Slash ignites World On Fire as third solo effort
Slash is finding continued success as a solo artist. Previous albums Slash and Apocalyptic Love were Top 5 Billboard 200 entries, and latest release World On Fire is the guitarist’s second album with his now official band, the Conspirators, featuring Myles Kennedy (vocals), Brent Fitz (drums), and Todd Kerns (bass). From the “infectious up-tempo aggressiveness” of the album’s title track (currently No. 8 on the Mediabase Active Rock radio airplay chart) to the “sexual politics” of songs such as ‘Battleground,’ ‘Dirty Girl,’ and ‘Bent To Fly,’ Guitar World reports “the 17-song opus delves into a wide range of topics.” There’s also a “rocking instrumental” titled, ‘Safari Inn.’
World On Fire via Dik Hayd Records/Universal was produced by Michael “Elvis” Baskette (Alter Bridge, Falling In Reverse, Incubus) and “covers a multitude of musical feels with a rawness and energy that’s reminiscent of Slash’s early work with Guns N’ Roses.” While the album is listed among Slash’s solo works, he insists it recorded all four band members, each contributing their strengths as a whole. He adds any perceived similarities to the rawness displayed on GNR’s Appetite For Destruction was not intentional.
“It was really just to go in and do the songs,” he tells Guitar World. “I think a lot of the rawness comes from Mike Baskette really knowing what the album should sound like and what we were trying to achieve as a rock band.” Slash goes on to explain that much of the album’s writing process with Myles Kennedy occurred while on the road touring. “While we’re on the road, I’ll record acoustic/electric ideas into the voice memo recorder on my phone,” he reveals, adding Kennedy would then sing melody ideas into his phone. The material was later reviewed and edited for consideration on the album.
Slash says the 17 tracks that more than fill World On Fire represents the amount of material he thought was good enough to include on the new album. “On the last couple of records we did the same thing and I would farm out some of the songs to different territories as B-sides or bonus tracks or whatever,” he explains to the Oakland (Mich.) Press. “I always felt that doing it that way undermined the songs that were bonus tracks, ’cause they [sic] just as good as the other songs on the record.”
The ‘World on Fire’ single is described as “proof that the new record will leave room for good old-fashioned rock ‘n’ roll—as well as a healthy helping of the guitar pyrotechnics he’s known for,” reads a review by UltimateClassicRock.com. Slash and his band don’t try to reinvent the wheel on the new album, but the review credits the band for playing to their strengths. “Aggressive, uptempo rock, topped off with wailing vocals and guitar solos. If you’ve been along for the ride with Slash until now, this song should satisfy,” concludes the critique.
After coming off a summer tour with Aerosmith, Slash celebrates the release of World On Fire by performing three concerts in West Hollywood, Calif., (Sept. 23, 25, 26) at The Troubadour, The Roxy, and The Whiskey, respectively. He then embarks on a tour of the U.K. and Greater Europe, beginning Nov. 10 in Dublin, Republic of Ireland. Stops in New Zealand and Australia commence Feb. 17, 2015.
Watch the official lyric video for the title track from Slash’s new solo album, World On Fire.
As A Matter of Fact…
* Saul “Slash” Hudson was born July 23, 1965, in London, England. His mother left her son shortly after his birth to begin a career in Los Angeles as a costume designer. His father—an artist who created album covers for musicians such as Neil Young and Joni Mitchell—moved with his young son to L.A. in 1972 to join her.
* Slash’s parent’s divorced in 1974, and he formed his first band five years later with friend Steven Adler. Since Adler was the designated guitarist, Slash playing bass in the short-lived group. Slash soon switched to guitar after being inspired by the Rolling Stones, Cream, and Led Zeppelin.
* The early ‘80s found Slash in a couple different bands including Hollywood Rose, which featured lead singer Axl Rose and guitarist Izzy Stradlin. In June 1985, Rose and Stradlin asked Slash to join them in Guns N' Roses along with Adler and Duff McKagan.
* Since storming onto the rock scene as the fiery lead guitarist for Guns N’ Roses, Slash’s album sales of more than 100 million units includes his work in side projects including Snakepit and Velvet Revolver. He also shares seven Grammy nominations and in 2012 was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as a member of Guns N’ Roses.
* In 2005, Slash was named "Best Guitarist" by Esquire magazine and was awarded the title of "Riff Lord" during Metal Hammer's 2007 Golden Gods awards. The following year he was ranked No. 21 on Gigwise's list of “The 50 Greatest Guitarists Ever,” and in 2009 was named runner-up on Time magazine’s list of “The 10 Best Electric Guitar Players.” In 2011, Rolling Stone ranked Slash at No. 65 on its list of “The 100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time.”
* Slash says he plays a Les Paul because the guitarists he listened to growing up played the iconic rock guitar model. “I remember the first guitar I ever owned was a Les Paul copy made by a company called Memphis,” he tells Guitar World. “I had that guitar until it fell apart and then got a late-Seventies [sic] BC Rich Mockingbird that became my main guitar. After that, I went through this whole trial-and-error with Strats, Teles and Jacksons and eventually ended up back with a Les Paul.”