Given the group's reputation for hell-raising, you might thin that there would be no wilder place on earth than backstage at a Guns N' Roses concert.
And boy, would you be mistaken.
Just ask Faith No More keyboardist Roddy Bottum. He and his bandmates recently spent a couple months touring Europe as the Gunners' opening act, and will reprise their role for GNR's American outing with Metallica, which comes to RFK Stadium in Washington tonight. Bottum, therefore, knows whereof he speaks when it comes to backstage life with Axl, Slash and crew.
In a word, he says, it's dull. "It's like seriously the most boring backstage scene I've ever seen," he laughs.
How so? "Because there's so much security around," he says, over the phone from his home in San Francisco. "There are so many rules and so many regulations happening, it's just boring more than anything else."
"But I think that's the way they like it, honestly," he adds. "Their security is so intense and so . . . everywhere that it's hard to imagine that people would get away with anything without their permission."
Backstage security aside, though, Bottum and his bandmates like playing with GNR. Naturally, some of it has to do with the exposure Faith No More is gaining from the shows. As Bottum puts it, "I'm really thankful and grateful that we're doing these huge shows and there's all these people that are seeing us for the first time."
But the FNM crew also enjoyed the fact that GNR's fairly light concert schedule left time for the band actually to see the cities it was playing. "Guns N' Roses played, like, maybe two or three shows a week," he says. "We had a whole bunch of time to do stuff on our own. So in that sense, the past two months that we've been touring with them has been a complete European vacation."
Bottum offers no apologies for his band's seemingly lax attitude toward touring. As far as he's concerned, playing concerts shouldn't be about selling the new album -- the recently released "Angel Dust" -- but making interesting music. And that's what he and his bandmates have most enjoyed about this current tour.
"We play the new stuff because it's fun," he says. "On the last record, we toured for a really long time with that old stuff -- we pretty much beat it into the ground. So for that reason, yeah, we'll be playing the new stuff. But I don't think it's for sales purposes, or anything like that."
Admittedly, this outlook doesn't exactly endear the band to its record company's marketing staff, but Bottum doesn't care a lot about that sort of thing. He would rather his band make music that stands on its own, than worry about writing songs that fit into somebody's sales strategy.
And though he admits that the band's insistence on going its own way "confuses people," he doesn't mind. "That's fine. We don't have a problem with that," he says. "I think it's kind of what we're best at -- confusing people."