One of the toughest things a classic rock artist has to deal with is working up a new batch of songs only to have the press focus exclusively on your past. Slash has found a way to ensure that the focus is on his most recent work and not Guns N’ Roses, by limiting discussion about it.

In its profile of the guitarist that ran on Thursday (Aug. 16), the New Zealand Herald published a list of seven conditions that must be met in order to be granted an interview with Slash. They are:

* Guns N’ Roses is a topic that Slash can briefly touch on.

* You can briefly discuss the Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall Of Fame Induction – but only to the extent of the honour of that.

* You can’t talk about the ceremony itself and Axl [Rose] not showing up and their performance etc.

* No questions about Axl whatsoever.

* No questions about a possible Guns N’ Roses reunion.

* No “on the road” stories or historic infamous type stories based around Guns N’ Roses.

* There has to be a focus on what he’s doing now and forthcoming events/plans.

Such lists are actually quite common in celebrity interviews, and sometimes even a publicist will listen in on an interview to make sure the rules are followed, but it’s rare that they ever get published. Perhaps it’s so rare that Slash plays New Zealand that the author had no reason to fear future exclusives.

Still, it’s hard to blame Slash for not wanting to talk about Axl and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame controversy considering how much ink and bandwidth has already been devoted to the subjects (and we’ve certainly contributed our share). He’s got a new album, ‘Apocalyptic Love‘ out, and a tour in progress that’s probably a lot more exciting for him to talk about than dredging up stories from 20-25 years ago.