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1995.04.17 - Michigan Daily - Slash's Snakepit is Full of Venomous rock 'n' Roll (Slash)

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1995.04.17 - Michigan Daily - Slash's Snakepit is Full of Venomous rock 'n' Roll (Slash) Empty 1995.04.17 - Michigan Daily - Slash's Snakepit is Full of Venomous rock 'n' Roll (Slash)

Post by Soulmonster on Wed May 07, 2014 11:28 am

1995.04.17 - Michigan Daily - Slash's Snakepit is Full of Venomous rock 'n' Roll (Slash) Utennavn-58

1995.04.17 - Michigan Daily - Slash's Snakepit is Full of Venomous rock 'n' Roll (Slash) Utennavn-59

1995.04.17 - Michigan Daily - Slash's Snakepit is Full of Venomous rock 'n' Roll (Slash) Utennavn-60

1995.04.17 - Michigan Daily - Slash's Snakepit is Full of Venomous rock 'n' Roll (Slash) Utennavn-61

Transcript:

Slash's Snakepit is Full of Venomous Rock 'n' Roll

By Brian A. Gnatt
Daily Arts Writer

Slash is rock 'n' roll. "I'm sitting here laughing about all my dead soldiers on the table, because there's no ash tray in here," the spry Guns N' Roses axe man chuckled in a phone interview before a show in St. Petersburg, Florida.

Back on the road, the top-hatted Les Paul slnger has a glowing cigarette dangling magically from his lips once again, but this time without Axl & Co. The 29 year-old Slash is touring with his new side project. Slash's Snakepit, groovin' away with songs from their debut record. "It's Five O'clock Somewhere."

"If there's ever a road dog you could meet, it would be me. I love being on the road," Slash admitted. "I hate being at home. All I do when I'm home is spend my time working to get back on the road."

While Guns N' Roses is taking its time to follow up their 1991 multi-platinum "Use Your Illusion I & II." Slash has been writing and playing constantly, yearning to get back on tour. After pulling in ex-G N' R guitarist Gilby Clarke (who, according to Slash, had "musical differences" with Axl). Alice In Chains bassist Mike Inez, ex-Jellyfish tour guitarist Eric Dover on vocals and G N' R drummer Matt Sorum, the group recorded "Five O'Clock," a gritty, scathing and rowdy rock 'n' roll record.

"This whole band is really cool, just because its a bunch of backline guys for the most part." Slash explained in his placid and surprisingly sober tone. "It has a whole different work ethic than, say, the typical rock star kind of mentality. Basically. this album is built on a bunch of guys just hanging out, and we ended up making a record without really thinking about it.

"The name 'Snakepit' goes way back to one of the houses I used to live in, where we had a room in the house that was filled with snakes, and it was called the snakepit." Slash continued. 'Then I moved into another house and we had another room that was filled with snakes, and we built a studio next to it and called it 'Snakepit Studios.' Then all of a sudden this band evolved, and we just called the band 'Snakepit' because we didn't want to fuckin sit around and think about what to call it. It wasn't a pre-conceived kind of thing. It just sort of happened, and next thing you know, I had a record going on, so I just wanted to tour on it."

As was Slash's problem in the pre-Guns days, finding a singer was no easy task. The music for the album was completed. but Snakepit was still looking for a singer. After trying out dozens of vocalists, Slash stumbled upon Dover, who had played guitar for the sugarcoated pop band Jellyfish on their last tour before breaking up.

"(Eric) was working with a guy named Marc Danzeisen who is Gilby Clarke's drummer. and I had gone through some 40 singers." Slash said. "I think (Marc) got a basic idea as to what kind of singer I was looking for, and he goes, 'Oh, I know this guy.' He gave me a demo tape, and the music was completely fucking different than what Snakepit sounds like, but the voice still had something very cool about it. I gave (Eric) some of the finished material that the band had recorded, and I said. 'Make up something.' He wrote 'Beggars and Hang-ers-On' which turned out to be our first single, ironically enough."

After picking up Dover. the two finished writing the album. From great blues rock tracks like "I Hate Everybody (But You)" to "Lower," a song about Slash's porn-star friend Savannah who committed suicide, the flashy, bright trademarked G N' R sound can be heard throughout the disc. It's the vocals however, that distinguish Snakepit from other Guns material more than anything else. Although he co-wrote all but one of the songs. Slash is still one of the few G N' R members who refuses to take a turn at the mic.

"I hate fucking singing," Slash declared. "On tour right now I'm singing backup on one of Gilby's songs, which Is 'Cure Me Or Kill Me ...,' and I don't mind doing it. but I'm not what you'd call a focused singer. I can sing in key and everything, but it's like a distraction for me. I don't enjoy singing that much. I just do it to fill the gap."

Life on the road is a little different for Slash these days, now that he's bound by the state of matrimony. "It's still as much fun. The only thing Is. there's certain shit l can't do and there's certain shit I have to do," he explained. "One is check in and say 'Hi honey,' and that's fine. Things I can't do that I'm used to doing is that whole chick thing that happens on the road when there's girls around. I made a commitment when I got married. It was like, now I won't be fucking around on you. So I made a promise. I don't go back on my promises, so I maintain that as a rule. And that's sort of difficult, because there's girls everywhere, and I love women. It's rough."

While Slash's Snakepit is touring, the rest of Guns N' Roses are in L.A. writing and rehearsing for their next album. "We've just been taping shit. and writing down ideas." Slash said. "It's not what you'd call completely focused, but still productive anyway. I'm on tour for the next five months. but those guys will still keep working. That's why Matt's not touring with us; he's gonna stay working with Guns. Axl wants to make another record — he genuinely does. In September when I get back, the first thing I'll do is try and really focus on the Guns project, or whatever we're doing, and take it from there. I'd like to get a record out by next year."

At the same time, Snakepit has begun working on their next record. Slash is planning to keep both bands running simultaneously. "We've started writing already," he said. "It's like my mistress, I guess."

One of the major problems with G N' R at the moment is the quest for a rhythm guitarist to replace Clarke, who was dropped from the band lost year. Filling the spot of original rhythm guitarist Izzy Stradlin, who left Guns in 1991, has been somewhat of a challenge for the band ever since the split. "Izzy quit, and then I found Gilby, which was a godsend. because it's not easy to fill Izzy's shoes, obviously." Slash said. "Axl and Gdby had some musical differences, and so he went on to do his thing. But he and I have still maintained a great friendship. Now that Gilby's gone, them is no other guitar player at the moment."

Meanwhile, the new Guns material may not be as focused as Slash would like. "Considering Gilby's not in the band, it's been sort of like random, kind of weird shit." Slash said. "Zakk Wylde was hanging with us for a while, and we sounded like Ozzy and Roses. Before him, we had this friend of Axl's, Paul, who basically couldn't play that well. He played on 'Sympathy for the Devil.' Fuckin' assholc. I hate that guy. He didn't work out, so I'm not really sure where the fuck that shit's headed. I'll deal with it when I get back off the road."

Slash is hoping that the recording process will work out better for this record than it did for the "Illusions." "I don't want to go through that whole 'Illusions' thing again," Slash said. "That was a nightmare. All of a sudden, Guns went from being the complete scumbag level garage band, to being a headlining stadium band. We just had a hard time adjusting to celebrity status, or some crap like that.

"Izzy was phasing himself out as we were doing it. and we were doing a lot of his material on top of it," Slash continued. "It was very bizarre. And then going out and headlining these fuckin' stadiums and so on for two and a half years. It was definitely a stretch of the imagination. I'd like to just do a fuckin' rock 'n' roll record."

Since the "Illusions,"the only material Guns N' Roses has released was "Sympathy for the Devil" on the "Interview With the Vampire" soundtrack and "The Spaghetti Incident?" an alburm of the band's favorite punk songs. The meaning behind the title has remained a mystery due to band members' refusal to reveal its origins —until now. "I guess it's been a while now, so it's easy to let the cat out of the bag. 'The Spaghetti Incident' was something that was brought up in court when Steven Adler was suing Guns N' Roses for kicking him out," Slash confessed. "When Guns was in Chicago writing material which initially ended up on 'Use Your Illusions.' Duff and Steven got into this argument over spaghetti. It got brought up in deposition, and it was called 'The Spaghetti Incident.' I thought that was great, and wanted to name the record that."

Besides Snakepit and G N' R, Slash has also kept busy by designing a Guns N' Roses pinball machine. "It's actually pretty much the most original high-tech kind of game to date, because it's got real guitars on it, and real vocals on it," Slash said."I'm really happy with it, I was sitting around at home and writing on pieces of napkins, getting the design together. I actually managed to pull off about 80 percent of it, so there's not really any other game like it."

Although he loves touring, Slash doesn't consider his a life of luxury. "One of the strange things about rock 'n' roll bands is that being in this kind of business, everyone thinks it's so fuckin' cushy and glamorous," Slash said. "If you're really dedicated, you work your ass off. Then the only, fuckin' gratification you get, after all day of traveling and then a day's work, playing with soundcheck and then the gig, is a good woman and a fuckin' bottle of bourbon. That's it. That's all you get."


Last edited by Soulmonster on Mon Sep 30, 2019 11:38 am; edited 8 times in total
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1995.04.17 - Michigan Daily - Slash's Snakepit is Full of Venomous rock 'n' Roll (Slash) Empty Re: 1995.04.17 - Michigan Daily - Slash's Snakepit is Full of Venomous rock 'n' Roll (Slash)

Post by Soulmonster on Wed May 07, 2014 11:37 am

I guess interviews like this go a long of explaining the resentment between Axl and Slash. Calling the music they worked on, after Axl wouldn't work on the songs that became the first Snakepit record, for "random, kind of weird shit" and calling Paul, who was a big friend of Axl who is always very loyal and protective of his friends, a "fuckin' asshole". It is obvious Slash was focusing on his things and not being very supportive about the direction of GN'R (which might have been completely warranted), but talking about these things in the media this candid and slagging GN'R's music and band mates probably didn't go well with Axl.
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