Slash- Lead Guitars
Rod Jackson- Vocals
Kerry Kelly- Rhythm Guitars
Johnny Blackout- Bass
Matt Laug- Drums
"I'm the antithesis of anything that was popular in 1985... and
now it's come full circle..." -Slash
So says the single-greatest guitar legend of the past decade. And if he has his way, of the next decade, as well. "I don't really give a shit about what the mainstream is right now, but I've watched a lot of people get really depressed about the stuff that's out there. There's nothing coming out right now that makes a Les Paul or an amp sound any better than it ever has, and I'm happier playing to an audience that appreciates tradition. I can feel the turbulence, hopefully we're spearheading a new wave."
After hearing Ain't Life Grand-Slash's Snakepit's latest release and KOCH Records debut-fans of traditional rock `n' roll will also feel the turbulence of music that's been away from the mainstream for far too long. The album's sizzling array of blues-inspired, guitar-driven, rock `n' roll litanies is timeless, even amidst the angst-driven masses of today's hard rock economy, and Slash holds steadfast to the music he loves. "Rock `n' roll has been around a long time, and all it takes is one genuine rock `n' roll band with a few good songs for everyone to start doing it again. There's nothing that beats going out and seeing a good rock `n' roll band... And there's nothing worse than going to see a band and watching them fuck up a loop!"
There aren't any loops on Ain't Life Grand. In fact, with one small exception, there's nothing on the album that wasn't the organic result of a vocalist, two guitarists, a bassist and a drummer getting into a room and playing their instruments the way they were played before computers revolutionized the recording process. "I refuse to comply with any of the new methods of recording," says the guitarist with conviction. "We used Pro Tools on one song, and I refused to even look at the computer, I stood behind it. It took them 10 hours to make a sound that I could have made in 15 minutes. I had an open mind, but that was it... Depending on the artistry behind it, I think any new technology can work as an application, but when it becomes the main component of the record, the musicality is lost."
Musicianship is the driving force of Slash's Snakepit, resurrecting an artform that America's been lacking since the' days Guns 'N Roses took us on all all-expense paid joyride to the Slash-penned "Paradise City." In fact, it's with
a sly smirk that the opening cut is called "Been There Lately," as the guitarist's searing leads and vocalist Rod Jackson's blues-hued, rock `n' roll
raspiness takes us back to a time and place where the grass is green and the girls are pretty. Adding a technicolor flair to the goings on are female backing vocals on "Just Like Anything," sucker-punching some soul into one of the
most rhythmically charged rock `n' roll explosions since Chuck Berry plugged in his guitar. "Mean Bone" shoots from the hip with a sexual slant, "Back to the Moment" highlights Jackson's soulful side, a ballad that purges the emotions as ii bleeds the blues, "Serial Killer" paints an Alice Cooper-inspired mindscape, and a brass-driven, big-band swagger swings through the title track. Then there's the exhilarating rush of "Life's Sweet Drug," which features drummer, Matt Laug; the elastic spring of "The Truth," which showcases bassist, Johnny Blackout; the bombast of "Landslide"
and the blitz of "Speed Parade."
Page 2- Slash's Snakepit Bio:
Slash may have left Guns N' Roses, but the guitar heroics that made him a legend haven't left his soul, and he reestablishes his presence as a modern day, rock `n' roll trailblazer with Ain't Life Grand. Slash says of the change to KOCH Records, "If you can't work a Guns record; how are you going to work, a Snakepit record? There's some stuff on this record that's really the exact opposite of what's going on right now-That wasn't intentional, I just wanted the album to sound the way it should sound."
Nothing beats a traditional approach to marketing, and that's what the former Guns N' Roses guitarist has in mind for his band's latest release. "The only way I know how to promote a record isn't throwing a `by the beach' thing. It's going toe to toe with kids and playing off their energy. People tell me I'm crazy, but that's what turned me on to it when I started listening to music, how they sounded live. Ted Nugent, AC/DC, UFO, I'd see them live and if I liked what I heard I'd go back and check out the records. That's what I based my decisions on."
That awesome live sound will reintroduce hundreds of thousands of hard rock fans to Slash when he tours America with AC/DC, leading into the album's October 2000 release.
It's been along time since rock `n' roll has sounded this inspired, this honest, and this true to form.
Ladies and gentlemen... Ain't life grand?