“Producers don’t do anything that’s not safe”: Slash has a bone to pick with modern production techniques

“Everything has to be mapped out. Everything has to be recorded in a certain way.”


Slash. Credit: Scott Dudelson/Getty

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Slash has explained why he’s stuck with the more old-fashioned medium of recording live as opposed to more slick modern production techniques.

Although recording live is sometimes considered outdated when it’s more convenient and reliable to go down different routes, Slash has stuck with it for his new blues covers album Orgy Of The Damned and his most recent record with Myles Kennedy and the Conspirators.

In a new interview with Total Guitar, Slash outlines why he dislikes modern recording techniques, bemoaning that “everything has to be Pro Tooled to death”.

“From my first real session, back in 1986, up until now, we have progressed into a technological kind of arena where producers don’t do anything that is not safe,” he admits.

“Everything has to be mapped out. Everything has to be recorded in a certain way. Everything has to be separated. Everything has to be Pro Tooled to death, and it’s really hard to find engineers who will let a band just play in a room and mic them, and just go for it! So yeah, 4 was a fun record for me, and then doing this one with Mike Clink, he just let us do our thing.”

Slash goes on to emphasise the benefits of the increased spontaneity that recording live offers – and perhaps it’s truer to the spirit of rock ‘n’ roll too.

“It’s great, maybe it’s because I am not that comfortable in the studio when you have too much time to sit about and think about what you are going to do,” he says. “So when you are doing sessions and you’ve got a lot of overdubbing, and you’ve got to come in again, you can overthink this stuff.

“When you are playing live, you are just in the heat of the moment, performing, just using your wits at the time. Just play! And if you’ve got a good guitar sound and the band is locked in, it sometimes provides much more exciting guitar.”

He adds: “I just think playing live as a band is the only way to do rock ‘n’ roll anyway. Rock ‘n’ roll and blues – and jazz – has to be performed live with the band together in one room. It’s not something that could be pieced together because the feel gets lost. So I try to keep everything as live as possible.”

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