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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.


1992.05.DD - MTV Headbanger's Ball - Interview with Slash

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1992.05.DD - MTV Headbanger's Ball -  Interview with Slash Empty 1992.05.DD - MTV Headbanger's Ball - Interview with Slash

Post by Soulmonster Mon Jun 20, 2011 7:22 pm


Vanessa Warwick: Hi, welcome back. Headbangers Ball is coming to you from Prague. We’re backstage now and I’m joined by Slash from headliners Guns N’ Roses. Yes, it is a Guns N’ Roses edition of Headbangers Ball. Hi, Slash, nice to see you again.

Slash: It’s nice to see you in the gym, you know. Do your work and we’ll workout later, alright? (chuckles)

Vanessa Warwick: (Laughs) How are you doing?

Slash: I’m doing fine. I’ve been trying to adjust to, like, all these time changes. And I maintain the same schedule: I get up in the morning and then I stay up all day, and then at night I go out. And when you keep going through all these time changes - an hour difference here, two hours difference there – you know, all of a sudden at 3:00 you just pass out. You just lose it and you’re trying to figure out why your whole body shuts down (laughs). Really. So it’s been fun.

Vanessa Warwick: Now, you played Slane Castle in Dublin last weekend, and that sounded like – I wasn’t there, I have to say, but it sounded like it was a pretty special gig. Tell us a little bit about it.

Slash: It was the first show of the European leg, and we’ve been off for a month. I’d been out jamming around, like doing the Motorhead thing and all this other stuff. But we hadn’t, as a band, played together for a month. So, as a matter of getting that chemistry in order – I think the first couple of songs probably sounded like mud (laughs) and it tightened up towards the end. Then they gave us three days off, and so we have to do it all over again today in Prague, you know?

Vanessa Warwick: It was a beautiful setting, wasn’t it?

Slash: It was gorgeous, yeah.

Vanessa Warwick: And a couple of you guys wore green, because it was Ireland.

Slash: No, that was – no (laughs).

Vanessa Warwick: That’s what it said in the press release.

Slash: They always say something.

Vanessa Warwick: How much say did you guys have in choosing the support bands on the tour?

Slash: We always pick the support bands. You know, bands that we think are cool. Soundgarden and Faith No More, you know, two bands that we always listen to, so... It’s our tour, basically (laughs).

Vanessa Warwick: I agree. The show started a little late in Dublin, I believe, and Axl...

Slash: Just about 20 minutes. It isn’t that big a deal. I mean, come on, they had us on 6:45. It’s just stretching the imagination, as far as I’m concerned.

Vanessa Warwick: I mean, I completely understand why Axl, you know, needs time to get himself psyched up. He wants to give the best possible performance.

Slash: It’s like that for everybody. In order to prepare for going all-out for 2-1/2 hours – whatever the show is – you gotta feel you’re in the right headspace to do it, you know? And that’s why we sit around and we hang out with each other, we have a few drinks to, like, cool down and relax, cuz we work out really hard and we give everything we can to every show, as opposed to going out and, like, faking it for two hours and just going through the motions, which a lot of bands do. So, I feel pretty justified in taking the time to do it right.

Vanessa Warwick: Do you find it a little off-putting not knowing yourself exactly when you’re gonna be taking to the stage?

Slash: Well, I keep in touch with everything that’s going on with us. You know, as far as where we’re going, what time we’re supposed to get there – the whole schedule thing. And because we’ve been together for so long, there is a predictability about it, you know? So it’s not a big deal.

Vanessa Warwick: Could you give us a little insight into what it’s like a typical day on the road with Guns N’ Roses?

Slash: Being in Eastern Europe is not a typical day (chuckles). But, usually, we wake up sometime around... I wake up early - everybody else tries to sleep as long as they can – and I hang around, do interviews or band business, maybe go to a museum or something; and then try and find the best places to go hang out at night, and stay out till about 4:00 or 5:00 or 6:00, and then get up and do it again the next day. And then, when there’s a show day, we get these sheets of paper. They’re a sort of cue – you know, they come in and go, “3:00, wake up.” And you sort of try to abide by those and, like, at the last minute you jump in the shower and you split; you go to the gig and hang out. Every gig is different, so there isn’t a typical day.

Vanessa Warwick: Okay, well, we got some music coming up now on Headbanger's Ball and we're gonna see 'Knockin' On Heaven's Door' that was recorded at the Freddie Mercury tribute concert. Did you...

Slash: The whole thing or...

Vanessa Warwick: The whole thing. But I just would...

Slash: ...when Fox did that, they just cut out half the stuff we did.

Vanessa Warwick: Did you have a really good time there? I bet you did.

Slash: You know the vibe was great. It was really great to find out that all the tickets were sold without knowing what the bill was. So it was really for the cause, which was really important, 'cause I think rock and roll now, for the first time, learn that it is a heavy-duty issue. I think everybody was trying to ignore it for a long time and think like, "oh, it could never happen to us." And it was nice to see all that support. Even though it was the result of something tragic as Freddie dying, it was still good to see everybody come together and all that. The whole, like, pop music social scene was a little heavy for me, so I didn't want to be there unless we were playing. The rest seemed to me a bit like "Who is Who of Rock and Roll" and "Hi, let's take picture!" and all that kind of crap. But you know, the show was fun, the crowd was great.

Vanessa Warwick: Okay, [cut] at the Prague Stadium. And in the last segment we were talking a little bit, I asked you about a typical day on tour with Guns N' Roses. When you are on tour, is it kind of like living in a rather unreal world in as much as it is shielded from a lot of the outside world and reality.

Slash: I think I might look at it differently. You know, this is me individually, how I see it, everybody has their own different concept of what being on the road is. I happen to dig it, to the point where I don't know if I have a real sense of reality, I like to always be detached, which being on the road for me is heaven. And when I come home off a tour I don't know exactly what to do with myself so I just put myself in a hotel and pretend I am still on the road. So I am into it, it doesn't tire me out or anything like that. Everybody else might say something different.

Vanessa Warwick: But when there are like huge world events, like the riots in LA or something, do you think, "Oh my god, that's my home!" kind of thing?

Slash: Well, the LA thing was very heavy, I thought. I thought the whole decision for one… the decision that was made was really irresponsible, and then I thought that the reaction was really irresponsible. I thought the whole thing was just a huge mess. I think it gave a lot of people excuse to do what they did, you know, and I'm hoping the verdict changes at some point or they do figure out some way of reconciling with, otherwise it's get... there's absolutely no respect for law enforcement in Los Angeles right now and it's spreading all over the... you know, […] it spreads from LA to then it went to Beverly Hills, it went to the Valley and it starts to go to different countries because they see, like, "Well, they can do it, we can do it," and so on. A lot of the other stuff that goes down, stuff that's going on in Thailand, you have to be aware of especially when you're in these third-world countries, all you have is CNN so you just sit there staring at it going, "Jesus Christ, it's getting hectic out there," you know. But as a rock-and-roll band we're not really that politically conscious because, you know, it's a whole environment unto ourselves that we travel around in and you don't always have things to say about what's going on in the rest of the world because you know that's hectic anyway and you're just trying to get on with just doing what you do.

Vanessa Warwick: You said that you find it difficult to adjust when when you're off tour, can you ever envisage…

Slash: Then you're then you forced into, like, you know, like, home life, this mundane kind of existence which I'm just not into. The pace is too slow. And and being that the band-as much as I hate to admit it-has gotten to a certain kind of popularity status you can't hang out in the bars you usually hang out in without people watching you and talking about what you did and hearing rumors  back coming back. And you can't maintain a relationship. I mean, all that stuff so you just don't want to be around it at all, you'd rather just stay on the road 'cause you can relate to that.

Vanessa Warwick: But what about your snakes?

Slash: What about them?

Vanessa Warwick: If you're not at home very much?

Slash: Well, I got I got two friends of mine, uhm Jim and Larry, and they take care of all my stuff. And I check in with them and find out what's going on and if everything's cool. And I mean there's a lot of animals there to maintain and they do a really good job so I don't worry too much. And I go pop by the house every so often, make sure everything's doing well.

Vanessa Warwick: What do you find most difficult to deal with in terms of your success, what are the most difficult aspects?

Slash: I think probably lately it really occurred to me that I didn't have any privacy in the last couple of months. I really tried to maintain that, like, I'm a guitar player so I can slip in and out of places without anybody noticing and, you know, all of a sudden it hit me really abruptly it wasn't like that, and everything I've done for the last year or so, all of a sudden […] it was big rumors and this and that - that was a drag and it screwed up the relationship that I had at the time, which I'm trying to, like, rework, you know, and I think the fact that I can't just walk up and down the street or going to this pub or going to this club or whatever, you know, and that's changed and I have to be aware of myself. Now that's the biggest hardship. The rest of its great, I mean, the three hours that we play on stage makes it worthwhile, so you try not to bitch about it too much. But it has its moments where it gets to be like, "I can't believe people are writing this, it's not true," and people's perceptions of what you're all about are completely distorted because they're being [cut]

Part 2

Vanessa Warwick: Slash is back with me on Headbangers Ball from Prague. We were talking to Duff a little earlier, actually, about the success of the band, and I’d like to ask you the same question I asked him: How has success changed you as a person, do you think?

Slash: I don’t know. I mean, I really try to hold fast to the ideals that we started with. So, we’re, like, in this big struggle to maintain certain – what’s the best word for it – like, ideals that we started out with and not let success affect us. In a way, it does. You have to deal with being recognized at a record store, when you’re just trying to pick up some CDs and all these people come up; you’re driving your car and people come by screaming and yelling at you. But, as far as the monetary aspect of it, it’s nice to be able to order room service and not have to worry about making long distance phone calls. And, you know, I’m not much of a shopper, so it’s not a really big deal about clothes. So my general attitude hasn’t changed that much, but I don’t have to bum, like, money off girls to get booze and stuff (laughs).

Vanessa Warwick: That was in the early days, wasn’t it?

Slash: I mean, that’s how we lived for a long time, it was just like... And they’re still all good friends of ours, these girls that we used to hang out with. That’s - basically, the only difference is that we’re a little bit more comfortable and we don’t have to struggle this hard. But as far as getting on stage and stuff, it’s like, all these people see us as being this huge band that sells all these records, and we’re looking at each other trying to remember the parts (laughs), you know, and trying to keep the general vibe happening. So it’s a definite world into ourselves that we are in, and a sort of rock ‘n’ roll integrity that we’re trying to maintain and that we won’t sell out, we won’t conform. So, you know, it feels real to us, although it looks completely, like, fantastical to everybody else looking at it.

Vanessa Warwick: Now, you’ve also found, somehow – I don’t know how you did it, but you found time, to take some time out and do some kind of solo work. Could you tell us a bit about some of the things you’ve been working on?

Slash: Let’s see... I just did a couple of songs with Motorhead, which was great. I still got a Michael Jackson thing coming up; I’m doing a video with him.

Vanessa Warwick: Can you tell us more about the Motorhead thing? What was that all about?

Slash: There’s two songs. I haven’t listened to them in a while. I forgot the name of the first one, but the second one I did was called “I ain’t no nice guy” and it’s a classic song. It gave me chills - you know, it’s sort of rare to go into somebody else’s session and get chills from their song. So I think it’s gonna be on their new record. That’s as much as I can really say about it. I played on Carole King’s new, what she’s working on, and I did the jazz festival with her. I’ve got a Stevie Wonder coming up – I hope. They said they wanted to do it. So I’ve just been, you know, busy (laughs).

Vanessa Warwick: Absolutely. Do you find that doing those kind of side things helps keep you fresh for what’s happening with Guns N’ Roses?

Slash: I really never gave it that much thought. It keeps me active, it keeps my chops up and I’m real inspired. When you play with other people in their environment, you have to – it makes you a better player. As far as Guns N’ Roses goes, there’s no real similarity, we do what we do. When I do something on the side, it’s their thing, you know? So it’s just me going and trying to adapt to their situation.

Vanessa Warwick: And you’ve got another little band on the side, called – is it the Drunk Fux?

Slash: It’s F-U-X, so we can say that (chuckles).

Vanessa Warwick: Now who is in that band? Tell us more about it.

Slash: It’s not really a band anymore. It was just a bunch of friends. There was West Arkeen, Duff, a guy named Todd that’s no longer around – which was pretty much the reason why Drunk Fux isn’t around anymore, because he passed away, and he was one of the really main members. There was Del James, who is a really good friend of ours (?), and I.

Vanessa Warwick: Of course West and Del contribute some songwriting to Use Your Illusion, right?

Slash: Yeah. So, it was a band that we just went out with a sort of like, you know, juvenile attitude and just – we’d go out and [muted], and we’d book a gig in a club and we’d just hang out. I never made one gig, myself. I would always be passed out in a road case in the back somewhere. That was the whole, like, little touch of Drunk Fux that I had.

Vanessa Warwick: That was your contribution. To live up to the name (laughs).

Slash: We had a great logo. We got some t-shirts made and that was cool (laughs). We won’t be recording soon, okay?

Vanessa Warwick: Okay. Now, you’ve got a camera crew out on the road with you, at the moment. They seem to be, like, following you around everywhere. What’s that in aid of?

Slash: Because we’re gonna do a documentary and so it’s just footage of what goes on. It’s gonna be like Christmas at the end of this whole thing, going through and try to edit all this stuff together, and remembering some of the stuff that has gone on, cuz it’s been pretty wild.

Vanessa Warwick: So is it gonna be like “In bed with Madonna”? Are you gonna show, like, everything?

Slash: I think a lot of stuff is gonna stay in the vault (laughs).

Vanessa Warwick: Alright. As we’re reaching the end of the show, I want to talk to you about the forthcoming Metallica-Guns tour, States-side. I mean, I guess you must be really looking forward to that.

Slash: Oh, it’s gonna be great! It’s one of the things that we were talking about that was really important, that was trying to bring back that great stadium tour from the 70s, where they had all these great bands. Because, after a while, it was just, like, the headlining band and the opening band, it didn’t really matter. Now it’s, like, co-headlining. It’s two really heavy bands and Faith No More is opening, so it’s gonna be a big event. It’s gonna be an all-day thing, so bring, I don’t know, a sac lunch; and a blanket.

Vanessa Warwick: (Laughs) Now, what are the live similarities, if any, between Guns and Metallica?

Slash: I think, musically, there isn’t any kind of similarities. But, attitude-wise, there is a lot. It’s one of the reasons we wanted to do it together, because we’ve gotten really far away from conforming to the industry, and doing things our own way we’ve been successful at it. And I think we opened a lot of doors – both bands will open a lot of doors for other bands, and open up the attitude of some of these, you know, very stiff white-collar executive types over the record companies and let them know that this commercial attitude that they’ve got isn’t necessarily the way to go; there is other things happening and it definitely works. So we have that similarity and, plus, we’re just good friends.

Vanessa Warwick: Will it be, like, a co-headlining situation?

Slash: Yeah, totally. It’s totally equal.

Vanessa Warwick: And people will have to get there early, because you both play, like, three hours.

Slash: It’s Faith No More, Metallica and us. Metallica plays for, like, three hours. We play for, like, three hours. Faith probably play for an hour – maybe 1-1/2 hour, I’m not really sure. So, it’s definitely something to get there early for.

Vanessa Warwick: What about the two stages? They have a diamond shape stage...

Slash: We’ve come to an agreement as far as the stage goes, which is a little bit of a secret at this point. We’re trying to keep some things secret, yeah? (chuckles)

Vanessa Warwick: And do you think that – you know, we just live in hope that maybe this tour might come to Europe.

Slash: I don’t know, because we’re doing our European thing now and Metallica, if they haven’t done it already - you know, it’s gotten to that point where we’re just gonna probably do it in the States and leave it at that; cuz we still got other stuff to do after the States.

Vanessa Warwick: Okay. Well, that’s it for now. Actually, that’s it for the show as far as Slash is concerned. He is out of here, but thank you very much for taking time out to talk to me. It’s very nice to see you again. And good luck with the [cut]
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