If you think of the most famous guitarists of all time, Slash likely ranks somewhere in the top ten. The legendary musician from Guns ‘N Roses is as identifiable sonically as he is by the hats he wears on stage. Slash, a longtime fan of movies, has his own production company and recently executive produced the horror film The Breach.
Debuting at festivals, The Breach is based on the Audible Original of the same name by Nick Cutter. Here’s the plot: Counting down his last days as Chief of Police in the tiny town of Lone Crow, John Hawkins must investigate one last case when a mangled body with uncanny wounds washes up on the shores of the Porcupine River.
I recently got the chance to chat with Slash about The Breach and his dual role as producer and composer. We talked about how he got involved with the project, his favorite horror scores, and what the future holds for him as a producer. Check out our full conversation below.
Alex Maidy: Hi, how are you?
Slash: I’m good, how you doing?
AM: Pretty good. It’s an honor to meet you. I would say that I would be remiss if I didn’t mention my buddy Cory, when he found out that I was talking to you, he wanted me to make sure to let you know that sweet child of mine has one of the hardest songs for him to play. He’s in a cover band. And everybody’s requesting it these days. And he struggles with it every time.
Slash: Oh, no way. I’m sorry. And what all things considered when we first you know, like, when that song we first started playing it live, it was the dreaded song in the set. For me, it was like “Oh, shit, I gotta remember how to play that fucking riff”, you know? Because, yes, I know how to play it. But then when you actually have to play it, and you’re sort of like, at the time especially, it was such a fucking weird fingering that I used to dread that song. If that is any consolation.
AM: I’ll definitely make sure I let him know. So this movie is exactly in my wheelhouse for the type of horror that I like. How did you get involved with this project?
Slash: Rodrigo Gudino, the director. He contacted me he and I’ve been friends for a lot of years. And he contacted me and said, he’s got this script that he’s just been working on. And it was from a story by Nick Cutter and what I’d be interested in reading it. So I said, Yeah, send it over to me. And I really liked it. It had it had all these great sort of elements that I really appreciated, as far as horror movies are concerned, is sort of sci-fi and horror kind of deal. And the Cabin in the Woods meets fucking Invasion of the Body Snatchers. Anyway, so I was like, Yeah, this is great. And he goes, I’m really thinking about going after this. And so we teamed up with Andrew Hunt and Michael Paszt. Anyway, it went from Raven’s Banner productions and managed to get this thing financed. And then when had made it and it is a funny thing is when we finally got it into our production schedule, all lined up, and then the pandemic hit. So we had to make it against all odds.
AM: When it comes to horror, there are so many different sub-genres. You mentioned this kind of crosses between the sci-fi stuff and the horror and it’s got like an HP Lovecraft meets John Carpenter kind of thing that’s going on there. Is that like a type of movie that you’re a fan of?
Slash: Yes. I am definitely somebody who is more attracted to creepy, mysterious, and you don’t know what’s next…what’s around the corner or under the bed kind of stuff. I love I love sort of, you know, I want to say monsters in those kinds of supernatural or fantastical films. That’s something that ever since I was a kid I was attracted to. When I was little, I started reading really young and my dad noticed that I had this sort of affinity for everything creepy and scary and whatnot. So he turned me on to Lovecraft and Poe and Ray Bradbury and all that stuff when I was really little so I was sort of steeped in this kind of thing. So anything that’s got that kind of vibe I’m drawn to
AM: Same for me. When I was a kid I got into reading those stories and then go into the video store and finding the craziest VHS box I could find and then discovering these things that you may not otherwise have known. It’s not quite the same today because everybody can kind of access everything at the click of a button they can find those horror movies.
Slash: And it’s funny, you should mention the video store because I used to work at Tower Video and that was like 1982 or 1983. So that was at the height of the horror video craze and that was one of the best jobs ever. It’ll never be like that again.
AM: Was this a story that when you read it, did it creep you out? Do you get that kind of experience watching it?
Slash: I’m more fascinated and entertained by scary than scared. I definitely recognize a good scary twist or a good hook so that’s what attracted me to this script. And it was this ongoing, ominous mystery that didn’t really present it didn’t the question didn’t get answered until halfway through the last act. So to answer your question, when I watched the movie, now that is done, I totally feel what it is that I wanted to be feeling. And the script did that for me, as well. But now that the movie is completed, it really is effective.
AM: There is a connection, a very important connection in film with music, and, various genres of music. Rock and roll has always had a long history of being connected in various sub-genres of horror. It’s always kind of gotten stereotyped that this type of music goes with this type of movie. So from a musical standpoint, the music that you hear in this film does not necessarily evoke what you would expect you don’t have that eerie kind of music and isn’t something that you’d hear in an old Universal horror flick. How did the music kind of fit into the film for you?
Slash: Right? Well, I started writing it based on the script. And so the main title sequence was definitely a dark foreboding melody that was just written on single guitar at the time. And Rodrigo introduced me to a scoring guy, Aybars Altay, because I wanted to orchestrate this, the sound but I really didn’t have the wherewithal to do it. Just sitting around by myself, I needed to work with somebody who had, I always work with a scoring composer to bring the ideas to life because I don’t have the patience or the experience to sort of sit around and do it all by myself. So I hooked up with this guy and sent him the ideas and then we went back and forth to build that sound that you get in the title track. So that was something that I definitely heard in my head from the onset. And then the rest of the stuff that I contributed musically, were very specific, tonal things that really only required acoustic guitar. So I stuck to that idea. And then the composer, Aybars, colored some orchestral stuff throughout the movie.
AM: Because I’m a big horror fan, and looking at all the movies that have really made a big impact on me. they also have iconic musical scores. When I think of just off the top of my head, some of my favorites like John Carpenter with In the Mouth of Madness and then going back into what Goblin did with all the 1970s Italian horror films. What are some of your favorite movie horror scores?
Slash: Wow. I mean, you mentioned John Carpenter. He’s one of definitely one of the most recognizable Yeah, you know, but I think I think I don’t know there was I want to go because there’s a bunch of Dario Argento films that have fantastic classical scores. But I’ve never really acquainted certain movies have incredible scores, but they’re not there’s not just composers that do horror as well as other genres that are all great. And they’re all individual musicians. Recently, there was Hildur Guðnadóttir who won the Academy Award for Joker, which was a killer score, and I’ve never heard anything else that she ever did. So there’s a bunch of great movies over the years, that all have great scores that are done by one person whom I never had heard of before. Like Phantasm had a great score. There are so many movies that have really identifiable scores that are as much a personality of the movie as any character.
AM: Totally. And for you, getting involved in this film you had multiple roles.You were an executive producer and you scored the film. Is this something that you foresee getting involved with more in the future? Or did this just happen to be kind of right place right time to do this particular one?
Slash: Believe it or not, this is the second movie that I’ve done. I’ve been in the mix working on producing films since 2013. I’ve been I’ve had so many potential productions fall by the wayside for whatever fucking reason it is. It’s a tough business. So I think I just haven’t had a lot of great luck. I’ve had one movie that was killer that actually I’ve cast and a director that fell that I lost funding for and different things that have happened that have just stopped things from working out. So this is the first one I’ve done since that last one in 2013. But now I’ve got a couple of other ones that are looking like they’re gonna get greenlit and go ahead. So I’m really excited about that. Because I really plan on doing this for as long as it excites me.
AM: Awesome. It’s been a pleasure talking to you. I really appreciate your time and congratulations on the film.
Slash: Thanks, Alex. Listen, it was nice meeting you and good talking to you too. And we’ll I’m sure we’ll meet again at some point.
AM: That’d be great.
Slash: Thank you so much, Alex.
The Breach recently premiered at the Fantasia Film Festival. You can read our review here.