Slash's iconic hat is old enough to drink.
"The one I have now I've had since '89 or '90," says the legendary guitarist. "It was the same as any one of those felt hats you might see in the store, and I had it covered in leather at some point before Velvet Revolver because the hat was just so beat up. But it's taken on a second life since then."
His hat is not the only thing that has taken on a second life. For the first time in his career, he's in a position where he's calling all of the shots. With his first big band, Guns N' Roses, the singer ran away with the name, and so many members of Velvet Revolver were already rock stars before the band formed that it was unsustainable. But what about Slash's Snakepit, the band he led in the mid-'90s?
"Snakepit was more of a band," he clarifies. "It was not a solo thing and everybody gets that confused because it was called Slash's Snakepit. Originally, it was just supposed to be called Snakepit, but I changed it because there was an all-girl band from Orange County that popped up as soon as I announced we were going to be called Snakepit, saying that they were called Snakepit and one of them was a lawyer."
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With his new album, "Apocalyptic Love," attributed to Slash, Myles Kennedy and the Conspirators, it's unlikely any other lawsuits will arise.
On the album, the guitar is unmistakably in charge.
"I have been sort of the captain of the ship, and been able to steer it the way I wanted it to go," he says.
He's cranking out tunes reminiscent of "Appetite for Destruction," the Guns N' Roses debut from 25 years ago. The drums are four-on-the-floor, the bass sounds like a monster lurking in the sewer and chunky guitar chords crunch and uncoil into those signature Slash leads. Singer Myles Kennedy does the badass hard rock speed-singing that sounds right at home next to Slash's riffs in new songs and the GN'R classics they dust off on tour.
"I play the songs that I feel I have fun playing and ones that I had a lot to do with bringing to the fore," he says. "It's just sort of fun to do because I haven't done it in so long."
Like many fans, he says he considers the band's debut to be the quintessential GN'R album, but he's not overly nostalgic when he's playing any of the half-dozen "Appetite" songs that have been popping up on set lists.
"I don't put that much thought into it," he says. "I don't get sentimental or any of that kind of stuff."
Featuring Myles Kennedy
and the Conspirators
House of Blues
15 Lansdowne St.,