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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.


2001.04.DD - Oui Magazine - Interview with Slash's Snakepit

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2001.04.DD - Oui Magazine - Interview with Slash's Snakepit Empty 2001.04.DD - Oui Magazine - Interview with Slash's Snakepit

Post by Blackstar Mon Apr 13, 2020 9:02 pm

According to Slash, "We were just fucking around with material I wrote and really weren't taking this side project to seriously. It was something to do while waiting to see what would happen with my 'day job'." Slash had written some material of his own and called on friends and band mates to help lay down some tracks. Slash had Matt Sorum(The Cult/GNR drummer) come over and help arrange some of the songs; Gilby Clark(GNR) added rhythm guitars; Mike Inez(Alice In Chains) slapped out the bass lines; and for the singer, well Slash had to audition over 40 singers till he heard the right one — Eric Dover(Jellyfish) was chosen. Now that Slash had his crew together, they had to be named. Born in the "Snakepit" of Slash's studio, the band chose to live with the name as well. This, ladies and gentlemen, was the first Slash's Snakepit!

With everything in place, they started to record. Fourteen demos and were produced, so they took them to Conway Studios and cut the album, fully mastered. The album title, "It's Five O' Clock Somewhere", came from a bartender. Slash was at an airport and wanted a drink, but the signs said no liquor was served there before 5pm. Slash asked anyway, and the bartender, without missing a beat, poured the rock star a nice tall drink, offering the formerly mentioned album title as an explanation! Geffen Records agreed to back the album if the group name of was changed to Slash's Snakepit providing the new band with some name recognition.

A tour was set up to begin April 1st, 1995 — if all the members could free themselves from other commitments. Unfortunately, several members, had commitments that they had to keep. Slash replaced them and went to Memphis, TN and played, while MTV recorded the gig. From there, Snakepit hit the road for a five-month tour.

In Slash's tradition of staying busy, the then formed yet another band intended only to be a blues cover band, Slash's Blues Ball came into existence. He recruited longtime friends Teddy Andreadis(lead vocals and keyboards), Johnny Griparic(bass), Alvino Bennet(drums), Bobby Shneck(rhythm guitar) and Dave McClarem on sax. The band ended up playing for over 206,000 people in the Sziget Festival on Obuda Island in Budapest, Hungary. Now Slash had to bands with which to blaze into the future. There's more to this story and Oui gives it to you, straight from the Snakepit's mouth.

Frankie Perry: So, Slash, how did we did here with the band that is now Snakepit?

Slash: When I have decided to make my own band work, that's when we talked about Snakepit seriously. We did more demos and  needed a singer. The first Snakepit had members that were already in other commitments. that's when we found Matt Laug at the Baked Potato. We had jammed with him for fun with Blues Ball. So I asked him to join. Then we needed a singer. Johnny had known this guy named Rod. I heard him sing and knew he was the one.

Johnny: I had worked with Rod in another band. That band was crazy and we were not as serious. I took the demo tapes to Rod and had him listen while we sat in my car. Rod dug the music and started writing lyrics.

Rod: Since joining the band I have learned a lot of discipline. The guys are great, but when it comes down to it, its do you were job or leave. They were very serious when we started this project.

Slash: We also got Ryan Roxy for rhythm guitar, but Ryan had other obligations, but had introduced us to Keri Kelly. Keri stepped into Ryan's place and a week later we were on the AC/DC tour.

How did you get the AC/DC tour?

Slash: It started right after we signed with KOCH Records. Ya see, I was with the Geffen for a long time in another band, and Geffen signed Snakepit. Soon Geffen was sold. I realize that at this point Geffen was in another direction musically and did not have the ability or know-how on how to promote to a rock band. They had too many personnel changes. So, we parted ways with Geffen and on good terms. I searched for a label that could do the job and found KOCH. We are their only domestic album.

Johnny: We signed around and May 2000 and shit started happening immediately. We got to this list of bands who we would like to open for.

Keri: We got as far as the and and saw the AC/DC. That's where we stopped.

Were you excited?

Slash: I waited for the call. I was very anxious about it and then the phone rang. We got it! Lots of fucking rehearsals from there on out.

What was it like to work with AC/DC?

Johnny: It was like going to school every night. To work with them, you can't help but learn a lot.

Matt: It was a total inspiration.

Keri: The whole experience was great. It was awesome!

Slash: I kept thinking that the AC/DC fans would start chanting "AC/DC " while we played. But they didn't. They loved us.

Rod: By the end of each show, and had them all!

Matt: The bands got along real well. But, we only had 35 minutes to play. That was hard.

How did you choose the songs then? That must have been hard for the time slot the were given.

Keri: We picked kick-ass songs for the AC/DC crowd and made it fits time wise. It was a nightmare to choose.

Slash: We left out the mellow the stuff and chose all hard driving music. As time went by on the tour, we squeezed in a few more minutes of play time. We didn't want to take advantage of AC/DC been so cool to us, but we also started to edge now in use more stage to a point. AC/DC didn't mind you used.

Rod: It's hard not to use that big stage! You'd see all of us spreading out a little further each night.

So, it was never an issue for AC/DC?

Matt: It was never an issue. They knew we respected them and that's what they gave us. Malcolm  (from AC/DC) said they had been treated badly when they were an opening band and didn't want to do that to anyone! It was cool!

You left the tour, why?

Matt: Well, we got a bit comfortable working with AC/DC, but we only had 35 minutes to play. It was like we were done before we got started. We had to get our own hour and a half show. So we left good terms.

Tell us all about what is going on with the new CD!

Slash: We are already on a three times re-order. we conservatively pressed the first CDs, around 30,000 to 40,000 copies.

Keri: My friend went to Virgin Records the day after release and it was already sold out!!!

Matt: If I have my statistics right, our single is number # 1 in Argentina for 4 weeks, we are # 6 on the KLOS playlist and I think, you may have to check, but our total CD is # 6 on the U.K. charts.

Very cool! Then it's taking you where you want to go. So guys, what are your favorite to songs?

Keri: "Serial Killer"

Rod: Definitely "Shine". It was the first on the demo tapes. I heard it and it had this combo of the Beatles of and Led Zeppelin. I knew what to do with it and I love it!

Matt: Well, my mother likes "Aint Life Grand" 'cuz it reminds her of taking a my dad to his first strip joint. For me I like them all.

Slash: My favorite is "Been There Lately". That's the first I wrote with Rod.

So what's up with the tour? When do we see Snakepit in action?

Slash: We just finished Europe. We went to Scandinavia, the U.K., Korea, Asia and Japan. Next we will be leaving for South America to play at the Argentina Stadium and other places, returning back home to tour Canada and the U.S.

OK guys, I've been pretty tame with you, so I think it's about time you told some of those road stories!

Johnny: We went out with the pyro guys from AC/DC and Rod already starting up, got thrown out of the strip club we were at. So, I went to the bar, ordered a drink, gave the guy a $100 bill. He gave me back change for a $20 bill. We started to argue and this big bouncer came up behind me. I knew it was me for him and so I took two steps back and two steps forward — the bouncer was down. It was so great that it made the weekly AC/DC newsletter! Anyway, the cops were coming, I left and the guys from AC/DC stayed and talk to the bouncer, gave him tickets and stuff so he wouldn't press charges. In the meantime, we went back to the hotel and I decided I was hungry, so I walked to the pizza place. They weren't fuckin open, so I decided to take a nap there instead! They found me passed out!

Keri: AC/DC's camera crew always pans the audience to find girls to flash their tits.

Johnny: Matt saw two girls he liked and somehow ended up with their company.

Keri: The stage is made of plexiglass and you can see below. So, Brian Johnson was singing and looked down. There was Matt sucking on one of the chick's titties!

Johnny: Yeah, Brian saw it all, Matt doing the two chicks!!! Brian says to us: "When Matt goes in, he goes in!"

Matt: I have NO idea what these guys are talking about!

What do you think about rock and porn coming together?

Slash: Porn and rock have always been around. It just more visible I guess. it's nothing new to me. Rock and porn or groupies have been around since the dawn of music... remember Chuck Berry and his after show escapades he was famous for. I have always liked OUI Magazine. It's cool what you are doing, mixing the two industries together.

So any last parting words to the fans?

Keri: We're like roaches, we will keep coming back. We're gonna keep playing and playing loud! Were gonna keep shoving it in their faces... we will never go away!


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