SLASH's Official Fan Site

Fan Questions/SLASH Answers - 2002

Here's another SLASH Q and A. This one is from Max who writes, "I just purchased # SL 048 of one of your 50 custom made signature Gibson Les Pauls. I find it to be an amazing instrument with tremendous tone, but I notice some differences between my guitar and yours. Mine has pickup covers and an ebony fingerboard where yours has open pickups and a rosewood fingerboard. Why did you have yours made differently? And are there any other differences I haven't observed?"

SLASH replies, "Max, my Les Pauls are missing the pickup covers only because I take them off. But new guitars almost always come with them on. Also, the first run of "SLASH" Les Pauls probably have ebony fingerboards because that's what I asked for in the designing process. But I switched back to rosewood like my main live guitar. Your # 048 is probably worth more money."

Rob in the UK asks, "How do you make the whale sounds in 'Estranged' just before the second solo?"

SLASH replies, "Rob, with a little delay, my volume knob is bending a string downwards."

Mike says, "I watched your recent appearance on the Conan O'Brien show. He made a funny comment saying something like your playing was so loud he thought he was sterile. This made me wonder how or if you protect your hearing. I'm reminded of the incident when Jeff Beck played "Locomotive" through your rig, and he exacerbated his tinnitis. There are lots of other famous people with this condition, and I'd hate for you to be one of them."

SLASH replies: "So far, so good, Mike. I try to watch it but it's got to sound right."

Robbie asks, "After listening to Use Your Illusion I and a song you did with Lenny Kravitz, there were breathtakingly fast solos, e.g. "Back Off Bitch" and "Don't Damn Me" being my favorites...My question is can you still play that fast?"

SLASH replies, "Yeah, but it depends on the song and the vibe. Playing real fast for fast's sake is very irritating to me."

This is from Mark in Massachusetts who asks, "I was wondering if your top hat is the same one you have had throughout the GNR days. Do you still have the same hat? That is the best hat in the world! And SLASH, you are god to me! Thanks."

SLASH replies, "Mark, I have had 3 good top hats; one of which I've had ever since I can remember. I bought (stole it) from "Retail Slut" in Hollywood, CA. Thanks for the compliment."

Simone in Italy asks, "You know that there are a lot of live recordings of Guns N'Roses, Snakepit and Blues Ball. Do you own any bootlegs?

SLASH replies, "Not really. Maybe a few, but none are any of the bands I've been in."

Mykaela asks, "How can you play the guitar while jumping off stage and never make a mistake?"

SLASH give a one word reply to Mykaela, "Timing!!"

Elliott asks, "I was wondering if Frank Zappa had any influence on you or any classical influence on you. You talk about Led Zeppelin being a big influence, and a lot of English rock has a quite clear classical influence. Also, has jazz had any influence on you?

SLASH replies, "I like Frank Zappa a lot, but I can't say that he was much of an influence on my guitar playing. But as an orchestrator, lyricist and overall personality, he had a huge overall influence. Also, I love classical music. It has left a major mark on my playing."

Linda in Pennsylvania: "SLASH, I bought a black and white photo of you jamming with Ace Frehely. You can't tell from the photo where/when it was taken. Do you have any memory of when this may have happened, why, where?"

SLASH replies, "Nothing escapes those roving photographers, huh? That must be SLASH's Blues Ball at the Roxy in L.A. 1998."

This fan did not give a name, but the question to SLASH is, "SLASH, I've always wondered what pickups and strings you use on your doubleneck?"

SLASH replies, "Ernie Ball strings and Seymour Duncan p.u.s".

This question is from Elia at Purdue, "SLASH, if a guitar player wanted to learn how to pull off with the speed and smoothness you do, is there any lesson book out there that teaches techniques similar to yours?"

SLASH replies, "Elia, honestly I'm not familiar with any technique books. For me personally, it comes from a lot of work and patience."

Here's another quote from SLASH as he answers one of the fan questions. This one's from Dragonballzwilli who asks, "How long did it take to develop your speed and how did you do it?"

SLASH replies, "Dragonballzwilli, speed in my playing comes spontaneously. I work on it whenever I warm up; but during recording sessions and live concerts, it comes from energy and the feel that goes with the song."

Thanks, SLASH and Dragonballzwilli!

SLASH may not be sending money, but he did send the answers to fan questions. Let's enjoy one of these. Bryce asks, "I have a question. I don't know if you can answer it. Did you ever buy a guitar from a guitar shop in Seville, Spain called 'Musical Ortiz' which is right next to the train station called Santa Justa. Thank you."

SLASH replies, "Bryce, not that I can remember".

It's been awhile. Let's take a fan question for SLASH. This one's from Brian, "Back in '91/'92, GNR was filming a documentary. Whatever happened to that project?"

SLASH replies, "I left all that documentary stuff with GN'R when I left the band. So I don't know what's up with it. There's some good stuff in there although I don't know it will/how get used".

Here's the first question from the new set that SLASH answered. This one is from Aga from China, "Hi, SLASH. Here's Aga from China. I want to learn more from you on the point of "attitude" when playing guitar, which you've said many times, and I think it's important to get on such attitude in my daily life so I may get it out when playing guitar. So could you give me some suggestions on how to live the life which has the rock music attitude? Thanks."

SLASH replies, "Aga, that's a tough question. I would say the "attitude" is totally personal and from the heart. It's all in the way you choose to express yourself musically, spiritually and socially. Your attitude represents who you really are, how you think, etc. As long as you are true to yourself, then your approach to expressing yourself will come naturally."

Casey sent in a question about this funny old song GNR used to do. He asks, "There is an old rap song called 'It Tastes Good, Don't It' that Guns N'Roses used to jam on. I was wondering if you could find out who does the original (what artist) because it's a funny song and I want to get a copy. Thank you".

SLASH replies, "Casey, 'Tastes Good, Don't It' was a jam we used to do when we were fooling around jamming or whatever, but I don't recall where it originated".

Let's take a SLASH question. These are questions fans write, and we send off to Super Riff (HA!) for his response. This one comes from Gizzy who asks, "I've got a guitar with original Seymour-Duncan Seth Lover pick-ups. The guy at the guitar-shop where I bought 'em told me they were no feedback. But I always get this really annoying feedback when I play. I was wonderin' maybe you could help me with this problem? I've seen SLASH use the black SG-doubleneck on the Tokyo video, the pick-ups on the guitar are similar to mine, but how does he avoid that crazy feedback???????

SLASH replies, "Gizzy, check to see that your pickups are wax-dipped. If not, that might help. Definitely check the pickups with your local guitar technician".

Here's a Q and A with SLASH. SLASH selected LuAnn's question to be answered. LuAnn asked, "How many cars do you own and are they mostly older model cars?"

SLASH replies, "LuAnn, I own six cars; and, yes, they are mostly older models."

Here's another Q and A with SLASH. This question is from Nevin who writes, "What kind of guitar would you recommend to a beginner? Someone who is just trying out the guitar for the first time and doesn't want to spring a few grand on a Les Paul?"

SLASH replies, "Nevin, try picking up a used Les Paul or maybe an old Strat."

We're sending off some more of your questions to SLASH. Let's take a look at some he's already answered. This is from Marexvoboda from the Czech Republic, "My band plays in bigger venues sometimes. We encounter a lot of problems with "acoustic delay" coming from the size of the stage (even with monitors of course). The result is the loss of contact among us, not meaning we can't hear each other, more in the "feeling way". I wonder if you have some trick to get over this when you were able to play such sensitive "interactive" jams even on the monstrous Illusion stage."

SLASH replies, "Marexvoboda, getting the "communication" factor together is really a monitor situation. You have to dial the monitors so that you can hear everybody properly."

Thanks, SLASH and Marexvoboda! Next one calls on SLASH's snake expertise! Marina asks, "I have had a ball python for a year. I want to know what to put on the bottom of the cage and what to do if it bites me. Thank you."

SLASH replies, "Marina, ask your local pet store for Reptile Substrata. There are many different kinds. The digestible kind is very good! Also, ball pythons as a general rule don't bite. But if yours does bite you, just use antiseptic and water on the bite. Ball pythons are not dangerous."

Thanks, SLASH and Marina! In other words, don't swat it with a newspaper or hit back! Here's another music question from Martin Frank in Denmark. Martin asks, "I'm a guitar player in Copenhagen, Denmark. I love your record especially "Speed Parade" and the intro guitars. My question is: did you use a Les Paul for that or did you combine different guitars? It's a fantastic hard rock guitar sound."

SLASH replies, "Martin, I used a Les Paul for almost all of Ain't Life Grand.

Here's another Q and A with SLASH that we too are very interested in. This comes from Zheng Ping in Singapore who asks, "I heard about your guest appearance with J (a Japanese bassist of a disbanded LUNA SEA) on a great track called "But You Said I'm Useless". How did that collaboration come about? Did you ever jam with Luna Sea? P.S. You really inspired me, thanks!"

SLASH replies, "Zheng Ping, I got a phone call from "Luna Sea" asking if I would play on a track from their new record. I said yes, but I didn't actually know them. They came to L.A., played me the song and I liked it so I put in a solo and rhythm guitar on it."

Thanks, SLASH and Zheng Ping! Here's a good question for SLASH sent in by Norm. Norm asks, "SLASH, are you a member of the Musicians Union and Screen Actors Guild? If someone such as myself were to do tracks on an established performer's record, would it be beneficial to join the Musicians Union? Thanks and Best Wishes."

SLASH replies, "Norm, yes, I am a member of both the Musicians Union and SAG. And yes, it is beneficial to be in the union."

This one is from Nick, and it's something we've wondered about, too. Nick asks, "SLASH, I just started playing guitar about 2 years ago. Your guitar playing amazes me. What I find even more astonishing is how you play while running around on stage and while holding your guitar way up in the air in front of you. Is this something that came naturally to you when you first hit the stage or through practice and experience playing live shows?"

SLASH replies, "Playing while running around, etc. comes from energy and enthusiasm while playing in front of an audience. It does come pretty naturally. This ends the 2002 Q&A's with SLASH. To see the 2003 Q&A's, click here: 2003 SLASH Q&A's.

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