Slash Discusses Admiration for YouTube Kid, Upcoming Tour Dates + ‘Nothing Left to Fear’ Film
Guitar great Slash has a bit of a respite from his work with Myles Kennedy and the Conspirators, but he’s never one to rest for too long. During his “downtime,” Slash has been working on demos for his next album, putting the final touches on the upcoming horror film ‘Nothing Left to Fear’ and giving props to a little girl who mastered ‘Sweet Child O’ Mine’ on YouTube. Slash appears on Loudwire Radio’s Top 20 Countdown this weekend, and we’ve got a preview of his interview with host Mike “Sandman” Sanders below:
The first thing I want to ask you is something we covered at Loudwire.com, it was a tweet that you responded to a video of this little girl, a 7-year-old girl, Zoe Thomson in the UK, who is on her way to becoming a guitar wiz and it looks like you were impressed with her video of playing the riff of ‘Sweet Child O’ Mine.’
Someone sent me the link and I was just like, wow, 7-years-old … And the thing is she really just captures the tone and the sound and the sort of nuances of somebody playing somebody else’s guitar solo. It’s something that people spend years learning how to do. I’ve got some songs I’m doing at a gig this weekend, which are cover songs and I’m learning all these tracks. Sometimes I learn a solo note-for-note if it’s really something melodically, like, you totally recognize. And when you do that you really have to sort of capture the feel and it’s something that requires a certain amount of experience. And I was just blown away that this girl was 7-years-old, and it wasn’t just because it was my song or my solo, you know, it could have been anybody’s; but just the technique and all that kind of stuff was really down pat. I was really surprised.
It’s just inspiring that somebody at that age wants to be that serious about playing. I can’t imagine how good she’s going to be in 10 or 15 years.
Oh, absolutely. It’s really inspiring. There was a drummer that someone turned me onto that was like, I don’t know, 8-years-old or something, playing all these Rush and AC/DC songs, I mean, like, really doing it as good as anybody could do it. And it just blows me away how young kids are really picking this stuff up and are sort of going to be carrying the torch for rock and roll in the next decade.
Well, you, and many like you, have inspired a new generation. Seeing her play that riff made me think you’ve assumed that role as the Riff Master. You’re kind of a Keith Richards, Joe Perry kind of guy, where it seems like the riff is what comes first and then the song is then assembled after that.
It depends. Sometimes, yeah, I probably, more often than not, have an idea for a riff and a song follows. But sometimes you can come up with some chord changes, which would make up a verse or a chorus or something, and then in jamming with a drummer and a bass player all of a sudden a riff can come out of that and sort of tie the whole thing together. So there’s no real set rule where this stuff comes from. I think I’ve always been attracted to cool riffs ever since I first started — even before I started, when I just used to listen to music, before I was even involved as a guitarist — I would always identify with a really cool hook or something like that. So it’s really a definite part of my whole style is the riff.
You definitely have been a part of technology as well … there’s this iRig amplitude Slash app and that seems like it is just something really revolutionary.
Yeah, it’s cool. It’s something I use a lot when I’m on the road and even when I’m at home. You have this app which is basically digital amp modelers, because I have some Slash Marshalls, right? [laughs] So, amplitude’s designed these amp modelers that duplicate the sounds of my Marshall and it’s great because you can put it in your iPad or iPhone, which is something that most people have, and you can practice and write and do whatever with a really great sound anywhere you want, you just need a pair of headphones. It’s really, really convenient and I was really glad to do it.
If I remember the video correctly, it’s got a wah-wah pedal and some different effects like that too.
Yeah, it’s got different effects in it that you can actually download, so you can pick or choose which ones you want to have in there. You can have, I think, up to six of them, or seven of them … of different pedals of your choosing that you can have in there. From compressors, to delays, to distortions or wah-wah pedals, there’s a bunch of different stuff in there.
Let’s talk ‘Apocalyptic Love.’ It’s been a huge success, and I understand you’re going to be going back out? Myles Kennedy apparently has a little window with his Alter Bridge stuff that’s going on, so you’re going to go back out on the road and do some dates.
Yeah, we were out there for a long time. The album came out last May, I think it was, and we started touring in March, and so we toured all the way up until March of this year. Then we took a break and now we’re going to go out and do an Asia tour in May, it’s a pretty quick tour, there’s only, like, four shows, and then in July one last run in the U.S. and then that’s it for the rest of the year. Myles is going to do Alter Bridge, I’m working on new material for the next record, and then next year we’ll convene and record another record.
I want to ask you about the movie coming out, ‘Nothing Left to Fear,’ that’s from Slasher Films, your own production company and you did the soundtrack for the movie, is my understanding.
Yeah, the movie is going to be out … we’re trying to figure out the release date now, so it’s going to be relatively soon. And then the soundtrack, which is just basically the score and there’s one original song that Myles and I did for it, and we’re just finishing mastering it and that’s going to come out prior to the release of the movie and I’m pretty excited about it. The song that Myles and I did for the movie is really cool and then the rest of the score is — in the context of the movie — it’s really a character unto itself. It really sort of gives you the emotional, sort of, peaks and valleys of what the movie’s about. It really carries the movie. But it actually works just as a stand-alone, just to listen to it. So, I’m excited about getting that out pretty soon.
Now, without giving too much away, is ‘Nothing Left to Fear’ going to be more visceral or more like a thriller, kind of horror-type mix?
Well, it’s a horror movie. I mean, Slasher Films is basically a horror production company. And ‘Nothing Left to Fear’ is … I got into this because I wanted to sort of bring back, if you will, more story-driven and character-driven psychological thrillers than, you know, right now when you think of horror movies you of a lot of chainsaws and a lot of blood and a lot of dismembering and all that stuff [laughs]. And I find that more unsettling than scary. I think some of them are really good, so, I’m not knocking them. I just wanted to bring back movies that were more haunting and creepy in a way that is things that you don’t see, what your brain suggests, that kind of thing. So that’s what this first movie is sort of rooted in, that kind of idea. It’s really about the story and it’s about developing the characters and the situation itself is scary and you don’t have to make it overly graphic. It just leaves more to the imagination.
And that’s the kind of movie I love and I’m sure I’m not the only one that’s looking forward to seeing the movie. We can find out the release date, get the tour dates and everything … SlashOnline.com is the place to go for everything.
Our thanks to Slash for taking the time to chat with Loudwire Radio. To find out where you can catch the Top 20 Countdown each week, click on the red button below.