The musician told The Quietus that the group's seeming embrace of hedonism was not based on a conscious decision on how to present themselves.
Slash said: "I just thought we were totally normal. Granted, we had a fair amount of attitude and a certain way of doing things, but we were basically just being ourselves.
"I guess at that particular point in time there weren't really that many people - this is in the mid to late '80s - who weren't really conforming to the status quo. A lot of it was true, but I think they spent a lot of time focusing on that because maybe the media thought it was sellable."
He added: "It's funny because I was born into the drug culture. I'm not gonna speak on behalf of any of the other guys - everyone has different reasons for doing what they do - but for me personally it was nothing to do with the rock stars before me.
"I hadn't read it in books. I wasn't influenced by Sid Vicious, Keith Richards or Jimi Hendrix when it came to drugs and all that kind of s**t - that was just part of my natural growing up.
"I didn't find out about a lot of different musicians or entertainers' specific chemical habits until later on as I went down that road."