Axl Rose
Guns N' Roses | Credit: Kevin Mazur/Getty Images

This Is Why Axl Rose Is Always Late To Hit The Stage

The repeated onstage lateness of Guns N’ Roses frontman Axl Rose has long brought fans to breaking point, but it’s usually at that very moment of peak frustration that Axl arrives on stage to rapturous applause. Now, Guns N’ Roses and The Dead Daises guitarist Richard Fortus has explained why Axl is often so tardy.

Interviewed on a recent edition of the One On One With Mitch Lafon podcast, Fortus told the Canadian journalist that GNR work differently to other bands – because of course they do – given the way Axl operates.

Fortus began by talking about the delays in releasing new Gunners material. “He won’t whore himself out,” the guitarist said of Rose. “He won’t do anything for business or money; it’s just about the music. And he won’t defend himself in the press, because he doesn’t think it matters. It’s just about the music — that’s all he cares about.

“I’ve worked with a lot of people in this business, and I’ve never seen, or met, anybody that was motivated purely by that — by the desire to make art.”

Fortus continued: “The last few years, it’s been very… it’s not like a lot of bands, where it’s like clockwork. It’s different, and it’s never gonna be that, because that’s not who [Axl] is. But, man, you know, he’s the real deal. He is the real deal. And he lives it, and, like I said, all he cares about is the music.”

Fortus admitted that he originally thought that Axl – who has been named by some the greatest singer of all time – was strategically planning out his late stage entrances, only to discover it was something a little more complicated.

“I thought, ‘He has this worked out,'” said Fortus. “It’s two hours after we’re supposed to start, three hours… and people are… stadiums full of people just booing. And the second he’d walk out on stage, all that energy, all that… on the verge of chaos, of just imploding and everyone just rioting, right at that moment he walks out on stage, and all of that negative energy just goes totally up right into the palm of his hand.”

“I mean, it’s phenomenal to watch,” added Fortus. “And I thought it was by design – I thought that he had figured out some type of way to judge the moment, but it’s not. It’s not.”

“That’s just what he is,” Fortus explained. “He’s not gonna walk out on stage until he is… it’s not like he’s sitting back watching TV and eating potato chips. Man, he goes through a lot to walk out on stage. Just everything… with being himself… to get into the right place within himself.”

Gallery: Guns N Roses, ZZ Top – Allphones Arena, Sydney 12/03/2013 / Photos: Peter Coates

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