Australia's CourierMail.com.au recently conducted an interview with legendary guitarist Slash (VELVET REVOLVER, GUNS N' ROSES). A few excerpts from the chat follow below.
CourierMail.com.au: Your new solo album, "Slash", features Fergie as a guest vocalist. How did that go down with your rock fans?
Slash: It certainly raised some eyebrows. She's pretty badass. She's a rock singer who has made it as a pop singer. She has great rock chops. When the rumors went around Fergie was on my record everyone thought I was going to go pop. I knew what I was doing. I'd heard her sing rock before, no one else had, so I kept my mouth shut and waited until it came out. This is the first rock recording she's done.
CourierMail.com.au: There's a cover of GUNS N' ROSES' "Paradise City" she's singing on. Discuss.
Slash: Ha. That got an interesting response. Some people loved it; all the purists were fucking devastated I'd covered it. It was just a fun thing I did. I'd been playing that song with CYPRESS HILL for years, I always wanted to record it. Fergie was around, she's a huge Axl (Rose) fan, she came and sang it. I didn't put it on the album because I didn't want to make it look like it was really serious. So I put it on a Japanese B-side, and of course it trickled down. But it's actually a really cool version.
CourierMail.com.au: What did you have in common with Fergie?
Slash: It turns out we have a lot of similar war stories from the past. We both come from a chequered past, let's just say.
CourierMail.com.au: You're clean and sober now, but everyone always talks about your drink and drug hell — which you didn't really touch on in your autobiography.
Slash: I didn't want to focus on all that stuff in the book. I'm over it. The main focus on the book was to get out some of the reality about GUNS N' ROSES and the reunion.
CourierMail.com.au: Have you had offers to turn it into a movie?
Slash: People asked me if I wanted to license it for a movie. It doesn't really interest me. It's just a book I wrote to get some shit off my chest. I couldn't imagine someone playing me in a movie.
CourierMail.com.au: Has the book at least stopped people asking if you are going to reunite with Axl Rose in GUNS N' ROSES?
Slash: It slowed down considerably when I put the book out, yes. It really does spell it out. You'd have to be an idiot to not get it, but there's still obnoxious people who insist on perpetuating that myth. All things considered, I'm really flattered the band has this stigma, this ongoing mystique attached. I try not to get too agitated. There's this newer generation of GUNS N' ROSES fans who never saw the band — it'd almost be nice to get it together to do some shows for them, but it's just not logistically going to happen.
CourierMail.com.au: What did you think of "Chinese Democracy", the first GUNS N' ROSES album without you?
Slash: It's great. It's the perfect Axl record.
CourierMail.com.au: That's very diplomatic.
Slash: No, it is. Axl's brilliant. I look at it differently than your average fan, I look at it more from what he's about and what it represents and our relationship. I think it's a great record. It's very much the record I would have expected him to do.
CourierMail.com.au: So what's the status of VELVET REVOLVER — dormant?
Slash: It's just in a state of limbo until we bunker down and figure out who the (new) singer's going to be.
CourierMail.com.au: What's your favorite GUNS N' ROSES video?
Slash: The only one I like is "Paradise City" because it's live.
CourierMail.com.au: What about "November Rain"? Your guitar solo on a mountain is a great rock video moment.
Slash: I haven't seen that in years. "November Rain" is still one of the most expensive videos ever made. I hate videos. So that's right up at the top — the epitome of the kind of thing I cannot stand.
Read the entire interview at CourierMail.com.au