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MONDAY’S METAL MESSAGE: (Slash, Fergie, Mike Portnoy, Paul Di Anno, Iron Maiden, Adler’s Appetite)

John Dingwall of California Chronicle recently conducted an interview with legendary guitarist Slash (VELVET REVOLVER, GUNS N’ ROSES). A couple of excerpts from the chat follow below.

On performing while under the influence:

Slash: “I’d always been pretty good at being able to play no matter what. I managed to maintain things pretty well. I wasn’t a fall-down drunk. But all things considered, I sort of burned out on that. I think I just over excessed and got to the point that I real ly wasn’t enjoying it. I finally conquered that demon but it took me years. As a non-drinker and not doing drugs, I find that not being intoxicated at all lends itself to me being sharp. My reflexes are a lot better and my ability to concentrate and hit the notes on the fret board is as immediate as they come to my mind. Everything is more accurate, especially for the live performances which is when I improvise a lot. I find myspontaneity means I am able to connect faster than when I was drinking.”

On surviving rock and roll excesses:

Slash: “I’m in perfect shape but it is truly amazing that I am still around. I took that as an omen and figured I’m not going anywhere so I might as well make the best of it. I don’t wake up and make a cocktail first thing in the morning these days. I don’t have a lot of vices I have to deal with first thing. I was a slave to my addiction, and had to take care of those first, so I don’t have that any more. It leaves moretime to be productive.”

On the video for his “Beautiful Dangerous” single which features BLACK EYED PEAS beauty Fergie playing a rock groupie-turned-stalker who ties Slash to a bed before deciding to live out her deranged fantasies:

Slash: “It was fun to do, you know. Fergie‘s great and it was probably the easiest concept shoot that I’ve done, at least in recent memory. It was several one-day shoots and two locations a block away from each other. I was tied up. It was one of those videos where we had a very loose treatment and idea of what the video was basically about and we just sort of made it up as we went along.”

“I’ve had stalkers, none as crazy or as attractive as Fergie. Stalkers, real stalkers, are no joke or something to laugh at. The real ones tend to be dangerous or psychotic nuisances. This was an exaggeration on a theme. In reality, I havenever been drugged against my will. I have never been tied up against my will. It’s always been consensual.”

On his solo album, which features an all-star roster of guest vocalists, including Ian Astbury, Myles Kennedy and Kid Rock:

Slash: “I would just write music and put together arrangements and think in my mind’s eye who would be the right vocalist for that piece of music. It was quite simple. A lot of people think there’s a lot of forethought that goes into these collaborations, like some sort of dream list or something. It’s more of a spontaneous sort of thing.

“I always have a guitar by my side and I’m always out in circles where musicians hang out, or I’m in situations where I’m exposed to lots of different artists.

“I jump at the chance to work with people when the opportunity arises. That’s basically how these different collaborations happen. When I did the record, though, it was about trying to find the vocalist who was appropriate for each song. So those were very specific.

“It’s not really about putting together fantastical partnerships that I think in my imagination would be great. I haven’t really done that.”

On whether he will ever step into the studio with Axl Rose again:

Slash: “It’s been 14 years. I haven’t spoken to him in all that time. There really is no relationship. That’s why it is frustrating when people ask about band reunions and what’s going on. Fourteen years is a long time to not be in a band for people to still be asking about that. Having said t hat, it’s an appreciation, I guess, for the band from a lot of fans who care about it that much. It’s very flattering that after all that timethat the original lineup still has that appreciation. I try not to scoff about it that much but the Axl question is redundant.”

Read the entire interview from California Chronicle.Independent musicians, graphic artists, and a computer graphics demogroup have collaborated on a grand scale multimedia tribute to Mike Portnoy, in celebration of over a quarter of a century of highly influential musicianship. Mike Portnoy‘s early investment into the Internet, as well as his relationship with the global fan base, created a fad-transcending musical community that continues to grow past the post quarter century mark.

Mike Portnoy has always possessed a strong commitment to bringing a diverse lineup of “under the radar” support bands on the road. These tours introduced hundreds of thousands to some truly genre-defining music, and inspired a new generation with music that would have otherwise remained outside the public view. “Mike, over the years, has fueled an online community with tireless energy and effort, of which it has been a pleasure to be a part of. Members of the community feel that paying some of that energy forward is the least they could do to show their appreciation,” says compilation producer Anthony Morse.

The multimedia tribute appears in the form of a free three disc digital album, interviews, and some stunning music videos graphically generated by the legendary Greek demogroup Andromeda Software Development.

“Honor Thy Drummer: A Tribute to Mike Portnoy” contains three digital discs, two new, and a bonus 2009 retrospective disc featuring choice selections from the previous digital release “MPF 2009”. “Honor Thy Drummer” features a diverse range of styles and approaches, drawing inspiration from Mr. Portnoy‘s award-winning approach to music, created by acts inspired by his musical influence. The resulting music seamlessly crosses many musical boundaries weaving from heavy time-spanning progressive metal to concise folk.
The “Honor Thy Drummer” multimedia collection is available for free download at It contains the digital album in MP3 format, a digital PDF booklet featuring photos, lyrics, and bios of the contributing artists. Two of three interviews with contributing artists RELOCATOR, IN PROGRESS, and S.A. ADAMS are included, and shed light on their collaborations with progressive metal superstars Derek Sherinian, Mark Zonder, and Mike Portnoy himself, all of whom play on the artists’ tracks featured in “Honor Thy Drummer”. The third interview will be released in January.

The scope of this endeavor reaches across the United Kingdom, Europe, Australia, and the American continent. This project, fueled by the hard work and dedication of all of the participants, resulted in a quality work free to the world, and without the complications of revenue generation. The collection is, simply put, a high quality independent project available freely to all that desire the audio/visual experience.

Rob Cavuoto of Guitar International recently conducted an interview with former IRON MAIDEN singer Paul Di’Anno. A couple of excerpts from the chat follow below.

Guitar International: When Bruce [Dickinson] left MAIDEN in 1993, were you a candidate to replace him?

Paul Di’Anno: Not in a million years, I would’ve done it for three or four million dollars, with half going to UNICEF and half going to another charity. I don’t need the money. I make quite enough off my own records and the MAIDEN records. It’s never been about the money, it’s been about playing. Thanks to the fans my children have gone off to college, I owe them everything. Thanks for supporting my drug habit, taking care of my ex-wives [Laughing], my custom Harleys and my five clubs in Brazil.

Guitar International: Were you involved in the writing of “The Number Of The Beast”?

Paul Di’Anno: I was, there is a very rare demo going around of me signing “Run To The Hills” and “Hallowed Be Thy Name”. I laid one of them down in Toronto but by then, I had lost all interest.

Guitar International: Do you talk to any other members of MAIDEN?

Paul Di’Anno: Yeah, the problem is that we all live in other counties. When they came to Brazil, Stevie [Harris] and Bruce were looking for me but I was out touring. It may happen where I join them on stage someday. That’s another bad press thing that says we all hate each other, it’s not true. I love Steve and Dave [Murray]. Me, Steve, Dave and Clive [Burr] were like a gang and always in trouble. Anyone who slags off on MAIDEN, I’ll punch them out. I quit the band because of all the ethics and politics. We all need to make money, but there’s making money and exploitation of money. That my only quip that I have about MAIDEN. I’m proud to be an ex-member of IRON MAIDEN.

Guitar International: Your book “The Beast” paints you as a pretty dark and angry guy.

Paul Di’Anno: That book is bullshit! It’s an old chapter in my life when I was a lunatic. I didn’t want to do the book for years and only agreed to do it to close that chapter on my life and because all the proceeds would go to a cancer charity. I had a ghost writer who tried to make it sound like it was me talking and I gave him a little too much artistic license. He took things a bit too far.

Read the entire interview from Guitar International.

ADLER’S APPETITE — the band led by former GUNS N’ ROSES drummer Steven Adler — has released two new singles — “Stardog” and “Fading” — via iTunes and other online music stores.

ADLER’S APPETITE entered the studio last month to begin recording its new album with CINDERELLA drummer Fred Coury producing.

“I am really proud of the new songs,” says Adler. “Fred did a great job on these tracks, we are really looking forward to playing this stuff live!”

“We are really happy with the way these songs came out,” adds ADLER’S APPETITE guitarist Alex Grossi (also of QUIET RIOT). “I think people who liked [previous single] ‘Alive’ are really going to dig ‘Stardog’ and the song ‘Fading’ shows a mellower side of the band’s songwriting, I cannot wait to finish up the entire record.”

A radio edit of the last ADLER’S APPETITE single, “Alive”, was released on July 29 in conjunction with Adler‘s tell-all autobiography, “My Appetite for Destruction: Sex, and Drugs, and Guns N’ Roses”.

ADLER’S APPETITE will kick off an extensive European tour on February 3 in Rome, Italy.

ADLER’S APPETITE‘s current lineup is rounded out by guitarist Michael Thomas (FASTER PUSSYCAT), bassist Chip Z’nuff (ENUFF Z’NUFF) and vocalist Rick Stitch (LADYJACK).

For more information, visit

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