Slash “I recorded a song with Chester Bennington but Linkin Park wouldn’t allow us to put it out so I rerecorded it with Motorheads Lemmy
After two years on the road with Guns N’ Roses, Slash is saddling up for a new release with his band The Conspirators. He began working on “Living The Dream,” his third album with the group, in 2015 but once he began talking to GNR frontman Axl Rose about a possible return to the stage, it became clear there was unfinished business for the two of them to tend to.
The Guns tour was, according to Slash, way more joyous than expected. But he declines to say much more than that. “It’s a very harmonious thing we have going on and there’s nothing to explain,” Slash tells Variety. “We spent the last two years not talking to anybody and really enjoyed it.”
New GNR music, as Slash has said in previous interviews, is very much a possibility. But perhaps set to see the light even sooner, a never-before-heard collaboration between the guitarist and late Linkin Park singer Chester Bennington. After having recently discovered the recording, intended for Slash’s first album and later recorded with late Motorhead frontman Lemmy Kilmister, he sent it along to Bennington’s family taking note of the cautionary lyrics: “I went to see the doctor / He said you’re pretty sick
You got some real bad habits / You’d better stop right quick.”(Bennington committed suicide on July 20, 2017.)
As you see so many artists who didn’t make it to the other side, does it give you a greater appreciation for making it?
I have to appreciate, just for myself personally, being able to f—ing get up and do those gigs every single night. Because I would bet my bottom dollar if I was still carrying the same habit I had 12 years ago, there’s no way I could cope with it. It would be too physically and mentally difficult. There’s something to be said for a sense of clarity. It’s funny cause dope is such an insidious thing. I was thinking about bands from the ‘70s cause I grew up around a lot of that craziness, and I didn’t know it at the time, but I looked back on it and said, “F—ing every single massive argument between artists was 90 percent of the time fueled by coke.” Taking the cocaine out of the equation, how many less rock ‘n’ roll stories there would have been? But speaking of Chester [Bennington], and I forgot all about this until just recently, when I was doing my first solo record, I worked with a lot of different people, some of whom, for whatever reason, didn’t end up on the record. One was with Chester. We did a song and Linkin Park at the time didn’t allow it to happen, so I did it with Lemmy [Kilmister]. The guy who engineered my demos sent it to me and I sent it to Chester’s family. But it was a trip cause the song [called “Doctor Alibi”] really speaks to his state of mind.
Will the song possibly be released?
His family has got it so it would be totally up to them. It was really good. He was awesome. It would be fine with me if they wanted to [release] it. Musically it’s basically the same as the Lemmy song, but the lyrics are really poignant.