“What Happened to Teresa?” Creativity, Business and Guitar Players. Part 2: Slash

There is little doubt that Slash has a pretty strong work ethic. Since leaving Guns N’ Roses in the mid-1990s, the iconic guitarist has collaborated with countless artists, founded (and dismantled) two bands, Slash’s Snakepit and Velvet Revolver, before happily going solo.

Now that he has found an ideal creative team in singer Myles Kennedy and supporting band The Conspirators, the top-hatted guitar hero has set up a routine that seems to fit him perfectly. This includes recording an album, touring to promote it while working on new songs, going back to the studio right after to arrange and record the new material, then hitting the road again.

Slash performs at Super Bowl XLV Halftime Show at Cowboys Stadium on February 6, 2011 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)

Despite being busy bringing his latest studio effort Apocalyptic Love to the world, Slash has already announced that he’s working on its follow-up. In the meantime he has recently released the new DVD/CD Live At The Roxy and teamed up with the International Fund for Animal Welfare to protect elephants and end the ivory trade. With such a schedule, it’s hard to believe that he could find the time to consider any other creative outlet.

Yet The Rock and Roll Hall of Famer perfectly fits my series of posts on creativity and the music business, as he is not only one of the best musicians of his generation, but also a long-time avid fan of classic horror films who started a production company himself. Focused on the genre he loves most and aptly named Slasher Films, his venture released the supernatural horror film Nothing Left to Fear in 2013 and is now developing a new project titled The Hell Within.

Poster for "Nothing Left to Fear" directed by Anthony Leonardi III

With production scheduled to begin in January 2016, what we know so far is that Slash has been mobilising his fans for the chance to win three signed Epiphone guitars and an autographed AFD Les Paul Performance Pack. The hashtags #TheHellWithin and #WhatHappenedToTeresa have been launched, while social media profiles related to the film have already been flooded by fan artwork.

Artwork for "The Hell Within"

So if you’re curious to know who Teresa is and what happened to her, all you have to do is to follow the project on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram and join Slash in his celluloid madness.

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Don’t Put All Your Eggs in One Basket: Creativity, Business And Guitar Players. Part 1: D. J. Ashba

Given the fact that I love rock and roll as much as I love cinema, and possibly even more, I have decided to write a series of posts on creativity in the music business by looking in particular at guitar players. I’ll start with a guy from a small town in Indiana, US, who made it in one of the most competitive industries and is still faithful to his motto: ‘conquer the world’.

A few days ago Guns N’ Roses and Sixx: A.M. guitarist D.J. Ashba visited GearFeast in Sweetwater, Indiana, for a guitar clinic and Q&A with the audience. He was then interviewed by Mitch Gallagher and shared advice on how to reduce risks if you work in the music business – or in any other creative industry, for that matter.

D.J. Ashba on stage.

Ashba is currently recording the next Sixx: A.M. album, a follow-up to Modern Vintage. Aside from his career as a guitar player, composer and producer, he manages a range of companies in media and advertising. During the interview he focused particularly on advice he received from his friend and band mate Nikki Sixx.

According to him, the key words are diversify and have a back plan, Ashba told Gallagher, because ‘If you put all your eggs in one basket, all you’ve gotta do is drop ’em, and they’re gonna break; and every one of ’em will break.’ If instead you set up a number of buckets in different areas, they will generate revenue streams that will balance out the businesses that are not going well.

D.J. Ashba wearing Ashba Clothes.

Ashba currently runs his own lines of clothing and accessories, Ashba Clothing and Build a Beanie; works with brands the like of Virgin Entertainment through his creative agency, Ashba Media; and has partnerships in place with Monster Energy Drinks, Ovation and Gibson Guitars, with whom he developed his own signature models.

D.J. Ashba, his signature Gibson Les Paul and limited edition Dodge Challenger.

When he’s not touring the world, you can spot him driving in Las Vegas on ‘The Death Ride’, the Dodge Challenger limited edition that West Coast Customs made exclusively for him. Not bad at all for a small town boy from Monticello who was raised in a strictly religious family with no access to television and dreamt of becoming a rock star…