Do your experiences as a guitar tech make you treat your own tech extra nice?
[Laughs] “I don’t know. I used to think I was so easy, but I think maybe I’m not. When it comes to dealing with techs, I probably expect a lot. I’m sure I do. My current tech, who was with me on the first APC tour and now the last two, is this guy Justin Crew – he does Kirk Hammett and has been the Metallica guy for years and years. We have a great working relationship, but I’m… I’m probably a pain in the ass. [Laughs] That’s the bottom line.
“I try not to be difficult. I know what’s happening, so I try to get everything prepped ahead of time and to make sure things are as easy as possible. During the heat of battle, during a show, I’m not as calm as I am during everyday life, especially if something goes wrong.”
You played on Chinese Democracy. Got any good Axl Rose stories?
“Actually, I didn’t play on the record – I just played during some rehearsals. When they were auditioning drummers, I played bass – this was when Duff was kind of on the way out. [Nine Inch Nails guitarist] Robin Finck called me and said, ‘It’s the craziest thing. You’ll never guess what I just got an audition for.’ I was guessing all of these bands, and when he said, ‘Guns N’ Roses,’ I was like, ‘What? That’s insane!’ It just seemed so bizarre.
“He said that they were looking for some wild sounds, and then he asked me if I would go with him to help program. So I did. I went down and met Axl, and we hit it off that first day, and they offered me a job. I had no intention of getting a job; I got off the road and was planning to start Perfect Circle – only it wasn’t called A Perfect Circle then. But I fell in love with that project and wanted to see it through. Axl became a close friend.”