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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

2022.02.25 - Yahoo! Entertainment - Interview with Slash

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2022.02.25 - Yahoo! Entertainment - Interview with Slash Empty 2022.02.25 - Yahoo! Entertainment - Interview with Slash

Post by Soulmonster Fri Feb 25, 2022 2:12 pm

Slash talks about making new music during the pandemic and remembers that crazy 'November Rain' video
Fri, February 25, 2022, 1:36 AM

Lyndsey Parker

Guitarist Slash talks about his new work with Myles Kennedy and the Conspirators and reflects on the insanity of the Guns N' Roses November Rain video. He also talks about making music and staying sober during the pandemic.

Video Transcript
LYNDSEY PARKER: It's been almost four years since I last interviewed you, which was when the last Conspirators record came out. You're such a touring machine, between The Conspirators, and of course Gun N' Roses, and then everything was on hold. So you must be excited, now that The Conspirators are touring.

SLASH: Definitely an exciting time, because yeah, all that downtime, and actually producing a record in the midst of the pandemic and getting it done. But we didn't release it until now, so it's been 10 months. I've never had that long of a turnaround period before.

And then to get out and just start playing, and having new songs in the set. It's cool, because Guns N' Roses, which is something that I got back into during my career with Myles Kennedy, and that is this really big, epic, different kind of a thing. And it's great, and I love it. But I'm keeping The Conspirators together, because I love that down to earth, sort of toe-to-toe with the audience kind of vibe.

LYNDSEY PARKER: Well speaking of epic, there's one thing I have to ask you about Gun N' Roses. I discovered that this is the 30th anniversary of the November Rain music video.

SLASH: Oh no way, really?

LYNDSEY PARKER: Yeah, I know right? I want to ask you about the iconic church scene. I mean, that's so iconic that Avril Lavigne parodied it later. I'm sure you've saw that.

SLASH: Oh, I didn't see that, really?

LYNDSEY PARKER: When you have a moment, look up a music video by Avril Lavigne called Rock N Roll. She literally comes out of the church, and does a guitar solo, and it's a nod to November-- I'm surprised you haven't seen that. It was about ten years ago.

SLASH: I have never seen it. I have to check that out.

LYNDSEY PARKER: Tell me about making that video, because that took, video making to a whole-- not just for Guns N' Roses, but in general, to another level.

SLASH: You know, November Rain as a video was really Axl's brainchild. And I don't even know exactly what it's about--

[LAUGHTER]

But I was always that guy who was sort of-- I really could care less about concept videos, and all that kind of stuff. So it's a trilogy, because there was Don't Cry, November Rain, and Estranged, all part of the same story. And really, Axl would be the best to walk you through it, because I was never really present for all of that. I just showed up to do-- because I just could never get into the whole-- it's funny, because I produce horror movies now. But in the video, I really just couldn't get into the cinematic and theatric kind of concept thing, so I would just do my part.

[CHUCKLES]

When the guitar solo came, Andy and I'd sat down and talked about it. He had the idea of doing it out in the church, where Silverado was shot. I think that's where it was, in New Mexico. And I was like cool, but he didn't tell me that they were going to be doing dive bomb shots with me with a helicopter. And when I got out onto the set and did my thing, then I noticed that this helicopter would come back and forth at extremely fast speeds, and get really, really low. And I thought, well, this will be my last day on earth, so I was-- you know, try and look cool, right?

[LAUGHTER]

LYNDSEY PARKER: Were you actually scared?

SLASH: It was the kind of thing where you just resigned to the fact that you're probably going to die. And at that point in time, I was pretty much, had that--

[CHUCKLING]

I didn't have very much fear of death in those days.

LYNDSEY PARKER: Yeah.

SLASH: And anyway, so we shot it, and I had no idea what it was going to look like afterwards. But it ended up looking pretty cool. But I didn't know it was going to be as memorable as it turned out to be.

LYNDSEY PARKER: Well, I'm wondering, because obviously, Guns N Roses starting off as being kind of the antithesis to a lot of other things that were kind of going on in the L.A. scene. You were grittier, more from the street. So like, when you got to these videos that were much more high concept, huge budget, storylines, trilogy, special effects, helicopters, were you like how did we get here? How did this happen?

SLASH: I guess at that point, the band was playing stadiums and doing all that kind of stuff. And so, it didn't phase me all that much, as long as it didn't infringe too much on everything else. Anyway, I don't remember complaining about it too much. I think at the end of the day, the whole trilogy, there was a feeling of like wow, we've actually gotten to this point where we're shooting on the top of a building downtown with a (BLEEP) helicopter for Don't Cry. I remember taking a Mustang off of a (BLEEP) cliff. It was just sort of like an acceptance of the indulgence at that point.

LYNDSEY PARKER: It was an exciting time. It was indulgent in many ways, obviously.

SLASH: Yeah, yeah.

[CHUCKLING]

LYNDSEY PARKER: I mean, you mentioned that you didn't fear death much at that time. I mean, I know you've been sober since about 2005, 2006. Is your workaholism, you know, obviously you've been doing The Conspirators for a while. Now you're doing Guns N' Roses as well. You obviously played on lots of other people's records. Just working and focusing on that kind of help with your--

SLASH: I mean, I've always been a workaholic and a busybody, and obsessed with everything that's going on. But, it's having a nursing a really, a real chemical dependence is a big responsibility, and you have to deal with it every day. So it takes a good chunk of time. So when I got clean, I took all that extra time that I was wasting on my extracurricular activities, and it just naturally went back into music. So now, I'm a workaholic on 10.

[CHUCKLING]

But it's good. It keeps me sane. Listen man, I mean, if I hadn't quit doing what I was doing, I never would have made it through the pandemic. I'd be dead, because I could not have handled that kind of like shift in pace, where all of a sudden, you're staring at an abyss of how long you're going to be grounded.

And so, all things considered, I don't think I would have been able to do half the stuff I've done in the last 15 years, had I not gotten my (BLEEP) together. So yeah. The pandemic would have been a disaster for me, because not being able to tour, and having a thing to sort of focus on and grab onto would have been a disaster. But now, I've sort of been able to learn how to be patient, and (BLEEP) focus. I did a lot writing and recording, and I figured out ways of getting through it.

There was a point there, I said, well I'm going to start working on this next Conspirators record, because this is ridiculous. And I worked on a bunch of other stuff as well, Guns N' Roses stuff, and some other ancillary sessions, and appearances and this and that.

LYNDSEY PARKER: A lot of people who have a history of addiction, understandably, it was a challenging time, and a lot of people did relapse. It sounds like you did not.

SLASH: Well the thing is, I did it to the hilt for so long, every time I ever even-- the idea of going in that direction popped up in my mind, it brought back such ugly memories that I've never felt really compelled to go through with it. It's a safeguard, because I don't have any regrets about that period. And I'm not what you call a sobriety flag waver, because I am sober out of necessity, more than anything.

All things considered, even during the pandemic, the idea of a Guinness probably sounds good, but I know where that goes, and so it's just, end of conversation.

LYNDSEY PARKER: What's next for both The Conspirators, and of course for Guns N' Roses? I know the 4 album by conspirators with Myles Kennedy is out now. I know you're not at liberty to really talk about Guns N' Roses' current music, or future music, but I am looking forward hopefully to hearing--

SLASH: Yeah, there's more stuff coming, for sure. That I can say.

[MUSIC PLAYING]
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