SLASH: Hearing AEROSMITH's 'Rocks' Album 'Had A Lot To Do With How I Ended Up Where I Am'

February 21, 2022

In a new interview with the WMSC radio station, GUNS N' ROSES guitarist Slash paid tribute to classic AEROSMITH, saying: "There's an AEROSMITH song called 'Nobody's Fault' off the 'Rocks' record… It was one of the songs that when I first picked up the guitar, that was the record, that particular album, the timing of me hearing that record at the time when I heard it had a lot to do with how I ended up where I am. And [that song] was probably one of the most heavy hard rock songs — very indicative of the '70s and very indicative of AEROSMITH at this certain time. And it wasn't BLACK SABBATH heavy, it wasn't 'heavy metal, heavy metal,' but it was still this really hardcore hard rock song. And so I always loved it."

Slash previously discussed his love of early AEROSMITH more than a decade and a half ago in the special "Immortals" issue of Rolling Stone magazine chronicling "The 100 Greatest Artists of All Time". At the time, he said: "I don't think this generation has a clue what classic AEROSMITH was all about. But they were the template for what I do, as well as plenty of bands that came after GUNS N' ROSES: SOUNDGARDEN, NIRVANA, ALICE IN CHAINS and PEARL JAM all owed a serious debt to old-school AEROSMITH.

"My big awakening happened when I was fourteen. I'd been trying to get into this older girl's pants for a while, and she finally let me come over to her house. We hung out, smoked some pot and listened to AEROSMITH's 'Rocks'. It hit me like a fucking ton of bricks. I sat there listening to it over and over, and totally blew off this girl. I remember riding my bike back to my grandma's house knowing that my life had changed. Now I identified with something.

"The key to 'Rocks' is the first two songs — 'Back in the Saddle' and 'Last Child'. That combination just ripped my head off. But my favorite song on the record has always been 'Nobody's Fault', which is the second song on the B side. AEROSMITH had an aggressive, psychotic, drugged-out vibe, but at the same time they had a STONES-y blues thing going on. There was just nothing cooler than AEROSMITH coming out of America at that point. What else was there? FOGHAT?

"When I was learning to play the guitar, AEROSMITH gave me the shove. I identified with Joe Perry's image, both visually and soundwise. He was streamlined in a way that reminded me of Keith Richards, was always wasted and had a careless guitar style that was really cool. But I was also totally into Brad Whitford's guitar solos, and he had a more direct influence on the way I play than anybody realizes. And anyone who sings needs to be exposed to Steven Tyler.

"My first AEROSMITH concert was in 1978. They were playing at a festival with VAN HALEN — they were incredibly loud and I barely recognized a note, but it was still the most bitchin' thing I'd ever seen. Soon after that they broke up, which to me marked the end of Seventies rock. The next time I saw them was when they got back together six years later, and they were amazing. When AEROSMITH are in the groove, they're just rock-solid. Not too long after that GUNS N' ROSES were asked to open for AEROSMITH on their 'Permanent Vacation' tour. We went to their manager's hotel room, and while he was in the bathroom we ordered $1,500 worth of room service and trashed the place. But they must have liked us a lot, because they put us on the bill anyway, and I've known them ever since."

Slash is promoting the new album from SLASH FEATURING MYLES KENNEDY AND THE CONSPIRATORS, titled "4", which was released on February 11 via Gibson Records in partnership with BMG. "4" is Slash's fifth solo album and fourth overall with his band featuring Myles Kennedy (vocals),Brent Fitz (drums),Todd Kerns (bass, vocals) and Frank Sidoris (guitar, vocals).

SLASH FEATURING MYLES KENNEDY AND THE CONSPIRATORS kicked off a North American headlining tour on February 8, in Portland, Oregon. The trek will hit 28 major cities, including Los Angeles, New York, Boston, Philadelphia, Chicago, Denver, Nashville, Dallas, Austin, Houston, and more, before wrapping up March 26 in Orlando, Florida.

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