The Most Inspirational Axl Rose Quotes Of All Time

In 1992, Rolling Stone asked Axl Rose how he thought the public perceived him. The Guns N' Roses frontman had no illusions about how polarizing he was: "I know it's a love-hate thing. There are people that are big fans and people that really hate me." Some of his haters have included Kurt Cobain, who bashed Guns N' Roses as a "band that has absolutely nothing to say" in an interview, via Rolling Stone. In a different interview, Cobain was quoted as calling Rose "a f*cking sexist."

Of course, Axl's detractors weren't limited to other people's bands. He famously became the apple of Slash's stink-eye in a seemingly bottomless, bitter feud that lasted years. He alienated other bandmates as well. And let's not forget riots he incited by storming off stage during live performances.

Given that very non-exhaustive list of detractors, Axl Rose might be one of the last people you'd expect to say something uplifting or positively thought-provoking. But even if you consider him a malignant carbuncle on the otherwise un-chafed butt cheeks of human happiness, that's okay because even people who inspire hatred can say inspiring things from time to time. In Rose's case, that's happened quite a few times.

Every thorn has its Rose

"To show each of us that there can be hope and true redemption in times of hopelessness and despair, that rehabilitation and turning one's life around is not just for one's place in what if any afterlife there may be or one believes in but here on this earth where it can do each of us the most good in this life now." — Letter to Indonesian President Joko Widodo, 2015

"You have to figure out how to follow your heart. I mean, I believe in being completely what you feel is being creative. But you also have to figure out how to make a living out of it. I don't mean, like, compromising. If someone's telling you to compromise, you can take what they're saying into consideration and still figure out how to be real and do it your way." — China Exchange Q&A, 2016

"I came here to enrage... Thank you, you have helped me know I succeeded. I've made my inquiries, I am your Rock N' Roll nightmare. And you... You're just gonna sit on your wanna be a** and watch me, born a Hoosier, grow larger than you could ever imagine or ever be able to stop." — Letter to a critic, 1992

"The release of the energy. Being able to express myself as I choose. There's a certain pride in knowing that you achieved what you came to do." — Rolling Stone interview, 1992

"In general I usually don't really go by or live my life by a clock and outside of touring I don't really ask anyone else to." — Courier Mail interview, 2013

"We all make choices, deal with our sense of priorities, principles, ethics, morals, balancing, juggling, making compromises... or not! Ha!" — Courier Mail interview, 2013

"This is music, this is art. It's definitely a good business, but that should be second to the art, not first." — Rolling Stone interview, 1989

"If I didn't give a f*ck about them, I'd come out and do a sh*tty show. I'd come out and tell 'em to f*ck off. I'd sit down, sing the songs off-key and just not care. But I do care, and I also care too much about myself to do that." — Rolling Stone interview, 1992

"It's important to show people all forms of music, basically try to give people a broader point of view." — Rolling Stone interview, 1989

"So let sleeping dogs lie or lying dogs sleep or whatever. Time to move on. People get divorced. Life doesn't owe you your own personal happy ending especially at another's, or in this case several others', expense." — Axl Rose's rejection letter to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, 2012