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2004.05.29 - WBCN 104.1 Boston - Interview with Slash and Duff

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2004.05.29 - WBCN 104.1 Boston - Interview with Slash and Duff Empty 2004.05.29 - WBCN 104.1 Boston - Interview with Slash and Duff

Post by Blackstar on Wed Aug 26, 2020 12:57 pm


Interviewer: It’s 104 FM WBCN. I’m Mark Hamilton and I’m at Avalon tonight with the men who many say may just save rock ‘n’ roll: Velvet Revolver’s Slash and Duff.

Slash/Duff: Wow!

Interviewer: "Thank you very much for having us".

Slash: Somehow I just can’t take them seriously.

Interviewer: Coming from Guns N’ Roses, and Scott coming from Stone Temple Pilots, and all the bands in between. How does Velvet Revolver differ from the bands that you come from?

Duff: I don’t think when Slash and Matt and I, which basically started this thing, got together to play – nothing is different at the core, you know? It’s basically... passion emoted rock ‘n’ roll and we do what we love; we haven’t consciously made any sort of change. I’m sure we’ve progressed in all of this time – I would hope we progressed. Scott and Dave Kushner are two elements that have just completely added to what we do at the core and raised the benchmark – you know, raised the high water mark. We got Scott into the band, [it] really helped start to define exactly who we are, although it’ll never be all the way defined, because there’s no real boundaries or borders to what we do. It’s... you know, it’s anarchy and it’s good, it’s rock ‘n’ roll, it’s the way it’s supposed to be and it’s the only way we know how to do it.

Interviewer: So is it safe to say that your passion for playing, especially in a rock band, is probably stronger now than it was the first time around?

Slash: It’s weird. It’s like, if I knew then what I knew now, it still would have been the same as innocent as it all was when I was 19 years old. It was all about the music and all about, you know, getting to this point where you’ve got to do as much stuff as my first band and all the different bands I’ve been in, in between then and now. And now, at this point, this drive is still as pure, and as crazy, and as manic, and as passionate as it was when I was a kid - and even more so, having seen everything I’ve seen over the years. So it’s really weird. You know, some people get very jaded, and lose interest, and lose lack of focus, and this and that and the other; and I just got more honed in.

Interviewer: That’s cool. So this tour is actually, I would eventually guess, a lot more fun, because it might not be as crazy but the parts that are crazy are the parts that truly matter, not all the superfluous rock ‘n’ roll stuff, as they call it. But, you know, the actual rock ‘n’ roll gets crazier.

Slash: No, we’re just really concentrating – you know, not like some of those bands that go, “We concentrate on the music and we’re really focused on it” and this and that and the other. In our own sort of way, it’s like we’re just great because we know the fuck what we’re doing when we’re playing; we know how to feed off of each other, and we’re very alert and aware of what’s going on, we’re aware of the audience, we’re aware of the interaction between us. And it’s just like, “Wow!” and it just explodes every night, so it’s a fucking blast.

Duff: I kind of draw an analogy with, like, how us playing these smaller places, and I think we’ll always keep that aspect of this even if this band gets bigger and we play larger places. We gotta keep it and keep in touch with playing the smaller places, like the Stones have done. They’re basically geniuses at that; they play a theater and they play a... you know-

Interviewer: And then they play an arena...

Duff: An arena - and a stadium, of course...

Interviewer: But very few bands can actually pull off the big room and make it feel like a small room

Duff: Yeah.

Interviewer: I mean, you can name them all probably on one hand.

Duff: I saw a show when I was, like, 13 years old and it was the Clash’s first tour, first American tour. It was amazing. It was 1979, and this is kind of the way we are with – the way we feel about our audience and I think the kind of interaction. It was in Seattle and there was a barricade, a wooden barricade, and, like, a big jock security guy between the barricade and the stage punched some – there was only a handful of punk rockers in Seattle, maybe 200 of us, and he punched one of the guys in the front row and broke his nose. So Paul Simonon, the bass player, came out, went back into the wings of the stage, got an axe, like, they used for firefighting, and chopped down the wooden barricade and everybody flooded through to the front of the stage. That was a real, like, for me – it was a flash point for me and how I viewed rock ‘n’ roll. I think that’s how this band feels about itself and its audience. That was a really long story, but-

Interviewer: No, that’s a great story! Clash is my favorite band, so you can talk forever if you want. How long do you think the Velvet Revolver project will go? I mean, is this a band? Is this a project? That’s the question.

Duff: It’s not a project! It’s a band. I mean, I think if we had it our way-

Slash: It should go indefinitely. And like, getting it to this point now after everything we went through to get this band, sort of everything that happened to get it together. So we didn’t have some sort of a formula to do, pick from here or there or the other. We started out like any real young band without a lot of connections or whatever, just sort of feeling out through the circle of friends that we know, and this and that and the other. And when it finally happened, it was all about just the music and the songwriting, and it was just the five of us sort of sequestered in this little tiny room and just doing our thing; and we went through, I’m sure you’ve heard about a lot of different obstacles along the way, and this and that and the other. Now we did the record and that was a huge accomplishment, and now we’re actually on tour and doing this. And we’re going, “Look, as great as this thing is, the one thing we’ve learned over the years is how to keep a band together.” Because this is where we’re at now, you know, we have to do a long-term thing with this thing; we can’t just let it fall by wayside, get influenced by the industry to the point where we can’t function, get influenced by too many outside things that happen, and just – we have to maintain a certain amount of strength and whatever to have the longevity that we want to have. So we’re very aware of it at this point as opposed to before, where it was all just sort of kicks and giggles and rock-

Duff: And outside things.

Slash: Yeah.

Interviewer: As a fan, I think that I speak for a lot of people when I say that’s great to hear, because-

Duff: Now you’re staying for the show.

Interviewer: I’m absolutely staying for the show.

Duff: Let me ask you some questions. When does this air?

Interviewer: This will air probably at about 7:15 tonight, right before you go on.

Duff: That’s magic. Okay, I’m gonna hold you there.

Interviewer: I will be here.

Duff: Alright.

Interviewer: If you could give us one current band that you really like that might surprise people.

Duff: Oh. Might surprise people?

Interviewer: Oh yeah.

Duff: I love the new Outcast record. It’s the best soul record since Prince’s 1999.

Slash: And I like Beyonce.

Interviewer: If I mention George Bush, you say...

Slash/Duff: [Bleep]

Interviewer: And if I mention the Boston Red Sox, what do you say?

Duff: I’m a Mariners fan.

Slash: Well I honestly hope they beat the Yankees one day.

Interviewer: So do I.

Duff: That’s true. You know, I was pulling for the Red Sox last year.

Interviewer: Alright.

Duff: Anybody in the American League that can beat the Yankees, I’m pulling for.

Interviewer: Well thanks for coming, guys.

Slash: Hey this is Slash and Duff from Velvet Revolver.

Duff: And you’re listening to 104 FM WBCN, the rock of Boston.    

Interviewer: Thank you very much, guys.

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