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2004.07.09 - Aftonbladet - "Alcohol almost killed me" (Slash)

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2004.07.09 - Aftonbladet - "Alcohol almost killed me" (Slash) Empty 2004.07.09 - Aftonbladet - "Alcohol almost killed me" (Slash)

Post by Blackstar on Wed Aug 26, 2020 9:43 am

Original text in Swedish:

https://web.archive.org/web/20070303122845/http://www.aftonbladet.se/vss/noje/story/0,2789,502239,00.html

Google translation (it needs some corrections, obviously):
-----------------------

"Alcohol almost killed me"

Former Guns N'Roses guitarist Slash survived both addiction and a half-mad Axl Rose. Puls Magnus Sundholm has met him.

It's afternoon when the call comes:

- Slash is sitting on Asia de Cuba. Can you be there by four?

A bar is the logical meeting place to meet Slash. After all, the guy almost drank himself to death a few years ago. And now he has founded Velvet Revolver - with some of the rock world's worst addicts.

Slash has already warmed up when I see his huge lock of hair at the window table inside Mondrian's hotel restaurant in Los Angeles. He greets with a firm handshake and raises two fingers towards the waiter.

Before the tape player has been started, a couple of ice colds have landed on the table.

- If you only knew how nice it has worked out. I have waited so long for this, he says about the debut album "Contraband" and fingers nervously on the silver chain that hangs far down on the t-shirt chest.

Think about it. Who would have thought that he and his bandmates would be alive today. It's as if the whole group was taken from a rehab clinic:

> Guitarist Dave Kushner from Jane's Addiction lost all his teeth in a drunken brawl.

> The ex-drummer from Guns, Matt Sorum, let millions disappear up through his nostrils.

> Duff McKagan, former Guns bassist, ingested so much alcohol and drugs that his thyroid exploded.

> Scott Weiland, Stone Temple Pilot's ex-singer, has been stuck in a deep-seated heroin swamp.

- I do not drink near what I used to pour into me, says Slash and removes the beer mustache with the back of his hand.

- For a while I woke up like from a scream every morning. It was not like I was waiting for something terrible to happen, but I slept with one eye open all the time. It has not been easy, but now we are here anyway, says Slash.

It is not yet certain that he can breathe out. In October last year, the same day that Velvet was to make its first official gig, Weiland was arrested for drunk driving.

- A perfect start, right?

Slash laughs.

- It's funny because there is a song on the record, "Fall to pieces". It's a ballad and we wrote it in the studio the evening and the next morning I got a phone call from someone saying that Scott is in the cell.

Was it a crisis meeting?

- No no. We just ...

He's shaking his shoulders.

- ...went on. It was not that dangerous - really nothing. Do not forget that we were used to Axl.

There is no doubt that Velvet is a product of the supergroup from the early 90's.

Guns N 'Roses last real album, "The Spaghetti Incident", came in 1993. Three years later kicked Axl Slash. Sorum had to go the following year. Shortly thereafter stopped McKagan at his own request.

The trio has denied that the new band was founded as a slightly-raised middle finger at Axl. At the same time, there is no doubt that the wounds have far from healed.

- The best thing about the break is that it ended while it was good. I'm too into what I do to let it go all the way to hell and become like Styx or something (laughs).

- Despite all the shit that came afterwards, I'm glad it ended.

Didn't it cost a lot of money?

- Fuck, man. It never ends, it's still going on.

Axl Rose owns the rights to Guns and plans to release "Chinese democracy". Slash snorts.

- He has probably said that since -93. What does he have - two songs with vocals?

How could you let him have the name?

- He came with threats when we were on tour and refused to go on stage if we did not sign a contract. In order not to disappoint the fans, we decided to carry out the gig and signed that damn paper.

Do you regret it?

- Even today, at least for the most part, I do not care. But I think he should have changed the name when he realized that all the other members dropped out. That way, it would have been pristine if something happened in the future.

- But now he's dragged it through so much mud that even if he said "Look, guys. I've been in therapy and I'm a better person. Let's reunite and do a gig", we would never want to be in that band again. It is completely destroyed.

He does not even want you in the audience at his gigs. What do you think is required for you to be together again?

- I probably have to stop talking shit about him (laughs). I'm not thinking about it anymore. It's not on my list. I know it's on many other people's lists, not least for financial reasons.

Do you not need the money?

- Everybody could need that much money. But it is not the money that decides. It is a relationship that is far too human, too delicate and too sensitive for it to be manipulated by money.

But...?

- OK, if you fix him, if you get him on the right keel, make him behave ... Then we can talk about ONE gig.

After a sip, the rock guitar regrets:

- At least that's how I felt before. But now, after Velvet got started ... It simply does not exist in my sphere of mind anymore. I'm not waiting any longer for Axl to capture his senses.

Why would Slash do that? In the US, "Contraband" went straight up to the top of the record with 256,000 copies sold. It's not bad for a group formed for a charity gig.

 - I had not played with Duff and Matt for several years and forgot how damn good we were as a trio. We put together six songs, went up on stage, Steven Tyler (Aerosmith's singer, editor's note) came up and we got an incredible response. The next day I told the others that we should do something about it, he says.

They recruited Kushner and began the hunt for a front man. Everything from Axl copies to crooners were tested.

- It felt like we were listening to a million fucking singers.

When they were ready to give up, Weiland became free.

Weren't you worried about his drug problem - he had just come out of another rehab course?
 
- Well ... his situation was easier to deal with than the previous band I was in (laughs). But I took him aside. I said "Because we all want to do this now, just take care of the other shit". We became part of his support group.

Are you disappointed that it did not work all the way?

- We are not hypocrites who can point the finger. We know what he's going through. We've all been there.

How far did it go for you?

- I destroyed myself. I drank so hard around the clock for so many years that I ended up in the hospital. I woke up four weeks later and was clean. After that I took a year where I was completely white.

What happened when you were forced to seek help?

He spins the beer glass and lowers his gaze.

- I had too much alcohol in the system.

Was it the liver?

- No, heart problems. It did not affect my liver as it should have, but it still almost took my life.

And you are still drinking now?

- My health is okay. It's just beer. And I do not drink near what I used to.

Are you not afraid to fall there during the tour?

- Well, it easily gets too much on the road. But you have a gig every night and they are affected by what you did the night before. I hate to come across as precious but I care too much about the music to let it happen. I want to be able to play.

Does it feel like you have to keep an eye on what Scott will do?

- With our background, everyone needs to keep track of each other.
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2004.07.09 - Aftonbladet - "Alcohol almost killed me" (Slash) Empty Re: 2004.07.09 - Aftonbladet - "Alcohol almost killed me" (Slash)

Post by Soulmonster on Mon Oct 05, 2020 12:31 pm

I went over this interview and did some changes Smile
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