Despite having one of the most recognizable looks and tones, Guns N’ Roses axeman Slash isn’t often spoken of in the same breathless tones as other, flashier guitarists. And if he is included in the lists of the best players of all time that pop up frequently in magazines and online, he doesn’t tend to rank very high.
That may bug Slash’s champions, but for the man himself, it isn’t keeping him up at night.
“In this world of guitar, and I’ve been doing this for a long time, there’s this obsession with technical prowess and technique and this, that and the other,” Slash told Los Angeles Times writer Clay Marshall when asked about his ranking on various guitarist polls [as transcribed by Blabbermouth]. “It totally reminds me of when I used to race BMX. I look at BMX then, and I look at what they’re doing now, and I’m like, ‘Fuck.’ It’s great, and I don’t knock it, but you’re always compared, everybody’s compared to all these guitar players, and who’s best, who’s better, who’s the fucking greatest this, and blah blah blah.”
Slash hasn’t exactly been hurting for work since emerging from the downtown L.A. scene with the rest of his Guns N’ Roses bandmates in the late ‘80s. Beyond the classic albums he recorded with that group, he’s been a member of Velvet Revolver and his own band, Slash Ft. Myles Kennedy and the Conspirators, among other outfits.
He’s been especially busy of late with his return to the GN’R fold, with the band wrapping up a run of stadium dates later this fall, including their first ever show in Hawaii. And in September of this year, Slash Ft. Myles Kennedy and the Conspirators released a new album Living The Dream, which topped Billboard’s Top Hard Rock Albums chart. That project is on tour right now, finishing up a run of shows with a stop at the Hollywood Palladium on October 16th.
In that same interview, Slash maintains his level head about his place in the music industry and how hard rock fits into the current cultural conversation.
“It doesn’t necessarily have anything to do with how it fits into contemporary music right now,” he said. “It might be top of the heap one month or one year or two years or whatever it is at some point in the future, or it might stay where it is. I don’t know, but it doesn’t really affect so much how I do things. But one of the things I do recognize about it that’s sort of cool is that for all us people who do have sort of a passion for [rock] – especially young kids coming up that are really into it – is the glamour is gone.”