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SoulMonster
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!
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Slither

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Slither Empty Slither

Post by Blackstar Fri Sep 27, 2019 2:06 pm

Slither Newbor11
SLITHER
Album:
Velvet Revolver, Contraband (2004).

Written by:
Slash, Duff McKagan, Scott Weiland, Matt Sorum, Dave Kushner.

Live performances:
Guns N' Roses performed Slither for the first time at Olympiastadion, Berlin, Germany, on June 3, 2018. In total it has, as of {UPDATEDATE}, at least been played {SLITHERSONGS} times.
Lyrics:

Hey Hey Hey

When you look you see right through me
Cut the rope, fell to my knees
Born and broken every single time

Always keep me under finger
That's the spot where you run to me
Might see some type of pleasure in my mind

Yeah, here comes the water
It comes to wash away the sins of you and I
This time you see

Hey hey hey

When you seek me you destroy me
Rape my mind and smell the poppies
Born and bloodied every single time

Always keep me under finger
That's the spot where you might linger
But I see some type of pleasure in my mind

Yeah, here comes the water
It comes to wash away the sins of you and I
This time you see
Like holy water
It only burns you faster than you'll ever dry
This time with me

[guitar solo]

When you look you see right through me
Cut the rope, fell to my knees
Born and Bloodied
Every single time

Yeah, here comes the water
It comes to wash away the sins of you and I
This time you see
Like holy water
It only burns you faster than you'll ever dry
This time with me

Hey, hey, hey


Quotes:

Yeah, finally [we are playing it], yeah. (laughs). [...] I mean Slither came up as far as Guns is concerned like really, really early on, but we just really never did it. And then this last leg it came into the set and everything. So now I’m going well, you know, that’s really a song I may or may not do with the Conspirators. So we’ll see.

But early on when Guns got back together, we were talking about different songs we might possibly do. And Slither's always been on the set list. We just never did it until this most recent European tour that we just did and Axl said, “Let's try that song”. And he just fell in love with the groove and the cadence of the verses and stuff. And so, yeah, it's funny. So it gets the second wind all these years later.

When we first started rehearsing, we had a pretty lengthy set list. And we had a list of songs which we called "alternative tracks." And "Slither" was actually on there two years ago, but we just never did it. And then we started rehearsing for this last European festival and stadium run that we did. Axl said, "Let's try Slither." We just fell into it and he really dug it. But in a lot of ways for myself and for Duff, it also had a little bit of homage to Scott [Weiland]. All in all, it was a really cool and cathartic thing to go out and play that song after all these years — especially after losing Scott and playing it for all these people.

It was cool to do it. In a way, I think it was sort of cathartic for Duff and I to be doing it. Scott was always very supportive of the idea of Guns getting back together, and I was such the anti-Guns guy. I have to be honest. It was just me being stubborn and whatnot, so it was great being up there performing that song, something that we did with Scott, and [since] he had always thought that we should get back together, it had a combination of little things to it.

If you got a hold of an old set list from 2016, you saw there was a set list and then there was an alternate set, which was just songs that we could do audibles with [and] move shit around. It was on there, and the band actually jammed it way early on just to get the groove together and all that. But it just never came up. Then, when we went into rehearsals for the European tour, Axl came in [and went], 'Let's try 'Slither'.' It was never even something that we've talked about, but hearing Axl do it, considering he's channeling a little bit of Scott in that, and then Duff and I sort of having been with that song since its inception, the three of us doing it together was very cool. I couldn't put a verbal description of that feeling, but that was cool.


Duff and Slash would state that Slither had been Axl's choice:

Axl wanted to play it. [...] "I'd like to try Slither."


Quotes about the original version by Velvet Revolver:

Writing the song:

[Talking about Slither being written before Weiland joined the band] It got shelved for a second, then it came back and we gave it to Scott, and Scott came up with the lyrics and all that. […] And 'Slither' was the working title, so he just made words that went along with 'Slither' and it just became our song. So when it came time to put the record out and pick a single, we didn't know what to pick because there was a lot of cool songs on the record. We said, 'Well, "Slither" is pretty indicative of just the band in general, and it's easy,' so we just put it out there.

Slash had the riff for “Slither,” then Matt and I wrote the intro, the bridge and some turnarounds.

[Slither]'s in drop D tuning. I just knew it was a cool riff, and sometimes it's tough presenting a riff to a bunch of guys and you've got to convince them. We jammed on it for a while, it sat in the tape player for a while, we went back to it and I said, 'This sounds really fuckin' cool'. Then Scott came in and it just clicked.

We played a riff and Scott responded immediately with: 'What was that!' After which he grabbed the microphone to sing a melody over the riff. That's how easy it went. Before we knew it, we had a verse, a chorus and a bridge. And the parts that we already had before we worked with him, were disected by him, chopped to pieces, and put back together again to be rejuvenated like that. That's how Slither came about.

But [songs] like Slither and Do it for the Kids took longer, and we did several versions until we picked the one that worked right.

[Slither is] a perfect marriage of STP and GN'R.

[Talking about the meaning of the title and lyrics] It’s got that sort of a dual meaning, but let’s just go with the... let’s just go with the sexual side of it. […] Darkly sexual, something like that.


Recording the song:

I do tune down, though; a third of our record is in dropped D. On “Slither,” I play the whole song on one string!

Also that's one of a few tracks where everybody has a de-tuned E string [low E string lowered to D]. We also did that on Slither and Headspace.

Dave Kushner:
[...] there's this weird echo delay thing I did with the other Line 6 pedal in Slither, a tapered off delay almost like a phaser. It's an echo/flanger or something.

[Asked if they doubled the rhythm parts to create a “wall of sound”] No, I don't believe in using that kind of stuff. That's one thing about having two guitarists, you can do it without having to fake it.

Dave Kushner:
[Asked if they doubled the rhythm parts to create a “wall of sound”] When I went in the studio, Slash'd already done his rhythm parts, his solos, which was great because I could then go my own way with it, fill up the holes. In the intro, there's this wall of wah-wah and delay, I used the Line 6 Delay and right where it stops before the verse there's this trail-off and that's the Line 6 Delay. Halfway through the verses you can hear it thicken up. I used a Hyper Fuzz pedal straight into the board, not through an amp, to double my rhythms and in the breakdowns it's like a wah and delay.

[Asked if they doubled the rhythm parts to create a “wall of sound”] We're all playing the same riff in that, the verse riff. That's three fat instruments playing the same thing.

[Talking about using a wah wah on Slither] Yeah. That was another first take.

I did use a delay in the beginning of the song for that 'swallow' effect but that one was a pretty simple Slash set up.

On a song like “Slither,” I do little open hi-hat things in the verses. It’s subtle, and I like it. I was listening to Ian Paice on a Deep Purple record called Burn, and he just had the coolest way of throwing in these little open, sneaky-peak hi-hat parts. That type of thing adds to a track.


Music video:

[Making the music video] was pretty painless. It was just one day shoot, and we just went in and played the song a dozen times and went home (laughs)

[Talking about shooting the music video] No, we weren’t in Czech Republic. We had a budget, you know…We shot interiors in LA an we shot exteriors in Prague.

[...] there’s a line in Slither, “smell the poppies.” [...] And MTV wanted to change it. And, you know, “poppies”... whatever. I mean, he was using Wizard of Oz – you know, the poppy fields. My three-year-old daughter was rolling around on the grass emulating Dorothy, “I’m in the poppy field.” You know, it’s - whatever. You can take it any way you want. But it’s just a word and you can’t censor that, and... So he said, “Okay, how about ‘Smell the Nazis.’ How’s that?” and they said, “No, well, we prefer ‘poppies’.”


Audience response and live performance:

We made the record we wanted to make, and we’re gonna go play live. And you know? Fortunately for us, Slither is the number one most-added single at radio, and it’s across the board in “modern rock” and “active rock” and all the “blah-blah-blah rock”, you know? There’s gotta be fucking categories for everything, so… you know, uh-- they’re playing it, and for us, we couldn’t care if they’re playing it or not -- we’re still going to go out and play live…

We love when we kick into the new material, and it seems that when we play "Slither" live, it's seems like that's the highlight of the night, and that for us, is the biggest inspiration, you know, even when we play a couple of the old songs. It's like the best point of the evening is when we kick into "Slither" pretty much, I think for all of us.


Slither Newbor11


Last edited by Blackstar on Mon Feb 05, 2024 12:02 pm; edited 4 times in total
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Post by Soulmonster Sat Feb 03, 2024 9:04 am

I wonder if Slash is here referring to the song actually having been started to be written back before Slash left in 1996. It works with him saying that they are "finally" playing it and the part that it came up, "as far as Guns is concerned", "really, really early on". Of course, he could mean that they discussed playing it back in 2016 after he rejoined the band, but it seems like he is referring to something further back in history:

Yeah, finally [we are playing it], yeah. (laughs). [...] I mean Slither came up as far as Guns is concerned like really, really early on, but we just really never did it. And then this last leg it came into the set and everything. So now I’m going well, you know, that’s really a song I may or may not do with the Conspirators. So we’ll see.


Obviously, Fall To Pieces was one of the confirmed songs that dated back to GN'R in 1996 and perhaps earlier, but of course Slither could be another one. And the fact that they chose to play this particular Velvet Revolver cover also kind of hints at that. That also begs the question, is Weiland singing Axl's vocal melodies or is Axl singing Weiland's vocal melodies - I would suspect the former.
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Post by Blackstar Sat Feb 03, 2024 10:33 am

Soulmonster wrote:I wonder if Slash is here referring to the song actually having been started to be written back before Slash left in 1996. It works with him saying that they are "finally" playing it and the part that it came up, "as far as Guns is concerned", "really, really early on". Of course, he could mean that they discussed playing it back in 2016 after he rejoined the band, but it seems like he is referring to something further back in history:

Yeah, finally [we are playing it], yeah. (laughs). [...] I mean Slither came up as far as Guns is concerned like really, really early on, but we just really never did it. And then this last leg it came into the set and everything. So now I’m going well, you know, that’s really a song I may or may not do with the Conspirators. So we’ll see.


Obviously, Fall To Pieces was one of the confirmed songs that dated back to GN'R in 1996 and perhaps earlier, but of course Slither could be another one. And the fact that they chose to play this particular Velvet Revolver cover also kind of hints at that. That also begs the question, is Weiland singing Axl's vocal melodies or is Axl singing Weiland's vocal melodies - I would suspect the former.
I don't know... From other interviews in which Slash talks about it, it looks more likely that he's referring to Slither being in the setlist in 2016.
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Post by Soulmonster Sat Feb 03, 2024 11:27 am

Blackstar wrote:
Soulmonster wrote:I wonder if Slash is here referring to the song actually having been started to be written back before Slash left in 1996. It works with him saying that they are "finally" playing it and the part that it came up, "as far as Guns is concerned", "really, really early on". Of course, he could mean that they discussed playing it back in 2016 after he rejoined the band, but it seems like he is referring to something further back in history:

Yeah, finally [we are playing it], yeah. (laughs). [...] I mean Slither came up as far as Guns is concerned like really, really early on, but we just really never did it. And then this last leg it came into the set and everything. So now I’m going well, you know, that’s really a song I may or may not do with the Conspirators. So we’ll see.


Obviously, Fall To Pieces was one of the confirmed songs that dated back to GN'R in 1996 and perhaps earlier, but of course Slither could be another one. And the fact that they chose to play this particular Velvet Revolver cover also kind of hints at that. That also begs the question, is Weiland singing Axl's vocal melodies or is Axl singing Weiland's vocal melodies - I would suspect the former.

I don't know... From other interviews in which Slash talks about it, it looks more likely that he's referring to Slither being in the setlist in 2016.

I hope someone asks him about this directly.
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Post by Blackstar Sat Feb 03, 2024 1:16 pm

Soulmonster wrote:I hope someone asks him about this directly.
I think the first couple of quotes about the Velvet Revolver version might kind of support the theory that at least the riff was written a while before the formation of Velvet Revolver.

Doesn't one of the leaked versions of Quick Song have a Slither like riff?
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Post by Soulmonster Mon Feb 19, 2024 12:38 am

Alan Niven commenting on the band playing songs from Velvet Revolver:

Well, I think it would be appropriate because, you know, in certain respects - and I know there are those who don't enjoy me saying this - but in certain respects I look at this reconvening as Velvet Roses. Because it's not Guns N' Roses for me. For me, the last showed that Guns N' Roses played was April the 7th in 1990 at Farm Aid. And fundamentally, Guns N' Roses as it is built today is absolutely living off what was created in '86 and '87 and '88. And if you're doing that and if you've Duff up there and you've got Slash up there, I think it's only cool and good manners to play one or two things that they did in the interim.
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Post by Soulmonster Mon Feb 26, 2024 4:51 pm

And one of those songs [on Contraband] was the song Slither, which was the band's first single. The single was big and the album went to number one, and it was a little bit of a crazy rollercoaster ride. Anyway, so all these years on, Slither's always been a sort of identifiable riff for me because it was one of those riffs that I brought to the band. So, you know, I play it in the Conspirators. But early on when Guns got back together, we were talking about different songs we might possibly do. And Slither's always been on the set list. We just never did it until this most recent European tour that we just did and Axl said, “Let's try that song”. And he just fell in love with the groove and the cadence of the verses and stuff. And so, yeah, it's funny. So it gets the second wind all these years later.
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Post by Soulmonster Tue Feb 27, 2024 1:04 am

When we first started rehearsing, we had a pretty lengthy set list. And we had a list of songs which we called "alternative tracks." And "Slither" was actually on there two years ago, but we just never did it. And then we started rehearsing for this last European festival and stadium run that we did. Axl said, "Let's try Slither." We just fell into it and he really dug it. But in a lot of ways for myself and for Duff, it also had a little bit of homage to Scott [Weiland]. All in all, it was a really cool and cathartic thing to go out and play that song after all these years — especially after losing Scott and playing it for all these people.


Slash would also say that Axl wanting to do Slither was a testament to the healthy relationship in the band:

There was a really great camaraderie from the get-go — since we got back together. It's been really healthy. Doing something like that is very much in line with how harmonious the whole thing has been. It's a little bit of a statement to how the band is working together.
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Post by Soulmonster Wed Mar 13, 2024 2:54 pm

Talking about how the band came to play Slither:

Axl wanted to play it. [...] "I'd like to try Slither."
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Post by Soulmonster Sat Mar 16, 2024 5:34 am

It was cool to do it. In a way, I think it was sort of cathartic for Duff and I to be doing it. Scott was always very supportive of the idea of Guns getting back together, and I was such the anti-Guns guy. I have to be honest. It was just me being stubborn and whatnot, so it was great being up there performing that song, something that we did with Scott, and [since] he had always thought that we should get back together, it had a combination of little things to it.
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Post by Soulmonster Sat Mar 16, 2024 6:36 am

If you got a hold of an old set list from 2016, you saw there was a set list and then there was an alternate set, which was just songs that we could do audibles with [and] move shit around. It was on there, and the band actually jammed it way early on just to get the groove together and all that. But it just never came up. Then, when we went into rehearsals for the European tour, Axl came in [and went], 'Let's try 'Slither'.' It was never even something that we've talked about, but hearing Axl do it, considering he's channeling a little bit of Scott in that, and then Duff and I sort of having been with that song since its inception, the three of us doing it together was very cool. I couldn't put a verbal description of that feeling, but that was cool.
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