|Reclusive Guns N' Roses singer promises 'heavy,' 'aggressive' songs in 'different styles,' with 'different sounds.'
Senior Writer Gil Kaufman reports:
Reclusive Guns N' Roses singer Axl Rose spoke publicly for the second time in as many months Tuesday (Nov. 9), giving fans a glimpse of the band's upcoming album in an MTV interview.
"It's a lot of different sounds," Rose, 37, said following the premiere of a video for the classic 1987 Guns N' Roses hit "Welcome to the Jungle." The clip is the second offering from the upcoming live album, Guns N' Roses Live Era '87–'93 (Nov. 23), from the once ubiquitous Los Angeles heavy-metal band.
"There's some really heavy songs, a lot of aggressive songs, but they're all in different styles and with different sounds," he said. "It is truly a melting pot."
Rose said he spent the past six years trying to figure out how to make the next Guns N' Roses record. "I originally wanted to make a traditional record, and you know, get back to an Appetite [for Destruction] thing," he said, referring to the band's multiplatinum 1987 debut.
"Because that would have been a lot easier for me to do, as I was involved in a lot of lawsuits for Guns N' Roses and in my own personal life, so I didn't have time to develop a new style or reinvent myself. So I was hoping I would be able to do a traditional thing. But I wasn't allowed to do that."
The singer said he was prevented from pursuing the back-to-basics plan by former Guns N' Roses guitarist Slash (born Saul Hudson), but Rose did not elaborate on how his ex-bandmate stood in his way.
The new video for "Welcome to the Jungle" intersperses cuts of the band performing athletic feats of rock during their stadium-show days with footage of news events from the past decade. Among the era-defining news clips in the video are images of Rose's numerous arrests and concert scuffles and footage from the Persian Gulf War, the Los Angeles riots, the President Clinton/Monica Lewinsky scandal, the Columbine (Colo.) High School shootings and the deadly FBI siege on Waco, Texas.
The video ends with a clip of Rodney King's plea during the L.A. riots, "Can't we all just get along?," floating in an image of the spinning globe.
The band, which now counts Rose as its only original member, recently released a new video for the song "It's So Easy" from the same collection.
Chinese Democracy, a new studio album from the group — which now features longtime Rose friend and guitarist Paul Huge, ex-Vandals drummer Josh Freese, Guns keyboardist Dizzy Reed, ex-Replacements bassist Tommy Stinson and, until recently, Nine Inch Nails touring guitarist Robin Finck — is expected in 2000. The band's manager, Doug Goldstein, was quoted as saying in the Los Angeles Times on Sunday that the band has almost finished recording music for the disc, and it is working on lyrics.
Rose called the new lineup "a breath of fresh air."
The first new song from the band in nearly eight years, the electronica-influenced "Oh My God", was released Tuesday on the "End of Days" soundtrack and likely will be on the album, Goldstein was quoted as saying.
"It's not entirely indicative of what the album's going to be," the manager reportedly said. "It's a song that seemed to fit the movie." The song also features a performance from ex–Jane's Addiction/Red Hot Chili Peppers guitarist Dave Navarro.
Rose also told MTV News that former Queen guitarist Brian May has agreed to perform on the album, and that the new lineup also has re-recorded Appetite for Destruction.
Two weeks after the release of "Oh My God," Rose (born William Bailey) issued a statement explaining the song's indecipherable lyrics. Rose said the song "contemplates several abstract perspectives drawing from personal expression as well as from the film ... and its metaphors."
The song was the first original work from the "Sweet Child o' Mine" rockers since the albums Use Your Illusion I and Use Your Illusion II were released on the same day in 1991. A disc of covers, The Spaghetti Incident?, followed in 1993.
The 23-track Guns N' Roses Live Era '87-'93 came about when bandmembers began looking into their vaults a few years ago, according to former guitarist Slash's manager. "The guys started fooling around with this a few years ago, seeing if there was anything worth releasing," Tom Maher, onetime member of the Guns N' Roses management team, said.
The two-CD set also will include the songs "November Rain," "Nightrain," "Mr. Brownstone" and covers of Black Sabbath's "It's Alright" and Bob Dylan's "Knockin' on Heaven's Door," a Guns N' Roses concert staple.
Rose promised fans they soon would have some new music from the band. "We'll be around," he said, jokingly. "We're not working on all this to keep it buried. We plan on getting it out there and plan on doing it right."