The Guns N’ Roses on Classic Rock Coffee, hot sauces and his love of Dubai
The Guns N’ Roses guitarist talks to Chanelle Tourish about Classic Rock Coffee, his line of hot sauces and why he keeps on coming back to Dubai.
You’re coming to Dubai to launch Classic Rock Coffee. Why did you get involved? Nick from [local band] Point of View asked me. I thought it was a great idea having a coffee shop that is full of rock memorabilia. We thought it would be good to come and do a concert and also bring my line of hot sauces.
Why a hot sauce line? I have always loved spicy food. It’s sort of like a love for music, when you’re really passionate about it, you want to share that with people. I don’t have a background in cooking but I have decades of experience in eating.
You’re bringing guitars to hang on the walls. Do you have a favourite? My favourite guitar is my custom signature model, made by the company Vigier from France. It’s a double-neck guitar and I switch between the two necks as I’m playing.
What keeps bringing you back to Dubai? The people are friendly and there’s so much to do. The more you visit a place the more it starts to feel like home.
Would you ever go skydiving here in Dubai? I would try it but I’m pretty boring. I get so much adrenaline out on the stage that it’s out of my system. People expect me to drive a sports car but I drive a 2014 Honda Accord. It’s good on gas and it’s safe. I’ve become very sensible.
You are doing a meet and greet in Dubai. What is the craziest thing a fan has ever done? I remember one time a fan that was crawling through the ventilation system in the ceiling trying to get backstage. He actually fell through the ceiling into an empty room next door to our changing room. I think we gave him backstage passes to reward him for his efforts.
You are holding a guitar workshop. What advice do you have for budding guitarists? I started playing when I was about six years old but I wanted to form a band when I was five after I heard the band Kiss. Keep your inner five-year-old as things get more complicated. Always remember that you play music because you love it and you like to make people happy.
So was the dream everything you thought it would be? It’s more than I thought it would be. There have been so many memories. I remember finishing a gig in Salt Lake City in Utah and it was 5am in the morning and the venue was empty, everybody had left. I think it was just Axl Rose, me and two friends of mine. I drove up this mountain to a big open Jacuzzi. So we just sat in the water surrounded by beautiful mountains and snow and watched the sun coming up.
You initially turned down the offer from Guns N’ Roses. After eight years are you glad you reconsidered? It’s a yes and no thing. Ultimately yes there are a lot of things with it that made life more difficult but we are supposed to have challenges. If it was easy then everything would be handed to us. I have definitely learned a lot and I grew a lot. I think I became a better person in the end or I try to be. I don’t regret it.
What is on the horizon for you? I am in the studio and I’m working on my next album. It’s got nice songs and melodies. So I’m going to finish that and come back to Dubai and play a full Bumblefoot concert. Bumblefoot in concert, Fri August 1. 8pm. The Music Room (04 501 2534) www.timeouttickets.com.