ith the impending July 3 release of Libertad, Velvet Revolver’s sophomore album, lead guitarist Slash has been

mega-busy promoting it – and loving every minute of it. “It’s crazy right now,” laughed the 41year-old guitar icon. “This is that time right now where the record is about to come out. You have dates booked, videos to shoot, and interviews … I like this part. This is the part that keeps me out of trouble. Down time is my problem.” Perhaps that’s why Slash is keeping busy. In addition to Velvet Revolver – the band he formed with former Guns N’ Roses members Duff McKagan and Matt Sorum that also includes former Stone Temple Pilots singer Scott Weiland and guitarist Dave Kushner – he is a soughtafter session player. He played lead guitar on “What I Want,” on Daughtry’s selftitled debut album. Yet, there is another role that has kept Slash out of trouble in recent times. For almost five years, he has been a family man. Married to Perla Ferrar since 2001 (his second marriage; his first was to Renee Suran, which ended in 1997), the couple has two sons: London, who turns 5 in August, and Cash, 3. “I am very happily married and happy with my kids,” said Slash, refuting rumors claiming the contrary. “My children are great. They are a little crazy, but that is a given considering my wife and me.” Talking about his sons makes this rock & roll bad boy, well known for his love of Jack Daniels, to speak profoundly. “Every now and then you look at your responsibilities and go, if I wasn’t doing this, what would I be doing? And I think of how much trouble I’d be up to. It’s probably more an act of God than of my own decision making process, that things happened the way that they did.”

different then when he accepted the American Music Award for Guns N’ Roses in 1990, drunk and foul mouthed. Being inducted was “one of those things I never even thought about. Then I was inducted and I was immensely flattered. When I went up to accept the award it was a surreal experience. It was overwhelming. I was honored. It meant a lot.” Velvet Revolver’s first album, Contraband, was hit hard by critics over its lack of guitars. Slash promises that Liberstad deliveries the “kick ass guitars” that fans are craving. “Our producer for Contraband, Josh Abraham, didn’t know how to record guitars,” he said. “Brendan O’Brien (Pearl Jam, STP) produced this album. He understood what we were going for.” Guitars are not the only difference in fans will notice. “There is a huge amount of growth between this album and the album we did previously because we spent so much time touring for the last album that we were able to get to know each other as a band and form a strong bond on a personal and creative level,” said Slash. “It really shows on the new record. We hadn’t established that on our first record.” As a veteran guitar player, Slash is disappointed when he listens to new bands. “As far as new bands that have record deals, I haven’t heard any band that has any bitchin ‘guitars,” he said. “I’m hoping there is something going on behind the scenes. When I was coming up, there were a lot of great guitar players. There are no new guitar players; there are some guys who play guitar, but there is no lead guitarist who makes musical statements on the guitar.” Slash will be making his statement in New York City on May 22, when Velvet Revolver performs a sold out show at Nokia Theater.

By Faith Rackoff
Slash, whose birth name is Saul Hudson, has always been different than conventional society and has never tried to fit in. He laughed: “I came from a very small, white Catholic neighborhood in England. It must have shocked my grandparents when my dad came home with a black American woman who was pregnant.” Slash never felt any racial condemnation in his home environment. He admitted, “In school it might have been something else, but I just couldn’t put my finger on in. Being bi-racial was just something I never really focused on.” By age 11, he moved to California. “When I came to America I didn’t fit in at all,” he said. “At all! Not only was I biracial, but I wore holey jeans and rock & roll T-shirts. I was content with the fact that I didn’t fit in.” However, it’s Slash’s uniqueness as a musician that makes him such a hot commodity. His riffs are distinct. His talent is undeniable. From the first time the world heard him play with Guns N’ Roses, there was a media stir about this guitar player with long black curls and a signature top hat that played like a god. In January, Slash’s name was added to the Hollywood Rock Walk of Fame. His name lies next to Jimmy Page and Eddie Van Halen. Accepting the honor was quite