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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.


2010.09.26 - Classic Rock Revisited - Slash: Dangerously Beautiful

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2010.09.26 - Classic Rock Revisited - Slash: Dangerously Beautiful Empty 2010.09.26 - Classic Rock Revisited - Slash: Dangerously Beautiful

Post by Blackstar Mon Nov 01, 2021 3:31 pm

Slash: Dangerously Beautiful

By Jeb Wright

Slash has returned to this side of the pond after a very successful European tour in support of his self-titled solo album, which debuted at #3 on the charts. As his band tours the USA, Slash is getting ready to release his album again, this time as a deluxe version. The deluxe CD will include all nineteen songs recorded during the sessions as well as a DVD featuring live footage and bonus features.

Slash, in this interview, also discusses how he thought of asking former GNR band mate Axl Rose to sing on the album as well as asking the King of Pop, Michael Jackson. He reveals that he will also appear on Fergie’s solo album and that she is a rocker chick at heart. We also delve into the past and discuss creating “Sweet Child O Mine” and the day Slash auditioned for hair metal stars Poison.

Jeb: We met in the Green Room at the VH1 Rock Honors. My buddy, Ludovic, was with me and he is from Paris. We got to talking and he hooked you up with some Gitanes cigarettes.

Slash: You know, I vaguely remember that. The reason that is so memorable is because that is my brand and they are hard to get. I had them smuggled in.

Jeb: I can have him hook you up again.

Slash: I quit smoking. Its been more than a year ago. I was smoking three packs a day. I was making the record that I just came out with and as I was getting ready to go into the studio, I got fucking pneumonia because I was working so hard and not taking care of myself. I didn’t smoke for two weeks -- I tried but I couldn’t breath. After two weeks, I grabbed my pack of cigarettes and I thought, “That is so pigheaded. It has been two weeks. I am over the hump.” My mom had also just died of cancer. I got the patch and a bunch of nicotine gum but I haven’t smoked since. I still chew the gum though. I am still a nicotine hound.

Jeb: I want to say I am sorry to hear about your mom. I didn’t realize that.

Slash: It has been a year. It was a drag. She died of lung cancer.

Jeb: We are off to a sad start in this interview. We need to get positive because there is a lot of positive stuff going on in your life.

Slash: [laughter] It has been a while and it has become part of my vernacular. I am sorry about that. Moving on….

Jeb: How were the seeds sown to create the solo album and to then turn around and release the deluxe version with more songs and a DVD?

Slash: It wasn’t so much that I wanted to make this big super record with all this cool stuff as it was that I wanted to get the rest of the material that I had recorded out. There were 19 songs recorded altogether. I only had 14 songs on the first pressing because it is hard to force people to sit though 19 songs. I wanted to get another version of the album out to get all the songs on it, and in order to do that, I had to put some cool stuff on it to make it rather enticing. Since we have been out on the road, we have been able to get some really good live footage. We put a video on it, we did some acoustic tracks and we put it all out there.

Jeb: You had worldwide success with Guns N Roses and Velvet Revolver. You had some success with Snakepit as well. But this album is turning out to be one of your most successful. Are you shocked by that?

Slash: It has been really, really cool. I went into this with no expectations. It was just an outlet for me because I really wanted to make a record on my own. I had the idea that I wanted to do something with a bunch of people guesting on my record because I have always done a lot of guesting on other people’s records. It was really a labor of love. The people were great and it was really easy to make. I got to see what I was made of without the rest of the bands input.

Whenever I make an album it is always a means to going out and play on the road. I met up with Myles Kennedy, who is one of the best rock ‘n roll singers out there. We managed to put together a killer rhythm section and the band is great. We have been getting a great rock crowd and it really has been stunning.

Jeb: I want to talk about Myles, but first, lets talk about Fergie. I am a rocker and my favorite songs on the album are “Dr. Alibi” with Lemmy from Motorhead, “Ghost” with Ian Astbury and “The Sword” with Andrew Stockdale from Wolfmother. The song I wanted to hate was “Beautiful Dangerous” with Fergie. I can’t hate that song. It rocks man. It really rocks.

Slash: Fergie is stereotyped. It is easy to do because she is in the Black Eyed Peas. If I didn’t know her I would not have said, “Hey, let’s go get that chick to sing on my record.” I first met her when I did this impromptu guest appearance with the Black Eyed Peas and we did a rock medley. I had never met her.

I was doing this fund raiser -- that is what we were doing it for -- when we did the rock medley, she sang and and I went, “Wow” because she sang a Led Zeppelin song and then “Barracuda” and “Live and Let Die” by Paul McCartney. It really just blew my mind. I made friends with her and we got to know each other and it turns out that she is this full on rock chick. She started out in her first groups playing rock music.

Like almost every female in the industry, she made her way into pop music because, in this day and age, it is about the only way to get your foot in the door. She has had tons of success doing pop and she has become world famous because of that group. I knew, however, that she could sing the shit out of rock music. I actually had a song that I had written that I wanted a girl to sing and she was the first person that came to my mind.

Jeb: Does she have another song on the deluxe version?

Slash: No, the other song I have done with her is going to be on her solo record --- she is doing a rock solo record. Listen, Fergie does her thing in the Black Eyed Peas but when she is hanging with me she gets to go off on her wild side. The lyrics are really fucking hardcore, in a sexual way. We just did a video for “Beautiful Dangerous” that is going to paint her in a new light as well.

Jeb: I am going to ask this because I just can’t help myself. When is Myles Kennedy going to be named the new singer for Velvet Revolver?

Slash: There are a lot of rumors going around about that. I don’t think that is going to happen -- in fact, I know it is not going to happen. He is in a band called Alter Bridge and they’ve got a new record coming out. We are juggling between Alter Bridge and my tour all next year. I am going back to LA next month and working with Duff, Matt and Dave and working with a couple of new singers to see how they turn out. There is no effort being made to have Myles join Velvet Revolver.

Jeb: Get Fergie on her wild side….

Slash: There are no girls in that band [laughter].

Jeb: I thought of two singers I would have loved to have seen on your solo album. The first is one of your favorite rock singers, Robin Zander of Cheap Trick.

Slash: Robin is one of the best rock n’ roll singers of all time. I wrote a bunch of material and the first vocalist that I thought of singing that material is who I went after. I never thought of Robin for any of those particular tracks. If I was going to do this again then he is one of a couple of people that I would love to work with if I had the right material. He is one of my favorite rock singers. I feel shitty now. I really was very spontaneous in who I chose, depending on the song.

Jeb: The other singer is Axl Rose.

Slash: You know, I will be honest with you, even at the sake of it going public, when I was in the middle of this process there were a lot of singers names who flew through my mind during the process. You are living in Singer Land so all you are thinking about is singers. The thought of him crossed my mind at one point. I thought, “Axl could sing the shit out of any of these songs.” I, obviously, never made the phone call because I wanted to put the record out in this millennium.

Jeb: Hell, he may have never showed up.

Slash: Exactly. The other singer, and I have mentioned this before, was Michael Jackson. The record was being made right around the time he passed on. Before that happened, he was getting ready to do those shows at the O2 in London. I thought, “Wouldn’t it be funny to have Michael Jackson do a heavy metal song.” It was a passing thought; I never was committed to it.

Jeb: You may be sick of this subject but I have to ask how you feel about Guns N Roses touring and you not being a part of it. Does it bother you?

Slash: It has been a long time, dude.

Jeb: I know it has but that was your first big band. I would think that band will always be special.

Slash: There was a lot leading up to this. When I quit the band a lot of it had to do with a lot of crazy stipulations that Alx put on Duff and I, one of which was that we had to join his new Guns N Roses. At that point, I realized that it was all way too far gone to deal with anymore; we’re done. Not too long after that, Axl ended up putting together the Guns N Roses with whoever was in it. There was so much bitterness at that point that it never really phased me; I didn’t really care. We had already done the whole deal with him taking the name and being really downright nasty. From that point on, I didn’t really care what he did. At this point, 15 years later, I am like have it at. “Do that thing, dude.” I am just glad he is out there.

Jeb: I suppose it is selling the back catalog.

Slash: Not even that… It is just that he is actually back out there trying to work it.

Jeb: My last two songs are fun ones. I am a guitar nut. Do you remember the day you wrote the riff to “Sweet Child O Mine?”

Slash: Yeah, very much so. We had this house that this management company had rented for us, they were courting us to be our managers. It was a really nice house in Laughlin Park, California. We had reduced the house to a mere shell of itself in only a few weeks.

One afternoon, when the smoke was still clearing from the night before, Duff, Izzy and I were sitting around on the floor --- we didn’t have any furniture anymore --- and I was dicking around with that riff. In all honestly, I don’t really know where the riff came from but, all of a sudden, it started to sound really cool. Izzy started playing acoustic behind it and the chord changes started coming together. Axl was upstairs in his bedroom and he overheard it. A couple of days after we had put together our simple riff/chord structure, Axl said, “Play that song you guys were playing the other day.” We were like, “What song?” He goes, “That one with that do do dodo do doo do do.” He had written a bunch of lyrics to it without us even knowing about it. It came together relatively quickly. We started rehearsing it and we wrote it from one end to the other that night.

Jeb: Last one: Legend holds that you tried out for Poison but didn’t make the cut. Is that true?

Slash: Yeah I did. I was living in LA and I had just gotten done working in a band with Axl, actually, called Hollywood Rose. Steven Adler was in that band as well. I just quit. I told Axl I couldn’t handle it anymore and I walked. That was right after the first time Axl and I ever worked together. Matt, the original guitar player for Poison, who was actually a pretty cool guy, had gotten his wife pregnant or they were getting married or something like that. He was moving back to Pennsylvania. He goes, “You should try out for Poison.” I hated Poison but in those days you did whatever you had to do to keep moving.

Being very ambitious, as I was, I went and auditioned for Poison. I ended up being one of two guitar players left that they were going to pick from. I remember kicking the shit out of the songs they had. There was no denying that I could play them but there was an issue about makeup and stuff. Bobby Dall asked me what kind of shoes I was going to wear. I was like, “What?” It was kind of obvious that this was going to go nowhere.

As I was walking out of the audition, CC Deville was walking in. He had on pancake makeup and a ton of hairspray. I actually remember thinking right then, “That should be the guy.” The next day I got a call from Bobby and he said, “You know, you are great and all but I think we are going to pass on you and go with this other guy.” It was CC and it really did make all the sense in the world. I was in a couple of bands after that and then we started Guns and Roses.

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