Kate Waterhouse April 15, 2012
Mocktails at Marquee ... Kate Waterhouse and Slash. Photo: Janie Barrett
Talking about his drug past and family life is fine, but rocker Slash won't talk Guns N' Roses.
Kate Waterhouse caught up with 46-year-old rock legend Slash, who was recently in town for the opening of Marquee nightclub. While he was happy to talk about everything from his drug past to his family life, his wife was at pains to ensure any mention of Guns N' Roses was strictly off limits.
You're regarded as one of the best guitarists in the world. Is there someone you look up to?
I don't go for that ''best guitarist in the world" title, it's still a total work in progress. The ones I look up to are phenomenal, so I haven't reached that, but the guys I grew up listening to were, like, Pete Townshend and Keith Richards and Jimi Hendrix.
Before your sobriety, was it really all just drugs, sex and rock'n'roll?
The thing about rock'n'roll is that it affords you the freedom to go out; it's all about expressing yourself and doing the stuff society's rules don't especially condone, and sex and drugs are a big part of it. I had a great time and I still do. I think I just drank myself to death and got over it and [with] the drugs I finally just said it's just not fun any more. When it comes to be the kind of habit where it's your sustenance, all of a sudden the tables turn and it's no longer a party and it turns into more of a chore, a burden, and you find you're addicted to it and you have to get off and it's so hard to get off it.
Do you ever miss the party lifestyle?
Not really. I'm in rock'n'roll so I'm around it. The fact I don't do it doesn't influence everybody around me.
Do you do the typical dad thing now and drop the kids to school?
I try. I'm really not your typical dad, but I have at least one day a week where I'm home and I take them to school, but otherwise I just get them up and ready for the car pool. The driving-to-school stuff can be kind of fun. I make a very captive audience - I make them listen to mixes and stuff in the car. Kids are great.
Are you the coolest dad at school?
My kids probably don't think so, but the other kids do. When you're a kid you just have your reality and your parents are just as much of a pain in the ass as anybody else's.
With your crazy past lifestyle, it must be hard to be strict on them?
Yeah, sometimes you feel a little hypocritical. But I think we are cool parents. I was raised with an endless amount of freedom because I was raised in the hippie movement, so we don't raise our kids like that, and we know what is right and wrong, but when the teen years come, that should be interesting!
How long have you been with your wife?
We've known each other for 18 years but we just celebrated our 10-year anniversary. We renewed our vows last October. We are a great couple.
What would you say is the secret to your relationship?
We were probably the craziest young couple I've ever met and we have been through a lot together. We have managed to f---ing tough it out. It's a crazy lifestyle, a lot of people pulling and tugging from different directions … it's a tumultuous existence and we have managed to stay strong through it, so we have come out the other end that much better as a relationship and seemingly nothing can tear us apart.
WE WENT TO Marquee nightclub, the Star, Pyrmont.
WE DRANK Coca-Cola and mineral water.
SLASH WORE a Chrome Hearts sweatshirt and pants, James Perse T-shirt and Ray-Ban sunglasses.