2002 - Slash & Izzy Working On New Album
The big news tonight is the MTV interview with SLASH and Duff on their forthcoming album with Izzy. Both former Gunners go over what kind of album this is, what it means for the future of the three and what the future holds for the three together. SLASH says he talks to Izzy on the phone often and got wind of Izzy's latest new project. Somehow they got together and began to work together. SLASH says we will recognize the songs as Izzy's and like Izzy's and SLASH's. SLASH says he and Izzy wrote 5 songs; all of which still need some tweaking and background vocals. Duff laid down the bass tracks for the album. Izzy's doing lead vocals and rhythm guitar. The album has no title at this time and no scheduled release date. Late summer is the timeframe for the release with the internet being the focal point for sales.
SLASH and Duff don't rule out more work together, and their fans hope so too. If you want to read the full article by Jennifer Vineyard of MTV, it appears on both the MTV and the VH-1 News.
It may not be a Guns N' Roses reunion per se, but it's the closest thing to having the original lineup back together again in quite some time - former GN'R guitarist Slash and bassist Duff McKagan are collaborating with fellow former Gunner Izzy.
"We got together to work on songs, and they sound like Izzy, like Izzy and Slash, so they're easy to recognize." - Slash
It's not the first time that former GN'Rmates have joined forces since leaving the group - McKagan played bass on Stradlin's last two solo albums (see "Izzy Readies Second Post-GN'R Solo Effort"), and Slash has jammed over the years with Stradlin (see "Slash: Making His Mark Without Guns") - but the three haven't played together since the Use Your Illusion albums in 1991, when Stradlin left the band.
"The thing with Izzy's [solo] record," Slash said, "is that I got involved with him because we talk on the phone a lot, and he's just always doing these anonymous projects in his own quiet little fashion. It's just nice to get together and write again.
"We got together to work on songs, and they sound like Izzy, like Izzy and Slash, so they're easy to recognize that way," he continued. "They have a sense of humor about them, but they're loose and laid back. They're not heavy-duty, arrangement-oriented songs. They're just basic ideas that we thought were cool, so we threw it down."
Slash said that he wrote and recorded a total of five songs with Stradlin in November around the holidays, but the songs still require about a day's worth of "fixing," as well as background vocals. Meanwhile, McKagan said that he's laid down the bass tracks for an album's worth of songs in two different sessions in November and December at a studio in Los Angeles.
"Me and Slash are just the session guys, man," McKagan said, laughing. "I just went in and did bass tracks for the first three songs in an hour and kept at it."
As with his previous three solo albums, Stradlin penned the bulk of the material and performs lead vocals. The LP is currently untitled and there is no target release date other than late summer, with Internet sales being the main focus, according to his management and label, SFV Records.
Stradlin was unavailable for comment, as he is still in the studio working on the album. His camp did stress that since the record is unfinished, there's no telling what will make the final cut.
Still, Slash and McKagan are optimistic that the sessions will see the light and could perhaps lead to more. "I'd never rule out the idea of us three doing something with somebody singing," McKagan said. "That possibility is always there. Everything just sounds better than it ever has, but we'll see. We also realize that there's a bit of history involved, and no one wants to screw it up, not for nostalgic purposes. Only for artistic purposes.
"We wouldn't want to be that band in 'Rock Star,' or be silly," the bassist continued. "It's great to be able to afford to say that, that we're not doing this to make a bunch of dough, and we would only give back for the right purposes.
"We're just so intertwined," McKagan added. "It's not unlike a relationship with brothers. We've lived through a lot together, all through our 20s and early 30s. You know how a lot of people have college buddies? We're like that. We'll never not be friends. Music is a part of that, but it's beyond that. We're family."
When SLASH said the new album with Izzy and Duff would probably not be heavily promoted and just sold on the internet, we wondered where on the net the sale might happen. If it is not heavily promoted, we don't want to miss it. We have heard that it will be released through SFV Records. This is the small label that Izzy is using in the US to distribute his albums. SFV is where you can get River, Izzy's last album. You buy it right on the web site. In case you have been looking for a copy, here's where it's sold: Link to SFV records doesn't work anymore
From the 2002 GUitar One magazine (AFD 15 year anniversary):
You've been jamming with Izzy again. Any new perspective on why your playing styles work so well together?
It's the kind of thing where no matter who comes up with the initial idea, I never really have to go, "Izzy, play this part this way." He just plays his thing his own way, and we never really talk about it much.
Last night, we went in and took two songs from scratch, just basic chord changes, and worked them into full songs. That's one of the things about me and Izzy working together, he knows where I'm at, and I know where he's at. And that's the way it's always been. I make up something that accompanies his part, and at the same time accents it, and he does the same with my parts. We have that kind of chemistry. We've always been good friends, so for us to get in a room and play is a very easy thing to do.
What can we expect from you next?
I'm putting together another record with some stuff I've done with Izzy and other stuff I've done on my own. I want to start writing with other people as well, and put together an album with a lot of guests -- a really cool rock 'n' roll record with people you wouldn't expect to hear together.