Jump to content

Happy 12th Birthday, Chinese Democracy


Recommended Posts

I cant fathom why axl would release a new GNR album with ashba in it...i just cant. He did his role as a touring guitarist, but to be on a new GNR record?.

Maybe beta didnt know about discussions with slash. Maybe axl was getting negative comments from TB about slash for so many years, that maybe axl may have conversations with duff  from duffs on/off again stint touring with GNR privately,  and kept TB out of the loop for a certain time. Maybe that's me romanticising about the situation then.

Im sure on this site, from canter chants, marc told Perla that if axl and slash ever spoke, that wives/gf of the band etc would not be within a 3km radius should a meetup between axl and slash ever eventuate?.

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • Replies 66
  • Created
  • Last Reply

Top Posters In This Topic

Top Posters In This Topic

Popular Posts

Fuck it, I emailed the guy myself and he wrote back, for anyone interested. Not sure why its purple.     1. How did the interview come about? Did you reach out to management?

My favorite GN'R album. Such a bummer that nothing else has been released since but I'm very happy to have finally been able to buy Chinese Democracy 

What a great fucking album

6 hours ago, Sydney Fan said:

I cant fathom why axl would release a new GNR album with ashba in it...i just cant. He did his role as a touring guitarist, but to be on a new GNR record?.

Maybe beta didnt know about discussions with slash. Maybe axl was getting negative comments from TB about slash for so many years, that maybe axl may have conversations with duff  from duffs on/off again stint touring with GNR privately,  and kept TB out of the loop for a certain time. Maybe that's me romanticising about the situation then.

Im sure on this site, from canter chants, marc told Perla that if axl and slash ever spoke, that wives/gf of the band etc would not be within a 3km radius should a meetup between axl and slash ever eventuate?.

Sounds about right. Wasn’t there there rumour that Axl really disliked Perla?

And.....I’d 100% take CD2 with DJ. I know that may get me banished but I’d absolutely rather hear something as opposed to nothing. I’m not familiar with DJs other stuff but folk on here say his stuff with SIXX AM is pretty good....maybe he would have worked well on stuff which no-one had heard so could not point out any limitations?

  • Like 2
Link to post
Share on other sites

It seems that Axl invested the sort of creative energy that goes into something like a (research) PhD, which can take up to a decade. To be fair, he never claimed to be making the greatest record ever, but, then again perfectionists don’t admit to being perfectionists. Thanks for posting that (hidden) interview which I never knew existed. I bought a hard copy of the Billboard 2009 interview, along with rare magazine articles and covers over the years. I don’t see the next record eliciting the same level of passion that Chinese Democracy did! I’m ok with that! 

Link to post
Share on other sites

I would love to hear more stuff that Axl poured over. Not sure if Duff & Slash are up to bringing their A game to a new record. Their work on the Appetite & Illusions is mythic, but their other stuff is generic, or lacking that ‘dive in and find the monkey attitude’! Still I’m over that moon that the troika are back working together. One can hope!

Link to post
Share on other sites
On 11/25/2020 at 1:52 AM, Blackstar said:

I came across this Axl interview from March 2009, shortly after the release of CD, that I hadn't read before. I don't think it's much known (as are the other two Axl interviews of the time, with Billboard and Spinner), as I haven't seen it reposted on any of the "usual" sites/forums:

The Oakland Press, March 2, 2009

https://web.archive.org/web/20201125060111/https://www.theoaklandpress.com/news/gnr-axl-rose-talks-to-gary-graff-about-his-new-album-rumors-and-the-fans/article_1013f97b-3319-5a5c-bf42-a3716a4f5013.html

https://www.a-4-d.com/t5235-2009-03-02-the-oakland-press-g-n-r-g-n-r-axl-rose-talks-to-gary-graff-about-his-new-album-rumors-and-the-fans

G'n'R: Axl Rose talks to Gary Graff about his new album, rumors and the fans

GARY GRAFF  Mar 2, 2009

Axl Rose has never been a talker.

Since Guns N' Roses emerged during the mid-'80s, the band's enigmatic and iconoclastic frontman -- now its unquestioned leader and sole remaining original member -- has kept his own counsel and has kept quiet and out of the public eye. And, he acknowledges, it's cost him.

"I didn't talk forever," the 47-year-old Indiana native, born William Rose Jr., notes. "If I talk I need to 'shut the f-- up.' If I don't talk, it's much worse."

But these days there's much to talk about with Guns N' Roses -- as if there weren't before.

In November, Rose and his latest group of musical cohorts released "Chinese Democracy," an album that's been in the making since the early '90s and has been the subject of considerable speculation and reportage of massive costs (reportedly more than $13 million), release dates and in-fighting that saw band members drop away one by one -- including guitarist Slash, bassist Duff McKagen and drummer Matt Sorum, who went on to form Velvet Revolver.

Nevertheless, interest in GN'R remained high. Chalk some of that up to multiplatinum albums such as 1987's "Appetite For Destruction" and the two volumes of "Use Your Illusion" that came out in 1991. Rose took incarnations of GN'R -- including longtime keyboardist Dizzy Reed and former Replacements bassist Tommy Stinson -- on the road at periodic intervals, previewing the new songs and enduring a few Internet leaks of the material.

At this point, three months after its release, there were hopes that "Chinese Democracy" would be a much bigger deal than its proven to be. The album -- a sweeping exposition of epic, richly produced rock, which debuted at No. 3 on the Billboard 200 chart -- has sold less than 600,000 copies in the U.S. though 2.6 million copies worldwide. The domestic number is a disappointment, and it has set fingers pointing. Rose feels his record company, Interscope, did not put enough muscle behind it. Some feel Best Buy, where it's been sold exclusively, did not put forth enough of an effort -- and certainly nothing close to what Wal-Mart did for AC/DC's "Black Ice." And let's not talk about Dr. Pepper's botched promotion to distribute free soft drinks to celebrate the release.

Still others blamed Rose for not being willing to do interviews -- though he did trade comments with fans on the Internet -- and didn't have the band ready to tour to support the album's release.

He's talking now -- sort of. What follows are excerpts from a lengthy e-mail interview solicited prior to the release  of "Chinese Democracy" and updated afterward. Whether "Chinese Democracy" is ultimately deemed a success or failure, its long gestation guarantees it a place in rock lore forever, and Rose's insights only add to that status.

How does it feel finally having "Chinese Democracy" out? Was the gap between albums frustrating for you or was the process of making of the album its own kind of reward?

Rose: "Ha! Last thing anyone wants to read about are MY frustrations! It feels great!! There were rewards, of course, mainly in meeting and working with the players involved that -- no offense to anyone -- you could only wish you'd met sooner in life. But no (frustrations with) recording or with those involved but with whatever else was going on around (it). It was pretty ugly for the better part of the duration. That said, being a part of the material personally and with these people means a lot to me.

How much of the past 13 years of making the album was focused on creative concerns vs. distribution/release/commercial concerns?

Rose: This is the closest to the real issues of the record I've seen from anyone over this entire time. The reality is that most of my creative energy was used in any area other than music ... just navigating through the mine fields -- which so far we've managed, maybe not so pretty, but an album that many said would never be released by a guy that was either supposed to be dead or kill himself at this level's not so bad. And (the music is) not as horrific as many predicted, in our opinion, which is a bonus.

What was the overall creative mission or goal that you felt in making these songs?

Rose: No. 1 was just to be involved in what I felt was a good record that I could stand behind with confidence, with no shame artistically, to know that I gave the public our best efforts with no compromise and no holding back. To have the material not be as self-destructive as I have tended to be but still have power. To deal with real and personal issues that may be a bit uncomfortable to embrace ... in an effort to help anyone who might benefit. To push the envelope with guitars working together. To not be quite as dated as some predicted or expected. To have an album for Guns fans (who) may have gotten past or are dealing with destructive influences in their lives could enjoy as a positive progression. For the music not to feel worn down, so as to be somewhat giving rather than taking. To be a bit different and its own thing in some way as other Guns albums were, at least to some extent.

What's the overall impact you want the album to have on its listeners?

Rose: I would just like people to feel a bit better or refreshed and that maybe some feel a perhaps much-needed release in whatever area it may affect them and maybe some are even inspired. The list goes on, and I feel that I achieved a lot of these things to some degree or other. Whether anyone likes it or not, it's an extremely special guitar record in that so many influences styles and players creating this tapestry is fairly hard to come by, the same with the various drum and rhythm approaches or styles.

What kind of impact did time make on the album we're hearing now? Are there specific songs or parts of songs you can point to that benefited from the years spent on the album?

Rose: There's not a song that didn't gain something from the time and elements that happened in recording as things progressed -- different players, new gear, new ideas, lots of things. Regardless of what nonsense was going on both behind the scenes and publicly, the album ... continued forward.

What were your thoughts and emotions as you changed personnel throughout the course of the making of "Chinese Democracy" -- especially as Slash, Duff and Matt stopped being part of GN'R? Could that older lineup of the band have stayed together and, if so, under what conditions?

Rose: The question seems to incorrectly and perhaps unintentionally imply ... that I was changing or attempting to change the musical approach of old Guns. Part of that, I feel, may have come from Slash painting a rather distorted picture publicly, both back then and since, of what our studio was like during his trial period. Contrary to his accounts, there weren't tons of computers, keyboards and endless, useless gear around that anyone was paying insane prices for. What in my opinion are Slash's aversion and fears have been greatly amplified and exaggerated and often in complete juxtaposition to and a subversion of reality to support his case publicly at both ours and the fans' expense.

I know that I wasn't opposed to anyone from then ... and tried anything I could, or that anyone else could think of, to allow that to happen at the time. ... The end of each relationship was devastating and terrifying, (but) ... no, there wasn't any way I'm aware of, then or in hindsight, to have kept the old lineup together, at least (by) myself or anyone involved in our camp at the time. In regard to those who came and went in Guns since, and were a part of "Chinese," some left amicably, some in other ways that had different effects on everyone involved. I think with the album's release we made it through a good number of those, and what were hard feelings in some areas are water under the bridge now.

When did you actually know, or feel, the album was finished, and what told you that it was?

Rose: Working with Bumble's (guitarist Ron "Bumblefoot" Thal) fills, (drummer Frank Ferrer)'s additions and various intro bits etc., a lot happened in our final month of mixing as well as in mastering. Thank God for (mastering engineer) Bob Ludwig and his patience.

A line like "Why would I choose to prostitute myself to live with fortune and fame?" (from the song "Prostitute") sounds like a pretty direct and explanatory statement about your attitude. True?

Rose: In this business, someone is always telling you why to compromise on every issue imaginable. Generally ... it's just personal interests as opposed to what's best for the music or anyone involved, and least of all the fans, regardless of their preferences. It's about money in the short term. However you can be used to make whatever anyone can for whatever reason is important to them for the quick buck that's what you deal with 24/7.

Ultimately, did you have a mostly good time making the album? And how close does it come to the initial vision you had for it?

Rose: No, not really, but I like the people (involved) and what we were able to accomplish. It was much better than previous lineups, and if not for the ugliness around us and the circumstances I'm sure it would've been much more fun. I'm very happy with the album, looking forward to audiophile and Blu-Ray mixes at some point if we're lucky, as that's really what it was designed for since first hearing about Blu-Ray.

What is your sense of how the world at large views GN'R at this point?

Rose: I think there's a lot of things to clear up and I wouldn't presume all that much. ... I'm not so sure the world at large cares one way or the other. It's a big place with a lot of people into different things, but some would like a good show from us, so if we can get there, we'll do our best to bring it.

How do you feel about selling the album exclusively at one place?

Rose: Fine. It's not like we had that many options -- get f---- by Interscope or wait till next year with another retailer.

Are you happy with the way Best Buy has handled things?

Rose: In many ways, yes. In many areas, they've been great. I'm not clear how much the record company has helped them yet, though.

"Chinese Democracy" is very much an album. Are you at all concerned that in an iTunes era, people aren't interested in entire albums anymore?

Rose: "Chinese" doesn't have a pretty road in front of it, but it was never going to. It is an album. That's how it was crafted and meant to be. I tried to deliver something I felt was good ... and let others find out if there's anything there for them. There's a lot there, so there might be something. I was always the one who liked the albums (that) bands made that weren't necessarily their most publicly acclaimed (or) their bigger commercial hits -- meaning that I enjoyed other approaches than what a band's mainstream fans felt defined them. "Appetite" was influenced by a number of (those); it took a good while to catch on. It's ... possible to make something that works better as an album and not so much as singles.

Is the measure of "success" for "Chinese Democracy" purely creative, or are there external and commercial measures as well?

Rose: I think that's a great question. I would say it has more than one life or is a bit multi-tasked or faceted. The creative comes first or ... should be the deepest, then there's getting it across as you put it. And if you can have some fun it's even better. Those are elements that have been part of Guns. We had some great times touring in '06-'07, and it looked like others did as well. As long as the music and performance come first then, anything that contributes to that is great.

This is an A plus find. Maybe someone here could contact the interviewer and ask what the process was for securing and printing this interview. Would love to know how he landed this.

Link to post
Share on other sites
9 hours ago, DTJ80 said:

Sounds about right. Wasn’t there there rumour that Axl really disliked Perla?

And.....I’d 100% take CD2 with DJ. I know that may get me banished but I’d absolutely rather hear something as opposed to nothing. I’m not familiar with DJs other stuff but folk on here say his stuff with SIXX AM is pretty good....maybe he would have worked well on stuff which no-one had heard so could not point out any limitations?

Yes, i beleive that was told from a canter interview and also from arlett vereke who handled GNR promotions in the early days. When slash divorced perla, Arlett made a non to kind post about it on her twitter page.

According to niven, the reunion wheels started spinning more once slash filed for divorce.

 

 

Edited by Sydney Fan
Link to post
Share on other sites

Absolutely crazy that it has already been 12 years... I still have one CD copy in shrinkwrap because teen-me thought it might be worth something years down the line lol it is a cool memento of the journey of the wait for that album though

I haven't listened to any of the studio cuts of these songs in a year or so, I will have to bring the album out and give it a spin

 

Kind of crazy that the wait from 2008 to now is the same as the wait for CD from 1996 to 2008

Link to post
Share on other sites

Ah yes. It was 12 years ago I went to best buy that morning to pick it up and no one else was there (good memories) Tried to find the CD, only to see 1 cardboard stand-up with the CD's. in it. It was a glorious day of mega promotion and lack luster songs. I'll never forget it.

Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, uzi your illusion said:

Fuck it, I emailed the guy myself and he wrote back, for anyone interested. Not sure why its purple.

 
 

1. How did the interview come about? Did you reach out to management?
*it came through his publicist. just kind of threw it out there at the onset of the campaign and at a certain point he bit. 

2. Did you have any previous relationship with Axl or the band? There were tons of press inquires that he denied at the time, would love to know how you were chosen to do 1 of the only 3 interviews he did for the album release.
*i've had a longstanding relationship with the band, from the very beginning, as well as with the various publicists over the years. 

3. Its my understanding that the interview was conducted via email, is that correct, and how long did it take to get the responses?
*it was email, yes. don't remember exactly how long the responses took but I recall it being a fairly quick return

4. Do you remember if there were any subjects that were off limits?
*not that I recall. 

5. Did you ever hear from Axl or management after the interview was published?
*nope 

6. Do you know why the interview was published months after the album was officially released?
*It was one for a number of outlets, and I know some of them published very quickly. not sure which one you saw. if it's for the Oakland Press it's possible I saved it until there was a show in town. but other outlets published it fairly quickly. 


7. Do you ever go back and listen to the album now? 
*i haven't in a while.  the nature of what I do is I spend 95 percent of my listening time with brand new music and don't have a great deal of opportunity  to listen just for pleasure. 

hope this helps

 

Good stuff. 👍

Link to post
Share on other sites
15 hours ago, uzi your illusion said:

Fuck it, I emailed the guy myself and he wrote back, for anyone interested. Not sure why its purple.

 
 

1. How did the interview come about? Did you reach out to management?
*it came through his publicist. just kind of threw it out there at the onset of the campaign and at a certain point he bit. 

2. Did you have any previous relationship with Axl or the band? There were tons of press inquires that he denied at the time, would love to know how you were chosen to do 1 of the only 3 interviews he did for the album release.
*i've had a longstanding relationship with the band, from the very beginning, as well as with the various publicists over the years. 

3. Its my understanding that the interview was conducted via email, is that correct, and how long did it take to get the responses?
*it was email, yes. don't remember exactly how long the responses took but I recall it being a fairly quick return

4. Do you remember if there were any subjects that were off limits?
*not that I recall. 

5. Did you ever hear from Axl or management after the interview was published?
*nope 

6. Do you know why the interview was published months after the album was officially released?
*It was one for a number of outlets, and I know some of them published very quickly. not sure which one you saw. if it's for the Oakland Press it's possible I saved it until there was a show in town. but other outlets published it fairly quickly. 


7. Do you ever go back and listen to the album now? 
*i haven't in a while.  the nature of what I do is I spend 95 percent of my listening time with brand new music and don't have a great deal of opportunity  to listen just for pleasure. 

hope this helps

 

That was great!

Gary Graff has had indeed a longstanding relationship with the band. He did interviews with band members in the 80s and early 90s (except for Axl), then with Izzy and Slash solo and also with NuGnR members later.

His first known interview (with Slash) in 1988:

https://www.a-4-d.com/t3846-1988-05-06-detroit-free-press-guns-n-roses-blazes-crude-route-to-the-top-slash

It's interesting that he said that the Axl interview was published in other outlets besides the Oakland Press, which makes it even more baffling that it went by unnoticed by the fans. I looked into a couple of newspaper collection sites a have a subscription to and didn't find it anywhere else.

Edited by Blackstar
Link to post
Share on other sites
On 11/26/2020 at 6:05 PM, DeperilsofrockNRollDekednz said:

I would love to hear more stuff that Axl poured over. Not sure if Duff & Slash are up to bringing their A game to a new record. Their work on the Appetite & Illusions is mythic, but their other stuff is generic, or lacking that ‘dive in and find the monkey attitude’! Still I’m over that moon that the troika are back working together. One can hope!

Stop convincing yourself with that crap of Slash's genéric rock. I know You all love Axl no matter what but the guy released ONE album in 30 years. Slash 's snakepit debut had some good songs , then there's VR wich Contraband rocks top from bottom, his solo album that also has very good songs with artists like Ozzy or Chris Cornell, and call it "genéric" but with Myles some songs are really good. I Can't believe people here still defending Axl. He's a ass

Link to post
Share on other sites
3 minutes ago, James Bond said:

12 years - one Guns N' Roses album.

12 years - 300 Buckethead albums.

I can't blame the guy for quitting.

hahaha

But he actually released albums while he was in the band, right? Wasn't it more about the lack of touring back when he left?

Link to post
Share on other sites
13 minutes ago, Voodoochild said:

hahaha

But he actually released albums while he was in the band, right? Wasn't it more about the lack of touring back when he left?

He did (including Electric Tears, one of my top five), but I believe you're right. The inactivity and that the band hadn't completed a single tour in the four years he was in the band.

Although in retrospect he would have still had lots of downtime for his solo material had he stuck around. :lol:

  • Haha 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.




×
×
  • Create New...