SLASH On Returning To GUNS N' ROSES: 'It Turned Out To Be One Of The Greatest Things That I Ever Did'

October 20, 2018

GUNS N' ROSES guitarist Slash was recently interviewed by syndicated radio DJ Theresa Rockface. The full conversation can be seen below. A few excerpts follow (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET).

On the music video for "Driving Rain", the first single from his new solo album "Living The Dream":

Slash: "The puppets are great. Sort of the origins of this whole thing with the video was, the song itself, it's pretty dark subject matter. They always [say], 'Okay, we've got to do a video,' and I hate videos, but I was, like, 'Okay,' so we went to some different directors, and everybody had this very sort of dark and dramatic live-action kind of concept going, with actors in a relationship and everything. I was, like, 'This is just too serious and too boring,' so I thought if we did something animated, we can keep the sort of dark tone, but we can make it a little more upbeat. I went to this animation house whose stuff you're probably really familiar with and don't even know it — they're called Stoopid Buddy, and they do 'Robot Chicken' and those animated Super Bowl commercials, and they've done a couple movies and whatnot — so I said, 'Okay, we need to do a video for next to nothing in two weeks about this,' and I gave them the song. They came up with this idea of doing these puppets, and it was just awesome. I went down to their headquarters where they were actually putting together the components for the video. There was this little team that they had down there — a guy and three girls — and they put together the puppets, which are actually about [two feet tall]. They had all their different facial expressions that they could change for each frame... they were into it and so enthusiastic and passionate about it, so it was just a fun thing all around."

On Myles Kennedy, the vocalist for his solo backing band, THE CONSPIRATORS:

Slash: "He's great. To work with him, artistically, he's great, because he's really open-minded. He can find a melody in almost anything, which makes my job easier. I come up with musical stuff, and I'd say eight times out of ten, things I come up with, he'll find a really great melody for, which is pretty awesome and prolific. As a person, he's really laid-back. He's not a 'rock star' at all. He's very sort of soft-spoken, mild-mannered and just really easygoing, so he's a pleasure to work with."

On performing:

Slash: "The thing is about playing live for me is it's a great platform for me to be able to improvise. I probably get the most practicing in, and the most creative output from coming up with ideas on the fly while we're out there in front of a bunch of people as opposed to sitting around on the couch, trying to think up something."

On whether there are any great riffs that have not yet been written:

Slash: "That's the journey, right? I'm always keeping a guitar with me for the most part everywhere I go, and just messing around and seeing if something comes up, and if you have an idea, just applying it to the guitar immediately so you can capture it immediately before it disappears."

On rock music:

Slash: "Rock n' roll, I don't want to be cliché, but that's what turned me on when I started, and it's always going to be the thing for me. I'll always be putting out records that are that. As far as what everybody else is doing, it's struggling as I guess what you would call a genre, but I think because of where it's at right now, it's making a lot of kids sort of rise to the top of the heap as far as doing it for the right reasons. There's no money to be made in it; there's none of those lures that you used to have — cars and money and chicks and Learjets and all that shit. If you want to do this, you've got to be doing it for the passion of it, with really no other real rewards except for making cool music."

On Lemmy:

Slash: "One thing that always comes to mind is, people have this sort of preconceived image of what a rock star or what a rock personality, what they're supposed to act like or what their image is supposed to be. Lemmy's one of the most hard-ass, on the surface, people in rock n' roll. He definitely looked the part of dangerous. He definitely looked like the drinker and all that. The thing is, he was such a well-spoken, well-read, educated and compassionate [person]. He was very much the gentleman, and he was very conscious of other people's feelings, but he didn't take any shit, so he was a really interesting dichotomy of all these different things that people don't understand when they look at him. They think, 'I'm supposed to act like a bad-ass and act like a dick to be a rock star,' and that's not the case. I think he was a great sort of icon to change that."

On GUNS N' ROSES playing the VELVET REVOLVER song "Slither" live:

Slash: "It was cool to do it. In a way, I think it was sort of cathartic for Duff [McKagan] and I to be doing it. Scott [Weiland] was always very supportive of the idea of GUNS getting back together, and I was such the anti-GUNS guy. I have to be honest. It was just me being stubborn and whatnot, so it was great being up there performing that song, something that we did with Scott, and [since] he had always thought that we should get back together, it had a combination of little things to it."

On why he's continuing to perform with THE CONSPIRATORS:

Slash: "I'd been doing this thing with Myles and the guys since 2010. That was basically what I was doing aside from different side projects. That was the main thing, so when GUNS came along, that was huge, and it turned out to be one of the greatest things that I ever did, but at the same time, I didn't want to quit this relationship that I'd established and the chemistry I'd discovered with these guys. Great chemistry with musicians doesn't happen very often. You're lucky to have it happen once, and I'm fortunate enough to have it happen twice. I wasn't going to disband that just so I could focus on GUNS full-time, because GUNS doesn't take up every hour of the day, and I will squeeze in those extra hours to do something working with Myles and those guys."

Slash released "Living The Dream", his fourth solo album (and third with Myles Kennedy and THE CONSPIRATORS),on September 21 via his own label, Snakepit Records, in partnership with Roadrunner Records.

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