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Axl's method of writing


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Is there any info. out there on how Axl works on music and lyrics? For example, does he work or experiment in the studio, at home, does he write his lyrics out long hand or by computer? And how does he come up with melodies?

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I was just talking along these lines with soulmonster about this.  I find it interesting how people create.  You hear some artist say it was like it was channeled to them.  They don't know how they came up with it, it just came to them.  Happen pretty quick.   Other who say they've had the start to it long ago but the rest of it just came to them.  I like that commercial a while back with Gwen Stefani (I think it was her) for a copy machine.  She was explaining how she wrote.  She had a bunch of different pictures of different things and just pulled the pieces together to make a new song/story.  And then the guy who said he saw colors when he wrote music.  I write a little, can't relate to the colors but the first two happen.

I read that Axl had said, he could write poetry all day long.  I assume from that he is doing the picture thing.  Pulling together a lot of stuff from different places to make something new.  He said about Chinese Democracy, it was sparked by the last scene of a movie.  And the song inspired by a Del James story.  I believe Axl had a lot of involvement in the videos, right?  He was probably seeing the song as he wrote it but that's just a guess from how I do it.

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8 hours ago, axl666 said:

Is there any info. out there on how Axl works on music and lyrics? For example, does he work or experiment in the studio, at home, does he write his lyrics out long hand or by computer? And how does he come up with melodies?

Judging by his Tweets I very much doubt he uses a computer. And Judging by his writers block I doubt he writes anything by hand

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7 hours ago, Nice Boy said:

Iirc he does mention in an early interview that sometimes the lyrics come first, sometimes the music comes first and the lyrics are written to it.

Not that this is any big revelation.

He mentioned in the China exchange that he prefers lytics first, than the music. 

That's probably because he has some lyrics left from the past and has no intention to write anything new if you ask me, because in the past for some of GNR's best songs the music was written first.

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9 hours ago, Free Bird said:

He mentioned in the China exchange that he prefers lytics first, than the music. 

That's probably because he has some lyrics left from the past and has no intention to write anything new if you ask me, because in the past for some of GNR's best songs the music was written first.

I think that when you write lyrics first the song is centered around the lyrical idea which can give the writer more control when it comes to the direction the song will take. Maybe Axl is one of those songwriters that at least at the time of the China Exchange interview, cared about exploring what he can accomplish musically when he is the one that decides from the initial stages of writing what the theme will be. Or he's just lazy.

Edited by Rovim
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14 hours ago, SoundOfAGun said:

He generally puts it off for a decade or two, some say when he writes his lyrics he uses the enchanted femur bone of a leprechaun as his scribe, dipping it into an ink well of mermaid tears before writing out his verse on the tempered hide of Dragon's skin as his parchment.

This is about Axl isn’t it ? Sounds like the queens speech for the state opening of parliament in the UK with the parchment and all that stuff that goes into it for a woman in her nineties to read a speech.

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3 hours ago, IrishgunnerII said:

This is about Axl isn’t it ? Sounds like the queens speech for the state opening of parliament in the UK with the parchment and all that stuff that goes into it for a woman in her nineties to read a speech.

Some have said this is his process, maybe the Queen of England was an influence of his?

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On 3/21/2022 at 3:19 PM, SoundOfAGun said:

He generally puts it off for a decade or two, some say when he writes his lyrics he uses the enchanted femur bone of a leprechaun as his scribe, dipping it into an ink well of mermaid tears before writing out his verse on the tempered hide of Dragon's skin as his parchment.

I bet this explanation would make more sense than the actual real explanation. 

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Axl on Estranged, RS 1989

There’s also a song tentatively titled “Without You.” Last night, I wrote a whole new intro to that. It just appeared out of nowhere, like the verses – just little pieces that have come whole.

How do you write complete songs from separate bits and pieces?
They’ll just show up. I keep them on file in my brain and then add them together. Like, I’ll be brushing my teeth and all of a sudden a prechorus will come, and I won’t know why. Then a bridge came about a year ago. Six months ago another part came. Last night a whole intro came. When I was writing it, I wasn’t planning on putting it with this song, but all of a sudden it just flowed.

So bits come in six-month intervals while he's doing something else. No wonder it takes.

Edited by denin
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30 minutes ago, denin said:

Axl on Estranged, RS 1989

There’s also a song tentatively titled “Without You.” Last night, I wrote a whole new intro to that. It just appeared out of nowhere, like the verses – just little pieces that have come whole.

How do you write complete songs from separate bits and pieces?
They’ll just show up. I keep them on file in my brain and then add them together. Like, I’ll be brushing my teeth and all of a sudden a prechorus will come, and I won’t know why. Then a bridge came about a year ago. Six months ago another part came. Last night a whole intro came. When I was writing it, I wasn’t planning on putting it with this song, but all of a sudden it just flowed.

So bits come in six-month intervals while he's doing something else. No wonder it takes.

That's an example of this particular song, doesn't necessarily apply to all. I remember reading something where he was talking about Coma and how the ending verses just spurted out of him all in one sitting. So as usual, I don't think we should make any unequivocal conclusions. It's Axl and GN'R, after all. 

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