Slash: “This Is What Creeps Me Out”

(Image credit: Frazer Harrison/Getty Images)

Slash says his greatest phobia has to do with hands.

The Guns N’ Roses guitarist tells Team Rock he’s especially phobic about hand and finger injuries—not too shocking, given that he expresses himself and makes a living through playing guitar.

“I do have little quirky things, like sensitivity about hands,” Slash says, noting that even a hand-related accident in a film can give him the creeps. “Like if I’m watching a movie or actually there in-person, if someone has a hand accident, that really gives me the heebie-jeebies,” he says.

Not surprisingly, he’s careful about protecting his arms and digits.

“I don’t like leaning my arm out of the window of my car when I driving like some people do,” he says. “I’m very sensitive about fingers, hands and all that.”

Slash also reveals that his strong, silent-type persona is the real him. “I’m very insular,” he offers. “I don’t communicate my feelings about a lot of different things.

“I do when I’m playing, though. That’s the best way for me to get an emotional release. But I think in doing a solo record, a lot of times, like in Snakepit, which was my own little band, I sort of jammed within the confines of my comfort zone.”

He had previously opened up about his reticence in a February 2015 interview with the New Zealand Herald, noting, “I can’t be bothered to fucking explain myself to people. It’s hard for me because I don’t like to talk. In general, I don’t express a lot of things to a lot of people, so they don’t know where I’m coming from.

“I’ve got stuff to deal with, just like anybody else. I have to look at myself and how I’m dealing with that.”

  • In that same interview, Slash revealed that his ever-present sunglasses are his way of dealing with shyness. “I rarely look out at the crowd,” he told the Herald. “It makes me very uncomfortable to look directly into the face of the crowd.
  • “I’m in my own little world, playing my guitar. I play from the heart—but it’s very insular.”
  • Slash said he probably started wearing sunglasses regularly to disguise the previous rough night—and to keep the sunlight from disturbing bloodshot eyes. “I think it was just a hangover thing that turns into an everyday thing,” he says.
  • It then turned into a constant fashion accessory once cellphones became ubiquitous.
  • “Now, wherever you go, everybody’s got camera phones, taking your picture, and you just end up never taking the shades off.”

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Guitar World Staff

Since 1980, Guitar World has been the ultimate resource for guitarists. Whether you want to learn the techniques employed by your guitar heroes, read about their latest projects or simply need to know which guitar is the right one to buy, Guitar World is the place to look.