Slash Recalls His First Encounter With Axl Rose When He Returned To Guns N’ Roses

Guns N’ Roses guitarist Slash joined an interview with Classic Rock in which he looked back on his first conversation with Axl Rose after he rejoined the band in 2016.

In May 1991, GN’R embarked on their ‘Use Your Illusion Tour,’ and they released the ‘Use Your Illusion I & II’ albums in the following September. Slash finished the tour with Guns N’ Roses on July 17, 1993, and then he wrote some new material to be used in the follow-up album for ‘Use Your Illusion’ albums.

However, Axl Rose and Duff McKagan rejected the material. Due to their lack of collaboration, Axl Rose’s behavior, and the departures of Steven Adler and Izzy Stradlin, Slash left GN’R in October 1996. From then on, he focused on his solo career and side projects, then formed Slash’s Snakepit and Velvet Revolver.

On December 29, 2015, Billboard reported that Slash would rejoin GN’R for 2016’s Coachella to fill the lead guitarist spot after DJ Ashba’s departure. Then, on January 4, 2016, the band was announced as headliners of Coachella, and Slash performed with GN’R for the first time in 23 years during a warmup gig. They then embarked on the Not In This Lifetime… Tour.

In a recent interview by Classic Rock, Slash recalled his return in 2016. He said he didn’t really have expectations, but their appearance at the Coachella Festival in 2016 was a magical and positive experience. About his first encounter with Axl Rose, the guitarist said he and Rose had some negativity which they’ve been carrying around for years, but they had a short conversation and he realized that Axl Rose became quite professional during the time he wasn’t in the band.

Talking about his return to GN’R in 2016, Slash told Classic Rock the following:

“I didn’t really have any expectations, [but GN’R’s headlining performances at the Coachella festival were] a magical kind of thing… an overwhelmingly positive experience.”

Recalling his first encounter with Axl Rose, the guitarist continued:

“When we got together, Axl and I really got over this major sort of hump of negativity that we’ve been carrying around for years and years. It was a real simple, relatively short conversation that we had…

In all these years that we’ve been apart, he’s become super-f*cking professional. And he’s never missed a beat during this whole time. So it’s been great. There has been a sort of synergy that’s been happening this last six years that we never had in our first incarnation.”

Since he rejoined Guns N’ Roses in 2016, Slash has been continuing his works with the band. On August 6, 2021, GN’R released the single ‘Absurd,’ and on September 24, they released another single named ‘Hard Skool.’ This year, the band is planning to release ‘Hard Skool’ physically as an EP of the same name.