Don't expect Slash to join the funeral procession for rock 'n' roll anytime soon.

The guitar legend stopped by the Ultimate Classic Rock offices to discuss his new 'World on Fire' LP recently, and we couldn't help but ask for his thoughts regarding Gene Simmons' recent pronouncement that rock is dead. And while he admitted that he understands "the music business itself is not catering to rock 'n' roll at all," he sees a wide gulf between what the industry is willing to promote and what the fans want to hear.

"There's a lot less opportunities in the record business to get a deal and get a record out there, and there's not a lot of radio play for it," he mused. "But that said, the rock 'n' roll audience is rabid and huge, and just as alive and kicking as it ever was. So I get what he's saying, but I also think it's really great to separate the men from the boys. If you're really passionate about the kind of music you wanna do and you're not looking at it from a dollars and cents point of view, but you just want to create new music and somehow go out there and play live and get it out there, that passion has to be honed in, and it has to be real. It can't be about buying cars and getting laid and all the other perks that go along with making a lot of money -- it's gotta be about the music, and I think that's really healthy."

Slash is in pretty good company on that front -- the Foo Fighters and Dee Snider have both offered rebuttals to the notion that rock is dead, followed by Ringo Starr, who rightly pointed out that new bands are always on the horizon.

He also offered his point of view on U2's decision to give away their 'Songs of Innocence' album to all iTunes customers, laughing that it's "one of those kind of tactics that only U2 could really get away with doing." Having pointed out that the music business is "like the wild, wild west right now," he offered U2's gambit as an example of how "there really is no set pattern" for how to approach finding your audience anymore. "I'm sure it was a very viable move for them," he chuckled. "And if you have that luxury of making sure it's on everybody's iTunes, that's great, but I don't think that particular model is available for everybody."

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