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2001.06.21 - The Akron Beacon Journal - Slash And Chuck Go One-On-One

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2001.06.21 - The Akron Beacon Journal - Slash And Chuck Go One-On-One Empty 2001.06.21 - The Akron Beacon Journal - Slash And Chuck Go One-On-One

Post by Blackstar on Thu Apr 23, 2020 9:02 pm

2001.06.21 - The Akron Beacon Journal - Slash And Chuck Go One-On-One 2001_046


Slash and Chuck go one-on-one

Ex-Guns N’ Roses guitar hero who now fronts Snakepit discusses music, drugs, more music

By Chuck Klosterman
Beacon Journal staff writer

Hiding behind a curtain of black hair and wall of electrified volume, Slash has always been a paradoxical rock celebrity: He’s an enigmatic figure who doesn’t hide anything. He doesn’t avoid interviews or dodge questions, yet nobody seems to know much about him. He’s mostly just perceived as the shirtless blues-punk guitarist who played in Guns N’ Roses when they were still the biggest band in the world.

Today, he’s still relatively famous and continues to define the rock ’n’ roll lifestyle, even though his band (Slash’s Snakepit) is only a club act whose last record (Ain’t Life Grand) stiffed commercially.

There’s an undeniable charm to the surprisingly soft-spoken guitarist, and it’s always interesting to hear his thoughts on music, drugs and the forthcoming Guns N’ Roses album, Chinese Democracy (which features no original GNR members except Axl Rose). I briefly spoke with Slash last week from Los Angeles.

Q. When the Snakepit pulled out of the AC/DC tour last month, there were immediately rumors that you had overdosed. Was it really just pneumonia?

A. That’s all it was. People keep asking me this question, and - considering all the serious stuff I’ve done in my life - it’s funny that this time it was just a natural thing. I got sick. I didn’t realize how sick I was until we got to Pittsburgh, and the venue we were playing at was right around the corner from the hospital. I thought I should see the doctor because I didn’t feel good. I walked over to the hospital with the tour manager, and I ended up staying in bed for a week. But it had nothing to do with any of my drugs (laughs).

Q. Is it weird to have everyone assume you’re dying every time you cancel a show?

A. It’s so funny, because I don’t keep myself within the center of the brouhaha. I always end up hearing about it by word of mouth. And by the time it gets to me it’s been blown so (expletive) out of proportion that it’s not even funny. Well, actually it is funny. But you can’t live it down. ... I think the craziest thing I ever heard was that all the guys in Guns N’ Roses collectively had AIDS, and that if you took the first name of all the guys in the band, it spelled AIDSS - Axl, Izzy, Duff, Slash and Steven.

Q. Has your interest in the music you want to play remained pretty much the same? I ask that because a song like Speed Parade on Ain't Life Grand almost sounds like a pre-Appetite for Destruction song.

A. Actually, that’s a good call. In its rawest form, Speed Parade was written before Appetite.. . . There’s not too much old material on the new record, but that’s one that is. It’s very urgent material, and when Guns started to move away from that - which is what I’ve been trying to perfect since I was 15 years old - I got interested in doing something else.

Q. This is not intended to be a criticism of your current band, but it seems like you’re a considerably better musician than everyone else in the group. Did you ever consider getting some more established names in Snakepit?

A. There was no real intention to do anything, except to keep it real. I don’t consider myself as much of a high-profile musician as you do. My name sort of carries the band, but I just wanted a real hungry (expletive) rock ’n’ roll band. Subconsciously, that’s all I was going for.

Q. Do you worry that if the new Guns N’ Roses record is ever released - and if it does well commercially - it will validate all of Axl Rose’s crazy ideas and kill the possibility for a reunion of the original GNR lineup?

A. I would love for the new Guns records to be successful, because it would validate the reason we split up. Everyone knows what I’m doing at this point. Izzy (Stradlin) and Duff (McKagan) and Steven (Adler) have slightly lower profiles, but they’re still around. We’re like the bricklayers. We all kept our original personalities and never went off the deep end, so we couldn’t relate to anything Axl was doing.

I’d like Axl to be successful at whatever it is he was trying to direct us toward. At the time, it was (expletive) frustrating, because I’m not the kind of guy who quits anything, but there was nothing I could (expletive) do about it. Leaving was kind of a relief. Now it’s a dead issue. I’m just waiting to hear what it will sound like, because I’m probably a bigger Guns fan than the average person. I still talk to the other guys (from GNR) all the time, except for Axl. With Axl, the only talking we had to do was through our lawyers to clean up old messes.

Q. Have you heard any of the material that’s going to be on Chinese Democracy?

A. I heard some of the stuff off Napster, and of course the song (Oh My God) from the Arnold Schwarzenegger movie. Knowing Axl for as long as I have and knowing how brilliant he is, I cringe at some of it. But I’m probably the worst critic. I can still hear that brilliance at times. I’m proud of him. (laughs) And I could have played on that record.

Q. What is your social life like these days, compared to 1987?

A. All things considered, pretty much the same. I’ve always been busy. I’m doing all the same (expletive). It’s still rock ’n’ roll.

Q.Well, OK. . . when was the last time you took heroin?

A. I went through a long-term (expletive) thing with that, but it just became nonconducive to getting anything done. As soon as my music starts to deteriorate, I had to stop whatever was hurting it. And I don’t miss it at all.

Q. Do you ever think you’ll play with Axl again? Would you accept the invitation if asked?

A. Is this a Guns N’ Roses interview, or is this a Snakepit interview?

Q. I realize you’re sick of hearing those questions, but that’s the main thing most fans are curious about.

A. I know, I know. But I’ve answered that question a million times. I don’t have any foreseeable plans to work with Guns N’ Roses again. And that’s not just me talking; that’s everyone in the band talking. That’s the bottom line.

Now, I would never say never. If I got a phone call and they told me all the original members were going to cut one song, and everyone else had agreed to that and I was the last guy who needed to answer, I’d say, ‘OK, but what’s the real deal? Because I’m not gonna quit my (expletive) day job.’ And it would have to be all the original guys, and it would have to be really short term. But I wouldn’t want to make a terrible Guns N’ Roses album, and that’s where we were headed. To me, that would have been a lot worse than the fact that we broke up.

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2001.06.21 - The Akron Beacon Journal - Slash And Chuck Go One-On-One Empty Re: 2001.06.21 - The Akron Beacon Journal - Slash And Chuck Go One-On-One

Post by Soulmonster on Sun Apr 26, 2020 12:44 pm

Hahaha, I love this interview Very Happy
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