Slash Reveals How Steven Tyler Collab Spontaneously Happened, Talks “Huge Honor” of Having Brian Johnson on New Blues Album

The first track Slash released from his upcoming blues-themed album, Orgy of the Damned, was a cover of the Howlin’ Wolf song “Killing Floor” that featured AC/DC’s Brian Johnson on vocals and Aerosmith’s Steven Tyler on harmonica.

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The Guns N’ Roses guitarist shared how the collaboration came about in a recent interview with the Swedish radio station Rokklassiker.

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Slash explained that in putting the star-studded album together, “all I would do is pick the songs and then think who I would want to sing ’em. And Brian was the first guy I thought of [for ‘Killing Floor’].”

The guitar great noted that he’s been friends with Johnson for years, so he just called him and asked him if he’d like to record the tune.

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“[H]e was really excited about it, because he was very much influenced [by] and covered Howlin’ Wolf in his younger years,” Slash recalled. “So he got permission from the AC/DC guys to go ahead and do it, and I went and met with Brian in Florida [where Johnson lives], and he just did this great version of the song.”

Slash added that when Johnson recorded his vocals, he was “really being conscientious of how the original was done, and sang it sort of in that register. And it was just really fun to do.”

About Tyler’s Guest Appearance

As for how Tyler wound up contributing to the song, Slash explained, “I told him I was doing it, on the phone, and he … offered to play harmonica. I didn’t ask him. And he came down that day and put it on. It was great. You know, it was very spontaneous and … we had a good hang that day.”

Why Collaborating with Johnson and Tyler Was “a Huge Honor”

Slash said having Johnson and Tyler on one of his tracks was “a huge honor,” because their famous bands are among the artists who have been most influential to his own musical journey.

“[W]hen I was 15 years old and I just picked up a guitar, [Aerosmith and AC/DC] were like my main bands that I was really into, and had a lot to do with the direction that I went into,” he admitted. “So all of us together, then celebrating Howlin’ Wolf, which is a favorite of all of ours, you know, it’s like three generations.”

Slash Included a Jimmy Page Homage in “Killing Floor”

Meanwhile, Slash also revealed that his version of “Killing Floor” features a tribute to another one of his favorite musicians, Led Zeppelin guitarist Jimmy Page.

Slash said that as an homage to Page, he threw in a note-for-note lick Jimmy played during a Led Zeppelin live performance where the band did a big jam that included part of “Killing Floor.”

The “Killing Floor” Video

You can check out an official music video for Slash’s version of “Killing Floor” on his official YouTube channel. The clip also features footage of Johnson and Tyler in the studio recording their parts for the track.

More About the Orgy of the Damned Album

Orgy of the Damned will be released on May 17. In addition to Johnson and Tyler, the star-packed album also features guest appearances by Iggy Pop, Chris Stapleton, The Black Crowes’ Chris Robinson, ZZ Top’s Billy Gibbons, Bad Company’s Paul Rodgers, and Demi Lovato.

You can pre-order the album now.

About Slash’s Upcoming Tour

Following the album’s release, Slash will launch a blues-themed U.S. tour called the S.E.R.P.E.N.T. Festival. The outing kicks off June 5 in Bonner, Montana, and is mapped out through an August 17 show in Grand Prairie, Texas.

Joining Slash on the trek will be a variety of artists, including Warren Haynes Band, Keb’ Mo’, Larkin Poe, Christone “Kingfish” Ingram, Samantha Fish, Robert Randolph, and Eric Gales.

Tickets for the tour dates are available now via various outlets, including StubHub.

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