HANOI ROCKS Frontman Talks GUNS N' ROSES

Sweden's Metalshrine recently conducted an interview with HANOI ROCKS frontman Michael Monroe. A few excerpts from the chat follow:

Metalshrine: There's a great book about GUNS N' ROSES and on every other page they keep saying how they wanted to be like HANOI ROCKS and that you were a huge influence on them back when they started out. Did you ever think, when they started to take off and sell millions of records, that it should've been you selling all the records since they took a lot of what you had?

Monroe: "No, I never felt that! Not at all! I was always happy for their success and they definitely earned it themselves. I'm thankful for them recognizing the HANOI ROCKS influence and talking about it in the press. A lot of bands weren't really that talented and they sold a lot of records and really just deliberately tried to fake something out of it with the looks and not having much to back it up with. But GUNS N' ROSES really had their own thing and they were secure enough in themselves to quote HANOI ROCKS as an influence. Also, they released a lot of the old catalog in America with their Uzi/Suicide label. So they were definitely paying homage to us and they were being very cool. I've never been envious of their success, quite the opposite, I've been very happy for them. I was part of it. I played on their records and I was happy to be part of it. It's always fun working with those guys. Slash played the right kind of guitar because he grew up with HANOI and mine and Andy's (McCoy) playing. I actually did something with him for the movie 'Coneheads'."

Metalshrine: Do you remember the first time you met those guys?

Monroe: "I met Axl... he came to my video shoot in New York. I was shooting a video for 'Dead, Jail or Rock and Roll'. He showed up and just came to say hi and he introduced himself. I got to talk to him and he was a big NAZARETH fan and I was like 'Wow, a NAZARETH fan!' He didn't realize that 'Not Faking It' was a cover of a NAZARETH song. He had heard the record and he was really into it and he liked the song 'Dead, Jail or Rock and Roll', so I said 'Why don't you come up and do a couple of takes with us?' He came up on stage and he ended up in the video. I got along with him great and I always had a nice time with him. I never had a problem with him. I hear all these horror stories, but he's always been cool with me. It was fun working with those guys afterwards. Playing sax on their record and we did the duet 'Ain't It Fun'. That was magical and they have great star quality. A great band and it's a shame that they didn't stay together."

Metalshrine: Have you met Axl lately?

Monroe: "He was in Finland some time ago and I didn't meet him then but we said hello through the press. I said nice things about him in the press and he said to say hello and all that stuff. Slash I talk to more often. We call each other now and then and keep in touch. We talked about going on tour together with them, but it hasn't been the right time yet for HANOI. But that would be cool, with VELVET REVOLVER."

Read the entire interview at this location.

Watch Michael Monroe's "Dead, Jail or Rock and Roll" video (featuring Axl Rose):

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