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APPETITE FOR DISCUSSION
Welcome to Appetite for Discussion -- a Guns N' Roses fan forum!

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.

Registering is free and easy.

Cheers!
SoulMonster

2008.06.DD - Guitar World - Lose Your Illusions (Slash)

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2008.06.DD - Guitar World - Lose Your Illusions (Slash) Empty 2008.06.DD - Guitar World - Lose Your Illusions (Slash)

Post by Blackstar Mon Aug 26, 2019 12:05 pm

Thanks to @Surge for sending us this article!
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2008.06.DD - Guitar World - Lose Your Illusions (Slash) 2008-010
2008.06.DD - Guitar World - Lose Your Illusions (Slash) 2008-017
2008.06.DD - Guitar World - Lose Your Illusions (Slash) 2008-019
2008.06.DD - Guitar World - Lose Your Illusions (Slash) 2008-018

LOSE YOUR ILLUSIONS

Velvet Revolver’s Slash has transformed into a virtual hero for guitar wannabes in Guitar Hero II. But he finds that winning the game – like becoming a real guitar hero – takes more than a little patience.


By RICHARD BIENSTOCK
Photo by TRAVIS SHINN


Being a guitar hero means occasionally finding yourself in bizarre situations. Just ask Slash, who this past January was seen strolling onstage in the middle of Microsoft chairman Bill Gates’s keynote address at the 2008 Consumer Electronics Show. Clad in his trademark top hat and a tattered flannel shirt, the Velvet Revolver guitarist was brought out as a ringer for the buttoned-up tech titan during a game of—what else?—Guitar Hero.

This odd coupling resulted from another unusual moment for Slash: his transformation last year into an animated character for Guitar Hero III: Legends of Rock. Players that successfully battle through a succession of songs that range from Foghat’s “Slow Ride” to Rage Against the Machine’s "Bulls on Parade” (featuring a similarly animated Tom Morello) to AFI’S “Miss Murder” are awarded the chance to throw down against the guitarist. A win not only "unlocks” the former Guns N’ Roses axeman as a playable character—it also means you’re better at Guitar Hero than the flesh-and-bone Slash. “I haven’t been able to get that far,” he admits. “Though I don’t know if I’d want to, anyway. I don’t think I could handle playing myself.”

Despite his shortcomings as a gamer, Slash is, like seemingly everyone these days, a Guitar Hero obsessive. Which is one of the reasons he signed on to GHIII. In addition to appearing as an animated character. Slash penned the theme song, and Guns N’ Roses’ “Welcome to the Jungle" is featured on the soundtrack (a cover version of “Sweet Child O’ Mine” was included in 2006’s Guitar Hero II). “It’s such a cool thing, this brand-new, shiny concept,” he says. "It was a huge honor to be a part of the game.”

And, likewise to play the finished product alongside Bill Gates. “I have to admit that I had a lot of trepidation about that at first,” Slash says. “I mean, I don’t know what a keynote speech is, nor do I hang out in those types of corporate circles. But it was cool, and it was nice to meet Bill, who is someone I have a lot of respect for.

“Plus,” he adds, “I’m a pretty easygoing guy. I'll do all kinds of stupid shit.”

GUITAR WORLD: Word on the street is that you're actually pretty good at Guitar Hero.

SLASH: I’m not really what you’d call a “game head,” but I just kinda took to it. I have this office space near the back of my house where I hooked up Guitar Hero II. Next thing I knew I was swallowed up by it. I mean, I didn’t answer the phone, didn't take care of anything around the house—I didn’t even play my real guitars. For a solid week or two, I was all about beating the game. And I did beat it—but only on “Medium." Once you go into “Hard” and “Expert” modes, you’re off in another world. I started messing around in those levels and actually got through the first couple songs. But I realized at the rate I was going I was never going to make it to band practice with Velvet Revolver. So I unplugged the game, put it back in the box and hid it away. It was sort of like booze or drugs: I had to get it out of my sight [laughs]. And a few weeks after I weaned myself off it, I got a call from my manager, who said that [GH publisher] Activision wanted to know if I’d be interested not just in being involved in the next one but actually being in it.

GW What was the motion-capture process like to create your character for Guitar Hero IIP.
slash That was six or seven hours outside of my comfort zone. I had to wear a mo-cap [motion capturing] suit loaded with all these camera receivers, and stand in this big rectangular space with cameras all around me. You basically have to “rock out” within the rectangle. Which was weird, because it’s hard for me to pretend to do what I do-I just do it. You gotta get into all these different positions, and I remember getting pissed off and kinda frustrated at the beginning, basically turning into an asshole. But halfway through, it started to become fun. And then there was the image scanning, which was just a matter of having to sit still so they could shoot me from a bunch of different angles. But it was all worth it in the end.

GW: And yet you haven’t gotten far enough in the game to actually use your animated counterpart?

SLASH: To be honest, after I went cold turkey with the second version, I didn’t touch the game for a while. And then when Activision sent me III, I remember my security guard was at my house and I was all like, “Check this out." I plugged it in and went into the first song and couldn’t play it at all. It was pretty embarrassing.

GW: There’s a point in GHIII where the band goes on hiatus due to internal conflicts. I’m sure you can relate.

SLASH: It’s all part of the rock and roll experience. [laughs] I figure the game will turn kids into these egomaniacal prima donnas before they even get out of grade school.

GW: Do your kids play?

SLASH My five-year-old, London, knows how. But he doesn’t have that spark yet. He’s not old enough.

GW: Do you think that Guitar Hero leads kids to want to pick up the instrument?

SLASH: The thing about video games is that they do promote this sort of lethargy in kids. They turn into gaming zombies. So I understand the concern that people who play Guitar Hero would never pick up a real guitar. But I think it’s the opposite effect

GW: Even so, learning to play the real thing requires a bit more of a commitment.

SLASH: It takes some work, and maybe it’s not quite as exciting or instantly gratifying. But what turned me on to guitar when I was a kid was that all you have to do is play that one chord that hits you straight in the heart. And that’s pretty simple to do. Plus, kids are being exposed to all this killer rock and roll that’s programmed into the game that they would never otherwise hear.

GW: There’s not too many places a 10-year-old is going to hear Foghat nowadays.

SLASH: Exactly. So that’s cool. A lot of people have been asking. "Is this the new wave of how people are going to be exposed to music?" I thought that was sort of like a joke question when 1 first heard it, but I’m starting to realize that, given the current state of the music business, it might be. Because the kids are into it, and the possibilities are endless in terms of what you can expose them to through this medium.

GW: Would you consider using a video game as a platform to release new music in the future?

SLASH: Well, I have plans to do a solo record—I’m working on it a little bit now— and the added possibility of doing something in line with Guitar Hero is definitely there. 1 did a song already, but that was just a theme. I don’t think I would do something like that again, but it seems to me that it would be cool as another outlet for the music.

GW: That sort of synergy at one time would have been considered selling out.

SLASH: When I got involved with Guitar Hero I did ask myself that question—whether it was crossing the line between art and commercialism. But I thought the idea was so cool that 1 just took the risk. I wanted to be involved in it. And I realized there was no reason to be concerned about selling out. The main thing that people want to do when they create music is to expose other people to it. Guitar Hero is a great way to get your music out there, and it’s also a cool game, you know? What’s better than kids picking up a guitar—real or fake— and learning your songs?

GW: So what Guitar Hero song are you best at playing?

SLASH: To be honest, I couldn’t say. I’m pretty good at “Free Bird.” That’s the last one I remember doing. But really, whatever song it is doesn’t matter that much. For me it's about just getting from one end to the other and moving on to the next tune. That’s what you get addicted to.

GW: How are you at, say, “Sweet Child O’ Mine”?

SLASH: That was actually one of the easier songs in Guitar Hero II. It got hard for me when I got into Primus, Megadeth, that kind of stuff. But “Sweet Child” came pretty easily. I don’t think you’re gonna surprise me with that one at this point.
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