Slash says rock became “dull and boring” but thinks it’s now “turning over a new leaf” thanks to bands like Greta Van Fleet

The Guns n' Roses guitarist blamed it on the commercial approach to music

Slash has opened up about the state of guitar music and says that thanks to a new breed of bands, rock is “turning over a new leaf.”

Speaking in a new interview with Billboard Radio China, the Guns n’ Roses member was asked if he thinks rock is a bit of a “hiding period” after genres like hip-hop, rap, and R&B took over as some of the world’s favourite genres.

“I get asked this question pretty often. And far be it from me to have the answers,” he replied.

“When Velvet Revolver came out, there was definitely a movement that started in the early to mid-’90s that held up all the way through the end of that decade and went into the millennium. And so we came out and there was tons of new rock and roll bands. And they weren’t ‘nu metal’ and they weren’t indie bands, but there was definitely this kind of indie-esque feel to them.

“And I think one of the reasons that Velvet Revolver was as successful as it was had a lot to do with [singer] Scott Weiland, because he was still a holdover from that kind of thing, with Stone Temple Pilots, that came from the ’90s and blah blah blah. Anyway, but it was all cool,” he explained.

Greta Van Fleet

“And then, as we got down the line, it seemed that rock sort of got… More than anything, the commercial approach to rock and roll that the industry forces on bands, or forces people to think that this is how they have to go about it to succeed, and it just turns into this generic mishmosh that manages to get on the radio but doesn’t really turn anybody on, and it’s just dull and boring and people start looking elsewhere.

“And I think that was, really, what happened to the industry, as far as rock and roll is concerned, after 2006 up until just recently. But it seems to be turning over a new leaf right now. So I’m really interested to see where it goes over the next few years, ’cause there’s a lot of really hungry young rock and roll bands getting together right now that I’m aware of.

“And, obviously, Greta Van Fleet have done amazingly well and made everybody perk up and go, ‘Oh, wow!’ Now there’s people out there looking for young, teenage rock and roll bands to sign. So it’s interesting. If you watch everything as it develops in real time, it’s really, really boring and shit takes what seems like forever. But if you’re not paying attention, all of sudden, you’ll turn around and go, ‘Oh my God! Something just changed.’ And it’s just a constant state of ebbs and flows of rock and roll in this business.”

In a three-star review, NME described Greta Van Fleet’s debut album as a “head-banging, Led Zep-indebted collection of rock songs [that] might not change the world, but it’ll at least give yer head a little wobble”