Slash says he had designs on playing bass rather than guitar when he was a teenager – until he heard a music teacher play Cream licks.
The guitarist visited the Guitar Center, Hollywood where he spoke about his formative years, influences and his forthcoming album, World On Fire.
“The thing that really inspired me to play guitar was Steven Adler,” says Slash. “He had an electric guitar when we were about 13 years old and he used to bang on it to Kiss records at full blast. That was very exciting, so I opted to play bass since he was playing guitar.
“I went to a local music school and talked to the teacher and said, ‘I want to learn how to play bass.’ He asked me a few questions to figure out what I wanted to achieve. While he was talking to me, he was playing Eric Clapton’s Cream licks on electric guitar.
“I said, ‘That’s what I want to do’, because I really didn’t know that much about guitars. So that was it – I switched over to guitar.
“My grandmother gave me a beat up old Spanish acoustic that only had one string – and I started learning on the one string. There was no stopping me at that point – I was obsessed with it no matter what obstacles or hurdles there were. I never accepted no for an answer and just kept at it.”
The former Guns N’ Roses axeman also chose to buy live albums rather than studio recordings because of the “energy of a band playing together”.
“I was definitely into crazy live performances,” he says. “It wasn’t about studio achievements, it was about spur of the moment live playing – that energy that goes along with it and the energy of a band playing together, where the solo was in the context of the song and not just ‘look what I can do’ five-minute guitar soloing.
Talking about the recording process on World On Fire, Slash says: “My last album Apocalyptic Love was designed to be live in the studio with no overdubs, no edits, just pure live recording. World On Fire was also recorded live in the studio but there’s overdubs and harmonies – I just wanted to make a more produced record.”
Classic Rock magazine will release a fanpack edition of World On Fire on Sep 15 – four weeks before the album’s regular release date.
Slash is currently on tour in the US with Aerosmith and will arrive in the UK for five dates at the end of November.
Nov 28: Manchester Phones 4u Arena
Nov 29: Leeds Arens
Dec 01: Birmingham LG Arena
Dec 02: London Wembley Arena
Dec 04: Glasgow SSE Hydro
TeamRock+ Feature / 8 Oct 2014Raw Power: Slash's Signature Les Paul
It’s all go for Slash: a great new album, a titanic Classic Rock fanpack and a brace of groovy new signature guitars to boot.
News / 28 May 2014Win tickets to see Slash play live at the Houses of Commons
Slash launches his World On Fire album with a special show at the Houses of Parliament on Monday. You can be there.
News / 3 Jun 2014Slash rocks the House... of Commons
He performs five-track acoustic set in Parliament ahead of Classic Rock Fanpack album release
News / 18 Jul 2014'Maniac' wants Slash for Breaking Bad sequel
TV novice sets up Kickstarter to make show that picks up where Walter White epic left off
News / 15 Aug 2014Hollywood horror show for Slash
Guitarist to provide music for spooky theme park attraction
News / 28 Oct 2014Slash was on a ‘different planet’ at school
Guitarist says he found it hard to fit in when he was younger
News / 1 Dec 2015Stereophonics casing Isle Of Wight for fans
Kelly Jones says they'll continue strategy of nicking other acts' followers when they headline festival alongside Queen in 2016
News / 1 Dec 2015Farmikos release Scapegoat video
View promo from former Ozzy guitarist Joe Holmes' band
News / 1 Dec 2015Viv Campbell: Doctors are the rock stars
Cancer fighter thanks medical staff as pioneering treatment continues
News / 1 Dec 2015Baroness’ Baizley recalls Hetfield hospital call
Singer/guitarist John says Metallica man’s pep talk after bus crash helped him on the road to recovery