Slash happy he and Axl Rose have shed some ‘negative baggage’

SHARE Slash happy he and Axl Rose have shed some ‘negative baggage’
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Slash (with hat) is touring with singer Myles Kennedy (center) and his band the Conspirators. | PROVIDED PHOTO

No, another Guns N’ Roses album is not on the way — at least not yet.

“It’s something that we would love to do,” says lead guitarist Slash, who after two decades of strife with frontman Axl Rose reunited with the group in 2016 for an ongoing reunion tour. “We just need to come together and start working that out, so it could definitely happen.”

In the meantime, the 53-year-old rocker just released “Living the Dream,” his third album with singer-songwriter Myles Kennedy and band The Conspirators. Largely written in 2014 and 2015 prior to the GNR reunion, and recorded this past spring, the album is “leaner” and “more uptempo,” he says, than his previous studio effort, “World on Fire,” which was “more densely populated with random riffs and had a lot going on.”

Slash Featuring Myles Kennedy and the Conspirators When: 9 p.m. Sept. 29 Where: Four Winds New Buffalo,11111 Wilson Rd., New Buffalo, Mich. Admission: $80 Information: ticketmaster.com

Q. What’s the significance of the title, “Living the Dream?”

A. It was just a tongue-in-cheek remark about domestic and global politics, but people have been looking into it as being something about what it is that I do. It applies, but that’s not where it came from.

Q.Was any of the new music inspired by what’s going on in the news?

A.This one is actually less political than the last one. It’s more about personal experiences for Myles and a couple shared experiences, but not so much politics. But I did have to say something, so I titled the record the way I did.

Q.For the first time this past year, R&B/hip-hop overtook rock as the most popular genre in terms of total consumption. How do you feel about the state of the genre?

A. Rock isn’t mainstream anymore, and in some ways, I like that. It harks back to when rock ‘n’ roll was more of an underground concept, when people were speaking about things that they weren’t necessarily comfortable saying in the mainstream arena. As far as hip-hop is concerned, it’s become so generic at this point. It’s definitely taken on a very top-40 thing.

Q.Who are some of your favorite rock acts right now?

A. I love Foo Fighters. My favorite band consistently has been Queens of the Stone Age because they always put out cool, interesting records. But I still listen to a lot of old stuff because the rock ‘n’ roll that turned me on as a kid, not too much of it exists.

Q.I understand that it was Axl who reached out to you a few years ago, after a couple decades of not speaking. Was that cathartic?

A. It was nice that it happened. I don’t know if I would have had the wherewithal to call him, just because I’m introverted and it might have been hard for me. Not during that initial phone call, but after that, it was really good to be able to get rid of some of the negative baggage that we’d been carrying around for a long time. It’d been 20 years of not talking and letting this bad blood continue to be perpetuated by the media. It turned into something way bigger than what was really going on, so it was good to get past that.

Q.Do you regret waiting so long to make amends?

A. Things happen as they happen. I make it a point of not having any regrets.

Q.Revisiting GNR’s catalog on tour, is there one fan favorite that you get sick of playing live?

A. No. Our approach to our material has a very devil-may-care thing to it, where you can make up s— in the middle of songs. You just keep it interesting. It sounds the same to [audiences], but the way I’m playing it is different and that keeps me occupied. “Paradise City” is a song that you can play in a lot of different ways. So I’ve never fallen into that rut of resenting having to play a song every single night.

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