SLASH - "When I First Heard The VAN HALEN Debut Record, It Really F@%ked Me"

November 29, 2021, a month ago

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SLASH - "When I First Heard The VAN HALEN Debut Record, It Really F@%ked Me"

Slash Featuring Myles Kennedy & The Conspirators will release their new album, 4, on February 11 via Gibson Records, in partnership with BMG.

Slash joins Dave Cobb on the latest episode of Southern Accents Radio on Apple Music Country to discuss his forthcoming album. Slash discusses following in the footsteps of Van Halen and Led Zeppelin in titling the album, recording live in the room in RCA Studio A, why he loves the late Eddie Van Halen, how Cream’s 'Disraeli Guitars’ made him want to pick up the guitar, and more. Read a couple of excerpts from the chat below...

Slash on naming his upcoming album 4, and following in the footsteps of Van Halen and Led Zeppelin: "

Slash: "Well, I mean really what it came down to was that 2020 was such a hellacious year in every respect that I didn't think that any kind of remark or sentence or a phrase really would encapsulate the feeling for everything that had gone on that year. And so I didn't want to try and have some clever kind of quip or whatever, because I usually do, but there was just too much. So I just said, "Fuck it. Let's just call it 4. That way it doesn't try to say anything. It doesn't try to be anything other than what it is and leave it at that."

Dave Cobb: Well, you won for me because Van Halen had numbers, Led Zeppelin had numbers. I mean, come on, man. It's bringing back the old style. I love it.

Slash: "Yeah, I wasn't really following the trend consciously but it is sort of cool. I think it's cool that just people will be forced to know that we have three other records."

On loving the late Eddie Van Halen, Slash reveals: "By and large, I really don't come from this sort of eighties shredding school of guitar playing at all. But when I first heard, along with everybody else, in 1978 and first heard the Van Halen debut record, it really fucked me. That was a heavy fucking record. I mean, that was the moment that the seventies just changed, that particular record. And as a guitar player, I was just a kid, I was just picking up the guitar at that time. I hadn't even started at that moment. I started like the following year, but when I started getting into guitar playing, everybody was trying to emulate Eddie and they were all sort of focusing on the obvious techniques and the fucking finger tapping and the harmonics and the tremolo bar stuff and all these really fucking great techniques that Eddie had. But the way that he did it was such a part of his personality and it was such a part of his melodic sensibility that it had this really sort of musical fluidity that nobody after that really ever came close to playing that style of guitar playing and so I always loved Eddie. And in between any of his very specific techniques, he also just had great fucking rock and roll lyrics, just really cool, bluesy, fucking rock lyrics. So, yeah, loved Eddie."

Listen to the episode in full anytime on-demand on Apple Music Country, here.

4 is Slash’s fifth solo album and fourth overall with his band featuring Myles Kennedy (Vocals), Brent Fitz (Drums), Todd Kerns (Bass & Vocals) And Frank Sidoris (Guitar & Vocals).

A vibrant rock album fueled by memorable guitar hooks and compelling melodies, big choruses, and even bigger riffs; 4 builds on the legacy of Slash Featuring Myles Kennedy & The Conspirators’ prior work. That sensibility comes through immediately on the opening track and first single, “The River Is Rising”. The group has unleashed “The River Is Rising” to radio. Watch the official video for “The River Is Rising”, shot on location in downtown Los Angeles with Gibson TV director Todd Harapiak, below.

Slash describes the creation of the song “The River Is Rising": “There’s two or three songs on the record that were written during the pandemic; everything else was written before. ‘The River Is Rising’ was one of the last songs I wrote before we started pre-production, and because it was so fresh and has a certain groove and energy to it, it was the first thing we really attacked. It’s the newest song on the record, and as for the double-time part, that was something that I came up with and tagged onto the end of the arrangement. Then when we were over at RCA, Dave Cobb suggested we do it right after the breakdown. So, we went straight into the fast part, and I just started doing the guitar solo over it. It was one of those things where we were jamming around, trying to fish out the arrangement, and it just happened.” While Myles Kennedy adds, “The lyric ultimately explores how humans can be brainwashed or indoctrinated by some sort of dangerous idea. Once we shot the demo back and forth a few times, I personally felt confident that we had the album opener. To me, it’s an important track.”

For 4, Slash and the band traveled across the country together to Nashville, TN, and recorded the new album at the historic RCA Studio A with producer Dave Cobb (Chris Stapleton, John Prine, Jason Isbell, Brandi Carlile), revealing a stunning new sound and style all captured live in the studio. Cobb shared the band’s desire to lay down the tracks live, in the studio including guitar solos and vocals - a first for the group. The band’s previous albums over the last decade Apocalyptic Love, World on Fire, and Living The Dream have continued on an upward trajectory, all achieving Top 5 Billboard charting debuts in the U.S. and reaching the Top 10 on 12 major charts across the globe. To date, the three SMKC albums have now garnered 10 consecutive Top 5 Radio singles, spawned sold-out world tours, and have earned Slash and the band the best critical acclaim of their career.

The band has launched a DSP and physical pre-order in the following formats for 4, including a Deluxe Vinyl Box Set featuring a vinyl gatefold jacket in four colors (Black, Red, Blue, and Purple), randomly distributed inside a mirrored O-card. Each vinyl is 140g black vinyl and comes with a guitar pick, an Axe Heaven Custom Limited Edition 4 Slash Les Paul Mini-Guitar, CD softpack in one of the four colors above (also random), the O-card and a guitar pick, a Cassette Tape featuring an exclusive 4-song live rehearsal titled “Live Rehearsal Tape 5/28/21,” a 36-page photobook including an SMKC interview and handwritten lyrics, an embroidered sew-on patch, a Signed Lithograph (limited to the first 500 copies) and a pick tin with 4 custom Slash guitar picks. A Deluxe CD Box Set, a full album Cassette Tape, and Standard Vinyl and CD packages are also available. To view the full variety of 4 album packages available, go to


"The River Is Rising"
"Whatever Gets You By"
"C'est la vie"
"The Path Less Followed"
"Actions Speak Louder Than Words"
"Spirit Love"
"Fill My World"
"April Fool"
"Call Off The Dogs"
"Fall Back To Earth"

"The River Is Rising" video:

"The River Is Rising" lyric video:

The new album 4 has the added history-making distinction of being the first-ever album to be released on the new Gibson Records label, which is headquartered in the iconic American instrument brand Gibson’s hometown of Music City, Nashville, TN. In light of the 30-year partnership between Gibson and the Grammy Award-winning, Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee Slash, it makes sense the new Slash Featuring Myles Kennedy & The Conspirators’ album 4 will be released via Gibson Records - in partnership with BMG.

In another groundbreaking move, Gibson will commemorate Slash Featuring Myles Kennedy & The Conspirators’ first studio album with Gibson Records, with a first-ever limited - edition Slash Les Paul Standard 4 Album Edition guitar package that will be released on February 11, the same day as the album release. Only 250 Slash Les Paul Standard 4 Album Edition guitars will be made available for global release on and at select authorized Gibson dealers, and the unique guitar package also features the new SMKC album 4 on vinyl with an exclusive case inside that houses the vinyl, a 4 album guitar pick tin containing a variety of pick colors (8-count), a signed SMKC band portrait, and a 4 album decal sticker.

Slash Featuring Myles Kennedy & The Conspirators will kick off a North American headlining tour on February 8, in Portland, OR, and hit 28 major cities, including Los Angeles, New York, Boston, Philadelphia, Chicago, Denver, Nashville, Dallas, Austin, Houston, and more, before wrapping-up March 26 in Orlando, FL.

Tickets on sale at

(Photo - Austin Nelson)

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