Slash Reveals How Guns N’ Roses Avoided COVID on Recent Tour
Touring in 2021 was a hit-or-miss task for bands. Some had to cancel before they even hit the road, others had to make adjustments while they were already out and the rest somehow made it through unscathed — one of which was Guns N' Roses. In a recent interview, Slash revealed how they managed to stay safe.
Guns kicked off their 2021 North American tour on July 31 in Hershey, Pennsylvania., and made it all the way to their Oct. 3 show in Hollywood, Florida. Wolfgang Van Halen's band Mammoth WVH, which was the opener for the tour, had to cancel a couple of performances due to COVID-related circumstances, but everyone in the GN'R camp made it all the way through without contracting the virus.
“Onstage it was incredible – the audience had this crazy energy,” Slash told the Daily Star of the tour [via Ultimate Classic Rock]. "The effect on the group as a whole was super positive."
The secret ingredient to avoiding the disease was simply restricting everything as much as possible.
"No after-parties, no record execs, no celebrations – and frankly it showed onstage. The crisis restored our communal passion for music. We've never enjoyed playing music so much," the guitarist noted.
"...All of our entourage wore masks; there was never any contact with the outside world. No one was invited to the concerts; there were no after-parties. We would go straight from the hotel to the venue and back to the hotel until it was time to travel to the next town. If you told me that in the '80s, I wouldn't have believed you.”
GN'R were notorious for their extravagant after-parties back in the day, especially during their world tours in support of the Use Your Illusion albums. However, Slash thinks that the recent protocols the band took to stay clear of COVID are going to become standard going forward.
“I think it was a little glimpse of what’s to come. I think we are going to have to live with the virus and adapt to it.”
Though the guitar hero escaped COVID on tour this time around, he and Myles Kennedy both tested positive for it last year while they were working on their forthcoming record 4. However, everyone's doing well now, and the album will be out Feb. 11. Their tour starts a few days prior on Feb. 8 in Portland, Ore. — see the full schedule here.
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