STOKED ON STOKE I lived in Stoke until I was five years old [as Saul Hudson]. Stoke was great, I really loved spending those few years there, and I actually miss it. It's a very small town in [England's] Midlands; a small community where everyone is very close. I loved it even more when my dad took me up to London.
My mom is from Los Angeles and my dad is from Britain. My mom actually met my dad in Europe. I moved to LA when I was five or six. I think the main reason why we packed up and moved was so my parents could pursue their artistic careers [Slash's mother was a costume designer for musicians; his father created record covers]. Los Angeles was a mecca for artists and creative individuals in the 1960s, and this is what drew them there.
STRIKE A CHORD I was always into music because I was raised on it. My parents were into music - good music - and it was always a part of my life. I didn't get into playing guitar until I was 14, and that just happened by chance. A friend of mine had an electric guitar and the second I picked it up, I was enamoured with it. If I hadn't become a musician, I would most definitely have been an artist; an illustrator, an animator, because this was my first calling. I kind of stumbled upon the guitar later on.
STIR CRAZY The members of Guns N' Roses all came from different places. No one in the band was actually from Los Angeles, and it was just fate. We were the only five guys in all of LA who could've made up that band, and it just sort of happened. My craziest memory of Guns N' Roses is the actual whole existence of Guns N' Roses - and my craziest memories from Velvet Revolver took place from 2002 to 2006. Those years were total insanity. The band would be making it to shows at the very last minute because we'd miss flights. Drunken shows certainly did take place, and those are minor examples of the craziness that took place.
I've worked with some pretty amazing musicians. Kenny Aronoff is one guy I've done a lot of work with, who is not only an amazing drummer, but one of the most professional musicians I've ever worked with. Ray Charles was probably the most profound musician I've ever had the opportunity to work with. The hardest person I've played with was Bob Dylan, because, at first, I didn't really know why he wanted me on his record [Under the Red Sky].
FAMILY MAN Things changed a lot for me when I became a father. It kind of forced me to take on more responsibilities and helped me to become more aware of what was going on around me. Having [two sons] is the biggest thing that's happened for me outside of music.
The family isn't coming on the Asia tour, but travelling with them is great. It has its ups and downs - there are more people to look out for - but having family on the road is great because it brings some sense of normalcy to what is a very chaotic and stressful kind of life. It's grounding.
REPTILIAN PURSUITS The half-time show at the Super Bowl was one of the most exhilarating experiences I've had this year, because it's such a massive event and it was just really exciting. I pay attention to sports but I usually start playing close attention at the end of every season. I can't keep up with it all year long. Basketball, football and racing cars are some of my favourite things to watch. And I hear Stoke [City] are doing well in England.
I don't know how I got interested in snakes, to be honest. When I was a young kid in England, I was always into reptiles and dinosaurs. I guess it's something I never grew out of.
RELUCTANT IDOL A friend of mine works on the crew at Fox and she got me into American Idol to see Adam Lambert sing. When Ryan Seacrest and Simon Cowell saw me down there they insisted that I do an episode. I tried to get out of it but they kept on trying and trying. They finally agreed to let me do it the way I wanted. We ended up doing it at The Roxy in LA.
I don't mind performing live when it comes to television appearances. I have a hard time doing interviews live though - I'm not what you will call a 'natural' at that. But it is a necessary evil. And I don't read anything about myself [on the internet] at all; I avoid it like the plague.
HONG KONG ROCKS My last show was in Sydney, Australia, at the Soundwave Festival, and, in Hong Kong, I'm looking forward to playing for a very gracious audience again. Hong Kong is one of the greatest rock 'n' roll destinations in the world and I love playing here; last time I went out clubbing late at night often. Also, we'll be playing a lot of new songs that we didn't play last time.