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2001.06.22 - The Munster Times - Healthy Slash Takes Snakepit Back On The Road

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Post by Blackstar on Thu Apr 23, 2020 8:46 pm

2001.06.22 - The Munster Times - Healthy Slash Takes Snakepit Back On The Road 2001_043


Healthy Slash takes Snakepit back on road

Times Correspondent

During its brief tenure as one of the world’s most popular hard rock bands, Guns ’N Roses had a reputation for starting shows more than two hours behind schedule and scrapping entire blocks of shows altogether due to anything from the antics of lead singer Axl Rose to record release delays and inter-band turmoil.

But when former G’NR axeman Slash nixed nearly a dozen dates this spring opening for longtime heroes AC/DC, he did on the orders of doctors, who diagnosed the guitarist with pneumonia.

“We were playing nonstop, and I felt lousy for something like three or four days,” he said. “When we got to Pittsburgh, I went to the doctor and he said, ‘You're worse than you think you are.’ ”

A little more than three months after pulling out of the shows, the guitarist and his namesake band, Slash’s Snakepit, are making up for missed time by sharing a bill with another ’80s and early '90s favorite, Billy Idol. The pair are scheduled to perform a 21-and-older show Tuesday night at Chicago’s Riviera Theatre.

Formed by Slash (bom Saul Hudson) in the mid-90s as simply an outlet to occupy his time while G’NR was on hiatus and featuring former G ’N R drummer Matt Sorum and guitarist Gilby Clarke, Slash’s Snakepit released its debut, “It’s Five O’ Clock Somewhere,” in 1995.

Following a tour with his new band, Slash parted ways with Rose over creative differences (Rose was following a techno-based beat, Slash wanted to continue in a traditional hard rock vein), contributed licks to albums by everyone from Sammy Hagar to Chic to Insane Clown Posse, and revised his band lineup after its members “had gone back to their day jobs.” “Over the course of that time, I was traveling a lot, recording and gigging, and at the end of the day I realized that I had the makings of a great band,” he said. “I said to them, ‘you know what? Since we’re all in it for the long haul, let’s just call it Snakepit and make a record and go out and have a rockin’ time.’ ” Rounding his band out with drummer Matt Laug, bassist Johnny Blackout, guitarist Kerry Kelly and singer Rod Johnson (“finding him was like a needle in a haystack, and he lived right around the comer for me for years”), and produced by Jack Douglas, who sat behind the boards on classic rock albums such as Aerosmith’s “Toys in the Attic,” Slash’s Snakepit released its second album, “Ain’t Life Grand,” last October.

Although proud of his latest effort, Slash says that the true essence of both the band and the new material is best captured live.

“On stage, there’s a certain urgency and immediacy to (the songs),” he said. “Plus it’s twice as loud as your home stereo, and that helps.” Since hitting the road earlier this year, the band has had the luxury of alternating between playing in both arenas and smaller scale theatres.

“The most important thing for us is to be able to mix it up,” Slash said.

“The crowd where you’re playing right in front of the audience to where your playing these big festivals, having that is a good thing. This way, it’s not too much of the same thing all the time.”

Following their current touring itinerary, which Slash says has the band on the road through the beginning of next year, Slash’s Snakepit plans on heading back into the studio to record material that will serve as the follow-up to “Ain’t Life Grand.” The band has songs remaining from the “Ain’t Life Grand” sessions, according to Slash, as well as new tunes the band has penned on the road.

“We want to get a good 12 to 14 songs done for the next record and still have songs left over,” he said, laughing.'

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