Slash On Fire

"They definitely came together naturally, by chance and it turned out to be a really good ensemble." Slash told Epiphone.com describing both his new album, World On Fire, and his ace backing band Myles Kennedy and the Conspirators. It's a typically disarming and understated quote from one of the most recognizable artists on the planet. Yet despite that (or because of it) Slash makes a point to be cordial, enthusiastic, and insightful every time he's in the spotlight. And as 2014 winds down, Slash is in the spotlight again in a big way--big even for a newly minted member of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

Slash On Fire

This month, Slash not only unveils a new album with great songs and killer riffs (and even a few cowbell hits for good rock and roll mojo) but also a spectacular new signature model, the Epiphone Ltd. Ed. Slash "Rosso Corsa" Les Paul Standard Outfit. Slash's new "Rossa Corsa" features his own personally designed Seymour Duncan™ Slash Alnico II Pro Humbucker pickups customized with a "Rosso Corsa" racing red finish along with Sprague "Orange Drop" capacitors, a personalized Slash neck profile, and a custom hard case. And this comes on the heels of his first-ever Epiphone pack featuring a Slash "AFD" Les Paul and a 15-watt "Snake Pit" amp.

Speaking with Slash is a special occasion for us at Epiphone not only because of his many years of support (his two previous signature models, the Slash Les Paul Goldtop and the Slash Les Paul Standard Plus Top sold out immediately) but because he's the kind of artist we feel all Rock and Roll Hall of Famers ought to be.

Since making history and amassing global sales in excess of 100 million as a member of Guns N' Roses, Slash worked with a side band, Slash's Snakepit, before making two excellent albums with Velvet Revolver, Contraband (the single, "Slither" won a GRAMMY for Best Hard Rock performance) and Libertad with Scott Weiland (then on hiatus from Stone Temple Pilots). When Weiland rejoined his old band, Slash put Velvet Revolver on the back burner and went out on his own with a guest-star studded 2010 solo debut that led him to a new permanent group--the Conspirators, a new lead singer in Myles Kennedy, and a revolution of sorts in his sound and how he thinks of his career.

"It's been an interesting road from the mid 90s up until now," Slash told Epiphone. "I never stopped to think, 'What am I gonna to do in the long term?' Or ruminated on my solo career, where it was heading. I've just been jamming around, going wherever the muse has taken Slash On Fireme. And this is the first time where I feel like I'm in the saddle and riding my own destiny with some genuine focus."

For the last two years, Slash and the Conspirators have been touring the world (this summer they opened for Aerosmith) and when they were not on the road, Myles and Slash stayed busy writing. In 2013, Slash was named by the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce as an official selection to receive a star on the Walk of Fame. And Los Angeles, his old hometown and the launch pad to Guns N' Roses' rise to the top, is still close to his heart. To kick off the new album, Slash brought the Conspirators back to the clubs where he started out--The Whiskey, The Roxy, and the Troubadour. And he's clearly enjoying a pace that is both busy and, shall we say, more calm than his earlier days spent on Sunset Strip. Slash told Pulse of Radio that singer Myles Kennedy has been a catalyst for his newfound energy, though Myles remains somewhat of a rock n' roll enigma himself.

"Myles is pretty interesting. I mean, he sings great, he's a great lyricist, all he does is work, he loves to tour. He works constantly, but when he's not working onstage, he's working in his room, writing stuff and, you know, in the studio he's always there. So he's sort of odd (laughs)"

Slash's new Rossa Corsa Les Paul Standard and his "AFD" packs are not just a gesture at more glory but a serious effort on Slash's part to make it affordable, easy and fulfilling for kids and kids-at-heart to discover guitar, even down to the original one-of-a-kind finish. "I definitely wanted to do something that was more of a blood red color so the Rosso Corsa color was what we went for. I love 'em."

And the aim of the "AFD" pack, Slash says simply, was "just a good quality guitar, plain and simple. Good hardware, good components. Great pick-ups. I also love the built in tuner. And the Snake Pit amp is basically modeled after what I would consider a good sounding practice and or live amp for small venues and recording. I tried to model it after the sounds that I get out of my bigger amps."

Slash On FireIt's no secret that Slash has a long love of Les Pauls and he still treasures a custom facsimile that he commissioned in the late 80s. In making World on Fire, Slash said, "I actually used a hand made Les Paul copy that I've been using since 1986. I have a handful of Epiphone Les Pauls--more than a handful--and then I also have a few vintage--special-Epiphone acoustics that I've had for years, including my first good acoustic guitar which is an Epiphone dreadnaught from the 1930's or 40's."

Slash was born Saul Hudson in London in 1965 and moved to Los Angeles when he was five. It was in LA that a friend gave him his nickname. At 14, he was like any other restless teenager until he had "My big awakening" after hearing Aerosmith's classic album Rocks. "I remember riding my bike back to my grandma's house knowing that my life had changed," Slash recalled to Rolling Stone. "Now I identified with something."

And now millions around the world are identifying with that kid who flew home on his bike all those years ago, in love with rock and roll and filled with a new purpose. In many ways, Slash is today the most recognizable ambassador for the Les Paul and it seems to have been the guitar he always felt destined for. "My first electric guitar was a Les Paul copy that was made by a company called Memphis. My first Gibson Les Paul was a black Les Paul Standard, not sure on the year," he recalled. "The first acoustic guitar I ever got was a Spanish style acoustic guitar that only had 1-string on it (laughs)."

The Epiphone and Slash designed Ltd. Ed. Slash "Rosso Corsa" Les Paul Standard Outfit rounds out an incredible year for the Rock and Roll Hall of Famer and for his long-standing friendship with Epiphone. And though he seems genuinely flattered that he's considered the heart behind perhaps the most revered debut album ever, Guns N' Roses Appetite for Destruction, Slash's focus today is on his work and making a difference for young musicians.

"I just think that the most important instrument you ever get is the first one you get, the one that you learn to play on. That guitar should be something that should be good quality and you should be able to play from your beginning until you learn how to play really well and start going beyond that in a professional sense. Doing a guitar that's affordable with a great company like Epiphone is something that I think should happen more often."

Slash's dedication to making quality--and stylish--Les Pauls available to all players is as serious as his dedication to his art, which--thanks to the Conspirators--seems to have given him a sense purpose that could easily have been lost after he left Guns N' Roses in 1996. His film company, Slasher Films, has more scary flicks planned for Halloween and beyond. But designing--and playing guitar--is still his main motivator.

"The guitar player that you are when you first start out is really a magical time. Technically, you don't know that much but you play with all your heart and magic moments come from that. As the years go, by you start to get more and more comfortable and knowledgeable with the notes and the fretboard and everything else you pick up throughout the years, you kind of blossom. But I don't think you're ever really better than you are in the first couple of years because of that passion."

Available at authorized Epiphone retailers worldwide beginning in October.


Slash "Rosso Corsa" Les Paul Standard Outfit Image Gallery:

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Slash On Fire

Slash "Rosso Corsa" Les Paul Standard Outfit Specifications:

 

Body Material: Mahogany, Traditional 9-Hole Weight Relief
Top Material: Carved Hard Maple Cap with AAA Flame Maple Veneer
Neck Material: Mahogany
Neck Shape: "Slash" Profile, D-Shaped
Neck Joint: "Deep-Set" Glued-In
Truss Rod: Adjustable
Scale Length: 24.75"
Fingerboard Material: Rosewood with Pearloid "Trapezoid" Inlays
Fingerboard Radius: 12"
Frets: 22, Medium-Jumbo
Bridge Pickup: Seymour Duncan™ Slash Alnico II Pro Humbucker, Reverse Zebra, No Logo
Neck Pickup: Seymour Duncan™ Slash Alnico II Pro Humbucker, Zebra, No Logo
Controls: Bridge Volume, Neck Volume, Bridge Tone with Sprague "Orange-Drop" Capacitors, Neck Tone with Sprague "Orange-Drop" Capacitors, Epiphone All-Metal 3-Way Toggle
Bridge: LockTone™ Tune-o-matic/Stopbar
Nut Width: 1-11/16"
Hardware: Nickel
Binding: Body and Fingerboard
Machine Heads: Epiphone "Deluxe" with "Tulip" Buttons
Includes: Custom "Slash" Hard Case, Certificate of Authenticity
Warranty: Epiphone Limited Lifetime