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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.


2024.01.20 - Teleshow (Argentina) - Interview with Slash

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2024.01.20 - Teleshow (Argentina) - Interview with Slash Empty 2024.01.20 - Teleshow (Argentina) - Interview with Slash

Post by Blackstar Mon Jan 22, 2024 3:10 pm

Original source in Spanish:


Slash and his eternal commitment to rock and roll: "I don't give a shit what everybody else is doing".

In an interview with Teleshow, the legendary Guns N' Roses guitarist talks about his past excesses, his return to Argentina and the song that shaped him forever.

By Ezequiel Ruiz

Things changed a little bit when I rejoined Guns N' Roses, but I never intended to stop having my own band. It's something that's been going on since 2010 so, in a way, I'm still doing the same thing I've been doing all this time." This is Slash speaking, talking to Teleshow's contact from Los Angeles, and it is he himself who mentions the three words that are forbidden in this conversation. "No questions and comments about Guns," the guitarist's entourage had demanded. "The mere mention of it will cause the communication to be cut off abruptly".

Just like when he's on stage, we don't see his face during this communication: if when he performs he camouflages himself in his curly hair, the slightly mirrored glasses and the top hat on top of it all, in this video call he decided not to enable his camera. A green English square appears on the screen (involuntary congruence with his nationality), with a white "S" above it and "Saul Hudson", his legal name, below it. His voice, which sounds friendly and lively, will be enough, but it will be eternally in the background next to the unforgettable solos of "Sweet Child O Mine" or "Nightrain". With more than forty years on the road and with no need for further introduction, the latest news is his return to Argentina at the helm of the project Slash featuring Myles Kennedy and The Conspirators, a powerful rock band that, in addition to the Gunner guitarist and the singer, is complemented by Todd Kerns, Brent Fitz and Frank Sidoris.

With a set list based on songs from 4, an album released in early 2022, they will be performing at the Movistar Arena in Buenos Aires on February 9 (with the opening show by 19-year-old Argentine singer and multi-instrumentalist Daniela Milagros) and two days later they will be in Córdoba to be part of the eclectic Cosquín Rock. "I feel very fortunate that they have been so welcoming and kind to me in Argentina. They welcomed me with open arms from the beginning, both with Guns and with my projects (Slash's Snakepit, Velvet Revolver). I think I have been to your country in five of my different incarnations (he laughs) and you have always supported me. It has a special place in my heart," he says before being asked about his local connection.

"Touring is the best plan for me as a guitar player. I love playing at home, writing, recording, going into the studio and developing new things. But really all of that is a means to get out there and play live as much as I can. That's the real motivation. And it's good that I still love it, because it's a lot of work," he enthuses, talking about his routine of airports, hotels and stages, which feeds on the one he carries out in his Los Angeles home. From the city that was home to the birth, rise, fall and resurrection of the GNR outlaws, he spends his time working on a new song, getting ready for another return of the historic band he formed with Axl Rose, answering calls like these and even promoting films through his horror movie production company. "I'm always on something, I'm pretty busy pretty much all the time. My thing is 24/7. I'm crazy, yeah, but I enjoy it."

What's it like to write songs with Myles Kennedy?

It's really easy to work with him. I come up with a lot of different ideas all the time, obviously on the guitar. I pass them on to him and, if they inspire him, he adds a melody, lyrics, whatever. It all takes off from there. We do a lot of writing while we are on tour, we take advantage of soundchecks to jam and figure out the songs more. This last album was special because we worked on it from afar, waiting for the COVID lockdown to end. I would send him the demos and he would send me back something that I would continue working on at home. Although the writing of much of the material started between 2018 and 2019, the pandemic undoubtedly affected the music and, above all, influenced many of the lyrical ideas.

The River is Rising" was the first single from the album and also the name of the tour that brings you here. Do you consider it a political song?

No, although it is politically driven. It was the best way I found to say that something odd is going on in the world. It's not a message and it's not a statement. It's just a nod to what we have been experiencing, influenced by the growing anxiety and tension worldwide. A lot of it has to do with the global political situation, with social polarization, with core issues that are happening on the planet. It's our way of recognizing that a lot of those situations are coming to a head around the world right now.

Rock is not fashionable but it persists as it always has. Did it ever cross your mind to change your style?

No. And the funny thing is, rock and roll has never been popular (laughs). Even in the '80s, when it was obviously such a big deal, it was always competing against more trendy, commercial, kind of things that were happening. I've always heard this whole thing about "rock and roll is dead" or "it's old" or it's this and that. It's really been like that forever. I just do it because that's what turns me on, that's what I've always been into. And I love all kinds of music, but as player I like to play rock and roll. So I don't give a shit what everybody else is doing (laughs).

Are you nostalgic for the wilder days of "sex, drugs and rock and roll"?

No, I think I've had my moment of that (he laughs). I don't feel any kind of nostalgia about it. And I don't regret my past either. The idea is to make the most out of the time. Besides, I don't feel like I'm missing out on much now, especially in this particular era we live in, where everything happens through social networks. In fact, I often talk about this with colleagues who started at the same time as me and we look back at some of the things we did in the past. And come to the conclusion that we were in a muddle and we'd be in trouble if we kept doing it now.... This is a different time, but I can't say I miss pushing my limits to the extreme as far as my "chemical intake" and all that kind of stuff. Truth be told, I'm lucky to still be here. So it's all good.

When people talk about you, you're often associated with the "guitar hero" type. How do you get along with that kind of label?

I perceive myself as someone who is still evolving as a musician, in a state of eternal work-in-progress. Everything else, including the fact that people can have an opinion about what I do, is associated with being a musician and a public figure. But as an instrumentalist, I'm still progressing. I just try to move on to the next note, the next riff, the next song. I don't think too much about all the other stuff.

It's funny that someone with your background looks at himself this way. Is it a way to keep you humble?

Nah, not exactly (he laughs). Music is a never-ending journey, you can never quite master it. You can never be too good, you can never hit the top. I'm always putting one step in front of the other to reach another goal, another musical goal, to see what's next to try and achieve. And, being a guitar player, I feel absolutely committed to that, it's never ending. Selling some records, people wanting to come see you live and so on, that's great and an accomplishment in itself. But personally the journey is to always be able to do the next thing and find something meaningful in my writing so I can record it. That's where I really put the focus on and not on what the public reaction is going to be or what's going to be said about me. I know for a lot of people that's the only motivation there is, but the truth is that was never my thing.

From that eternal work-in-progress, what do you think was the most important lesson?

I think the most significant piece of learning was to know that it's really all about having patience. It was the hardest thing to learn, but it was definitely essential.

Last year you appeared on Demi Lovato's album, which is not surprising because you worked with a lot of popstars, from Michael Jackson to Fergie. How did that collaboration come about and what do you like most about pop music?

Demi is a longtime friend and in fact, before this recording, I had called her up to sing on a song of mine that's coming out this year. So I told her that if she ever needed me to play on something of hers, I would return the favor. So she asked me to be on "Sorry Not Sorry," sent me the music and I thought, "That's really good!" and I just put my guitar on it. It was beautiful. And what it is for me with pop music in general, it depends a lot on the artist. But a good, catchy pop song, nothing beats it, nothing beats that. Pop has, undeniably, a lot of songs that are fucking great.

Do you remember the song that made you fall in love and got you on this path?

Ufff, there's so much music that I was exposed to as a kid that they were all important influences for me; some consciously, some were subconscious. But the one that was definitely my turning point happened when I was seven or eight years old, with the album II (Led Zeppelin, 1969) and specifically with the song "Whole Lotta Love." Without knowing it, that set me in the direction that I would later take for my life. It was very important, it's something I still remember because it stuck with me even though I was listening to many other things at the time, which also turned out to be a decisive factor in who I ended up being.

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