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1995.03.03 - Associated Press/Greenville News - Slash Heads To Snakepit For Break From Guns

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1995.03.03 - Associated Press/Greenville News - Slash Heads To Snakepit For Break From Guns Empty 1995.03.03 - Associated Press/Greenville News - Slash Heads To Snakepit For Break From Guns

Post by Blackstar on Thu Aug 22, 2019 8:08 am

1995.03.03 - Associated Press/Greenville News - Slash Heads To Snakepit For Break From Guns Gnr-sl15


Slash heads to Snakepit for break from Guns

By David Bauder
The Associated Press

ALBANY, N.Y. — When guitarist Slash needs to escape from the soap opera that is Guns N’ Roses, he descends into his Snakepit.

Sounds strange, but that’s the name of the studio Slash has built in his California home, right next to the room where he keeps his pet snakes. It’s also the name he’s given to his new band, which sounds suspiciously like something more than a vanity project.

Slash’s Snakepit, featuring another current Guns N’ Roses member and a former one, will bring the guitarist into smaller clubs after several years of performing in arenas and stadiums.

“We’re the wayward second fiddles,” Slash said recently. “We’re just a bunch of guys that never did buy into that rock star trip that much.”

Perhaps. Slash is blessed, or cursed, to be in a famous band that’s given plenty of fodder to tabloid writers — between dalliances with models, internal feuds, trouble with drugs and recording a song written by Charles Manson.

The current status of Guns N’ Roses can best be described as dormant.

t After more than two years on the road, Slash returned home last year and immediately began working on new songs. He wanted to avoid some of his past pitfalls with down time, when he had some drug problems.
“This material, when I first started writing it, was what I had hoped would be a Guns N’ Roses type direction,” he said. “I was slapped in the face with that concept.”

Lead singer W. Axl Rose “was going through a Pearl Jam phase at the time” and didn’t like the songs, he said.

Slash kept working, inviting some of his buddies over to play: former Guns guitarist Gilby Clarke, who had been fired against Slash’s will; current Guns drummer Matt Sorum; and bass player Mike Inez of Alice in Chains, whose band is also dormant.

“Attorneys and managers play golf when they hang out,” he said. “We started playing.”

He was having loads of fun, remembering the teen-age days when he and his friends would get together in a garage to play just for the love of music.

The music was in the style Slash grew up on and still feels most comfortable with — a histrionic, melodic hard rock embodied in early Aerosmith, Cheap Trick and Ted Nugent.

After several weeks of jamming, they realized they had an album’s worth of songs and decided to record them.

But they needed a singer. After years of co-existing with a volatile personality like Rose, Slash somehow knew it wouldn’t be easy to find one. As rock history proves, notable musicians who rarely sing seem destined for trouble with those who do — are we right, Mick and Keith?

The nascent band auditioned 40 singers before settling on Eric Dover, a former backup vocalist and guitarist for Jellyfish. And lo, guess who he sounds like? The register is lower and the vocal mannerisms are missing, but Dover sounds eerily like Rose in spots.

“I just subconsciously lean toward that kind of frantic vocal attack — that whole kind of let your hair down, screaming, in your face kind of thing, but with a little blues and a little soul to it,” Slash said. “It’s probably my fault for liking it.”

Slash is steeling his colleague to the notion that some may consider him Axl Lite.

Said Dover: “As far as the comparisons go, I don’t see it, personally.”

The album is titled, “It’s Five O’clock Somewhere,” and Slash’s Snakepit will be touring this spring and summer. About the future, he talks about taking things one day at a time. Slash discussed the project with Rose and agreed to try and revive Guns in the late summer.

“When the tour is over, we’ll see what we can come up with as far as Guns is concerned," he said. “He was pretty cool with it. We’re not really at each other’s throats as everybody thinks.”

Yet he conceded that he was angry about Clarke’s firing and Rose’s adding another guitarist’s work onto a Guns N’ Roses song against his will.

It’s easy to wonder why Slash doesn’t simply tell Rose to chuck it all and get lost. The money is obviously one reason, but the other lies in the nature of Saul Hudson himself: Despite the sinister stage name, the tattoos, nose ring and decadent reputation, Slash is basically a likable man.

“I have a serious loyalty to the other guys,” he said. “Axl’s Axl. He’s an amazing front man, obviously, and an amazing lead singer. He just carries a lot of baggage that’s part of his personality, but it’s part of the tension that makes him such a great live performer. Also, we’re family. I don’t like to dwell on the negative stuff.

“If you ask me why I’m doing this, I need the release,” he said. “We’ve been doing the Guns scenario for so long that I need to go out and clean my own system out so I can go back and deal with it with a level head. That’s how bands break up, because they’re forced to be together.”

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