SLASH On His Trademark Top Hat: It Has 'Become Something I Can Hide Behind'

November 29, 2018

In a brand new interview with South Africa's Sunday Times, GUNS N' ROSES guitarist Slash spoke about his trademark black top hat. Asked how on earth it stays on his head when he rocks out onstage, Slash said: "I do not really know how I do it, but my hat just always stays on, yeah. I realize it has become a very recognizable look, yet it was never planned. My hat has also become something I can hide behind, as even though I love performing, I have never been good at looking into the eyes of the audience who are watching me."

He continued: "Early in my career, I was always on the lookout for a cool hat to complete my stage wardrobe. In 1985, we were playing the Whisky a Go Go [in West Hollywood] and I went to Melrose Boulevard in Los Angeles, where I spotted this top hat in the window of a store called Retail Slut. I went inside and checked it out and thought it looked really cool, so I got it. In the vintage shop right next door, called Leathers & Treasures, I got a concert belt that I cut up and put around the hat. That became my hat and I wore it that night for the first time at that gig. From that night on, my hat became something that I feel comfortable in. It has also become something I can hide behind, as even though I love performing, I have never been good at looking into the eyes of the audience who are watching me. So, my hat and my hair in my face has just been my thing ever since."

Slash also talked about the touring lifestyle and the fact that most bands have to stay on the road almost non-stop, given revenue from other traditional channels is no longer sustainable.

"I love being on the road and it is just something that really resonates with me," he said. "I have always toured a lot and I probably tour now twice as much as before given all the opportunities I have to cover as much of the globe as possible with GUNS N' ROSES, THE CONSPIRATORS and other people I jam with. I am just very comfortable being on the road and I like it as I get to play every night. I enjoy playing live a lot more than playing in the studio. I see the studio as a way to get back on the road. This is one of the big reasons why Myles Kennedy [of THE CONSPIRATORS and ALTER BRIDGE] and I get along so well, given he is also an extreme road hog. In fact … THE CONSPIRATORS is primarily a road band. We only use the studio as a means to get back out there again.

"I look forward to touring a lot next year, as everybody seems to really like our new material and that means we can play most of it, if not all of it, live. I hope we can come back to South Africa next year as THE CONSPIRATORS to play a couple of shows here."

GUNS N' ROSES will play the last show of 2018 on December 8 in Honolulu, Hawaii.

Three-fifths of the classic GUNS lineup reunited in 2016 after last performing together more than two decades earlier.

SLASH FEATURING MYLES KENNEDY AND THE CONSPIRATORS' latest album, "Living The Dream", was released in September via Slash's own label Snakepit Records, in partnership with Roadrunner Records.

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