Slash: I’m trying to fill the rock void

Guitar virtuoso Slash is a man of many hats. Well, technically it’s just the one. But musically speaking, the former Guns ’N’ Roses and Velvet Revolver axeman is never slacking off.

The project he’s been most involved with since 2010 is his band Slash featuring Myles Kennedy and The Conspirators.

Time magazine named him the second-best guitarist of all time, behind only Jimi Hendrix. He’s garnered seven Grammy nominations, is a member of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, and through all of his combined projects has amassed album sales of more than 100 million copies worldwide.

But for the 50-year-old rocker, consistency has been more of an accomplishment than any specific accolade.

“I think the gradual rise from obscurity to being a recognizable act has been the most gratifying thing,” he said.

Slash and company are currently in pre-production for the follow-up album to their critically acclaimed 2014 release, “World on Fire,” which was Slash’s third straight album to debut in the Billboard top 10.

“The majority of writing is done while we’re on tour,” Slash said of the new material. “I think that the writing process has been pretty consistent from (2012’s) ‘Apocalyptic Love’ all the way to the present, because we spend so much time on the road.”

Slash name-checked Motorhead’s “Bad Magic” as a current favorite, but there’s not too much in the world of rock that’s currently tickling his fancy.

“Most of the influences come from more than anything writing stuff that I’d want to hear,” he said.

“I think it’s the lack of new rock ’n’ roll nowadays compared to when I was younger that’s probably the biggest inspiration, you know? I’m trying to fill the void.”

One major void that still exists is the one left by the original Guns ‘N’ Roses. Following an interview earlier this summer in which Slash said he and Guns singer Axl Rose had rekindled their friendship, rumors of a reunion have been rampant. Add in the fact that the current incarnation of Guns ‘N’ Roses is nearly all but disbanded, and rock aficionados are salivating at the idea of a full-scale reconciliation of the lineup that helped change the face of the genre with 1987’s “Appetite for Destruction” and 1991’s “Use Your Illusion I and II.”

Slash politely declined to broach the subject. With a new album in his sights, Slash is firmly committed to his current project, and he’s excited as always to bring his brand of rock to audiences worldwide.

“International audiences tend to be a little bit more committed to music in general,” he said.

“But American rock ’n’ roll audiences are still hard core.”

SLASH’S NEW FILM

In addition to his busy music schedule, Slash recently launched a crowd-funding campaign for his second feature horror film “The Hell Within.”

“It’s based around the Halloween holiday,” he said. “People have been comparing the idea of it to an ‘80s slasher movie because it revolves around teenagers in a murderous situation. So it does harken back to an ‘80s type horror movie, but it’s not necessarily a slasher movie.”

Slash made his debut as a film producer with “Nothing Left to Fear,” released in 2014.

Reach B.J. at 330-580-8314, bj.lisko@cantonrep.com or on Twitter at @BLiskoREP.

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