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September will see the welcome return of Slash with his second album featuring Myles Kennedy And The Conspirators, World On Fire. It will be released as a special fanpack edition on September 15, before its standard release on October 13. And after a batch of Summer US dates, including dates with Aerosmith, the band will hit Europe for an arena tour in November.
But ahead of all that, Slash has given Total Guitar writer Stephen Lawson the preview scoop on the guitar playing and gear behind the new record and why it finds him and the band on a creative roll.
What was the writing process like for this album?
“I wrote the majority of the music when I was on the Apocalyptic Love tour. You know, just sitting around in dressing rooms and hotel rooms for a year, I accumulated all these ideas. Then in September  I sat down and went through everything I’d recorded on my voice memo on my phone and picked out about 20 different ideas then we went into pre-production in October and just started jamming.
“We were there for a couple of months, holed up in Mates rehearsal studio in Los Angeles. There was the whole writing process then once we had all the songs down we rehearsed the shit out of it, and then we brought the producer, Mike Baskette, in. And so we went through another phase of fine tooth-combing everything and getting the arrangements together. Myles came down and started working on his vocal parts… and by the time we were done with all that we were ready to go in and just bang the stuff out. It was a very quick process in the studio.
“The one thing about this record is that it was almost like it wrote itself, it was very effortless. And that happens very rarely, when there’s a certain energy that carries the creative process and it’s almost like you’re not in control of it and you just ride that wave. That’s how this record was. I can’t think of any outside influence other than just going with this creative flow.”
It must have felt good knowing how easily everything was coming together…
“It’s the way that I learned to work a long, long time ago and it’s a tried and true way: just do the work before you get in the studio so when you’re in the studio it just happens. I could never imagine sitting in the studio – I know a lot of bands who do this and some great records have come out this way – where you just go in with a couple of ideas and then it all just happens in the studio, but that’s a crap shoot and I just don’t have the patience for that.”
In your own words, you have a great 'musical camaraderie' as a band - is there a lot of kidding around in the studio?
“Yeah, we work hard but we have a really good time. We enjoy each other’s company and we love playing. Even considering the number of hours we put into it, it’s still relatively painless. I think everybody enjoys the challenge of getting things to work and seeing what new ideas are happening, getting inspired by one another.
"It’s funny because I never really analyse it, I never really give it that much thought, but looking back on it, what do we do? We go in, we just start jamming, we hang out, ‘Here’s the idea…’ The guys come up with their own way of playing it and it just morphs into something.”