Interview: How Slash Found Myles Kennedy + Readjusting to Solo Career
Slash Featuring Myles Kennedy and the Conspirators are preparing to release Living the Dream, their third album and their first since 2014's World on Fire. We sat down with the legendary guitarist to discuss reactivating his solo career after a two-year thrill ride back in Guns N' Roses.
He discussed his relationship with Myles Kennedy and explained how the two initially linked up. "I had two songs left over and during the entire making of the [Slash] record I could never figure [out] who should sing these two songs," he began, referring to his 2010 solo record, which featured a variety of guest vocalists and musicians. "I had been hearing a lot about Myles for years but I never met him, and I wasn't even really familiar with his voice but he had just recently been flown over to England to do this possible [Led] Zeppelin [reunion] tour thing. I said,'Well maybe that guy because he's got to be good. If Jimmy [Page] called him he's got to be really good. So I cold-called him..." Luckily for Slash, the proposed Zeppelin reunion with Kennedy filling in for Robert Plant never worked out, so the frontman was available.
After swapping MP3 files, the first song Kennedy turned around was "Starlight" and Slash recalls that it was "fucking awesome." But when Slash thought about who could sing all of the material on the album -- plus Guns N Roses and Velvet Revolver songs -- for the subsequent tour, he determined Kennedy was his man. After one tour the combination stuck, and the new band was born.
Fast forward eight years to 2018 and Living the Dream; Slash says the album's title was not drawn from any song names, noting that he's been literally "living the dream" for over three decades and that the title is a tongue-in-cheek stab at the political climate of the world today.
When pressed about the idea of returning to a more scaled down tour than the massive live productions served up by GN'R over the last two years, Slash says he's looking forward to the upcoming smaller tour dates in support of Living the Dream; he's thrived in intimate settings over the last decade. Stepping away from those venues to tour stadiums around was an adjustment, as he hadn't headlined a gig of that size since leaving the band in 1994.
Speaking of Guns N' Roses, he's decided not to play as much of their material in his solo sets — Slash has been repeatedly scratched the itch to play those songs over the last two years with GN'R. We posited that this tour could represent the true arrival of the solo band. "I actually hadn't thought of it like that," he said, "but we've got three albums worth of material so we're going to be focusing primarily focusing on that. There might be one or two Guns songs and a Velvet Revolver song and a [Slash's] Snakepit song, but it's not going to be a major part of the set as it was from 2010 up until 2015."
Watch the video above for the complete interview and check out the list of stops on the fall North American tour here. Pre-order your copy of Living the Dream, out Sept. 21 at this location.
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