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SoulMonster
APPETITE FOR DISCUSSION
Welcome to Appetite for Discussion -- a Guns N' Roses fan forum!

Please feel free to look around the forum as a guest, I hope you will find something of interest. If you want to join the discussions or contribute in other ways then you need to become a member. We especially welcome anyone who wants to share documents for our archive or would be interested in translating or transcribing articles and interviews.

Registering is free and easy.

Cheers!
SoulMonster

2007.08.21 - Glam Metal - Interview with Slash

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2007.08.21 - Glam Metal - Interview with Slash Empty 2007.08.21 - Glam Metal - Interview with Slash

Post by Blackstar Thu Apr 15, 2021 2:34 am

Interview: Slash

By Gus Griesinger and Tracey L.

How do you know when you've reached icon status?
A. People dress like you on Halloween
B. You are recognized by only having one name like Madonna, Bono or Cher
C. People throw shit at you on stage
D. All of the above

"D" is the correct answer and Slash is no exception to these rules. He is without question an icon of his generation and although he is aware of this fact, he remains surprisingly humble and grounded.  This interview was months in the making and persistence and “patience’ (no pun attended) paid off. Our assistant editor Tracey also had some questions for the man in the top hat himself and wanted to join me during this interview. We both sat down with Slash right after his sound check backstage at Darien Lake as he and his band mates were getting ready for a show with Alice in Chains and Kill Hannah.

Gus: We appreciate you taking the time by talk to us here at glammetal.com.

Slash: No problem.

Gus: With the passing of two family members of the band during the making of "Libertad," how did the dealing with these losses affect the recording process?

Slash: Well, you're sort of asking the wrong guy because it wasn't anybody I was related to or affecting me. But at the same time, with Scott it was a major thing, because he didn't see it coming. With Matt, his brother was really sick. Everybody thought it was a drug related thing, and it wasn't. It had nothing to do with drugs. He had cancer he was fighting. For Scott, it was a real heavy sudden blow. The way it was dealt with was Scott took some time off and dealt with the issue at hand. Then he came back to work inside of two weeks and went straight back to work. Working was pretty much the catalyst of having something constructive to do with all that emotional energy. I think it was sort of the same thing with Matt too. He took off for like a week and we just locked right back into work.

Gus: There is a hidden track "Don't Drop That Dime" at the end of the CD that has a country feeling. Why is it hidden and whose idea was it to go with such a different type of direction with the song?

Slash: It was a song that we didn't write for the record, and we made it up one day at a photo shoot. I think it was at the Roxy in LA with photographer Jim Marshall. We brought our acoustics, because it was photo shoot with acoustics (which we never do.) But we did write that song. We held onto the idea that we will tape it on to some type of recording apparatus. Duff and I finished the arrangement on it and Scott came in finished the vocals. So, we recorded it in the studio, but we are only going to put a certain amount of right songs on the record and that wasn't one of them. So we decided to make it a b-side and as a b-side, it worked for a hidden track. It’s kind of countryish....

Gus: People may think it was a joke.

Slash: It was sort of tongue-in-cheek (laughs).

Tracey: (Slash gets surprised by us switching asking the questions) How do you know or agree when a song is complete in the studio. By that I mean, how do you stop yourself from being your own worst critic and stop over-thinking or over-tweaking each little part of a particular song to just say okay... I'm 100% happy with it and I'm done!?

Slash: That's a good question. This record was different for me than any of the other records. I can't really speak for the other guys. I know it was different for Dave. I mean we're all together in one room, recording live, every track. Normally when that happens, when we do that, I scratch all the guitars and go into the control room and record there because I hate head-phones. But this time around Brendan (producer) said, "check out what you have been doing and just listen to it." Normally, I don't even listen to it. I just erase it (laughs). I listened to it and I ended up keeping 70% of everything that was on there. Some of the stuff had to be overdubbed because of the rhythm guitars and stuff. A lot of stuff you'll hear is rhythm on one side and not on any other. It just is a solo part that I play straight through. That was a little bit different. So on this record I really didn't change much, I went with my gut feeling on stuff and left a lot of it. We even took something on "Mary, Mary." There is a slide solo that was actually recorded on the original demo. That was a first take demo on that song. I kept it because it sounded good. That was a little bit new. How do you get away from it though? You can only do one or two takes of anything before it starts getting into your head. Then it becomes over obsessive. That's not really conducive to getting a good sort of live feel. You sort of want the first gut reaction then you have to part and maintain that. If you work on it too hard it loses that essence.

Gus: (Slash again makes a comment about us switching up on the questions and wants to know who is the good cop and who is the bad cop. We all laugh). You have the worked with such diverse artists as Michael Jackson, Cheap Trick, Paulina Rubio, Rod Stewart, Lenny Kravitz, Doro, Iggy Pop, Daughtry (who has a big hit now with the song you played on "What I Want") to name a few. Out of all the musicians you have collaborated with, what was the most satisfying experience for you?

Slash: Working with Ted Riley and old Dirty Bastard on a song called...Black Street was the band...I forgot the name of the song. That was a very cool experience doing that. Lenny Kravitz was a definitely a good one. We created a song from scratch. We went into his studio in Hoboken and he played drums and I played guitar and we kept it and that's all that it was. He put the bass and vocals on it later. That was a good track. Working with Michael Jackson the first time was a really good experience. The song was called "Give Into Me" that was on the record that was a single. It was supposed to be a single in the states but was never released here. That was a really cool song to play on and I really enjoyed it! All said, being in that kind of real super pop star environment and meeting Michael and all of that. I don't know, they are all different and they're all fun. Playing with Motorhead was a great experience. I did Insane Clown Posse a while back.

Gus: Man you're really stretching yourself there (we all laugh). From Insane Clown Posse to Paulina Rubio. It doesn't get more diverse than that.

Slash: Paulina I did because I sort of like that whole Brazilian kind of thing. Even know it's for commercial pop it's still South American, Miami type of thing. I went in and met her after/when I shot the video. That was interesting. I mean, they're all fun! They're all learning experiences. Some are worse than others. The Rod Stewart one you mentioned was my first introduction to pro tools with engineers who didn't know what they were doing. It was like being in Japanese class. I had no idea what was going on. It was very tedious. It came out okay.

Gus: A couple weeks ago I was at the 20-year anniversary show with "Adler's Appetite" at the Key Club in Hollywood. Duff and Izzy came out and played and I was wondering why you didn't come out to play?

Slash: That whole thing was blown out of proportion. I finally managed to get Steven out of Vegas and cleaned up, back on his drums and all that kind of stuff. Then (to no fault of Steven's Slash adds,) he did his first sort of interview having to do what he was doing and he mentioned that gig. He said that Duff would be there, Izzy would be there, and I would be there. I did say that I would be there. Izzy sort of mentioned that he may go and Duff had no idea and that Axl might be there. And it turned into this glorified Guns N' Roses reunion thing all over the world. I didn't want any part of that, because that's not what it was. I was even reluctant to go down there, to be seen there. But I did go down there for a couple minutes to say hi to Steven and never even entered the building; I was in an alley in the back.

Gus: A couple of my friends saw you and said the same thing. I was wondering why you would be there and not come into play?

Slash: There was no way I was going to go up and play. Even Izzy and Duff played separately.

Gus: Actually they did play together on Mr. Brownstone and then Izzy came back out a played separately for a couple of songs later... Speaking of Appetite, this was a monumental album that is classified in the likes of AC/DC's "Back in Black," the Beatles "Sgt. Pepper," and Zeppelin IV. Looking back at it now, how does it feel that you are part of such an influential album and band?

Slash: The most gratifying thing you can do in anything (there's a lot of gratifying things you can do…) (laughs) in music is to make the record which becomes that key record for a certain time, something that stands out as to be really important to people. I'm a big rock fan. When I was a kid, there were key records from ever since I was born really. Especially, in my teenage years when I really started not to listen to my parents music but started to discover my own stuff. Bands that were out at that time, there were key records from 13 to fucking 19 that were background music to your life. They were really important to the experiences of you growing up. So this became, apparently, one of those records. I think that's the most gratifying thing you can ever achieve as far as making albums are concerned! I feel very strongly and proud of it!

Tracey: What can you recall as one of the biggest delusions regarding the music business once you made it to the top?

Slash: I don't really have any. I was pretty much raised around this. I sort of take everything as it comes. I didn't have those. Stephen Adler is a great example. He had the dream, like the chicks and KISS kind of rockstar fame, the excess and parties and stuff like that. I'm just a musician, so that's always been my thing, just to be able to play what I want to play. Do it with integrity and stick to my guns and do it my way. It's always been about playing. That's all I really ever concentrated on. Everything else that came with it the craziness (yeah, I was pretty fucking crazy.) I didn't have any, "Oh, it was going to be like this or it was going to be like that." Some of it was bigger than I thought it might be. Certain nights it can be so emotionally overwhelming because the audience for a particular reason was into it the way the band was performing. There were key, key, shows in my life that stands out for being that moment. Then, there is a lot of stuff that is like "That's all that?" "That's it?" I sort of like to go with it see how the absinthe flows and what not. The pinnacle moments are those things that have happened and you can't really predict. They are special moments, you know?

Tracey: Have you even thought of penning a book on your life experiences?

Slash: It's almost done! I thought about doing it forever, but I didn’t want to look like I was getting bored from what I was doing. Then Velvet Revolver happened and some people thought if I was going to do it, it's a good time to do it because you have another career started. Then I started realizing the amount of rumors and shit that Guns N' Roses has generated in all the books that are unauthorized. I hooked up with this guy and I started to do an autobiography and so it's coming out.

Gus: Any release date?

Slash: I think we will try to get it out in November of 2007. The writing is done and now is just the editing.

Gus: Will you be doing any promos for the book?

Slash: I have to do signings. I think I'm contracted to do 5. It's hard to write a book, because it seems like it's all about me. It's sort of weird. It's got some funny shit in it. It's not really a book that I'm out attacking anybody or venting all my grievances on it or that kind of shit. It does sort of factually tell everything that happened since I started till now.

Gus: This is kind of a funny question (Slash lets out a loud “Ha!”) How do you keep your top hat on while playing without it falling off? Is there some sort of trick to that or some sort of secret?

Slash: No. No. Some people write that I must have it Velcro or some sort of staple on it or something. It just stays on there. It just sort of sits. It has to or there's a good chance you may lose it. I did lose it once and I never got it back, but that was a while back.

Tracey: What is one of the wackiest things a fan has done to get your attention or to meet you where you were like “what the hell?”

Slash: Actually, when people throw shit at you on stage they are trying to get your attention. (we all laugh) It's true! It's one of the things about when people do that it's not so much even ... In some cases it could be vicious. It's usually in the spirit of whatever it is. Because sometimes the band can look so bigger than life and if you can actually get someone to stop for a second as a result of you… people trip on that! I learned that over the years. I'm sure there is, but I can't think of anything that's really off the wall. Every night, there is some girl who's got to get your attention by baring all. Some people show up to the shows, with the top hat and the hair thing going on. It's very surreal, very unnerving! So there are those guys. Then there's people who make up T-shirts that say your name on it in a weird way or have a banner or whatever. Nothing you haven't heard before!

Gus: Slash, thanks for taking the time to talk to us at glammetal!

Slash: No problem!

We would also like to give a BIG THANKS to Kristine at MSOPR and Bryn at Bridenthal and associates for making this interview possible!

https://web.archive.org/web/20071012045927/http://glam-metal.com/slash.html
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