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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!
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2022.01.29 - Wall Street Journal - Slash on the New, Drama-Free Guns N’ Roses

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Post by Blackstar Sat Jan 29, 2022 3:00 pm

Slash on the New, Drama-Free Guns N’ Roses

By Neil Shah

The guitar icon talks about reconciling with Axl Rose, the band’s future music and his new solo album

LOS ANGELES—At the peak of Guns N’ Roses mania, lead guitarist Slash was a train wreck within a train wreck. The band showed up late for concerts, night after night. A few times, fans rioted. Slash drank so much he was eventually given six weeks to live. He and Axl Rose fought and didn’t perform onstage together for 23 years.

“I really shouldn’t be here,” Slash says in an interview at his home studio in the San Fernando Valley.

Neither should Guns N’ Roses. Yet the band, which reunited in 2016, is now a portrait of dependability, kicking off shows on time and delivering reliably with little to no controversy.

“Axl’s always been great to work with, but then there were also times when things were really, really difficult…That hasn’t presented itself in the last six years,” says Slash, 56 years old. “He’s been super, super f—ing professional, and actually less moody than me, even. And I’m not a moody guy.”

The new “drama-free” Guns N’ Roses has been a boon for a pandemic-stricken live-music business. The band’s 2016-19 reunion tour is the third highest-grossing concert tour in music history. In 2021, they grossed nearly $50 million, with plans to resume this summer.

Now, their attention is shifting to new music.

Slash has a solo album, “4,” out Feb. 11, featuring singer Myles Kennedy and the Conspirators. On Feb. 25, Guns N’ Roses, which includes bassist Duff McKagan, releases its first collection of songs since the reunion—a four-track mini-album, including two songs from Mr. Rose’s vault that have been newly reworked by Slash and Mr. McKagan.

More of Mr. Rose’s Guns N’ Roses material is coming, along with a reissue of 1991’s two-and-a-half-hour-long double-release, “Use Your Illusion,” which included songs like “November Rain” and “Don’t Cry.”

A representative for Guns N’ Roses didn’t respond to requests for comment.

Guns N’ Roses’ surprising sturdiness as a touring juggernaut owes much to the rekindling of the friendship between Mr. Rose and Slash.

For Slash, it all started with an inquiry into video footage of the band’s 2½–year, 194-show “Use Your Illusion” tour—a trove he once called “the holy grail of Guns N’ Roses.”

“I was talking to Guns N’ Roses management about making sure all that stuff was intact,” Slash says. “And then, I’d thrown out the idea, ‘It’d be great to find a producer to put this together’” as a film.

As Slash and Axl’s people talked more in the 2010s, Mr. Rose’s team broached the idea of reuniting. Fernando Lebeis, Guns N’ Roses’ manager, met Slash while he was on tour and “said there was something going on,” Slash says. The guitarist shrugged it off. “I hadn’t come around yet—at all. I was really ‘anti’ for years.”

One of Slash’s complaints, which he discusses in his autobiography, is Mr. Rose’s acquisition of the Guns N’ Roses name in the 1990s. Slash viewed this as Mr. Rose wresting control; Mr. Rose, in a post on a fan website, argued he wanted the name for protection because he feared being fired.

Later, when Slash was in Peru, he got a call saying Mr. Rose wanted to talk. The two exchanged niceties by phone. That led to a home-cooked steak meal at Mr. Rose’s Los Angeles residence. After that, one of rock ’n’ roll’s longest-standing feuds ended quickly, according to Slash.

“Over time, and lack of communicating and gossip, and media…all this stuff sort of built up this storm of negativity. But it was like a cloud—you could stick your hand through it,” he says.

Asked what they had to work through to bury the hatchet, Slash demurs. What happened with the Guns N’ Roses name is a “dead issue.”

“I don’t need to say my version is the right version,” he says. Everybody’s version of things “is their own version, their own reality.” He, Mr. Rose and Mr. McKagan remain stakeholders in the business partnership that started in the 1980s. “We’ve always been partners.” (In a bit of lingering drama, Izzy Stradlin, the band’s original rhythm guitarist, who left in 1991, has played no role in the reunion.)

Reconciling with Mr. Rose removed a huge psychological burden, Slash says. “You don’t even realize how heavy the weight of that much bad blood or negative energy feels until you get rid of it.”

He regrets venting publicly when promoting projects such as his band in the 2000s, Velvet Revolver. “I remember being extremely arrogant, for the longest time,” he says. His statements about Guns N’ Roses “exacerbated any kind of issues that we had. And I take the blame for that.”

The reunion is just one way Slash has returned to his Guns N’ Roses roots.

In recent years, the guitar hero has reconnected romantically with a girlfriend he dated during the band’s heyday.

For “4,” his new solo album, Slash hired producer Dave Cobb, who, like him, grew up listening to Led Zeppelin and AC/DC. Slash and Mr. Cobb recorded the guitarist’s new tunes live in the studio, an unusual strategy reminiscent of the rawer, more organic production techniques of the 1970s and 1980s.

“To do that was really f—ing liberating,” Slash says. “For a rock ’n’ roll band, it’s essential to get the buzz out of the material…to have everybody actually synergizing.”

At the same time, Slash helped Mr. Rose retool unreleased songs from when Mr. Rose was the only original member of Guns N’ Roses. The hope is that these songs help push Mr. Rose and Slash to write and record new tracks in the studio.

“One of the things Axl wanted to get off his chest was a bunch of material he’d recorded,” Slash says. “So we thought, ‘Well, that’s a good way to wet our feet.’” The coming material might arrive in a piecemeal fashion, before being assembled into an album. Work on an entirely new record hasn’t begun in earnest.

And there is no official strategy yet about releasing music. “There are no cut-and-dried answers,” Slash says.

“It’s Guns N’ Roses.”

https://www.wsj.com/articles/slash-on-the-new-drama-free-guns-n-roses-11643461201


Last edited by Blackstar on Sat Jan 29, 2022 7:34 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Post by Soulmonster Sat Jan 29, 2022 3:18 pm

Very interesting!
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Post by Shackler Sun Jan 30, 2022 8:38 pm

Really interesting interview!
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