GUNS N' ROSES guitarist Slash has not ruled out the possibility of recording new music with the current incarnation of the band, which features three-fifths of the classic lineup. During a surprise appearance on yesterday's (Friday, August 3) edition of "Trunk Nation LA Invasion: Live From The Rainbow Bar & Grill" on SiriusXM, Slash was asked if the group has considered going into the studio. He responded: "It's been talked about. I think everybody wants to do it, and we'll just see what happens. We've been busy doing this running around the planet," referring to GUNS N' ROSES' ongoing "Not In This Lifetime" tour, which kicked off more than two years ago.
According to Slash, the original plan for the GUNS N' ROSES reunion was to only play five shows. "That's initially what it was gonna be," he said. "We didn't have a big, long-term thing [planned]. Axl [Rose, GUNS N' ROSES singer] and I got together, and we talked for a while and so on, and we thought it would be cool to these Coachella dates, because we [got] offered to get back together and do Coachella every year for years, and we obviously didn't do it [before]. So now that we were on good terms, it seemed like a good idea. So that was the basic focus — just to do those two shows and a couple of warm-up shows, so we did the Troubadour, one show in Vegas, in Mexico and the Coachella gigs. And that went so well, and everything just fell back into place. So we said, 'Okay, we'll do this U.S. run that they're offering us,' and then everything just snowballed from there."
Asked if he was surprised by how much of a commercial success the "Not In This Lifetime" tour has turned out to be, Slash said: "The last shows that we did was '94 in South America, so we were at that place where we were playing stadiums. So when this came back around, the first offers were to do stadium-type gigs. So I was, like, 'Okay. That's great.' I think, more than anything, I was just excited about the enthusiasm. Considering, for me personally, being out of it for so long, coming back into it and seeing these insane crowds… It was, in my opinion, better received this time around than it was in the last years of the '90s that I was in it. It was really, really cool. And it's one of those times you can appreciate playing in a stadium, because you're playing for anywhere from 30 to 80 thousand people that are so dialed into your shit that it's like playing in a club — it's got that kind of personal toe-to-toe feel to it. So it was really, really a blast."
Slash went on to say that reconnecting with Rose after nearly two decades was "huge." He added: "The most surreal moment was soundcheck at the Troubadour [in April 2016] — that was a very surreal moment. Way before we played the show and everything, just being together with everybody, being in that particular environment, of course stuffing 10 times more gear in there than we had back in the day. And then looking over and seeing Axl and seeing Duff [McKagan, GUNS N' ROSES bassist], that was a very surreal moment. The rest of it seemed very, very new. I'm with a guy who was a partner in crime with me for many years before we had this, sort of, falling-out thing. And then, obviously, Duff. And we were up there playing these gigs. And I know these guys, I know these songs, but something about it was not really reminiscent of, say, the 'Use Your Illusion' tour. So it felt really fresh and new. It's an interesting thing. It didn't hit those tiny moments of, like, 'Oh my God! I remember hitting this chord, and he was there back in 1991,' or anything like that."
Slash also spoke highly of his new GN'R bandmates Richard Fortus (guitar) and Frank Ferrer (drums), saying: "All in all, it was just a great bunch of people who were really excited about doing what we're doing, and going out there and playing in front of a bunch of people who are glad we're doing it."
The guitarist praised Rose for his "amazing" vocal performance at "every single show" during the "Not In This Lifetime" tour, noting that GUNS N' ROSES was playing "three-and-a-half-hour sets" on many nights. "So it was really cool to watch him do," he said.
Slash also talked about what it has been like for him to perform songs from GUNS N' ROSES' 2008 album "Chinese Democracy", which he did not play on. "It was cool," he said. 'There's some great songs on that record, so I just sort of adapted my own way of playing them and just made them more my own so I felt more comfortable. And they just kick ass."
GUNS N' ROSES launched its long-rumored and long-awaited reunion tour in April 2016 with a club show in Hollywood and been on the road around the world ever since. The "Not In This Lifetime" trek, which ranks as the fourth-highest-grossing tour of all time, based on Billboard's Boxscore archives, features Slash, McKagan and Rose, backed by Fortus and Ferrer, plus keyboardists Dizzy Reed and Melissa Reese.
"Chinese Democracy" came out in 2008 and featured only Axl from the classic lineup.
The last album on which Rose, McKagan and Slash appeared together was 1993's covers set "The Spaghetti Incident?"
Slash will release his fourth solo album and third with his band THE CONSPIRATORS, "Living The Dream", in September.