SLASH On Collapse Of Music Industry: 'All The Warning Signs Were There, And The Record Business Didn't Want To Hear It'


Slash has lamented the state of the music industry, saying that the current market conditions are especially difficult for younger artists.

Major record labels were caught off guard by new technology in the late 1990s and tried to force the issue by suing the original Napster file-sharing service out of existence rather than making partnership deals, then hastily allowing Apple‘s iTunes store to take over the download business for years.

“All the warning signs were there, and the record business didn’t want to hear it,” the GUNS N’ ROSES guitarist told LA Weekly in a new interview. “At this point, you’ve got your big commercial artists that are in your sort of upper echelon of Top 40 that the labels pay out these massive advances to, and they get their money back in every way possible. Then you have other artists that, if they don’t conform to the Top 40 standard, they’ve got one shot. If they don’t make it, they’re out. There’s no A&R people, there’s no one going out to all the venues looking for new talent to develop. All things considered, even with GUNS N’ ROSES, there was the nucleus of a great group or a great artist that needed to hone in their skills and put out one, two, even three records before they really fucking hit, but there was promise and they saw that and they had the vision. That just doesn’t exist anymore.”

Partly in an effort to find new paths to fans and profitability in the Wild Wild West chaos of the digital frontier, Slash started his own label, Snakepit Records, in 2010 as a vehicle for his own music.

“I don’t want to sign on to a big major,” he told LA Weekly. “I just started my own label, and I have majors distribute. That works great for me — I’m in control and my own boss. I don’t have to pay everything I make to somebody else. It’s a crazy business right now, especially for up-and-coming rock bands.”

Slash‘s new album, “Living The Dream”, will be released on September 21 via Snakepit. It is Slash‘s fourth solo album and third since putting together the CONSPIRATORS, which also features singer Myles Kennedy, drummer Brent Fitz, bassist Todd Kerns and guitarist Frank Sidoris. The group’s North American headlining tour begins September 13 in Los Angeles, visiting 20 major cities before ending on October 14 in Sacramento.

The first single from “Living The Dream”, a song called “Driving Rain”, was released in late July.