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SoulMonster

1992.06.DD - Musician - Slash shows his face

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1992.06.DD - Musician - Slash shows his face

Post by Soulmonster on Wed Apr 20, 2016 9:50 pm

Slash Shows His Face
by Matt Resnicoff

The rebellion you appear to represent has been undercut by your popularity.
At the point we're going at now, "rebellious" and trying to do something that's conducive to the art start to be two completely different things. It gets separated because what you started out as, which was sort of rebellious, kick you in the ass, kind of fuck-you attitude, turns into, like, almost the element of the band that made it become commercial. [laughs] A lot of parents bitch at me for saying this, but when your mom and dad and grandparents and your girlfriend's parents like your band, it sort of kills the whole thing! [laughs] It's nothing against having your mom and dad like what you do, it's just that the whole rebellious, anti-society attitude you start out with, when it finally becomes accepted, doesn't make any real sense as far as where you're coming from, where your band's coming from. And that's what's happened, so you just have to deal with it realistically. And I don't think Nirvana's attitude about, "Now that we've got here, it's fucked, and we're not gonna do anything" makes sense. That's copping out to some sort of - I'm sorry to say it - but pathetic, "It was easy to do what we started out with; now we have to deal with something.

Is this in part a reaction to the fact that they don't want to tour with you because of some of your lyrics?
No, it has nothing to do with that, they just don't want to work. Axl and I are supposed to go over to the singer's house and talk with him. I don't know him personally. They don't want to go out, and the vibe, from my point of view, is just because they don't wanna fuckin' deal with "mainstream," which… there's no such thing as mainstream if you don't want it to be that way. I love their record, but I can't stand the fuckin' attitude. Because we spent our entire career as a band doing what we wanted to do in the way that we wanted to do it, going totally against the mainstream and getting to where we are now, which is great. If you have something important to say, you don't give up and flake out. [laughs] Because once you get there, it paves the way for other bands. We're in the mainstream only because the mainstream has become part of us. They've adapted to what we do.

Rebellion is relative - it's funny how the music you're playing is based on everything from Kiss to Skynyrd.
You know what it is? It's a rock 'n' roll thing. A lot of people have forgotten what that was all about. I listen to old ZZ Top records and go, "Fuck!" It's like history, and nobody even knows what they're doing anymore. It's that boogie and blues thing, and jamming and just improvising, you know? Everything's so preplanned and intense as far as business goes that everybody missed the whole fuckin' point somewhere along the way. And we get flak for maintaining what I thought got me into this in the first place. And sometimes you forget what got you into it; you start to go with the flow, and every couple of days you listen to an old record or even your own records, and go, "This shit's really screwed up now, isn't it?" [laughs] I've become really aware of how detached from the rock 'n' roll mentality this industry gas gotten. You go to a concert, and even the people in the crowd are clueless. They're into it if you show it to them, but otherwise, they don't know what they're getting into at all. I mean, it's not like they're expecting to just hang out, have a couple of drinks and listen to music anymore, it's like some sort of bizarre congregation where you're gonna go in and listen to a certain amount of songs and there are going to be certain songs off certain records and it's gonna be done, and then they're gonna go back to school or home or their families and say, "Oh yeah, they played this song" - which they expected to hear - "Yeah, they did it." [laughs] I mean, last night we didn't do two of our biggest hits because we forgot to do 'em, and we didn't think twice about it until the end of the show. [laughs] But we had a great show.

You're also getting called out over your vodka endorsement.
Well, I ran into this vodka in Europe called Black Death, and on the bottle was a top hat and a skull, which is sort of my moniker anyway. It tasted great, so I drank it for a couple of days and that was it. I did an interview where I said, "We don't do endorsements for cigarettes or beer or what have you. The only thing I would endorse would be Black Death vodka." A couple of weeks later I get a call saying, "Black Death was interested in you doing that," and I said, "Okay! Cool!" It was just in Europe at the time. Now that it's stateside, I'm getting all kinds of flak from people saying I'm influencing the youth of America. Fuck 'em, the vodka's great. Everybody's supposed to be smart enough to make their own decisions, you know?

Apart from the anger you'd probably experience at being scrutinized…
I don't even get angry, let's get that one straight. It's par for the course. I can understand where people can be pissed off because I'm endorsing something that is not necessarily healthy, and maybe I have some influence on younger kids, but at the same time, the way I grew up, and where I come from, I've done it for myself. As far as influencing kids goes, I didn't know that was my fuckin' job, ya know?

You say people should know better, but you may be smarter or more fortunate than kids whose incompetent parents leave their minds in your hands. You've been given this power, and it's up to you what to do with it.
There's no way I can condone some religious drug - and alcohol-free life. No way. This is an opinion; I don't want to force it down anybody's throats. You get involved in things, you make your decisions, and the only one that's gonna be able to figure those decisions out is yourself. Now, if you're so easily influenced and gullible that you have no idea what those decisions mean to you, then you're fucked, right? So I'm not talking to those people. [laughs] I can't recommend what I've been through to everybody, but if you're sheltered by your parents or some moral idea of what your life is gonna be like, you're missing a lot. You don't have to drink or do drugs or even have sex before a certain age, but you have to do what you think is fun, because life's too short. Be smart about it, though.

You were lucky because people were depending on you, though. Even business people.
No, I'm talking about before that. I was 11! [laughs]

You had drunk…
I didn't drink when I was 11, I used to smoke pot. Look - in Italy, kids have a glass of wine with every meal. It's how you look at it. If you realize you're getting drunk, stop. Or if somebody offers you dope, it's your choice to get into that. Peer pressure is the lamest excuse for drug addiction. I got into dope because I thought, "Wow, all right, let's see what this is like." It wasn't because anybody told me to do it.
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