There’s no doubt about it – Slash is an iconic figure in the world of rock and roll. Everyone from classic rock fans who saw Slash tear it up with Guns N’ Roses to kids who’ve just seen his doppelganger in Guitar Hero can recognize the shaggy hair and top hat as signs of a legend. And then there’s Slash’s signature sound – no one in the world can make a guitar squeal like Slash. The guitarist combines technical proficiency and emotion and can do everything from tight riffing to wailing solos.
But one thing Slash hadn’t done until recently was release a solo album. While Slash’s work with Guns N’ Roses and Velvet Revolver is obviously impressive, it’s interesting to see the guitarist’s vision come out on Slash, the solo album he released March 31. Slash is the product of two years of writing and features a guest list that is a veritable “Who’s Who” of the rock world, including Ozzy Osbourne, M. Shadows, Chris Cornell, Dave Grohl, Iggy Pop and a host of others. So what made Slash decide to go the solo route?
“I was starting to think of other things and I needed the outlet. I needed to do something where I was just captain of my own ship for a minute,” said Slash. “I’m not saying that I want to do this permanently but I just needed to, after all the stuff with Guns ‘N Roses and then Velvet Revolver.”
Of course, longtime Slash fans will remember that the guitarist did have a unique project of his own in the past, Slash’s Snakepit. But Slash was quick to dismiss the idea that this solo album was in the same realm as Snakepit.
“Snakepit was a band; everybody wrote, everybody had equal input even though I had my name on it,” Slash explained. “I’m so used to being in a band that I just never really tried to do anything else.”
However, after the tumultuous end of Velvet Revolver (singer Scott Weiland was fired after weeks of public feuding), Slash knew it was time to try something different. Instead of forming another super group or putting together his own band, Slash decided to take his musical destiny in his own hands.
“I didn’t want to put together another band…I put together a bunch of material and I started thinking who would sound good. I did one song and said, ‘This would sound great for Ozzy’ or the Fergie song was totally pegged for her.”
The experience proved to be a refreshing one for Slash, as he had complete, free reign over all of the music. Fans can now fully appreciate the musical genius of Slash, as the guitarist was alone in the driver’s seat for the solo album.
“It was really sort of an open canvas for any singer that I chose,” said Slash. “Sometimes it would only be two parts; sometimes it would be more of a song structure and just say, ‘Have at it. It’s totally open to your interpretation and we change the arrangement if need be. Whatever it is.’”