Guitarists DJ Ashba and Ron “Bumblefoot” Thal recently announced that they had departed Guns N’ Roses, but there is some good news for GN’R fans: Axl Rose and Slash are reportedly on speaking terms again. In an interview with Sweden’s Aftonbladet, Slash revealed that he and the singer have opened up a dialogue after years of animosity.
According to Loudwire, the interviewer broached the subject of Rose by telling Slash, “I’ve heard that you’ve made friends with Axl Rose again.” Instead of denying or dismissing the claim, Slash says of his Rose interaction, “It was probably way overdue, you know. But it’s very cool at this point to dispel some of that negative stuff that was going on for so long.”
Even though Guns N’ Roses are short a few guitarists, Slash wasn’t ready to say whether a reunion was imminent or even discussed. “Oh, I couldn’t answer that one,” Slash said of a reunion. “Let’s get off the subject because that’s an old one.” Slash quit Guns N’ Roses in October 1996, which was long presumed to be the last time he and Rose actually spoke to one another.
“[Axl] hates my guts,” Slash told Rolling Stone in 2012. “It’s over a lot of different stuff; I don’t even know. There’s just no communication between us. I talk to Duff [McKagan] and Steven [Adler], but when it comes to old Guns N’ Roses, there really isn’t anybody that makes decisions.”
While Slash and Rose may once again be talking, that doesn’t guarantee a reunion is in order. When the original Guns N’ Roses lineup was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2012, Rose penned an open letter explaining why he would not attend the ceremony and that he has little interest in reuniting with his ex-band mates.
“So let sleeping dogs lie or lying dogs sleep or whatever. Time to move on. People get divorced. Life doesn’t owe you your own personal happy ending especially at another’s, or in this case several others’, expense,” Rose wrote. He also admitted that, “with the exception of Izzy [Stradlin] or Duff joining us on stage if they were so inclined somewhere in the future for a song or two, that’s enough.”
However, Slash told Rolling Stone that he was initially hopeful that the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony would lead to a reconciliation. “My whole thing was that I really, in my heart of hearts, wanted to have the whole original band get together and actually perform, which I sort of knew was wishful thinking,” Slash said. When the whole thing first came up, that’s basically what I wanted to do. It became apparent that that wasn’t going to happen.”
Despite claims that Guns N’ Roses’ follow-up to 2008’s Chinese Democracy was “close to being done,” as keyboardist Dizzy Reed told Rolling Stone in June 2014, things have been idle for GN’R since the band completed their May/June 2014 residency at Las Vegas’ The Joint. Guns N’ Roses currently have no tour dates scheduled.
At press time, no current or past members of Guns N’ Roses have commented on the Rose/Slash thaw on social media.
Watch Slash’s interview with Aftonbladet TV below: