Slash: “I felt very proud that I was part of this grand lineage of English piss-heads”

The Guns N'Roses guitarist answers your questions on snakes, fatherhood and sitcoms…

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Are you still into pornography?
Neal, London
Do you know what? I think that porno went downhill when it made the transition from film to video. When they started making it on video it cheapened it. It’s now like baseball playing cards, or bubblegum or something. It was a lot more interesting, aesthetically and artistically, when they were making it on film. No, I’m serious here! It seemed a lot more erotic and spontaneous than it does now. On the road with Guns N’ Roses, we never got into the videos. Who needs a bus full of guys all jerking off together? But we did have fucking tons of porno magazines. We enjoyed the cartoons and the articles, of course!

What’s the most often repeated lie you’ve heard about yourself?
David, Melbourne
Most recently, I heard that I’d quit Velvet Revolver and rejoined Guns N’ Roses, and Axl and I had a long, endearing conversation one night at his house. I’ve no idea where that came from. Oh, and people keep asking if my mother is Nigerian. I think that one’s on Wikipedia [he’s right – Wiki does state that]. She’s not, she’s African-American.

Where’s the weirdest place you’ve heard one of your songs?
Chris Broome, Hitchin
I’ve heard “Paradise City” and “Patience” in some odd places, but the weirdest thing is hearing Muzak versions of “Sweet Child O’ Mine” in elevators and shopping malls. I’ve even heard an arrangement of it for harp. Recently I was in a hotel and the lounge pianist was playing it. I get a mix of emotions when that happens. Part of it is “hey wow, that’s our tune!”, part of is embarrassment at even noticing it, part of it is bewilderment of somebody else playing your music, someone who knows nothing about you, who has never met you, who is just playing your music as part of a thousand pieces of material that they have to play. Imagine how, say, Paul McCartney must feel, hearing his music absolutely everywhere!

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Any views on GN’R’s long-awaited Chinese Democracy album?
Sonny, Boston, Massachusetts
No, I’m probably less inquisitive than most. I’d be interested to hear it when it comes out, but I’m not sitting around anticipating its release. I don’t think it’ll be the holy grail that people might have been expecting after 14 years, or however long it’s taken. And I know it’s not going to be what you would consider a traditional GN’R record. But, Axl is, with all due credit, an awesome artist, so I’m sure it’s going to be a phenomenal record.

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