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Slash Says “the Nature of the Industry Right Now” Is Holding up New Guns N’ Roses Music

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It’s been almost four years since Axl Rose, Slash, and Duff McKagan reunited in Guns N’ Roses, leading to the third-highest grossing tour of all time. And it’s no secret that since squashing their beef, they’ve spent at least some time working on new music. So why haven’t they actually released anything yet?

Plausible guesses might be “They don’t need to release anything new as long as people are still paying to see them play the old shit” and “It’s always taken this band a long time to release albums, even before Chinese Democracy” (it was four years in-between 1987’s Appetite for Destruction and 1991’s Use Your Illusion double set). But according to Slash, there’s a different culprit to blame: the state of the modern music industry.

Asked about new material by Guitar.com, The Artist Formerly Known as Saul Hudson said:

“There’s been no definitive answer on anything and I’ll just keep to that. Stuff is happening, but there are no specifics. More than anything, it’s because of the nature of the industry right now. It’s just like, how do you want to do this? I mean there’s material and there’s recording and there’s shit going on, but we’re not really sure what we’re doing with it right now.”

He continued:

“[T]here’s a handful people who said, ‘Yeah, make a record and go old school.’ And there’s a handful of people that are like, ‘We don’t even know what buying a record is any more!’”

I can’t decide if I buy this explanation or not. Tool are a massive band, but not as massive as GN’R, and look what they managed to do with Fear Inoculum, which sold like gangbusters (at least by modern standards… you could have a recorded message from God Himself and it still wouldn’t sell as well today as it would have in the ’90s). That was Tool’s first new album in thirteen years; if, by some miracle, GN’R’s new record is released in 2020, it will have been twelve years since Chinese Democracy and TWENTY-NINE years since Use Your Illusion I & II (the last full-length studio album of original material to feature Axl, Slash, and Duff all together). If the album is even moderately decent and they can get Axl Rose to do just a teensy bit of publicity to help promote it (as opposed to the zero-amount-of-promotion he did for Chinese Democracy), I have to imagine it would sell about as well anything can these days.

Regardless of the reason we haven’t new Guns N’ Roses music yet, I do firmly believe we’ll hear new Guns N’ Roses music eventually. We just need a little patience.

Sorry. I couldn’t resist.

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