Rock 'n' roll’s most famous top hat and long hair will bring his musical act to the Sturgis motorcycle rally, and that makes Slash very happy.
“This kind of band and that kind of event is just tailor made for each other,” Slash said in a recent phone interview.
Slash rides into Sturgis with Myles Kennedy and the Conspirators on Friday, Aug. 10, for a performance at the Buffalo Chip Campground.
Slash, who last played in Sturgis with Velvet Revolver in 2007, is happy to be coming back to the Black Hills.
“I just think Sturgis is a great event,” he said. “I remember being excited to do it with Velvet Revolver, and finally getting there. It was my first time there. Now I’m really looking forward to it, because Velvet Revolver with (lead singer) Scott (Weiland) was always like a hit-or-miss proposition. Whereas with this one coming up, I know it definitely is going to be a monster gig. It’s going to be great to be in that environment.”
There is no doubt Slash comes to Sturgis on a roll.
Known for his hall of fame — and tumultuous — career with legendary Guns N’ Roses, the supergroup Velvet Revolver and his side project Slash’s Snakepit, Slash is coming off a pair of solo records, 2010's “Slash” and the new “Apocalyptic Love.”
Slash said he’s pleased with the reception to his latest record, which has been positive in most circles.
“It’s been really well received and I was really pleased with the record in the first place; it’s great,” he said. “You never know what exactly is going to happen and I never have any what you’d call expectations, but once it’s out there and people sort of dig it for the right reasons, it’s always a good feeling.”
Making “Apocalyptic Love” proved to be a bit of test for Slash, considering the state of today’s music business. Slash said he went into the project looking to make a record he was happy with, and if everyone else liked it, then that was the icing on the cake.
“Some people would argue my philosophy on that,” he said.
The pairing of Slash and Kennedy, which started on a couple of songs on 2010’s “Slash” has proven fruitful, something Slash said he wasn’t sure about in the beginning.
“I just sort of took a shot in the dark because I’d never met him before. I gave him a couple of songs, a couple pieces of music. He wrote the lyrics and melodies, which ended up being ‘Starlight’ and ‘Back from Cali’ on my last record,” Slash said. “I asked him to do a tour with me, so we put a killer ensemble of guys together. During the tour I thought, ‘ … these guys are amazing. We need to make a record.’ So we started writing on the road and when the tour was done we put all of that material together, arranged it and went in and recorded it live to tape, which is unheard for the most part these days. And here we are.”
Slash said the collaboration is likely to continue with another record once the current world tour is over.
“We are working on material, gathering ideas for another (record) at this point. We are sort of like in those early stages where I’m just recording different guitar ideas and I turn Myles on to it,” he said. “He’s thinking about his stuff and what he’s going to do with it and so on.”
But before a new record happens, Slash and company have a lengthy world tour to complete, including the Aug. 10 stop in Sturgis. When the group hits the Buffalo Chip Campground’s stage, Slash says fans can expect a stripped-down, very straight-ahead rock outfit.
“It’s delivered with high impact. It’s a great band that is very sincere in its delivery,” he said. “Every night is different and we change the set around to whatever we feel like doing. It’s basically in the vein of what I’ve always wanted to do ever since I picked the guitar up. It’s one of those things that’s verbally hard to explain until you’ve actually seen it, then you go, ‘OK, whatever you took away from it.’”