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2001.03.10 - Pittsburgh Post-Gazette - Snakepit Stop (Slash)

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Post by Blackstar on Tue Apr 21, 2020 9:24 am

2001.03.10 - Pittsburgh Post-Gazette - Snakepit Stop (Slash) 2001_032


Snakepit stop


By Ed Masley
Post-Gazette Pop Music Critic

When Slash put his own band, the Snakepit, together, it was meant to be only a project to keep the guitarist amused while waiting on Axl Rose to get his act together long enough for Slash’s main band, Guns N’ Roses, to record another album.

By the time the Snakepit hit the streets in 1995 with “It’s Five O’clock Somewhere,” it had been four years since GNR had topped the charts with the simultaneous release of two albums called “Use Your Illusion.” And Slash was getting itchy.

“We all sort of knew,” the guitarist recalls of the Snakepit’s original lineup, which included Guns N’ Roses members, “that at some point, we were all gonna have to go back to our respective day jobs, which is what happened. But I took it as far as I could take it, within reason, and then when I ended up going back to my day job, I decided that I didn’t like my day job anymore.”

And so, he quit in 1996.

“There wasn’t really a final straw,” he says. “I had 11 days of rehearsal that were really tedious, more or less painful, and by the end of those 11 days, it was just way too foreign, a different kind of vibe going on. Of course, without all the original members, the fabric of the band had started to show real holes in it. And that was that.”

The second version of the Snakepit just sort of fell into place over time.

“I just started jamming around, doing sessions and this and that,” he says.

“And over a period of time, I accumulated the musician friends to the point where we started another band, and I said, ‘Let’s just call it the Snakepit, but we’re gonna do this for real and make a career move out of it.’ ”

Five years after Slash’s resignation, Rose has yet to sign off on another Guns N’ Roses album, but his old guitarist is back in the Snakepit and out on the road in support of a brand new album, “Ain’t Life Grand.”

The Snakepit gang was here last year with AC/DC, bringing the crowd at the Mellon Arena to its feet with “Mr. Brown-stone,” an undisputed heavy-metal classic from the Guns’ commercial breakthrough, 1987’s 15 million-selling “Appetite for Destruction.”

He’s not opposed to playing oldies for the fans.

“We play a couple Guns songs here and there, but they’re really neutral ones,” he says. “They’re not singles or anything like that, but hardcore fans recognize them.”

After all, he says, it’s not as though he wishes he had never been in Guns N’ Roses.

“I have no regrets,” he says.

In fact, he says, “it was a gas.”

A lot like being on a Snakepit tour.

“The early Guns N’ Roses was pretty similar,” he says. “The later Guns N’ Roses, we had our own jet and we were playing in stadiums all the time....”

He laughs.

“And so of course, that was a little different.”

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