Ex-GUNS N’ ROSES drummer Steven Adler says that he has not been approached by any of his former bandmates about a possible reunion of the classic GN’R lineup and blames the lack of communication in part on the fact that Slash and Duff McKagan don’t believe that he is sober.
Slash recently revealed that he and GUNS N’ ROSES‘ lead singer, Axl Rose, had repaired their estranged relationship after nearly 20 years, immediately leading to a storm of speculation about a possible reunion of the classic GUNS lineup.
Asked point blank if he knows anything about a rumored reunion of GUNS N’ ROSES‘ “Appetite For Destruction” lineup, Adler told Eddie Trunk during a September 28 appearance on Trunk’s SiriusXM satellite radio show, “Eddie Trunk Live”: “Nothing. Even if it was happening, I don’t think Slash would tell me, because he knows how excited I get and that I would probably say something before I should. I would be the last one to know.”
Adler, who was famously fired from GUNS N’ ROSES in 1990 for his rampant drug use, added that part of the reason he hasn’t heard anything about a rumored GUNS reunion is the fact that he hasn’t been able to convince his former bandmates that he is clean from alcohol and drugs.
“I love those guys, and I always will, but Duff, he doesn’t think I’m cool,” Adler said. “He doesn’t think I’m a cool guy. This is what people tell me. And he doesn’t think I’m cool and that I’m not that great of a drummer. And Slash, he doesn’t believe that I have 21 months and 21 days sober. He doesn’t believe it. I don’t know why, but they forget that at one time in their life, they were doing drugs and drinking and they were fucking up. They forget that they were like that too. Duff has got 20 years sober or more, Slash has got, like, 11 or 12 years sober, and I’ve got a year, nine months and 21 days. So everybody gets it at a different time. I’m just thankful I got it.”
He went on to say: “They don’t think I’m cool and they don’t think I can play drums that great and they don’t think I’m sober. Duff, he has a right, in a way, but, like I said, he forgets where he came from too. But we did do some shows [together] in Japan [in 2013], and Duff invited [Steven’s current band] ADLER to come down, and I was still drinking then. And the second I got to the airport, I made a beeline for the bar, and I just started doing shots of Jäger. And the whole trip I was sick and I was just a mess. And, you know, Duff’s sober and he’s very judgmental and forgetful of where he came from. And he was just so bummed and pissed at me. I mean, the playing part, the shows when we actually were performing, that went all right, but everything else… So I kind of ruined it and gave him the excuse to be able to say, ‘Well, he’s not cool and he’s not that good.’ But I stopped doing that. They stopped doing that. Just because they stopped doing it before I did doesn’t make them any better. We’re all people who have addiction problems. I was just able to get a grip on it later on in life than they did.”
Asked what the turning point was for him to get his life together and stop going into detoxes and rehabs, Adler said: “I learned from going to meetings with the right people and talking to the right people at AA meetings and stuff, and I got a great sponsor, and we worked it out. My problem was I had resentment towards those guys [GUNS N’ ROSES bandmates], and towards other things, and I had abandonment issues. So once I was able to forgive those guys and realize it wasn’t them to blame, but me to blame — I did what I did to me; they didn’t do what they did to me; I did it to myself — and once I started hating them, I was able to… and have some time, ‘cause it takes time for the brain to heal after drinking so much. Alcohol fucks your brain up and it takes a good nine, ten, eleven [months or] a year until you actually start thinking clear again. Now I’m just able to live my life and be happy with who I am.”
According to Adler, he is still in contact with Slash, but he hasn’t been able to convince the guitarist to meet with him in person for quite some time. “I’m always trying to get [Slash] to go to Crossroads, this vegan restaurant,” Adler said. “I [tell him], ‘Get your girlfriend and come meet me and my wife over… And John 5 [ROB ZOMBIE]. I say, meet me and John 5 and Rita over at Crossroads for brunch or dinner.’ [And he writes back] ‘Ehh, I can’t. I’m working.’ I’m going, ‘You’ve gotta be home way more than that. Just come meet with me. Let’s go have a cup of coffee.’
Asked if it’s true that he recently said that he would kill himself if the classic GUNS N’ ROSES lineup reunited without him, Adler said: “I would probably feel like I would wanna kill myself, but I wouldn’t. I would probably just kill them. [Laughs] ‘Cause if I’m not doing it, they’re not doing it. If I’m going down, they’re going down.”
Adler also expressed frustration over the fact that so many world-famous musicians, including GUNS N’ ROSES, can’t seem to overcome personal differences and reunite for the sake of their fans.
“I don’t understand what the problem is,” he said. “We’re just rock bands. We all started practicing in our garage or our bedroom. We met each other, and we started playing in our garage, then we worked on songs. This is what we wanted to do. Our dreams came true.
“I don’t know why it’s so difficult for people that have been successful and still can moderately successful,” he continued. “Of course, nobody’s gonna be like they were in the ’80s; that was our generation. It’s a new generation now of music and people and kids. But there are bands like BON JOVI and METALLICA and the GUNS N’ ROSES reunion; [if that were to happen] that would be huge.”
Adler added: “I don’t get it. We just play music. We’re living our dream. Why does everybody have to be such a dick and so fucking crazy? It’s, like, hey, we play music. When we’re together, we play it really great. Let’s just do it. What’s the problem?”
Despite the fact that he hasn’t heard anything about a possible reunion of the classic GUNS lineup, Adler remains optimistic about his future. “Even if the GN’R thing doesn’t happen, I’m still gonna do what I’m doing every day,” he said. “I’m gonna keep living, being happy, practicing, playing with my band. I wasted enough time in a blackout, in a haze. I’m living now.”