Global music icon Axl Rose is known to spend his nights on the road playing to sold-out audiences worldwide, but in an unprecedented move Rose has scheduled his first sit-down, live television broadcast interview in more than 20 years with Jimmy Kimmel on Wednesday, October 24. The appearance on Jimmy Kimmel Live is another in a series of firsts for the celebrated Guns Nâ€™ Roses frontman who will spend this fall at The Joint inside Hard Rock Hotel & Casino for a 12-night run of shows. The historical â€œAppetite For Democracyâ€ residency will run October 31 thru November 24, dates listed below.
Fans who would like to participate in Roseâ€™s appearance on Jimmy Kimmel Live can visit the website for ticket information, www.jimmykimmellive.com. Jimmy Kimmel Live airs weeknights at 12am PT/11pm CT on ABC.
â€œAppetite For Democracyâ€ ticket purchase or for more information, visit the Hard Rock Box Office, all Ticketmaster locations, www.ticketmaster.com, www.thejointlasvegas.com or charge-by-phone at 800.745.3000. Ticket and room packages are available at www.hardrockhotel.com. Exclusive meet and greet VIP package information available at gunsnroses.com.
Appetite for Democracy schedule:
Â· Wednesday, Oct. 31
Â· Friday, Nov. 2
Â· Saturday, Nov. 3
Â· Wednesday, Nov. 7
Â· Friday, Nov. 9
Â· Saturday, Nov. 10
Â· Wednesday, Nov. 14
Â· Saturday, Nov. 17
Â· Sunday, Nov. 18
Â· Wednesday, Nov. 21
Â· Friday, Nov. 23
Â· Saturday, Nov. 24
To: The Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame, Guns N’ Roses Fans and Whom It May Concern,
When the nominations for the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame were first announced I had mixed emotions but, in an effort to be positive, wanting to make the most of things for the fans and with their enthusiasm, I was honored, excited and hoped that somehow this would be a good thing. Of course I realized as things stood, if Guns N’ Roses were to be inducted it’d be somewhat of a complicated or awkward situation.
Since then we’ve listened to fans, talked with members of the board of the Hall Of Fame, communicated with and read various public comments and jabs from former members of Guns N’ Roses, had discussions with the president of the Hall Of Fame, read various press (some legit, some contrived) and read other artists’ comments weighing in publicly on Guns and the Hall with their thoughts.
Under the circumstances I feel we’ve been polite, courteous, and open to an amicable solution in our efforts to work something out. Taking into consideration the history of Guns N’ Roses, those who plan to attend along with those the Hall for reasons of their own, have chosen to include in “our” induction (that for the record are decisions I don’t agree with, support or feel the Hall has any right to make), and how (albeit no easy task) those involved with the Hall have handled things… no offense meant to anyone but the Hall Of Fame Induction Ceremony doesn’t appear to be somewhere I’m actually wanted or respected.
For the record, I would not begrudge anyone from Guns their accomplishments or recognition for such. Neither I or anyone in my camp has made any requests or demands of the Hall Of Fame. It’s their show not mine.
That said, I won’t be attending The Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame Induction 2012 Ceremony and I respectfully decline my induction as a member of Guns N’ Roses to the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame.
I strongly request that I not be inducted in absentia and please know that no one is authorized nor may anyone be permitted to accept any induction for me or speak on my behalf. Neither former members, label representatives nor the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame should imply whether directly, indirectly or by omission that I am included in any purported induction of “Guns N’ Roses”.
This decision is personal. This letter is to help clarify things from my and my camp’s perspective. Neither is meant to offend, attack or condemn. Though unfortunately I’m sure there will be those who take offense (God knows how long I’ll have to contend with the fallout), I certainly don’t intend to disappoint anyone, especially the fans, with this decision. Since the announcement of the nomination we’ve actively sought out a solution to what, with all things considered, appears to be a no win, at least for me, “damned if I do, damned if I don’t” scenario all the way around.
In regard to a reunion of any kind of either the Appetite or Illusion lineups, I’ve publicly made myself more than clear. Nothing’s changed.
The only reason, at this point, under the circumstances, in my opinion whether under the guise of “for the fans” or whatever justification of the moment, for anyone to continue to ask, suggest or demand a reunion are misguided attempts to distract from our efforts with our current lineup of myself, Dizzy Reed, Tommy Stinson, Frank Ferrer, Richard Fortus, Chris Pitman, Ron “Bumblefoot” Thal and DJ Ashba.
Izzy came out with us a few times back in ’06 and I invited him to join us at our LA Forum show last year. Steven was at our show at the Hard Rock, later in ’06 in Las Vegas, where I invited him to our after-party and was rewarded with his subsequent interviews filled with reunion lies. Lesson learned. Duff joined us in 2010 and again in ’11 along with his band, Loaded, opening in Seattle and Vancouver. For me, with the exception of Izzy or Duff joining us on stage if they were so inclined somewhere in the future for a song or two, that’s enough.
There’s a seemingly endless amount of revisionism and fantasies out there for the sake of self-promotion and business opportunities masking the actual realities. Until every single one of those generating from or originating with the earlier lineups has been brought out in the light, there isn’t room to consider a conversation let alone a reunion.
Maybe if it were you it’d be different. Maybe you’d do it for this reason or that. Peace, whatever. I love our band now. We’re there for each other when the going get’s rough. We love our fans and work to give them every ounce of energy and heart we can.
So let sleeping dogs lie or lying dogs sleep or whatever. Time to move on. People get divorced. Life doesn’t owe you your own personal happy ending especially at another’s, or in this case several others’, expense.
But hey if ya gotta then maybe we can get the “no show, grandstanding, publicity stunt, disrespectful, he doesn’t care about the fans” crap out of the way as quickly as we can and let’s move on. No one’s taking the ball and going home. Don’t get it twisted. For more than a decade and a half we’ve endured the double standards, the greed of this industry and the ever present seemingly limitless supply of wannabes and unscrupulous, irresponsible media types. Not to imply anything in this particular circumstance, but from my perspective in regard to both the Hall and a reunion, the ball’s never been in our court.
In closing, regardless of this decision and as hard to believe or as ironic as it may seem, I’d like to sincerely thank the board for their nomination and their votes for Guns’ induction. More importantly I’d like to thank the fans for being there over the years, making any success we’ve had possible and for enjoying and supporting Guns N’ Roses music.
I wish the Hall a great show, congratulations to all the other artists being inducted and to our fans we look forward to seeing you on tour!!
P.S. RIP Armand, Long Live ABC III
RollingStone.com is reporting that Axl Rose and Guns N Roses will be touring this summer and playing stadiums as opposed to the arenas they played in 2002 and 2006-2007. They also will not be playing Spain’s Kobetasonik Festival. GNR manager/LiveNation Ticketmaster CEO Irving Azoff had this to say about the bands plans:
Ã¢â‚¬Å“Axl has been basically quiet, keeping out of the limelight for almost 15 years. People think they know him but they only really only know what has been said about him by questionable people.”
Ã¢â‚¬Å“He is a good guy and often misunderstood Ã¢â‚¬â€ he is a professional who has worked very hard to build and maintain a high creative standard for Guns nÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ Roses, which I support. We have some exciting things in the works this year for GnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢R, IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢m looking forward to it.Ã¢â‚¬Â
Up until today, I was pretty much convinced that Axl Rose was hiding in California or dead. I was half right. Axl’s been pretty much avoiding any chances of doing publicity for Guns N Roses’s “Chinese Democracy” which came out in November until he recently opened up to Billboard. In the interview, Axl bashes Interscope records, critics, fans who want him and Slash to play together again, and the media. It’s a fun read! Check it all out here.
When not suing his fans or playing drums for Metallica, Lars Ulrich is being appearing in music videos, most notably the upcoming “Better” from Guns N Roses. A GNR “associate” (wtf is that) named Fernando Lebeis wrote on a GNR message board that Lars had not signed the release permitting the use of his image in the video.
“Tell Lars to OK the vid and it’s done. That’s all that is pending …We are pending his release form to be signed.”
This all got blown out of proportion, people apologized.
Here’s more of the story from Blabbermouth:
GUNS N’ ROSES also issued a statement saying, “Lars isn’t holding anything up with our video. Our message board comments were meant casually, in fun and amongst friends. Unfortunately, someone with Blabbermouth may have taken things a bit out of context and made them into a bit more than they are in reality. Our apologies to anyone who may have been confused. We hope to have our video out shortly.”
Speaking to a METALLICA fan by the name of Bob Johnson who won the chance to go backstage and interview Ulrich before METALLICA’s January 12, 2009 concert at the Bradley Center in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Lars said about the reports that he was “holding up” the “Better” clip, “I have heard about this, yes. There was a couple of clips of me in the video and they asked if I would sign off on it. When it got to me, I signed off on the one clip and that was something that happenedÃ¢â‚¬Â¦” He added, “I don’t know where it [the rumor about Lars holding up the video] came from. Somebody else asked me about it the other day. I’d love to be in a GUNS N’ ROSES video. It’s my favorite song on the record Ã¢â‚¬â€ I think it’s a great song. I can’t for the video to come out. There’s a shot of me and Axl [Rose, GUNS N' ROSES frontman] embracing backstage at some concert, and I signed off on that, and hopefully it’ll make it in the final cut.”
Ulrich has reportedly remained friendly with GUNS singer Axl Rose ever since METALLICA and GUNS toured together in the early ’90s. He was allegedly spotted backstage at several shows on the 2006 GUNS N’ ROSES tour and even performed “Out Ta Get Me” with the group at a show in Oakland on December 15 of that year.
“Better” is the second single from the new GUNS N’ ROSES album, “Chinese Democracy”, which was released in November.
According to Contact Music, Metallica would consider touring again with Guns N Roses. They apparently liked “Chinese Democracy” and are big GNR fans. Drummer Lars Ulrich said “We’re road dogs. We love to tour. So we’d never say no. We’ve learned never to say no to anything, and all four of us love Chinese Democracy.” Guitarist Kirk Hammett, however, thinks it’s unlikely that the tour will happen but he did say “The real question is whether they would tour with us.”
Scott Weiland and his producer/collaborator Doug Green took over the radio waves for about an hour last night on four radio stations: KUFO (Portland), WBCN (Boston), WKRK (KRock Cleveland) and KXTE (Xtreme Radio Las Vegas). Here’s a recap of it and we actually have the whole thing for you (minus the songs they picked to air) to listen to below the recap:
Opening: Cartoon Music, Promo for Weiland, “Missing Cleveland” in full off of “Happy in Galoshes”
DJ: Scott saying that Doug had airplane like breath. Doug blames it on the snacks and cheetos. Scott mentions the radio stations and the info to call in, admits winging it on the call in info.
Song: Silversun Pickups – Well Thought Out Twinkles
Song: The Doors – Love Her Madly
DJ: Scott talks about how much Jim Morrison was a vocal influence on him and how their lines are somewhat similar. Scott says that “Kurt Cobain is the greatest songwriter of our generation” and how much he likes Nirvana.
Song: Nirvana – Smells Like Teen Spirit
Song: The Undertones – Teenage Kicks
DJ: Scott says that The Undertones are one of his favorite bands of the British punkrock newwave era and how much he likes the song.
Promo for New Album, Commercial
Song: Kid Rock – Cowboy
Promo for the Radio Show
Song: Stone Temple Pilots – Hello It’s Late
DJ: Scott says that Doug was there at Jimmy Stewart’s house (where they recorded Shangri-La Dee Da) and how the track actually sounds like the demo of the song they recorded with Doug. Scott talks about how great David Bowie is and a little about the meaning of the next song, Young Americans.
Song: David Bowie – Young Americans
DJ: Scott talks about the making of the next song, Beautiful Day (on the new album), and how he worked on it with his brother Michael (R.I.P.) and Doug. He also mentions playing a few different types of bands with Doug intro-ing them.
Song: Scott Weiland – Beautiful Day
DJ: Doug and Scott talk about a song by the next band, Grandaddy and how influential their music has been on both of them. Doug says that they should play shows with them even though they’re broken up. Maybe somehow they’ll get back together.
Song: Grandaddy – Now It’s On
DJ: Scott FINALLY takes a call (I kept calling but they weren’t picking up.. Dang) who asks about STP and the new album. Scott says that the band’s writing songs and how they wrote a Christmas song. He also mentions about some songs they wrote on the road (unlike previous tours) and how “the music’s heading into a new direction”. He also says that the band will only be playing a few shows here and there until they can get their record situation straightened out and thanks the caller who thanks him back.
Song: Scott Weiland – Paralysis
DJ: Scott and Doug thank all the stations part of the show. Then Scott says that Guns N Roses’s “Appetite for Destruction” is one of his favorite albums and how it’s the Sex Pistols of his generation. “Welcome To The Jungle” was also his summer where he first went out on his own. Scott wishes Axl a lot of luck on the new album and says that he loves the GNR guys and signs off.
Song: Guns N Roses – Welcome To The Jungle
Typically, I would summarize an article, make a few wiseass remarks, put up a picture, credit the source and put it in the oven. This time though, we’re doing things differently. The New York Times has a piece that will be in Sunday’s newspaper about Axl Rose and what he’s been doing for the past 14 years. I would’ve been more than happy to link the article but NY Times is requiring you to register and sign in. Screw that. I’ll link the source but I’m also posting the whole thing below. Enjoy.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“ALL IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ve got is precious time,Ã¢â‚¬Â W. Axl Rose sings in the title song of Guns NÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ RosesÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ new album, and he must be well aware of how that line sounds now. Mr. Rose, 46, the only remaining original member of Guns NÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ Roses, needed 17 years, more than $13 million (as of 2005) and a battalion of musicians, producers and advisers to deliver Ã¢â‚¬Å“Chinese Democracy,Ã¢â‚¬Â the first album of new Guns NÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ Roses songs since 1991. ItÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s being released on Sunday, with CDs sold exclusively at Best Buy. (In another 21st-century fillip the albumÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s best song, Ã¢â‚¬Å“ShacklerÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s Revenge,Ã¢â‚¬Â appeared first in a video game, Rock Band 2.)
Ã¢â‚¬Å“Chinese DemocracyÃ¢â‚¬Â (Geffen) is the Titanic of rock albums: the ship, not the movie, although like the film itÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s a monumental studio production. ItÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s outsize, lavish, obsessive, technologically advanced and, all too clearly, the end of an era. ItÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s also a shipwreck, capsized by pretensions and top-heavy production. In its 14 songs there are glimpses of heartfelt ferocity and despair, along with bursts of remarkable musicianship. But they are overwhelmed by countless layers of studio diddling and a tone of curdled self-pity. The album concludes with five bombastic power ballads in a row.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“Chinese DemocracyÃ¢â‚¬Â sounds like a loud last gasp from the reign of the indulged pop star: the kind of musician whose blockbuster early success could once assure loyal audiences, bountiful royalties, escalating ambitions and dangerously open-ended deadlines. The leaner, leakier 21st-century recording business is far less likely to nurture such erratic perfectionists. (Mr. Rose did manage to outpace Kevin Shields of My Bloody Valentine, which re-emerged on tour this year but hasnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t yet released a successor to its 1991 masterpiece, Ã¢â‚¬Å“Loveless.Ã¢â‚¬Â) The new rock paradigm, a throwback to the 1950s and early 1960s, is to record faster, more cheaply and more often, then head out on tour before the next YouTube sensation distracts potential fans.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“Chinese DemocracyÃ¢â‚¬Â is such an old-school event that at this point no album could easily live up to the pent-up anticipation and fascination. Over the last two decades Guns NÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ RosesÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ 1987 debut album, Ã¢â‚¬Å“Appetite for Destruction,Ã¢â‚¬Â has sold 18 million copies in the United States alone. The original band, particularly the guitar team of Slash on lead and Izzy Stradlin on rhythm, collaborated to forge a scrappy combination of glam, punk and metal behind Mr. RoseÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s proudly abrasive voice, which could leap from a baritone growl to a fierce screech. Singing about sex, drugs, booze and stardom, Mr. Rose was a rags-to-MTV success story for the 1980s: a self-described abused child from heartland America who got himself out of Indiana and reinvented himself as a full-fledged Hollywood rock star, charismatic and volatile, never pretending to be controllable.
Amid tours, band membersÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ addictions and liaisons with models, Guns NÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ Roses went on to make an EP and the multimillion-selling albums Ã¢â‚¬Å“Use Your IllusionÃ¢â‚¬Â I and II, which were released simultaneously in 1991. Those were followed by a desultory collection of punk-rock remakes, Ã¢â‚¬Å“The Spaghetti Incident?,Ã¢â‚¬Â in 1993, before the band splintered and left Mr. Rose as the owner of the Guns NÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ Roses brand. Clearly it would be a very different band, but there was little doubt that Mr. Rose had more to say.
He has been announcing the impending completion of Ã¢â‚¬Å“Chinese DemocracyÃ¢â‚¬Â since at least 1999 and has been singing many of its songs on tour since 2001. Concert bootlegs and unfinished studio versions circulating online have defused some of the surprise from the finished album. Yet meanwhile, year after year, Mr. Rose worked on and reworked the songs. The album credits list 14 studios.
For years Mr. Rose has been tagged the Howard Hughes of rock, as his manager at the time was already complaining in 2001. That didnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t have to be a bad thing; estrangement and obsession have spawned great songs. But Ã¢â‚¬Å“Chinese Democracy,Ã¢â‚¬Â though itÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s a remarkable artifact of excess, is a letdown. Mr. RoseÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s version of Guns NÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ Roses, with sidemen he can fire rather than partners, leaves his worst impulses unchecked.
Guns NÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ Roses is still collaborative; the songs on Ã¢â‚¬Å“Chinese DemocracyÃ¢â‚¬Â are credited to Mr. Rose along with many of the musicians who have passed through the band since the mid-1990s. The guitarists Buckethead and Robin Finck, the bassist Tommy Stinson and the drummers Josh Freese and Brain pushed Mr. Rose toward rock, others toward ballads. By way of comparison with the old Guns NÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ Roses, Mr. RoseÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s latter-day songwriting tilts more toward the pomp of Ã¢â‚¬Å“November RainÃ¢â‚¬Â than the thrust of Ã¢â‚¬Å“Welcome to the JungleÃ¢â‚¬Â or the pealing guitar lines of Ã¢â‚¬Å“Sweet Child oÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ Mine.Ã¢â‚¬Â The one song on Ã¢â‚¬Å“Chinese DemocracyÃ¢â‚¬Â written by Mr. Rose alone, Ã¢â‚¬Å“This I Love,Ã¢â‚¬Â is by far the albumÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s most maudlin track, and he hams it up further with a vibrato vocal homage to QueenÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s Freddie Mercury.
Like the old Guns NÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ Roses albums Ã¢â‚¬Å“Chinese DemocracyÃ¢â‚¬Â whipsaws between arrogance and pain, moans and sneers. The present-day Mr. Rose presents himself as someone beleaguered on every front, a cornered character with nothing to lose. HeÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s tormented by inner demons and, from outside, by antagonists, lovers and users who constantly betray and exploit him. Ã¢â‚¬Å“Forgive them that tear down my soul,Ã¢â‚¬Â he croaks in Ã¢â‚¬Å“Madagascar,Ã¢â‚¬Â amid French horns playing a dirge. (The middle of that song inexplicably gives way to a collage of movie dialogue and speeches by the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.)
All the labors of Mr. Rose and his various lineups, both inspired and overblown, come through the finished album. Mr. Rose and his co-producer, Caram Costanzo, just keep piling up the sounds. String orchestra? Toy piano plinks? Voices muttering in foreign languages? Harp? Drum machines? Choirs? Ã¢â‚¬Å“I Have a DreamÃ¢â‚¬Â? TheyÃ¢â‚¬â„¢re all there, along with indefatigable drums and phalanxes of guitars.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“Chinese DemocracyÃ¢â‚¬Â reveals multiple archaeological layers, including what might have been passing fascinations as the 1990s and early 2000s rolled by: the Metallica of Ã¢â‚¬Å“Enter SandmanÃ¢â‚¬Â in the surly, self-righteous Ã¢â‚¬Å“SorryÃ¢â‚¬Â; the distortion effects of Nine Inch Nails in Ã¢â‚¬Å“ShacklerÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s RevengeÃ¢â‚¬Â; U2Ã¢â‚¬â„¢s sustained guitars and martial beat to begin Ã¢â‚¬Å“ProstituteÃ¢â‚¬Â; a combination of Elton John piano and strings (arranged by Mr. JohnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s longtime associate Paul Buckmaster) with Smashing Pumpkins guitar crescendos in Ã¢â‚¬Å“Street of Dreams.Ã¢â‚¬Â
Some of the albumÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s best moments are its intros. Flaunting what time and money can accomplish, there are gratuitous ear grabbers like an a cappella vocal chorale in Ã¢â‚¬Å“Scraped,Ã¢â‚¬Â a siren matched by a siren swoop of Mr. RoseÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s voice in Ã¢â‚¬Å“Chinese DemocracyÃ¢â‚¬Â and the narrow-band, filtered beginning of Ã¢â‚¬Å“Better.Ã¢â‚¬Â That track goes on to hurtle across so much of what Guns NÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ Roses does well Ã¢â‚¬â€ from steel-clawed hard-rock riffs to metallic reggae-rock to arena-anthem melodies Ã¢â‚¬â€ that it almost makes up for the whininess and lazy Ã¢â‚¬Å“-tionÃ¢â‚¬Â rhymes of the underlying song. Ã¢â‚¬Å“If the WorldÃ¢â‚¬Â opens with acoustic guitar lines suggesting a Middle Eastern oud but segues into wah-wah rhythm guitar and sustained strings fit for a blaxploitation soundtrack, while Mr. Rose unleashes something like a soul falsetto.
Is it demented? Sometimes. Does Mr. Rose care? Apparently not. Ã¢â‚¬Å“I am crazy!Ã¢â‚¬Â he belts over the frantic guitar and tom-toms of Ã¢â‚¬Å“Riad NÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ the Bedouins,Ã¢â‚¬Â while heÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s a potentially trigger-happy maniac in Ã¢â‚¬Å“ShacklerÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s Revenge.Ã¢â‚¬Â In Ã¢â‚¬Å“ScrapedÃ¢â‚¬Â heÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s alternately depressive and manic, warning Ã¢â‚¬Å“DonÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t you try to stop us nowÃ¢â‚¬Â over a riff fit for Led Zeppelin. Ã¢â‚¬Å“Catcher in the RyeÃ¢â‚¬Â echoes the Beatles in its melody while it alludes to Mark David Chapman, who was carrying that book when he killed John Lennon: Ã¢â‚¬Å“If I thought that I was crazy/Well I guess IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢d have more fun,Ã¢â‚¬Â he sings.
Even when heÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s presumably being himself, Mr. Rose is forever overwrought. He pushes his multiply overdubbed voice every which way Ã¢â‚¬â€ rasping, sobbing, cackling, yowling Ã¢â‚¬â€ while at the same time Mr. Finck, Buckethead and Ron (Bumblefoot) Thal are playing frantic guitar solos, with a mandate to wail higher and zoom faster.
The craziness on Ã¢â‚¬Å“Chinese DemocracyÃ¢â‚¬Â isnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t the wild, brawling arrogance that the young Mr. Rose and his rowdy Ã¢â‚¬â„¢80s band mates gave the fledgling Guns NÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ Roses. ItÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s the maniacal attention to detail thatÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s possible in the era of Pro Tools: the infinitude of tiny tweaks available for every instant of a track, the chance to reshape every sound and reshuffle every setting, to test every guitar solo ever played on a song Ã¢â‚¬â€ or all of them at once Ã¢â‚¬â€ and then throw on a string arrangement for good measure. That microscopic focus is obvious throughout Ã¢â‚¬Å“Chinese DemocracyÃ¢â‚¬Â; every note sounds honed, polished, aimed Ã¢â‚¬â€ and then crammed into a song thatÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s already brimming with other virtuosity. At points where the mix goes truly haywire, like the end of Ã¢â‚¬Å“Catcher in the Rye,Ã¢â‚¬Â a Meat Loaf song title sums things up: Ã¢â‚¬Å“Everything Louder Than Everything Else.Ã¢â‚¬Â
ItÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s easy to imagine Mr. Rose determined to outdo his own brazen youth and his old band, but with less perspective and hundreds of new tracks as each year goes by. If Guns NÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ Roses had released Ã¢â‚¬Å“Chinese DemocracyÃ¢â‚¬Â in 2000, it would still have been an event, but it might also have been treated as the transitional album in a bandÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s continuing career. By holding it back and tinkering with it for so long, Mr. Rose has pressured himself to make it epochal Ã¢â‚¬â€ especially if, on this timetable, the next Guns NÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ Roses studio album doesnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t arrive until 2025. And fans were waiting for him to defy the world again, not to do another digital edit. Sometime during the years of work, theatricality and razzle-dazzle replaced heart.
As Mr. Rose bemoans the love that ended or vows to face life uncompromised and on his own, the music on Ã¢â‚¬Å“Chinese DemocracyÃ¢â‚¬Â swells and crashes all around him, frantic and nearly devoid of breathing space. ItÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s hard to envision him as the songs do, that besieged antihero alone against the world, when heÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s sharing his bunker with a cast of thousands.