Slash's Snakepit formed as a direct result of Slash's continuing disagreements with former partner Axl Rose over the musical direction of Guns N' Roses. While working on a follow-up to the hugely successful Use Your Illusion I and Use Your Illusion II records, Slash's affinity for more traditional Aerosmith meets Led Zeppelin-type rock & roll was continually at odds with Rose's growing interest in industrial music. As a result of their inability to find common ground, Slash went to work on material at his home studio with a group of musicians who included former Guns N' Roses guitarist Gilby Clarke, Guns N' Roses drummer Matt Sorum, Alice in Chains bassist Mike Inez, and former Jellyfish vocalist Eric Dover. Slash and Dover wrote 12 songs in less than two weeks.
When Rose heard the songs that Slash was working on, he wanted the songs for the next GNR album, but Rose had already rejected the songs when Slash presented them earlier in demo form, so Slash decided to keep the songs for himself. As the turmoil increased, Sorum decided to abandon the side project and returned to Guns N' Roses. After numerous delays, the band, officially called Slash's Snakepit, released its debut album, It's Five O'Clock Somewhere, in April of 1995 on GNR's label, Geffen. Slash was still a member of Guns N' Roses at the time, but after the tumultuous pressure-filled period he had spent in the biggest and often most controversial band in the world, he found he was enjoying the freedom the Snakepit was affording him. After the monstrous two-year marathon world tour of stadiums in support of the Use Your Illusion records, Slash was also enjoying the opportunity to play rock & roll in smaller venues. In 1997, Slash finally parted ways with Guns N' Roses officially, but claimed he would return if Rose decided to return to rock & roll and abandon industrial music.
After a brief blues cover band project called Slash's Blues Ball, Slash brought the Snakepit back in 1999 with a whole new lineup that included vocalist Rod Jackson, former Warrant and Ratt guitarist Kerri Kelli, bassist Johnny Blackout, drummer Matt Laug, and former Guns N' Roses road alumni Teddy "ZigZag" Andreadis on keyboards. In November of 2000, this revamped Snakepit lineup released Ain't Life Grand, a collection of straightforward hard rock songs on the small Koch record label. This album showed Slash still continuing to play his type of blues-influenced rock & roll. Later in 2000, they went on to tour arenas in support of hard rock legends AC/DC. ~ Paul Tinelli