Guns N’ Roses is in the midst of an open-ended break while the new “Appetite For Democracy 3D: Live at the Hard Rock Casino — Las Vegas” film pacifies fans. But longtime keyboardist Dizzy Reed is confident the hiatus won’t be interminable.
“Guns are definitely taking some time off, but we’ll see,” Reed, who joined the group during 1990, tells Billboard. “I’m not sure if we’re gonna be doing anything else this year. Hopefully we will, but definitely next year. We can’t stay away too long.”
That, of course, means that rumors circulating during the group’s recent residency back at the Vegas Hard Rock that Axl Rose planned to pull the plug on GN’R were unfounded.
“You know, so much of that crap gets out there, you can’t believe any of it,” Reed says. “At this point, having been in the band for so long, nothing surprises me. When I hear things like that I immediately dismiss them until I hear further. I’m never really concerned enough to even ask where it came from, or why, because if it’s that important I’ll be getting a phone call.”
Like his bandmates, Reed is hoping GN’R will be returning to the studio as well to finished a follow-up to 2008’s “Chinese Democracy.” There’s new music around — “We’ve all been handing files back and forth to one another in various combinations,” he says — but that’s on top of other material from the “Chinese Democracy” sessions and after that “needs to be finished and needs to be released. I think a lot of it is either finished or close to being finished — it’s just a matter of picking which songs and where and when and in what order. And if there’s other things that come up that are worthy enough to add to that, then that’s gonna happen, too.” He won’t guess on when, however. “No, I gave up on that a long time ago, with the last record,” Reed notes with a laugh. “It’ll come out when it comes out, when it’s ready.”
Meanwhile, Reed is hoping that “Appetite for Democracy” — which was filmed in November of 2012 and is available as a 3D Blu-ray and a standard DVD — will be an acceptable stand-in while GNR is away. “I think it’s great,” he says. “I think we captured a great moment in time with the current lineup that we have. There’s not a lot of footage out there of this particular lineup of the band — obviously there’s no videos and stuff. So I think it’s a cool thing, and great for the fans. It gives them something to share the moment.”
Of course, GN’R’s touring this year included some guest appearances by founding bassist Duff McKagen, who subbed while current member Tommy Stinson took part in Replacements reunion shows. “It was great to see Duff again and play with him,” Reeds says. “He’s just a great overall positive person, and a good friend. We fell out of touch for a long time, so for me, personally it was just great to see him and be around him again. Tommy’s a great player, too, and the shows are great with Tommy, but it was a lot of fun to play with Duff. He’s got a certain sound and a certain feel; I think he had to kind of feel it out a little bit wtih Guns again this time, which is weird because he started the band, but once he got into it, it was great.”
Reed himself will be staying busy during Guns N’ Roses’ time off. He and GN’R guitarist Richard Fortus play in the all-star Dead Daisies, which will be supporting the Bad Company/Lynyrd Skynyrd and Kiss/Def Leppard tours during the summer. And he’s organizing 10th anniversary shows for his covers band Hookers N’ Blow, on Sept. 5 in Los Angeles and Sept. 6 in Las Vegas. “There’s always guests, and there’s a lot of Hookers N’ Blow alumni from 10 years,” he says. “It’s a pretty big list, so hopefully a lot of those people will come down, too. It’s definitely gonna be a blowout.”