Slash Makes 'Apocalyptic Love' at Canadian Music Week
Grant W. Martin
Here's a sample of what was said during Bookie's 20-minute interview with the legendary guitarist.
On the evolution of Slash with Myles Kennedy and the Conspirators:
"The last record was a great project. I got to work with great people. It was very liberating experience. In that process, I met Myles Kennedy. He floored me as a singer. I thought he was fantastic and so we sort developed a relationship. I asked him if he wanted to go do a tour and so he signed up and it was right from Alter Bridge. So then I met [drummer] Brent Fitz and he introduced me to [bassist] Todd Kerns and at rehearsal for this tour, I realized this really magic moment of recognizing that this was a really well put together group and it was fantastic. So we went out and started touring and I thought, 'If I was gonna do another solo record, I would just do it with these guys.' So the whole record was written on the road. We came out with all the songs, arranged everything, a really grueling pre-production period, and then we went in and recorded the whole album live in the studio."
On the lyrics:
"When Myles wrote "Starlight" [from the last album] back in Cali, I pretty much recognized he's a good lyricist. I don't really need to help him along in that department. So I just sent him the music and he came up with his own ideas and that was how we wrote the whole record."
On the two Canadians in the band:
"What happened was is I was auditioning drummers in L.A. and during that process, I started getting all these emails and phone calls, 'You should try out this guy named Brent Fitz,' who I'd never actually heard of, and after F calls about that, I thought, okay I'd check this guy out. So he lived in Vegas and I happened to be in Vegas so I looked him up and we got together and met. He's a cool guy. So we went to L.A. and we played for one afternoon and he had this really great behind-the-beat sexy rock feel. That's exactly what I was looking for.
"We had actually Dave Henning on bass, which is a guy from Big Wreck [fronted by Canadian Ian Thornley], and we worked with him for a second and I think I was looking for something even harder than that. So Brent said, 'I know this guy named Todd Kerns,' who I hadn't heard of and Todd drove in and just was perfect. And he's a f-kin' great singer on top of it. There's something about the vocals on the record, where a lot of the time, in the choruses especially, one of the bridges where Myles and Todd sing together really compliment each other."
Grant W. Martin
On having 15 songs on Apocalyptic Love:
"Initially, I thought we would do an eight to 10 song record, but we just had so much material. I didn't want to throw any of it away. Well, it wasn't going to happen but it got to a point where I didn't want to part with anything. And there was 15 songs there and [producer] Eric Valentine and I talked about it and we said, 'Okay do the sequence the way that it feels right' because I'm really particular about song sequence. So I got 13 songs together and left two songs out...But we have to make sure everybody gets them, so that's how it worked out."
On Eric Valentine:
"The thing about Eric is he is very very musical, really appreciates good music no matter what genre is, which is a lot I like me. I love all music as long as it is from the heart and it's played well. Eric is that guy but he's also an amazing technician. He takes everything apart and puts it back together, understand it, nuts and bolts, every piece of gear and so on and so forth. But he's a rock 'n' roll nerd. He loves rock 'n' roll. So he digs what I do because it's pretty much from the hip and is raw and unbridled, and so he just loves to harness that to some extent and just capture it and that's all I could ask for.
"We did everything analog, which we did on the last record. And this time, because I've been on this quest for 25 years now of being able to record my guitar in the room with the guys, so the way I've always done it is I got on the headphones which I can't stand - I think they're puny and don't sound right - so I play with the band, but I then erase those tracks and then I go redo them in the control them. So Eric builds a room within the room in the studio so that I can play with monitors in the studio that didn't bleed over the drums. So I can play with the band and keep the guitar tracks. So that's a first for me. So lead guitar on either side - Myles playing on one side of me, me playing on the other- so when the solo comes, that lead guitar disappears and it's that solo, spontaneously, that happens at that moment."
On the stage show:
"I just like good lights and good sound. The other stuff, it's like whatever. As a fan, I just want to see a really kick-ass rock band. If they have to use all this other stuff to supplement the fact that they're boring...[shrugs off with hand]."
Slash just released a special video and song to raise awareness for the plight of homeless youth in Los Angeles. Fans can make a donation to the Los Angeles Youth Network (LAYN) by downloading the song--a special mix of "Gotten," with Adam Levine of Maroon 5 on vocals, from Slash's previous 2010 debut solo album. Head here to watch the video and download the track.
Slash's Apocalyptic Love will hit stores on May 22.
Slash tour dates:
May 03 - Baltimore, MD - Rams Head Live
May 05 - Charlotte, NC - Carolina Rebellion, Rockingham Speedway
May 07 - Orlando, FL - Hard Rock Live
May 10 - Biloxi, MS - Hard Rock Hotel & Casino - Hard Rock Live
May 12 - Kansas City MO - Liberty Memorial Park
May 13 - Indianola, IA - National Balloon Classic Field
May 14 - Minneapolis, MN - The Brick
May 16 - Madison, WI - Orpheum Theater
May 17 - Grand Rapids, MI - Orbit Room
May 19 - Columbus, OH - Rock On The Range, Columbus Crew Stadium
May 20 - Camden, NJ - Susquehanna Bank Center
May 25 - Pryor, OK - Rocklahoma
May 26 - Albuquerque, NM - Route 66 Casino