Slash Sits Down With Forbes Magazine
Guns N’ Roses guitarist Slash sat down with Forbes magazine recently to talk about his upcoming album ‘Living the Dream’ as well as the Guns N’ Roses ‘Not in This Lifetime Tour’ along with a wide array of other topics. Earlier today, Rolling Stone published the most extensive interview done with Slash since the Guns N’ Roses Not in This Lifetime Tour started. Some interesting snippets of the interview I’ve included below. You can read the full interview here
Baltin: You say it was more joyous than you would have expected. It does feel like, for most people, as you get older that other stuff falls away and doesn’t matter.
Slash: I’m so stubborn that I’m loathe to admit it, even at this point in time, I’m going, “Well, that’s not what it is. I don’t know what it is, but that’s not it.” To me, it seems to be something more cosmic than that. Granted, there are changes that I will recognize in myself since then, and I will take the blame for a lot of that negativity. With Axl, it’s harder for me to say. I don’t know what it is for him, but we’ve been having a really good time. And we never sat and talked about this particular aspect of it. We’ve just been doing it.
Baltin: I also spoke with Myles [Kennedy, Conspirators singer] a few months ago about his album. And I’m sure one of the cool things when you went to make this album is you both bring new things to the table.
Slash: For us musicians, you’re always reaching for something. But when I got into the studio with these guys, I missed them and I had a little bit of guilt for having put them in a situation where I took off for a tour that had seemingly no end in sight and left it all hanging cause we had started working on new tunes and they were cool and we were about to go into another cycle. I wrote a bunch of new songs, so there was a song on the record called “Mind Your Manners,” which I wrote, the first thing we played when we got back in the room cause that’s always so awkward. “What do we play first? Do we just jam or what do we do?” We jammed that and that became a song, so that was cool. But some of the material was old, from 2015, and that made me feel like I was going backwards in a way. Normally what happens is there’s a certain shelf life and then you move on. So that made me go, “The songs are really good, so I want to do them.” But, in a sense, I felt it was going the other direction.
Baltin: As you grow and change the songs change for you though too, so they probably didn’t feel like the same songs as in 2015.
Slash: Yeah, it’s a whole new animal in 2018. We had a really good time just throwing this thing altogether. And all the guys were f**king amazing. This was Frank [Sidoris’] first record and I didn’t know what to expect. And he did a f**king awesome job. I was really proud of him. Todd [Kerns] was amazing, Brent [Fitz]was f**king amazing. So definitely with everybody the game was up. I was listening to prior records cause I’m trying to figure out songs for the setlist. So last night I was jamming along and I go, “God, this new record’s so much better than the other ones.” So I feel this progression growing as individuals, but also as a group. We’re getting better and better, which is awesome. I witnessed that.
Baltin: I am sure though as well the two years away helped give you that perspective because you stepped out of it and saw it change.
Slash: Definitely, cause I never listen to the past records anyway. But after this amount of time I gotta listen to at least snippets of some of the songs just so I can figure out what songs I want to put in the set and so on. And now we have three records, so we have what are so-called singles people are familiar with, then there are deep tracks and all that. But it was a trip listening to “Apocalyptic Love.” It’s potentially great stuff in there and some of it really arrives at a great place, but not all of it. So the band has just become more cohesive and I think, as songwriters, we just started gelling.
Baltin: So did they give you s**t for taking off in the middle of the record?
Slash: No, initially, we were on the road somewhere in the U.S. and I’d spent some time with Axl and I told the guys straight up, “I’ve been talking to Axl and we’re talking about doing some shows and I don’t know what that’s gonna lead to. I’ll keep you posted.” Everybody’s feedback was very supportive because it was such an unprecedented event that those guys being fans of the whole Guns thing wanted to see it to happen. “But then what did that mean for the future?” They don’t know what I’m thinking (laughs). But I had been waiting for a moment where I could step out of Guns, for a second, and just focus on doing this record. Pretty much after we’d been doing this for a year I was like, “Okay, I need to find a moment.” So it came and it was good.
Baltin: It’s interesting how you refer to it as the Guns experience. I’ve known you so many years seeing you on that Jumbotron at Dodger Stadium was weird. Did it feel surreal to go back into it and realize people cared that much?
Slash: There was a lot of surreal stuff about the Guns thing. For me, the biggest thing was me and Axl sitting together and talking. And we were right back to us as normal friends. That was, in and of itself, a surreal moment and it was really cathartic and I felt really relieved. All that negative black s**t that had been collecting over years and years, being perpetuated. So that was one thing. But the support from the fans, they could have gone whichever way, and it would have been fine with us because it was just good for us to get together. But, to have the enthusiasm, just the overall reaction from fans globally over the course of the whole f**king tour, is something that, as a kid coming up, you can only ever wish for. It was really something you feel very humbled by and grateful for. I don’t want to get into all that kind of s**t.