"Chinese Hypocrisy", the latest release by TributeAlbums.com, features a beautifully stripped down acoustic rendition of the GUNS N' ROSES classic "November Rain" performed by current QUIET RIOT/HOOKERS N' BLOW guitarist Alex Grossi, along with vocalist Zoli Teglas of California punk outfit IGNITE, and Finland's Marko Pukkila of ALTARIA. Grossi recently had a chance to sit down and answer a few questions about covering GN'R, the influence they had on him as a musician, and what it's like to perform on tribute albums.
TributeAlbums.com: Jon Bon Jovi and Richie Sambora are often credited with kicking off the popularity of rock artists re-creating their hits in acoustic form with their performance of "Livin' On A Prayer" and "Wanted Dead or Alive" during the 1989 "MTV Music Video Awards". Why do you think acoustic versions of otherwise fully produced songs have become so popular?
Alex Grossi: I think in a lot of cases, certain songs may be too "rock" for your average listener, making them acoustic can get them to a wider audience. Look at how many rock bands had their biggest, and sometimes ONLY hit, with an acoustic song....How many soccer moms do you think were pissed when they heard the REST of that MR. BIG record?? LOL!
TributeAlbums.com: Paul Stanley of KISS once said "If a song doesn't sound good on an acoustic guitar, it's just a crappy song." Your acoustic version of GUNS N' ROSES' "November Rain" shows that the song itself is quite solid. Taking a song like "November Rain" that has such full instrumentation, and stripping it down to an acoustic version cannot be a simple task. How did you approach the arrangement?
Alex Grossi: I based what we did off a demo that has been floating around forever of GN'R doing it from the pre-"Appetite" days. Just a couple guitars and a vocal... Straight and to the point.
TributeAlbums.com: What song (or for what artist) would you like to record for a tribute album?
Alex Grossi: I would love to do an EDDIE MONEY song (I am a huge fan), or something a little different than people would expect. I always think it's cool when bands cover stuff outside their genre. I mean, do we really need to hear the BULLETBOYS cover a PRETTY BOY FLOYD song?
The full interview can be found at www.TributeAlbums.com.