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Please feel free to look around the forum as a guest, I hope you will find something of interest. If you want to join the discussions or contribute in other ways then you need to become a member. We especially welcome anyone who wants to share documents for our archive or would be interested in translating or transcribing articles and interviews.

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1992.08.09 - Interview with Slash in Los Angeles Times

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1992.08.09 - Interview with Slash in Los Angeles Times Empty 1992.08.09 - Interview with Slash in Los Angeles Times

Post by Soulmonster Thu May 08, 2014 8:13 am

POP MUSIC : Views From Inside Rock's Dream Team : SLASH / GUNS N' ROSES
August 09, 1992|ROBERT HILBURN

NEW YORK — Slash, as Guns N' Roses' lead guitarist Saul Hudson calls himself, is the closest thing to Keith Richards that American rock has produced since Aerosmith's Joe Perry in the '70s--and, at 27, Slash may already have outdistanced Perry's accomplishments.

The colorful musician has a feel for the same sensual, seductive, blues-edged notes that Richards introduced with the Rolling Stones.

But the similarities with Richards don't end with the music. On stage and off, Slash has seemed to echo for years every sex, drugs and rock 'n' wrinkle of Richards' renegade image. But the image is outdated, Slash maintains. The guitarist says he has toned down many of the destructive elements in his old lifestyle. He's even planning to get married this fall.

In an interview at his hotel here hours before a Giants Stadium concert, Slash spoke about changes in his personal life and in rock's most controversial band.

Question: Do you feel any "battle of the bands" competition on the tour with Metallica?

Answer: No, and I mean that. I just want the fans to think that it was a great day--like going to the circus or the zoo, where you remember loving the day and not just one thing about it. It's not like we are out there to kick Metallica's ass or vice versa.

Q: But don't you feel any pressure to be at your best--knowing the audience is going to be comparing the two bands?

A: There is pressure, but the way I deal with it is just having our band be as good as we can be every single night. I don't even go to the gig until right before we go on. I haven't seen Metallica since we started touring because I don't want to be intimidated or influenced even subconsciously.

Q: What about Guns N' Roses' decision last year to put out two albums simultaneously? Do you still think it was a good idea?

A: Yes. We went through so much emotional turmoil after the success of (1987's album) "Appetite for Destruction" and the albums reflect that. I'm talking about all of a sudden going from a garage band to becoming some sort of half-assed celebrities.

The albums are so close to us that every single song has its own meaning and memories attached to it--the problems with drugs and adjusting to all the other drastic changes in our lives. That's why we put out two albums. We had so much material and we wanted to use it all.

Q: What about the next album? When do you think it will be out?

A: I don't know. We still feel there is a lot we want to do with the "Illusion" material. We have been touring for a year and a half to this point, but we have all these Metallica shows left, then a Brazilian tour and maybe a little club thing in the U.S. next year where we go out and play all our thrash stuff. I'm not even thinking about the next record until we finish all that. When the time does come to begin work on it, we'll take however long is necessary. We've never been the kind of band that rushes in and forces things--like one of those album-a-year type bands.

Q: Was the Queen benefit in London for Freddie Mercury and AIDS awareness as emotional an experience for the band as it appeared on television?

A: Absolutely. It was an honor just being asked to do it . . . sort of like being put on the map by people we had admired for years. But the experience was even much deeper than that.

Being the type of band that we are, the last thing we wanted to know about a few years ago was AIDS. Like most people, we thought it was only a problem for needle pushers and homosexuals, which meant we didn't have to worry about it. I was still as promiscuous as hell.

But then it started getting closer to home and everybody had to start being aware of the dangers . . . homosexuals, heterosexuals; people were even starting to get it from their dentists or whatever. That slowed my trip down a lot, but it didn't really hit home until Freddie died of AIDS because he was this huge icon in our minds.

To walk out on that stage in front of 75,000 or 80,000 people was a very emotional experience. It was like all of us in rock 'n' roll, the artists and the audience, were saying we did care and we are responsible for each other. It was a great sense of community that day and it touched something in me.

Q: Like Keith Richards, you've toned your personal act down over the years. Was your lifestyle ever as wild as your reputation?

A: I still drink, but the whole thing used to be like this big adventure. I used to get wasted on stage. There were nights when I'd have to start "Sweet Child o' Mine" four or five times because I was so loaded I couldn't play it. But I got burned out on the whole drug thing and the groupie scene.

Q: Were you surprised when you decided you wanted to get married?

A: I had spent so much time chasing around and after a while it was like going to strip clubs. You start looking at women like pieces of furniture, something you admire for their lines. And you realize you either keep going on like that forever or you commit to someone you love--and that's what happened to me. I realized the other stuff is a sort of waste of time anyway.

I met my fiancee three years ago and I've never been happier. The funny thing is a friend was going out with her roommate, and my fiancee said she didn't even want to meet me. We finally met by chance and she found out that I wasn't this beast that she had heard about.

Q: How about life in the band? How big a blow was it to you last year when guitarist Izzy Stradlin decided to leave the group?

A: I love the guy dearly, so I don't want to belittle his character by saying anything about him. But he just got sick and tired of dealing with everything. I think more than anything he didn't want to do the amount of work that Guns N' Roses has to do to keep it together.

I totally sold my soul to this thing, but Izzy wasn't that way. He didn't want to do videos or spend all those hours in the studio, and slowly but surely he started to drop out.

Q: Were you angry about that?

A: Not at all. In fact, I was really happy because I could never understand what was going on with him. Like even on stage, he would just sort of stand there--and that was the only time I'd see him on the road because he traveled separately. When he finally left, it was like a relief because there had been no communication at all.

Q: Did you begin to worry about the future of the band? After all, Izzy was the second personnel change in a year.

A: It made us all closer. I had always been close to (bassist) Duff (McKagen), but the changes made me and Axl (Rose) a lot closer than we had been. We had always been friends, but there is really a bond there now. What used to happen is we'd misunderstand each other. We'd have fights because of something I was supposed to have said about him in the press or something he was supposed to have said about me. All these problems have pushed us closer together, so that we communicate better and avoid the misunderstandings.

The last fight we had was four years ago and that stemmed from the fact I cut myself off by being completely loaded. At this point, I really have it together, so he can lean on me and I can lean on him. He has opened up more. He's not like a firecracker anymore, who just explodes. As far as image, it's hard to get that across to people when you have 5,000 publications trying to tell you what they want about Axl and the band.

One thing I've learned to do is avoid reading our press anymore because that's where you get a lot of the hype and sense of hysteria. We don't live that way or feel that way on a daily basis, but when you pick up the magazines, it makes you think you're some big deal and screws up your focus.

Q: What helps you keep grounded? Friends?

A: Friends and the music itself. There are some times when you feel most in touch with yourself on stage, where it's just you and 50,000 fans or whatever and no one in between . . . no magazine, no MTV . . . and when you make a connection with the audience . . . when you are playing the best you can and they are responding. That's what helps remind you what's important . . . why you started playing music in the first place.
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1992.08.09 - Interview with Slash in Los Angeles Times Empty Re: 1992.08.09 - Interview with Slash in Los Angeles Times

Post by Blackstar Wed Mar 13, 2019 12:44 pm

The images of the article:

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Transcript of the interview with Lars Ulrich:



NEW YORK—Lars Ulrich doesn’t like messages in music, but the Metallica drummer speaks about hard rock with a passion and commitment that is reminiscent of the Who’s Pete Townshend.

Son of Danish tennis professional Torben Ulrich, Lars was living in Newport Beach in the early ’80s when he and singer James Hetfield formed Metallica. The group’s music—influenced by the dark, threatening sounds of British bands that muted punk and metal—was far from that of the flimsy, glam-conscious Hollywood bands that were popular at the time.

Despite receiving almost no radio airplay, the band was hailed by critics as a thinking person's metal group and last year broke into the rock mainstream with its highly accessible "Metallica” album.

Drinking mineral water in the bar of a chic hotel here on the eve of the Giants Stadium concert, Ulrich, 28, spoke about Guns N' Roses, Metallica and rock ’n’ roll statements.

Question: Do you feel any sort of battle of the bands competition between you and Guns N’ Roses on the tour?

Answer: Yes, but in a positive sense. This tour came along at exactly the right moment for us because we had done 140 shows on our own in America and sometimes you need something to inspire you or force you into giving a little more of yourself.
Knowing Guns is going to be on the same stage each night is something that pushes you to another level of playing—and I’m sure the same is true for them. The couple of nights I’ve watched them on the tour, I think they’ve played at a higher level than when I saw them on their own.

Q: Did you think there would be a problem when Metallica and Guns fans got together?

A: No, because I think the real Guns N’ Roses fans and the real Metallica fans are a lot closer than people think. I’m talking about our foundation audiences—the first 2 or 3 million people who buy ‘’Metallica’’ or who buy [Guns’] "Use Your Illusion" albums. Those fans share a lot of attitudes that the bands share ... in terms of doing things your own way, not catering to what the music business tries to force bands to do.
The difference in the audiences becomes more marked when you get into the more casual fans... the ones who buy "Metallica" because they hear [the single] "Nothing Else Matters" on the radio or who get into Guns N’ Roses because of the success of “Sweet Child o' Mine.”

Q: Any concerns that something might go wrong on the tour because of Axl Rose's temperamental nature?

A: I always find it amusing that the minute you start saying Guns N’ Roses, everybody conjures up all these pictures that are the result of images and rumors. I know a lot of people said the tour will never happen or Axl’ll never show up, but I never had any worries. I know Axl and that when he really wants to do something, he
can do it. Both bands have enough mutual respect for each other not to drag each other down.

Q: I understand you invited Nirvana to open the show before you invited Faith No More. What happened?

A: I don’t want to go into too much negative stuff about Nirvana but it was kind of annoying when they refused to go along because Nirvana is another band with attitudes similar to Guns N’ Roses and Metallica. They kept saying they didn’t know what they wanted to do with themselves and their career. They didn’t know if they wanted to play stadiums or even go on tour.
I couldn’t understand it. We were like saying, “Here’s the biggest tour of the summer. Come on out and you’ll play to 50,000 people four times a week. I mean, do you want to stick to playing clubs?"

Q: But wasn’t there a time when you could understand their reluctance? Didn't you once worry about what it would do to your music by playing stadiums or opening for other bands?

A: No. We come from the total opposite side of that. Every time we got a chance to go play with somebody bigger than we were, we ran after the chance because we were doing something so different from what anybody else was doing that the only way we could reach more people was to play with bigger acts.
There we were opening for Van Halen, opening for Ozzy [Osbourne), opening for this, opening for that. We didn’t even have what Nirvana has, which is a high profile ... the luxury of radio and MTV or anything. The only way to reach new fans was to go out and prove ourselves to people in concert. So we would never second guess a chance to go play with anybody else.

Q: Back in the ’60s, the Beatles, the Stones and other bands said they were inspired by hearing each other’s new albums. Do you find that true today? Do you go into the studio trying to top something you’ve just heard from another band?

A: I listen to other albums, sure. But there’s a major difference between the recording scene now and in the ’60s. In the ’60s, the Beatles would put out records every six, nine months; same with the Stones. Nowadays, everything is more drawn out. By the time Metallica’s studio album No. 6 comes out, it’ll probably be 1995 because you tour longer than you used to and therefore you take longer breaks, plus you spend much longer in the studio.
So, sure, on one hand, I see Megadeth has a new album out and I see what it’s like. By the time we’re ready to even think about making a new record, their album will be old, too. So, there’s not the immediacy there was 20 years ago. The result is you become less concerned with what people are doing around you and more concerned with what is going on inside you.

Q: Have you been paying much attention to the election?

A: I’m not a citizen of the United States, so I can only speak as an observer, but I do follow the election and what I sense is people are finally realizing that Bush is mortal. No matter what the Republicans say about tax and spend liberals and how they are the only ones with family values, people seem ready to vote for change, and that means Clinton and Gore.

Q: Some people in the pop world have criticized Clinton’s choice of Gore as the vice president candidate because of his wife, Tipper Gore, and her efforts to bring about warning stickers on records. Do you share that feeling?

A: Would I invite her over to dinner? Probably not. But I also don’t share the feelings of all those who shudder and go, "Oh, Tipper Gore in the White House . . . how horrible."
I know this is probably not going to be very popular with other people in the business, but I was not that worried about what she was doing because I still feel that wanting to label something is a long way from the whole idea of censorship even though they have been kind of lumped together.
Censorship, such as what has been happening to Ice-T, is scary. But does putting a sticker on a record scare me? No. What it really does for most of the kids— which I always think is a great paradox—the minute it says learning, kids are going to want the album all the more.

Q: Are you a fan of rap?

A: I couldn't stand it when it first started getting popular in the '80s. I thought it was annoying and didn’t have any real attitude. But then I heard Ice-T’s "Colors" and I started getting into it.
I got a copy of the N.W.A.’s first album and it was one of the few times in the 17 or 18 years I’ve been listening to music that I can remember being instantly blown away by something. I was in a hotel room in Allentown, Pa„ and I listened to the CD over headphones and it was just amazing.
For the next few months, I was heavily into N.W.A. and Ice-T, but I think rap has lost some of its edge and its attitude since then. It seemed that a lot of people were singing about this stuff and having the attitude just to have the attitude rather than having it genuinely.

Q: What about the social message of rap?

A: For me, the whole issue of message in music is a gray area. I think the best rap was the stuff that had an attitude without trying to force a message across. Rap that tries to tell us what we can do to help the inner cities looks noble on paper and it’ll get you some nice media support, but I just have problems with it because people kind of end up patting themselves on the back.
That’s what always bothers me. I think it’s great what Sting is doing for this or saving that, but the aspect of self-promotion always ends up coming along with it and that annoys me. Similarly, I think [U2’s] Bono has a lot to say in his lyrics, but the way he goes out of his way to try and get the point across outside of the music takes a little of the value away from it.
I personally don't ever want to see Metallica get in a position where we get looked upon as the kind of band that will get up on a soapbox and start preaching and telling people what they should think about certain issues and stuff.

Q: But isn't this tour a statement in itself—the fact that two quality headliners would join together to show that you don’t have to stick to business as usual? Isn’t there a message in that?

A: Yeah, of course, and part of the reason we are doing this tour is that it will give fans a chance to see how two bands can get together and do something unique, how they can sell millions of records and still do things their own way. But it's nothing I want to make a speech about, and if no one in the audience even thinks about it from that perspective, it’s OK.

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