VELVET REVOLVER guitarist Slash recently spoke to the Chicago Sun-Times about the group's current tour and GUNS N' ROSES, among other topics. An excerpt from the interview follows:
Chicago Sun-Times: GUNS N' ROSES' influence on hard rock and heavy metal was enormous. Do you think Axl Rose's ill-fated attempts to continue under the band's name tarnishes its reputation?
Slash: "I don't care; that's not an issue. Put it this way: GUNS N' ROSES is where I come from. When that band started, I was 18 or 19 years old. For me to come to the point of leaving that band, something was seriously, seriously wrong, because I don't quit anything. When I left, I left that whole can of worms, and I never really looked back. I'm very proud of what I accomplished while I was still in the band, and everything that the band accomplished and stood for, and I still love everybody involved in that band — not on the business end, but as far as the members are concerned, regardless of if I don't talk to the redhead [Rose] anymore. Everything leading up to the time I left was great; it was that final straw that broke the camel's back that was it. Anything that I have done since then has nothing to do with GUNS N' ROSES, and I have nothing to do with what GUNS N' ROSES does now."
Chicago Sun-Times: The redhead aside, I'd love to see you and Izzy Stradlin rocking out together again. I always thought he was the secret weapon in GUNS.
Slash: "You know, it's funny, because Izzy came up and played with us for three or four shows in Europe recently, and it was really fun. Izzy is one of those guys who are always floating around. When we first put this band together, we were looking for singers before Scott [Weiland] came in the picture, and Izzy came down and hung out with us for two weeks and we wrote probably 10 or 15 songs together. It was like old army buddies sitting around the studio, exchanging war stories, and during that time we probably wrote the best instrumental GUNS N' ROSES record to date. Of course, none of that material will probably see the light of day, but it's really cool. At least I have it on tape.
"The thing is that Izzy was so shattered by the whole GUNS N' ROSES experience that he'll never go back to being in [a band] situation again. He does music at this point, but that's just for the love of doing it, and recording stuff on his 8-track. When he makes records, he makes them real quick and just puts it on the Internet and moves on."
Chicago Sun-Times: You were never so frustrated that you considered dropping out like that?
Slash: "No, I'm way too ambitious for that. Trust me, I've been dealt a few really hard blows by this business, but it can't keep me down."
Read Slash's entire interview with the Chicago Sun-Times at this location.