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2004.06.DD - Loaded Magazine - Axe Gods (Slash, Duff)

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2004.06.DD - Loaded Magazine - Axe Gods (Slash, Duff) Empty 2004.06.DD - Loaded Magazine - Axe Gods (Slash, Duff)

Post by Blackstar on Fri 21 Aug 2020 - 23:28

Axe Gods

Former Guns N’ Roses guitarist and bass player Slash and Duff on new band Velvet Revolver, drugs, booze, dying, snake porn and erm, accounting.

By Jon Wilde

Duff

Top marks, sir. Your new Velvet Revolver record kicks fanny. Nice to see you haven’t mellowed in the slightest…

The only way we know is the full-on way. As soon as Slash and myself get together in a room and start playing, the spark is always hugs. My knees buckle. There’s this innate chemistry we have. We’re perfect foils for each other. We feel like we’re unleashing a monster with this Velvet Revolver album. It’s as exciting as it was at the start of Guns N’ Roses.

Is this a god record to have sex to?

Really fuck to. Fast and furious. I guess you could also fight to it and drink along with it.

Your previous band was called Loaded. Presumably, you were aware that loaded is also a top-notch British magazine.


Sure, I was aware of that. It’s a great name for a mag but it also struck me as a classic band name. ‘Loaded’ is slang for getting fucked up. The irony is that, when I called my band Loaded, I wasn’t fucked up any more.

Is it possible to be a major drug-popping boozing rock star and not turn into a complete asshole?

It helps if you’re not an asshole to begin with. Also, it helps if the music comes first and you don’t start believing in your own hype and start surrounding yourself with ‘yes’ men. That’s what happened to Axl. He lost touch with what we were. Of course you get carried away. You want to fuck every chick and take every drug there is.

It is said that, at one time, you were having more sex than any other man on the planet…

Jesus! My wife wouldn’t like to hear that. Having said that, she knows most things about me now. As soon as she became pregnant, I decided it was time to come clean. She was vaguely aware that Guns N’ Roses were a wild bunch, that we weren’t exactly monks. In terms of women, she kind of knew that there was a revolving-door in operation. I definitely sowed my wild oats.

What’s it like to be filthy rich?

Having money took some getting used to. I was living on a hundred bucks a week. Then some small cheques started coming.I remember we got one for $40,000 and we couldn’t believe how much money that was. Then the really big cheques started coming. I didn’t go mad with it.I bought a house. As a kid, I used to steal these boats from this rich neighbourhood. One of these boats I stole was kept outside the most beautiful house I’d ever seen. When I first got serious money, that’s the house I bought.

If music hadn’t worked out, would you have considered a career in crime?

Well, I had the aptitude for it. I was a good criminal in that I never got caught. As teenagers, we’d steal anything. Boats, cars, you name it… I must have stolen over 100 cars. I just liked stealing. I was never into things like arson. That was too creepy for me.

Was kicking heroin the hardest thing you ever did?

Kicking booze was the hardest thing, far tougher than kicking heroin. I had a major drink problem. I’d been drinking a full gallon of vodka a day. Then I switched to wine and I was drinking 20 bottles of wine a day and I’d supplement the wine with as many mandrax pills as I could get down me. I was drowning myself in alcohol. Then my pancreas expanded and burst. I was in so much pain that I wanted someone to kill me. Even on large doses of morphine and Librium, the pain was unbearable. It was a miracle I survived. I came so close to death I floated out of my body and looked down on myself.

What replaced drink and drugs in your life?

Accounting. When I started to clean up, I started to study business and finance, stocks and bonds. Professors would tell me that I was really good at it. I studied to the max. I was driven with it just as I’m driven when I make music. I just knew I couldn’t go back to my old ways. I wouldn’t have survived. I ran into the same wall again and again. I had to stop.

How much is too much?

Like anyone, I have my limits. Personally, I draw the line at shit. Human shit. I’ve just come back from Amsterdam. Whole shops devoted to shit videos. When it comes to sex, I can go a long way. But I won’t get involved with shit. I never want to wake up with a chick’s shit on my face.

***

Slash

Are you surprised to be alive?

I think other people are more surprised than I am. Guns N’ Roses were the world’s most dysfunctional rock band. People expected us all to self-destruct. You know those death pools where people get to bet on who is going to croak next? Well, they stopped taking bets on all of us.

Who was the most excessive member of Guns N’ Roses?

We were all fairly excessive, apart from Axl, who was always the clean guy. Around 1990, the rest of us started getting seriously fucked up and, suddenly, we had another record to make. By that time, Steven (Adler, drummer) was irretrievable. Duff and myself had to tell him to clean up. Imagine how fucked up you are if we have to tell you how fucked up you are.

How many TV sets can you chuck out of hotel windows before getting bored with it?

Realistically, you can only do that sort of thing for one period of your life. Then it becomes routine and gets too expensive. Also, you start feeling ridiculous. The drugs, chicks, hotel-wrecking…it’s all playing up to tradition, which becomes boring. The only way to keep it interesting is to keep upping the ante. Then you end up like Led Zeppelin, having sex with sharks or whatever. We were pretty wild, but we never had sex with fish.

How is your snake collection going?

I had more than 50 snakes. Snakes were my hobby. I’ve never been interested in too much outside of rock’n’roll. Some musicians like to play golf. I liked to play with snakes and they didn’t require too much attention. But the snakes got too much. I also have a lot of cats and one of the cats got in with the snakes. It took three of us to separate them. Then, when my wife got pregnant, I realized that the snakes had to go. Babies and snakes are not the greatest combination.

Didn’t you also have a large collection of porn involving women and snakes?

Huge collection. Those snakes sure knew how to party. But the videos had to go. I got married. You know how it is.

Keith Richards managed nine nights without sleep. What’s your personal record?

There were months and months where I might have got some sleep and I might have had none. Sleep was simply not in my routine. If I dozed off for the odd hour, I didn’t know about it. The only time I’d sleep is when I ran out of whatever it was that was keeping me awake. When you live that way, you go right to the edge and then you have to reel yourself back in. Some people never reel themselves in. It took me a few days in rehab, surrounded by lifers, to make me realize that I wasn’t that fucked up and never wanted to be.

Do you have sex to your own music?

Hell no. I’d find it uncomfortable. I’m just a bit too humble. Once I’ve finished a record, I’m done with it. I’ve never listened to a GN’R album after if came out. I don’t even own copies.

What are you addicted to now?

Music, still. And cookery shows on cable TV. No kidding. I could watch any number of them. And it’s not that I have interest in cooking. In fact, I can’t be bothered with any of that stuff, like hovering or cleaning the toilet. I’ve no interest in maintaining domesticity at all. I love mess.

What’s the biggest buzz? Sex with a beautiful woman or playing to 150,000 people?

Playing my music to a crowd, that’s the biggest buzz. It doesn’t have to be 150,000 people. Fifty people can be enough. On a good night, it’s actually better than sex. My wife will kill me for saying that. But it’s the truth.

What are the chances of a Guns N’ Roses reunion?

Basically, it’s not something that’s going to happen. If Axl wanted that to happen, there’s no way I’d respond in a positive way. We’re in for the long haul with Velvet Revolver. I’m happy, man. I have everything I need. Why would I need GN’R back in my life? I don’t need the grief.
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