When British-American musician and songwriter Saul Hudson aka Slash joined Guns N' Roses as lead guitarist at the age of 19 in 1985, little did he know that one day he would become a guitar hero of his generation. Penning one hard rock anthem after the next, the band achieved worldwide success in the 1980s and 1990s, and was recently honoured with a place in the prestigious Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. In 2002, the superstar with the lion hair co-founded the group Velvet Revolver, before engaging in his first solo project in 2010. Following on from his debut solo album Slash, Hudson and his band released their second album Apocalyptic Love featuring Myles Kennedy (vocals), Brent Fitz (drums) and Todd Kerns (bass) on 22 May 2012. We meet Slash ahead of his concert with Motley Crue at Basel's St. Jakobshalle for a little tete-a-tete.
Welcome back to Zurich. Do you have good memories of the city?
Yes, I have great memories. Throughout the years, I have toured through different cities in Switzerland, Zurich being one of them, and I have always been very well received. People have been very cool, very polite and I have felt really well taken care of.
You are in the middle of a tour. What surprises do you have in store for your fans this year?
The fact that my band and I are playing with Motley Crue is a surprise in itself! I haven't done any concerts with them since 1988, but have been good friends with Nikki [Sixx, bass], Tommy [Lee, drums] and the others for years. It's going to be a pretty interesting pairing. It will be a proper hard rock show. We will continue on from where we left off after our last tour and record. [Last time,] we did a whole year of touring to introduce the new band. [This time,] we will cover some Guns N' Roses, some Velvet Revolver, some songs from the first solo album--and we will be playing all the new stuff. We play Basel now and then we may be back in Switzerland in October or November.
Are there any differences between fans in the United States and fans in Europe?
There are huge differences between American and European audiences--and huge differences between various countries. People look at things differently and have different ways of appreciating things. Audiences in the United States are great but less appreciative than European crowds, who really value a good live show. I like travelling through Europe, because rock 'n' roll is still very much alive here and people consider it a...