“I thought the band was fucking great,” the guitarist says of the LA band he joined in the summer of 1985. “It would have been a band that I would have listened to had I not been in it… But I saw it as being a cool cult band. I didn’t have any fantasies of it being anything super-huge. So none of us, I think, was prepared for what it turned into when it did.
“I thought it was a great band with a certain energy and a certain chemistry, but I didn’t know that one record would become what it became – that it would sort of transcend…”
Addressing his return to the band in 2016, Slash admits that he “didn’t really have any expectations”, but recalls the reunited band’s headline appearances at the Coachella festival as “a magical kind of thing… an overwhelmingly positive experience.”
“When we got together, Axl and I really got over this major sort of hump of negativity that we’ve been carrying around for years and years,” he says. “It was a real simple, relatively short conversation that we had… In all these years that we’ve been apart, he’s become super-fucking professional. And he’s never missed a beat during this whole time. So it’s been great. There has been a sort of synergy that’s been happening this last six years that we never had in our first incarnation.“
The one subject that Slash is cautious about addressing in a wide-ranging interview with writer Paul Elliott, who first met the guitarist before Appetite For Destruction was even released, is the new Guns N’ Roses’ album: “That’s a whole other interview!” he insists. He does, however, confirm that a new album is definitely coming.
“There’s new Guns material coming out as we speak, and we’ll probably keep putting it out until the entire record’s worth of stuff is done and then put it out solid,” he says. “It’s cool. I’m enjoying working on the stuff and having a good time doing it.”
The new issue of Classic Rock magazine is out now.