ICONIC MUSICIAN RETURNS TO STOKE ON TRENT, ENGLAND
—WHERE HE WAS RAISED—
‘MADE IN STOKE 24/7/11’
FIRST-EVER LIVE ALBUM
OUT ON CD & SPECIAL EDITION CD/DVD
The iconic, Grammy-winning rock guitarist and songwriter SLASH has released his first-ever live solo album MADE IN STOKE 24/7/11. This summer, near the end of his 2010-2011 tour in support of his globally chart topping and critically acclaimed self-titled solo debut, SLASH returned to Stoke on Trent, England, where he was raised to record MADE IN STOKE 24/7/11. The double-disc CD, and a special-edition 2 CD+DVD package (featuring five bonus tracks and an exclusive interview with SLASH) is out now via Eagle Rock Entertainment buy it here here.
Fans can catch SLASH on VH1 Classic’s “That Metal Show” on Saturday, November 19. Tune-in to watch SLASH, host Eddie Trunk with co-hosts Jim Florentine and Don Jamieson discuss the live album, his forthcoming second studio album (due in 2012, date TBA) and various topics on air this Saturday, November 19 at 11:00pm PT/ET 10:00pm CT on VH1 Classic: watch preview.
For over 20 years, SLASH has perfected the science of the six-string as an integral component of Guns N’ Roses and Velvet Revolver and as a hugely successful solo artist. Captured live at Victoria Hall on July, 24 2011 (24/7/11), MADE IN STOKE 24/7/11 is a stunning 21- song concert celebration of a legendary career. Joined by Myles Kennedy of Alter Bridge on vocals, SLASH ripped through cuts culled from his Guns N’ Roses days, Velvet Revolver, Slash’s Snakepit, and his solo album, including the single “By The Sword.” His band line-up included bassist Todd Kerns, drummer Brent Fitz and guitarist Bobby Schneck. With favorites like “Back From Cali,” “Slither,” “Sweet Child ‘O Mine” and many more reverberating the crowd-filled rafters, this proved to be one rockin’ homecoming.
On July 24 of this year, guitar legend Slash played Stoke-on-Trent, England, the day after his birthday. This concert held a special significance for him, because he was born in Hampstead (he was known as Saul Hudson before he was Slash) and he had grown up in the area until he turned 6. It’s fitting then that he played a career-spanning set, covering his work in Guns N’ Roses, Slash’s Snakepit, Velvet Revolver, and his recent Slash CD, which he recorded for posterity’s sake on the just-released double-CD and DVD set Live: Made in Stoke-24/7/11. Dueling with the soaring vocals of Myles Kennedy, who splits his time between working with the guitarist and Alter Bridge, Slash sounds positively electric on the album, wailing on GN’R classics like “Nightrain” and Slash songs like “Back From Cali” alike. Proud of the concert, the axman spoke to Revolver about it and his live performance of the latter song.
REVOLVER: What did it mean to you to be playing in Stoke-on-Trent the day after your birthday?
SLASH It was cool. I’ve wanted to play in Stoke since Guns did its first U.K. tour back in 1988. Because it’s such a small place, it was never a choice destination for any of the promoters or agents. So this time around, since it was my own solo thing, I made sure Stoke was on there. It seemed like a fitting location to shoot the DVD. It was close to the end of the tour, so it made sense. It was a great experience doing the gig and it turned out to be, you know mistakes and all, a pretty cool live show.
You lived there until you were six-years-old. Do you have memories?
SLASH: Yeah, ’cause I got to L.A. in 1971. I went to school there and I had great memories from Stoke. It’s a very cozy, close-knit, small town. Very English: shit weather, very green, though, and very personable and everybody knows everybody. And I have my whole British side of my family there, aunts and uncles, and it was very traditional. Moving to L.A. was a fucking shock, you know? [Laughs] So I always had a soft spot, still do, for Stoke and England in general. But it was obviously in the cards for me to move to L.A., ’cause I don’t think I could have managed to get where I’m at, at this point. I just don’t think I would have made the same decisions. Maybe I would have, who knows? I mean Lemmy is from Stoke, so is Robbie Williams.
Did any of your family come out to the Stoke on Trent show?
SLASH: Yeah, my uncle and cousins and aunts and friends of the family and all that. There was an after-show get-together that was a lot of fun. The show was in Stoke proper, which is the name of the city, but the town that I’m from is actually called Blurton, which is just this sort of small village within the city. And I was gonna go into Blurton that night and go see my old house, but by the time everybody had got done carousing, everybody was too drunk and it was too late to make the trek, plus apparently the bus wouldn’t fit on the street. [Laughs] So we would have had to do some walking, so we took off for, Liverpool after that.
Does your family know you as Slash, or do they still call you Saul?
SLASH: They definitely call me Slash. It’s hard to explain why that is. I think because the person they knew as Saul was this little boy, and they haven’t seen me since then until I became Slash and Slash is sort of, for the most part, sort of bigger than life. They like that aspect. [Laughs] I’m still Saul in the family sense. But they call me Slash because it’s more exciting, I think. They’re just all very, very sweet and very fun-loving people. And when I come into town it means there’s a concert, [laughs], you know there’s something fun to do, you know?
What does “Back From Cali” mean to you?
SLASH: When Myles wrote the lyrics “Back From Cali,” and I’ll be honest I don’t spend a lot of time dwelling on lyrics, but because he’s from Spokane, and just because of his personality I can totally see him being eaten up by the debauchery in Los Angeles and begging for someone to fucking retrieve him. [Laughs] That’s basically it. I’m from L.A. and I’ve been here obviously long enough and I’m very used to the extremities of L.A., especially in the sort of music and entertainment circles and so on, and you can get sucked into it. But Myles is really, he’s not really that type of guy. He’s quiet and sort of a little bit withdrawn. Not as a singer. He’s a really nice guy and sort of naïve in his own way, so I can see him getting sucked into the L.A. thing and just going “Oh, God, help me,” you know?
I know that that’s something that you’ve already gotten past in your life already?
SLASH: No, that’s the thing. It’s still very much a part of my life, I’m just not the center of the drug-and-alcohol thing like I used to be. In other words, I was the highest and the drunkest one, and so now I’m not; I’m the sober one. But the shit around me hasn’t changed at all.
Was “Back To Cali” an easy song to write musically? Watch the clip here:
SLASH: Well, the way I hooked up with Myles in the first place, was I had written and recorded this whole solo record with all different artists, and I had two pieces of music that were, in my mind’s eye, really cool and had tons of potential. But I couldn’t think of the right vocalist to sing them. Myles’ name had been popping up for years, but I’d never met the guy, didn’t even know what he looked like. And then he was called down to work with Led Zeppelin for something, and I thought, ‘This guy must be good.’ [Laughs] So I just took a chance called him up and told him what I was doing and sent him the music for “Starlight.” About a week later, he sent back the demo with his vocal on it, and I was just floored. So I flew him to L.A., and we recorded the song. And when he went back to Spokane, I started mixing the record and I was actually at the mastering stage, and I thought, That other riff I have might be really good for him. So I sent it, and he sent me the song “Back From Cali.” And it was at that point when he did the final vocals, that I started thinking, I’m out looking for singers to do this tour, and he’s probably the only one good enough to sing the diversity of the show, which is Guns stuff, Snakepit, stuff from the solo record, and Velvet Revolver. He was the only person I could think of that could do that. And I didn’t even know him that long; it was just a hunch. So I asked him if he wanted to do the tour, and off we went. That’s how we got together and “Back From Cali” happened.
What did doing this career-spanning tour mean to you?
SLASH: It’s liberating. Since I first started working on that record, it has been extremely liberating compared to what I’ve been doing in the confines of a democracy in a band, you know? So, it’s been sort of cool. ’Cause in a band, the band itself sort of dictates a lot of different things, at least the bands I work with, which is a good thing. Everybody has an opinion and everybody gets heard. So it’s nice to get out of that for a minute and just do whatever it is the fuck I wanna do, you know, and take responsibility for it one way or another.
Now you are working on a new album…
SLASH: Well, we recorded three songs already. We did it before Myles took off [with Alter Bridge], just to sort of have some stuff in the can and be able to let the people that are gonna be distributing the record get some idea of what it sounds like. And those are killer, all right. So, now we’re in preproduction again doing the remaining 14, 15, 16 songs that we have until Myles is back. And it’s a fucking great record. Musically, it covers a lot of ground and it’s got a lot of depth. From a writing and player’s standpoint, it’s been probably my most adventurous record I’ve done to date. In some ways, in other ways it’s just so straight-ahead rock n’ roll, that it’s very simplistic. But it’s very diverse.
You’ve been writing music almost 30 years now. You wrote the Guns N’ Roses song “Rocket Queen” back in 1983. Do you ever get tired of playing it?
SLASH: It was actually written before [in one of Slash’s early bands] Road Crew, which was way before Guns started. Any of the Guns stuff that we do I haven’t played in so fucking long that I don’t get tired of playing it. I don’t remember ever getting sick of playing any of the Guns songs, especially Appetite songs. Even back then. I hate to record something I don’t like, ’cause then that’s when you dread playing it later, [laughs] you know?
Listen to the full live album stream for MADE IN STOKE 24/7/11 right NOW.
The track listing for both the CD and the Special Edition DVD is:
1) Been There Lately
2) Night Train
4) Mean Bone
5) Back From Cali
6) Rocket Queen
7) Civil War
8) Nothing To Say
11) Doctor Alibi
12) Speed Parade
13) Watch This
14) Beggars & Hangers On
16) Godfather Solo
17) Sweet Child O’ Mine
19) By The Sword
20) Mr Brownstone
21) Paradise City
Bonus live DVD:
2.) Back From Cali
3.) Beggars & Hangers On
4.) Been There Lately
*Interview with Slash.
Slash is widely considered one of the greatest rock guitar players of all time. He has received countless accolades and awards including a 2007 induction into Hollywood’s RockWalk (located in front of Guitar Center in Hollywood) alongside his idols Jimmy Page and Jimi Hendrix. An original member of iconic rock band Guns N’ Roses, the Grammy-winning Slash helped the band create signature sounds like the guitar riff of #1 hit “Sweet Child o’ Mine” and “Welcome To The Jungle.” The band dominated the 1980’s and 90’s music scene selling more than 100 million albums worldwide and ushered in a decade of hard charging rock music. After leaving the band, Slash went on to critical acclaim in his personal project Slash’s Snakepit, and global success with supergroup Velvet Revolver. He has been widely sought after by the biggest musicians of all time, performing with everyone from Michael Jackson to Stevie Wonder to Ray Charles. Slash recently landed on the top of the charts with his first true solo album, Slash. In addition, Slash was just honored by the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce who named him as an official selection for 2011 to receive a star on Hollywood’s iconic Walk of Fame. In February 2011, he performed at the Super Bowl XLV half time show, seen by more than 106 million people, becoming the most-watched program in U.S. television history (Nielsen Co.). Slash is currently in the studio working on his second solo album due for release in 2012 (date TBA).
About Eagle Rock Entertainment:
Eagle Rock Entertainment is an international media production and distribution company operating across audiovisual entertainment programming. Eagle Rock Entertainment works directly alongside talent to produce the highest quality programming output covering film, general entertainment and musical performance. Eagle Rock Entertainment has offices based in London, New York, Los Angeles, Toronto, Hamburg, & Paris.