In 2012 Cwmbran Life interviewed Gavin Felvus about how he was the frontman of Guns 2 Roses- a tribute band that has been joined over the years by several members of Guns N’ Roses.
In the last five years the former Fairwater Comprehensive School pupil estimates he has performed in 500 shows. It seemed like a good time for a catch-up.
What have you been up to since we last spoke in 2012?
“Five years have certainly gone fast I must say. We’ve had a few more collaborations with former Guns N’ Roses guitarist Ron “Bumblefoot” Thal, worked with the original Guns N’ Roses manager Vicky Hamilton and toured a lot.
“Since 2012 we have done six tours of America, loads in Europe and covered most of the UK.
“We’ve also had a few TV appearances on BBC with The One Show, got mentioned as a question on ITV’s Tipping Point to Carl Fogarty (who got it wrong) and appeared on a few TV and radio stations in the UK, Europe and USA.”
How many shows have you done since the start in 2004?
“Ha ha. I honestly have no idea anymore. It’s a four-figure number.”
What are you looking forward to in 2017?
“Well since Axl and Slash have reunited we have had a lot of new things come our way. We currently have a mockumentary being made on us which starts filming this summer and may include something in Cwmbran.
“We have our first tour of South America in the pipeline which will star in Mexico in late October.
“We are doing a new tour of the UK which will include many new towns. As well as that we’ve got a big bunch of festivals on the cards too which are always fun to be part of.”
Do you still get the same buzz being on stage in 2017 as you did when you first started?
“Every show is different. We react off crowd reaction. If the crowd is enjoying it we enjoy it more.
“There are always new faces and new towns and countries to perform to which always keep things new for us. I find it more fun now than when we first started for the above reasons and also due to the fact I am lucky enough to be working with the best people now.”
What has been the highlight or best memory since the first time you went on stage as Axl?
“There are many though I do find it hard to pick one I think it’s anytime we have got to work with members of the real band, a TV appearance or maybe our debut in a new country.
“Still some of my favourite occasions have been when we actually come back to Cwmbran. It’s one of the very few places in the world where we will actually still play in a pub bar and it’s always good to play to people I knew from the past. Some of the best night’s have been there.
“Sometimes they have no idea we’ve actually been based in London for the past 15 years, neither do they know some of the places we’ve played or how far we’ve actually gone. They just assume we play pubs around Wales. Most of the time I fool about with them and pretend we actually do only play pubs then give them a YouTube link to the band at the end of the night where they discover what we really do. Haha”
How has your band developed or changed over the years?
“We’ve learned a lot along the way. When we started out we didn’t always have the right attitude and we had a habit of drinking too much, taking things for granted or employing members who we knew little about only to get burned in some form down the line. It’s run much more like a business now compared to the first ten years or so. There is always room for improvement which we strive to do constantly.
“The line-up now features myself who has been there from the start, Angry Nile, who joined in October 2006, Matt who originally joined in February 2006 and then was hired again in September 2014, Harrison who joined in August 2013 and the new guy Andrea, from Italy, who has been playing the part of Slash since February 2017.
“It’s the old saying you live and learn. Eventually you iron out the creases.”
What are your ambitions with the band?
“I really want to tour the far east. In fact we are in talks with a company in Japan right now so hopefully something will come of it. As far as ambitions go it’s hard to say as we’ve achieved everything and more than we ever expected we would.
“We have some good connections in California right now as well so that is something I intend on building on. But all in all, no matter where in the world it is, a pub, club, theatre or festival as long as we can continue to entertain people and make them happy that ambition will always be there.”
You’re in the Cwmbran pub the Six in Hand later this week. What can we expect to see?
“Yes my former local. Haha it will be a much scaled down show compared to a lot of what is on YouTube but also a more up close and personal kind of occasion.
“It’s rare but always fun to be able to meet people and perform on the same level, quite literally as there is no stage. The Croesyceiliog crowd are always fun so we will be playing all the hits and some requests. I’m really looking forward to it.”
When are Guns 2 Roses in Cwmbran?
Watch Guns 2 Roses perform at the Six in Hand pub, Croesyceiliog, Cwmbran on Saturday 25 March from 8pm.