SLASH: ‘I’m Not Really Dictated By Other People’s Expectations’

Daniel Brockman of The Boston Phoenix recently conducted an interview with legendary guitarist Slash (VELVET REVOLVER, GUNS N’ ROSES). A couple of excerpts from the chat follow below.

The Boston Phoenix: People go on about the volatility of rock and roll, its importance. And your stuff has always come together really quickly: this [solo] band, VELVET REVOLVER, GUNS N’ ROSES. How important is it to you to have projects that come together quickly, would you say that that’s your M.O.?

Slash: Umm, well, I mean, sometimes you can really sit down and work on something and plan it out. VELVET REVOLVER was something that started from a very quick, uh, sudden and spontaneous thing with Duff [McKagan] and Matt [Sorum] and I, but then it became… um, trying to think of the right word. And then there became a lot of work with the whole vocalist thing. But this new band was very spontaneous. GUNS, actually, there were a lot of different versions or versions of GUNS N’ ROSES before the “Appetite” lineup fell into place. This [solo band] wasn’t like that;, it really just came out of nowhere.

The Boston Phoenix: Do you find that, with each project, there are a lot of expectations, that people expect all sorts of fireworks for anything that you do, especially to match the insanity of GN’R?

Slash: I’m not really dictated by other people’s expectations. It’s really about my own, and that’s pretty much where all the work is. You know, trying to do something that I A) like and B) enjoy doing. And trying to find something that I agree with, and that’s pretty much the biggest pressure; it doesn’t really come from the outside.

The Boston Phoenix: On a certain level, as a guitarist, you need a singer, but you’re always trying to push your voice through the music. Is that what you angle for, to get your melodic voice in there no matter what group of people you’re playing with?

Slash: I’m constantly looking to be turned on. I can do music that is fine, but that doesn’t, umm, it doesn’t satisfy my musical sensibility, personally. So in other words, I’m looking for things that turn me on melodically, or whatever else turns me on: energy, a groove, emotion. And that’s what I’m looking to achieve, so I write stuff every day, come up with ideas every day, and when I start to expand on those ideas, working with the band, I’m trying to achieve something of almost orgasmic proportions. And that’s what I do, that’s basically it! I’m looking for something that feels right to me, because everything I’m doing is to satisfy me, musically. And it’s true when I’m working with people, I’m looking for the right combination of people to achieve that. So that’s why I’m really happy now, I love the singer and the drummer and the bass player is fucking fantastic. And they bring me that much closer to doing that which excites me.

Read the entire interview from The Boston Phoenix.

Photo credit: Travis Shinn


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