Slash says he plays better when he feeds off the energy of fans in concert.
The guitarist, who performed an unplugged set on the House of Commons roof terrace for the official UK launch of World On Fire earlier this year, likes to play a variety of venues to better gauge fan feedback.
He tells Face Culture: “I actually love playing… I mean, we’re a little loud for some of those really small places, but I love that immediate reaction, that immediate interaction that happens with a crowd that’s, like, right up against you. That’s always my favorite.”
“The bigger the venue, the harder it is to really relate to the audience, so the energy starts to dissipate the bigger the place is – that immediate energy. I definitely play better if I can read the audience better, for sure. ‘Cause I thrive on energy.”
Slash feels it’s the give-and-take between audience and performer that dictates the mood for the show.
He says: “I don’t get into a room and it’s just me and a band onstage and the crowd is watching — there’s an interaction that happens with the audience — and the more I can see that, the more into it I am. I have played a lot of tours where it was just nothing but stadiums, and there’s a lot of disconnect that happens when you’re doing that.”
The guitarist learned years ago that a mix of venues keeps things fresh and inspired.
“When Guns N’ Roses was over for me, before that even ended, I put together a band called Snakepit, which was just to go back and play in those small places and rediscover what I love about what it is that I do. And I have sort of been balancing around that kind of scene for a long time. When this European tour started, we started out in theaters, which, I think, is the happy medium between small clubs and arenas.”