|By JANE STEVENSON -- Toronto Sun
Former Guns N' Roses guitarist Slash said he does have one recurring bad dream about GN'R singer Axl Rose.
"I have nightmares about going out on stage and Axl showing up and going out and playing AC-DC's songs," he said yesterday afternoon during a press conference with his new band, Slash's Snakepit, at the Air Canada Centre.
"I have had that -- that's a re-occuring thing. It's ironic that I'm here now."
Slash's Snakepit are currently on the road with fellow hard-rockers AC-DC, even though the group's much-delayed sophomore album, Ain't Life Grand, doesn't hit record stores until Oct. 10. But Slash said playing the new songs without the audience having heard them before is no big deal.
"I know what it is that I've been through and I know what it is that I'm doing. We all sort of got together because of the same reason, why I first started playing guitar in the first place, is just do a rock and roll thing and just try and perfect a good riff."
Still, Slash -- who finally left GN'R in 1996 after reported infighting with Rose about the sound direction of the next, long-awaited studio album -- is currently including a couple of GN'R songs, It's So Easy and Mr. Brownstone, in his current live show.
"We picked two songs I thought were the most neutral Guns songs to do," said Slash. "We didn't play staple Guns N' Roses songs, Welcome To The Jungle or Sweet Child 'O Mine or Paradise City or any of that kind of stuff. There are certain songs that are so recognizable as being the cornerstone of how Guns started that I won't touch it. I have too much respect for it. But there are some songs that you can just jam, they're party songs and they're cool."
Slash did admit he was disappointed in the lack of promotion that his former label, Interscope, gave the 1999 GN'R collection, Live Era '87-'93, which he helped Rose pick the tracks for -- through intermediaries.
"As far as I'm concerned, the cool thing about it was that it sounds good and it's real. Everything they did after that was between Ax and Interscope and all the kind of s--t, as far as shoving it down the toilet is concerned. It would have been great if Guns, at that particular point in time, was together and we were touring. That album would have been amazingly huge but there was no reality to that so I mean, how to work a Guns N' Roses record when the band's not together and Axl's on some trip-- I can't really give you an answer."
Slash been a guitiarist for hire in the past, working with such singers as Lenny Kravitz and Michael Jackson. Future collaborators may include Stevie Wonder and Chaka Khan.
But he says making Slash's Snakepit "a f--ing big band," is his main priority now, although he did work on Rod Stewart's new album.
"I go in and jam, but then it was all edited on computer, so it was one of the weirdest experiences. But Rod sounds great. That was just one of those phone calls, I was like it's Rod Stewart, f--k yeah. He's a hero of mine. Rod Stewart's bad."