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Slash announces new album and reveals writing status with Guns N' Roses

Although he's well and truly back with Guns N' Roses, Slash is now turning his attention to a new album with Myles Kennedy And The Conspirators for Gibson Records. The video for first single The River Is Rising can be seen above, but the guitarist has also clarified the status of new Guns N Roses material – including the two Chinese Democracy-era songs he helped the band rework for release earlier this year.

"As far as new Guns is concerned, we haven't even gotten to that point of really in earnest sitting down and writing," Slash told Audacy Check In host Remy Maxwell. "We've been doing a lot of material that's been sort of sitting around for a while. So that will be a whole focused endeavour unto itself."

Duff and I went in and re-did them

That material includes the already-released singles. Hard Skool and Absurd. Tracks that date back to the era before Slash rejoined. "They both have a lot of history," added. What happened was Axl [Rose, Guns N' Roses vocalist] has all these songs that he recorded at some point along the way. And so Duff [McKagan, bassist] and I went in and re-did them, basically… Like, I wrote my own kind of parts to what else is going on, and [we] just sort of took the drums and re-did everything else."

Hard Skool originally went under the working title 'Jackie Chan' and was written by Rose. A version of the original composition was originally recorded during the extended sessions for what would become the 2008 album Chinese Democracy.

It's now the title track of a new Guns N' Roses EP, to be released on February 25, 2022, alongside 2001 Chinese Democracy era composition Absurd (previously titled 'Silkworms') and live versions of Don't Cry and You're Crazy.

Because it was so fresh and has a certain groove and energy to it, it was the first thing we really attacked

Meanwhile, The River Is Rising is the first taste of new album, 4, with Myles Kennedy And The Conspirators. It will also be the first release for Gibson Records. 

"There's two or three songs on the record that were written during the pandemic; everything else was written before," Slash explains. 'The River is Rising' was one of the last songs I wrote before we started pre-production, and because it was so fresh and has a certain groove and energy to it, it was the first thing we really attacked. 

"It's the newest song on the record, and as for the double-time part, that was something that I came up with and tagged onto the end of the arrangement," the guitarist adds. "Then when we were over at RCA, [producer] Dave Cobb suggested we do it right after the breakdown. So, we went straight into the fast part, and I just started doing the guitar solo over it. It was one of those things where we were jamming around, trying to fish out the arrangement, and it just happened." 

The 4 album marks the first time the musicians have laid down tracks for an album live in the studio – including vocals and guitar solos. Preorder the album here

Rob Laing

I'm the Guitars Editor for MusicRadar, handling news, reviews, features, tuition, advice for the strings side of the site and everything in between. Before that I worked on guitar magazines for 15 years, including Editor of Total Guitar.