SLASH: 'We Are Always There' For SCOTT WEILAND 'If He Needs Support' recently conducted an interview with VELVET REVOLVER/ex-GUNS N' ROSES guitarist Slash. A few excerpts from the chat follow:

On surviving the '80s and '90s excess:

"Oh yeah, there are moments when I stop and think of that, I definitely feel like I'm blessed because I'm still here, and I really had every reason to not be. . . Either someone's been looking out for me or it's just sheer luck, but because of that I decided that I should probably stop taking it for granted. That I should put my nose to the grindstone and do what my whole purpose for being here is."

On the fact that GUNS N' ROSES never seemed to fit in with the '80s L.A. scene:

"As soon as the '80s started, there was not a lot going on to be influenced by. Everything that inspired me was the stuff I listened to while growing up, and there was a dramatic shift in the '80s — GUNS N' ROSES was a proponent of change. We were a result of what the '80s was all about and the antitheses of it."

On the height of GUNS N' ROSES' success:

"We got to a point where it was really huge and it was fun in lots of ways, and in a lot of ways it was very overwhelming. But I enjoyed it, especially given where we all came from, which was basically nothing, to becoming this huge band on a global level."

"It had its moments where it became a little excessive. Luckily there was always some semblance of clarity which basically won out in the end. When I was working I never felt as destructive as when I wasn't working, and that was my problem — I figured that one out over the years."

On his decision to quit GUNS N' ROSES in 1996:

"It was a huge relief when I made that decision. From the early '90s onwards it was a very stressful situation, so I relieved myself of that burden, but then it was a hell of a lot of work to keep that all going, because from then I was out on my own. It's a tough business, I learned a lot about it, and I learned that without the umbrella of the whole GUNS N' ROSES name, I needed to be a bit more alert on a regular basis to stay afloat — it was slow learning . . . The one thing I learned? To take charge of everything to do with my career… and really not to trust anybody."

On the perceived wisdom that NIRVANA and the Seattle grunge scene overtook hard rock (and bands like GUNS N' ROSES) in the early 90s:

"That's pretty much a line of bulls*** right there, that never happened. Basically the band broke up right around the time that all that was happening, and a lot of the grunge bands — who are majorly influenced by GUNS N' ROSES — all of a sudden thought they'd taken over. But we just broke up and it had nothing to do with what was going on [with grunge], because in 1994 we were still the biggest stadium band, so it didn't really have any effect on us."

On how touring now compares to the days of intoxication, other than the obvious:

"It's not that much of a change. Some things have changed, but y'know the basics of it stay the same. Sure, there were some great times in the '80s too, but I just enjoy what I do — it's a very rock and roll family, so it kind of reminds me of my childhood."

On singer Scott Weiland's recent rehab stint:

"He's in rehab so I think he's doing OK. We helped him in the very early days, and we are always there if he needs support, but at this moment he's being taken care of."

Read the entire interview at


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