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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.


2008.04.25 - Talking Metal Podcast - Interview with Slash

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2008.04.25 - Talking Metal Podcast - Interview with Slash Empty 2008.04.25 - Talking Metal Podcast - Interview with Slash

Post by Blackstar Fri May 14, 2021 9:16 am

Full episode:


Mark Strigl: But here is Slash, recorded right before Christmas last year at the Rainbow Bar & Grill in Hollywood, California […]

Slash: … here’s the spot where so-and-so fell down there.

Emily Strigl: Cool, yeah. (?)

Slash: Actually, can you get me an ashtray, because they actually let me smoke in here.

Emily: Oh, yeah.


Mark: Did you get a black one, too?

Slash: No, I just got…

Mark: Wine red?

Slash: Yeah, just the red one. But I got a second one, too.

Mark: John does work for Gibson. I don’t know if he told you.

John Ostronomy: Yeah, I mentioned it.

Slash: Yeah (?).

John: Thanks for coming down here.

Slash: Yeah, yeah.

[Setting up - Emily asks Slash to keep his cigarette down]

Emily: So the show is called Talking Metal. We had Dave Mustaine, Nikki Sixx, Dokken, Glen Danzig… Mark had a ton of people on just kind hanging out…

Mark: Younger bands, too.

John: Yeah.

Emily: John and Mark have been huge fans forever. It’s super laidback. If you say something that you don’t want on air, we edit it, so let’s us know.

Slash: Okay.

Female: Or if there’s something you don’t want to talk about, just say it.

Slash: Can I get a cranberry and soda?

Emily: Yeah.

Slash: Yeah?

Female: Yeah. A cranberry and soda.

Slash: Okay.

Female: And, well, if you curse, we bleep it out, so…

Mark: You’re allowed to curse, but…

Slash: Okay.

Female: All right. Cool. So we wait for your drink or we call the roll (?)

Slash: It’s up to you. Okay, I’m cool.


Mark: Slash, thanks for coming down to the Rainbow and hanging out with us. This place has so much history for you. I mean, one thing I’m learning from your book is that you grew up right in this neighborhood.

Slash: Yeah.

Mark: And it’s just odd, because a lot of times you think of rock stars from L.A. and you think, “Well, they came here from the Midwest” or “they came here from Pennsylvania or somewhere,” but this is your hometown. This is your home turf.

Slash: Basically, yeah. I wasn’t born here, but I got here young enough to… you know, and I was pretty much raised here and in this general area.

Mark: Right. So it’s not only memories from your days with Guns or Slash’s Snakepit that took place here. It’s like, you have memories from riding your BMX-

Slash: I was coming here way before-

[Interruption – Emily asks them to do the intro again]

Mark: Okay. Slash, thanks so much for coming down and hanging with Talking Metal here at the Rainbow Bar & Grill on Sunset. This is a place that has a ton of history for you. I mean, you grew up in this neighborhood, really.

Slash: Yeah, basically. So… (laughs).


John: I think the coolest thing is you used to ride your bike all around this entire area, and terrorize places, and do a bunch of cool stuff.

Slash: Yeah, we were pretty bad, actually.

John: It’s such a young age, though, like 12, 13?

Slash: 12, 13 years old.

John: Amazing.

Slash: We were just complete hooligans.

John: Very cool. You know what, I was into BMX, and one of your favorite magazines was my favorite magazine, Bicycle Motocross, actually.

Slash: Yeah.

John: Did you ever hear of RL Osborne or Michael (?)? The trade guys?

Slash: Yeah, yeah. RL Osborne, he was the son of the editor.

John: Oh, I didn’t know that!

Slash: Yeah (laughs).

John: So that’s why he got that gig (laughs). But he was good, too.

Slash: Scott Breithaupt, Stu Thomson…

John: Yeah…

Slash: The Patterson brothers… There was a bunch of guys back then. They were, like, the forefathers of the BMX scene, and we were the younger generation that was chasing that whole dream.

John: What got you into that?

Slash: I don’t know. You know, maybe I just saw somebody doing it and it just appealed to me. I think I always was into bicycles and then, when I saw what the possibilities were for freestyling and stuff, I just picked up on that.

John: Cool. What kind of bike did you have?

Slash: Um, I had a Cook Bros. At one point I had a Cook Bros, I had a Webco, I had an FMF, a Mongoose…

John: Oh, that’s cool.

Slash: The last one I had was a Redline.

John: Wow. So you had just about all the great brands.

Slash: Yeah, yeah.

John: I had a Schwinn. And the problem with me, with racing, was it had skyway tough wheels on it, which were great for all the-

Slash: 85 pounds (laughs).

John: Yeah, yeah. They were just too heavy and I never won a race, actually. Like, I officially raced, but I never won one.

Slash: I did pretty well. If I kept going, you know, I probably would have… I mean, I was, like, semi-pro - I wasn’t making any money off of it - but I was just getting to that point where I was starting to get recognized as being a half-decent rider.

John: Oh, cool.

Slash: But then, all of a sudden, guitar came along and that sort of changed everything. I have a BMX bike at my house now that I just got.

John: Wow.

Slash: It’s… what’s the guy’s name that… a really big freestyler these days. He made-

John: Hmm… You know, I’ve kind of lost track with-

Slash: Yeah, I can’t remember his name offhand. But anyway, they just gave it to me, so I’ve been riding it around my house and taking a couple of decent spills out (laughs).

John: I used to just try to jump anything that I could do.

Slash: Yeah.

John: And I used to make my own tracks and all that kind of stuff. But you guys had pro tracks that you could ride.

Slash: Well, the tracks were one thing, but we, you know, did all the urban stuff around the neighborhood, which was all street racing, and we were insane. And then, on the weekends, I’d go out to the Valley, in Reseda, and actually race.

John: What’s cool is that you used to do the urban where… Did you actually ride in, like, an apartment building, which was your grandmother’s apartment?

Slash: She had just moved into it and I didn’t know that. It was this huge complex, sort of like a block wide condo, and it had lots of different levels and lots of staircases, and it was just fun to…

John: Was it done yet?

Slash: It was basically done, and I ran into her one day, her and my mom (laughs). It was about eight of us; we used to chase each other down the halls, and try and shut doors, and block each other off.

John: (Laughs) That’s great.

Slash: You know, bunny hopping and skid marks on the walls, and all that kind of stuff.

John: When they’d just freshly painted the wall, you’d have a nice little track mark on it.

Slash: Yeah, yeah. And I ran into my mom and my grandmother, and I was speechless. There was no spontaneous fucking lie I could come up with that was gonna satisfy at that point.

John: (Laughs) But what was great is that you just kind of said, “I just came to see you, grandma.”

Slash: (Laughs) And all my buddies-

John: And your mom, like, saw your grandmother’s reaction, and she was so happy to see you that she kind of just went along with it.

Slash: Somehow I managed it.

John: Right. She didn’t even come down on you for that.

Slash: Yeah, the repercussions weren’t too severe.

John: I just want to say you have such great parents, your mom doing fashion design, your father a graphic designer. And I just think it’s so cool that they supported you and just, you know, were very cool. The coolest thing is that they introduced you to so much music.

Slash: Yeah. It was a really cool upbringing. I was raised around a lot of really cool people, and my parents obviously were very cool. And it’s just funny that I didn’t, you know, all of a sudden get the idea of playing music until I was 15.

John: Right.

Slash: And at that point, I was still basically close to my parents, but I was pretty much in a tearaway. So at 15 I was off doing all kinds of other stuff.

John: Maybe it was because they were so much into music that you kind of went off on-

Slash: It just never occurred to me. It was just like the background music – you know, the background of my life was all around me.

John: Music, right.

Slash: But it just never occurred to me to actually pick up an instrument. But I always thought they were cool. I spent a lot of time at rehearsals, and recording sessions, and at gigs and stuff, and I always had that thing where you just see drums and a bass, and all that, guitar is set up, and I’d be like, “Wow.” You know, that was really cool.

John: To this day I am like that. I’ve got an extra room in my apartment, that I don’t even go in, that has three stacks, a drum kit, a bunch of guitars… and I just like looking at them.

Slash: Yeah. It’s the same thing with me. It’s like, guitars are – you know, I keep a guitar in the bedroom, just because I like to be able to pick it up at any time. But also there’s something very sexy about guitars.

John: Absolutely.

Slash: And I like to be surrounded by instruments or be in, like you said, like a room that’s all set up, or even just going to a local club before a band plays and seeing all the gear set up.

John: See the stage.

Slash: Yeah.

John: To me it’s a turn-on to see that kind of stuff.

Mark: Slash, what are some of your earliest memories at the Rainbow?

Slash: Probably just getting in here. I had a fake ID and I used to just come in and hang out, and that was… you know, probably the girls; it was a big thing. I think I had one incident here, and there was a lot of different things that happened. It was such a scene back when I was younger. I think one of the things is that I got actually busted on my ID coming in here one time. I was with Steve Adler and we were gonna go pick up on some chicks. So what happened was, we get to Steady who works the doors – I think Steady is still working the door here – and, all of a sudden, he busted me on my ID.

Mark: Right.

Slash: Steve got in. It was ladies’ night, it was Tuesday, and so I was like, “Fuck,” you know, “and now what?” So I went back to my house - and I was pretty drunk at the time – and I dressed up in my mom’s clothes, and came back as a girl and got in. My whole thing was I was gonna pick up on Steven, but by the time I got there he’d already taken off with some chick, and I had that black cloud of all of a sudden realizing that I was dressed in drag.

Mark: Right.

Slash: And it hit me… I’ll never forget that.

John: I know that you said that when you were going back home, you thought that everybody was, like, whistling at you, and-

Slash: Every noise, or anybody who said anything, or whistled or anything, I thought it was directed at me. It was the longest walk to my car.

John: (Laughs).

Slash: But, you know, [there was] a lot of rowdy, rowdy nights in this place. And, as much as I hate to sort of advocate, you know, sort of L.A. hot spots, and be sort of recognized as one of those guys that was sort of an L.A. musician – you know, because I hated that scene back then – the Rainbow was still always… there’s some sort of traditional thing about it, because it was around way before the glam scene started.

Mark: Going back to Led Zeppelin-

Slash: Led Zeppelin, yeah; the Doors…

Mark: Elvis Presley - even Marilyn Monroe…

John: Right. Cool stuff.

Slash: So it’s always had a special place in my heart for me. But, you know, I’ve been even kicked out of here (laughs)


Slash: I remember I threw a salt shaker through that stained glass window back there one night when I was drunk and they physically carried me out. My grandmother told me a story about having to pick up my mom here in the parking lot, because she was drunk one night (laughs).

Mark: Right (laughs).

Slash: You know, so a lot of stuff has happened here.

Mark: Cool. I mean, for me, I’ve been such a fan for a long time and I’ve seen you so many times through the years with Guns, and Slash’s Snakepit, and Velvet Revolver. But I wanted to go way back to the very first time I saw you. It was in Philly, you were opening up for Aerosmith, and there was some incident with Axl and his brother… do you remember this at all? And the whole crowd… it was one of those things with Guns N’ Roses at that time. Usually, when there was an opening band, the place would be half-filled, but the arena was packed and it was just when you guys were, you know, really breaking throughout the U.S., and there was just such a frenzy attached to what you were doing back then. What are some of your memories of – like, was it hitting home, what was going on?

Slash: It didn’t… you know, we’d been opening for so many people. The highlight of the Aerosmith tour, you know, opening for Aerosmith, was Aerosmith themselves and just having that – that was, like, a great camaraderie that was going on; it was a great double bill. But I didn’t really realize that we were bringing a lot of the audience in ourselves until we played Giants Stadium with them.

Mark: Right.

Slash: And that was – you know, there was a lot of bands on the bill.

Mark: Deep Purple…

Slash: Yeah, Deep Purple and Aerosmith, and we were the third from the top, right?

Mark: Right.

Slash: And, you know, the place went completely insane when we came on, and that was the first time I sort of realized that the band, on its own merit, was actually starting to become pretty popular. Because for the first year-and-a-half nobody knew who the fuck we were, you know? (laughs). And then we got used to that. I got used to it.

Mark: Mmm-mmm. It wasn’t a media thing, yeah.

John: Actually, when I first went to college, I was 17 years old and I had a songwriting teacher who said that I have to start writing a journal, and I started it the day – it was either September or October 1987. I went to the Paradise rock club in Boston and the bill was EZO opening with Guns N’ Roses headlining.

Slash: Paradise (?).

John: Yeah. And I was right up front, and literally that was the start of my journal, and I always referred back to that date. And I just had such a blast-

Slash: Yeah. That was a fun tour. Those early headlining club tours were great. That was probably really the most fun that I had, because it was real scrappy, you know.

John: Right. Absolutely.

Slash: None of the sort of luxuries of rock stardom had kicked in even halfway at that point, and we were just out there kicking ass and taking names, and whatnot.

John: It was great. And, like, shortly after that, back at that same point, I went to see Ace Frehley play, and even though you guys had just come out, the insiders knew about you. I remember Ace had pants on that had guns on them and he had a t-shirt on that had roses. And he went, “Look at me” and then he goes, “Guns and Roses.” And that was September ’87.

Slash: That sounds like Ace (laughs).

John: He knew how to spot some cool people at that point.

Slash: Yeah.

John: And you guys were that.

Slash: I did not know that. I had no idea Ace would even know who we were until…

John: Yeah, yeah. He absolutely did.

Slash: You know, he has that way about him where he’s like, “Oh yeah, you guys. Yeah, whatever” (laughs).

John: (Laughs) No, he loved you back then, back at the beginning. Now, you know, one of the things that I thought was cool and I just have to bring this up – I know it’s kind of possibly a negative thing, but I read in your great new book, “Slash,” and I love it, because nobody talks about this anymore: the cassettes. You were totally into cassettes.

Slash: Oh yeah.

John: And what I think is crazy is that you were somehow able to, like, pack these on your body and your pants, and you would, you know, start out with a live record and then you’d-

Slash: Get the catalogue.

John: Get the whole catalogue, yeah.

Slash: Yeah. It was pretty ambitious, you know. If I wanted something, I would figure out how to get it, and cassettes were very convenient and I figured out ways. You know, at first it started out with a few, and then it ended up being a lot – up into the point that I got popped for stealing them, and that sort of… (laughs).

John: (Laughs) Right. Was that at Tower?

Slash: That was at Tower, yeah. And I ended up getting a job there.

John: Right. Which is totally wild. I heard that when you got the job at Tower, you guys had some kind of like vodka and stuff, and you were going crazy with that?

Slash: Well, the crew that worked at Tower when I first started working there – actually the whole time I worked there, there was, let’s see… Axl and myself, and there was a whole myriad of very colorful characters that were working there. The singer for… this one singer named Saul, who was, like, six feet long; he was the epitome of the hair metal kind of look, real big blonde curly haired guy. Then there was some other sort of very shady characters, a couple of the L.A. Guns guys… And we all worked there - you know, we worked the night shift with Axl. So after the shift managers all split – Axl was a shift manager-

John: (Laughs).

Slash: After the main manager left, we’d go across the street to Liquor Locker and, you know, stock up on a bunch of booze, and we’d put it on the office and make cocktails, and then we’d run the rest of the night-

John: And you freaked out people.

Slash: We’d put on porno movies-

John: Oh, cool. On the actual screens? In Tower?

Slash: (Laughing) Yeah, yeah, in Tower.

John: Wow.

Slash: So it was a pretty eclectic kind of vibe.

John: Didn’t something bad happen and Axl wound up taking the fall for it?

Slash: What happened was, somehow we got busted and Axl was the shift manager, so he got fired.

John: Wow.

Slash: And then I ended up being the shift manager after that. But I wasn’t as social, so I had my drinking patterns, but I didn’t share them with the rest.

John: Wow. Cool.

Slash: (Chuckles) Yeah. And the funny thing is, late after my stint at Tower, then Dave Kushner from Velvet Revolver got a job there, and he had his drinking problem there, too (laughs). He worked downstairs in the boxing section, which was where everybody went to go drink, and he sort of carried on a very private dark drinking habit down there.

John: We were actually trying to figure out where Tower was, where it used to be.

Slash: Well, you can’t miss the Tower Records. I was at Tower Video, so…

John: Oh, okay.

Slash: Tower Records is this big building down the street, on the north side of the street, which is not open. It’s the biggest structure on that side of Sunset, right after the street that I used to live on… I can’t remember the name of it (laughs). Anyway, and then Liquor Locker is across the street.

John: Right across, right.

Slash: Right across the street, going east, is the building, another close building where Tower Video used to be.

Mark: You spoke about it in the book, the Rocks record, which changed your life.

Slash: Yeah.

Mark: And is it a record, like a lot of records when I was a kid that I just wore the grooves off of it - it’s very hard for me sometimes to still listen to them, because I’ve heard them so many times over and over again. Is that a record you can still put on and enjoy as much as ever?

Slash: Yeah. There’s a certain attitude to the Rocks record, which I identified with when I was a kid. You can sort of tell it set the stage for where I was gonna be headed, you know, unbeknownst to me. But I was that kind of rebellious, troublemaking kid that that was the perfect theme music for me (laughs).

Mark: Right.

Slash: And it hit me like a ton of bricks the first time I heard it. So I still identify with it to this day, because I still… I might not be quite as much of a punk as I was at that point. I mean, I’ve been around the block a couple of times now, you know (laughs). But that record still has an attitude and a sound that I still identify with, and I still sort of go that direction.

Mark: Yeah, definitely. Have you heard the cover version of Back in the Saddle that Sebastian-

Slash: No.

Mark: … and Axl put out.

Slash: Uh-uh.

Mark: No?

Slash: No.

Mark: You haven’t heard that yet.

John: My favorite story-

Mark: I like it, I like it.

John: I was gonna say my favorite story about that song is when there was this older girl – and I’m just referring to the book again, because I’m so into the book, and I actually feel like I’m living it with you, because you actually even said that it almost reads like a journal?

Slash: Yeah…

John: And there was this girl named Laurie, and you went to her house, and the whole point was to hook up with her. But then you put on Rocks-

Slash: She actually put it on.

John: Oh, she put it on?

Slash: No, no. I put it on. That’s right, I put it on. I saw it, I recognized it, because I’d seen it somewhere before and I’d actually heard, like, the first two songs. So, when I saw it, I was like, “Oh, it’s that record” and I put it on. But my old girlfriend from way back when, Melissa – it’s in the book, that was my first girlfriend – I saw her in Minneapolis lately and she’s like, “So who’s that chick, Laurie you were talking about?”

John: (Laughs).

Slash: Yeah, it’s funny.

John: What’s cool about Melissa is that you kind of had this on-and-off thing with her for many years.

Slash: Six years!

John: Wow.

Slash: She’s cool, though.

John: And it’s so cool that you just saw her in what, Minneapolis?

Slash: Yeah. Well, you know, we’ve kept in contact over the years. We have a lot of mutual friends. At some point, when Guns N’ Roses started to sort of hit in Los Angeles, a lot of my friends from high school and junior high school started to become friends with a couple of the guys in the band, so a very incestuous kind of thing going on.

John: Right. Wow.

Slash: And, actually, it ended up being pretty rough on some of those kids, you know (laughs). Anyhow. But anyway, Laurie, yeah, she had that experience over at her place with that record. It was like, I just became glued to the actual album. And she was one of the hottest girls around at that point, and, you know, I had a definite (?) in her and I just blew it. But it was worth it.

John: Did you ever had a repeat engagement with her?

Slash: She didn’t want to talk to me again.

John: Oh (laughs).

Slash: I basically stood her up to her face for two hours in her apartment, ignored the shit out of her, so…

Mark: Slash, I’m a big Alice Cooper fan, and I was on my iPod the other day and this awesome version popped up of No More Mr. Nice Guy with you and Roger Daltrey.

Slash: Right.

Mark: And also a big Who fan, as well as Slash.

Slash: Yeah. Actually I was with Roger on a plane the other day and we were talking about that.

Mark: It’s awesome. It’s awesome.

Slash: Yeah, it’s very cool.

Mark: When did you do that?

Slash: I don’t know. You know, we were trying to figure that out (laughs). I guess it was sometime in the early 90s, like probably ‘92, ’93.

Mark: And Roger, I guess he’s an Alice fan, too.

Slash: Yeah, yeah.

Mark: Cool. And then you actually played with Alice. You were on his record, and then you guys did that cover of Under My Wheels, which is very hard to find nowadays.

Slash: Is that?

Mark: Yeah. It never was released.

Slash: I don’t have a copy of it. I’ve played with Alice a bunch of times. He’s another guy… it’s actually not in the book. The guy who used to do all Alice’s photos was good friends with my dad. My mom’s best friend did his makeup, who was my dad’s best friend’s wife.

Mark: Okay.

Slash: So my dad took me over to John’s – John is the photographer – studio one time, and he was shooting Alice, and that was the first time I ever met him. I probably was about 7 or something like that.

Mark: Wow.

Slash: But I knew who Alice Cooper was and, you know, I really liked him, because like some kids liked Kiss, I liked Alice Cooper. He had that whole look to him and all that kind of stuff, and he represented the sort of dark side of rock ‘n’ roll, so I dug him.

Mark: Sure.

Slash: Anyhow, and I watched him, you know, do his photo shoot, and then watched my dad, John and Alice drink more beer than I’d ever seen anybody drink, and then all get too drunk to be able to figure out how anybody was going to get home. And we ended up hanging out there until 4:00 in the morning or something (laughs); I remember falling asleep there. That was my first introduction to Alice. And then, you know, we opened for him and we got to be really good friends. In a way, he sort of took us under his wing – you know, to an extent, when we were opening for him. And I’ve just been friends with him ever since. We just did a gig for the Scream Awards recently, which was fun.

Mark: Cool. I mean, besides him you have worked with so many other rock n’ roll and just music icons, Iggy Pop…

Slash: Yeah, Iggy is great.

Mark: Memories of that? You were in the video and everything.

Slash: Yeah, yeah.

Mark: That was… was it “Home”?

Slash: Actually that started… Yeah, the video was Homeboy – yeah, “Home”. And then there was, like, four songs on the record. But that all started here at the Rainbow.

Mark: Did it really?

Slash: Duff and I met Iggy here, and he brought his demo tape, and it was just Iggy on acoustic. And he asked us if we’d be interested in playing on it, which, of course, was a huge thing for Duff and I.

Mark: Oh, definitely.

Slash: So we hooked up with Don Was and Iggy at a studio in Hollywood after that, and we sort of worked up these four songs. It was a great experience. Iggy sort of epitomizes the kind of rock ‘n’ roll that I was weaned on.

Mark: Right, right. Michael Jackson…

Slash: Michael’s… Yeah, Michael is another one, I mean, in his own way. I remember being a kid and listening to Dancing Machine and all that kind of stuff.

Mark: Yeah.

Slash: I mean, he’s badass. You know, as crazy as Michael’s existence obviously is, as an artist he’s one of the most amazing performers and most talented, you know, entertainers, singers, dancers I’ve ever had the pleasure of working with.

Mark: Do you ever have contact with him?

Slash: I haven’t seen him. Ever since everything went completely haywire with him, I haven’t seen him. I saw him towards the beginning of it over at Robert Evans’ house and they were talking about doing a movie, and then the shit just went wide open after that. So I haven’t seen him since. He’s been sort of recluse; I think he was living in Dubai or something? (laughs)

Mark: Yeah, yeah. That’s right.

John: Speaking of Dubai, you guys, I’ve heard you’re going over there.

Slash: We’re playing there, yeah.

John: Cool. Now what I wanted to ask is, many cool people that you played with - and this is also a very cool person, but you said that you had a learning experience when you did something with Bob Dylan. What happened with that?

Slash: Well, Don Was, since we’d done the Iggy Pop record, I think he found that I was pretty easy to work with. Bob was doing this record called Wiggle Wiggle, which was like… I don’t know when exactly this was… in 1990 or somewhere in there. And [Don Was] asked me if I’d be interested in playing on a Bob Dylan record, which I was. I’m a huge fan of Bob Dylan’s and that was one of - you know, Blonde On Blonde and stuff like that were records that my dad loved and I was basically raised on, along with the Stones and all this other shit. So I jumped at the chance, but I went down there and… There was a great session, George Harrison was there, and Kim Bassinger was there. Why she was there-

John: Yeah, why was she there? (laughs)

Slash: You know, my guitar tech and I were just sat there and we just like, “Wow, in the summertime it’s like, how could you go (?)”. So I went in and I met Bob, and he sort of told me what he wanted, and I just sort of played in the way that I heard it. Then I got the finished version of it later, and Bob had taken the guitar solo off and kept the acoustic rhythm track (laughs). And I was like, “What the fuck.” I mean, that was one of the better one-offs, you know, spontaneous sort of… I said, “So what was up with all that?” and he goes, “Well…” He thought the guitar solo sounded too much like Guns N’ Roses and “just liked your acoustic stuff.” Which was a big hole in the song.

John: Right!

Slash: If you listen to it, the song goes along and then the solo section, you know, you just hear the strumming, and then the song picks up again.

John: Right.

Slash: But it was a learning experience, because, you know, I adapt easily, but sometimes you really need to pay attention to who the other artist is and what their… because he had mentioned at one point, I had this great quote, “Play like Django.” Which is, there’s a style, there’s a little bit of a style, that’s a request that’s he’s looking for a certain kind of feel. But I was just very rough and tumble about the whole thing and just did it my way.

John: I’d love to hear the track with your solo on it.

Slash: Yeah, I’d like, too. I don’t have a copy.

John: They need to get that. We gotta go find those tapes (laughs).

Slash: I’ll see if I can talk Bob into re-releasing it.

Mark: (Laughs) There you go.

John: You know, I was gonna ask about… just speaking of guitars, your first Les Paul copy was a Memphis, which I remember that brand.

Slash: Do you?

John: Memphis guitars. Absolutely. Did you ever think that all these years later not only would there be Slash model Les Paul’s, but that you would be friends with Les Paul? And also I feel that you are the guy that when everybody else was playing pointy Jacksons-

Slash: Kramer’s.

John: Kramer’s and all that stuff, which I think are cool, but my favorite guitars are Gibson Les Paul. You brought that back into rock.

Slash: Some people said that-

John: Did you ever feel that you were gonna do that?

Slash: No. When I first picked up the guitar, it was pretty much, just very much in the moment and I didn’t have any real big sort of fantasies about the future. I mean, obviously, you have those sort of kid fantasies of, like, the stage, and this and that and the other. I’m sure that that was all there. But I was really sort of working towards just being able to play the guitar and learning how to write a song, and all that kind of stuff. So I had no visions of the future at all, you know (laughs).

John: Wow.

Slash: But it’s funny, because the Les Paul was – I mean, you have to understand, it’s like, I identified with a lot of guitar players, but I didn’t know music well enough to know what sound, you know, what equated to which guitar and all that kind of stuff. But the Les Paul was one of the cooler looking ones, so I always sort of gravitated towards Les Paul. I didn’t even know who Les Paul was then.

John: Wow!

Slash: I didn’t find out who Les Paul was until probably after I got that Memphis guitar and then finally discovered Les Paul.

John: The first time I had the honor of meeting you was at an event where they reopened the Iridium Jazz Club in New York City, and Les Paul played and you were there.

Slash: Right.

John: And it was such a cool event.

Slash: Yeah. He wiped the stage up with me.

John: Nah, I think it was great.

Slash: I had played with Les live a lot of times, and the first few times it was pretty hard, because he’s such an amazing guitar player and I’m just a rock guy that just sort of… Like, the two of us together, I really had to learn some chops and progressively I would always use gigging with Les as a barometer for how good I was getting technically on my guitar.

John: Wow. I’ve heard that if he thinks the vibe isn’t going well with one of his special guests, he’ll say in the microphone, “There’s a phone call for you backstage.”

Slash: I don’t know.

John: (Laughing) He really does that.

Slash: He does have some funny things that he does when it gets, like, a dead spot.

John: Right.

Slash: You know, and he’ll start joking with you. It’s a very humiliating – even in the audience watching somebody going through that. I’ve seen him do it.

John: You know what was crazy that night? John Paris, who’s a great guitar player, and Les goes, “John, come on up on stage” and it took him, like, three minutes, and then by the time he came up, he goes, “Nope. That was your chance. You’re off.”

Slash: (Laughs).

John: “You’re off. You’re done.”

Mark: Hey Slash, you know, in the past you’ve mentioned that you like Megadeth, and I remember seeing you in an Anthrax t-shirt. Do you listen to much metal anymore like (?)

Slash: Well, I haven’t – I’ve listened to Megadeth a lot. You know, Anthrax hasn’t put out a new record that I’m aware of in a little while.

Mark: It’s been a few years, yeah.

Slash: But back in the day there was a lot of – you know, there was obviously Metallica who was great, and Megadeth was fucking awesome, and Anthrax was also one of the bands that was actually pretty cool out of that sort of bands. So I was always down for any of the bands that were actually genuine - and that was actually a lot cooler than what was going on right here on the Sunset Strip as far as bands were concerned at that time. So yeah, you know, you always sort of support your (?).

Mark: Yeah, definitely. Do you remember hearing Metallica for the first time?

Slash: Yeah… on Fairfax and Melrose, someone turned me on to a cassette, which was one of Metallica’s first releases. I’ll never forget that, because it was pretty-

Mark: Was it, like, a demo or was it Kill ‘Em All, or…?

Slash: I can’t [remember]. It was, you know, an underground tape. It might have been Kill ‘Em All, but I’m not sure what it was at the time. But it just sounded fucking intense, you know.

Mark: Right.

Slash: That was my first exposure to them. And then I didn’t really go and buy any of their records until Master of Puppets came out, which is still, to this day, one of the most standout metal records of all time.

Mark: Yeah, absolutely.

Slash: And that’s when I really got into them, and then I went back and bought their other two records, and I’ve been a fan ever since.

Mark: Cool.

Emily: (?) probably, maybe just, like, two or three more questions.

Mark: Oh. Okay.

Emily: One thing I wanted to talk about was, in the book you talk about how – I know if I meet a musician I really like, sometimes affects how I listen to their music. And you said that with David Bowie, knowing him personally kind of like enhanced how you saw him on stage. So I just wonder if there’s any other musicians that your personal interactions kind of affected their music. And also, did that influence what you put into your book and kept out of the book, as far as, like, what you wanted your fans to know about you?

Slash: You obviously think this book is a lot deeper than it really is (laughs).

Emily: (Laughs) (?) a few of the different things that you’ve done, you know.

Slash: Yeah, I know. Okay. So you’re gonna translate that into a question, or…

John: Yeah. Should I ask it?

Emily: You can (?) answer and just look to them.

Slash: Oh, so I gotta put this right here?

Mark: That’s cool.

Slash: Or you wanna keep it down altogether?

Emily: I think you can keep it down.

Slash: All right.

[Inaudible talk about setting up the mic]

Someone: Don’t worry about it. It’s all good.

Slash: Alright. Anyway. That’s an interesting question. Okay, how are you gonna ask it? (laughs)

John: Um…

Emily: He doesn’t have to ask it. They’ll just introduce it in the studio (?)

Slash: Oh.

John: Yeah, we’ll say, like, “So you had a chance to meet people”…

Emily: (?)

John: I’ll try to translate it. Sorry.

[Interruption – talk about setting up the mic]

Mark: I saw you on New Year’s Eve in New Jersey a couple of years ago.

Slash: We were playing-

Mark: Yeah, you were coming back from New York.

Slash: Yeah. We were playing Trenton on the 29th.

Mark: Oh, you were playing Trenton.

Slash: Yeah.

Mark: Oh okay, cool.

John: Mark used to live (?)

Mark: Yeah, I used to live outside of Trenton.

Slash: I don’t know the name of the venue, though.

Mark: Yeah, there’s a new, like, arena type place downtown. It’s pretty new, actually, yeah. I’m sure that’s where it is.

Emily: We’re good, everyone? Okay.

John: So Slash, you actually used to have so many cool people hanging around when you were a kid, people like Stevie Wonder, Carly Simon, David Bowie… Once you met people like Bowie, did that have any effect on what you thought about their music?

Slash: Well, with David, when I first met him he had just come out with Young Americans, which was a great record to me then as much as it is now.

John: Right.

Slash: It didn’t really have any effect on me knowing him until way later, and he became, you know, such a major musical influence, and the fact that he played with Mick Ronson.

John: Right, one of the-

Slash: It’s like, “Why the fuck didn’t I know that shit I know now back then?” (laughs)

John: (Laughing) Back then, yeah.

Slash: But that’s just the way it was. I played on one of Carole King’s records.

John: Cool.

Slash: And she was a pretty big staple in the business when I was a kid. I met her when I was younger and of course she wouldn’t remember it, but we have a mutual friend, Teddy Andreadis, who’s-

John: Oh yeah, Teddy Zig-Zag. I know Teddy.

Slash: He played with her. So I did a couple of gigs with her and I played on her record. And it was way interesting, almost one of those kind of experiences where she’s such an amazing artist, such a great lyricist and piano player, and songwriter in general, that you feel sort of very humbled in her presence. And, you know, getting to play with her was a great moment, and it’s funny that this is the same lady that I had sort of-

John: Known back when you were a kid.

Slash: You know, I didn’t have that kind of respect for her when I was younger.

John: Wow!

Slash: Let’s see… I haven’t really played with too many people. I’ve met a lot of people, but I haven’t played with too many people that I knew when I was a kid, you know, so I haven’t had that experience too often.

John: One of the coolest things is that you recently-

Slash: Except for Iggy.

John: Oh, except for Iggy, right.

Slash: But he’s so down to earth and unassuming as a human being that he breaks down that barrier, like, instantaneously.

John: I love Iggy. I love the song Cold Metal.

Slash: Yeah.

John: Remember that song?

[Short pause]

John: Okay. I was just gonna say I think one of the greatest things is that you were recently inducted into the Rock Walk of Fame.

Slash: Yeah.

John: And is your star right next to Page and Van Halen?

Slash: Something like that.

John: Yeah.

Slash: Yeah… I forgot exactly how it’s configured, but somewhere close to that, actually.

John: I mean, congratulations on that. That was just this year.

Slash: Yeah, yeah.

John: Very cool.

Mark: Speaking of Page, did you see any of the footage of the Led Zeppelin stuff?

Slash: I haven’t seen anything except for a couple of news clips that were real short on irregular network news.

Mark: It sounded pretty good.

Slash: I was gonna go. Yeah, yeah, it sounded good. Yeah, so I’m stoked about that now and I hope they continue doing it so I can actually go to a gig.

Mark: Yeah.

Slash: That was really sort of a disappointment not going, but I have too much stuff going on here. I sent them all notes though, saying “Break a leg” and whatnot.

Mark: Right. What about Van Halen?

Slash: The Van Halen thing, I haven’t seen it, but I’m planning on going. They just had one the other night and I didn’t even know.

Mark: Oh-

Slash: Steve Lukather called me up and I was sitting at El Pollo Loco (laughs). And he goes, “I’m on my way to Van Halen,” and I said, “What?!” So I missed that one, but there’s another one coming and I might just go catch them just somewhere, you know.

Mark: Yeah. Cool. Very cool.

John: Slash, thank you so much for taking the time to come here.

Emily: We can fit in, like, one more question.

Mark: I wanted to ask you, there’s been some rumors that you’re actually thinking about doing a solo record at some point. I wanted to ask you about that, if it’s true and what could we expect.

Slash: Well, I definitely want to do a solo record at some point very soon. I just haven’t – with Velvet Revolver, that takes up all your time.

Mark: Sure.

Slash: So as soon as that takes a break, which we want to go and do a third record, so that’s the priority. And then I guess when the dust clears on that one, I’ll start putting the solo record together. But I’m sort of, you know, compiling ideas. Some stuff will get used for Velvet and then the other stuff that doesn’t and it’s just sitting, if it’s the right song, then I’ll start sort of going through that leftover stuff and see if anything is appropriate.

Mark: Cool. And you’ve had two great records with Velvet Revolver and with Scott. Do you ever think about, you know, there were so many big name singers that were rumored to be attached to you guys. You talk about some of them in the book, like Sebastian Bach, and even Ian Astbury from the Cult… Somebody told us Brett Scallions was once a run-in?

Slash: Brett was one I didn’t mention.

Mark: Dave Navarro told my wife that Brett Scallions was the new singer in the band at one point.

Slash: Oh really? Yeah… Brett is great.

Mark: So do you ever think of “what if we went with one of these other guys” or it’s just been so right with Scott?

Slash: Yeah. I mean, Scott was actually the main… like, we had a very short list of great singers that were well known and had, you know, high profile professional careers. It was a very short list and he was at the top of that list. But he was, you know, more or less unobtainable, because he was still in STP and all that. So, the other guys, it was just something – it wasn’t anything against the actual singers themselves or… it was just a style, it was something that we definitely wanted, a certain kind of sound. We didn’t know exactly what that was, but certain singers just brought something into it that wasn’t just quite right. So once Scott came in, that was it, and I never looked back after that.

John: Exactly what you guys wanted.

Mark: Sure.

John: Are there any players, not even just hard rock and heavy metal players, but people that you’d love to have on your solo album when you do it?

Slash: There’s a list of people that I want to work with, some who I’ve gotten commitments from and some I haven’t really approached yet. But I’m not gonna say (laughs).

John: (Laughing) Okay, cool, yeah. Fair enough, fair enough.

Mark: Cool. Thank you so much, Slash, for joining us.

Slash: Thanks for having me and thanks for the free drink (laughs).

Mark: We’d love it if you signed our book.

John: Yeah, absolutely.

Slash: Okay.

Emily: Ask about that Troy guy and how often things like that happen around here.

Mark: Oh, yeah. We were in here the other night and we were hanging out, and this guy was obliterated. He was, like, probably about 40 years old, maybe a little older. His name was Troy and he was like, “You don’t know who I am, do you?” and I was like, “No, I really don’t.” And he’s like, “I’ve played in some bands,” and I was like, “Any bands I know of?” and he’s like, “Guns N’ Roses.”

Slash: Ah…

Mark: And he was, like, dead serious. I thought he was kidding at first. Do you run into people like that who claim they knew you and…?

Slash: Yeah.

Mark: Probably all the time.

Slash: It happens, yeah. It happens as in… I mean, some people are really, really funny.

Mark: Yeah.

Slash: But I run into a lot of people that say that we hung out here, and we hung out there, and I’m like, “Oh, okay.” You know, like, I’m not gonna necessarily remember, considering it’s usually under the circumstances where you’re not bound to remember it the next morning anyway. But yeah, I hear a lot of stuff like that.

John: Slash, thanks, man. This is so cool.

Mark: Have you spoken with Izzy lately?

Slash: No, I was thinking about him today. The last time I talked to him, I was doing Howard Stern-

Mark: Oh, okay. I heard that interview.

Slash: And he called me, and he was laughing about one of the incidents that I mentioned (laughs). Anyway.

Mark: Oh, the thing about the leg?

Slash: Yeah.

Mark: Yeah, I won’t get into that. I don’t think they’ll air it on Fuse (laughs).

Slash: He was joking about that. It’s good to hear from Izzy whenever I do hear from him. He’s such an awesome guy.

John: Thank you Slash.

Slash: All right.

John: Thank you for drawing this amazing art.

Slash: (Laughs).

Mark: Do you think you’ll ever do some work with him?

Slash: Who, Izzy?

Mark: Yeah.

Slash: Um, you never know. I mean, we have such a great sort of natural… You know, if he ever called me up and said, “Do you want to play on something?” I’d be right there.

Mark: Cool.

[Slash sings his book]

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2008.04.25 - Talking Metal Podcast - Interview with Slash Empty Re: 2008.04.25 - Talking Metal Podcast - Interview with Slash

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