While discussing the current state of guitar music with Rolling Stone, GN’R guitarist Slash touched on young rockers Greta Van Fleet.
How do you feel about guitar becoming less important in music? There hasn’t been a new guitar hero for a while.
“Yeah, for the most part, guitar is not considered as important an instrument to a lot of this music as it might’ve been before. And that’s happened before.
“I think even when the sort of New Wave thing started happening in ’78-’79, there was, like, a getting-rid-of-the-guitar, ‘fuck Led Zeppelin’ attitude. My mom had a boyfriend when I was a kid who was all about Elvis Costello and Devo and anybody that wasn’t Led Zeppelin.
“Punk rock was all guitar with nary a guitar solo. But with New Wave in the ’80s and MTV, it became less and less important.
“At this point, you’ve got somebody like Jack White who definitely has kept guitar at the forefront and kept it relevant – because he’s got some great ideas and his songs are good and his whole direction is something that people fucking dig.
“Then the guitar all of a sudden works great. So it really depends on where the guitar sits with the artist that’s performing. Like, if the songs are really good and the band dynamic or whatever makes it sound special and the guitar is a part of that, people relate to it.
“But I don’t think anybody’s really into guitar for the sake of guitar.”