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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

2024.05.26 - Gitarist Netherlands - Slash's Blues Party

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2024.05.26 - Gitarist Netherlands - Slash's Blues Party Empty 2024.05.26 - Gitarist Netherlands - Slash's Blues Party

Post by Blackstar Tue May 28, 2024 12:06 am

From the June 2024 issue of the magazine released on May 26th.






Transcript (Dutch):


Auto-translation:
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Slash's blues party

In his already busy schedule, Slash has also found time for a new project. 'Orgy Of The Damned' is a blues cover album on which the guitarist collaborates with several guest singers. During a day off on the tour with the Conspirators, he tells us more about the album.

Words: Kevin Pasman

The roots of 'Orgy Of The Damned' go back to the mid-1990s, when Slash had just left Guns N' Roses and was performing blues covers with some musical friends under the name Slash's Blues Ball for about two years. Bassist Johnny Griparic and keyboardist Teddy Andreadis of Blues Ball are also featured on "Orgy Of The Damned," joined by drummer Michael Jerome and guitarist Tash Neal.

"We selected a few songs from those old setlists," Slash said. "Other than that, there were some songs that we didn't play at the time, but that I really wanted to cover. We started jamming that, and while we were doing that, I started thinking about who would sound good on what song.

"The only song that went differently was the one Iggy Pop sings on. My bass player told me that Iggy had always wanted to record a blues album. When I heard that, I called Iggy. He said it had never come about. I asked him what song he would like to do and without even a second thought he said, Awful Dream by Lightnin' Hopkins.

"We met at my studio in LA, both sat on a stool and recorded the song a few times. It was different from all the other songs on the album, where I already had the songs and then chose who was going to sing on it."

Some of the guest singers Slash works with on "Orgy Of The Damned" are meritorious guitarists in their own right. "With Gary Clark Jr. we did everything completely live in the studio," Slash explains. "He just became part of the band for Crossroads. Billy Gibbons recorded his guitar afterwards on his own in Palm Springs. We were forced to record a lot of vocals after the album was further finished. Recording vocals is pretty tricky when you're working with different guest singers; you're at the mercy of their schedules."

Rehearsal

When we last spoke with Slash (see Guitarist 372, February 2022), we reflected at length on the fact that '4,' his fourth album with Myles Kennedy & The Conspirators, was recorded entirely live in the studio; a long-held dream. "With 'Orgy Of The Damned,' it went more or less the same way," he explains. "With the only major difference being that the amplifiers were also in the room with us when we recorded '4.' This album we recorded with headphones, but all together live in the studio at the same time.

"A week before we went into the studio we rehearsed all the songs. Then we worked out all the arrangements. Sometimes that went in quite a surprising direction. When we initially played Stormy Monday, which Beth Hart sings on, we did it more or less the way Etta James did that song. When I talked to Beth about it, she said, what if we played it in minor? I thought that was a really cool idea. We started rehearsing that and then we came up with the idea of doing a coda at the end where the song goes back to major.

"A day after we put that together, we went into the studio. We were rehearsing the song when Beth came in and started singing along. That's the only take we did of that song, because she really threw her whole heart and soul into it. As a band, we felt our way through it a little bit, but the vocals were so good that we just left it as it was."

Old school

"There are a few guitars on the album. The most unexpected are probably the old Telecaster from the 1950s that I played Living For The City with and the Strat I use on Oh Well. I haven't used a Strat on stage since my Velvet Revolver days. My go-to guitar for most of this album was my old 1963 Gibson ES-335.

"But you can hear more: on Crossroads a 1958 Les Paul, a 1959 Les Paul on Key To The Highway, a 1950s Goldtop on Papa Was A Rolling Stone and on Bomb Under A Bad Sign a replica of a 1958 Gibson Explorer built by Leo Scala, a great guitar-builder who works a lot with Gibson. For Metal Chestnut, the instrumental track at the end, I used that 1969 Les Paul again.

"Have you ever heard of the company Fraulini? They make great hand-built old school parlor guitars in the style of the 1920s. And baritone guitars with a great sound. It reminds me of that Hendrix video where he's sitting on a stool playing acoustic. That's what I used for Awful Dream. Oh Well is a Martin I had in the studio."

Context

"Because I knew what kind of album we were making, I didn't feel the urge to bring big Marshall stacks and things like that. During pre-production, I used mostly combos. Some Fender Deluxes, an old Fender Twin, a Dumble he made for me right before he died, a 60-watt Marshall.... All cool, old combos.

"One of the combos I had was a Magnatone M-80 I got from Billy Gibbons years ago. I had never used that one before. It's like that sometimes: you get an amp or a pedal, you say thanks, and then you store it away somewhere and never hear it. But thinking I might be able to use it in this context, I pulled it out. In the end, that was the only amp that sounded good on everything.

"I used that for the whole album. It even went so far as to use a top and cabinet version of the same amp for the subsequent Guns N' Roses tour. And that, in turn, culminated in me working with Magnatone to design the amp that I now use for everything: a 100-watt version of that same amp."

Leap

In addition to many blues classics, there are also two soul songs on 'Orgy Of The Damned' with Papa Was A Rolling Stone and Stevie Wonder's Living For The City. Notable choices, as the original version of Papa Was A Rolling Stone contains quite little guitar and that of Living For The City even none.

"Papa Was A Rolling Stone was a song that I had jammed with Johnny Griparic in Slash's Snakepit back in the 1990s," Slash said. "Because of that, we had more or less developed our own arrangement. Because yeah, the original is a bass line, a wakka-wakka thing and vocals. We had to find our own way to play that song. Tash and I came up with some guitar parts and put together the instrumental arrangement. We then presented that to Demi Lovato.

"Living For The City was the biggest leap. I really wanted to do that song because it was my favorite from 'Innervisions' when that album came out, when I was eight or nine years old. With Blues Ball, we did Superstition, but I couldn't see us recording that song. That's been done so many times and anything I could come up with would be a lame rip-off. But I still wanted to do something by Stevie. Tash is a great singer, so I asked him if he would do Living For The City. We worked on the arrangement together."

Reason

Despite his busy touring schedule and the fact that he will be recording another new Conspirators album in the fall, Slash is highly motivated to tour with his blues covers: "I really can't make an album without touring for it. That's really the only reason I make albums. We're doing a blues festival (S.E.R.P.E.N. T. Festival) in July and August this year.

"We have some great other artists joining us: Eric Gales, Warren Haynes, Samantha Fish, Christone 'Kingflsh' Ingram, Keb' Mo'.... With that, we're touring the US. If it goes well, I want to try to do something like that every year and bring it to Europe."
Blackstar
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