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2004.10.DD - Guitar Buyers Magazine - Velvet Revolver (Slash)

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2004.10.DD - Guitar Buyers Magazine - Velvet Revolver (Slash) Empty 2004.10.DD - Guitar Buyers Magazine - Velvet Revolver (Slash)

Post by Blackstar on Mon Aug 24, 2020 2:33 am



'What a relief to talk to a guitar magazine." Slash grins a he begins a busy afternoon's PR duties shortly before his new super group VeIvet Revolver hit the stage for their first UK gig at Glasgow's plush Carling Apollo.

“You spend most of the time doing interviews about how the band got together what your next plans are blah blah blah. Guitar interviews are few and far between."

After months of rumour and speculation, not to mention a few delays caused by lead vocalist Scott Weiland’s frequent brushes with the law VR have delivered a raw-sounding album in 'Contraband' and taken the show on the road in Europe and America. The fans seem pleased, gigs are sold out and Slash looks as happy as a clam to be working alongside Weiland and three old friends: former Gunners' rhythm section Duff McKagan (bass/vocals), Matt Sorum drums) and the relatively unknown but blindingly good Dave Kushner (Guitars). However, Velvet Revolver is very much Slash's band.


I love having a really great band and a great chemistry with people who reaIly know what they're doing." Slash says of his new project. "To have this awesome chemistry happen twice in a lifetime is just incredible."

Slash loves to talk about guitars and is undoubtedly the most popular Gibson Les Paul player since Jimmy Page. The US giants have honored their favourite son with no less than three different Signature models over the past 10 years or so. The latest Slash Signature Les Paul is less ornate than it's 'Slash's Snakepit' predecessor but Slash wants it that way The big news is the new guitar's onboard Fishman Powerbridge piezo pickup that delivers some pretty convincing acoustic tones. Slash used the piezo whilst belting out the acoustic intro to G6R classic 'Used to Love Her' during the frantic round of encores at Glasgow.

"With the Les Paul, if you get a good-sounding one there's not that much to fix" Slash shrugs when asked about his favorite guitar

"Now this one was actually my guitar tech's idea I designed a couple of guitars for Guild where I had a double neck with a six string electric on the bottom and a six string acoustic on the tap that's also hollowed out We had a 12-string acoustic version too but this new Gibson is a simplified way of getting an acoustic sound from an electric guitar. It's works pretty well but it s a live guitar You need to run the piezo through a DI, or switch it to a clean amp or a clean sound. If you've got a two-channel Marshall or a Fender you'll need to switch the guitar and switch the amp and you'll get more or less the right sound, Now the only thing is that I spend the night flailing away on my Les Paul until you get to when you play the acoustic part and you have to change your whole approach. When you're playing blues on a Les Paul through a Marshall and then switch to the acoustic sound it has a completely different sound response and so it doesn't do the same things and you have to remember that and calm down a bit."


The electric tones come via a set of Stash s favorite pickups, the redoubtable Seymour Duncan Alnico Pro II's but production versions of his Signature model may yet feature Gibson's own Burstbucker pickups. Slash has signaled his approval to Gibson on the subject.

"The first guitar that I recorded with that sounded amazing happened to have those Seymour Duncan pickups in it. I'm one of those if it ain't broke don't fix it kinda guys and so every guitar that I got I would slap those pickups in it. Over the years I've learned that different guitars have different applications and I have to admit that the new Gibson pickups they are fitting to the new Les Paul are really good. I actually approved the Slash model that s made with the stock Gibson pickups in them.

With almost staggering irony, Slash's favorite recording guitar isn't a real Gibson, but rather a replica of a '59 Les Paul Standard built by the late US luthier Chris Derrig. Now retired apart from when recording, this guitar established Slash as the man who revived the Les Paul at the end of the 1980s. "It's probably 1984 or '85 and it's not even a Gibson. I never met the guy that made it but he built the most amazing '59 replicas that were better than most real ones. When I was doing Appetite For Destruction my manager at the time bought one of these in for me to try because I was going through this search and discovery process and I didn't have anything that sounded good in the studio. I was freaking out and on the day that I went in to do the solo tracks and I went in with that guitar and it just sounded amazing.

For me as a guitar player that '59 replica had an identifiable sound to it and that's been my main guitar all the way until now and probably in the future. I experiment more these days when I'm looking for something in particular but my standard rock and roll sound is that guitar. I have three guitars made by this guy but sadly he was dead before I ever met him.

"I beat the shit out of my guitars and in '88 we did a lot of touring. Gibson sold me two new Les Pauls that I think were '88’s. We stripped 'em and refinished them to make them look cooler and those two were my main guitars all the way until this particular tour. Those guitars are so beat up but they sound so good and they are the only two new Les Pauls I've heard through all these years that sound like that, which just goes to show that when you're dealing with mass-produced guitars, you don't know what you're getting; especially something that's made out of wood. Recently I put those guitars away and that's when the Slash model came up. We went through a dozen Slash models before we found one to actually take on the road."


I just. hear it and feel it. Slash explains when pressed to explain what he looks for in a 'good' Les Paul.
It's got to have a certain warmth it, not too tinny on the high-end and it's amazing the difference between one guitar and another guitar My guitar sound has everything to do with the guitar sounding good and Les Paul Customs are all to thin sounding to me. I think that one of the coolest guitars is the black Custom from the early 1970s. but the '56 ones all the way to the early '70s all have a tinny sound to them and so I've never actually taken them and used them.

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