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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

2010.12.26 - Scottish Daily Record - 'I'm a much better guitarist now I'm off drugs and alcohol,' says Slash

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2010.12.26 - Scottish Daily Record - 'I'm a much better guitarist now I'm off drugs and alcohol,' says Slash Empty 2010.12.26 - Scottish Daily Record - 'I'm a much better guitarist now I'm off drugs and alcohol,' says Slash

Post by Blackstar Thu Nov 04, 2021 4:35 am

I'm a much better guitarist now I'm off drugs and alcohol, says Slash of Guns N' Roses

By JOHN DINGWALL

He is one of the greatest rock guitarists of all time ...but Slash insists he's sharper than ever after quitting drugs and booze.

The former Guns N' Roses guitarist, christened Saul Hudson, is loving every minute of his sobriety. His chronic chain-smoking days are over too.

That's quite a turnaround for the critically-acclaimed guitarist who, after the Roses, founded Slash's Snakepit and co-founded the successful  Velvet Revolver with former Roses bandmates Duff McKagan and Matt Sorum.

But despite being under the influence the guitarist - ranked No.2 in Time Magazine's list of top 10 electric guitar players of all time - always somehow managed to stay on top form.

He explained: "I'd always been pretty good at being able to play no matter what. I managed to maintain things pretty well. I wasn't a fall-down drunk. But all things considered, I sort of burned out on that. I think I just over excessed and got to the point that I really wasn't enjoying it.

"I finally conquered that demon but it took me years. As a non- drinker and not doing drugs, I find that not being intoxicated at all lends itself to me being sharp.

"My reflexes are a lot better and my ability to concentrate and hit the notes on the fret board is as immediate as they come to my mind. Everything is more accurate, especially for the live performances which is when I improvise a lot. I find my spontaneity means I am able to connect faster than when I was drinking."

The 45-year-old, born in Stoke-on-Trent, attributes his decision to leave his crazy years behind him to the fact that he's still around in the music industry doing his thing.

He explains: "I'm in perfect shape but it is truly amazing that I am still around. I took that as a n omen and figured I'm not going anywhere so I might as well make the best of it.

" I don't wake up and make a cocktail first thing in the morning these days. I don't have a lot of vices I have to deal with first thing. I was a slave to my addiction, and had to take care of those first, so I don't have that any more. It leaves more time to be productive."

With his trademark style - that hat, the shades and long mass of unruly, curly hair - Slash was always one of the world's most iconic rockers. And he play s up to the rock legend image in the video for his forthcoming single, Beautiful Dangerous, which features Black Eyed Peas beauty Fergie.

The American singer plays a rock groupie-turned-stalker who ties Slash to a bed before deciding to live out her deranged fantasies.

Slash admits that it wasn't too much of a reach for him to play the guitarist that rock chick groupies lust after.

He said: "It was fun to do, you know. Fergie's great and it was probably the easiest concept shoot that I've done, at least in recent memory.

"It was several one-day shoots and two locations a block away from each other. I was tied up. It was one of those videos where we had a very loose treatment and idea of what the video was basically about and we just sort of made it up a s we went along."

He added: "I've had stalkers, none as crazy or as attractive as Fergie. Stalkers, real stalkers, are no joke or something to laugh at. The real ones tend to be dangerous or psychotic nuisances. This was an exaggeration on a theme. In reality, I have never been drugged against my will. I have never been tied up against my will. It's always been consensual."

Fergie was one of several vocalists drafted in by Slash for h is eponymous solo album but he insists those who made it on t here were not part of some fantasy duets wish list.

Instead, Slash only asked people he knew and thought would be perfect for the songs he had in mind.

On the album, an all-star roster of guest vocalists includes Ian Astbury, Myles Kennedy and Kid Rock.

Slash recalled: "I would just write music and put together arrangements and think in my mind's eye who would be t he right vocalist for that piece of music. It was quite simple. A lot of people think there's a lot of forethought that goes into these collaborations, like some sort of dream list or something. It's more of a spontaneous sort of thing.

"I always have a guitar by my side and I'm always out in circles where musicians hang out, or I'm in situations where I'm exposed to lots of different artists.

"I jump at t he chance to work with people when the opportunity arises. That's basically how these different collaborations happen. When I did the record, though, it was about trying to find the vocalist who was appropriate for each song. So those were very specific.

"It's not really about putting together fantastical partnerships that I think in my imagination would be great. I haven't really done that."

Having known Iggy Pop since childhood, it seemed natural that he should join those helping Slash on the album.

"I have done a lot of work with Iggy," Slash said. "We've done a lot of live performances together. I've played on a bunch of tracks on his Brick By Brick record and we did a video for a t rack from that record.

"I did a song wit h him and Lenny Kravitz back in the early '90s which was never released that was really cool . So we have an ongoing relationship. I had this one song that screamed out for Iggy Pop so I called him up. He is t he epitome of what you'd want to think a real rock 'n' roll guy is like. If it catches his ear, then he is off and running.

"I met him under strange circumstances when I was really little and I vaguely remember the details of all that. I ended up seeing him years later as an adult. At that point, I was a musician and we hit it off. Duff and I hung out with him at the same time and Duff is a die-hard Iggy Pop fan. We have remained friends ever since."

Having received countless accolades and awards, including a 2007 star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame alongside his idols Jimmy Page and Jimi Hendrix, Slash's signature guitar riffs on songs such as Sweet Child O' Mine and Welcome To The Jungle helped rock legends Guns N' Roses to dominate the music scene through the 19 80s and '90s, selling more than 100 million albums worldwide.

He hates to disappoint those die-hard Guns N' Roses fans but Slash insists he'll never step into the studio with Axl Rose again.

He explained: "It's been 14 years. I haven't spoken to him in all that time. There really is no relationship. That's why it is frustrating when people ask about band reunions and what's going on.

"Fourteen years is a long time to not be in a band for people to still be asking about that. Having said that, it's an appreciation, I guess, for the band from a lot of fans who care about it that much. It's very flattering that after all that time that the original line-up still has that appreciation. I try not to scoff about it that much but the Axl question is redundant."

After the band's break-up, Slash went on to have global success as a guitarist and has been widely sought after by the biggest musicians of all time, performing with everyone from Michael Jack son to Stevie Wonder to Ray Charles.

The good news is that although he's currently having some time off, the guitarist is planning another solo album with Alter Bridge's Myles Kennedy providing the vocals. After that, he plans to head back out on the road in 2011 and Scotland will be on the tour schedule.

He said: "I am on a break while Myles is out on his Alter Bridge tour, then we are out in January until mid-April, then Alter Bridge goes out again. Then we'll do a proper UK tour and European tour and we'll come to Scotland because, put it this way, we always have a great time. Simple as that. I love Scotland. It's beautiful countryside. The people are great and I love the pubs and the gigs. I've always had a great time."

In addition to that, Slash has also promised that Velvet Revolver will make a resurgence.

He revealed: "We are going to go in and try out a couple of new singers. The band itself is fine. It's just a matter of patching that hole. Nothing can happen until we do that. It has been quiet but there are things going on."

Beautiful Dangerous is released in the UK through Roadrunner Records on the February 27, 2011. The album Slash is out now, while the special edition is due to be released on March 7, 2011.

https://www.dailyrecord.co.uk/entertainment/celebrity/im-a-much-better-guitarist-now-1079188
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