Over the past decade, we have watched legendary drummer Steven Adler go from a near rock ‘n’ roll statistic to earning his rightful place in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as part of Guns N’ Roses. Armed with a clear head, heartwarming smile and the drum skills that helped to change the world, Steven Adler is out to do it all over again! 2012 marks a new beginning for the legendary drummer as he has joined forces with some of rock’s greatest talents to form an outstanding new rock outfit called ADLER. Comprised of frontman Jacob Bunton (Lynam, Mars Electric), guitarist Lonny Paul (Adler’s Appetite), and Johnny Martin (Chelsea Smiles), the band has just unleashed their impressive debut album, ‘Back From The Dead,’ which is best classified as a “no holds barred, balls to the walls, rock ‘n’ roll thrill ride!” At it’s core, the album is a perfect storm of musical collaborations between its members. Serving as icing on the cake, the album also features guest performances from Steven Adler’s childhood friend and former Guns N’ Roses bandmate Slash, as well as Rob Zombie/Ex-Marilyn Manson guitarist John 5. Jason Price of the mighty Icon Vs. Icon recently caught up with Steven Adler for a rapid-fire Q&A about this intriguing new band, the making of their debut album and much more!
First, I want to thank you for taking time out to talk with us once again. We caught up with a few years back, right around the time of your book release. We are super excited about Adler and all the hard work you all are putting in. We are looking forward to spreading the word!
Thank you for all your support!
I wanted to go back to the beginning and have you tell us a little about your first memories of music and how it came into your life?
Believe it or not, when I was younger, I wanted to be a professional football player. Then one day I saw KISS perform during their filming of “KISS Meets The Phantom Of The Park”, and I decided right then, that I wanted to be a rock star.
As an artist, what do you find inspiring you the most these days?
I wake up every morning inspired by my new band and the opportunity to prove myself again. I think we made a great record and I can’t wait for the whole world to hear it.
Your latest project is Alder’s ‘Back From The Dead’. What can you tell us about the decision to make the jump from Adler’s Appetite to Adler?
Well, “Adler’s Appetite” was more of a tribute to my Guns N’ Roses days. We played mostly GNR tunes. I guess it was simply time to move on and become relevant again.
Did you have any reservations about taking this challenge?
It’s amazing how much confidence you have when you surround yourself with the right people. I have an incredible team and feel like there is nothing we can’t do.
What can you tell us about how you brought this impressive lineup together?
To be honest, once Lonny came into my life, it all came together. He was the one who did all the foot work to put this band together. He even brought in Jeff Pilson, who produced our record and Jay Ruston, who mixed it. I feel blessed to have met such a great person, friend and band mate. I feel the same about everyone involved.
What do each of these guys bring to the table for the project?
They are all well crafted at the instruments they play. Jacob and Lonny are great song writers, and Johnny is my rhythm brother… he knows what I’m going to do before I do. Jacob is the perfect front man… killer, original voice, looks, and performer… he’s the whole package. A band of superstars and I feel lucky to play with all of them.
When you first starting out to make this record, what were your expectations?
I expected greatness, because I knew I had a great band. I couldn’t be happier with the out come. I absolutely love our record and can’t stop listening to it.
Was it a difficult process to find and give Adler a unique sound?
No, our sound came together naturally. We just concentrated on writing and recording great songs. Our “sound” just happened in the process… as it should be. If you have to search for your sound, how genuine is it going to be?
Can you tell us a little about the songwriting process for this record and how you guys brought it to life?
Jacob and Lonny are the main song writers in the band. They would bring songs to Jeff and me, then we would make changes, additions, or whatever we felt necessary to make them better. Everyone is real open minded when it comes to the creative process, which is why I think the record came out so well.
Jeff Pilson produced the record. What was the most intriguing part of working with him in that capacity?
Jeff was a God send! What a talented producer, engineer, bass player, singer, and songwriter. We consider him a fifth member of the band.
We had the opportunity to speak with Jacob last week. He is an amazing talent and a super nice guy. Do you remember the first time you encountered him as a singer and what made you think he was the perfect fit for the frontman role?
Of course, I remember the first time I met Jacob. He’s not the kind of person you forget. I loved him from the start and knew he was the right singer to lead us to victory!
From start to finish, what was the biggest challenge in making ‘Back From The Dead’?
The only thing challenging was going home every night… we didn’t want to leave. We had the times of our lives, and Jeff made the whole process effortless and enjoyable.
Did anything come up along the way that you might not have been expecting?
I didn’t expect to be so impressed with everyone. I have an incredible team of superstars.
Slash came into the studio at one point to play guitar on “Just Don’t Ask.” How does working with him now differ from the early years in GNR?
When we first started in GNR, we were just kids and took things for granted. Now I can appreciate how talented he is, and am fortunate to have someone who I admire still in my life after all these years.
The album album is solid all the way around and really rocks. What are your personal favorites from this album and why at this moment in time?
Thank you. I wish I could tell you what songs I like best, but the truth is, I absolutely love the whole record. Each song compliments the next. We didn’t just try to record “singles” we wanted a record people would want to listen to from start to finish… like a record should be.
What was the biggest lesson you learned as an artist from the process of working with this band and creating this new album?
If you choose the right people to work with, everything falls into place.
You seem to be in a terrific place in the creative sense. What are your hopes for the future of the very promising band?
Thank you. I hope to take this band to the Rock N Roll Hall Of Fame 25 years from now.
We are catching you late in the year, so I am sure you are excited for the new year to kick off! What’s in store for us in 2013?
We plan to do a lot of touring, and if there is any time, we’ll be back in the recording studio.
It was recently announced that you would be auctioning off two plaques for Fur & Feather Animal Sanctuary. What can you tell us about that and how you got involved with the cause?
I’ve always been a big advocate of protecting animals. So I’ll always be there when I can to help!
Your autobiography was a great read. Have you given any thought to possibly doing another book of some sort in the future?
Thank you. I don’t have any immediate plans to write another book, but you never know what tomorrow will bring!
What is the best part of being Steven Adler these days?
I have a great new band and group of positive people in my life. No one has any drug addictions or any kind of substance abuse problems. It’s a wonderful new environment, and I have a reason to wake up every morning.
Anything you would like to say to the fans before I let you go?
Thank you for all the love and support, and for not giving up on me.
For all the latest music, news and tour dates for ADLER, visit the band’s official site at www.adlerrocks.com.
Jason Price founded the mighty Icon Vs. Icon more than a decade ago. Along the way, he’s assembled an amazing group of like-minded individuals to spread the word on some of the most unique people and projects on the pop culture landscape.