AXL ROSE FINALLY PROMOTES CHINESE DEMOCRACY… SORT OF
After weeks of wondering why the fuck Axl Rose was doing nothing to promote Chinese Democracy (which is selling poorly, to put it mildly), early this morning “The Howard Hughes of Rock” added another bizarre chapter to his ongoing saga by answering fans’ questions on the message boards for popular GN’R fan sites Here Today… Gone to Hell! and MyGNR.com (Under the username “Dexter,” because he’s apparently a fan of the television show and has named his cat after the titular serial killer. Seriously.).
Aside from what his reputation may have led us to believe, this was not a Dubya-like pre-planned press conference, and Rose didn’t appear offended by a variety of questions actually worth asking (e.g., Why did the album take so long?, Why did the old band break-up?, etc.). That being said, his answers were typically enigmatic, strange, and, in some cases, unsatisfactory, and anyone who thinks this “promotion” will help sales of the album is kidding themselves – casual fans may hear about this unexpected happening, but it can’t possibly have the same effect as, say, a Rolling Stone cover.
That being said, I don’t think it was Rose’s intention to boost sales* so much as it was simply to communicate, in whatever capacity, with the hardcore fans that continue to hold a candle for him. And that’s actually commendable. You could argue that communicating with fans is what Rose is supposed to do and that patting him on the back for this “interview” of sorts is like rewarding someone for not breaking the law; but the GN’R faithful can give Trekkies a run for their money in the “inappropriately passionate” department, and why rain on their parade? They’ve put up with a lot of shit over the years and deserve this little ray of sunshine.
After the jump, read some of the more interesting Q&As from Rose and his fans, including info on an upcoming video, the (seemingly) already planned re-release of Chinese Democracy, the next GN’R album, and more.
Axl on performing late and being late to gigs?
I’ve been an after midnight type since I was sneakin’ out of my house in Jr. High. With old Guns we preferred 12am or so. When we moved to theaters etc obviously that changes but it’s never changed inside me. Doesn’t matter what I do so generally that’s when I’m more myself. This isn’t to mess with anyone that has an early schedule to keep it’s just personal preference.
And in regard to the size venues I’m on record as preferring what ever venues allow for our schedule but management and promoters can do a lot in their own interests behind the scenes that can rarely be avoided and their greed or whatever leads to a lot of double talk and ugly behind nonsense that generally eventually ruins things for everyone. Translated once a tour is scheduled however it’s like parting the seas to change.
As far as being late, I’ve been that way my whole life. It drove Izzy crazy but he would check himself and freely admit I was generally actually doing something that had to get done rather than watching basketball etc.
On a video for Better?
THE BETTER MUSIC VIDEO WILL BE OUT IN A WEEK OR SO”
MONUMENTAL PROMOTION WILL START VERY SOON! [And not a moment too late. Oh wait. – Ed.]
Regarding multiple albums…
For now we’ll concentrate and keep our focus on this album but I will say I’ve always thought of it as a double.
And no offence but no one’s trying to talk in parables. The issues are a bit more complex than anyone would like.
Hey Axl, is the song Atlas Shrugged as epic as the book? Who is your favorite character from the book?
Song doesn’t have all that much to do with the book other than trying to do what you believe in and a line about shoulders not being wide enough.
Axl was their ever a cover B and cover C for chinese democracy?
Yes there are. There are 2 more covers/bk cover combos and the real booklet that is all artwork that will be out shortly in some form. It’s been an ugly battle that hasn’t made any sense to anyone and whether anyone cares about such things the booklet or artwork has always been something I’ve been passionate about and to release the album with unapproved and unseen final artwork with a !st work only error filled draft when others more recent were readily available still has not been explained but is finally getting cleared up. My fave is the How Are You Grenade cover.
Axl how do you feel about Kanye outselling Chinese Democracy? Do you like Kanye’s music?
I met Kanye at the Versace awards. He was very gracious. I love Gold Digger and told him so. I’m a big fan of his stage performance as he seems to go for it physically which I relate more to. B4 r release I sent him a msg that any nonsense from the media had nothing to do with us and wished him the best. I’m humbled we’ve done as well as we have considering.
Axl do you control the weather or is that solely Oprah?
Axl, thanks for Chinese Democracy which i personally think is your best work.
what’s your pick for album of the year?
and have you heard the new MetallicA album?
Ours of course!!
Yes, I like it.
Axl are you still thinking of suing Dr Peppers ass?
Sure but the actions taken so far had nothing to do with me and I was taken off guard as I had specifically told our team who fucking cares rt now we have a record to deal with.
My feelings are after their public response. It was cute.
Maybe the guy who got it rolling originally meant well but it turned out sour and maybe it’s just me but he seems like maybe he wants a bit too much attention so…
Have you seen the movie The Aviator any thoughts it is my favorite of all time.
I piss in jars all the time only I throw them at people!!
If you could work with buckethead again, would you have him just in studio, or also would you welcome him in the touring lineup?
I have no issues with Bucket. It’s hard to tell what was real or not in things we were told by Merck. He’s more than welcome to tour with us in some form or other provided we’re both interested at the time and come to some type of reasonable terms. Personally I have a blast w/Bucket on tour and get a big kick out of the guy. A lot of feelings were hurt on this side of the fence in how things went down and unfortunately others used our silence and the public’s not knowing for their own purposes at both Bucket’s and our expense.
Now that you said that please tell us if Robin’s out or not… because, otherwise, we’ll be reading several ‘Axl wants Bucket back and Robin/Bumble/Richard out’ type of threads for the entire ’09 year and these threads annoy us, the new lineup fans.
It really is what it is. No decisions have been made by either him, I or us that I’m aware of.
When we’re touring or working in the studio or there’s social things like a friend’s dinner or party whatever we would hang. But as people get older they have their own lives. The Stones aren’t going bowling every Tuesday etc.
Robin leads one of the most different lives I know of starting with the trapeze in his backyard to the tv in his closet. Robin’s work on the next is done so there’s not lots for him to do here except the elusive promo and he’d rather be on stage.
It’s more about seeing where things are when Guns decides it’s right for a tour and if we’re able to make agreements we both are comfortable and can live with at that time. [Seriously, how is it possible that even Rose doesn’t seem to know who is or is not presently in his band? – Ed.]
just wondering what stops you from playing more guitar live?
Catcher is one of the best songs on the album, why no Brian [May, who recorded a solo for “Catcher in the Rye” that was ultimately discarded from the final album]?
There’s a few reasons and none of them all that big and definitely not in spite or to slight anyone.
1st off obviously I knew people liked the song but the Brian appreciation really only showed up in force publicly after we had moved on in Guns. In fact Not many seemed to care and most comments were aimed at why Slash in their opinions should be here.
Brians solo itself is a personal fave of mine and I really couldn’t understand as he’s such a rock legend why it wasn’t openly appreciated more at the time.
In actuality all that feel and emotion referred to now had a lot to do with Sean and I and the parts I chose out of Brian’s different runs, versions, practice runs etc to make sure we had those elements in one version. It’s entirely constructed from edits based around one specific note Brian hit in a throw away take. And though Brian seems to have warmed a bit to it at least publicly he was unfortunately none to pleased at the time with our handiwork.
I remember looking at Brian standing to my left and him staring at the big studio speakers a bit aghast saying “But that’s not what I played.”
Sean Beavan and I were not in any way tring to mess with Brian we just did what we do and then try and do our best to stand up for our decisions.
when are the online shop opening?
I haven’t been involved much in any of our merch and the reasons are it’s been a mess legally for years. Unbeknownst to most of you I was recently sued again by Duff and Slash for some murky Merckiness that I was unaware and not involved in. Fortunately that was resolved but it got ugly and took a while going into arbitration.
Merck shifted our merch from some of our newer styles to incorporating more of the old with some scam that actually and surprisingly lost sales in comparison but that’s old news.
What I look forward to is incorporating the new artwork into our merch and getting some for myself. I think u’ll like a lot of it. My vote’s for the How Are You grenade and the Sorry automatic rifle artwork on shirts etc.
Hey Axl , whats your favourite song from either Chinese Democracy, or from an unreleased album?
The bridge in “Elvis Presley and the Monster of Soul aka The Soul Monster (working title Leave Me Alone)” which will no doubt end up “Soul Monster”.
I think it’s r most Black Sabbath moment. Sang it on a Christmas eve. Imo the meanest section of anything I’ve sung to date. Which having said that I’m sure when it’s heard others may disagree but we felt it was a Christmas card of unadulterated venom so to speak. I felt a lot better afterward.
Someone give me a list of all the alleged song titles at once and I’ll tell what’s real or not. Most from the past like cockroach soup or eulogy aren’t.
No Love Remains
When Love Collides (I believe that was the name)
And Checkmate is a bogus title.
I know this is jumping the gun big time, but any tentative idea when you would like to see the next CD come out?
No, maybe same bat time, same bat channel next year but we’ll have to see.
Is there anything in the past that you have now looked back on and thought maybe I culd have handled that differently, also what are your ongoing hopes for GnR in the future?
I have cyclothemia and sometimes get this feeling that I cant be around people and need my own space and area, how do you find the bipolar effect you, if you dont mind me asking that is?
thanks again for doing this.
Of course but in the world of sports and litigation….
I’ve not been diagnosed as being bipolar though many misconstrue statements I made earlier as alluding to such and unfortunately there’s been an abundance of misguided or unqualified speculation of various events but I definitely can relate to needing my own space.
In my world all bi polar means (and not to offend or make light of those suffering from a genuine condition or involved with those who are) is that someone can try to take cheap uneducated shots or try to claim I’m bipolar thus justifying why they should get paid a financial settlement for whatever nonsense they’re up to. Fortunately that hasn’t proved successful.
Axl I would like to know why you avoid the press so much. I think it’s definitely hurting album sales, I mean, you haven’t even done one interview. I know for sure you’d be able to get a few magazine covers. So why don’t you? Why be such a hermit/recluse?
That’s ur opinion and it very well could be true.
What I have to say a lot of people have no desire to hear.
With our team we were able to negotiate thru a mountain of issues to be able to release the album. Within’ those negotiations I believed I had secured agreements, commitments and assurances that would have allowed a promotional strategy to be implemented that obviously I’ve had a fair amount of time to consider. Unfortunately those things never happened and once the record was closer to release the biz went about things in their standard business as usual mode.
axl, why did you change “the bues” to “street of dreams”??
The Blues was my first working title and I was never comfortable with it in the sense that I felt that should be used with a bluesier based song. And here in Hollywood with the walk of fame etc I had always seen that imagery in my head when I think of it. I also like the idea of the song having in affect two titles.
Axl, have you been in contact with steven adler at all? Not as far as playing with him or anything, just to like lend him support?
do wish Steven the best and in my heart hope that he finds some peace and security. As far as direct contact no. It unfortunately gets too messy too quick. In Steven’s mind I’m the one who holds the keys and power over his happiness so I’m the bad guy pretty quickly.
Axl, cherry or original flavor Nyquil?
prefer cherry night time for breakfast around 11pm
I keep asking questions (like everybody else, I suppose) and feel stupid for asking so many, but I am also curious as to your relationship with Mickey Rourke. He’s one of my favourite actors, and I saw an interview with him recently where he said you were kind enough to give him songs for The Wrestler. My question is: how long do you and Mickey go back, and do you have any interesting stories from “back in the day”? You guys strike me as being pretty similar in a lot of ways (I mean as far as personalities and what you’ve been through in your lives) and it’s cool for me to see two of my pop culture “heroes,” for lack of better description, being friends, and also making similarly timed “comebacks.” (Or whatever you want to call it.)
Mickey and I haven’t really hung much but have a lot of mutual friends over the years. He’s always been massively supportive. I’ve always been a big fan of his as well. It’s probably better for both of us we didn’t hang directly back in the day!! Actually Mickey agreed to play The Shackler if we were to make a vid for it.
– What is your honest opinion on why the old lineup disintegrated ?
– What is your honest opinion on why it took so long for CD to come out ?
I think that’s what most people want to know but dare not ask …
2 great but complicated questions and I agree that people would like to know at least my take on things.
Not avoiding them here but they deserve more than I can give as we’ve been at this a little while. But I’m attempting to speak out on several issues these being a major focus over the coming weeks and months. What I can say now is u’ve been told a lot of things in order for others to promote themselves that factually they cannot backup in regard to either. They are complicated legally, financially and have devoured a good portion of my life.
The record Chinese u may have is nothing short of a miracle in almost each and every way that either it or I exist imo under the bizarre and ugly conditions of the last over 15yrs.
Thanks everyone and thanks for all the support and the positive comments both 2nite and over the years. I hope to do this again soon, maybe sooner than u’d think! And u didn’t scare me off I’m just burnt and would rather not mispeak on issues that may mean a lot to some.
*And with Best Buy paying a reported $14 million for an album that cost a reported $13 million, this whole thing might have somehow ended up being profitable for Rose and Geffen anyway, no matter how unfair that seems