If Slash were ever to look at his Caller ID and see Axl Rose's name, what would he do?
"Oh, I'd answer it," the former Guns N' Roses guitarist said recently. "But I know he would never call me. I've actually sent him Christmas cards, just to be cordial, but he never returns anything."
In other words, rumors from last month that Saul "Slash" Hudson would perform with Rose and his new GN'R in New York were just that (see "Guns N' Roses Live: No Reunion Of Classic Lineup, But Great Anyway"). In March, just two months before those gigs, Rose filed suit against his former bandmate to confirm his "ownership of his own creative works" in response to an action Slash and former GN'R bassist Duff McKagan had filed over royalties (see "Axl Files Suit Against Slash, Lashes Out At Ex-Bandmates").
"I don't know where [the rumors come] from, but I haven't dealt with Guns N' Roses any more than I have in the last 10 years," which is not much at all, Slash said. "So it's not really a thing with me. I have, in the foreseeable future, no re-involvement with that band whatsoever."
Instead, Slash is fully focused on his multiplatinum new band, Velvet Revolver, and their forthcoming second album, the follow-up to 2004's Contraband.
"We're in preproduction and it sounds amazing," Slash said. "I'm just really excited 'cause hopefully we'll get this thing out before the year's over. The material is amazing and ... we've grown so much as a band."
While frontman Scott Weiland has called the material a concept album and bassist McKagan said the band will record with a variety of producers (see "Velvet Revolver Bassist Promises 'Stinky' Pharrell Collabo"), all Slash would reveal is that the LP is coming together naturally, and "it's not phony in any way, shape or form, and the band's whole-heartedly into it."
Well, that and the album title.
"I don't want to say [anything specific about] the songs, but the name for the album is Libertad, which is Spanish for 'liberty,' " Slash said. "It's something that we feel strongly about: liberty, freedom, you know ..."
Slash did take a break from writing Velvet Revolver material to pen a song and score some music for the just-released movie "The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift."
"It's one of those things where you don't really know what you're doing, but they feed you what you need to see, certain scenes," Slash said. "It's easy to [write rock material] when you're watching cars going on their sides at breakneck speeds."
In the end, Slash reported that he enjoyed watching the film's action scenes, but not quite as much as he enjoyed the footage he saw on TV of Rose getting into a fight with Tommy Hilfiger.
"I thought that was pretty funny," Slash said. "That sounds about right."