Sunday Old School: Slash’s Snakepit
Band Photo: Guns N Roses (?)
In 1993 Guns N’ Roses guitarist, Slash, put together another band. He needed a side project, a distraction. He needed a break from Guns N’ Roses. Slash’s Snakepit would release two albums, with the first selling over one million copies. That is one successful side project.
After the Guns N’ Roses ‘Use Your Illusion’ tour, Slash bought himself something nice, purchasing a new home with a small home studio and called it The Snakepit. Here, Slash worked on demos he had written while on tour. After working through the material with various members of Guns N’ Roses, Slash played the songs for Axl Rose who apparently (he said/she said) rejected them. So Slash said “Fuck Axl, I’ll do it myself” (note: never said this) and recorded the demos with Guns band mates Matt Sorum (drums) and Gilby Clarke (guitar), Alice in Chains bassist Mike Inez, and Eric Dover (Jellyfish) on vocals.
After insistence from Geffen Records, the band was named Slash’s Snakepit (instead of The Snakepit) and in 1995 released the album ‘It’s Five O’Clock Somewhere.’ In addition to the band, the album featured Duff McKagan (co-wrote “Beggars & Hangers-On”), Dizzy Reed (keyboards), Teddy Andreadis (harmonica), and Paulinho da Costa on drums. Despite going on to sell over one million copies, “Beggars & Hangers-On” was the only single. (There was also a music video shot for “Good to Be Alive.”) The music was hard rock mixed with heavy blues and a twist of punk, essentially, what the fans of Guns N’ Roses were hoping for. The videos were gritty, focused more on Sorum’s drumming and Dover’s screaming than Slash. In a bullshit move, the record company pulled tour support (financial) once the sales hit one million copies. That, and Axl Rose was ready to begin working on the next Guns N’ Roses album. The band disbanded and Slash went back to Guns N’ Roses.
In 1996 Slash left Guns N’ Roses. Almost immediately, Slash formed a cover band (Slash’s Blue Balls) and then in 1997 suggested to Johnny Griparic that they should create a new lineup of Slash’s Snakepit. The new band consisted of Slash, Griparic, Rod Jackson (vocals), Ryan Roxie (guitar), and Matt Laug (drums). The second album, ‘Ain’t Life Grand’, was released in 2000. The album was heavier than the first one, but also more “straight up” hard rock, less of the bluesy side that worked so well on the debut. The song “Mean Bone” was released as the first single, but the album did not sell as well as the debut. The band toured and in 2002 disbanded after Slash realized the members were not committed to the band.
Following the breakup, Slash announced another album that ended up becoming the super group Velvet Revolver. In 2004 Velvet Revolver released ‘Contraband’ and then ‘Libertad’ in 2007. In 2008 the band parted ways with lead singer Scott Weiland (Stone Temple Pilots), allowing Slash to work on another solo project. In 2010 Slash released a solo album consisting of many lead singers including Ozzy Osbourne, Myles Kennedy (Alter Bridge), and Fergie from the Black Eyed Peas. Slash would follow up this album with another solo effort, this time with only Myles Kennedy on vocals.
Since breaking onto the scene with Guns N’ Roses, Slash has been everywhere. He shows up supporting bands, talk shows, promoting his autobiography, inducted into Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, and of course, making music. It’s the latter where Slash seems most comfortable. Regardless of the future with his ex and current bands, expect Slash to continue making music…
Good to Be Alive
Beggars and Hangers-On
Neither Can I
1995 Milan, Italy (Full Concert)
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