Guns N' Roses

Interview: Guns N’ Roses – Dizzy Reed

On Wednesday, just ahead of their UK tour, I had the opportunity to quickly speak with Guns N’ Roses keyboardist and second longest standing member Dizzy Reed. Read on as we talk about their UK tour, being inducted into the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame, his role within the band and also his brand new solo album which he hopes to release this year.

If you missed it, you can also check out my interview with lead guitarist DJ Ashba who I spoke to before I spoke to Dizzy.

EspyRock: Your tour kicks off tomorrow in Ireland and then into the UK on Saturday, are you looking forward to performing here again?

Dizzy Reed: I’m always stoked to be in the UK. It’s the birthplace of some of my favourite music and we’re all stoked to be back here.

You’ve been playing England more often than the full of the UK and it has been six years since you performed up here in Glasgow so do you have any fond memories of performing here?

The one time that I actually was in Glasgow with Guns N’ Roses, it was hotter than shit [laughs].

There’s no such thing as warmth here.

[Laughs] It was so strange. When we performed it was in the middle of a heat wave, a record setting heat wave throughout the UK and Europe that year, and I just remember not being able to cool off anywhere. The hotel rooms never had air conditioning which was weird for me and the show, it was by far one of the hottest shows I can remember ever playing. At the same time it was really cool to play there and the people were great and they managed to stick it out. I know how hot it was for us so I can only imagine how hot it was for them. I do love Scotland; my ancestors are from Scotland so it is like a little homecoming for me.

I was talking to DJ Ashba just before I called you and he was talking about an entire new show on this tour with a changed set list and stage set up.

Yeah we have changed things up a bit for this tour. It can’t be too much different, we still have to have the drums, bass and guitar [laughs] but we have a basic format that we follow and I think everything we’ve done around it people will appreciate. It’s a kick ass rock show from the bottom up and fans will be hearing some songs that they have never heard before and seeing some things they have never seen before but for the most part it is in fact about the music, about us playing and the people there.

Although the overall show is for the fans, it must be better for yourself and the others to have a new setup now and then because it can’t be easy doing the same three hour, thirty plus song set every night for a year. Not many bands, if there are any, could pull that off on a constant run.

Not without taking a break [laughs]. I guess that’s just the way that Axl [Rose] and we can really feel like we’re giving the people what they deserve. A lot of the songs are ten minutes long so when you start to lumping those together the next thing you know an hour has gone by [laughs].

Dizzy Reed PictureI want to congratulate you on being inducted into the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame.

Thank you.

How does it feel to be inducted as a member of Guns N’ Roses and to see your name in there now?

Well it wasn’t without controversy as you know but the whole concept was an honour. It came and went and it is there but right now the tour is the most important thing. I’ve just been focussing on that and believe me, it takes a bit of preparation for me to get ready to come out and do this. It has been quite a hectic few weeks with that and the tour leading up to when we got on the plane to head out.

I hope you don’t mind me asking but considering the honour you were receiving, why didn’t you attend the ceremony? Was that due to tour preparations or did you not feel the circumstances were right due to the controversy?

Well you know Axl decided not to go because he felt that it wasn’t right and I stand by him. The reasons he gave made sense to me and I agreed with him so I chose not to go as well.

When you look at it all, the Hall Of Fame induction really just caused more damage than it did good because while Guns N’ Roses have always been under fire, it just ignited a new wave of hatred and abuse.

Well, like you said “congratulations,” we’re in the Hall Of Fame man and that’s cool. That’s all there is to it now, time for people to move on.

Your induction represents what you have achieved throughout your career with the band, which now stands at twenty two years. Do you feel as if your role has changed over the years, especially as you’re the second longest standing member next to Axl?

You know, I don’t think it has changed a whole heck of a lot to be honest [laughs]. I just try to add, and I always have, what I can to the music in the studio and to the performance when we are performing live. I think if anything I’ve been given a little more freedom over the years because I’ve become a better performer.I’ve been given a little more freedom to do things that I wouldn’t have in the past. In the past it was “you’re not going to play on this song” and that was many many many years ago but now things are different a little bit. Like I said, the most important thing is that I just try to add what I can to make the songs better. In the studio I just try whatever I can, throw some ideas around and just see what sticks to the wall but it’s all about making the songs better. Live it is kind of a similar process but I kind of know what is going to work and what is not going to work. I try not to have any redundancy of sound or tone or anything and visually for the people who are there to see the show.

For those who joined in the last ten years like Richard [Fortus], Bumblefoot, Frank [Ferrer] and DJ [Ashba], did you have to take on something like a father or guidance role to prepare these guys for what Guns N’ Roses is as you’ve been there through a lot of it?

That’s not always been necessary because I’m always there for anybody who may have questions and may need some advice from me but I’d be like that in any situation. All the guys who have joined the band in the last ten years are seasoned professionals from other places so there was no showing them the ropes type situation, it was just basically “welcome to the band and now let’s go kick some ass.”

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Michael is the owner and creator of EspyRock. He is your general all round geek; sports fan; TV show fanatic. You can find him sharing his thoughts on his personal Twitter account. Contact Michael on Twitter or via Email.

2 Responses to “Interview: Guns N’ Roses – Dizzy Reed”

  1. What an amazing post…


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