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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

2007.10.10 - Vue Weekly - Slash Loads Up His Velvet Revolver For Another Shot

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2007.10.10 - Vue Weekly - Slash Loads Up His Velvet Revolver For Another Shot Empty 2007.10.10 - Vue Weekly - Slash Loads Up His Velvet Revolver For Another Shot

Post by Blackstar Fri Apr 16, 2021 12:50 am

SLASH LOADS UP HIS VELVET REVOLVER FOR ANOTHER SHOT

By EDEN MUNRO

"It's a guitar band only because the bulk of what you're hearing as far as out in front instruments is a guitar - we don't have, like, pianos and a horn section - but the bass and drums are probably as important if not more important than the actual guitars are."

Slash laughs over the phone from a hotel room in Atlanta as he gets in a subtle dig at his old band, Guns N' Roses while talking about his current group, Velvet Revolver. Guns hit the streets of LA back in the mid '80s as a down and dirty rock 'n' roll band, but by the end of Slash's tenure as one of the group's guitar players, singer Axl Rose had taken the ship's wheel and turned the band into a three-ring circus complete with the aforementioned pianos and horn section, something that was a little more extravagant than Slash cared for.

After setting out on his own for a couple of albums with Slash's Snakepit, a series of gigs with his own blues band and plenty of guest spots, the guitarist reunited with GNR bassist Duff McKagan and drummer Matt Sorum in 2002, and the trio hooked up with singer Scott Weiland and second guitarist Dave Kushner in 2003 to form Velvet Revolver. With the new band, Slash was happy to keep the sound free of clutter, leading to that reputation as a guitar band.

But for a guy who loves the guitar as much as Slash does - "I'm sort of a whack-job that way," he chuckles, adding, "I pretty much live and breath guitar playing and music and all that, so if I'm not actually holding a guitar, I'm thinking about it, and if I'm not thinking about it, I'm holding it" - he's surprisingly happy to just lay back and let the others take the lead when the song calls for it.

"That can be a sort of a hard thing to do; I've noticed that guitar players by and large all love the guitar and they want to have it everywhere," he notes. "Being able to kick back and sort of let things breathe so that the groove becomes paramount is really important, is something that might come from experience or maybe just being able to relax and not become so self-absorbed that you need guitar in everything, but if you've got a really good bass player and a really good drummer, it's sort of like you can just appreciate the kind of thing that they're doing to the point that it doesn't necessarily have to be ruled by guitars all the time."

While Slash is referring primarily to the interplay between himself and longtime bandmates McKagan and Sorum, he could just as easily be talking about the chemistry that he once shared with fellow Guns guitarist Izzy Stradlin and which, after a long search for a suitable foil, he now shares with Kushner. On Velvet Revolver's sophomore disc, Libertad, the two guitarists weave lines in and around each other, giving the songs more dynamics by avoiding simply doubling the same part and working together to create intricate guitar parts.

"Dave and I, when we first hooked up, we had a really good chemistry going, but I don't think we really discovered how to work together - or how to work off of each other; on the first record as much as we did on the second record," Slash admits. "On the second record we really came to that point of knowing; I understood exactly what Dave's part was and he understood what my part was and we actually had this unsaid understanding of how they worked together and so I thought one of the big leaps we made between the second record and the first record was definitely the two guitar thing. And that came just from experience. It didn't come from sitting down and talking about it and all that kind of stuff.

"When you're in a band doing original material, the chemistry's really important - the way that the guys play," he continues. "When I say that you have to be really good musicians, you have to be a good musician, but not technically so amazing as really just having a good feel."

The approach that Slash takes with his guitar is rooted very much in the "old standards" that the guitarist listened to and learned from during his youth, and to which he still returns to time and again today - things like early Aerosmith or The Rolling Stones of the early '70s, where the guitarists played off of each other without repeating what the other one was playing.

Despite his penchant for music that pre-dates the '80s, Slash admits that he'd love to discover some new music and try out some different things, it's just that the current digital age has made music so accessible and easy to collect, that it can be overwhelming.

"I've got my fucking iPod out here and there's just a ton of music on it," he says with a chuckle. "I spend more time playing then I do listening to stuff, and when I do set the iPod up I've got so much material on it I just stare at it and I don't know what I want to listen to ... It's weird. It's like having too much shit on a menu: you don't know what to choose."

Before he gives the impression that he listens to nothing other than the same sort of guitar-based rock 'n' roll that Velvet Revolver plies its trade in, though, Slash reveals that he was digging even farther back than the '70s during the recording of Libertad.

"I was listening to a lot of blues stuff when we were making this record; that was all I was listening to: Elmore James, BB King, Buddy Guy and stuff like that," he says. "That was in my car and all I was doing was going back and forth from my house to the studio and that's all I was listening to."

So, is there anything else that the famously top-hatted guitarist listens to that might surprise someone who only knows him from his loud guitars? Slash laughs before answering: "It's probably putting on the odd Isaac Hayes record."
Blackstar
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