Slash on Guns N’ Roses’ past, present and future: “None of us were prepared for what it turned into”

(Image credit: Paul Rovere/Getty Images)

In the new issue of Classic Rock magazine, Slash looks back upon his musical journey with Guns N’ Roses, and concludes, “All things considered, it’s been fucking awesome.”

“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. 

Classic Rock issue 297

(Image credit: Future)
Paul Brannigan
Contributing Editor, Louder

A music writer since 1993, formerly Editor of Kerrang! and Planet Rock magazine (RIP), Paul Brannigan is a Contributing Editor to Louder. Having previously written books on Lemmy, Dave Grohl (the Sunday Times best-seller This Is A Call) and Metallica (Birth School Metallica Death, co-authored with Ian Winwood), his Eddie Van Halen biography (Eruption in the UK, Unchained in the US) emerged in 2021. He has written for Rolling Stone, Mojo and Q, hung out with Fugazi at Dischord House, flown on Ozzy Osbourne's private jet, played Angus Young's Gibson SG, and interviewed everyone from Aerosmith and Beastie Boys to Young Gods and ZZ Top. Born in the North of Ireland, Brannigan lives in North London and supports The Arsenal.