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1993.11.26 - Detroit Free Press - Talking Slash

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1993.11.26 - Detroit Free Press - Talking Slash Empty 1993.11.26 - Detroit Free Press - Talking Slash

Post by Blackstar on Sat Mar 14, 2020 2:24 pm

1993.11.26 - Detroit Free Press - Talking Slash 1993_172
1993.11.26 - Detroit Free Press - Talking Slash 1993_173



Free Press Music Writer

Guns N’ Roses’ Slash — your basic sex-sated, drug-doing, booze-guzzling, decadent rock ’n’ roller. Right?

Not quite.

Even though much of the Guns N’ Roses image rests on those prurient pursuits, things have calmed down considerably for the hard rock group. That’s particularly true for the guitarist (his real name is Saul Hudson), who once seemed to bond with any available bottle of Jack Daniel’s. He’s married now, to a model-actress named Renee; he’s slashed away at his vices, and he spends a lot of time tending to a menagerie of pets that includes 10 cats, 14 snakes — including a new king cobra — and Renee’s dog.

But love hasn’t broken up that old band of his. Guns N’ Roses has just released "The Spaghetti Incident?”, a batch of cover songs drawn from the band members’ influences, ranging from punk rockers to old rock tunes like Nazareth’s "Hair of the Dog” to the ’50 doo-wop number “Since I Don’t Have You.”

With that out, the group has started work on its next album at the studio Slash built in his Hollywood Hills home. In fact, drummer Matt Sorum and keyboardist Dizzy Reed are warming up while Slash chats about life, music and the new album.

Q: What’s the one thing Slash does that would most surprise your fans?

A: I watch cooking shows during the day. I can’t cook; I don't know why I watch them. Which one is my favorite? Probably “The Frugal Gourmet” or “Great Chefs of Chicago” or “Great Chefs of the East.” But I have no patience with eating; I’m perfectly fine with chicken wings or a burrito out of the microwave.

Q: So how’s married life?

A: That’s different. I mean, Renee is really cool and everything, and marriage is great. But there was a period there where I got so ... whacked out on sex with however many partners I could get my hands on and got really over the top. Of course when I got married, that stopped altogether. The cool thing about it is it’s a love for her, and there’s a real sobering effect marriage has had on me. If I were still single, I’d probably be down ... with some chick in a club on Hollywood Boulevard. I’d be spending more time doing that than getting work done. Now I kick back around the house; the guys in the band come over, we have a few drinks, play pinball.

Q: Do you have barbecues in Bermuda shorts?

A: (laughs) I haven’t duded out to that extent. I have a barbecue but I’ve never used it. I have a pool but I’ve never swam in it. People come over and have used it, so that’s cool. Basically I’m still constructed for a one-room apartment.

Q: A lot of Guns N’ Roses’ image was based around booze and drugs — at least that was what the media latched onto. How are things in that respect?

A: This is really the first time we’ve been home, off the road, and clean for the most part. I haven’t been shooting up or anything, so I’m using my time differently. It’s not some AA thing; I don’t care to be in that scene anymore. But it’s cool to be writing, and I’m having a cool time with the guys in the band.

Q: Is there any sort of deep meaning or statement intended on “The Spaghetti Incident?"

A: It’s not supposed to be taken that seriously; these are just some cool songs that we sort of grew up on, things that have a lot of influence on us. There’s no digging deep as far as what it’s about.

Q: But would it be nice to turn your fans on to the bands you’ve covered on the album?

A: Sure. We wanted to make a point of making sure all the Guns N’ Roses fans of a certain age who wouldn’t be familiar with these bands — the Dead Boys, Fear, UK Subs — knew who wrote these songs, that we didn’t write them. ... We didn’t want another “Train Kept ’a Rollin’ ” situation like Aerosmith had. (The Yardbirds originally recorded it in the mid-60s.) So we made it a point in the liner notes to give a three- or four-line history of the song.

Q: What did punk rock mean to you when you were growing up?

A: That was around the time I first started playing guitar, so I was on a whole trip of my own.

Q: The version of T. Rex’ “Buick Makane” marks your singing debut on the record. Did you like doing that?

A: No! The only reason I did it was I wanted to cover the song... and when Axl came in to do the vocals, he didn’t feel comfortable. So he called me into the studio and said, ‘Why don't you sing it?' The only reason I did it was because I wanted the song on the album.

Q: You make a lot of guest appearances on other musicians’ albums and at their shows. Do you have any other interesting projects cooking?

A: I’m designing the Guns N’ Roses pinball machine now. It’s gonna be killer — the loudest machine ever. It’ll be a six-ball machine ... with songs from the albums on it.

Q: So what was the real spaghetti incident?

A: It’s an inside joke. It’s from a certain time when we were in Chicago writing music, really having a hard time. No one will be able to guess what it is.

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