Tom Morello and Slash discuss how their Interstate 80 collaboration came to be and made their fiercest Guitar Hero battles come true

Tom Morello released his Comandante EP back in October, and at the time we called the track Interstate 80, featuring an electric guitar duel with Slash, the EP’s “six-string centerpiece”.

Now, Slash and Morello have gotten together to discuss the making of the song, as well as the accompanying music video, which finds the two guitar heroes revisiting their avatars from, well, the Guitar Hero video game.

“I just thought it was the coolest and most original thing I’ve heard as an idea,” Slash says about incorporating the cartoon avatars into the clip.

“This is the first time that Slash and I have dueled on record,” Morello says. “But in the game Guitar Hero there were plenty of Morrell-ian, Slash-ian duels.”

He continues, “I remember that game when it came out, it became my life and Slash’s life because all of a sudden our fanbase went down to, like, five years old and we became these kind of cartoon avatars for a generation. So I wanted to bring that duel to life. A duel which you may have seen in your living room or your basement many times was made flesh.”

Regarding collaborating with Morello on Interstate 80, Slash says, “He’s just a blast to play with. He’s got a great style and a great technique and a great sound. And I think our contrasting styles work really well together.

He continues, “On Interstate 80 I just did a bunch of solos throughout the song and then [Tom] did his solos and they cut them together and they just fit together great. It’s like two completely different sides of the spectrum style wise.”

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Richard Bienstock

Rich is the co-author of the best-selling Nöthin' But a Good Time: The Uncensored History of the '80s Hard Rock Explosion. He is also a recording and performing musician, and a former editor of Guitar World magazine and executive editor of Guitar Aficionado magazine. He has authored several additional books, among them Kurt Cobain: Montage of Heck, the companion to the documentary of the same name.