|Moby and Axl? What a concept.
Addicted To Noise staff writer Gil Kaufman reports: File it under the "strange but true" heading, but Axl Rose has indeed been in discussions with diminutive former-techno god Moby about producing the next G N'R album.
Rose has met with several producers about handling what will undoubtedly be a labor-intensive project, but "he hasn't gone this far with any other producers," according to a Guns N' Roses spokesperson. The two have "spent time together, and gotten along well on a personal level, and now they're going to see if they can make some musical magic together," said the source. The duo are said to have gotten along famously during meetings over the past three weeks and have "seen eye-to-eye on a lot of things."
The story goes that Moby, who spilled the beans last week by mentioning that he had been meeting with Rose recently to listen to demos at a panel on the future of electronica at SXSW, went in to soak up some music compiled on nearly 300 DAT tapes that the band had filled with what the source described as "ideas, loops and sketches," and was duly impressed with what Rose and crew had come up with.
As you might recall, Moby recently abandoned his mantle as the Face of Techno by releasing the guitar-heavy album Animal Rights, but what you may not know is that Axl has been toying with the idea of crossing-over into electronica (at least according to his handlers) for years. "Before the  Illusions albums," the source said, referring to the last album(s) of new material from the band, "Axl had been talking about doing a solo album that was all electronic and techno beats."
The band, currently comprised of Rose, Duff McKagan (bass), Matt Sorum (drums), and friend of Axl (and writing partner) Paul Huge (rhythm guitar), is still without a lead guitarist following the departure of Slash last October. As reported in January of this year by ATN, the split between Slash and Guns was primarily due to "creative and personal differences" between Slash and Huge, a boyhood friend of Rose's who co-wrote the song "Back off Bitch" with Rose for Use Your Illusion I and whose presence in the sessions for new Guns material did not sit well with the faceless guitarist.
The source said that the new loop-using Guns material doesn't sound "that different from the sound you know" and maybe love, but is definitely "electronic influenced."
The group have brought in several guitarist to lay down what was described as "sketches and ideas for guitar parts on the demos," including a young, unnamed fresh face Rose has apparently taken a shine to. But the lead guitar spot remains open and Slash's return is not out of the question. However, according to our source, the guitarist and Rose haven't spoken at all this year.
Slash, meanwhile, is in rehearsals for another Blues Ball tour and is still looking for a lead singer for his project. An official announcement regarding the Moby/Guns collaboration is expected within the next few weeks.