During a recent interview with the Los Angeles Times about his new solo album, "Living The Dream", GUNS N' ROSES guitarist Slash spoke at length with writer Clay Marshall about a number of topics. Some select "outtakes" appear below (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET).
On whether there's a dream "guest star" situation for him equivalent to Axl Rose touring with AC/DC:
Slash: "I can't think of anything off the top of my head. The Axl-doing-AC/DC thing, I went and checked that out, and it was awesome. I was probably as skeptical as anybody because of the iconic status of the band, and he pulled it off and it was great. I'm probably a little bit more intimidated about the idea of having to fill someone's shoes — someone that I look up to or had a big influence on me. If I was going to get that phone call, I'd want to do it in a band that no one would expect me to be in."
On his new recording facility, Snakepit Studios:
Slash: "It's nice to have a spot that's yours, and you're not under the gun for lockouts or that kind of thing, where you can just go in and the only people around are yourself and your tech and your producer and engineer, whatever it is, and just be able to hang out all day without any time constrictions. That is definitely cool."
On his sobriety:
Slash: "I was always passionate about guitars and music, and that's really at the end of the day, along with a couple other little things, [what] really saved me. I'm really fortunate, because for a lot of people, their only inspiration came from using. I didn't have that problem, so when I came out of it, I got really into playing and getting better at what I was doing. The only thing I've noticed the difference is, I tend to play with more energy and a lot faster than I did back when I was drunk — which led to some great long notes, but..."
On the defibrillator he still has in his chest:
Slash: "I had the option to leave it in or take it out, but taking it out meant an operation where they were going to have to disconnect the electric wire from my heart. I was like, 'Eh, just leave it in.' But I'm in good health. I haven't had any issues like that since basically 2002. That was the last incident. It was just because I never explained to the doctor when they put it in — you have to know the lowest threshold for your heartbeat and what's your highest, and I didn't take into account the adrenaline from performing, so it was set at certain place. When I'd go out and get going, playing, it would kick in, so I had it adjusted and I didn't have that problem again."
On whether he still gets excited playing iconic venues in his Los Angeles hometown:
Slash: "There's still that sort of feeling like when you were a kid, and all those places you sort of looked on with that dreamy sort of [perspective]. That never really totally leaves, no matter how many times you play there. I remember with GUNS, just recently playing The Forum, it still holds that allure from when you were young and fantasized about playing those venues."
On the best advice he received from AEROSMITH's Joe Perry:
Slash: "The only piece of real, sort of direct advice he ever gave me was way back in 1988, I think it was, when he told me. I called him up from Japan at one point to tell him that Izzy [Stradlin] was in a bad way. I think he thought I was talking about Izzy like I was talking about myself, but using Izzy. He was like, 'I'll tell you right now — he needs to get help, but then if you do that, don't come back to me if you fuck up. I'm not here for that. It's not a destination, it's a journey,' which is a classic Alcoholics Anonymous line. That's always sort of stuck with me. Other than that, Joe's not really what I would consider an advice-giver. That's one of the reasons I like him so much — he's a wealth of knowledge, but he's not sort of telling you what you should do."
On his past comments that being a rock star is "an intersection of who you are and who you want to be":
Slash: "For me, I think that really having a perspective on it now, when I was a kid coming up, with the exception of the top hat, I was exactly the same [as I am now]. Being Slash the guitar player is an outlet for me that Slash the regular person on the street, day-to-day, there's an extension of that that I could never be as myself, but it's very relative. In other words, the guitar's that outlet that sitting here, I don't have."
On his feature film production company, Slash Fiction:
Slash: "I've got four different movies in different stages of development right now, so that's a whole other thing that I'm juggling all this at the same time. I love accomplishing shit, so it's great, because it's all moving and it's all sort of pointed in a direction of getting done or arriving at a positive place. They're all really great scripts and I've got two deals done and I've got two pending. They're horror/thriller. The thing with me is really good, intelligent, story-driven [and] character-driven dramas that have a scary twist to them. It's not slasher movies; it's not gore. That's fun for me because it's something outside of music that I'm still involved with music because there's a score, and if I can get to a point of doing a couple movies a year and just have a steady thing — they don't have to be huge or anything — that's exciting, so that's something I'm looking forward to."
On his goals for 2019 and beyond:
Slash: "Next year is all touring [with THE CONSPIRATORS], but going beyond that, obviously I'm not going to not mention wanting to do a GUNS record along the way. It's not a personal challenge or anything, but I would love to see a GUNS record get done and have it be, to us, really great. That would be awesome. I'm looking forward to THE CONSPIRATORS tour. I'm really happy with the record. For the most part, that's it — do this tour, let's hope for a GUNS thing, let's just keep it all going."
Slash released "Living The Dream", his fourth solo album (and third with Myles Kennedy and THE CONSPIRATORS), on September 21 via his own label, Snakepit Records, in partnership with Roadrunner Records.