Slash talks about his tour with Ozzy, the search for Velvet Revolver's singer, and Axl's latest accolade

slashImage Credit: Paul BrownBreak out the top hats and Les Pauls: Slash kicks off a tour with Ozzy Osbourne on Jan. 16 in Omaha, Neb., in support of his 2010 solo album, Slash. Before he hit the road, the Velvet Revolver guitarist and ex-Guns N’ Roses axeman riffed on a variety of music topics with EW.

ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: What can fans expect from the set list this time around? It sounds like you’ve been playing a wide swath of material from your career.
The tour started last March and we took a break, and now we’re starting up again. We’ve been doing a lot of songs off this new record, some Guns stuff, some Velvet stuff and a couple Snake Pit songs. And it’s really cool when we’re doing a headlining set [Slash will perform on his own in some cities] because we really f—ing dig in there and pull out these cool gems. But for the Ozzy tour, it’ll be combinations of those things. It’s a 50-minute set, so it won’t be a lot of either. But at the same time it’s going to be a really cool, very entertaining, dynamic 50 minutes.

Any surprises you can tease?
There are a couple songs that I broke out for this next leg which we haven’t played on the whole tour, so there will be a couple surprises if you went to any of the other shows. If you’ve never been to a show, the whole thing’s a surprise. But give you hints? No.

Will you play with Ozzy?
We haven’t talked about any of that kind of stuff. I haven’t seen him because he’s been on tour and I’ve been on tour, so when we get together, we’ll see what happens. Ozzy’s very, very focused and he gets in a zone doing his show, so I don’t have any expectations of disrupting that. But you never know what will come out of just being in the same environment for a couple weeks.

If you could join him for any song, what would it be? “War Pigs”? “Crazy Train”?
“War Pigs” is a good one. I played “Paranoid” and “Iron Man” with him before so we’ll see. Any Black Sabbath song I’m down for.

What’s the timeline for making a decision on the new singer for Velvet Revolver?
There’s a short list of people we’re looking at right now but we haven’t made any decisions…. A decision will be made one way or another I would imagine in the coming weeks.

How many people have you narrowed it down to?
There’s a couple people and I can’t tell you who they are but they’re all good. Pretty much everybody has been really, really good. It’s just trying to find the right fit and the right style, and somebody who just gets it.

Are there names we know?
There’s one guy that’s definitely pretty well-known.

When will you go into the studio with the new singer?
I’m on the road through April, and then we take a break, so we’ll see what happens.

Was Duff McKagan’s departure from Jane’s Addiction also related to Velvet Revolver ramping back up again?
I don’t think he ever intended to stay in Jane’s for the long haul. I think he was just there in the writing process with those guys. And I’m not sure exactly how that ended or whatever happened, but I don’t think it was a permanent thing.

Let’s talk a lot about the intense video for “Beautiful Dangerous” (which features a seductive Fergie drugging Slash and tying him to her motel bed). What do you remember about filming it?
It’s easy to read more than there really is going on in that. Fergie’s just Fergie. I said, “I want to do a video,” and she goes, “I got an idea,” and she had her character mapped out. That’s the way she is. Every time I’ve ever worked with her, she knows exactly what she wants to do, how she wants to do it, and she just does it. I love that about her. She said she wanted to be this overzealous stalker fan, which was in its own way a huge compliment to me, you know? That she would even entertain that idea about me. I was like, “Okay, that’s cool.” At least it wasn’t my idea because I don’t think I could have done that for myself, but she’s singing the song, so fine. But anybody who reads into it like, “Oh, it’s really sexy” —  it was just her being herself and me being myself, just thrown into this idea and being very comfortable with each other because we’ve been friends for awhile.

Still, it’s great that you were willing to suffer for your craft.
Listen, there’s nothing one can complain about being around Fergie in that attire.

Did you see that poll in which Axl was voted the greatest lead singer of all time?
I did. I thought that was actually pretty f—ing cool.

You did?
Yeah. All things considered, we may have had our differences and this and that and the other, but I will never undermine the fact that I thought Guns N’ Roses, when it was originally together, was one of the best rock bands, and Axl has always in my mind been one of the best frontmen/lyricists in rock and roll, period.

Would that have been your vote?
It might have been. I never stop to even think about it — there’s him, Roger Daltrey, Steven Tyler, Robert Plant, Mick Jagger…. I’d probably say Mick Jagger, only because Mick has been doing it for so long and he’s one of the most charismatic frontmen of all time. But if I had a Top 5, Axl would be in there. And John Lennon…

How would you feel about Glee doing a Guns N’ Roses song or themed episode?
Actually, we got asked about that once already but it got turned down. In the current climate of what’s going on in entertainment these days, I try to be more optimistic than negative because it’s really easy to get negative about it, but I draw the line at Glee. Glee is worse than Grease and Grease is bad enough….  When Grease came out I was like, “Oh, c’mon, give me a break.” Actually, I look at Grease now and think: Between High School Musical and Glee, Grease was a brilliant work of art.

Comments (51 total) Add your comment
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  • Rich

    Finally! A rocker speaks the truth about Glee. All musicals that try to “rock” are gonna water it down to a certain extent… And I’m very glad we won’t hear any of the GN’R back catalog butchered by Glee. Sheryl Crow’s “Sweet Child” was bad enough!…..

  • HML

    Gotta love Slash! Especially his accurate assessment of Glee.

  • Andy

    Slash is one cool dude. I’m glad to see him saying nice things about Axl. A classy guy all the way.

  • Steve J

    Will see the tout in KC next weekend!

  • James

    Aw, and I was really hoping that Glee could do Sweet Child O’ Mine

  • Slash Rulez

    Agreed, ya gotta love Slash. Saw the last tour in August and Myles Kennedy is a great front man for him, he can sing all phases, I will him again on Saturday.

  • Thomas

    Glee sucks, and im glad to see Slash not selling out and giving Guns N’ Roses’ songs to that so-called television show.

  • Thomas

    Glee is the worst, and im glad to see Slash not selling out and giving Guns N’ Roses’ songs to that so-called television show.

  • campgrenada

    Didn’t Slash appear on American Idol?? I think AI is much worse than Glee! LOL

  • Unknown


  • dee dee

    Love Slash. He can play in any band and he simply great. Who care’s about the Glee thing, there is no law that says every singer or band has to do Glee.

  • Gina

    Love Slash and think he’s the most talented guitarist out there but I’m guessing he’s never even watched Glee. :p

  • Music died long ago

    Show like Glee and AI are the spawn of Satan and designed to dumb down humanity. The biggest mistake in music history was the US’s FCC dropping rules limiting radio station ownership. Now we have 3 companies owning 98% of all stations. The result is homogenous music, one size fits all, a bad blend of pop+country+ light rock. It is shows like Glee and AI which fuel that system, resulting in crappy gaga and swift being the main money music. It is so sad. Slash is the last of a breed of real musicians, when they are gone we ware slaves to the BS. I hate AI and now I hate Steven Tyler, he is a sellout POS.

    • B

      What are you 60?

      • response

        Try to form complete sentances, and try have a point junior.

      • Response

        Lol, another kid from twitter. Try to form complete sentances and have a point junior.

      • Matheus Brasil

        olá , sou do brasil. o estado que eu nasce não tem mts rockeiros ,mas tem mt gente que é fã de slash , como eu
        slash eu amo muito você , vem fazer show em salvador -bahia por favor *-*

      • Lyndsey

        Please!! I’m 33 & feel the same way!! The best rock shows you’ll see, most of the time, are the local/regional bands who don’t have huge record deals or rake in tons of cash. They do it because they love rock music & sharing it with fans who feel the same way. They’re why I hate all that Idol crap, Glee, & its like because they perpetuate the myth that only pretty people can have successful music careers! I used to work as a bartender at a live music bar that mainly booked rock bands (including Theory of a Deadman & 30 Seconds to Mars along with local/regional bands) & pretty much every band I saw there had more talent in their little fingers than most of these Idol/Glee idiots!!
        There are great rock bands still out there but you have to hunt for them! Heck, the Top 100 Rock songs on iTunes are mainly pop rock or classic rock. My uncle introduced me to Aerosmith, AC/DC, Metallica, the Rolling Stones, The Who, etc when I was just a kid (even got Appetite for Destruction when I was 9) & I’ll always be grateful for that. Passing on that kind of greatness to younger generations is the only way it will survive the onslaught of horrible music that’s so popular (God save us from crap like Bieber & his ilk)!!

    • Ahmed

      It’s nice to know that some people are paying atention, humanity might still have a chance

    • AN

      Oh, please. Aerosmith have been sellouts since the Run-DMC collaboration and their revival. Their revival came about *because* they sold out and were willing to show up, hit their marks, and do whatever the hitmakers wanted them to do. The difference between then and now is that you liked the music the hitmakers were feeding them, so you didn’t complain.

      Nowadays, there’s plenty of different music, it’s just not on top of the pop charts. Which is pretty much how the 80s were. The charts were full of pop like Madonna and Paula Abdul, and the rock music that was promoted was just as choreographed, like Motley Crue and Bon Jovi.

      Meanwhile, better rock bands like Metallica and REM couldn’t get near the radio. That was why G’n’R was so freaking awesome when they hit the scene — they were a real rock band on the radio, and they weren’t being dressed up in little outfits like they were a boy band.

      There’s still rock music that matters. Heck, there’s still *jazz* music that matters. You just won’t find it on the radio. Same as it ever was.

    • Vanessa

      It is encouraging to read that more lneedrs are choosing to offer better value fees and rates for new borrowers. This is a small step in the right direction for the mortgage industry and will help stimulate growth in the market. This should benefit the economy and the broker market as well.

      • Guilherme

        Geeeeeeente. Eu realmente sou fe3 desse site. Tudo aharmudinro e certinho. De1 ate9 gosto de ver. Queria parabenize1-los pelo f3timo trabalho e espero que continuem assim, pois este3o no caminho certo. Era sf3 isso mesmo. hehe E eu ne3o costumo fazer credticas boas, ente3o percebam o nedvel, pois e9. Obrigada por serem assim, perfeitos. *-* xx’

  • Greg

    1. I agree with the assessment of Glee
    2. Slash’s book is remarkably entertaining and makes me like Slash even more as a musician and person
    3. For the love of god, PLEASE get Fergie to sing for Velvet Revolver. And if I heard myself saying that a year ago I would have slapped me too. But Beautiful/Dangerous is great.

    • Nemanja

      I agree when I play extremely fast I need a lifxeble pick that will give slightly to extreme speed picking, but when I want to squeel or pinch harmonic or even manhandle the strings, I absolutely need a small very firm pick like a jazz III, and when I strum chords I again want a thin pick. So literally whatefbbbf I will be playing somewhat dictates what pick I pick.

  • guitarharry

    This guy is a class-act. Talking up such a twerp as Axl Rose is noble. He’s also an amazing musician.

    • Jeck

      I have to agree, it’s not GnR. It should have been caleld Axl Rose: Chinese Democracy. They didn’t even keep Buckethead (not that I could put up with his behavior any better).

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