Rising to stardom as the drummer with Guns-N-Roses, Steven Adler reached the pinnacle of rock and roll super-stardom. With fame and money also came problems. Suffering a very public battle with addiction Adler was asked to leave Guns-n-Roses due his inability to play.
He continued in music starting the band, Road Crew, which disbanded shortly there after. He then joined Bullet Boys, formed another band Adler’s Appetite and attempted a musical comeback. These again were derailed by Adlers personal demons.
This year Adler finally found himself and formed the band simply called Adler. The band features guitarist, Lonny Paul and singer/guitarist Jacob Bunton. Their debut album the aptly titled “Back From The Dead.”
Review Fix had the opportunity to speak with Adler about his new start.
RF: Being a original member of Guns-N-Roses and a Hall of Fame inductee, fans are always excited to hear new music from an artist of your caliber You have had a few bands in the past, what is it about this one that is different?
SA: This band reminds me of the original GNR line up, not because they look, sound, or act like them, but I feel the same energy and enthusiasm. These guys are ready to take on the world, and they inspire me to do the same.
RF: After many years in the industry what inspired you to start fresh?
SA: I was fortunate to have met the right people. I couldn’t have done this without Jacob, Lonny, Johnny Martin, Jeff Pilson and Jay Ruston, and even our label New Ocean Media.
RF: The LP is very authentic Rock with a classic sound, while also maintaining a modern sound, the type of tracks I could imagine playing on repeat in bars and pool halls. Who was your intended audience? What thought was put into the development of the sound? Honestly, we just made the record we wanted to listen to. We didn’t specifically go for any sound… just did what came naturally.
SA: Honestly, we just made the record we wanted to listen to. We didn’t specifically go for any sound… just did what came naturally.
RF: The opening track “Back From the Dead” was very surprising. As the listener becomes lulled into a ballad, the sound changes drastically. I notice a few out of tune guitar notes in the beginning. Was this to illustrate past faults and pains? How did the idea for this opening of the track come to be? Avid rock listeners may catch on right a way but the meaning behind it may be lost on some. Did this concern you?
SA: Our singer Jacob orchestrated the beginning of “Back From The Dead”. He made sure every note had it’s purpose.
RF: The lyrics “…back from the dead, I have no regrets…” are poignant, was this a statement to get the wondering out of the way to open the LP for just pure listening? Did you feel that this is something that needed to be addressed?
SA: My life has always been an open book. I have no untold secrets, and I’ve always said what I meant with no filters… what you see is what you get. The opening track just lays it all out.
RF: Just within the first track there seems to be a cohesive sound. The guitar riffs are beyond sick..the drums are on point and the vocals are very diverse sounding. How did you do about developing this band? What criteria did you use as you were finding the members?
SA: Believe it or not, when I met each member of the band, I just knew they were the right guys.. there was no audition. In fact, the first time we actually played with Jacob was in the recording studio. As far as sound, we knew going in that we wanted the guitars, drums, bass and vocals to have their own sound, and between Jeff Pilson, who produced the record and Jay Ruston who mixed, I think they played a big part in that. Of course, Jacob has his own unique voice, which is why he is the perfect singer and front man for this band. I couldn’t be happier with the whole team, and haven’t been this excited since the early GNR days.
RF: “Another Version of the Truth” is a is very classic sounding. It is a great track. What was the inspiration of this song?
SA: Jacob wrote the lyrics to that one, but basically every story has two sides.
RF: So many of these songs are “Anthems” the types of tracks that resonate with fans deeply…do you have any concerns with keeping this momentum up? There are so many strong tracks on one LP, the sophomore album is going to have to be hard-hitting and high quality. Does the pressure worry you or inspire you?
SA: Thank you. I feel nothing but inspired. There’s no pressure for our second record, because Jacob and Lonny are great writers and as a team, we can’t go wrong. In fact, we’ve already been working on new material, so we’ll be more than ready for our next record.
RF: “Good To Be Bad” is one of those songs that screams of overindulgence and anti-conformity…what is the message you are conveying? Encouragement of the party scene or just a fun track with a bit of a warning song?
SA: Well, the words speak for themselves… “it’s hard to be good when it’s so easy to be so bad”. Everybody has temptations, it’s up to the individual to make their own decisions… and it’s simply a fun song.
RF: You reunited with Slash on “Just Don’t Ask” his artistry is flawless..but how did this reunion come about? This track really brings fans back to a time before. Nobody plays like you and Slash together. This is by far the most tear jerking track for fans.
SA: How did you decide to bring him onto this particular track…were you looking for a bit of time past? Was getting him on this track hard? Why did you seek him out? What about him more than other former band mates was important? Slash and I have been childhood friends since I was 11 years old. I never really fell out of touch. When we tracked “Just Don’t Ask”, it just felt like something Slash should be on. Pilson sent him the song and Slash said “when do you want me to come in”? I’ve always loved the way he plays and couldn’t be happier with the way it turned out.
RF: The vocals on this CD are near flawless. Where you at all worried that the other artists would take away from your legacy or did you base the talent around what you already knew you had via a vision and the heartbeat of the tracks…the percussion?
SA: I’ve never been worried about being out shined, and nothing can take away from the GNR legacy. I was extremely fortunate to have found such incredible band mates. They are all so talented, and I’m honored to play with them.
RF: “Waterfall” as many songs is a love lost song…do you have a muse for these tracks? There is a lot of pain and hope exhibited in every song, may I have some insight on your total inspiration of this album?
SA: Waterfall was the first song my guitar player Lonny brought me. I loved it from the first note on. I have a great team of writers and players. Everyone is real open to changes and ideas, and we all work well together. I guess you could say they were the inspiration of this album… the right guys at the right time.
RF: Your vocalist is very diverse…how did you chose him. There were probably many more famous vocalist that would have loved to work with you. You chose well, but how did you decide on him for the sound you wanted?
SA: Lonny’s friend Jay Ruston, who mixed our record introduced us to Jacob. I just knew he was the right guy the moment I met him. I love everything about him.
RF: I will assume that your lead vocalist Jacob Bunton was the pianist on this track…Is he self taught or classically trained? Did you know of this when you enlisted him into the band or was this a bonus? This track creeps into the rock/country genre a bit. Is that something we can expect in the future?
SA: I had no idea when I first met Jacob, but he can play anything you put in front of him. You could invent an instrument today and he’ll master it by tomorrow. He played a grand piano on the track “Your Diamonds”. Michael Lord actually played piano on “Waterfall”. After we turned in the finished track to Jay for mixing, he didn’t like the sound of the piano on “Waterfall”, and since Michael was a friend of Lonny’s and Jay’s, we asked him to lay something down, because Jacob was out of town.
RF: What is the direction you see your band going into?
SA: Only one direction… straight to the top…haha. I know you meant “musically”, but seriously, we’re just going to concentrate on writing great songs that we like to play and listen to. The rest will fall into place.
RF: You end the LP heavy. “Dead Wrong” seems to be an I told you so track. After listening to this LP…there seems to be many who were “Dead Wrong” can we believe this is either directed to your past partners musically and life wise?
SA: Yes, this track was written about someone specifically, but it could be about anyone who doesn’t believe in you… let them go. No one needs them in their life. Go out and prove them “Dead Wrong.”
RF: Lastly, what do you want your fans to know? What is the most important message you want to convey about your album?
SA: Thank you for all the love and support and for not giving up on me.