GUNS N' ROSES guitarist Slash recently spoke with SiriusXM DJ Jose Mangin about "Living The Dream", his new solo album featuring Myles Kennedy and THE CONSPIRATORS. A few excerpts follow (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET).
On juggling two bands:
Slash: "I've been working with Myles and THE CONSPIRATORS since 2010, so up until just recently, everything I was writing was earmarked for that. But then, joining up with GUNS N' ROSES in 2016, that's a whole new thing for 20 years, at least, so I didn't do anything CONSPIRATORS for a year and a half. Everything was focused on GUNS N' ROSES. Then, when we took a sizable break in December of last year, come January, I got back together with THE CONSPIRATORS and started revisiting some of the music that we wrote during the 'World On Fire' tour, and also music that I wrote on the spot in January and February, so then [I was] completely focused on THE CONSPIRATORS. Come May, the album was mixed and mastered, and I went straight back to rehearsal for GUNS N' ROSES. So, you just shut one down to do the other, and vice versa."
On his memories of the Whisky a Go Go, the famed West Hollywood nightclub where his tour in support of "Living The Dream" kicks off next week:
Slash: "I actually had a job as sort of a house roadie at the Whisky. This was, like, 1984 or something like that. I would just hump gear for whatever band was coming in at the time. I remember what sticks out to me was there was a performance artist named Johanna Went who did a gig at the Whisky. When I say performance artist, you sort of imagine people that do this whole sort of, like, eclectic show where they bring a lot of props and do a lot of crazy shit on stage. Hers was, like, pigs' blood and body parts and all this crazy shit, so we had to clean that shit up after the show. [Laughs] I can't find the words to describe how left of center this gig was. It was definitely a mess. Then, I remember the Whisky shut down for a long time. It was actually closed for most of '85, I think, so GUNS didn't play there until '86. I remember that first Whisky gig was the first night I ever wore a top hat. I went to this store that Taime Downe from FASTER PUSSYCAT used to work at, and I went in there and stole a top hat because I was looking for something to wear for the show. I got the top hat and I stole a concho belt, because I didn't have any money. I went back to the apartment that Axl [Rose] and I were squatting at, because we were hiding from the cops. We were staying at [former manager] Vicky Hamilton's apartment, and I cut the belt, put it around the hat. We were playing the Whisky that night, and I remember that was the sort of premiere gig of the whole top hat thing. It got stolen, like, two days later at The Cathouse. I was passed out in a booth, and I woke up and my hat was gone."
On "Living The Dream":
Slash: "THE CONSPIRATORS have been near and dear to my heart since the beginning, back in 2010. We've been working our butts off, up until a certain point and then I went off to do GUNS N' ROSES, which was great, but I wanted to come back and sort of finish what we had started back in 2015, which was, like, the very beginnings of pre-production for our next record. This was all happening during the 'World On Fire' tour. Fast forward to 2018, we go back in the studio and it's just great to see Myles and Frank [Sidoris] and Brent [Fitz] and Todd [Kerns], and hang out and start jamming again. I think that we put together a record that's a really good evolution from the last one that we did, like a good progression. I'm just happy to be doing it and happy to be going out on the road with those guys, and then at this point, balancing between THE CONSPIRATORS and whatever GUNS N' ROSES is going to do next."
On the future of GN'R:
Slash: "Everybody's asking. We haven't focused on really, you know, doing... we haven't, you know, sat down and [said], 'Okay, we're working on a new record.' But at the same time, I know that's something that I want to be optimistic about. I think Axl would like to do it; I want to do it; Duff [McKagan] wants to do it. Axl's got a ton of material; I've got some material; so we just have to sort of hunker down and go, 'Okay, we're going to do this,' and that hasn't happened yet, but I feel pretty positive it'll happen at some point."
On Slash Fiction, his film production company:
Slash: "I've got four movies in different stages of development, and two that I just did deals on. They're all in the horror vein — thriller and horror vein. It's a very slow-moving animal, this whole movie thing. The whole time behind the scenes, I've been working on this while I'm doing everything else. I just don't talk about it too much, because there's nothing to tell until you have a release date. [Laughs]"
GUNS N' ROSES' "Not In This Lifetime" tour is scheduled to end with a November 29 performance in Johannesburg, South Africa.
Slash will release "Living The Dream", his fourth solo album (and third with Myles Kennedy and THE CONSPIRATORS), on September 21.