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2001.02.DD - Record Collector Magazine - Interview with Slash

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2001.02.DD - Record Collector Magazine - Interview with Slash Empty 2001.02.DD - Record Collector Magazine - Interview with Slash

Post by Blackstar on Mon Apr 13, 2020 8:57 pm

By Joel McIver

As if to confirm his unswerving commitment to old school rock, Slash appears on the Saturday morning of our interview on this successful children's TV show, CD:UK. A pre-pubescent viewer e-mails the studio of with an innocent question — has Slash ever been bitten by one of his collection of snakes and lizards? "Actually, one of my iguanas bit me last week," the guitarist replies, smiling politely. "I pulled his tail — and he bit the fuck out of me."

I saw you on CD:UK this morning. Did they tell you off for using a rude word?

Slash: No, although they had tried to tell me not to use any. Could you hear it?

Yes. Very clearly.

Slash: Oh. (laughs) Well, it's kinda a part of my language.

How's it going with Snake pit?

Slash: Its going great. We made a great record, for one, and the response from the fans has been great — which is all I really care about. Also we get the chance to with AC DC which is cool. They're one of the all time greatest fuckin rock-and-roll bands ever.

You said it's been five years since you've spoken to Axl, because he never could agree about anything. Was the one specific incident that set it off?

Slash: It really started when we covered "Sympathy for the Devil" for the "Interview With a Vampire" movie. I saw the first screening with the Stone's version still on it, and I thought it was fine. Fuck, why do we need to do it? But then Axl went to see it and he loved the movie — see, I hated it.

You're not a Tom Cruise fan?

Slash: No, I love Tom cruise. But in that kind of movie. . . It just seemed very Hollywood. Anyway, Axl loved it so I said, good — at least it'll bring the band back together, because we were going through another one of those periods when we weren't hanging out or talking. Sometimes it takes a particular vehicle to put a band back together. But then when we were recording that song, he never showed up! (laughs).

What was the classic GNR line-up, for you?

Slash: The original line up comprised the only fuckin five guys in LA that could have made up that band. There was a certain camaraderie and bonding between the five of us. It was like a gang, you know — us against them.

When Steven Adler left, was that the end of that era?

Slash: Yes. Great is Matt Sorum is, Steven was my best friend. He started me playing the guitar! There was also a certain bond between Izzy and Axl, because they grew up together.

Wasn't it inevitable that Steven would leave, because of his problems with heroin?

Slash: Well, we all had problems with heroin, me, Izzy and Steven — but we just had to get over it. But we could never a reel Steven back in. We just couldn't get him back out.

What's your drug intake like nowadays?

Slash: Well, I'm not really what you'd call a drug guy, you know. I have a drink (laughs). Drugs are around all the time, and it's not that big a deal. I always keep a bottle of Jack and a bottle of vodka around, though.

You once infamously said they you refused on principle to start using condoms. Did you stick to that?

Slash: That must have been a long time ago. I used to joke that as soon as fuckin David Lee Roth dies of AIDS, then were all dead. You know, condoms are huge pain in the ass (laughs) — no pun intended. But I was just never a big fuckin rubber freak. At the same time, though I'm not as... what's it called and when you sleep a lot of chicks?


Slash: Thank you. I'm not as promiscuous as I once was. When I was, I was really bad. For a long time, I never used them.

Weren't you worried about HIV?

Slash: Well, when Freddie Mercury died a freaked to me out. I was married at the time, although I was still terrible, you know. But I don't really do that shit anymore.

Have you done the test?

Slash: Oh yeah. I have to. They make me do it for insurance reasons.

Is it true you were once arrested for having sex in public with Savannah, the porn star?

Slash: I wasn't actually arrested — it was the security people. But it wasn't my fault (laughs). She always used to like to be in a public place — that's when she got the horniest.

Were you really at school with Lenny Kravitz?

Slash: That's right. We weren't in the same class, though. We didn't really know each other, though — I was in what you'd call the corrective part of the school.

Because you were a yob, you mean.

Slash: (laughs) Well yes. It was like a separate part of the school. You could smoking in there.

You were born in Stoke. Do you ever go back there?

Slash: You know what, I've only ever driven through there. My whole dad's side of the family lives there though. I have cousins there and they come out to gigs. I haven't actually been there since I was a kid.

Robbie Williams is from there.

Slash: Who?

Robbie Williams, the singer. You don't know who he is?

Slash: No idea.

He's probably the biggest star in Britain at the moment.

Slash: Oh, OK — sorry! (starts laughing, then suddenly collapses into hacking, Bob Fleming style coughs) Hold on — I'm choking on a piece of chewing gum. What is he, rock or pop?

Pop. Anyway, the point is, he says Stoke is a great place.

Slash: Oh. Well it really was. You know, a lot of things have changed around here in the couple years since I was last here. I was driving around Camden and you know, basic London, all last night, and it's so commercial. And they were saying Sheffield and Manchester and Stoke have all gotten modernized. As far as I was concerned, Stoke was just a farm, or a village. Two schools, three liquor stores, ten pubs, whatever.

Did you know that the 12" shaped picture disc of SCOM is worth £100?

Slash: No. Really? (impressed) I'm sure I'm not making any money off of it. You know, I don't have any of that stuff. I don't even have a gold record or magazine or anything. I don't listen to the old GNR stuff either.

You don't go home in the evening and think, oh, I could just listen to "Paradise City"?

Slash: No. My girlfriend does that to me though.

What did you think of Duff's work with Neurotic Outsiders?

Slash: It was great. I really liked it.

Did you like Duran Duran as a kid?

Slash: No. but I was exposed to them. Funnily enough, I was on the same bill as Simon Le Bon in Japan recently and I hung out with him. Bit I wouldn't go onstage with him — I had to draw the line somewhere (sniggers). He's a great guy though. John Taylor's cool too.

My wife had a crush on him when she was a teenager?

Slash: How could you not? He was the quintessential fuckin pop star — and he only played bass, so he wasn't too complicated.

Did Axl ask you to join the new GNR?

Slash: No. When I split, it was like getting divorced. It was like, OK — that's over. It was never even a consideration. The only regret I have with GNR is that there were a lot of kids sitting around going what the fuck happened? I can't see it ever coming back. Nobody's that interested.

Did you know that in England, "slash" means "piss"?

Slash: Yeah (laughing) — I knew that a fuckin long time ago.

Do people give you a hard time about it when you come over here?

Slash: No. In fact, all things considered, nobody fucks with me too badly about it. The first time I came over here with the band, I thought, oh God, I'm gonna have to deal with it. But it never got too bad.

What about the long-term future? Are you still going to be doing this when you're 65 and all your tattoos have gone green?

Slash: Yeah, definitely. You can't teach an old dog new tricks. When I was 18 I didn't think I'd see 21, so I'm not doing too badly.

And off he goes, still knocking back the Jack Daniel's, still churning out the rock riffs, still chasing lewdly after groupies. Perhaps it says more about the nature of music — and its fans — that the groupies are still there for him. You've got to give him credit — he may not know who Robbie Williams is, and he may not care that his audience has become (as the immortal Spinal Tap had it) more 'selective', but he's got staying power. And for that, I'm sure you'll all agree, we should salute him.


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