GUNS N' ROSES guitarist Slash recently spoke with Scuzz TV about "Living The Dream", his new album featuring Myles Kennedy and THE CONSPIRATORS. The full conversation can be viewed below. A few excerpts follow (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET):
On the album's 2015 origins:
Slash: "We were doing the 'World On Fire' tour, and some of the ideas were — sort of the nucleus of some of these ideas happened at that time. Toward the end of 2015, we actually went in a rehearsal room and started to tinker around with some of these ideas. Then the GUNS N' ROSES thing all of a sudden popped up, and so everything just sort of stalled up until this past January. Then we got back together and revisited some of those ideas and brought a bunch of new ones and made a record. I was listening to the mastering sessions driving to GUNS N' ROSES rehearsals to do this tour that we just did."
On the inspiration for the album's title:
Slash: "Politics. It's hard to ignore it. I think it was sort of a tongue-in-cheek statement referring to what's been going on, pretty much globally, but especially in the U.S. 'Living The Dream' seemed like a funny title. All things considered, it could [also] be applied to what we do, and just being able to have the wherewithal to be able to make records and tour and do all those great things that we dreamed about doing when we were 15 years old, so it doesn't necessarily have to be about [politics]."
On appreciating his position:
Slash: "I've been doing this for a long time now. It's something that I still feel as impassioned about now as I did when I first started doing it. The fact that I've been able to sustain that for this long and to be able to work with all the different people I've worked with — with THE CONSPIRATORS and back with GUNS N' ROSES and working with all these great people, that creative kind of atmosphere, it's definitely worth being grateful."
On yielding lyric writing to Kennedy:
Slash: "I learned pretty early on when I first met Myles, he pretty much was fine in the lyric department and didn't need any of my assistance. There was actually one moment when we were doing 'Apocalyptic Love' where he goes, 'Hey, do you have any ideas? I'm working on this lyric.' I realized at that moment, 'You really don't need my help with this. You're going to be fine.' Whenever we work on songs, he'll come up with the vocal melodies, I'll come up with some parts and he'll start singing and we'll get an arrangement together. The lyrics won't even come into play until we late in pre-production, right before we actually do vocals. Then they start to materialize. They're always cool, and I've sort of stopped really looking over his shoulder altogether."
On what inspires his improvised solos in concert:
Slash: "As a guitar player, we just love being able to improvise. Any time you have an opportunity to just make shit up on the spot... it's really inspired by the energy of the place you're at and the people you're playing for, and the mood as well. The beginning of every solo usually starts out pretty subtly, and that is definitely [a matter of] where you're going to go with it and how you're feeling at the moment. It's not a conscious thing. When singers write lyrics, because it's verbal, you can really understand the mood, where they're coming from, what they might have been thinking about, whether it's a sad song or a happy song or an aggressive song, an angry song, whatever. With music, you're sort of picking up stuff in your surroundings all the time. You don't put a fine point on it, but you're absorbing all these different feeling through the course of the day. You pick up a guitar and you can put two notes together that lend itself to a certain vibe. That is not specific, but it is the result of whatever you've been dealing with that day or that week."
"Living The Dream" was released on September 21 via Slash's own label, Snakepit Records, in partnership with Roadrunner Records.