Sunday, November 13, 2011

Axl Rose On That Metal Show

I’ve bagged on VH1 Classic’s That Metal Show, going so far as to state that it wouldn’t last beyond one season. It’s clunky, narrow in its approach and Eddie Trunk’s comedic co-hosts are far from funny.

It’s still guilty of all of those things, but can now claim to be a fan, if only because I can’t name a single television show that devotes as much face time interviewing rock artists. Sure, many of those artists are well beyond their relevance in terms of a modern standpoint, but I’d be lying if I said I didn’t get a kick at watching Tony Iommi talk about Sabbath or Graham Bonnet talking about whatever the fuck he’s been doing since his only album with the Michael Schenker Group, Assault Attack.

The fact that That Metal Show managed to snag W. Axl Rose for the opening show for whatever season they’re on now, is pretty big news for Eddie and his crew. Unfortunately, the elusive Rose didn’t reveal too much about himself, offering bits about his life but bookending it with meaningless responses and unfunny stories.

We learned that his relationship with bassist Tommy Stinson is strong, and it’s obvious that he’s closest with him than he is with other members of the band. We learned that his previous bouts with tardiness-at least the times during the original G ‘n R days, were part of some passive-aggressive attempt to exert power over the band members and management people who kept him and the band on the road in order to keep the machinery greased.

But what we didn’t learn is why it still happens. Axl’s 50 years old now. He’s not accountable to anyone, meaning that he has the ability to book as many or as little shows as he wants to. There’s no chance that he’ll ever find himself onstage because someone else told him to.

Trunk’s pointed question to him about his problem with showing up on time only tripped up Axl to the point where he half-heartedly admitted that his tardiness goes all the way back to his days in Indiana before throwing everyone else under the bus. “It’s like people get hit by ADD.” He explained. But I fail to see how this works as a legitimate answer since the set list probably hasn’t changed much in over a decade.

Axl’s been ridiculed for his appearance lately-the extra pounds more noticeable as he’s gotten older-but he’d like you to believe that he’s done some cardio “when I can” in preparation for the G ‘n R tour.

Nobody asked about the real Guns ‘n Roses reuniting and I’m betting that was part of the deal.

The entire interview was slapped together and taped about 6:00am, which is hilarious because one of the Guns’ guitarists is also in the band Sixx A.M. I think I saw this guitarist, DJ Ashba, sitting next to Axl, but nobody said shit to him, which is perfect as Ashba, doesn’t know when to shut up and is always selling himself and his swag. Even after all of that self-promotion, 9 out of 10 people have no idea who he is.

To fill up the time, the first half of the show is devoted to getting ready for and just waiting for show up and give half-assed responses to three nutswingers who sound more like Chris Farley interviewing Paul McCartney instead of real interviewers who have legitimate questions to ask.

The worst was Don Jamieson who’s tongue was so far up Axl’s asshole that I believe he actually asked questions about Chinese Democracy.

Thankfully, Trunk was there to salvage some of the conversation, that is, when he wasn’t gushing about the last time he interviewed Axl on his radio show, thanks to a little help from Sebastian Bach.

But for all the hype about this coup of an interview, there was little to be excited about. It merely reflected what has come to be a That Metal Show tradition: providing tolerable coverage of hard rock artists with the show’s monopoly on such interests being its only redeeming value.

Sure, the boys at That Metal Show might have served up some softballs for Axl to swing at in order for him to consider another stop, but it gave viewers no reasons to get excited over that possibility.

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