Slash was honored yesterday with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Coming just three months after his induction with Guns N' Roses into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, it makes for quite a year – tributes that would cap many a rocker's career. But Slash, who turns 47 this month, is feeling quite the opposite.
"I definitely feel like I'm cresting a certain wave in my career where I'm having a really great time, I love what I'm doing, I love the people I'm working with and I'm feeling very energized," he told Rolling Stone after the star ceremony. "I haven't had that feeling since when Guns started."
He's feeling so motivated, he and his current band, featuring Myles Kennedy on vocals, are already looking ahead. "We've got the tour that's gonna go into next year, we're starting work on the next record," Slash says. It will be with the same band with which he made the current Apocalyptic Love album.
"It's kind of a Cinderella story," he said. "I had no idea this was going to be a band I was going to do things with – I thought it was a pickup band. It turned out to be really, from the get-go, this kickass band, and now it's more like a group."
He traces all this enthusiasm to the work he started on his first solo album, Slash. "Ever since I went and did the solo record, it's all been hugely forward-moving, energetic," he said. "I've been really enjoying it."
It was a welcome change of pace after the drama of Velvet Revolver, which he said wasn't entirely the musicians' fault. "There wasn't necessarily pressure internally from Velvet Revolver, but it came from external, from management and all this kind of shit, and it got really crazy and hard to control," he said.
The hype that surrounded that group from the outset didn't help matters at all. "When we were putting it together word got out, and that awful fucking term, 'supergroup,' came up," he said. "We were fine, but then somehow that distorted a lot of different things and it just became a really unpleasant situation."
But it was Slash's earlier band that came up at the induction ceremony, when his close friend Charlie Sheen made some jokes at the expense of Axl Rose. Slash knows when you invite Sheen, there's no censoring what he might say, but that's what he admires about the guy.
"Charlie's probably one of the best examples of rock & roll that I know, because he does what he does, doesn't give a fuck what anybody has to say, and from an integrity point of view he's really great at what he does," he said. "And he's got this extracurricular lifestyle, which he makes no bones about. He does what he does and he doesn't take shit from anybody, and I love him for that."
Also speaking at the ceremony were famed Hollywood producer Robert Evans and iconic DJ Jim Ladd. For Slash, it meant a lot that they all spoke, because it made things easier on him. "I think all three of them made me feel more comfortable about having to say something afterwards because that's my hugest fear – public speaking," he admitted.
But he was able to put that aside and celebrate the honor of being immortalized on Hollywood Boulevard, which means a lot to him. "The moment when we lifted the thing today and I saw the cement is when it really hit me, and the best way to put it is I just saw all my childhood and all those years hanging out here," he said. "It just all hit me at that one moment."