Frontman a godsend for Slash
Fri, Jul 30, 2010
my paper

GETTING the right guy to front your band can be tricky business. Take it from guitarist Slash, who has had well-publicised rows with former Guns N' Roses bandmate and frontman Axl Rose over the decades.

But, when it came to finding someone to front his touring band, Myles Kennedy proved to be a serendipitous discovery, he said. The 45-year-old, born Saul Hudson, said on the line from Los Angeles: "Kennedy was a godsend. I had never met him before and was not even familiar with his voice.

I was just taking a shot." Kennedy, 40, who fronts another rock band called Alter Bridge, had been asked to sing tracks such as Back From Cali and Starlight on Slash's latest self-titled solo album.

Slash, who has also put out albums with hard-rock outfits Slash's Snakepit and Velvet Revolver, added: "I can't think of anybody who can handle the workload that he is handling."

The guitarist, Kennedy and their touring band will perform at Fort Canning on Monday, along with special guests Coheed & Cambria, in support of Slash's newest album. On its 17 tracks, Slash employed a who's who list of singers, including Kennedy, Ozzy Osbourne, Fergie and Maroon 5's Adam Levine and Dave Grohl.

But why the myriad of vocal textures on one album?

He said: "I wanted to do a record where I had people guest on my record, because I've done so many records guesting on other people's. "I just thought it would be a cool idea to have people on my record for once."

The album was released in March and debuted at No. 3 on the Billboard chart, taking Slash by surprise. "I didn't have any expectations," he said. "It was a very pleasant surprise to see it come out...as high as it did."

It has been about 15 years since Slash left iconic hard-rock band Guns N' Roses, but he gets no reprieve from his past from journalists and fans alike. "Guns N' Roses' success is a little bit of an enigma and it's massive. It really seems to get bigger and bigger. It's almost mythic," he said.

It was during his time with the band that the frizzy-haired guitarist became synonymous with the image of his top hat, low-slung Gibson Les Paul and cigarette hanging out of his mouth. With a laugh, he said: "That was not a pre-conceived thing. It was basically how I dressed. And it became recognisable."

But, when asked the sticky question as to whether Guns N' Roses will ever regroup, he chose the politically correct route: "I don't want to be totally negative and say never. But it's not in the cards in the foreseeable future."


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