The fact that Bengaluru has been undergoing a very strange few days of November Rain should be indication enough that a concert by Slash is no trifle matter for the city. After a show of cosmic proportions in Mumbai, the guitar god of hard rock travels to the city for a show featuring Myles Kennedy and the Conspirators. Returning to a city which he performed in, in 1996, Slash speaks to us about what draws him to India, his favourite musicians and his spirit that has endured through guns, roses and velvet revolvers.
With an ‘eye on the pavement’ to see what’s up in the world of music, the musician song-writer is greatly excited to take India by storm once again. “It’s my second time in India.
I was invited to Bengaluru years ago for the launch of a TV music channel and performed with some local musicians. But there are so many things that I’d want to do, but I need to see how much can be done in the short time we have allotted. I eat a lot of Indian food here in the United States. If my memory serves me, the Indian food in India is different than the westernised version in the US so I’m interested to experience what traditional Indian food is like,” says the magic strummer.
If you thought that rock was dead in this age of easily aired opinions on social media, you only have to take a look at Slash’s Instagram account. Populated by videos of swinging tortoises, close-ups of heads of snakes and animated drawings of skeletal figures – Slash is everything that is alternative – even in his virtual world.
“Snakes are always something I have been into, since I can remember,” says the man who has been repeatedly included in top ten lists of pathbreaking guitarists. He continues, “The old school attitude (towards rock music) is really about individual thinking and self-expression, and feeling strongly enough to do whatever it is you feel you want to do against all odds. As long as that spirit is around it’ll always have some of that kind of attitude, but as soon as that becomes commercially acceptable, then it ceases to have the impact it had originally. You have to wait for different situations that force people to have to express themselves in a way that’s against the grain.”
From Iggy Pop to Ozzy Osbourne, Slash’s collaborations travel the length of the sheer spectrum of diversity offered by music. You might wonder how a collaboration with a star like Fergie might suit the same man who has been performing with someone like Miles Kennedy; but Slash says, “Obviously Fergie comes from a whole different genre, but she’s an amazing rock ‘n’ roll singer. I knew that after having performed live with her once, and when I wrote the music to Beautiful Dangerous, I knew she had the right voice for that song. And she was great to work with, but I work with different people from different genres all the time. It sort of keeps me from being one-dimensional.”
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