A couple of weeks ago Lewis and I went down to LA for a recording gig with Eric Valentine, a producer who we work with often. Sessions for Eric are always great, so we didn’t even ask who the artist would be this time. When I got to the studio Lewis was already set up in the live room and Eric was hard at work getting tones. He started playing the song that we were working on. It was a pretty pop ballad and the singer kind of sounded like of Maroon 5. Was this a Maroon 5 session? As the song smoothly progressed, my eyes began to scan of the room for clues. I noticed a handful of unusual black guitar picks strewn across the desk and couch. I leaned over to pick one up. Just then, the song hit the bridge and the tone totally changed. A ripping, monster guitar entered, shredding like a demon out of hell. The logo inscribed on the guitar pick was of crossed bones and a skull wearing a top hat. This could mean only one thing…
Shaking slightly, I finally asked Eric who the session was for. “Oh, Slash will be here in about an hour”. My heart skipped a beat. “This session is for a Slash solo record”.
Well this was pretty friggin exciting for me. Back when I was in college, when we first started Judgement Day, I had a mission to teach my self to truely rock. Having studied classical violin my whole life, I had always looked up to great violinists like Jascha Heifetz, but now I was in dabbling in a genre in which I felt I had to find new heroes. Slash was a huge influence on me. During my descent into rock n’ roll depravity, I learned his solo for “Sweet Child o’ Mine” almost note for note, as well as the opening riff, which is probably my favorite guitar riff of all time.
Waiting around, I was pretty nervous. Having heard all of the crazy legends about this dude, I really didn’t know what he would be like. All I knew for sure was that I wanted to do a good job on this session, so I went to go warm up in the B-room. When I came out, Slash was standing in the hallway with his hair in a pony tail. “Hi, I’m Anton”, I said offering a handshake.
As it turned out, I really had nothing to be nervous about. Slash, in addition to being a legendary rock guitarist, is also a cool-ass dude. Within moments of meeting him I felt totally comfortable hanging out with him. While Lewis was recording his parts in the live room Slash and I were just chilling in the control room and he was telling stories about playing shows and having crazy parties in San Francisco in his pre-Guns n’ Roses days. He seemed stoked that we were from San Francisco and even more stoked that we had a metal band.
The record sounds like it’s going to be pretty cool. It’s like a god damn Grammy party. Each song is co-written by Slash and a guest vocalist. The vocalist on our song was, in fact, Adam Levine of Maroon 5. Some of the other guests include Ozzy Osbourne, Flea, Chris Cornell, Iggy Pop, Fergie and now, Judgement Day.
Not bad for a day’s work.