The frontman felt “hindered” following comments from the musicians and then-girfriend Stephanie Seymour during the original band’s Use Your Illusion era – and he didn’t try penning lyrics again for a long time.
Rose tells USA Today: “They did damage to my ability as a writer. To those three it was all crap. It beat me down so much.
“At the time of the tours, Slash and Duff said: ‘You’re an idiot – you’re a loser.’ I didn’t write for years.”
That’s one of the reasons Rose offers for his Chinese Democracy album taking so long to finish. It came out in 2008 after nearly 14 years under production.
He gives another reason: “I was trying to figure out what I wanted to say – when it’s right to be venting, and when you’re digging a bigger hole.”
The singer adds that he was deliberately trying to move on from his troubled background, and remains surprised by how people thought his pain was entertainment.
“I could beat my mic stand into the stage,” he says, “But I was still in pain. Maybe fans liked it, but sometimes people forget you’re a person.
“Things considered horrific when I was growing up were, ‘So what? You were abused? Who cares?’ When I talked to Rolling Stone about it, I thought people would take a harder look at my stepdad. Instead they came down harder on me. That’s still confusing to me.”
Those experiences contributed to his development of a “very dark attitude,” he admits. “There was a much more self-destructive nature. It was a going-for-it-at-all-costs thing that worked then. I don’t know if that’s the smartest thing for me now. It’s taken a long time to turn that round and give a strong show without it being a kamikaze show.
Rose also reveals that during his years of seclusion before forming a new GnR lineup, he wasn’t simply hiding. “I just didn’t go to places where the media was,” he explains. “I didn’t see any way to go public – I felt I was going to be slammed.
“I spent a lot of time in Vegas and didn’t get bothered. I wasn’t gambling or partying at the time; I’d just go walking at night, just watching people. I was out more than people thought.”
GnR started a 12-date residence at the Hard Rock Hotel in Las Vegas this week.
-Classic Rock Magazine