Plus: Slash gets Bach,

In ad­vance of his gigs in Dublin next month, Slash talks gui­tar so­los – and Axl – with Ro­nan Mcgreevy

The Irish Times - Friday - The Ticket - - FRONT PAGE -

Apoc­a­lyp­tic Love, your lat­est al­bum, has been well re­ceived by mu­sic crit­ics and by your fans. How do you feel about it? I make a point of not read­ing what other peo­ple think, good or bad. I think it is a good record and I had a great time mak­ing it.

It started out as a pick-up band to sup­port my first solo record [ Slash re­leased in 2010], but it was one of the one-in-a-mil­lion sit­u­a­tions where all the pieces fit­ted to­gether.

Dur­ing the 2010 tour, I de­cided to make an­other record and that is what Apoc­a­lyp­tic Love is. It was a really in­spired cou­ple of weeks in the stu­dio record­ing it. It was done as live, recorded to tape and Eric Valen­tine is a great pro­ducer and en­gi­neer. It was a really good time. There is one song on the al­bum called Anas­ta­sia which has a neo-clas­si­cal in­tro. Some of your fans say you bor­rowed it from Bach’s Toc­cata and Fugue in D mi­nor. Is that cor­rect? In this really in­ter­est­ing day and age of so­cial net­work­ing, it started with just one per­son who said it was a Bach thing. I had no idea it sounded like a Bach thing and then ev­ery­body asked me about it. I think it is just the style of the arpeg­gios that makes peo­ple think of Bach. Still, there are worse mu­si­cians to be com­pared to than Bach. I’m proud of the song. I al­ways liked it. It was one of the songs that came up at the tail-end of the record­ing when we were in pre-pro­duc­tion.

It ac­tu­ally started when we were play­ing our last Euro­pean tour. When I was do­ing a gui­tar solo, I stum­bled on this lit­tle phrase and it stuck in my head. I kept try­ing to do some­thing with that phrase ev­ery night af­ter that. Then it got longer and longer.

When I came home off the road, it be­came the in­tro riff. The rest of it just fell into place. You have of­ten played with awk­ward singers such as Axl Rose (Guns N’Roses) and Scott Wei­land (Vel­vet Re­volver) yet you seem to have a great re­la­tion­ship with your cur­rent singer Myles Kennedy My hook­ing up with him was just by chance. I had heard of him for years, but I had never met him or heard him sing.

When I was do­ing that last solo record, I needed some­body to sing two songs ( Back to Cali and Starlight). I was go­ing to shelve those two songs, though they were good, if I couldn’t find the right singer for them. Then I heard that Myles was in Lon­don work­ing with Led Zep­pelin for their ill-fated come­back tour. I thought to my­self “he’s got to be good”. I sent him the mu­sic and he sent me a demo with vo­cals back about a week later. That was Starlight.

As soon as we met, we got along very well cre­atively. We did the al­bum ver­sion of the song in the stu­dio in LA, and it was one of those seem­less kind of syn­er­getic mo­ments and it has been go­ing on like that ever since.

I’m be­gin­ning to think it was fate. I really wasn’t look­ing to be where I am now at that point. How did you feel about Guns N’Roses be­ing in­ducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Axl Rose not show­ing up? I wasn’t dis­ap­pointed. I was more re­lieved at the time be­cause prior to that it was such a neg­a­tive sub­ject. At one point I thought, if we all show up, then what? When he said he wasn’t coming, I thought, “good, at least I can do some­thing”. Duff [McKa­gan, the bass player] and I spoke and we re­hearsed what we did to­gether. That in it­self was a good thing. Do you think his non-ap­pear­ance fi­nally put to bed the ex­pec­ta­tions that the orig­i­nal Guns N’Roses line-up would ever re­form? I think more than any­thing it put it to bed for Steve Adler [orig­i­nal Guns N’Roses drum­mer]. He was try­ing the hard­est to make it hap­pen be­cause he missed a lot of it. He was fi­nally re­signed to the idea that it was never go­ing to hap­pen. I knew in my heart it was never go­ing to hap­pen be­cause I left the band in the early 1990s. I have never really had any ex­pec­ta­tions since then. Do you feel any re­sent­ment to­wards the Guns N’Roses who are tour­ing the world at the moment? No, I just want to get on with what I’m do­ing. It’s been a long time. I’m really happy that Axl seems to be happy. He’s prob­a­bly at the same place that I’m at. Whether he calls it Guns or some­thing else I don’t care. I signed that name away a long time ago. ❙❙❙ Apoc­a­lyp­tic Love is out now. Slash fea­tur­ing Myles Kennedy and The Con­spir­a­tors play Dublin’s Olympia on March 3rd and 4th

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