GUNS N' ROSES guitarist Slash says most of the material written for "Living The Dream", his fourth solo album and third with THE CONSPIRATORS, comes from when the band is on tour and can assemble ideas during soundcheck. The initial riffs for the disc were collected as far back as 2015, but progress on the record came to a halt when GUNS N' ROSES' "Not In This Lifetime" reunion tour took off.
In a recent interview with Joe & Borna of Milwaukee radio station 102.9 The Hog, Slash spoke about how he selected ALTER BRIDGE's Myles Kennedy in 2011 to front the guitarist's then-newly-formed backing band, THE CONSPIRATORS. "To make a long story short, when I did the first solo record with all the singers, I didn't have any long-term plans," he said. "I didn't know what I was doing. I didn't know what would come of it. When I was making the record, I had two songs that I couldn't figure out who should sing. I had sort of pre-planned every other piece of music, who would be the singer and so on. I had been hearing about Myles for a long time, but I never actually heard him sing. Then I thought I'll take a chance on it and I sent him a piece of music and I called him up: 'Hey, it's Slash. I'm doing this record with all these vocalists.' He said, 'Send me the song.' So, I sent him the song, and about four days later, it came back as an MP3 e-mail kind of thing and I sort of reluctantly clicked on it and was blown away by the vocal. I flew him out to Los Angeles and we met and he was very cool, down-to-earth, very personable kind of individual. We recorded the studio version of that song and it was a song called 'Starlight', and then I asked him if he wanted to do another one and we did 'Back From Cali'. At that point, I said, 'You know, I need to do a tour on this and have somebody who can sing all this stuff, plus [SLASH'S] SNAKEPIT, plus VELVET REVOLVER, plus GUNS N' ROSES.' It's a tall order, but he seemed like the kind of guy who had the capability. I was expecting a 'no' answer, and he surprised me by saying 'yes.' I auditioned drummers and I met Brent Fitz through word of mouth, then he introduced me to Todd [Kerns, bass]. We rehearsed for a week, then we started touring and have been together ever since."
Slash also talked in more detail about the writing process for "Living The Dream", including lead single "Driving Rain". "The nucleus for new material always comes from when we're on the road because we're all together," he said. "I'm always carrying a guitar around and recording different snippets of stuff and playing it for Myles. If he likes it, he'll come up with something. Then, at soundcheck, we'll come up with different ideas. When the tour is over, we'll go into a rehearsal and start going through the first phases of pre-production and working out arrangements. That's basically how it happens. With this particular record, we started that in 2015, then the GUNS thing came out of nowhere, then that took off. That ended up going on for a year and a half. But in the back of my mind, I was always planning that the first opportunity I got to go back into the studio with Myles and the guys and revisit the stuff we started to work on back in 2015, so in 2018, beginning of the year, we got together and put some of those old ideas together. I had written some new stuff over Christmas, so we got that. We just worked up this new record and we got done for May, which is when I had to go back into rehearsals with GUNS N' ROSES for the last European tour. This record has been done since May and I've been dying for it to come out and it's finally out."
"Living The Dream" was released on September 21 via his Slash's label, Snakepit Records, in partnership with Roadrunner Records.