Former Stone Temple Pilots roadie Joel Miller discussed being hired by Axl Rose and Guns N’ Roses in a new Appetite for Distortion interview. Miller said that he was ‘closer’ with Scott Weiland than he was with Axl. Ultimate-Guitar transcribed Miller’s remarks.
“So, the first tour I’m doing is with STP, and I think I’m like 23 by like a week if I remember right – I’m really young then, and I just didn’t want to get fired, that was like my whole goal.
And I worked my little ass off and I learned a lot. I liked Scott, I’ve heard a lot of stories from people in the band to like random fans, that he was really tough, but I never saw any of that. He treated me real good, and never really had any moments where he scared the hell out of me for any reason at all.
He was actually a comforting, pretty good dude, he kind of referred to the band like an elderly-brother-type, and I think it’s because of the age difference. That being said, the age is the difference, they’re younger than you and I are now, it’s just I was really young, so I think I had a closer relationship with Scott than I had with Axl, for sure.”
Scott Weiland has been in the news recently, with Weiland’s secret Deftones recording sessions just revealed. Miller then added, “I mean, my relationship with Axl really did come and go with that little funny conversation-type thing, that was it. So, I’m a kid, I’m 13 years old, I got a gift certificate for Sam Goody. I remember thinking, ‘Whoever got me this gift certificate should’ve gotten something for the warehouse’ because they were cheaper.
So what does a dude do, does he buy ‘Hysteria’ or does he buy ‘Appetite’ on CD? What do you do? It was the biggest decision ever, and I got ‘Appetite’ on CD, but the CD player I had at my house didn’t work, so I listened to ‘Hysteria’ a lot, and man, I would run every day, ‘Appetite for Destruction, and I was just a super-fan.
I loved the emotional effect the music gave me, so I’m coming off of STP and my boys say, ‘Hey, we got to talk because the next band we’re working for are really big, and I need you to maintain a level of professionalism.’ And as he’s telling me this, I’m just like, ‘It’s got to be Guns n’ Roses’ – because there’s only one band they know I’m head over heels for.
I used to tell people like, ‘Guns N’ Roses is my Led Zeppelin,’ but it’s not true, Guns N’ Roses is my Guns N’ Roses, I’m an adult, I feel comfortable saying that, and I just remember all the hair standing on my hands – when I had hair – and I’m just thinking like, ‘There’s no way that I’m gonna get to work for Guns, there’s just no way.’
And then it came true, my dream came true, and I’m sitting in a studio watching these guys perform, and I’m just mesmerized how talented they are. And I saw a lot of talent, I did a lot of radio shows, so you get to see a lot of people. I saw Ozzy a lot and a lot of people that I thought were really, really cool. Axl, for whatever reason, was this higher level for me, and I thought I musically appreciated him more than a lot of people growing up, and I thought he was really a cool guy.
Like, I’ve heard some of the horror stories of how hard he [Axl] can be to deal with and all that, but I don’t know, he seemed pretty cool to me, and then when he performed, I remember just watching him, like, ”Chinese Democracy’ is gonna be badass, and he’s gonna look at everybody and be, ‘Screw you all, wait ’til the shit comes out!’
And then there were these few songs that they played that I just was like, ‘This is it, this is why he looks at you and says screw you.’ The other people are like, ‘Well, how do you feel about waiting for hours and hours?’
And I’m thinking like, ‘Well, it’s called a job and the dude’s paying me. If you don’t want to work for the guy, quit.’ I never had any issues, I really didn’t. I always had the utmost respect, and I was never not-a-fan – always a fan, appreciating every opportunity. And they came, they really did. I loved watching those guys play.”