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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

2000.09.14 - New Times LA - A View From The Snakepit (Slash)

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Post by Blackstar Sat Apr 17, 2021 3:07 am

A View from the Snakepit

Dyed-in-the-wool rocker Slash ponders life after Guns N' Roses.

By Katherine Turman

The mass of hair -- unfailingly crowned by a hat of the top or baseball variety -- enters the room first, and customarily late: business as usual. In fact, Slash hasn't changed much in the decade and a half since Guns N' Roses reinvented roguish rebel rock and commensurate behavior, turning the world into their very own platinum paradise city.

Seated in the loftlike L.A. offices of his new record company, Koch, the former GN'R guitarist's face is barely visible between the curls and round mirrored sunglasses. He's trim in a white wifebeater, leather pants, and tennis shoes, his ubiquitous Gitane cigarette hanging from full lips, an unselfconscious caricature of cool.

Out of his 90210 manse (which he recently sold to actor Billy Bob Thornton) and on the road opening for AC/DC with his band Slash's Snakepit, the guitarist is in his element once again. He's in the middle of promoting his second record sans the Mick to his Keith (i.e. W. Axl Rose). His first solo outing, 1995's It's 5 O'Clock Somewhere, was initially intended as a side project in the face of Guns N' Roses' uncertain future. Rife with rollicking, raucous hard rock, Slash's sophomore effort, Ain't Life Grand, was produced by Jack Douglas (Aerosmith, Cheap Trick) and realized by eager musicians, including new singer Rod Jackson. Songs like the horn-laden title track and the balls-out "Better off Dead" offer a welcome blast of nonhybrid rock that sounds not entirely unlike early Guns.

The new millennium finds the rock star formerly known as Saul Hudson in his mid 30s, happy, and healthy, today's cranberry juice without its usual vodka accompaniment. That's not to say Slash has become a poster child for sobriety, but the British-born, L.A.-bred guitarist is able to reflect thoughtfully on his current corporeal and spiritual place -- one lacking the Lear jets, limos, excess, and success of his old band's heyday.

"In the mid '90s, Guns N' Roses got off the road, and it was the first extended period I ever had home where I wasn't majorly under the influence of something heavy, chemical-wise," Slash recalls. "I sort of grew up."

The decision wasn't really a conscious one. "Looking back on it," he muses, "the main thing was I didn't want to deal with dealers and all that stuff. I was miserable doing that. So what's the alternative?"

The answer was more music. Besides, friends like porn actress Savannah and musicians Todd Crew and West Arkeen had died, and Slash found salvation in playing his blues-based hard rock (the new record's kick-off cut, "Been There Lately," is about Arkeen, a mutual friend of Slash and wildman singer Jackson). "The first Snakepit was a great period," he recalls. "All the pressure of being in Guns N' Roses wasn't there. After that, I went to Axl and said, "This is what we've been working on.' And he said, "I don't want to do that kind of music anymore.' I was like, "Okay...Next move.'"

Leaving Guns in '96, Slash says, was a "huge logistic pain in the ass." Emotionally, however, it was simpler: "I was leaving while I still felt it was cool. It was, "You've done this, you've accomplished that,' and all the original guys were gone."

Still, he's bemused by interest in a possible Gunners reunion. "I saw Izzy [Stradlin] on my birthday last Sunday, and I Saw Duff [McKagan] about three months ago, and I see Steven [Adler] from time to time."

"I heard Axl was at the Cat Club the other night, and I was almost going to go," he continues. "We'd gotten done rehearsing and I thought, "What are we going to do tonight?' It was a short drive from my house. And I said, "Ah, fuck it, I'll get some sleep.'"

So if he'd walked into the club and Axl saw Slash from stage...

Slash exhales blue smoke. "It would've been a trip. It's been five or six years since I've seen him. But he wouldn't have done anything," he says, pointing out that Rose has gotten on stage with fired Guns guitarist Gilby Clarke, despite a publicized lawsuit involving Clarke and the band.

"I think there are a lot of complicated issues with Axl," Slash says with admirable understatement. "Axl is a fucking awesome guy -- awesome personality and talent. My big problem is I just wanna fucking jam, man. I wanna fuck around. I can't handle all this drama. And I don't want to go into all this really intricate stuff and spend six years doing it."

Yet as a rock fan himself, isn't Slash curious about other bands? Will Rob Halford rejoin Judas Priest? Will David Lee Roth return to the Van Halen fold? "I ran into David at a bar, and no, I didn't ask him that question. He doesn't want to hear it from me, and I don't want to hear it from him," he says with a sigh. "Life goes on. Everybody's going through shit. I don't want to know your fucking drama -- I got drama over here. Leave it out and let's do a shot."

https://web.archive.org/web/20001212151700/http://www.newtimesla.com/issues/2000-09-14/music.html
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