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1995.MM.DD - Alice Cooper's Vintage Vault (Unknown original source) - Interview with Slash

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1995.MM.DD - Alice Cooper's Vintage Vault (Unknown original source) - Interview with Slash Empty 1995.MM.DD - Alice Cooper's Vintage Vault (Unknown original source) - Interview with Slash

Post by Blackstar on Mon Apr 06, 2020 11:07 am



Transcript:
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Alice Cooper: Greetings and welcome to Vintage Vault. I’m Alice Cooper and you’re not. I’ve been doing radio for about 16 years now and interviewed everyone from GN’R’s Duff McKagan to Lemmy to Jimmy Page, plus access to tons of classic conversations with some of our favorite rock stars. Yes, you could call it Vintage Vault of awesome audio. This episode features a man born with the name Saul Hudson we all know as Slash. I took Guns N’ Roses out in one of their very first tours in the 80s and it was an adventure to be sure. We got very good friends after that and Slash is one of those guitar players that every band wish they had. I always like to pair him, you know, when I say, “What kind of a guitar player you are, are you like a Slash player or are you like, you know, a Steve Vai player or that.” So Slash gets a whole category himself. There was a time not too long ago when people thought Slash and Duff were never gonna rejoin Guns N’ Roses, but in 2016 they were united with Axl Rose for the mega-huge Not In This Lifetime tour and everything is still coming up roses, so to speak. We saw the boys down in South America, had dinner with them and they were going, “Hey, we’re back together and as strong as ever.” But on this episode now we’re going back when Slash was still in the original lineup of GN’R – yes, at a time long ago known as 1995. Let’s listen to Slash talk about kicking off his solo career with the Snakepit album It’s Five O’clock Somewhere. Here’s Slash, age 29, talking about his approach to his record.
 
Slash: Alright, so I just took my approach way back to where Guns normally used to be anyway. So that’s why it has a little bit of a Guns edge to it, because that’s what I bring to Guns, you know? And over the Use Your Illusion records obviously, 36 songs of all kinds of different material. Axl brought a lot of different instruments and it sort of mellowed out what I would consider to be a great GN’R record. This was sort of a release for me, to sort of just do it simply the way that I normally would do any Guns N’ Roses record. You know, when I was writing this stuff, Snakepit wasn’t even a concept or anything. I wasn’t writing to make a new record, I was just writing. And it was over a period of a month or so after all the guys in the band had started to get together, and I realized we had all this material. I did play it for Axl at one time and that wasn’t the direction he wanted the band to go in. I still, to this day, do not know where he wants to go as far as Guns is concerned. So I just kept the material, since I wrote it, and started the other – you know, came up with another band.  
 
Alice Cooper: Slash played his final show with Guns N’ Roses on July 17, 1993. And although Snakepit, It’s Five o’Clock Somewhere, came out in 1995, he was technically still a member of Guns N’ Roses at that time. Until he wasn’t. On October 1996, the guitarist announced that he was no longer part of the lineup. Here he talks about the GN’R chemistry, his vibe with Axl and his departure from the band.
 
Slash: It’s real simple. Guns has always been sort of a volatile, stressed-out kind of unit, you know? There’s always been friction between Axl and I in some cases. It’s like a love/hate thing. We’re very close but we’re very distant just because we’re completely different people, and that’s what probably makes us more or less dynamic as, you know, performers together and musicians together. But we don’t always see eye to eye and it usually takes some time till we fall into a sort of niche where we’d agree, you know? So Axl and I, there was some conflict of interest over my doing this record and making a priority of that instead of concentrating on my relationship with Axl, and Guns N’ Roses in general, and doing a Guns record. He wanted that first before I went on to do this. But before I went on to do this, he had encouraged me to do a solo record because he wasn’t ready to get to work yet. Then, once he did want to get to work, he was like, “I want this song, and this song, and this song,” the songs he'd turned down. I said, “Dude, the album is finished already, it’s done.” So that pissed him off and we had – you know, Gilby got fired, Axl got to fire Gilby and that was one of the main key things that separated me and Axl by miles.
 
Then finally, as time went on, I started trying to work with Ax up at the Snakepit studio with this guy, Paul Huge, who I couldn’t stand but tried to make things work. And finally, because of the fact that nobody besides Axl liked this guy, it built friction between Duff and Matt and I, which has never existed before. So once I saw that happening, I said rehearsals are over. Axl was out of town for a week or something, and he came back and he goes, “What time is rehearsal?” I said, “There is no rehearsal,” so that started another fight. Plus I took that guy, Paul, off the payroll, so there was a big conflict of interest there.
 
And a lot of time went by, we started working the Snakepit album and I wasn’t coming down to Guns N’ Roses rehearsals, so Axl was getting pissed off about that. So I took some time out from Snakepit and rehearsed with Guns, and Zakk Wylde was playing with us at the time. And that was fun, because I know Zakk really well and I like him a lot, he’s a great player, but we don’t sound like Guns N’ Roses with him in the band. So I was sort of like, “Well, whatever, here’s my schedule and I’ll be back in August” and I’ve been gone ever since. But Axl and I did have a huge fallout where a lot of stuff came out in the open, and we came to an agreement, so it was really healthy – not really an argument, but a discussion about where we were at. So, you know, I haven’t heard anything from anybody but Duff – and Matt, obviously – over it and nothing is going on in the Guns N’ Roses camp at the moment. And I still feel that we haven’t decided on a rhythm guitar player or haven’t picked the right guy. But I just don’t wanna deal with it right now, because it’s just too much pressure with Guns, going through that kind of stuff. Just let, you know, pieces fall where they may and it’ll just come together. That’s always been the way with us, you know? But Ax does want to do a Guns record right now, but I don’t know what that is, you know? (laughs)
 
Alice Cooper: As you probably know, Slash and guitarist Izzy Stradlin were founding members of the band. Guitarists are super important, obviously. I mean, I have three of them in my group, and the two in my original band. I mean, it made everything to have a great guitar player. We have Ryan who played with Slash in Snakepit and Tommy who is a great rhythm – I call him my anchor in the band – and he’s now playing lead, and then Nita Strauss, you know, who’s my Slash. She’s the one that just shreds. In this clip, Slash talks about Guns looking for the right guitar player to flavor them and replace Izzy Stradlin. And does it bother Slash to read all the speculation about the band on the press? I don’t think so.
 
Slash: Right. I’ve heard stories. I don’t pick up magazines. I mean, I just don’t surround myself with the hype Guns N’ Roses is surrounded by. I avoid it. It has nothing to do with playing, it has nothing to do with me, it has nothing to do with my musicianship or anything like that, so I’m not interested. Plus I don’t want to spend my time dwelling over what some idiot might say in the press, you know.
 
Alice Cooper: My guitarist, Ryan Roxie, used to play in Gilby Clarke’s band and Gilby was in Guns N’ Roses for a short time, as you may remember. There were a lot – there was what I call a carrel of guitar players. Ryan just fit the bill for us so perfectly. So why was Gilby in GN’R for such a brief time? And what were Axl’s thoughts about the second guitarist? Here’s Slash’s take on the situation.
 
Slash: You know, I would love for none of this to have happened. It’s personally, on a pride level, very damaging and I don’t expect him, even if he was asked to come back, to come back. But he was never officially fired. Axl just didn’t want to write with him. Gilby never even got a chance to write, except for with me.
 
And Axl’s always wanted to get two high profile lead guitar players together, which is a great concept, except for it turns the band into an over the top, obnoxious guitar band. You know, it’s just too much, because I’m gonna play in the way that I’m gonna play and I would expect that whoever comes in wouldn’t hold back on how he plays. And so having a good rhythm guitar player letting me do my thing is probably the best way that Guns work. Trading guitar solos is cool between guitar players, but when it’s like two break neck guitar players clashing it out, it doesn’t leave room for the music or the songs, and I’m not into that, I think is boring. Anyway, for a guitar playing thing it’s great, but I mean as a whole guitar records bore the hell out of me, when it’s just nothing but diddly diddly diddly all the way through (laughs).
 
Anyway, so as far as Gilby is concerned, I wouldn’t expect him to come back even, like I said, if he was asked, only because his feelings were hurt. Axl didn’t want to write with him and I had to go and tell Gilby myself that this was going on, so he didn’t hear it, you know, in the field or something or turned into some sort of weird rumor. So I went and told him and then – well, I think the thing that really etched in stone Gilby’s dismissal from Guns was the fact that he had words with Duff and he had words with Axl, and that sort of cemented the fact that he wasn’t in the band. But Axl still thinks, like he does with everybody, like, “Well, maybe we’ll have three guitar players, or maybe we’ll do this or maybe we’ll do that,” or “Gilby can come out live,” but whatever. And I come from a different point of view altogether: that you get the guy that fits naturally, you write together, he plays on the record and he does the tour. It’s not like we get a bunch of hired Guns just because Axl thinks that me and him are the only things that are really important in Guns N’ Roses, you know. I don’t think - it has always been a band to me, you know, so we’ll see what happens.   
 
Alice Cooper: A lot of musicians in this biz get their start really young. I remember starting out with my band in high school. We were all 14, 15, 16 years old and, you know, we just wanted to play parties so we could meet girls. That was really it, and maybe get 20 bucks a piece and that was just for gas for the car, not knowing we were gonna go on to do what we did. Being a band is hopefully a lot of fun. I advise any kid that’s got any musical ability, get with a bunch of other kids and start a band. It’s the most fun thing in the world, and it’s creative, and it gets you off the streets. So let’s hear how Slash was feeling when he formed his band, Snakepit.
 
Slash: When you’re, like, 13-14-15 years old and you start playing guitar or whatever instrument it is, and then you get some of your friends and all of a sudden you’re having a great time, it’s like a really magical kind of feeling that all of a sudden you got four or five guys together and you’re just having fun. You’re not thinking about being so much, like, rock stars or, you know. I mean, obviously you have aspirations to move forward, but you’re really just having fucking fun in the garage. That’s what Snakepit is all about.
 
Alice Cooper: May I ask you a question? Have any of you played with Alice Cooper’s Nightmare Castle pinball machine? It’s pretty cool. (?) say so myself. It’s got so many different levels to different layers that I haven’t even visited ten of the layers in it. Alright, I do have to admit that the Guns N’ Roses pinball machine came out before mine, and our buddy Slash had a lot to do with it. Here’s the scoop behind the creation.
 
Slash: About three Christmases ago, Renee and I went to Chicago to visit some – I guess you could call my in-laws. We were in the suburbs in Chicago, and I’m a city kid, I have to be able to get up and just walk out the door and go to a club at night or I’ll go crazy. Unfortunately, I was stuck way out in Indianhead Park. And even though I was having a nice time, but, you know, visiting – they had a basement with pinball machines which I gravitated towards because there was fuck all else to do. Then I came home and I bought one for Renee for Christmas, and then all of a sudden I got into it even more, and so one machine turned into five, five turned into ten, ten now has turned into twenty. And somewhere along the way – I always doodle on napkins around the house or write lyrics. There’s just millions of little napkins, you know, cocktail napkins, everywhere in the house, and I started drawing the ideas for the Guns N’ Roses pinball machine. And when I finally had the actual game, the object of the game, the lanes and all that stuff mapped out – I’m not that great a pinball player, but for some reason I was good at this part. I started thinking, “Well, maybe Guns is big enough where we can do a pinball machine for real,” so I went to a company called Data East who are making all the breakthrough pinball machines of the 90s, like the really high-tech different kind of breaking away from the norm pinball machines. I went over to see them, I showed them the ideas and I said, “Can you do this?” and “Can you do this shot” and “This is really unique, can you do this?” And they said, “We can do fucking anything” and I went, “Oh, yeah!”
 
So I spent a better part of a year commuting back and forth from L.A. to Chicago working on every little detail, and all of a sudden... It’s weird, because making a record is one thing - I’ve been doing that for, you know, 15 years now – but making a pinball machine it’s like me designing a car. It’s really left-field, you know, and to see it actually finished and functional, and it’s the most high-tech game to date. It also has real guitars, and real drums, and bass and vocals on it, and it’s the loudest machine ever made, and I see it sitting in my living room finished. I’m really proud of it, you know? That’s why I wrote the song Be The Ball. They said, “We’ll write a pinball song,” and I was like, “Yeah, right,” you know, “What the hell do you write about pinball?” And somehow Fear And Loathing In Las Vegas, which is my favorite book, and the concept of looking at life through a pinball’s eyes, which is break neck speed with no idea where you going, I wrote Be The Ball.
 
Alice Cooper: Guess what. I’m gonna tell you a secret. Come closer. There you go! Okay, here it is: stars get starstruck too. The Hollywood Vampires, we had everybody on that album. You know, we had Robbie Krieger, we had... I mean, I can’t think of anybody that wasn’t on that album, because everybody wanted to pay tribute to all our dead drunk friends. We were doing, I think, I Got A Line On You by Spirit in honor of Randy California, and Paul McCartney walks in, sits down on the piano and says, “Okay,” he said, “I wrote this song for Bad Company. You guys should do this.” And he says, “Alice, you take this part, I’ll take this part, dah dah dah” and we were like standing there with our jaws open – you know, it’s like (laughs) Springtime for Hitler, if you’ve ever seen The Producers, where we were just stunned because it was Paul McCartney. And now I’ve known Paul for 35 years, 40 years, and yet it’s a different thing being in the studio with McCartney. Being friends with McCartney is one thing, being in the studio with not just a Beatle but the Beatle, that’s a whole different thing. I just got in the world, had so much fun doing the song, you know, but we get starstruck too. Anyway, long before Slash joined Guns N’ Roses he was around the music biz. Slash’s mom was a costume designer whose clients included David Bowie, Janis Joplin... His father was an artist who did album covers for musicians including Neil Young and Joni Mitchel. But was Slash starstruck?
 
Slash: For one thing, having grown up with a heavy diet of eccentric people keeps me very laidback, and so I don’t get very starstruck like any little kid does when I see somebody that I really admire or someone who’s just a great talent or whatever. But it also keeps me from losing my mind when I come to contact them (laughs). And then the other thing is just because I look at everything from a very simple point of view as opposed to a really selfish kind of “I have to do things my way” kind of attitude, so I really work well with other people.
 
Alice Cooper: Yeah, Slash was great to work with. We did Vengeance Is Mine together on my 2008 Along Came A Spider album and he was on my Hey Stupid track. And I was a guest on Guns N’ Roses in The Garden back in 1991. And we also did a cool thing with Under My Wheels, you know, Axl and I singing and Slash and Kane Roberts playing guitar. I play that all the time and it’s really a rocking tune. So that does it for this edition of Vintage Vault. I hope you enjoyed hearing from Slash back in 1995. Till next time, remember: we sweat and laugh and scream here, cuz life is just a dream here. And you know inside you feel right at home.


Last edited by Blackstar on Sat Apr 18, 2020 9:14 am; edited 1 time in total
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Post by Soulmonster on Thu Apr 16, 2020 8:01 am

Then finally, as time went on, I started trying to work with Ax up at the Snakepit studio with this guy, Paul Huge, who I couldn’t stand but tried to make things work. And finally, because of the fact that nobody besides Axl liked this guy, it built friction between Duff and Matt and I, which has never existed before. So once I saw that happening, I said rehearsals are over. Axl was out of town for a week or something, and he came back and he goes, “What time is rehearsal?” I said, “There is no rehearsal,” so that started another fight. Plus I took that guy, Paul, off the payroll, so there was a big conflict of interest there.


This quote is immensely interesting. It suggests that the band was working at Slash's studio but that the rehearsals broke down due to Slash and Paul not getting along. It also states that Paul at this time was on GN'R's payroll. And lastly, Slash implies that his conflict with Paul also somehow caused friction between Slash, Duff and Matt (although he claims all of them disliked Paul).

When was these rehearsals? If Duff were part of them, they would likely have been before his pancreas burst in May 1994 (but Gilby wasn't out until June, so that doesn't add up). More likely, I think, Duff wasn't directly involved but recuperating from his illness, and the rehearsals took place some time in the fall of 1994
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Post by Blackstar on Thu Apr 16, 2020 8:12 am

@Soulmonster wrote:
This quote is immensely interesting. It suggests that the band was working at Slash's studio but that the rehearsals broke down due to Slash and Paul not getting along. It also states that Paul at this time was on GN'R's payroll. And lastly, Slash implies that his conflict with Paul also somehow caused friction between Slash, Duff and Matt (although he claims all of them disliked Paul).

When was these rehearsals? If Duff were part of them, they would likely have been before his pancreas burst in May 1994 (but Gilby wasn't out until June, so that doesn't add up). More likely, I think, Duff wasn't directly involved but recuperating from his illness, and the rehearsals took place some time in the fall of 1994
I thought too that this interview was very interesting, because Slash goes into more detail about some things than in any other interview from that time. (It's also interesting that this interview surfaced just recently on Alice Cooper's new podcast).

I think that the rehearsals with Paul probably took place in June or July 1994, at the same time Slash was working on Snakepit, as we had originally concluded based mostly on the interview Slash did with Kerrang in June 1994. The rehearsals with Gilby were in March, then Duff went to Seattle where his pancreas exploded and then he returned sometime in late May or June. Likely there were back and forth discussions about Gilby while Duff was in Seattle.

In this interview Slash places the rehearsals with Paul after the fight over the Snakepit songs Axl wanted back. I think it's likely that the fight took place not after the Snakepit album was completely recorded but just when Slash had started recording it or while he was recording it. The album was mixed in early September (based on the Popular 1 interview where Slash says he was mixing it when the MTV Awards took place) so it was completely finished in September.

Slash doesn't seem to be very good with dates in general and with counting how much time has passed.

In any case, I think it's certain that the rehearsals with Paul took place before Sympathy For The Devil, which Slash doesn't refer to at all in this interview.
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Post by Soulmonster on Thu Apr 16, 2020 10:47 am

I agree with all of this.
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