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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

2007.08.13 - Spinner - Slash Celebrates Velvet Revolver's 'Libertad' From Guns N' Roses Legacy

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2007.08.13 - Spinner - Slash Celebrates Velvet Revolver's 'Libertad' From Guns N' Roses Legacy Empty 2007.08.13 - Spinner - Slash Celebrates Velvet Revolver's 'Libertad' From Guns N' Roses Legacy

Post by Blackstar Fri Apr 16, 2021 12:35 am

Slash Celebrates Velvet Revolver's 'Libertad' From Guns N' Roses Legacy

By Steve Baltin

With all of the attention currently focused on Slash's old band, a group called Guns N' Roses, people might forget the guitarist is presently in another little band known as Velvet Revolver. And while most people right now seem to be focusing on his past, Slash, as we sit in a Studio City, Calif., pub the day before he leaves on tour with VR, is living much more in the present, talking about 'Libertad,' the band's new album; tour mates Alice in Chains; the modern-day influence of Internet technology on music; and living in the shadow of G n' R.

You guys were very prolific from the outset. After doing an album and tour together, was that same burst of creativity there?

When we did the first record, there was that instantaneous electricity when we found there were five like-minded people, and we wanted to make a record quickly and get out on the road and tell the world, "Here we are!" But as successful as that record was, I was never really satisfied. There was something about that album, maybe because of the pedigree of the band, I just didn't feel like we scratched the surface of what we were capable of. So going in to do this record, nobody was intimidated by the whole sophomore thing or anything like that. But for some reason it just seemed hard to get everybody focused and on the same page. And there was a lot of negative s--- going on at the time, because there were rumors about me joining Guns N' Roses and Axl had his f---ing press release that came out, which started friction between myself and the other guys. So when we started to get back together it just seemed hard, but then once that all subsided there was this certain kind of relaxed, creative atmosphere that became the paramount thing that was really inspiring.

With those rumors in mind, how gratifying is it to have this album do well when people have been constantly looking for trouble from you guys?

I don't want to age myself or anything, but in the old days nobody gave a s---. The bands worked out the material on a record, delivered it to the record company and sort of waited to see what happened -- and maybe generate a certain kind of buzz with some live shows and maybe would do something on the street that generated a certain amount of controversy. Now a band like this especially has people that are high profile, you get together and the s--- just starts flying. And if there's nothing interesting going on, then you'll make it [happen]. There's this communication stream that's endless with the Internet and also just the media in general, 'cause everybody is capitalizing on whatever negative there is. And everybody's feeding on it; some even respectable kind of publications have all gone the way of the gossip rag. So you go and make a record and your every move is scrutinized beyond what you can even possibly control.

What's your take on the usefulness of technology like MySpace in cultivating an audience?

I remember back in the day, if you wanted to get a reaction from somebody you threw a bottle, but now I think people do feel like they are personally connected. And I think in some ways the fact that I don't have a MySpace and I don't go online and do chats and all that sort of stuff, people find it offensive that I'm not dialed in. I've heard, and it's probably true, that in order to really sell records that's the avenue a band needs to go down to connect with the kids, which it's just a sign of the times.

What were your motivations for including Alice in Chains on your tour?

I saw Alice in Chains originally with Layne [Staley] in the band in the early '90s, and Duff [McKagan] and I were really into the 'Dirt' record when it came out. That and 'Let Love Rule' were the only two records we listened to all day and night, and we got to know the Alice in Chains guys. Then when Layne died, that was one of the really major examples of a tragedy that just didn't seem like it needed to happen. It wasn't like it surprised his people that it happened, 'cause he was as deep in the abyss as you can get. So I felt really bad for Jerry [Cantrell] and for the band as a whole, 'cause they were really getting to that place where they were huge. So I've known Jerry all these years and he's done his solo records, and when those guys got back together it was sort of weird. I was like, "This is going to be interesting." I went to go see them, it was amazing, and William [DuVall] sounded great, and I was like, "More power to 'em." So when we started putting a package together for this [tour], the name Alice in Chains came up and it really sort of gave me these goose bumps. I was thinking, "That would be a significant bill" -- two of the rock 'n' roll stalwarts really doing our thing and doing it well. Jerry was working on the new Alice album and I didn't expect him to want to do it, but I saw him one night and he goes, "We were talking about doing this tour with you guys." So we let them work out the logistics, and then it was done.

How do the Guns n' Roses songs change for you in this new dynamic?

I remember when we did our first public performance, where we first announced that we were a band named Velvet Revolver and all that. We did 'It's so Easy' without really a second thought because it was really that much of a part of Duff and I. So every time you do an old piece of material you're so close to that it's not something that you think about too much. I think more, when I go see Roger Waters doing the 'Dark Side of the Moon' album and he's got a guitar player that sounds identical to David Gilmour, every note, every f---ing nuance as far as guitar playing is concerned, I wonder what that's like. Then I see Pink Floyd doing all their stuff and it seems more normal to me, even though it's odd for Roger not to be there. So when we're doing our stuff, I think more people probably look into it a little deeper than we're actually looking at it. It's just fun and it's something that we have every right to play 'cause we wrote it.

What about how the songs change for you artistically? Not only does Scott have a different voice than Axl, he's a different personality.

What happens is, music is supposed to be simple, especially rock & roll, and either it sounds good or it doesn't. And if it sounds good you do it, and if something doesn't sound right about it you just put it down and move on. There are certain Guns songs that are such standards that you don't want to really go there. But at the same time, there are a couple of songs that we thought about maybe doing, and it just doesn't feel right or it's out of Scott's range or maybe the guitars don't sound like Izzy and my sound. So you just sort of let that go and see what else there is to do. There was a point there where we said we weren't going to do any more G N' R or [Stone Temple Pilots] songs at all just because we almost felt like we were obligated to play them because we did it at the beginning. So people were coming to gigs and [we were] going, "Well, hopefully they're into our record, but at the same time they're also going to get these sort of like retro pieces in there." And after we had two albums' worth of material we got really arrogant and said, "F--- it, we don't have to play that stuff." But then we sort of missed it and we thought, "Well, maybe we'll change it up a little bit and put some fresh blood in it." So that has worked out so far, and we'll see how long that lasts.

To you it's retro but obviously not to others. Then again, everybody is anniversary-obsessed right now.

I guess so, if you're gonna put Guns N' Roses on the cover of Rolling Stone based on the anniversary of an album that came out 20 years ago.

Does it surprise you how much people still hold on to that band?

It's flattering and at the same time surprising talking about Guns n' Roses, specifically only because as soon as that band became so fascinating to everybody, when I actually split the band it didn't seem to me like it was that big a deal, at least publicly. And nobody actually believed that I quit and a lot of people still to this day are not sure what they're seeing when they buy a Guns N' Roses ticket because it's never been marketed as a new Guns N' Roses or anything. So, I'm really amazed to meet people that are like, "Yeah, I went down to see Guns N' Roses the other day and you and Duff weren't there." It's funny, it's like the band is so sort of surreal -- it almost seems like the band physically in real time isn't really what they're really after. It's really bizarre. It's interesting to watch it all and actually be able to have a perspective to check out how things are.
Blackstar
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