The guitar god and Guns N’ Roses alum talks about his new album, his favorite GNR moment and more.
Best known for his short time in Guns N’ Roses during the Use Your Illusion era, Gilby Clarke is one of rock ’n’ roll’s best and most reliable guitar gods. After his three-year stint in that band, Clarke unleashed a handful of critically acclaimed solo albums and played with everyone from MC5 to Nancy Sinatra to Heart and his old GNR bandmate Matt Sorum in Kings of Chaos. Gilby is back to unleash his new solo album The Gospel Truth, his first record in almost two decades. The album features a slew of major players including Nikki Sixx (Motley Crue), Kenny Aronoff (Chickenfoot/John Mellencamp) and Stephen Perkins (Jane’s Addiction, Porno for Pyros). HUSTLERMagazine.com caught up with Gilby to discuss his return to music and his Guns N’ Roses days.
HUSTLERMagazine.com: Are you okay with being interviewed by us?
Gilby Clarke: Absolutely. I don’t remember the first time I saw a HUSTLER Magazine. Back when I was a kid, finding a picture of a naked woman was a hard thing to do.
Why has it been so long between albums?
I never really set out to be a solo artist. When I made my first record it was something to do at the time. I was in Guns N’ Roses and I had a batch of ten songs that were not going to be part of the Guns N’ Roses world. Someone said, “Let’s make a record!”
After I made that record my world changed. I wasn’t in Guns anymore. I had a successful solo tour. Played with Slash. I made another solo record. And another. It just evolved. When the last record came out in 2001 the music world changed. Traditional record companies and their marketing and P.R. weren’t there anymore. And I was never a D.I.Y. type of guy. Time just kind of went by. Then I developed the attitude of, “Why do I need to make a record?” It’s a lot of work and expensive. I had the wrong attitude. One day a friend of mine asked me the same question you did. I gave him my excuse and he looked at me like I was an idiot. He said, “You do consider yourself an artist, and creating is part of that process. What have you been creating?” He was right. Part of my job was to write and record my own songs. Whether they sell or not.