Good thing Slash is a sober man these days, because in a new interview, the guitarist says "there's no way" he could have done it while strung out. Beyond that claim, Slash also speaks about his admiration for the Rolling Stones who have held steady for decades despite serious drug issues.

During their initial explosion, Guns N’ Roses were certainly the most destructive band on the planet. Though the classic lineup didn’t last long, Axl Rose, Slash and Duff McKagan are currently enjoying one of the biggest tours in history, with all signs pointing to calm seas ahead. Speaking of friction between bandmates, however, Slash takes life lessons from Keith Richards.

“I think he was the main guy who seemed to always have that rule in his head [where] you have to keep the band together, no matter what anybody else did, even himself,” Slash tells Vanity Fair. “No matter hell or high water, you keep it together. But there was a point with Guns where there was so much outside influence that I just couldn’t see around it. I couldn’t see how you went about fixing it. A lot of these people were so meshed in our reality, almost as part of the group, and it was just insurmountable.”

Slash continues, “I would bet my bottom dollar if I was still carrying the same habit I had 12 years ago, there’s no way I could cope with [playing shows]. It would be too physically and mentally difficult. There’s something to be said for a sense of clarity. It’s funny cause dope is such an insidious thing. I was thinking about bands from the ‘70s cause I grew up around a lot of that craziness, and I didn’t know it at the time, but I looked back on it and said, ‘Fucking every single massive argument between artists was 90 percent of the time fueled by coke.’ Taking the cocaine out of the equation, how many less rock ‘n’ roll stories there would have been?”

Right now, the biggest question surrounding Guns N’ Roses is whether they will record a new album together. It’s certainly not out of the realm of possibility, since Slash claimed, “I think everybody wants to do it.”

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