'I had no idea it sounded like Bach'
In advance of his gigs in Dublin next month, Slash talks guitar solos – and Axl – with RONAN MCGREEVY
Apocalyptic Love, your latest album, has been well received by music critics and by your fans. How do you feel about it?
I make a point of not reading what other people think, good or bad. I think it is a good record and I had a great time making it.
It started out as a pick-up band to support my first solo record , but it was one of the one-in-a-million situations where all the pieces fitted together.
During the 2010 tour, I decided to make another record and that is what Apocalyptic Love is. It was a really inspired couple of weeks in the studio recording it. It was done as live, recorded to tape and Eric Valentine is a great producer and engineer. It was a really good time.
There is one song on the album called Anastasia which has a neo-classical intro. Some of your fans say you borrowed it from Bach’s Toccata and Fugue in D minor. Is that correct?
In this really interesting day and age of social networking, it started with just one person who said it was a Bach thing. I had no idea it sounded like a Bach thing and then everybody asked me about it. I think it is just the style of the arpeggios that makes people think of Bach. Still, there are worse musicians to be compared to than Bach. I’m proud of the song. I always liked it. It was one of the songs that came up at the tail-end of the recording when we were in pre-production.
It actually started when we were playing our last European tour. When I was doing a guitar solo, I stumbled on this little phrase and it stuck in my head. I kept trying to do something with that phrase every night after that. Then it got longer and longer.
When I came home off the road, it became the intro riff. The rest of it just fell into place.
You have often played with awkward singers such as Axl Rose (Guns N’Roses) and Scott Weiland (Velvet Revolver) yet you seem to have a great relationship with your current singer Myles Kennedy
My hooking up with him was just by chance. I had heard of him for years, but I had never met him or heard him sing.
When I was doing that last solo record, I needed somebody to sing two songs (Back to Cali and Starlight). I was going to shelve those two songs, though they were good, if I couldn’t find the right singer for them. Then I heard that Myles was in London working with Led Zeppelin for their ill-fated comeback tour. I thought to myself “he’s got to be good”. I sent him the music and he sent me a demo with vocals back about a week later. That was Starlight.