocal warm-ups… He does an hour and a half of pure vocal warm-ups. And then we play three, three and a half hours. But the guy has become a master.”

He later said, “All [Slash] does is play guitar all day long. He gets up, goes to the gym, and just starts playing guitar all the way up to the gig and then plays the guitar… He gets so lost sometimes… We have this part of the set where he does a guitar solo — it’s just him on stage — and he gets lost in himself, lost in what he’s doing. That’s his purest form of communication.

He’d sit down and talk to you and talk for a while, but he’s a man of few words, and his words are all through his guitar. And there’s times his guitar solo will just keep going, and I don’t wanna stop him. The cue is when we come out on stage and start playing this thing, and then he’ll come back. ‘Come back to us, Slash.’… Sometimes [he’ll play] for 20, 25 minutes. [We] just let him go. And he carries a crowd of 50,000 people all along his journey; it’s not just this guitar solo.”