Slash Details ‘Miserable’ Addiction and How He Got Sober
During the late '80s and early '90s, Slash came to fame in one of the most hedonistic rock bands of the times, Guns N' Roses. In a new interview with Belfast Live, the guitarist speaks candidly about his troubles with addiction, his sobriety and reveals that his issues with addiction carried over into his time with Velvet Revolver.
Slash states, "In the 90s when I left Guns N’ Roses I was just sort of out there. I was drinking myself to death, I was out playing all over the place, I had no real direction I was going or any real concrete idea as to what I was going to be doing for any predetermined amount of time. It was very excessive. I’d left my band, I was getting divorced, I was going through all this shit. I had record company issues. It was really classic rock 'n' roll life – the bad side."
The guitarist says that after he left the "security" of GN'R behind, his drinking and drugging continued, calling his usage "textbook." Slash says his struggles continued "up through 2005," which carries over to his time in Velvet Revolver.
“Velvet Revolver started and just because of the nature of the band – and it’s my own fault – but within that context it was easy to do," says the musician. “I got completely strung out again and at that point I realized there was nothing about being strung out that reminded me of anything like when I first started doing drugs. It was pretty miserable. And then after that, with alcohol, nothing was doing it for me and I decided I had to stop."
Being aware of his addiction issues, Slash recalls, “I had two kids and I was living in a hotel because I couldn’t be around them. It all sort of came to a head and I thought I needed to go to some sort of facility and just get away from everybody for a month and I’ll clean up."
Speaking about the experience, he adds, “I really embraced it and I came out of it really happy and all that energy I was putting towards self-destruction I just put towards music. I have definitely been fortunate. I knew a lot of musicians growing up and pretty much all through my career. But especially when I was growing up and being around musicians that my parents knew, there were people who couldn’t imagine being sober because they thought that was the nucleus of their whole creative existence. When I got off it it didn’t really have anything to do with the creative for me, it was really extra-curricular activity to do in between stuff. So I definitely feel fortunate that I didn’t fall into a complete creative block because I wasn’t high.”
“To have the opportunity to go back with Guns and that being such an amazing experience and such a positive experience, at this point in time, right now, to be in these two bands is probably one of the best professional periods I’ve ever been in," says Slash. “I’m really looking forward to working on a new Guns record and all that.
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