Velvet Revolver’s Slash Interview by Huwston
Before one gets on the phone to an absolute musical legend like Slash, all kinds of things go through your mind. Do I ask about Axl? Where has Lenny’s funk gone? Are you really a videogame? Do you take requests? Casting all of that aside it’s refreshing to find Slash laid back, relaxed and one hundred percent professional.
‘I just got in the door, I just got back from Chicago,’ he says, admitting the band was supposed to be in Japan but had their visas revoked for reasons unknown. In town this week for shows across the country as part of his group Velvet Revolver (with fellow GnR members and ex Stone Temple Pilot Scott Weiland), Slash is a busy man. He has just released an autobiography that traces his earliest origins of picking up an axe, through Guns n’ Roses and the early days of Velvet Revolver. He remains cautious about digging up the skeletons by outlining the plot, but not the process.
‘The book didn’t take that long to write, it was a lot of work because I really had to get in there and write and I didn’t expect that, I thought I was going to get away with just doing an interview and the guy would write the rest,’ he laughs, ‘but I had to get my own voice in there to make it authentic and accurate in terms of how I think and feel about certain things.’
‘It wasn’t therapeutic or any of that, I just grabbed different things off the top of my head. It was interesting to have all of this recall at the end of writing the book and to put a finer point on some of the things,’ he says.
Some of those things are, for the record, his articulation on what the media have gotten wrong over the years about the GnR breakup, but we’re not talking about that band today.
The press release for the tour states a ‘more ambitious show’, which Slash is able to embellish on.
‘We do some stuff we haven’t done before, we pull out some acoustic guitars, we do some covers we’ve never done before and of course some stuff off the new record,’ says Slash. He continues,’ the actual show itself is actually kind of stripped down, it’s not a big production, just some amps and guitars, really,’ he chuckles, discarding any threats of girlies in cages or any other rock stereotypes.
Whilst not seeming like one of those type-A personalities, Slash is certainly an intriguing interview subject who, one would think, wouldn’t speak at all after the number of doss questions he’d get about the past. He says he likes to see things get done.
‘If you leave it to someone else to do it, or to talk about you, they come up with a lot of really stupid shit,’ he says.
He also spoke briefly about appearing in Guitar Hero III saying that he doesn’t normally endorse commercial products but had a great deal of fun doing the recording, not so much the capturing of his performance that could then be digitised. And whilst you can make what you will of the band, the bio, the game, you cannot front on the man’s legacy or musicianship, so please don’t even think of requesting Plush or Sweet Child O’ Mine at a Velvet Revolver show.