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Hard Skool Officially Released at Midnight - Sept 24


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10 hours ago, SoulMonster said:

I talked to someone close to Axl and apparently the song was never intended on the soundtrack to a Jackie Chan movie. The working title, Jackie Chan, was chosen simply because Axl was watching a Jackie Chan movie at the time.

Didn't the General get it's name simply because Brain was eating General Tso's chicken while he was recording parts for it? I wonder if the General is another song that has a working title that might have been changed at some point. I wonder with regards to Absurd when the title was changed from Silkworms.

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1 hour ago, Blackstar said:

@SoulMonster has shared some new information earlier in the thread regarding why Axl called it Jackie Chan (I have quoted it a couple of posts above): it wasn't because it was going to be in a Jackie Chan movie, but just because Axl had watched one when he wrote it.

Although this information doesn't clarify when it was written, it seems to refute only the part about it being intended for the movie, so maybe the rest of the assumption about its origin in 1996 is correct.

Yes, it was in 1996. There are several quotes about it here: :)

https://www.a-4-d.com/t5018-19-december-1994-october-1996-axl-and-slash-fights-slash-quits#20215

Absolutely. I have always thought it dated back to 1996 and considered it more of song coming out of work on a follow-up to UYI than from the CD sessions. Of course these terms becomes a bit arbitrary, but it just sounds more old-school, classic Guns, than a lot of the material that ended up on CD. In addition, the song only existed in one track on the Village leaks, in a complete form, with no additional experimental versions, suggesting to me it had been through all that before and was ready for release whereas a lot of the other songs needed more work. 

It could be that Duff/Matt misunderstood at the time, and that it wasn't intended for a JC movie, or that the band worked at another song at the time intended for such a movie. This I don't know. But Hard Skool got it's working title because Axl watched a JC movie when he wrote it (likely came up with the guitar riffs and vocal melodies). 

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1 hour ago, Powerage5 said:

Any reports from the halls of the high skools? Are kids dancing in the hallways when it gets played over the PA systems?

There was a guy earlier who said he left economics class to listen to HS. I immediately asked him to tell us if he danced in the halls. Sadly, he chose not to reply so we may never know. 

1 hour ago, prairieboy said:

My 5 simple steps to happiness today.
 

STEP 1. Get in car.

STEP 2. Play Hard Skool.

STEP 3. Find max volume before distortion.

STEP 4. SHUT THE FUCK UP and enjoy a new officially released GnR rocker. 

STEP 5. See STEP 4.

 

I tired that but Step 4 was completely ruined by the awful production of the track. 

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5 minutes ago, RussTCB said:

I tired that but Step 4 was completely ruined by the awful production of the track. 

Glad I'm not the only one, lol. They went a giant step backwards from the leak version, not sure what happened. It doesn't have the same sonic appeal, and I think that's my only problem with it, not the actual song. But if this is exactly the production Axl likes in 2021, we got to live with that:lol:

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2 hours ago, prairieboy said:

My 5 simple steps to happiness today.
 

STEP 1. Get in car.

STEP 2. Play Hard Skool.

STEP 3. Find max volume before distortion.

STEP 4. SHUT THE FUCK UP and enjoy a new officially released GnR rocker. 

STEP 5. See STEP 4.

 

I did the same but the shitty mix bugs the hell out of me. Hopefully it’s better on the CD 

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3 hours ago, Powerage5 said:

Any reports from the halls of the high skools? Are kids dancing in the hallways when it gets played over the PA systems?

You'd have to be a fool not to do it that way
You'd have to be a fool to throw it all away 

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After hearing the track more often, it's really hit and miss for me. In the fast bits, I enjoy Slash's guitar quite a bit, in the bridge, the drums are a big disappointment. 

But for me, it becomes more clear, that I can't understand Axl's musical standpoint. In the first breakdown part in the soundcheck, I was almost convinced, that there would be new lyrics, because the lead guitar is not that exciting and more of a backgroundsound. But instead of thinking "what new could I contribute that serves this (new) song" he goes "what do I have already recorded (20 years ago) that I could force into the song" which I feel is so limiting. I just don't understand copying the hey's and the scream from Eye On You... 

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I liked Absurd a bit more (sans the repeated lyrics in the verses), because it sounds like an experiment, where the band is having fun, where as Hard Skool seems like a more honest attempt at making a Guns-sounding song, but it kinda lacks that little extra swagger and swing.

The absence of those worked on Chinese Democracy, because they weren't hard rock songs, which Hard Skool clearly is.

It's in no way a bad song and it is VERY catchy, but it sounds a bit too tight and over-produced. It doesn't breath and everything sounds like they are played to a clicktrack. 

But if I let go of my analyzing side, I can honestly say I like it. I listened to it like 20 times yesterday, so it obviously doesn't suck. And in the end, it is so cool to have new Guns N' Roses music! 

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On 9/24/2021 at 1:13 AM, Ak1nney said:

I don't think the way the drums kicks in necessarily means there was something before it. I think it just might be a cool little way to introduce the bass. If something preceded it, it would normally be cut in a way where that drum part doesn't bleed over, the bass would just start immediately. Who really knows though...

No they did it when they were playing it in soundcheck before the Columbus show, so I think it's meant to be part of the song.

21 hours ago, Malcolm Malcolm said:

The day Guns N' Roses start taking lessons from the guitar player from Creed is the day I'll stop listening to them.

There's way more to Mark than "guitar player from Creed (which doesn't exist anymore);" in any case he wasn't the one mixing his record so clearly you didn't read my post properly.

21 hours ago, jimisbatman said:

Im over the moon to be getting a new song, however. It feels cut and pasted and overly sterile. Listen to HS, then listen to Down On The Farm, I know axl has moved on from Mike Clink, but he could produce this way better than Caram, and make it sound like GNR. With DOTF, listen to the drums, then guitar tone, then vocals, and it sounds like a band in the same room. HS appears to have a disconnect between instruments/vocals IMO.  Why does TSI sound better than this, it can't be the budget, they have plenty of money, and technology has increased since then. However, still hyped to be getting new song, however lackluster i feel about it.

I agree, I think they need to get a real mix engineer and producer who can help them develop their songs more and take them to the next level.

20 hours ago, rocknroll41 said:

I’m fine if the plan is to just keep releasing singles. Even if it’s more recycled songs from back in the day. It’s all good in my book.

That would be cool.

19 hours ago, James Bond said:

So after sitting on it for a day and listening to it more times than I care to mention, my only major gripe is the drum sound. It's absolutely lifeless.

Granted, that's kind of just the "go to" modern drum sound for most music these days but it's so stale in comparison to Absurd. I'm certain it's Frank on the track but even still, I like Frank. Once again, the mix just does him no favors. His natural drum sound is great as evidenced by the soundcheck clips from on stage so why they compress it to death is beyond me.

Also feel like the fade from the end of the first chorus to the second verse is a little clunky but otherwise I dig the mix overall. Feels like a Slash solo song. With '99 vocals, of course.

The drums sound almost programmed to me, esp the kick doesn't sound like how it would with an actual person playing it. The hits are a little too on the beat if that makes sense.

10 hours ago, Draguns said:

Q104.3 in the NJ/NYC area has been playing the song a couple of times today. It's getting airplay in the biggest market of the country. The song is doing its own promotion.

As far as the song goes, I have been a fan of this song for a long time. I think it sounds MUCH BETTER than the demo.  The song needed Slash and Duff on it. Slash sounds awesome! It's  has much more of the classic GNR feel. My only complaint is there could have been a few more lyrics during the slow section of the song. Other than that it's awesome to me. I've been driving a lot today and have had the song on repeat. :)

Isn't that @Gambit83's station?

9 hours ago, ZoSoRose said:

Actually the Spotify version is quieter than the mp3 file I have. Odd

Spotify normalizes everything to a certain range, so that's why. 

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38 minutes ago, Lies They Tell said:

To be fair, we don't actually know if it's a recent decision by Axl to include the Eye On You vocals on Hard Skool. It's possible that he made that decision already 15 years ago or so.

The Hey's and the scream might have been a part of Hard Skool most of the songs existence. At the end of the day we were never supposed to hear Eye On You. If it wasn't for the leaks we would have never known that he used vocals from another song on Hard skool.

Who knows if some vocals in the old classic songs were originally recorded for one song, but used on another song instead. We don't know cause we don't have all the unfinished songs that Axl recorded during the UYI days for example. But it's possible that he cut and pasted vocals already back then.

You have a good point there, hadn't thought about that and I take back what I said if that has been the case. It think someone even said it was a talent of Axl to connect different ideas to one song but I always imagined that this statement was based on connecting different riffs/sections, not pasting vocals. 

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7 hours ago, Tom-Ass said:

Not sure how true any of that is but I listened to an instrumental soundcheck and I do agree it had an old school GnR feel to some of it. 

Well if it’s true I wish the band would come out and say it. It’s a turnoff that it’s written about in every article that  it’s some CD era castoff that wasn’t good enough to be on that album that f’ing Slash wasn’t even involved with. Not a great way to sell the song to the general public in the first place, but especially if it’s not even totally accurate. 

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THE LYRICS 
A different take at things: Aside from the fact that I’ve thought the lyrics are most probably about Slash, has anyone actually entertained the possibility that Axl also might have written this thing about himself? Even if it’s from around 96/97, he’d had enough time to cool off and think about the whole Slash situation with a clear head. And it could be considered as sort of a confession or atonement. I mean, the guy is not a sociopath, he knows when he fucks up. Even despite the animosity that was going on back then, he still could have written it like that. I know it sounds crazy, but think about it. 

Another possibility would be he initially wrote it about Slash but now may look at it as a description of himself. Or he’s letting the audience figure it out. It’s a mystery, we don’t know, makes you think, etc. 

It’s just a thought, but as improbable as it sounds, I don’t think anyone’s looked at it from this point of view yet. 
I have one of the awesome hangovers. Sometimes you need it to be able to enter different realms and perspectives! 
 

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2 minutes ago, jamillos said:

THE LYRICS 
A different take at things: Aside from the fact that I’ve thought the lyrics are most probably about Slash, has anyone actually entertained the possibility that Axl also might have written this thing about himself? Even if it’s from around 96/97, he’d had enough time to cool off and think about the whole Slash situation with a clear head. And it could be considered as sort of a confession or atonement. I mean, the guy is not a sociopath, he knows when he fucks up. Even despite the animosity that was going on back then, he still could have written it like that. I know it sounds crazy, but think about it. 

Another possibility would be he initially wrote it about Slash but now may look at it as a description of himself. Or he’s letting the audience figure it out. It’s a mystery, we don’t know, makes you think, etc. 

It’s just a thought, but as improbable as it sounds, I don’t think anyone’s looked at it from this point of view yet. 
I have one of the awesome hangovers. Sometimes you need it to be able to enter different realms and perspectives! 
 

I always thought it might be about Izzy, especially if this song dates back to the mid 90’s while Slash was still there. I like your theory tho and I could definitely see that being the case. Too bad we won’t ever know for sure

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12 minutes ago, slash23579 said:

I always thought it might be about Izzy, especially if this song dates back to the mid 90’s while Slash was still there. I like your theory tho and I could definitely see that being the case. Too bad we won’t ever know for sure

The instrumental was probably written in the mid-90s but, according to Matt's autobiography, didn't have lyrics at the time Matt was still in the band (early 1997). So the lyrics were written after Slash left.

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40 minutes ago, jamillos said:

THE LYRICS 
A different take at things: Aside from the fact that I’ve thought the lyrics are most probably about Slash, has anyone actually entertained the possibility that Axl also might have written this thing about himself? Even if it’s from around 96/97, he’d had enough time to cool off and think about the whole Slash situation with a clear head. And it could be considered as sort of a confession or atonement. I mean, the guy is not a sociopath, he knows when he fucks up. Even despite the animosity that was going on back then, he still could have written it like that. I know it sounds crazy, but think about it. 

Another possibility would be he initially wrote it about Slash but now may look at it as a description of himself. Or he’s letting the audience figure it out. It’s a mystery, we don’t know, makes you think, etc. 

It’s just a thought, but as improbable as it sounds, I don’t think anyone’s looked at it from this point of view yet. 
I have one of the awesome hangovers. Sometimes you need it to be able to enter different realms and perspectives! 
 

I've entertained the idea that the song could be about Axl, but in that case who would be the person who didn't spare efforts in saving what they had? Slash? I doubt that Axl would have written a song about a heroic Slash back in the day. 😂

I'd say that it's pretty certain that at least initially Axl wrote the song from his own point of view. Slash was the one who threw it all away and Axl was the one who didn't spare efforts to save what they had. But it's possible that these days he might view it more like a song about the break up in general and it's not really relevant who is who in the song. To a certain degree they all tried to play it cool and threw it all away. To a certain degree they all tried to save what they had. It depends on the point of view. I think that the song could be seen as a song about the breakup in general.

Edited by Lies They Tell
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3 hours ago, Lipfel2 said:

After hearing the track more often, it's really hit and miss for me. In the fast bits, I enjoy Slash's guitar quite a bit, in the bridge, the drums are a big disappointment. 

But for me, it becomes more clear, that I can't understand Axl's musical standpoint. In the first breakdown part in the soundcheck, I was almost convinced, that there would be new lyrics, because the lead guitar is not that exciting and more of a backgroundsound. But instead of thinking "what new could I contribute that serves this (new) song" he goes "what do I have already recorded (20 years ago) that I could force into the song" which I feel is so limiting. I just don't understand copying the hey's and the scream from Eye On You... 

The sad part is that Slash and Duff would’ve had 2 albums out since they reunited at this point if it was up to them. Unfortunately Axl is the problem (like 94% of the time the last 30 years) and he seems to be a lazy ass who can only be bothered to point out what 20 year old song they should complete that already has finished vocals. I’m happy we got Hard Skool but the truth is the truth. Slash came back because it made sense and his main issue was that Axl show up on time. He has done that remarkably well for 6 years now. Unfortunately it seems like Axl’s desire to be creative died with the botched release of CD and whatever caused him so many issues that same year.

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