Guns N’ Roses guitarist Slash was recently asked about the fact that he “doesn’t typically rate highly in guitar magazine readers’ polls” despite being “arguably the most recognizable guitarist in rock.” He replied (via Blabbermouth):
“In this world of guitar – and I’ve been doing this for a long time – there’s this obsession with technical prowess and technique and this, that and the other.
“Sort of like X Games – it’s excelled to the point where you can watch guitar players literally blow your mind and make your jaw drop over all these things that they can do.
“It totally reminds me of when I used to race BMX – I look at BMX then and I look at what they’re doing now, and I’m like, ‘Fuck.’ It’s great, and I don’t knock it, but you’re always compared, everybody’s compared to all these guitar players, and who’s best, who’s better, who’s the fucking greatest this, and blah blah blah.
“Some of it’s on an emotional level, but most of it is technical and speed. The most important thing if I’m put in that place – because I’m really not trying to compete with anybody – is [that] somebody can recognize your voice.
“For me, any guitar player that’s worth anything has something to say, and it’s something that you can recognize – with one note or 1,600 notes, you know who the person is. You know they have a musical personality that comes out, just like when you’re seeing an actor and they convey a certain presence that you know is unique to them.
“I would be happy if people knew me as a guitar player by how I come across as an individual.”