"It was when I turned 15, because I picked up the guitar on my birthday. It was that summer."

Slash joined Chuck Armstrong on Monday's Loudwire Nights (June 17) to celebrate the recent release of his latest solo album, Orgy of the Damned. In addition to discussing that record, he also opened up about how he fell in love with rock — and the guitar — in the first place.

"I had been going to music festivals, I was really into a lot of records and a lot of music," he recalled.

106.3 The Buzz logo
Get our free mobile app

"At that time it was all a huge new discovery thing for me. All these new bands and all these records that I hadn't heard before and there was a lot of cool stuff coming out ... That moment I picked up the guitar, everything else fell away. At the time I was actually racing BMX and I just turned pro and that was, you know, I was going to do that. I was going to become an actual motocross racer."

As soon as his hands touched the guitar, though, everything changed.

"I forgot about all of that," he admitted. "Then school took a dive, too."

Slash was reflecting on his own history as a way of connecting to the legend of Robert Johnson selling his soul to the devil for a life and career in music. Since Slash covered a Johnson original on Orgy of the Damned — "Crossroads," which was later made famous by Cream — it didn't seem too far stretched to find himself in a similar story as the legendary Delta blues guitarist.

"When you get into music, you give up everything else," he said.

"Nothing else is as important and nothing else matters except for what you're going to do musically and all you need is what is going to help support that ... Your brain changes and nothing else is of any significance except for your instrument and going out and doing whatever you're going to do with it."

Why There Are Some Guitars Slash Never Wants to Own

Talking about the supernatural commitment to music he and others have made over the decades, it was an easy transition to dive into the otherworldly power of the guitar itself.

But for Slash, there are some guitars that wield almost too much power, even for him.

"When it comes to guitars, I've been turned onto a lot of what you call legacy guitars, guitars that were owned by very famous musicians," he explained.

"Like Rory Gallagher's guitar, I remember seeing that in Ireland at one point. There's one of Jimi Hendrix's Strats that somebody brought to me one time and there's a couple other B.B. King guitars, [but] I actually never really feel like I want to own them."

Slash told the Loudwire Nights audience that he loves seeing these guitars in person, but because they have such a history with another musician, they don't feel like they could ever belong to him.

Though, there was one guitar that had he known it was for sale, he might've made an exception to add it to his collection.

"I'm actually very jealous of Kirk [Hammett]," Slash said with a smile on his face as he thought about the legendary "Greeny" guitar, a '59 Les Paul that was owned by Peter Green of Fleetwood Mac — another band he covered on Orgy of the Damned.

"It's just got a great legacy to it, but Kirk's awesome. If there's anybody that should have it, it's him."

Another guitar that Slash thought he wanted but changed his mind was a Les Paul that originally belonged to Joe Perry of Aerosmith.

"I ended up with it and I had it and it had that sort of feel of being somebody else's instrument," he recalled.

"I only used it a few times and I kept it in the case and didn't really do much with it. I had it for years and then finally gave it back to Joe because I think it felt like that's who it really, rightfully belonged to...I'm not out looking for other people's guitars."

What Slash Is Up to After Orgy of the Damned

Near the end of his time on Loudwire Nights, Slash gave fans a brief update on what's on the horizon for him past the release of Orgy of the Damned and his solo tour this summer in support of that album.

"I'm going into the studio with the Conspirators, getting a new record done and then after that, 2025 is all about Guns N' Roses," he said.

READ MORE: 10 Best God-Tier Rock Songs of the 1990s

"We're trying to get some things going with that. I think there's a small tour in the summertime next year. I heard a rumor about that anyway, so that's going to be focused on that. But prior to that, it's the S.E.R.P.E.N.T. tour, and then the Conspirators."

Slash admitted he's always looking to stay busy.

"It keeps me out of trouble, as they say."

What Else Did Slash Discuss on Loudwire Nights?

  • Why he loves playing Les Pauls — and why he isn't out chasing overly-expensive guitars
  • What fans can expect when Slash and his solo band play Fleetwood Mac's "Oh Well" live on the S.E.R.P.E.N.T. tour
  • How Orgy of the Damned finally came together, even in the midst of a Guns N' Roses tour and a Conspirators tour

Listen to the Full Interview in the Podcast Player Below

Slash joined Loudwire Nights on Monday, June 17; the show replays online here, and you can tune in live every weeknight at 7PM ET or on the Loudwire app; you can also see if the show is available on your local radio station and listen to interviews on-demand.

Every Song Guns N' Roses Have Ever Covered Live

Here is a list of every song Guns N' Roses have ever covered live in chronological order based on the artist.

Gallery Credit: Lauryn Schaffner

Guns N' Roses: A Photo Timeline of Their Famed Career

The story of the jungle.

Gallery Credit: Lauryn Schaffner