SLASH On VELVET REVOLVER, Auditioning For POISON And AXL ROSE

Jeb Wright of Classic Rock Revisited recently conducted an interview with legendary guitarist Slash (VELVET REVOLVER, GUNS N' ROSES). A couple of excerpts from the chat follow below.

Classic Rock Revisited: I am going to ask this because I just can't help myself. When is Myles Kennedy going to be named the new singer for VELVET REVOLVER?

Slash: There are a lot of rumors going around about that. I don't think that is going to happen — in fact, I know it is not going to happen. He is in a band called ALTER BRIDGE and they've got a new record coming out. We are juggling between ALTER BRIDGE and my tour all next year. I am going back to L.A. next month and working with Duff [McKagan], Matt [Sorum] and Dave [Kushner] and working with a couple of new singers to see how they turn out. There is no effort being made to have Myles join VELVET REVOLVER.

Classic Rock Revisited: [One of the] singers I would have loved to have seen on your solo album . . . is Axl Rose.

Slash: You know, I will be honest with you, even at the sake of it going public, when I was in the middle of this process there were a lot of singers names who flew through my mind during the process. You are living in Singer Land so all you are thinking about is singers. The thought of him crossed my mind at one point. I thought, "Axl could sing the shit out of any of these songs." I, obviously, never made the phone call because I wanted to put the record out in this millennium.

Classic Rock Revisited: Hell, he may have never showed up.

Slash: Exactly. The other singer, and I have mentioned this before, was Michael Jackson. The record was being made right around the time he passed on. Before that happened, he was getting ready to do those shows at the O2 in London. I thought, "Wouldn't it be funny to have Michael Jackson do a heavy metal song?" It was a passing thought; I never was committed to it.

Classic Rock Revisited: You may be sick of this subject but I have to ask how you feel about GUNS N' ROSES touring and you not being a part of it. Does it bother you?

Slash: It has been a long time, dude.

Classic Rock Revisited: I know it has but that was your first big band. I would think that band will always be special.

Slash: There was a lot leading up to this. When I quit the band a lot of it had to do with a lot of crazy stipulations that Axl put on Duff and I, one of which was that we had to join his new GUNS N' ROSES. At that point, I realized that it was all way too far gone to deal with anymore; we're done. Not too long after that, Axl ended up putting together the GUNS N' ROSES with whoever was in it. There was so much bitterness at that point that it never really phased me; I didn't really care. We had already done the whole deal with him taking the name and being really downright nasty. From that point on, I didn't really care what he did. At this point, 15 years later, I am like have it at. "Do that thing, dude.” I am just glad he is out there.

Classic Rock Revisited: Legend holds that you tried out for POISON but didn't make the cut. Is that true?

Slash: Yeah, I did. I was living in L.A. and I had just gotten done working in a band with Axl, actually, called HOLLYWOOD ROSE. Steven Adler was in that band as well. I just quit. I told Axl I couldn't handle it anymore and I walked. That was right after the first time Axl and I ever worked together. Matt, the original guitar player for POISON, who was actually a pretty cool guy, had gotten his wife pregnant or they were getting married or something like that. He was moving back to Pennsylvania. He goes, "You should try out for POISON." I hated POISON but in those days you did whatever you had to do to keep moving. Being very ambitious, as I was, I went and auditioned for POISON. I ended up being one of two guitar players left that they were going to pick from. I remember kicking the shit out of the songs they had. There was no denying that I could play them but there was an issue about makeup and stuff. Bobby Dall asked me what kind of shoes I was going to wear. I was like, "What?" It was kind of obvious that this was going to go nowhere. As I was walking out of the audition, C.C. Deville was walking in. He had on pancake makeup and a ton of hairspray. I actually remember thinking right then, "That should be the guy." The next day I got a call from Bobby and he said, "You know, you are great and all but I think we are going to pass on you and go with this other guy." It was C.C. and it really did make all the sense in the world. I was in a couple of bands after that and then we started GUNS N' ROSES.

Read the entire interview from Classic Rock Revisited.

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