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2019.02.15 - Scottish Daily Record - No more Slash N' burn (Slash)

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2019.02.15 - Scottish Daily Record - No more Slash N' burn (Slash) Empty 2019.02.15 - Scottish Daily Record - No more Slash N' burn (Slash)

Post by Blackstar on Sun 17 Feb 2019 - 6:22

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No more Slash N' burn.
I've got the kids to think about


Guitar legend has turned his back on rock 'n' roll lifestyle but he's more enthusiastic than ever about performing - as Scots fans will find out

BY RICK FULTON

HE’S lauded as one of musics greatest ever guitarists. But as well as taking over the mantle from the likes of Jimi Hendrix and Keith Richards, Slash is known for following them in rock’s more destructive pursuits -drugs and drink.

He revealed his addictions to heroin, cocaine and booze in his autobiography, which detailed how close he came to death a few times.

That was one thing back in the 80s when he was a young axeman in Guns N’ Roses. But the 53-year-old is now a dad to sons London, 16, and Cash, 14, with ex-wife Perla.

And the former wildman, who is now teetotal, said keeping his kids safe is a minefield.

He said: “The drugs thing is a real issue. I had a lot of freedom growing up. My parents didn’t know what I was up to for the most part and were so liberal.

“You’ve just got to sort of steer them in the right direction, but you can’t be the Gestapo about it because you have to always remember back to when you were a kid and how when people were telling you no’, you went in the opposite direction.” Slash had a difficult childhood. His parents were at the epicentre of 60s and 70s rock. His mum Ola was a costume designer to the likes of David Bowie and his dad Anthony created album covers for acts including Neil Young and Joni Mitchell.

Ola moved to LA for work and Slash was brought up in Stoke by his grandparents but moved to be with his mum after becoming a problem child. It was written in the stars that he would became a musician.

But where once Slash was a renowned party animal, he fills much of his time now recording or touring. In 2001, he was diagnosed with cardiomyopathy - a form of congestive heart failure caused by his many years of alcohol and drug abuse - and given six weeks to live.

He’s been sober since 2005 and he quit smoking in 2009 after his mother’s death from lung cancer.

Slash plays Glasgow’s SEC Centre on Sunday with singer Myles Kennedy and band The Conspirators.

They’ve released three albums - the latest, Living the Dream, came out last year and went to No 1 in Scotland.

Ahead of the gig, the guitar god is on the phone, sitting in a hotel room in Frankfurt And he is happy to talk. When Guns N’ Roses reformed, they didn’t speak to the media in case they opened up old wounds.

I tell him his latest album went to No 1 here. It was one of only two places in the world it did - the other was Switzerland.

Slash said: “That’s nice to know. I don’t pay attention to chart placings. I found that it doesn’t do you any good to follow that stuff because it’s going to do what it’s going to do.

“But I’m looking forward to coming back to Scotland. I think my first time in Scotland was 1988 and it’s always a blast hanging out in Glasgow.” One of his fondest moments in Scotland was playing with Ozzy Osbourne when the veteran rocker was given a global icon award at the 2014 MTV EMAS.

He laughed: “We had a lot of fun. We played with Biffy Clyro, too. I’d heard of them before but that was the first time we’d met them. The singer Simon is very cool.”

I ask him if any Scots guitarists inspired him when he was younger. Angus Young from AC/DC springs to mind. Like Slash has his top hat gimmick, Angus has the school uniform.

Angus played with Guns during their Australian leg in 2017 and before Axl Rose sung with them.

The Glasgow-born guitarist moved to Australia as a young boy.

Slash said: “Most people see him as an Australian. I love that Scotland sees him as a Scottish guitar legend.

“My interest in AC/DC came a little later. When I first picked up the guitar, it was the big five - Hendrix, Eric Clapton, Jimmy Page, Jeff Beck and Mick Taylor from the Rolling Stones. Then I got into Aerosmtih and Joe Perry. They turned me on to AC/DC. I got into Angus and his brother Malcolm.”

Slash is never off the road and he still loves touring.

He added: “I record music so I can go out and play. I don’t enjoy working in a studio, I don’t love sitting around my house playing guitar, I love playing live.”

Before the chat, I’m told not to ask about Guns but Slash -born Saul Hudson in London - mentions them frequently And after our chat, the rumour that his old band will get back together for a new album is confirmed.

Slash, singer Myles and The Conspirators will continue touring Europe before heading to South America in May. In June, they are back for European festivals, including Download, before hitting the US in July.

After Slash finishes his latest tour in August, he’ll be recording an album with Guns N’ Roses - his first new music with the band since 1991’s Use Your Illusion albums and the first Guns album since Axl released Chinese Democracy in 2008.

On Guns, he is happy that fences have been mended, adding: “We get along f****** great.” For rock fans, it’s an exciting prospect. Guns’ debut album Appetite for Destruction in 1987, with Slash’s riffs on Welcome to the Jungle, Paradise City and Sweet Child o’ Mine, was an instant classic which kept the rock fire burning until Grunge.

After quitting Guns in 1996, Slash released Snakepit, his first solo album, in 2010 and three albums with Myles and The Conspirators - Brent Fitz on drums, Todd Kerns on bass and Frank Sidoris on guitar.

Slash has never wanted to be a singer-guitarist and in the past, he has looked to the likes of Axl and the late Velvet Revolver frontman Scott Weiland to sing his tunes.

He laughed: “When I first started bands, I could never find a singer. There was a time when I did sing but it’s just not my personality.

“I can hold a tune. I can sing. But I don’t enjoy it and I’m not that kind of outspoken personality. Not too long after, I met Axl and went with Guns.”

While there is talk of a Guns album, Slash is adamant he will continue to work with The Conspirators.

On Sunday, they’ll perform their own tunes, Guns numbers and Velvet Revolver songs.

He said: “I’m already working on new Slash music for The Conspirators while we are on tour.

“I feel more inspired on the road.”

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