SLASH TELLS AUSTRALIAN MUSICIAN HE’S SHY ABOUT SHARING HIS SONG IDEAS.
In celebration of the new Slash feat Myles Kennedy and The Conspirators album ‘4’, legendary Guns ’n Roses guitarist Slash spoke to selected media this afternoon in a zoom press conference from Kansas. The session kicked off with a couple of videos … ‘C’est la Vie and ‘Spirit Love’, tracks from the new album ‘4’, while we waited for the man to dial in. Slash told us it was apt that we’d just heard ‘Spirit Love’, as last night in Denver was the first time that the band had played the song live.
The online press conference was presented primarily to chat about the new album ‘4’, the first new music from SMKC in four years. It’s also the first record on Gibson Guitars own record label. SLASH and his bandmates MYLES KENNEDY (Vocals), BRENT FITZ (Drums), TODD KERNS (Bass & Vocals) and FRANK SIDORIS (Guitar & Vocals) aka SMKC, partnered with producer Dave Cobb (Chris Stapleton, John Prine, Jason Isbell, Rival Sons), for the new album 4 resulting in the band’s strongest collective statement to date. Recorded at RCA Studio A in Nashville, TN, Cobb shared the band’s desire to lay down the tracks live in the studio–including guitar solos and vocals–a first for the group, revealing a stunning, vital sound and style all captured live.
Earlier in the session, Slash addressed how excited he was to record live in the studio with producer Dave Cobb, usually known for his work with country artists. Slash told us how he hates to use headphones in the studio and have that headphone sound as the source for his guitar sound.
“When I was looking for new producers to do this record, I was introduced to Dave Cobb and our initial conversation was how much we love Glynn Johns and let’s do a rock n roll record totally off the floor and I was like ‘Eureka’!”
Australian Musician editor Greg Phillips asked Slash about the guitar which sits nearby at home for the moments whenever inspiration strikes … whether it was his Gibson J-45 (released as part of the Slash collection of guitars at the 2020 NAMM show) or an electric. We were surprised to hear how shy he is about others hearing his initial song ideas.
“I have both,” Slash told Australian Musician, “I have a J-45 which sits around the house and I also have a Les Paul Standard at the house and that’s really all there is guitar-wise around … you know, I don’t have many guitars at home. So I often pick up the electric and play it acoustic because I don’t like anyone to hear what I am doing. I’m really sort of shy about that but if nobody is around, I’ll play the acoustic and work on that … as long as nobody is home!”
It was also interesting to hear how Slash would come up with the music for a song based on his ideas and feelings at the time, then Myles Kennedy would write his lyrics, which would give a totally new meaning to the song. For example, from Slash’s perspective, the song ‘Sprit Love’ came out of the frustrations of lockdowns during the pandemic. “Now for Myles, the subject has nothing to do with the song,” Slash explains. “It’s totally about Necrophilia!”
Similarly the music for ‘Fill My World’ was written to offset the misery of the pandemic, with friends losing their jobs and relatives dying due to Covid. Slash was stoked with the lyrics Myles came up with.
“The lyric just seemed to really fit the tone of what I wrote the music about and everything that was happening at the time. It was amazing and it wasn’t until after the album was released … just recently, they told me the song was about his dog! It had nothing to do with people at all.”
Wrapping up Slash left us with some great news for Australian fans. “The Conspirators will be heading your way sometime in early 2023”.
Gibson has also released a limited, 250 count offering of SLASH Les Paul Standard Limited 4 Album Edition guitars–available on Gibson.com and at authorized dealers. The first-ever album and guitar package collaboration features the new SMKC album 4 on vinyl—which is housed in a uniquely designed compartment inside the guitar case–a 4 guitar pick tin and decal, and a signed SMKC band portrait. Step inside Gibson USA in Nashville and watch the making of the new SLASH Les Paul Standard Limited 4 Album Edition guitar, HERE. Check out the full line of exclusive SLASH guitars across Gibson HERE, and Epiphone HERE, as well as, SLASH apparel HERE.
- Dom DiSisto