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2018.09.20 - USA Today - Interview with Slash

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2018.09.20 - USA Today - Interview with Slash

Post by Soulmonster on Sun Sep 23, 2018 10:55 pm

Patrick Ryan wrote:Slash on going solo, new Guns N' Roses and why that Axl Rose feud almost didn't end

No, another Guns N' Roses album is not on the way – at least not yet.

"It's something that we would love to do," says lead guitarist Slash, who after two decades of strife with frontman Axl Rose, reunited with the group in 2016 for an ongoing reunion tour. "We just need to come together and start working that out, so it could definitely happen."

In the meantime, the 53-year-old rocker, whose real name is Saul Hudson, is gearing up for the release of "Living the Dream," out Friday, his third album with singer-songwriter Myles Kennedy and band The Conspirators. Largely written in 2014 and 2015 prior to the GNR reunion, and recorded this past spring, the album is "leaner" and "more uptempo," he says, than his previous studio effort, "World on Fire," which was "more densely populated with random riffs and had a lot going on."

Slash sat down with USA TODAY for a wide-ranging chat about the new music, the current state of mainstream rock, and the phone call that ended his feud with Rose.

Question: What's the significance of the title, "Living the Dream?"

Slash: It was just a tongue-in-cheek remark about domestic and global politics, but people have been looking into it as being something about what it is that I do. Which it applies, but that's not where it came from.

Q: Was any of the new music inspired by what's going on in the news?

Slash: This one is actually less political than the last one. It's more about personal experiences for Myles and a couple shared experiences, but not so much politics. But I did have to say something, so I titled the record the way I did.

Q: "Civil War" is arguably GNR's most political song. What do you remember about writing and recording that with Axl?

Slash: That was something I just came up with on acoustic and an idea that Axl had, and the two just came together. It’ll be interesting to see what's on the next Guns N' Roses record if we get around to doing that. I'm not wanting to be a political advocate myself, but it'd be interesting to see what Axl comes up with. He definitely is more outspoken in that area.

Q: For the first time this past year, R&B/hip-hop overtook rock as the most popular genre in terms of total consumption. How do you feel about the state of the genre?
Slash: Rock isn't mainstream anymore, and in some ways, I like that. It harks back to when rock 'n' roll was more of an underground concept, when people were speaking about things that they weren't necessarily comfortable saying in the mainstream arena. As far as hip-hop is concerned, it's become so generic at this point. It's definitely taken on a very top-40 thing.

Q: Who are some of your favorite rock acts right now?

Slash: I love Foo Fighters. My favorite band consistently has been Queens of the Stone Age because they always put out cool, interesting records. But I still listen to a lot of old stuff because the rock 'n' roll that turned me on as a kid, not too much of it exists.

Q: I understand that it was Axl who reached out to you a few years ago, after a couple decades of not speaking. Was that cathartic?

Slash: It was nice that it happened. I don't know if I would have had the wherewithal to call him, just because I'm introverted and it might have been hard for me. Not during that initial phone call, but after that, it was really good to be able to get rid of some of the negative baggage that we'd been carrying around for a long time. It'd been 20 years of not talking and letting this bad blood continue to be perpetuated by the media. It turned into something way bigger than what was really going on, so it was good to get past that.

Q: Do you regret waiting so long to make amends?

Slash: Things happen as they happen. I make it a point of not having any regrets.

Q: Revisiting GNR's catalog on tour, is there one fan favorite that you get sick of playing live?

Slash: No. Our approach to our material has a very devil-may-care thing to it, where you can make up (expletive) in the middle of songs. You just keep it interesting. It sounds the same to (audiences), but the way I’m playing it is different and that keeps me occupied. "Paradise City" is a song that you can play in a lot of different ways. So I've never fallen into that rut of resenting having to play a song every single night.
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Re: 2018.09.20 - USA Today - Interview with Slash

Post by Soulmonster on Tue Sep 25, 2018 7:54 am

Second part of interview:

Slash is back with new solo album "Living the Dream," released Friday, which is both personal and political for the top-hatted Guns N' Roses guitarist. Following a decades-long struggle with heroin and alcohol addiction, the rocker talks to USA TODAY about being 12 years sober, advice for recovering addicts and losing Linkin Park singer Chester Bennington to suicide.

Question: You've been sober for more than a decade now. Any advice for those in recovery?

Slash: It's a tough one. I was really fortunate to have been able to get through it the way that I did, in that when I finally came to terms with it, I really came to a point where I just didn't want to do it anymore. I haven't felt the inclination since then. It was a very definitive moment where I was just like, "I'm done. It's not fun anymore." Any time that I've thought about it since then, it always brings back negative feelings and emotions. I fell really hard into music when that time came, and for a lot of people, that’s hard to do. Getting sober makes some people feel out of touch with their creativity; they feel like they needed the chemicals to make that happen. When I first came out of it, I just dived into music and that really saved me. That, and having kids.

The only advice I can give to anybody is really being honest with yourself in coming to terms with it, because nobody can help anyone get their act together and get clean, except for themselves. It really is something that if you want to do it, you have to be committed and feel strongly about doing it. It's really not easy at all.

Q: You recently revealed that you recorded a song with Chester Bennington before his death. (A version of it was later released as "Doctor Alibi" on Slash's 2010 self-titled album, featuring Motorhead's Lemmy Kilmister.)

Slash: We did a song that was never released because we had that red tape of (record) labels with Linkin Park. So I forgot about it, and then my engineer, Chris Flores, sent me the recording recently, and I was like, "Oh yeah, Chester and I worked on this song." I sent it to his family just so that they would have it.

Q: What was it about?
Slash: It was a song looking inwards and was about some of his conflicted feelings at the time. It was an interesting song, given what happened. It gives you a window into what was going on in his mind in terms of his own personal feelings about himself.

Q: Other past collaborators of yours such as David Bowie and Stone Temple Pilots' Scott Weiland have recently passed away. What impact has that had on you?

Slash: I really put a good, sincere test on my mortality on a regular basis all through the '80s and '90s. But it's been the stark reality of losing people that you care about. It's always a shock and sad when it happens, but if you're in this business long enough, you see it happen a lot.
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