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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

1995.02.DD - Guitarist (France) - Jumping Jack Slash

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1995.02.DD - Guitarist (France) - Jumping Jack Slash Empty 1995.02.DD - Guitarist (France) - Jumping Jack Slash

Post by Blackstar Thu Aug 11, 2022 11:31 pm

Original text in French:
http://slashsnakepit.chez-alice.fr/biographie/interviews/jumpingjackslash.php

Translation:
-----------------------

Jumping Jack Slash

Your first solo album with your own band, Snakepit, is finally coming out...

Yes, it's coming out on February 14th, Valentine's Day! (laughs)

After all the rumors that have circulated about it, have you left Guns N' Roses or not?

I haven't left the band, and I haven't been fired. This album is a side project, an opportunity for me to not be sitting around. I didn't want to stop playing while waiting for Guns to record the next album, because sometimes the wait can be long, as you know. I'm a passionate musician, I like to play. If I stay idle for too long, I lose my footing. However, I didn't start this album thinking that I was going to work on a side project. I was just writing songs at home and Matt was helping me record. Then Gilby came in with Mike Inez (Alice In Chains bassist), and then we met singer Eric Dover (ex-Jellyfish). So we had a band, we had time, why not make an album? That's what we did. But releasing an album without touring afterwards doesn't make sense, obviously...

Guns N' Roses recorded a cover of "Sympathy For The Devil" for the movie "Interview With A Vampire." Aren't you afraid to be caught between two bands?

We did "Sympathy For The Devil" because Axl liked the movie, but it didn't have much to do with a real band recording session. Axl did the vocals separately and put Paul Huge's solos on top of mine. It's true that if one of the songs on my album was a hit, I would surely be in a strange situation.

You also did new sessions with Michael Jackson...

Yes, he called me, I played three choruses on three songs and don't ask me more, I don't know what will come out of that.

Did you write the songs alone or is it a group effort?

With Snakepit I did the songs at home, then Matt would add a drum track, and then we would do the arrangements. That's how we wrote most of the songs. After that, Mike Inez worked on his parts, Gilby wrote one or two more songs and we arranged them together. The lyrics and melodies were often written at the same time as we recorded the vocals, all in one night! And we recorded the whole album in 26 days, with a completely new band! (laughs). Eric and I would throw ideas around until we had a song, then we'd go in and record it. The album came together really quickly.

Did you work in your personal studio?

When we finished the fourth Gn'R album, I had a studio built in my house in LA, the one I call Earthquake 1994 House. It has a little 24-track Mackie, the same console I use in professional studios. That's where we did the demos. The original songs, the original tapes were done in that home studio, and later, when we realized we were really going to do an album, I rented a big studio.

Did you record live?

All the songs were played live in the studio. You know, I have a problem, I hate having headphones on. I play live with the band, just one guitar to get the feel, then I go back to the studio to record the guitars. I do that in the control room, with the volume up!

Do you still do overdubs?

Just for the guitar solos. The basic sound of the band is actually two guitars, Gilby and I, on either side of the stereo mix, and then I put a solo in the middle, that's it.

Gilby has released his own solo album. He will definitely not play with Guns N' Roses anymore?

He's with me, but as far as Guns is concerned, nothing is definite regarding his involvement. I'm not sure what could happen with that...

Who are the current guitarists whom you have affinities with?

I don't know. Steve Lukather is a friend of mine, but we don't talk much business when we are together! (laughs). We rarely talk about guitars. As for the guitarists I don't know personally, there's none that I've been really interested in lately. Because... I mean, most of the guitarists I like play an older style. Jerry Cantrell from Alice In Chains is cool, I know him too, but when we are together we never talk about guitars, you gotta believe me! As far as rock guitarists go, I think they fall into two categories: either they play in a raw, old style, to the point where I end up not liking it at all because I don't think they're good enough to play that basic stuff. They often sound wrong as soon as they pull the strings. The others play in a Steve Vai style, and I don't really like that either. So I still listen to Jeff Beck and stuff like that...

When you first started, which guitarist influenced you the most?

I would say, probably, Jimmy Page. He was the first one I took the time to sit down and learn the solos. Jimmy Page, Eric Clapton and Jimi Hendrix were the first guitarists that interested me. Then, after I became a musician, I discovered others...

Joe Perry?

For the energy he delivers, yes.

Do you plan to go on tour with Snakepit?

We're touring from April to July. The tour will include Europe, Japan and maybe Australia.

What amps will you take on tour?

The ones I usually use: two Marshall stacks, one with a clean sound, the other with a distorted sound. I also take my talk box, my wah-wah pedals, nothing complicated. I don't like complications when it comes to gear. I don't like effects, racks, all that.

On the solid-body electric guitars side, do you stay true to the same simplicity?

I have a handmade Les Paul 59 replica, which I use most of the time. It's my main guitar, the oldest one. It was already set up with Seymour Duncan Alnico II pickups when I bought it. All the newer Les Pauls and Strats that I use on stage are also set up with Seymour Duncan Alnico IIs. That's the first thing I change when I buy a guitar.

You also play acoustic sometimes...

I have a guitar built by Guild to my requirements. It's a double neck, with an electro-acoustic on top and an electric on the bottom. The basic shape is that of a Telecaster, a double neck Telecaster! The upper body is slightly hollowed out for acoustic resonance. The bottom electric one is equipped with Alnico II. The tone/volume controls and selector switch are the same as on a normal Tele. The only difference is that there is an extra switch to switch from one neck to the other. It's a stage guitar for professional use, it's useless at home. But if you're on tour with a band that plays songs with both acoustic and electric guitar parts, it comes in handy. At the moment there are only three of these made. But maybe it will be released commercially. If there's a song with acoustic, that's the one I use. You'll never see me play one of those stand-up acoustic guitars, on standby - you know what I mean, I can't stand that.

Did you include any songs with acoustic guitar, unplugged style, on your album?

There are no acoustic songs, no ballads really. There is one song with acoustic mandolin, but it's only in the intro of the song, the rest is electric.

Do you think that Guns N' Roses fans will buy this album?

I have no idea (laughs). If someone is a Guns fan, if they like the band's hard songs, they will probably like this album. It's rock, very hard, but not really complicated. There are no grandiose arrangements, no elaborate acoustic ballads. It's all very straightforward. I didn't try to add any frills to my guitar playing, it's just the way I usually play. And all my solos are first or second takes. That was good. I didn't have any creative problems.

What are your plans with Snakepit?

I'm waiting for the album to come out and then I want to play in small theaters and clubs, in front of 1,000 or 2,000 people, and explore that environment because, unfortunately, Guns can't play in that circuit. We could do it I guess, we've done it before, but Axl seems to be interested in other directions. So this is an opportunity for me, and we'll see what happens when the tour is over.


Last edited by Blackstar on Fri Aug 12, 2022 5:16 am; edited 2 times in total
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1995.02.DD - Guitarist (France) - Jumping Jack Slash Empty Re: 1995.02.DD - Guitarist (France) - Jumping Jack Slash

Post by Blackstar Thu Aug 11, 2022 11:34 pm

I couldn't find anything about the exact date this interview was released (the source site only mentions it was in 1995), so February is my best guess.
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