Slash Says Guns N’ Roses Will “Start Moving Toward Getting A Record Done” 2020 Guitar Player Interview

Guitar Player: The top-hatted one himself discusses the new gear he’s been using onstage, and what’s on the horizon for the Conspirators and Guns N’ Roses…..


An excerpt from the interview has been posted below. You can read the entire interview at this location.

You recently built the Snakepit, your new recording studio in L.A. What can you tell us about it?

Slash:  It’s probably the third studio I’ve built in a residence. There’s nothing super unique about it. It’s just a small house that I found that had ample space for the live room and a control room. Neither one is large, but we ended up doing all the vocals and guitars there for Living the Dream. It’s not a great drum room, so we didn’t do the drums there, but we did all the overdubs and played live in the live room. The main thing is, it’s ours. We don’t have to block out time or deal with a studio owner or anything. We can go in there and play when we want, for as long as we want. It was a little bit difficult for Elvis [Baskette, Living the Dream producer] to record the guitars and all that stuff in there, because it’s a small space. It was a little bit of trial and error, but it came out really cool.

As far as these recent shows, is there any new gear you’ve been using onstage?

Slash:  Amp-wise I’ve just been using the [Marshall] Jubilee for the past couple of years. So far, I’m not thinking about changing. As for guitars, on the last record I ended up using a ’54 [Les Paul] Goldtop with soapbar pickups for a lot of it, which was very, very different for me. But I didn’t want to take a guitar with soapbars in it out on the road, because no matter how you look at it they’re just too noisy for a Marshall on full blast.

So I’ve been using some really great reissue Les Pauls that Gibson made for me that have humbuckers, but have just enough bite to really stand out and have a great attack and sound good. One is the Slash Brazilian Dream Les Paul, which has a strange sort of tobacco finish, and the other one is a red Slash Vermillion Les Paul. They’re both really, really cool.

What makes a good guitar riff?

Slash:  That’s a good question! Because I’m out here now working with the guys on stuff for a new Conspirators record, and I was wondering the same thing. [laughs] I do come up with a lot of riffs. As far as the ones that work, they have something that appeals to me, whether it’s a succession of notes or a rhythm or a melody. The thing is, I can sit around and play guitar all day and sometimes not recognize a good riff. It might not catch my ear. But if I sit down and really work on it with some other people, they hear what I’m missing and say, “Oh, yeah, that’s going to be great.” But something has to grab me in the first place before I’ll be able to focus on it and pursue it as a riff.

Once you have that riff that grabs you, do you have a general approach as far as building the rest of the song and an arrangement around it?

Slash:  Once you have a riff, a chord change, a little guitar piece or whatever it is that really grabs you, there’s a fair share of imagination that goes into it at that point. You start to imagine where it’s going. Usually, the only way I can really tell if it’s worth anything is to go and play it along with some drums. That’s the first thing. Ultimately, I need to hear it with bass and drums, but I’ll take the drums first, just to get an idea of the rhythm of it. And that will start to inspire where it should go.

You mentioned you’re working on new Conspirators music. What’s the status of that?

Slash:  I’m using this time when we’re on the road to accumulate as much material with Myles and the band as possible. Because after this tour’s over I go back to working on Guns. So I come up with stuff here and there and jam it with the band at soundcheck to get the idea of where it’s headed, and then we get it down on tape. And at some point where there’s a window in the Guns’ schedule, we’ll get together and record it. There’s some really good material for this next one, whenever we get around to doing it. So I’m really excited.

What about Guns N’ Roses – any new music in the works?

Slash:  We finally started working toward getting some material recorded. We get back together in October and go out on the road, and then as soon as that’s over, we’ll hunker down and start moving toward getting a record done.