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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

2007.06.24 - Herald Sun - Revolver Reloaded (Slash)

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2007.06.24 - Herald Sun - Revolver Reloaded (Slash) Empty 2007.06.24 - Herald Sun - Revolver Reloaded (Slash)

Post by Blackstar Thu Apr 15, 2021 4:16 am

Revolver reloaded

WITH the travelling Axl Rose show having packed up its tents and left town a week ago, it seems somehow appropriate to be hearing once again from Slash, the top-hatted guitarist who has an arguably equal claim to the Guns N' Roses name.

After leaving the Gunners one at a time citing the lead singer's autocratic and erratic behaviour, Slash, bassist Duff McKagan and drummer Matt Sorum formed Velvet Revolver in 2003, with former Stone Temple Pilots singer Scott Weiland and guitarist Dave Kushner.

Conditions for interviewing Rose these days include no questions about the Gunners' chequered history or their coming album The Chinese Democracy, already 13 years in the making and which may or may not arrive before global warming does us all in.

Guitarist Slash, born Saul Hudson, sets no such conditions, but treads carefully around his former frontman's ventures, wryly observing his comments on the subject generally come back to "bite him in the ass".

But a decade after leaving the hard rock monster that made him famous and with several successful bands since, there are no hard feelings on his side.

"I'm just glad that he (Axl) is out there doing his thing again," says the laidback guitarist, from a hotel room in Boston ahead of a Velvet Revolver show.

"We didn't know what was happening with him for a long time, but I'm looking forward to hearing this album.

"I heard a live track from a concert supposed to be one of the new ones, but it was so long ago I don't even remember what it sounded like."

Given the colourful recreational past of the members of Velvet Revolver, whose debut album Contraband sold more than three million copies worldwide and debuted at No.2 on the Australian charts, many observers have been surprised the band has held together long enough to record the second, Libertad, which is released on Saturday. Slash is mildly offended by the suggestion.

"I don't think it surprised us, it was more a media thing. So this is kind of a big middle finger raised in their faces," he says.

"We always looked at it as a continuing thing."

All the band members have a history of substance abuse, with Weiland in particular lucky to survive after countless overdoses and stints in rehab and jail. Slash's predilection for booze and drugs once caused his heart to stop for eight minutes and McKagan's pancreas once exploded thanks to his fearsome alcohol intake.

But after touring the first album for more than 18 months, Slash, a 41-year-old father of two, says old habits die hard and, declining to go into specifics, says he and some of his bandmates hit a few speedbumps during the making of Libertad.

"Everyone is really good right now," he says. "But a few of us lapsed back into some old habits. The only one who stayed completely sober actually was Scott. Dave doesn't count because he has been clean for years.

"The thing is that even though you have those urges and might slip back into old habits because you have done them when you were younger, when you get there the shine comes off it pretty quickly.

"We are all here and have been through it all, so if one of us reaches out, the others know what he has been through."

Libertad, which is Spanish for freedom, started life as a concept album, at least in the eyes of Weiland, who says: "The feel, the energy of Libertad is about the eternal struggle for freedom -- personal and social freedoms. The songs took on a life of their own in pursuit of groove."

Like the unpretentious journeyman rocker he is, Slash is somewhat more prosaic, explaining that the title came from a T-shirt owned by Duff and a Chilean coin he saw around a friend's neck, both emblazoned with the word.

"I thought it sounded like a great title for an album," he says. "(The concept) was really Scott's thing and I didn't have anything to do with it.

"I don't really get into concept albums -- I think they are either good songs or not.

"Really, the only concept album I ever liked was The Who's Tommy and that didn't really become a concept album for me until it was made into a movie."

Lofty concepts aside, Libertad is more of the meat-and-potatoes, old-fashioned rock and roll that earned Contraband favourable reviews and a Grammy Award for Best Hard Rock performance.

The album had a difficult birth, with early collaborations between Weiland and hip-hop honcho Pharrell Williams shelved and a period of fruitless writing.

Veteran producer Rick Rubin (Red Hot Chili Peppers, Dixie Chicks) was initially engaged, but the match-up didn't take and Brendan O'Brien, who oversaw the early '90s efforts of Stone Temple Pilots and Pearl Jam, took the reins.

"I just want to make it clear that we really admire and respect Rick," Slash says. "But because he is such a busy guy with so many things on the go, we just felt that when it came down to it he wasn't there.

"So we had written all these songs and we went in and I felt he wasn't being particularly encouraging and we parted ways -- quite amicably, I might add.

"Scott had worked with Brendan before and always spoke very highly of him and he worked out great."

Tragedy struck the band during the making of the album, with Sorum and Weiland both losing brothers to drug overdoses.

Weiland said in a recent interview that misery made the best art: "It can either stop you dead in your tracks or you can move forward and make the best of it."

Velvet Revolver have developed a mighty live reputation and Slash says the band hopes to tour Australia early next year.

But he is deliberately vague on what fans should expect.

"We need some surprises in this surpriseless world," he says.

https://web.archive.org/web/20070629090832/http://www.news.com.au/heraldsun/story/0,21985,21950778-2902,00.html
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