Journalist Mick Wall discussed Axl Rose and Guns N’ Roses in a new GQ article.
“The trouble was that Slash, Duff and [second drummer] Matt Sorum were so out of their minds that Axl felt it was spinning out of control. Axl isn’t an overindulged rock fiend. He’s a deeply damaged person. He was sexually abused as a child and his stepfather was a fanatical Pentecostal minister who used to beat him and make him go to church five times a week. He finds social interaction almost impossible. His levels of anxiety and paranoia are off the chart. On the tour, he’s the biggest star in the world and he’s surrounded by band members who keep dying. Izzy quits and [original drummer] Steven Adler is fired for trying to give Axl’s wife heroin and then sleep with her. In 1993, Axl got the rest of the band to sign new contracts and the whole band, and the name, is signed over to him. As Slash said to me: ‘That was the moment I lost Axl.'”
“By the time of the next recording session Axl thinks he’s Brian Wilson or Phil Spector and he becomes a man alone for two decades. Just as they should have been at their peak they fucked it up completely. They were the George Best of rock. I’m even more convinced now than I was then that a band like that can never happen again. In terms of a giant rock band that lives within its own world for good or ill, that’s gone and it’s never coming back.”
He also said, “This is the first time the three protagonists have been relaxed enough to talk about what went on. Axl Rose has been reborn. We now have Happy Axl. Even Axl’s never met Happy Axl before this year. The truth is always much stranger than fiction.”