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1995.04.23 - The Virginia-Pilot/The Post-Crescent - Cutting Loose (Slash)

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Post by Blackstar on Thu Aug 22, 2019 8:54 am

1995.04.23 - The Virginia-Pilot/The Post-Crescent - Cutting Loose (Slash) Gnr-sl16


Cutting loose

Slash takes a leave from GNR to play his own music

But Guns N’ Roses expects to get together to begin recording original material soon

By Rickey Wright
The Virginian-Pilot

Slash has seen concert-ending riots incited by his band’s lead singer, the infamous Axl Rose. He’s looked on as Guns N’ Roses went through various other over-the-top scenes - court cases, drug abuse and recovery from same, brouha-has over lyrics and cover songs -during its rock ’n’ roll reign.

But one thing literally hit home: last year’s L.A. earthquake.

“That was one of the most violent things I’ve been through,” said Slash, bom Saul Hudson and currently on tour with his side project, Slash’s Snakepit.

The friendly, even mellow, guitarist told the story by phone from California - his status as a rocker betrayed only by liberal usage of four-letter words. He was working on “It’s Five O’clock Somewhere,” his first solo album, in a small home studio.

“One night I went in and recorded three songs and mixed them that night, which I never would normally do,” he said. “I usually write the stuff, listen to it the next day, maybe change a couple things around or something, but mix it the next day. And this one night I was just on a roll. I mixed everything and 3:30 in the morning I take the DAT tape and I go downstairs and I get in bed. And all of a sudden... the house was shaking.”

The house took the brunt of the punishment.

“You can see through it,” he said, laughing. “When all was said and done and the dust had cleared, the whole house was totaled, everything that was material of mine was pretty much wasted. But the studio was more or less still intact. My wife was fine, I was fine, the snakes were fine, the cats were fine. My cousin Greg, who was visit-i n g from Chicago, who’s never been to L.A. before, he was fine.

“And I realized that none of the (“stuff’) really mattered in the first place, so we just left.

“And we had a bottle of Jack that didn’t break.”

It’s been that kind of charmed life that’s seen Slash from one adventure to another since the release of GNR’s 13 million-selling “Appetite for Destruction” in 1987.

Heroin addiction, onstage Rose tirades, controversy surrounding everything from lyrics to the simple
fact of the band’s existence have marked his iconic tenure. He speaks good-humoredly of a recent radio-promotion tour for "Five O'Clock,” seemingly unconcerned that the record has slipped down the charts rapidly.

“We had a good time just tripping around, you know,” he said, “playing in these different situations and, you know, meeting these different people and just hanging out here and there, and you know, it’s just sort of like seeing the world again sort of through the window of a van.”

He likes playing the smaller venues that Snakepit’s low-rent panache has made possible.

Slash said the basic tracks for "Five O’Clock’’ were done in a week, with lyrics being written (often by singer Eric Dover, formerly of Jellyfish) the day vocals were to be cut. A bit of a switch from the stone-cutting method perfected by Guns N’ Roses under the direction of Mr. Rose.

“Guns is just one of those long, drawn-out processes, you know, and that’s probably another reason why I’m doing things the way that I’m doing them, just to get back to where you’re desperate,” he said with a laugh. “You know, Guns can sit around and make up ideas till the cows come home.”

Slash is voluble about GNR, which plans to begin work on its first album of original material since the 1991 release of the twin “Use Your Illusion” sets. An apparent slip about guitarist Gilby Clarke, now a Snakepit denizen, being ousted from the band gives a glimpse into the mad, mad, mad world of the Gunners.

“He didn’t really get fired,” amended Slash. “It’s just that something between Axl and him wasn’t working.”

But for Axl’s arty tastes, some of the Snakepit material might have been on the planned GNR disc.

“When I started writing all this stuff, you know, and I played him some of it, he was like, that wasn’t the direction musically he wanted to go in, because it’s basic hard-rock stuff. And at the time, I think Pearl Jam was like what he was into, and" - laughing - “I said, ‘Oh, wait a second, OK. I won’t have anything to do with that.’ And so once I got this going, it just happened so quickly, he all of a sudden decided he did like the material, and um ... I was like, ‘Dude, the record’s finished.’ ”

The road anthems and ex-user’s warnings about drugs became “It’s Five O’clock Somewhere.”

“I think I’m just doing this as a release for me,” Slash said. “But I can’t knock what Guns does, outside of, you know, going onstage three hours late. But you know, you know, I just adapt.”

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