Axl Rose gave a rare interview at London’s China Exchange this week, and he talked about his new role as AC/DC’s frontman as well as his Guns N’ Roses past. And in a surprising move, Rose also revealed that he is considering writing an autobiography, but he added that there’s one thing that’s been holding him back.
“I think so, possibly yes,” Rose said when asked about his memoir plans. “But it’s tough because I haven’t figured out a way to word things that doesn’t just look like I’m being negative to everybody else, or calling them a liar. Slash and I hadn’t talked in 19 years, and when we did talk, I was like, ‘You know, you wrote about a lot of stuff that didn’t happen, that just … is not real.’”
Axl didn’t elaborate on what his bandmates and others close to him may have said that were lies, but it’s clear he wants to be careful about what he says about his band’s tumultuous past. But when he finally starts writing his life story, Axl Rose will surely elaborate on GN’R’s wild early days. In the China Exchange interview, Rose said the band barely survived getting their first record deal because they had too much down time.
“We had to sit on our a**es for about four months, and it almost broke up the whole band,” Rose revealed. “Everybody got hooked on drugs and stuff [during] whatever the label was doing to figure out who would work with us. Everybody was terrified of us anyway because they thought we were all going to die. We were going to leave the label. We wanted to play, we wanted to get out to New York or something. We didn’t get signed to sit in an apartment.”
And Axl went on to elaborate on the band’s bad boy reputation, which he now admits was pretty much made for MTV.
“Part of that was just being young, [but] when we would go to MTV, they’d ask us to tear their set apart,” Axl revealed. “England was one of the greatest places for that, because the media here would write anything to try to promote you. They said I ran over my dogs and then I ate them. They said all kinds of crazy things.”
While some of Axl’s later stories could contradict past band members’ tales, his stories about his childhood are all his own. In an early interview with Rolling Stone— we’re talking pre-“November Rain” days — Axl revealed that he had dropped out of high school in the 11th grade because he couldn’t make school work for him.
“On the placement tests in school, I was always in the top three percent,” Rose said. “I dropped out in the eleventh grade, went back as a senior, then dropped out again [because] I couldn’t make school work for me. I was having to read books, sing songs, draw pictures of things that didn’t stimulate or excite me. It just didn’t do anything for me. So I dropped out and started drawing and painting at home and spending a lot of my time in the library. Basically, I started putting myself through Axl’s school of subjects that I wanted to learn about.”
Axl Rose grew up in Lafayette, Indiana, and he said he and his friends always got into trouble, and he had a bad reputation in his small hometown. But when fame came knocking, so did his former haters.
“People I used to go to school with, people that used to hate my guts, want me to invest money in this and that. People say sh*t like ‘Axl thinks he’s too cool to party with us.’ But those people never wanted to party with me before,” he said.
You can see Axl Rose’s full interview at China Exchange in the video below.
[Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images]