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2004.04.23 - Rayno's interview with Slash

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2004.04.23 - Rayno's interview with Slash Empty 2004.04.23 - Rayno's interview with Slash

Post by Blackstar on Fri Aug 21, 2020 9:01 pm

Credits: Thanks go out to Rayno for doing this telephone interview with Slash and posting it on the forums! The first part of the interview was posted on April 23.

Slash on three versions of Contraband cover:

Well, that's coz I like the black one the best, somebody else likes the white one the best, somebody else likes the red one the best, so we said: Fuck it, let's just make all three (laughs).

Slash on us, online killer fans:

Well, you know, it's really cool, but it's hard for me to get a perspective on exactly how many people out there really, you know, are into it. It's hard to tell. We spend most of our time sort of workin', you know, I'm not a big internet guy so I don't really spend a lot of time checkin' shit out. So people tell me what's goin' on but until we're in front of the audience it's really hard for me to tell exactly what's happening. Ya know, I get phone calls from the management office goin', you know, they are all sold out in five minutes, these first two gigs that we booked. And I'm like: ,Really? That's cool'. And the single's doin' such a radio and I'm like ,Oh, great, that's awesome.' But I don't really know, so people tell me like on the internet everybody's creating this site and creating this site and. But it doesn't necessarily (??? - I didn't catch this part, maybe ,compute' is the word) my mind until you go out and in front of the audience and then it's like ,Wow!', you know. (laughs).

Slash on Izzy's idea of makin' a little tour with him and Duff as singers:

No. We joked about it. I mean that's what Izzy. There was a point when Izzy was hangin' out with us, we already had Dave Kushner, but Izzy called up one day and he goes: ,I've been writin' some songs - what are you guys doin'?' And we said: ,We're just lookin' for singers and jammin' down at the rehearsal studio. So he came down and we hang out for couple weeks and we wrote probably (pause) about ten songs that I think would probably make. It's sort of fantasy for some people but probably the best Guns N' Roses record (notice: by the way - this sentence broke my heart) . All the music was very sort of. Because me and Izzy and Duff playin' together obviously it's gonna sound like that. But it was cool, we had a good time, it was very nostalgic and all that kinda stuff and I remember at one point Izzy was goin': ,Let's just roll all the shit and I will sing and Duff will sing, we'll go out'. And it sounds cute and everything but my aspirations were a way higher. So when Izzy took off we just continued on doin' what we were doin'.

Slash on songs co-written with Izzy and if the songs are gonna be on the album:

No. They all sounded a way too Guns N' Roses. But they might (??? - didn't catch this part) or might appear on Izzy's next solo record.

Slash on El Rey DVD and if it will be released:

I don't know. It will come out at some point and there's a whole bunch of stuff that's gonna come out. All that stuff that we shot for VH1 and then there's that gig at El Rey, all kinda shit. We just have to figure out how and when we're gonna do it.

Slash on Contraband bonus tracks:

Yeah. There'll be one. No, it's not Money, we're not releasing that. Umm. But. You'll see when it comes.

Part II: posted April 28, 2004:

Slash on music videos:

I can't say that I'm enjoyin' makin' videos but I like it when they're cool, when they're done, you know, if they're cool. Like. I think it's necessary evil and I dunno how videos influence your record sell cause I never watch MTV, so. They just tell you how to make a video, but. Cool videos are worth it if they're cool, you know. An the one we've just shot is pretty cool. I just got it watchin' it two seconds ago, that's why it took me so long to get to the phone, I was watchin' the final edit.

Slash on Contraband world tour:

This is gonna be a really extensive tour that we're doin' on this VR record so I expect. Goin' anywhere that we can possibly get in without visa (laughs), you know. We play as many places as we can play.

Slash on my statement " www.velvet-revolver.com is better site than www.velvetrevolver.net ":

That always happens. (laughs)

Slash on slashonline.com:

Well, I think that actually the new one looks better. But they don't update it enough, I think.

Slash on internet in general:

See, it's hard for me to get that kind of perspective, cos I know people are aware everything what's goin' on because of the internet, but I'm just not that internet guy so I have to relate to whole reality yet. I think it's better cos it scares me when I do see how much people know. I remember when the Snakepit site first came out - not the official one, not the Slash site but the Snakepit site - I was blown away when someone finally said ,You have to see this' and it been goin' for couple years already and I saw like everything that I done in last week was all fuckin' scrolled down and I was like ,Oh' (laughs).

Slash on his statement "There are no rock'n'roll singers except for Billy Idol":

Oh, well, I mean. I remember when I said that. I thought that was a time for a cheeky statement (laughs). Billy Idol is one of the last great rock 'n' roll singers but Scott is actually the last one. But he was still in STP at the time so I didn't really bring his name into the whole thing. There would rumours get out like when I mentioned Courtney Love at one point and they everybody thought I was tryin' to get her for a singer - I was just sayin' that she was cool. But I didn't ever think that she would try, you know, that she would be in this band, so when Scott was an idea. He actually is the last real rock 'n' roll singer that I've heard but I didn't wanna bring his iname in it at the time. So Billy Idol's still one of the cool guys that came out in a (didn't catch this part ), so that's why I mentioned his name. But I like Billy, Billy's cool. But I would never think of actually trying to get Billy (laughs) or anything like that. We really did want Scott the whole time. It didn't look like it was gonna happen because of his commitment to his own band, we didn't want to. We all love STP so we didn't wanna (make) things difficult, you know what I'm sayin'? And when he left STP we were actually pretty excited to hook up with him.

Slash on Scott as a result of a singer search:

He was the only one, the only guy that at the very beginning. This was probably. June/July at the year before last when we first started this whole singer search and he was the first guy that I thought of. And I'd never even met him before, the whole band had met him and I'd never met him. But he was the first guy I thought of and everybody else agreed... But he was in this other band so then we were on this whole long 8 or 9 months journey of looking for a singer (laughs). It made us patient and then finally when the time came when Scott was available. There was just nobody that really fit the bill.
We had a list of famous singers that either was in bands or was not in bands or whatever and it was a very short list, you know (laughs). So once we exhausted that list we had no choice but to go on look for somebody who was unknown. Which seemed like a great idea at the time because we thought: Maybe, you know, we'll find a guy who's amazingly talented and nobody's tempted him yet. And mabe we'll get this superstar singer that no one ever heard of and we thought, yeah, maybe that'll happen. We listened to every single CD and cassette. And we listened to evry single one of those fuckers and we just couldn't find that particular thing.

Slash on the last Snakepit:

Well, it was just difficult, you know, it was just difficult. I mean I didn't realize how much experience I got over the years and how much. How professionalism really makes it a lot easier in this business. Everybody in the band has to have the same amount of experience. We can't have one guy that's been doin' it for a long time and a bunch of kids cos it just... (laughs). All have to have the same level of experience. And I remember when GN'R first started it was totally crazy, we were all basically on the same level. So we could all deal with each other. being insane. But if I been, you know, 35 or somethin' in GN'R and everybody else was 19 (laughs) it would drove me nuts. So that's what Snakepit II was like. But we managed to get the job done and do all the dates and all that kinda stuff but after that it was over, I was like: OK, I need to. need to regroup to basically figure out what I'm gonna do. And what I did after that was I started putting together another band before VR just came out of nowhere, so I was already planning on doing that whole Snakepit thing again (laughs). So the whole VR thing came out of nowhere.

Slash on Koch Records releasing Ain't Life Grand:

It was another experience I had to go through. I was just getting completely beat up by the business.

Slash on Scott going mad because of makin' clean versions of the songs:

Oh, he ain't that angry, it's not that big deal. We didn't wanna do it, I can tell you that much. I especially, I think I was probably more irritated than anybody. I said: Fuck that. But at the same time, this certain change will not be on the record, so.

Slash on 'Brad Cox affair', I mean this Pleasin' demo on the internet:

Who's the guy? What do you talkin' about? (I explained.) Oh. I mean there was a couple different guys that put music out on the internet which I wish they hadn't done. Some of it was right, some of it was real, some of it wasn't. So at this point I don't know which song that is and I don't even know if it's one of the songs that are on the record. If it sounds like us playing than it probably is.

Part III: posted May 1, 2004

Slash on Slither video:

No, we weren’t in Czech Republic. We had a budget, you know…We shot interiors in LA an we shot exteriors in Prague.

Slash on snakepit.info:

I saw it when I was in Europe, the last time when we were travelling, so I saw it and I talked to them… I have also my own Slash site and then there’s VR site, I do see them, I like them…

Slash on singer search again:

We finally got some people who were interested in this band or this ‚Project‘ at the time. We hadn’t singer yet so everybody called it Project… They turned up to be our managers and they said: OK… you know, we were really frustrated… So who are the best singers that you think of, once again we had that same fuckin‘ question… We needed to find another avenue to finding singers. So we were not givin‘ up, we were just gonna find the different way of goin‘ about finding one. You know what I mean? And right at that time we got offer from The Hulk and then Scott quit STP and all just sort of happened…

Q: So the possibilities were only…

A: …to continue on (laughs). To keep lookin‘.

Q: …to get amazing singer or let it go?

A: Yeah, I mean the whole thing was, you know, just to make… After all this effort that we just put into this project to have something that we thought was a success in our minds as far as being the right band, you know, the right singer and everything being the way that we wanted it. And we didn’t wanna make any compromises. You know what I’m sayin‘?

Slash on my statement „we were not too surprised of creating VR cos you guys used to play together from time to time so it seemed like, you know, question of time“:

Oh, really? (laughs) See, it’s hard for me to get that kind of perspective, cos… That was just cos we know each other, that’s not big deal. That wasn’t like… When we jammed with Izzy… I jammed with Izzy a couple times and Duff came down… That was just because we’re good friends and… You know, like we are all in the same neighborhood and so much recording, you know, we help each other out. But when we played on Sundance, it was after this thing started. It was me and Duff and Matt when it first started… That was when we did Sundance. So we’d already started lookin to get this together, but everything from before that was just, you know, cos we’re acquaintances… no acquanitances, we’re good friends and we just jammed together in different combinations. But it been really long time since Duff and Matt and myself had actually done something.

Slash on Randy Castillo tribute as the first day of VR:

No, I would never plan that much. The only thing… Once we did rehearsal… I mean, when Matt and I first talked at Randy’s funeral and we said let’s call Duff and I said let’s call up the guys from… from Buckcherry – because I know that they’re not doin‘ anything and at back of my mind I wanted to hear what Josh sing like, I remember that, because I was putting together my own band at the time, so… It was perfect to go out and sort of check Josh out and go out and have a good time playin‘ for Randy and to play with some of friends of mine and all that kinda shit. But after the gig was over it was one time I was sort of realizin‘ how serious it was. Before that… I mean, the rehearsal, obviously, the impact that we had on… just on each other and… and everybody else that was in that room that day was like very major. But it was when we got up on stage and… did the six song set that we just realized how, you know, this is really intense. So, you know, then… After the gig was over the next day Duff and I talked to the phone and it was like, you know: We have to do something with that, we can’t ignore how powerful this combination is and this chemistry that we had. And that’s when we decided to… just go for it and see what happens.

Slash on Snakepit playing in clubs and its similarity to new VR tour:

I mean, with Snakepit it was more like a combination of everything. It was like little clubs… sometimes there were some festival gigs and all the gigs in between. An opening for AC/DC in arenas and there were theatres and everything. But with VR I think… What we wanna do is just start out in theatres and maintain that and whenever we got the opportunity to do something bigger we’ll take it. But we should always sort of keep a little bit of a… sort of ‚club vibe‘, you know. We sort of had that intimate kind of interaction with the audience, you know… It’s important thing to me. Yeah, this tour is to establish the band and then we’ll just see where it takes us but at the same time I want always think that we can play like a couple nights in this theatre here and in this theatre there and… You know, I don’t wanna get to the place where… If we’re lucky enough to ever become a band that can tour as much as… we play that kind of venues that GN’R was capable to play… I never wanna get stuck in that same rant… cos that was a little bit… (laughs). You know, you sort of forget what you’re really all about.

Slash on Axl’s statement: „These guys, they never wanted to make it that big, the would be satisfied with 2000 seaters and being as famous as Ramones“:

(Pause) I don’t know. I mean, I don’t think… You know, when we first started I think maybe it was like, you know, just success to us was just being able to play in front of an audience that was actually… basically appreciated… the band. And the good night would be a night that you just walked away feelin‘ like the crowd got off on it and the band got off on it and it didn’t matter, really, how big the place was. But as you sort of, you know, move along, you sort of tryin to move with forward motion. So you go from this size venue to that size venue to the next size venue and you just allow yourself to get bigger if you’re capable of doin‘ it you just go there but… You know, like sittin‘ and wishin‘ that you could be… somewhere else when you‘re doin‘ whatever as you doin‘ now… wasn’t a really big thing with me and Duff and Izzy and Steve or Matt. Where Axl might have been… but then once he got there then he fucked it all up, you know (laughs). We’re just happy doin‘ whatever it was that we were doin‘ and we just kept sort of goin‘ forward. You know what I’m sayin‘? So you just sort of take it as it comes.

https://web.archive.org/web/20060420094048/http://www.belowempty.com/vr/articles/2004/040423_Rayno.php
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