Slash - 10 Things You May Not Know
By Team HC |
Slash - 10 Things You May Not Know
Is he a metal head conspirator?
by Anne Erickson
Over the decades, Slash has weathered the rock ‘n’ roll storm, going from playing lead guitar in one of the biggest rock bands of all time, Guns N’ Roses, to forging ahead with his solo work, backed by Myles Kennedy (of Alter Bridge) and the Conspirators. In this feature, we unearthed the Les Paul player’s interviews from years past to dig up 10 interesting tidbits.
Aerosmith’s Rocks was a major part of his early years playing guitar.
“I remember first hearing Rocks at a party I was at, and it immediately caught my attention,” Slash told Guitar World. “Then shortly after I started picking up guitar, I was exposed to it again and started listening to it over and over. It had this manic, punk rock attitude and a rhythm and blues sleaziness to it. There was something about that particular album that really hit a nerve with me. It was everything—the vocals, the bass and drums, Brad (Whitford) and Joe (Perry). Their sound really set me off in the direction I wanted to go.”
He has an interest in reptiles.
“I started with the whole reptile, dinosaur and monster fascination as far back as I can remember,” Slash told Reptiles Magazine. “When I was young and lived in London, I think that one of the biggest thrills that I had was going to Crystal Palace. Crystal Palace is a big park, and it had huge, life-size sculptures of dinosaurs. The figures they had, though, were completely anatomically incorrect. I kept going there and looking at the sculptures and was very much into that.”
He stays current with music and is a fan of some newer rock and metal bands.
“One of my favorite bands out there is Rival Sons. Another one is Monster Truck,” he told ArtistDirect.com. “They’re really good. Another one is from Australia—Airbourne. They’re very much like AC/DC. Gojira is just starting to make waves now. They are killer. There’s a band from L.A. called Hillbilly Herald. They’re one of the best live bands I’ve seen in recent memory.”
He’s a huge metal head.
“There’s a big metal influence that I’ve always had, (since) I was first turned on to Black Sabbath. I’ve always loved metal bands, this entire time they’ve just been making music with whatever resources they have and gaining a hard-core fan base,” he told The Independent. “Now that we’re in this place where everybody’s in a panic because the music business has turned completely upside down, they’re like, ‘Well we’re cool! We’ve been doing it our own way all along.’ To this day, the only thing in Rock n’ Roll that’s survived the test of the millennium has been metal.”
What’s his favorite thing about rock music? Riffs.
“Riffs have always been such a cool thing, one of the things I love most about rock and roll music,” he explains. “I think that’s the biggest thing, what influenced you and what excites you as a player. You have to be attuned to it. A great riff makes you feel something special inside when you’re playing it. Most great riffs have something within the rhythm that’s sexy, something you feel that makes it work for you.”
He produces horror films on the side.
“Everything about doing this is exciting to me, a lot because I've had a passion for movies, and especially horror movies, for as long as I can remember,” he told Rolling Stone. “So at this stage of the game, to have the opportunity to be able to produce horror movies is great, and to be hands-on behind the scenes and getting to finally be involved where you can influence the outcome of what the picture is gonna be and what it's gonna look like is very exciting.”
When it comes to his band the Conspirators, he takes the jam band approach.
“We’ve always had a collective like-mindedness. Everybody just wants to play,” he told The Independent. “There’s nothing else that we really concern ourselves with, we just like jamming. When we get together and work, we work really hard, but you don’t even realize. Whatever ideas come, everyone’s very enthusiastic about trying to figure out their own version or their own interpretation. We’re just having such a good time and we’re all on the same page.”
The scariest movie he’s ever seen is Night of the Living Dead.
“The most scared I've been in a movie that I can remember was when I was a kid and I saw Night of the Living Dead in the backseat of my mom's Volkswagen at a drive-in,” Slash told Rolling Stone. “I was like seven or eight years old, and it was a double feature with the Exorcist. And the Exorcist, because I love monsters and those kind of practical effects, I was more fascinated and developed a crush on Linda Blair. But Night of the Living Dead was a very ominous, haunting and brutal movie, and I remember specific scenes that have stayed with me all these years. Since then I'm more fascinated in – I love creepy stuff. I don't go for psycho movies or people that run around killing each other.”
He has a deep appreciation for vinyl.
“Being a musician, it’s important to me how a record sounds, how it’s packaged, how you can make it more personable,” Slash told Bundle.Media. “I grew up in the age of vinyl, which is a huge contrast to what it feels like to purchase an album now and what that felt like as a fan, from sonic quality to artwork. Now the packaging is gone and people are recording from their laptops and their phones. It’s drastically changed and become much more convenient and immediate, but it’s become faceless at the same time. I’m excited to see how this changes in the future.”
He favors individual expression over technique in guitar playing.
“A lot of players in my neighborhood—in West Hollywood—or who I was hearing in clubs at that time, were losing the vocal aspect of lead guitar playing,” he explains. “I just stuck to what I had always dug about lead playing, which was never about technique as a goal. It was about the individuality of the guys I had grown up listening to, the fact that each had his own personality. I never jumped on that bandwagon of trying to out-flash the next guy.”
Photos by Anne Erickson
Anne Erickson holds years of bylines in Gannett Media publications, as well as music magazines Premier Guitar, Guitar Edge and more. She also hosts radio shows with iHeartRadio and has been syndicated in Seattle, Dayton, Central Coast California and beyond. Anne is a loyal Spartan and holds a Master’s degree from MSU. She resides in Lansing, Michigan.