Besides Axl Rose, keyboardist Dizzy Reed has been with Guns N' Roses for the longest of any of the other bandmates. Since Use Your Illusion, Reed's been pounding the keys for this seminal rock 'n' roll outlet.
As to what's changed over the years about the band besides the lineup, Reed says jokingly, "Well, we've had several different presidents. We've gone to war a few different times." Then seriously, "I don't think the energy has changed. Obviously, the dynamic is going to change a little bit whenever someone comes or goes." He also says they've matured as musicians and people. Overall, though, he feels the rock 'n' roll GNR spirit remains strong.
Though they played the American Airlines Arena in October of last year, the band is back again for a much more intimate show at the Fillmore Miami Beach. Reed says, "Hopefully, they'll be falling out of the rafters." He's looking forward to the closer quarters of this different venue. "It's going to be more in-your-face."
At AAA, there were some crazy pyrotechnics. In response to the question regarding whether they'd have any of these in their Fillmore stage show, Reed says laughing, "I hope not! It's a bit of a stripped-down show. But I think that's a great opportunity for people to see just how great the band really is."
Though Reed never attended a day in college, he belongs to both a fraternity and a sorority. Figure that one out. He's a Zeta Psi at Cornell since 2005, and in 1993 at Virginia Tech, he joined the group of girls. Fans of the band, they asked him to join. He says honestly, "I'm a proud member." Though a frat guy, Reed's not been much of a party animal. He's more of a dad. "I want to live a little bit longer and keep doing this as long as I can," he says.
A prolific songwriter, he just began recording his own solo project, which features instrumentals by the guys currently in GNR. Wisely, he said of his instrument of choice, "I figured out a long time ago, most people really don't want to hear keyboard solos." There will, though, be much key work and some great guitar playing on the album. "It's definitely well-rooted rock 'n' roll," he notes, influenced by classic and roots rock. The tentative title is appropriately, Rock and Roll Ain't Easy. It isn't for most, but maybe for GNR it is.
Catch Guns N' Roses tonight at 10 at the Fillmore Miami Beach, 1700 Washington Ave, MIami Beach.
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