The Conversation: Guns N' Roses guitarist Slash talks horror movies, growing up in Stoke-on-Trent - and his love of oatcakes

 

Do you have many memories of your time in England?

I have very vivid memories, it's funny. I had a wonderful childhood in Stoke. I have memories of my family, and taking the train to London with my dad – and going to the museums, and the zoo.

You played there a couple of years back. Did it feel like a homecoming gig of sorts?

It was the first time I'd been since I was a kid. It was exactly as I had remembered it. It was a really special gig: it was sold out, and I had a lot of family there. The fans were super-enthusiastic and made me feel very welcome.

Did you take the chance see Stoke City play? I read that you're a supporter.

No, I was literally there for one day. I was going to go over to my uncle's house in the tour bus, and then I realised it wasn't going to fit on the street.

Stoke's famous for its oatcakes. Did you try one when you were there?

Yeah. I got some oatcake T-shirts. My uncle sends me oatcake paraphernalia and merchandise all the time. I get a bi-monthly newsletter from this organisation and I have an oatcake award, I can't remember for what. And they send me oatcakes.

You did the soundtrack for the horror film 'Nothing Left to Fear', based on an urban legend in Stull, Kansas. Apparently even Pope John Paul II refused to fly over the town. Do you believe in supernatural forces?

I'm open to anything. Some stuff makes sense, some stuff doesn't make sense. I've had some small experiences, but I don't know if they're valid because I was probably high.

You're a big horror movie fan. Which would you say is the best horror film?

Night of the Living Dead, the first one, was a very visceral, raw, creepy movie. One of my favourites is The Omen. The remake of The Invasion of the Body Snatchers, The Wicker Man, Rosemary's Baby – a lot of those very dramatic, story-driven horror movies from the Seventies.

Speaking of drama, in the "November Rain" video, how did you hear yourself play over the helicopter?

They had the monitors cranked. That scene involved quite the crazy production. They had speakers hanging from the helicopter. Since it was dive-bombing me just above my head it was not too hard to hear.

And do you still play guitar every day?

Yeah, of course.

Is that because you need to practise or because you enjoy it?

It's a combination of both. I'm constantly writing; always in some state of creative activity. I'm also paranoid that if I don't play I'll forget how to. I'm not good enough to rest on my laurels; I have to keep working on it.

You've given up pretty much everything: the drink, the smoking, the drugs. What are your vices now?

Guitar and sex. Having given up all that stuff has made me focus that much more on the only two other things I'm good at.

You've lived a pretty legendary rock'n'roll life. Any regrets?

No. I don't believe in what-ifs and should'ves and could'ves and that kind of thing. Fortunately I don't have any real regrets, so that's good.

Biography

Born Saul Hudson in 1965 and raised in Stoke-on-Trent, Slash moved to LA at the age of five. As the guitarist with Guns N’ Roses, he sold more than 180 million albums. ‘Nothing Left to Fear’, scored by Slash and co-produced by his company Slasher Films, is out on DVD on 17 February

Arts and Entertainment
Above the hat of the toy gibbon, artist Mark Roscoe included a ‘ghost of a bird’ and a hidden message
art
Arts and Entertainment
Alien: Resurrection, Sigourney Weaver, Winona Ryder
film
Arts and Entertainment
Russell Tovey, Myanna Buring and Julian Rhind Tutt star in Banished

TV reviewGrace Dent: Jimmy McGovern's new drama sheds light on sex slavery in the colonies

Arts and Entertainment
Australia's Eurovision contestant and former Australian Idol winner Guy Sebastian

Eurovision 2015Australian Idol winner unveiled as representative Down Under

Arts and Entertainment
Larry David and Rosie Perez in ‘Fish in the Dark’
theatreReview: Had Fish in the Dark been penned by a civilian it would have barely got a reading, let alone £10m advance sales
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment

ebooksNow available in paperback
Arts and Entertainment

ebooks
Arts and Entertainment
Attenborough with the primates
tv
Arts and Entertainment
Former Communards frontman Jimmy Somerville
music
Arts and Entertainment
Secrets of JK Rowling's Harry Potter workings have been revealed in a new bibliography
arts + ents
Arts and Entertainment
Fearne Cotton is leaving Radio 1 after a decade
radio The popular DJ is leaving for 'family and new adventures'
Arts and Entertainment
arts + ents
Arts and Entertainment
Public Service Broadcasting are going it alone
music
Arts and Entertainment
Eddie Redmayne as transgender artist Lili Elbe in The Danish Girl
filmFirst look at Oscar winner as transgender artist
Arts and Entertainment
Season three of 'House of Cards' will be returning later this month
TV reviewHouse of Cards returns to Netflix
Arts and Entertainment
Harrison Ford will play Rick Deckard once again for the Blade Runner sequel
film review
Arts and Entertainment
The modern Thunderbirds: L-R, Scott, Virgil, Alan, Gordon and John in front of their home, the exotic Tracy Island
TV
Arts and Entertainment
Natural beauty: Aidan Turner stars in the new series of Poldark
TV
Arts and Entertainment
Taylor Swift won Best International Solo Female (Getty)

Brits 2015
Arts and Entertainment
Shining star: Maika Monroe, with Jake Weary, in ‘It Follows’
film review
Arts and Entertainment

Brits 2015
Arts and Entertainment
Paloma Faith arrives at the Brit Awards (Getty)

Brits 2015
Arts and Entertainment
Anne Boleyn's beheading in BBC Two's Wolf Hall

TV review
Arts and Entertainment
Follow every rainbow: Julie Andrews in 'The Sound of Music'
film Elizabeth Von Trapp reveals why the musical is so timeless
Arts and Entertainment
Bytes, camera, action: Leehom Wang in ‘Blackhat’
film
Arts and Entertainment
The Libertines will headline this year's festival
music
Arts and Entertainment
Richard Dean Anderson in the original TV series, which ran for seven seasons from 1985-1992
tv
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating
    and  

    By clicking 'Search' you
    are agreeing to our
    Terms of Use.

    Homeless Veterans campaign: Donations hit record-breaking £1m target after £300,000 gift from Lloyds Bank

    Homeless Veterans campaign

    Donations hit record-breaking £1m target after huge gift from Lloyds Bank
    Flight MH370 a year on: Lost without a trace – but the search goes on

    Lost without a trace

    But, a year on, the search continues for Flight MH370
    Germany's spymasters left red-faced after thieves break into brand new secret service HQ and steal taps

    Germany's spy HQ springs a leak

    Thieves break into new €1.5bn complex... to steal taps
    International Women's Day 2015: Celebrating the whirlwind wit of Simone de Beauvoir

    Whirlwind wit of Simone de Beauvoir

    Simone de Beauvoir's seminal feminist polemic, 'The Second Sex', has been published in short-form for International Women's Day
    Mark Zuckerberg’s hiring policy might suit him – but it wouldn’t work for me

    Mark Zuckerberg’s hiring policy might suit him – but it wouldn’t work for me

    Why would I want to employ someone I’d be happy to have as my boss, asks Simon Kelner
    Confessions of a planespotter: With three Britons under arrest in the UAE, the perils have never been more apparent

    Confessions of a planespotter

    With three Britons under arrest in the UAE, the perils have never been more apparent. Sam Masters explains the appeal
    Russia's gulag museum 'makes no mention' of Stalin's atrocities

    Russia's gulag museum

    Ministry of Culture-run site 'makes no mention' of Stalin's atrocities
    The big fresh food con: Alarming truth behind the chocolate muffin that won't decay

    The big fresh food con

    Joanna Blythman reveals the alarming truth behind the chocolate muffin that won't decay
    Virginia Ironside was my landlady: What is it like to live with an agony aunt on call 24/7?

    Virginia Ironside was my landlady

    Tim Willis reveals what it's like to live with an agony aunt on call 24/7
    Paris Fashion Week 2015: The wit and wisdom of Manish Arora's exercise in high camp

    Paris Fashion Week 2015

    The wit and wisdom of Manish Arora's exercise in high camp
    8 best workout DVDs

    8 best workout DVDs

    If your 'New Year new you' regime hasn’t lasted beyond February, why not try working out from home?
    Paul Scholes column: I don't believe Jonny Evans was spitting at Papiss Cissé. It was a reflex. But what the Newcastle striker did next was horrible

    Paul Scholes column

    I don't believe Evans was spitting at Cissé. It was a reflex. But what the Newcastle striker did next was horrible
    Miguel Layun interview: From the Azteca to Vicarage Road with a million followers

    From the Azteca to Vicarage Road with a million followers

    Miguel Layun is a star in Mexico where he was criticised for leaving to join Watford. But he says he sees the bigger picture
    Frank Warren column: Amir Khan ready to meet winner of Floyd Mayweather v Manny Pacquiao

    Khan ready to meet winner of Mayweather v Pacquiao

    The Bolton fighter is unlikely to take on Kell Brook with two superstar opponents on the horizon, says Frank Warren
    War with Isis: Iraq's government fights to win back Tikrit from militants - but then what?

    Baghdad fights to win back Tikrit from Isis – but then what?

    Patrick Cockburn reports from Kirkuk on a conflict which sectarianism has made intractable