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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

2024.05.18 - Frankfurter Allgemeine - Interview with Slash

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2024.05.18 - Frankfurter Allgemeine - Interview with Slash  Empty 2024.05.18 - Frankfurter Allgemeine - Interview with Slash

Post by Blackstar Sun May 26, 2024 8:37 am

Original article in German:
https://www.faz.net/aktuell/feuilleton/pop/gun-n-roses-gitarrist-slash-hat-ein-blues-album-veroeffentlicht-19714174.html

Auto-translation:
____________

Interview with Slash:
Turned at the Crossroads


Guns N’ Roses guitarist Slash has recorded "Orgy of the Damned" with plenty of prominence. It's an album full of blues rock and blues classics that have influenced him.

By Christian Riethmüller

A masterful rock guitarist approaching sixty, recalling his roots and recording an album full of blues standards: This stereotype wasn't what you wanted to fulfill with your new record. What was your motivation, and why did you choose certain songs?

During the last Guns N’ Roses tour, there was a small break between legs, and I wanted to use that for a blues album that I had been thinking about for a while. So, not a blues album in the traditional sense, but songs that I grew up with and that inspired me as a guitarist. It's the blues version as played by British rock guitarists. But I also learned from the originals, played in sessions or cover bands. When I left Guns N’ Roses (in 1996 - Ed.), and was thinking about what to do next, I became friends with some of these blues session guys, and we formed the band Slash's Blues Ball. We drank a lot, traveled around, played covers, not only in America but even in Europe, but we never recorded an album.

But now was the time?

Exactly. The main reason for the new album was to record it with the people from back then. Some of the songs were also on our setlist back then. But I didn't want to completely take over that setlist because that would have become really cliché. That's why I chose, for example, "Living In The City" by Stevie Wonder and not "Superstition". There are so many versions of Albert King's "Born Under A Bad Sign" that I thought I could get away with my own. I always wanted to play "Oh Well" by Fleetwood Mac but never had the opportunity.

Did you always think about the many versions of the songs when choosing them? Like with "Crossroad Blues"?

We originally wanted to orientate ourselves on Robert Johnson's original, but it's a bit slow and very focused on the guitar, which didn't work so well with the band. So, Eric Clapton's version with Cream was an obvious choice, also because Cream were so inspiring to me when I started playing guitar. But I didn't listen to that version anymore; instead, I found my own interpretation, including a different middle part. Fortunately, the licks fit.

"Fortunately," says an outstanding instrumentalist like you?

Yes, because that didn't happen planned or intentionally, but during the interpretation. We also managed to do the same with "Killing Floor" by Howlin’ Wolf, which is mixed with "Rockin’ Daddy", also a Howlin’ Wolf song. Same tempo, but different licks that fit well together. I always wanted to combine those. And because I know so many live versions of the song, especially by Led Zeppelin, who liked to integrate it into their jams during their live performances, I took a great lick from Jimmy Page for my version, as a tribute to him because he influenced me so much.

Now you haven't just selected well-known songs but also invited very famous guests to sing them or to be heard as soloists, including Iggy Pop, Paul Rodgers, Brian Johnson, Beth Hart, Chris Stapleton, Chris Robinson, Demi Lovato, Steven Tyler, Gary Clark Jr., Billy Gibbons, or harmonica virtuoso Les Stroud. Were they all coincidentally nearby, or did you owe them something because you yourself are also a welcome guest on many occasions?

I had this amazing band at my disposal, and we've certainly studied our blues, but not in the way all those great musicians out there do, playing traditional blues. That's why I thought a slightly more eclectic view of the songs could be interesting. When we started rehearsals, I thought about which voice could fit which song. For "Born Under A Bad Sign", for example, I automatically thought of Paul Rodgers because he is one of the best British rock singers ever. So, I called him, and he immediately agreed. Billy Gibbons, on the other hand, was initially skeptical, even though we know each other very well. So, I sent him a demo so he could hear what interpretation of "Hoochie Koochie Man" I had in mind. But the challenge was not so much the many phone calls but rather the short studio time. We only had about a week. Some of the guests were already nearby, others flew in, and some recorded their part at their place, and we added it later.

An astonishing interpretation is "Killing Floor", sung by AC/DC frontman Brian Johnson, who has chosen a different vocal range here. He now sounds more like Tom Jones. Did you have to convince him of that first?

Initially, he did indeed choose the high register, and it sounded like AC/DC. But then he remembered how he had sung the song as a young man and how important it was to him back then. And that's how we hear him now. I like it.
Blackstar
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