Musicians tend to experiment with various other artists before settling on a lineup for their band, and Slash is no exception to that rule. The guitar god has explained how Axl Rose was different from any singer he’d worked with prior to joining Guns N’ Roses.
“I’d worked with different singers on and off for a while, and then when I met Axl and we started jamming together, he was the only singer that ever brought an emotional content to it that affected me on an emotional level, on an energy level,” the guitarist said during an episode of Revolver’s “Fan First” series.
“A song all of a sudden went to a whole new level, and I felt it. And that’s when I realized where music and vocals really meet. Because prior to that, everybody that I’d worked with sucked and I had no use for it, and I would just rather play instrumentally. But that’s when I first really arrived at that poignant feeling that you get when things connect on a lyrical and the vocal level and the music level.”
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Before he joined Guns N’ Roses in 1985, Slash was in several different bands for short periods of time, including Road Crew and Hollywood Rose. Both projects featured other members that would also eventually joined GN’R — Rose, Duff McKagan, Steven Adler and Izzy Stradlin.
When Guns were headed up to Seattle for a tour in 1985, original members Tracii Guns, Ole Beich and Rob Gardner split, so Slash, McKagan and Adler were called to fill in for them. After dealing with several obstacles on the mini-tour, which became dubbed The Hell Tour and became the inspiration for the song “Paradise City,” the new lineup stuck.
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