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Welcome to Appetite for Discussion -- a Guns N' Roses fan forum!

Please feel free to look around the forum as a guest, I hope you will find something of interest. If you want to join the discussions or contribute in other ways then you need to become a member. We especially welcome anyone who wants to share documents for our archive or would be interested in translating or transcribing articles and interviews.

Registering is free and easy.



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27. JANUARY 2007-JUNE 2008 - LEAKS AND TOURING - Page 2 Empty Re: 27. JANUARY 2007-JUNE 2008 - LEAKS AND TOURING

Post by Soulmonster Sat May 29, 2021 7:56 am

JUNE 18, 2008

On June 18, 2008, the blogger Kevin Cogill (writing under the handle "Skwerl") from the Antiquiet Blog would leak nine songs from Chinese Democracy:

Well, to say that I’m living up to my reputation today is an understatement. I’d like to share with you 9 tracks from the new Guns N’ Roses album, Chinese Democracy. These are mastered, finished versions that you probably haven’t heard. I always said that the more that Axl and Geffen jerked around trying to figure out how to release this finally finished album that we’ve all been waiting over 13 years for, the greater the chances would be that it would slip out of a pressing plant or office somewhere and wind up in the hands of some asshole with a blog. So… Hey, I told you so.

Cogill had previously worked for Universal Music [Los Angeles Times, August 29, 2008].

The songs would be available for download from Antiquiet, but would be removed not long after due to the high traffic and after a call from Guns N' Roses [Antiquiet Blog, June 18, 2008].

Cogill would describe his blog host contacting him:

My host contacts me and says, ‘What the fuck did you do?’” I go, “Uhhhh. I posted some music.” He goes, “What exactly did you post?” I go, “Uhhhh. [Meek voice] New Guns n’ Roses.” He goes, “Motherfucker.”

And the GN'R camp:

It was a really cool guy from the Gn’R camp that was a middle man between someone who was very angry and me. He was trying to reach out and see if I’d go without a fight, which is more or less what I did.

In a detailed description of how things went down published in 2014, Cogill would say that it was the admin of the fan forum Here Today...Gone To Hell, Jarmo, who first noticed the leaks and then told Fernando Lebeis who subsequently called Cogill [Antiquiet Blog, January 6, 2014].

Billboard would comment on the leak:

Nine purported "mastered, finished" tracks from Guns N' Roses' 14-years-in-the-making album "Chinese Democracy" were leaked online yesterday (June 18) by the Web site, prompting a quick cease-and-desist from the band's handlers and the removal of the links.

Six of the songs have already leaked in one unfinished form or another: "Better," "The Blues," the title track, "Madagascar," "IRS" and "There Was a Time." But these versions appear to be much further along on the path toward completion, and feature new touches like organ and tambourine on "IRS" and a beefed-up chorus with multi-tracked vocals on "Madagascar."

The three previously unheard songs are "Rhiad and the Bedouins," "If the World" and a track whose title is unknown.

A few days later, on June 23 and June 24, FBI questioned Cogill at his work place and his home, about the leaks and wanted to see the files, but Cogill claimed they had been deleted as per request from Axl's attorney [Rolling Stone, June 24, 2008]. Cogill had received a cease-and-desist letter threatening legal action, but Cogill wasn't worried:

I’m not so worried about that. It’s a legal grey area since it wasn’t for download, it wasn’t a finished product. We aren’t sure who owns the recordings. I feel like I might survive this. [...] If legal proceedings come my way, I’ll face them 100 percent. I’m not afraid of that. I did what I did, and I’ll face the music if I have to.

Bumblefoot would comment on the leaks:

Those were demos and not final mixes, I’m happy to say. By that I mean, I want people to be surprised and thrilled when they hear the album – as opposed to something they heard on the internet. I don’t blame the fans for wanting to hear it – they want music, and they want it now. The problem is that the guy who leaks it is getting in way of Guns N’ Roses getting the album out the right way.

It is possible Bumblefoot is referring to another set of leaks in the quote above.

And in December, Axl would take about leaks in general:

Basically for us it's devastating across the board. And when u have such a majority openly justifying their actions and throwing out nonsense such as it's not actually stealing as the original is still with whomever it's unbelievably insane. It exists because of the greed of the record industry, the greed of large scale pirating, the ease and common nature now of the act itself and personal motivations such as popularity among certain groups, possible momentary media recognition etc. And it's too rampant and widespread. It's simply too huge a mess for the courts to deal with and in that with those #'s and the expense and manpower involved necessary at this time to curtail it... obviously there are more serious crimes for society to focus on. Besides, fuck musicians right? If they didn't make enough already then they probably suck anyway rt? "I ain't cryin' for no rich dude." Whatever. And who knows? What are our #'s on the torrent sites for this album? I don't know. So I don't know how or if it's affected us in terms of sales this time around. Maybe not but w/the economy and the core of our market I'd think there's a possibility it has had a negative effect. Anyone?

In May 2009, Bumblefoot would be asked how much the band had lost from the leaks:

I don't know. All I know is that my last CD 'Abnormal', about three weeks after I released it was when I first started finding torrent files of it. I checked one, and there had been 1,500 downloads just of that torrent of it. That file was on the Internet for about a week. So it's at a point now where I don't think you can fairly assess the success of an album anymore by its sales. You have to assess it by its downloads. You have to start asking the philosophical question, is it how many albums you sell, or is it how many copies people have? How do you assess it now? Is it only SoundScan that you're going to consider legitimate? Because if that's the case, yeah, GNR went Platinum, but if you go by how many people just torrented a copy as well, it's probably quadruple Platinum.


On August 29, 2008, FBI arrested Cogill at his home in Culver City on suspicion of violating federal copyright laws [Billboard, August 27, 2008; Los Angeles Times, August 27, 2008]. Cogill was facing up to five years in prison [The Smoking Gun, August 27, 2008] or three years in prison and up to $250,000 in fines [Los Angeles Times, August 29, 2008].

Larry Solters, spokesman for Guns N' Roses, would comment on the arrest:

Guns N' Roses representatives have been made aware of the arrests and are leaving the matter to the authorities.

Cogill was ordered to return to court for a preliminary hearing on the matter set for September 17 [NME, August 28, 2008].

The band would comment on the case on August 28, stating that although they didn't condone the leaks, they were more focused in identifying the original source:

Presently, though we don't support this guy's actions at that level, our interest is in the original source. We can't comment publicly at this time as the investigation is ongoing.

We appreciate your understanding,

Guns N' Roses

Slash would comment on the leaks and Cogill's arrest:

I think it’s totally fine that he got arrested. I hope he rots in jail. It’s going to affect the sales of the record, and it’s not fair. The Internet is what it is, and you have to deal with it accordingly, but I think if someone goes and steals something, it’s theft. At one point, I had an early version of all of "Use Your Illusion" on CD and I had it all stacked up with a piece of cardboard around, wrapped in duct tape. I left a hotel in South America to do a gig, I came back and I saw that it had been ripped off. One of the staff at the hotel ripped it off. Fortunately, I got it back, and the guy got arrested. That was a really frightening experience… making a record is like making a painting or any other personal art project. I don’t see the difference between that theft and this one.

All the Napster stuff and all these people who talk about illegal file sharing killing the record business and taking money out of the artists’ pockets! It may be true. But Napster was just a reaction to the record business not catching up with the development of the internet. Napster was inevitable. But when somebody takes somebody’s work and releases it prematurely just to become famous, it’s an incredibly selfish and criminal thing to do. A record is a piece of art. And it shouldn’t be released until the creator decides to release it - and I don’t care how long it took to make it.

And in February 2009, Axl would talk about the leaks:

Having someone jeopardize your efforts so cavalierly is pretty much a nightmare. I don't know that it hurt us though, at least as one might think. Hard to say. That's not to imply leaks don't hurt artists, but that they were earlier roughs and the level of sound quality is much higher with the finals. That said, you have those who become emotionally attached to how the leaks sound, which, for better or worse, usually isn't so great to contend with. And it seems that those who often do so and complain publicly, oddly and coincidentally, have a history of basically being detractors as well even if they're somehow considered part of a "fan" base.


On October 20, Cogill pleaded not guilty to the charges [E! Online, October 20, 2008]. On October 30 the charges had been changed from "felony" to "misdemeanor", with only up to one year in prison at the maximum, because prosecutors considered it "more appropriate" [Wired, October 30, 2008]. In addition, a deal was being worked out between the prosecution and Cogill [Wired, October 30, 2008]. As a result of the plea deal, on November 11, Cogill pleaded guilty to one federal count of copyright infringement [Billboard, November 11, 2008]. The plea deal did not involve Cogill serving any prison time [Wired, November 13, 2008]. Cogill's lawyer, David Kaloyanides commented:

We're looking at straight probation as a result of taking this deal. [...] We have agreed in a very limited fashion to provide information. We're still working with the government.


The court trial would take place on March 3, 2009 [NBC Los Angeles, December 15, 2008]. During the trial, the prosecution would claim the loss as a result of the leaks equaled $371,622 while the RIAA would claim the leaks had resulted in "more than a $2.2 million loss based on a "$6.39 legitimate wholesale value" for the nine tracks the RIAA claims (.pdf) were downloaded about 350,000 times" [Wired, March 13, 2009]. The prosecution demanded a 6 month prison sentence with sentencing set for May 4 [Wired, March 13, 2009]. In mid-July Cogill was sentenced to "one year probation and two months' home confinement" after having agreed to cooperate with the Recording Industry Association of America to produce an anti-piracy message [Wired, July 14, 2009]. Prosecutor Kevin Missakian said that the public address will either be a radio or television message of "Kevin talking about the importance of protecting copyright holders' rights in their songs and movies" and that the government was "satisfied" with the sentence, but "the government had asked for some jail time in hopes of sending a stronger message" [Wired, July 14, 2009].

After the sentencing, Cogill would make a statement:

I've come to respect the artists' right to determine how their art is released. I do apologize to Axl for that disrespect. As a fan who had lost faith in all of the promises of release, I didn't see too many other options at the time. But in a fair world, it's not my place to judge, let alone act.


A friend of mine conducted an interview with Slash last year in which he called me a thief and wished that I 'rot in jail.' I found that surprisingly crass, especially considering the guy has made no bones about shoplifting cassette tapes with the same rationale as today's downloaders. So if he wants to see me in jail, I'll see him in the cafeteria.

A few days later, Skwerl would conduct another interview where he would discuss Fernando Lebeis involvement and claim he had been responsible for previous leaks:

I’m sure you guys know about Beta’s kid Fernando. He was actually the first to call me, identifying himself as a member of the “Guns n’ Roses camp. ” Like I said, the songs were long gone, but he wanted to know if I was going to put them back up. I told him I would not. He asked where I got them, and I told them that I didn’t know the identity of my source. The cease and desist came via email shortly after.

Apparently the FBI questioned Fernando (before me), and he had given them a very different story. He told them that I said I got the tracks from a source at the record label, and he told them that the songs were still online when he called, suggesting that he had something to do with my taking them down. Initially we thought that he had something to do with the leaks (why else would he make so much shit up to the freaking FBI), but when we investigated, he was a dead end. He’s been responsible for past leaks, but not mine. So I don’t know. He may have been trying to play hero to redeem himself, or he may have mistakenly thought he was somehow responsible. I don’t know.

In the end, Cogill was never requested to produce the anti-piracy message for the RIAA [Wired, July 15, 2010].

In 2014, he would write a long article describing how he claims it all happened:

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27. JANUARY 2007-JUNE 2008 - LEAKS AND TOURING - Page 2 Empty Re: 27. JANUARY 2007-JUNE 2008 - LEAKS AND TOURING

Post by Soulmonster Sat May 29, 2021 7:56 am


In 2008, Sebastian Bach would claim Axl was writing an autobiography and Del James would mention that Axl planned to set the record straight on the history of Guns N' Roses:

I was saying to Axl one day, ‘I’m going to write a book.’ He was like, ‘Cool. How many pages you got?’ I go, ‘I’ve got six pages.’ He starts laughing and goes, ‘Yeah, I started my book a while back. I’m up to 12,000 words at this point.’ He’s very prolific. He’s just not motivated by fame at all. He’s had enough of it. He gets excited by making music, by putting on a concert. Making albums, he loves doing it.

From a personal perspective, it fucking bothers me to no end when people with their own personal agendas or who don’t know what the fuck they’re talking about write books or give interviews about Axl. And let’s not forget that a lot of these journalists writing about him don’t necessarily like Axl. You could make a case that personally they hate him so you really think they’re going to go out of their way to present a fair story? I mean really, how can you objectively write about someone you have no contact with? How accurate can a biography be when all of your information comes from secondhand sources or is hearsay? One of these days, Axl is going to set straight a lot of the misconceptions about himself and the history of Guns N’ Roses and people ain’t gonna know what hit ‘em.

Then later in the year, Axl would specify that it wasn't so much an autobiography as more of a "legal record" of the breakup of the band:

It's not exactly an autobiography as much as legal record of every last detail of what went down with the breakup. I have about 40k words on it (don't know where 1200 came from) but it's generally really depressing so I don't go back to it so much.

And in 2013, Axl would shed more light on what he had:

I've written a few things down and there have been offers but it's not something I'm that interested in right now.

In 2016, after Slash having rejoined Guns N' Roses, Axl was again asked if he intended to write a biography:

Uh, I think so. Quite possibly, yes. [...] But it is tough. Because I haven't figured out how to word things in a way that doesn't just look like I am being negative to everyone else or calling them a liar. You know, those were the first- Slash and I hadn't talked in 19 years and when we did talk I was like: "Dude, you wrote about stuff that didn’t even happen. It's just, not real."

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27. JANUARY 2007-JUNE 2008 - LEAKS AND TOURING - Page 2 Empty Re: 27. JANUARY 2007-JUNE 2008 - LEAKS AND TOURING

Post by Soulmonster Wed Jun 02, 2021 4:44 pm



In June 1999 it would be reported that Slash had started working on a solo record with legendary producer Jack Douglas with recording expected in July [MTV News, June 8, 1999]. This record would likely turn into Snakepit's 'Ain't Life Grand'.

Then in 2001 and 2002, having ended Snakepit, Slash would talk about releasing a proper solo record:

I’m going to put my nose to the grindstone. I’m working on material for another record and I’m going to get buried in that. It’ll be what you’d expect from me... a lot of edgy, hard rock guitar. I also want to do a lot of the different styles of guitar playing I’ve done on other people’s records, like blues.
Poughkeepsie Journal, Sept. 20, 2001

If there is a lack of publicity, it is the record company's fault. But I will remind them for sure.

In early 2002 it would be reported that Slash had disbanded Snakepit and was without management and label [CDNow/Allstar, January 8, 2002].

For the first time, I feel kind of equipped to move forward and do a record.

Put it all in place and do what I like to do. The other records [=Snakepit records], they were kind of put out on a whim. Like I say, I’m impatient, man. I’ve been jamming a lot and I’ve been writing a whole bunch of stuff... It’s going to be interesting. It’s going to be more like the stuff that I do when I play for other people, just a few different sides and shades, not necessarily what you’d find when you just put a little band together. Sometimes I do that because I get impatient.

If I tried to describe it to you it would kind of be like cutting across the edges of it. It wouldn't be fair. It’s going to be interesting - lots of different styles, lots of different things. I didn’t want anything too permanent, anything that bought too much baggage. That’s what you get with bands.
Classic Rock, January 2002; interview from 2001

In 2002 Slash would start playing with Izzy again and the songs were intended for his solo record:

I'm putting together another record with some stuff I've done with Izzy and other stuff I've done on my own. I want to start writing with other people as well, and put together an album with a lot of guests - a really cool rock 'n' roll record with people you wouldn't expect to hear together.


I still want to make my solo record — and Duff is working on his own stuff too.

In November 2007, he would refer to his next record as a "Slash and Friends" album but wouldn't say who would be on it [JAM! Music, November 28, 2007].

In early 2008, Slash would provide an update:

The only progress is I'm starting to put it together as to how I'm gonna do it and who I'm gonna do it with. It's actually really in the back of my mind, but I haven't gotten the wheels in motion to get it produced. It'll be coming -- probably the next thing I do after the next Velvet Revolver record. But if anything delays the Velvet record, I would turn around and do that (solo album) then.

And in March he would talk more about the planned record:

I don't think I have the patience to do an instrumental record, so I want to work with a bunch of artists whose records I've played on and some who I've never worked with.

In June, he would say it would be his first proper solo album:

I'm working on it pretty aggressively right now while I have the time cause as soon as Velvet finds its singer, then it's going to be off the races with that. I'm using this little period to be able to do as much on my solo record as possible. I'm not sure exactly when it will come out, but hopefully it will come out before the Velvet record.

It'll be my first solo record. All the other ones were just me putting other bands together and going out and just jamming. This will actually be a little bit more personal.

I want to do a solo record, too. I need that outlet pretty bad. Depending on how things stand with the next Velvet Revolver album, I'll do that either before or after. [...] It's not going to be a Snakepit thing. The last thing I want to do after everything I've been through lately is put together another band. That pattern, where you call up some guys, put the group together and the music becomes a product of that group is not attractive to me right now. It's hard to control where that goes. When we [Velvet Revolver] did the Libertad album, I wrote some great heavy shit, but the album just wasn't going to go there. I'll probably have more control on the next Velvet record. I don't care if people like what I do or if they don't like it, but I do like them to know what I meant.

One of the musicians it is likely Slash considered working with was Sebastian Bach:

[Slash contacted me] out of the blue ... to talk to me about working together, but it was not Velvet Revolver. It was a completely different project, and I can't tell you what it is 'cause it's mind-blowing, but I've been sworn to secrecy on that. But nothing's happening right now with me and him.
Billboard, June 25, 2008

Talking more about the singers:

I want to do different kinds of music and work with different singers, people I've worked with in the past, and people I've admired for a long time. Quite a lot of people have signed up already, but I can't say who they are - I don't want to jinx it. I can tell you that I'd love to get Stevie Wonder down. We've talked about hooking up, but we haven't managed it so far. That’s the thing about the brothers, man: we're all talk and no action! Very LA...

There’s a wish list and so far I’ve managed to get pretty much everybody on that wish list to commit. At the pace the Velvet singer search is going I’ll probably get this done before then.

In September Slash would talk about doing it all himself:

I’m totally on my own. A buddy of mine has got a mini-studio in his house and we stay until two or three in the morning just recording the basic demos. I’m used to a band situation where I’m one fifth of the input no matter who brought the song or whatever it is. Every band I’ve ever been in we all just sort of tear it apart, put it back together, and it comes out however it comes out. This is interesting for me because I’m just doing my thing and I have no one to answer to.

He would also mention he had demoed 14 songs for the new album [NME, September 30, 2008].

I've been carrying a tape recorder with me on the Velvet Revolver tour and putting down ideas. When I got back from the UK at the beginning of the summer listened to what was cool on them, then elaborated and came up with new stuff.

In October he would be asked about the status of his solo record:

I started writing on the road with Velvet Revolver and then when we finished the tour and I got back from the UK at the beginning of the summer I started to sift through the ideas I'd recorded and elaborating on them.

The plan at this point is where I'm just using different singers for every song. So it'll probably be...if there are 12 songs, there will be 12 singers, put it that way. [...] Working on a solo record, which is really my first solo record where I'm not using a fixed band, has just been a new experience for me because I don't have to answer to anybody.

I’ve been working on the solo album all summer. I only have three of four more songs left to get on [demo] tape. We’re probably going to record the album next year. It’s hard to say when it will actually be released because this industry is so fucked up right now.

I'm just at the very tail end of doing demos for it right now. So, I'll probably have about four more songs left to record in demo form and then in January go into the studio and actually start recording. Schedule permitting because I've got Velvet Revolver stuff if we find a singer. So, it's sort of a juggling act at the moment.

It’s not really much to say; I’m probably about 80 per cent done with demoes right now and probably going into the studio because it’s the holidays and all that stuff, I’ll probably start off the beginning of the year recording and doing vocals and all that kind of stuff. So that’s basically where that’s at.

So far, it’s going really great and I just have to hold the reins until it’s finished because it’s one of those kind of things where it always sounds best when it’s as simple as possible. And through the whole sort of recording process and working with engineers and this and that and the other and depending on what studio you’re working in, things are subject to change. So, it’s something I have to be very hands-on with throughout the whole process.

I'm just at the very tail end of doing demos for it right now. So, I'll probably have about four more songs left to record in demo form and then in January go into the studio and actually start recording. Schedule permitting, because I've got Velvet Revolver stuff if we find a singer. So, it's sort of a juggling act at the moment.

Being asked if the solo record will surprise people:

I don't know if it will be so much surprising…I mean, it touches on a lot of different sounds. There's different singers for every song and I think it will be the choice of vocalists that surprises people the most. But you'll just have to wait and see who they are. I'm sure there will be huge rumours going around will be reported as if they are a matter of fact!

And talking about coming to a stage where he can try to combine the songs with specific singers:

We’re just now getting to that point where I’m starting to go, “OK, this song is,” as far as my ear is concerned, “perfect for so-and-so.” And that’s just starting to happen because when I originally started, it was just music. But now that I’ve actually completed a lot of material, I’m starting to see which people the songs are tailor-made for.

Comparing working as a solo artist with the dynamics of being in a band:

It’s a different process because with Velvet Revolver or even Snakepit or Guns N’ Roses or whatever, in a band situation you have this sort of collaborative effort. Where you bring in a couple ideas and everybody riffs around on that and it becomes something that is produced by the group and everybody has their mark on it and that’s the way it comes out. And that’s what makes band stuff so dynamic. For the solo stuff in this particular situation, where it’s just me by myself, the only judge is me, you know? If I can’t find a bridge, there’s no other guy to go and find a bridge so I have to come up with it. So, I’m trying to be a little bit more patient when I’m writing songs. I don’t like force a completed thing out in the span of a couple hours; sometimes I’ll leave it and come back to it in a couple of days and work on something else. It’s been working; it’s been moving at a good pace but it’s been relaxed enough so I’m not stressing out over it too much. [...] I need different outlets every so often and I think having been working out sort of with the personalities within the confines of a group and the different dynamics and the different politics and all that kind of stuff for so long, sometimes you just need to come up for air. And just not have to listen to anybody for a minute. But I’ll always be a band guy and like I said, I’m still doing Velvet Revolver at the same time. Like I work in the afternoon and work with Matt and Duff (McKagen, bass) and Dave (Kirshner, guitar) and listen to singers and this and that and the other, and then that evening go in by myself and just start working on separate tracks for what I’m doing.

Talking about the singers:

They're all sort of well-known singers. It's sort of like how I go play on a lot of other people's records, so other people will just play on this one.

And that he wanted Jack White but couldn't get him:

I wanted to get Jack White to sing on something, but he didn't want to sing. He said I'll play drums, I'll play guitar, but I don't wanna sing. He was one guy that I wanted to work with. Pretty much everyone else that I went after I managed to get.

Talking about the album:

It’s gonna be Slash and friends. Slash and everybody from Ozzy to Fergie to everything in the middle.
Rockerazzi, November 24, 2008


In March 2009, Steven would say he would be featured on the record:

I have been working with Slash. I am producing a record and playing on it of course, so that will be in a week or two that we finish with this (the final date on the tour). [...] No, that is going to be my record, but I am going to play a song on Slash’s solo record too. So I will be doing some recording with him on that, but he is going to be producing my record.

Matt, on the other hand, was not invited:

He hasn’t asked me. You know, he’s got Jason Bonham playing on it, and Travis Barker, and I think he wants to, kind of, separate himself and do his own thing and that’s cool. I mean when he first did Slash’s Snakepit, I told him years ago that I thought it might be a good idea for him to bring in different singers and do that kind of thing, when we did the first Snakepit album way back when. Now he’s doing it, and I think it’s a good time for him to explore other styles of music because he’s such a great guitar player. He’s lent his guitar playing to so many great artists like everyone from Iggy Pop to Dylan, and he’s played with Michael Jackson. I mean he’s played with everybody. So to ask a favor back for him, it’s a big thing for Slash and I’m really excited for him.

Also in March 2009, Slash would provide an update on the musicians on the record and mention Josh:

I start recording my solo cd today with Josh Freese on drums & Chris Chaney on bass, with Eric Valentine producing. I know you're saying "didn't Josh play with Axl's Guns N Roses?!" He did in the 90's for a while but left after a couple years, so I don't know if it counts much. Besides, that doesn't undermine that he is an amazing drummer.

And Slash would talk more about Josh in 2010:

I'd never played with Josh before. I’d only seen him play with Nine Inch Nails and I just thought he was a phenomenal drummer.

In July 2009, Josh would talk about drumming on the record:

It's awesome. He's making kind of a Santana record with a bunch of different singers. There's an Ozzy track, an Iggy Pop track, a Fergie track… Chris Cornell's going to be on it. As of now, I'm the only drummer on it, but you never know...

Later, Josh would say that Axl had not liked him playing on Slash's record:

I worked with Slash a couple of years ago on his solo record, you know. And I heard that that bummed [Axl] out and I felt bad about that because- [...] you know, I'm a studio drummer, man. It's like, I play with, if I'm in town and can do it and I don't hate you, which I guess rules almost everybody out, I'll go play with you, playing your stuff. Slash [?] and stuff. Seemed like a cool... my friend Eric Valentine was producing it and he was having all these different singers, you know, Iggy and Ozzy and Lemmy, all the cool dudes that you can say their name, by their first name that ended in "E". Yeah, Ozzy, Iggy, Lemmy and then, you know, Chris Cornell and and the dude from Wolfmother and a bunch of people. Which is a cool thing, you know, but I'd heard that he was kind of... I don't know. I don't even know what that those guys had go on between them and I don't even care. You know, I definitely wasn't doing it to get back at something. [...] It's not like, "Oh, I'm gonna get Josh Freese to piss off Axl."

Slash would also confirm that Steven would drum on one track together with Flea [Twitter, July 10, 2009]:

Steven Adler is going to play on a track for my solo record next week.

After the session with Steven, Slash and Steven would provide updates:

Flea & Steven did a fabulous job on the new track. Steven is doing really well, I'm proud of him.

It was with Slash, Flea and a singer that you all know. I will let Slash announce who it is. It is a great Rock N' Roll song. It was good for us three to be playing together. Slash, Flea and I grew up in the same three block area. It was amazing to get together.

You mean Michael Balzary [laughs]? The last time I saw Flea was when I recorded “Baby Can't Drive” on Slash's solo album. We've known each other since Bancroft Junior High School. We also went to Fairfax High School. He used to play trumpet for my grandmother. We all went to same schools together, ditched eighth grade together, grew up in the same neighborhoods together, put our bands together. That was a really great time, the '70s and '80s. It was the end of the real rock 'n' roll lifestyle. Things changed, of course, in the '90s, when everybody decided to go on stage looking like a guy who worked at Burger King.

After the album was released, Slash and Steven would discuss recording together:

I promised Steve Adler if he stayed clean long enough he could play on the record. I hadn’t played with Steven in 20 years and it was great. One of the reasons Appetite For Destruction is so great is the energy that he brings to the table. It was great to get in a room with him and start playing and just to recognise that sound that he has.

I told Steven I was making a record, and he did say that he’d love to play on it, and I went, “you keep your shit together, and we’ll see”. He is on it. There’s the main album, the first thirteen songs, and then there are six other ones. And in the UK, there are two bonus tracks, and one of them is the one Steven played on – with Alice Cooper, Nicole Scherzinger and Flea as well. So that’s a cool little number.

This track also has Steve Adler on it. He actually hadn’t been in a recording studio in 10 years. But he did a great job. Steven was always underrated in Guns N’ Roses but he provided a type of groove and a type of energy to GN’R, and the Appetite… record particularly, that is half of its fuckin’ charm. A lot of people don’t even recognise that. When he came in and played on this track that feel and that sound was instantly there. It was a trip to see because I hadn’t played with him in so long.

He actually hadn’t been in a recording studio in 10 years. But he did a great job. Steven was always underrated in Guns N’ Roses because of the obvious. But he provided a type of groove and a type of energy to GN’R, and the Appetite record particularly, that is half of its fuckin’ charm. A lot of people don’t even recognise that. So when he came in and played on this track it was like - that feel and that sound was instantly there. It was a trip to see because I hadn’t played with him in so long.

He was funny though: we had to have the producer come out and play conductor because he couldn’t remember the song all the way through. He’d get it going, he’d get so energetic and then it’d be like, ‘Dude - that’s where the bridge is’. ‘Oh.’ And he’d go back and do it again. It was great.

It was great to play with Steven because it’s been, like, 20 years. As soon as he got in the kit it was that same drum sound, that same attitude, he really was an integral part of why Appetite was such a cool record. The poor kid is so underrated.

Well, I mean, you know, like, Steven Adler was the one that I hadn't played with in something like 20 years. And so that was really -- that was a special day. It was actually Steven and Flea, who played bass on that track. And the three of us all knew each other when we were first starting out. And we all used to hang out in the same neighborhood. So it was very cool, all these years later and everything that we've been through, as established musicians -- professional musicians, to go in and play. Because, you know, back in 1980, or whatever it was, Michael was - Flea, Michael Balzary, was playing trumpet. Steve was playing guitar, and I was just about to -- because Steven played guitar before I did. And he turned me on to the guitar. So there was this thing going on where we were all on bicycles or skateboards and about to become musicians, you know? So that was cool.

Besides performing with Slash again, it was really special of course because Alice Cooper was a part of it. But that Flea was playing bass, that he was a part of it. Cause Flea—well, his name is Michael Balzary—Michael and myself and Slash, we all grew up in the same neighbourhood. Me and Slash and our friends used to play football in the street, and Flea would play trumpet for my grandmother on the front porch. And even Demi Moore—she was around, okay! So it was realy cool bein' able to hang out and revisit memories of good times we had. Because you know when you were young you were carefree—well, I still am carefree—but you're carefree, and life's a little easier. It was really nice to just reminisce with those guys about those times. And it made it extra special of course 'cause we got to record a song together.

And that was just very nice of [Slash] to do. I was… let me tell you. I wasn't mentally, spiritually in the right place when I did that. That was just very nice of him and if they even used my parts that would be so cool. I mean, it was just nice of him [...]


In March 2009 recording had begun:

I am just about to start recording my solo album and I've been super-busy getting all that together. But it's going smoothly and I've got a great team that I'm working with. The artists are fantastic. Unfortunately, I can't leak any names yet, but I will do what I can to let you know as each collaboration is completed.

Over the next months Slash would work with Ronnie Wood [Twitter, March 4, 2009], Kid Rock [Twitter, March 9, 2009; Twitter, March 10, 2009], M Shadows [Twitter, March 11, 2009], Nick Oliveri [Twitter, August 1, 2009] and Duff and Dave Grohl [Twitter, September 21, 2009; Twitter, September 23, 2009].

In May, Slash would mention Izzy being featured on one of the songs:

Izzy is down here putting some rhythm guitar on a track; sounds fucking cool.

By September-November, the album was "pretty much done" and scheduled for release some time between January and March 2010 [Classic Rock, September 2009]. Still, it was not clear who was actually playing on the record or at least Slash couldn't divulge that information yet, something he had been unwilling to do throughout the process:

I've been reading your messages & there is a handful of questions that a lot of you have in common. One question that a lot of you want to know is, who is singing on this record, but unfortunately, I can't divulge that info yet, but you'll know soon enough. I will say however, that they are fantastically talented songwriters who its been an honor to work & write with, to say the least.

The reason for the secrecy is that – the music is easy and getting everybody to do it is fine – but then there’s the red tape that has to do with getting clearances. And I don’t want to overstep my whatevers and say that ‘so-and-so’s doing it’ and then find out that I caused some legal hassles.

I've been very low key on this, because I was waiting for all the releases for all the different singers, but some of the cats are out of the bag. There's a lot of people on the record.

There's quite a list of people on the album. I'm not publicly talking about who it is until all the ink is dried on all the different contracts, but the rumours are out there - you sort of know what's going on. [...] There will be some people from the pop business that people are surprised that I'm using, and there's also some real rock n roll people with pop guises. [...] When I was actually doing the writing of the songs I didn't have singers. But then, when I had finished them, I thought 'you know who would sound good on this...' and that's how it would start.

Explaining why he wanted to do a solo album:

For that entire five years [in Velvet Revolver] I could never be happy. I could never get comfortable and happy with it because it was such a fuckin’ mess. That last tour in the UK was the first time I ever had any fun in that band – because I knew that Scott was leaving and it was a huge relief.

But, all things considered, Scott to me is now like George Bush – I like him now that he’s not here. I have nothing bad to say about Scott, but he doesn’t work well with others in a group situation. So towards the end I had written a bunch of music and there were a lot of restrictions because of him writing in Velvet and a lot of stuff that I wanted to do was just sort of squelched.

I was writing a lot of material and on that last UK tour I started taping a lot of stuff, and when I got home I was like: ‘I need to get away from this group situation – I just need to be in control of something and do things my own way.’ So it was a relief. It’s not really about trying to make the biggest record in the world, but I will support it. I’ll go out there and do what I have to do to make sure that people listen to it ‘cos I think it’s a cool record.

It's just nice to be in charge of my own destiny, even if it's just for one record. Just not to be in a group situation, and at the mercy of what everybody as a whole feels, but being responsible for my own decisions and having the final say.

It's nice, ‘cause I've been doing this diplomatic band stuff for so long, I needed to get it out of my system.

In early November it was reported the record would simply be called Slash [BBC 6 Music, November 3, 2009]. And Slash would provide an update:

[...] the [record] is in its mixing stage and the mixes to this point sound great. We have recorded 18 songs, with one more I want to track. [...] the record is still slated for a February/March release.

Blabbermouth would summarize what was known:

Slash tracked most of the CD with former Nine Inch Nails drummer Josh Freese and ex-Jane's Addiction bassist Chris Chaney. Other confirmed guest singers so far include Ozzy Osbourne, Avenged Sevenfold's M. Shadows and Chris Cornell (Soundgarden, Audioslave). The CD was produced by Eric Valentine (Good Charlotte, Queens Of The Stone Age) and features additional appearances by ex-Guns N' Roses drummer Steven Adler, Red Hot Chili Peppers bassist Flea and former Nirvana drummer and current Foo Fighters frontman Dave Grohl.

Dave Grohl would play with Duff on the song Watch This, and in 2011, Duff would talk about playing with Grohl:

[...] we’d never played together; been friends with him for a long time and we never played so it was great. He hadn’t played drums for a little while and I hadn’t played bass; I think I just got off the Sick tour so I was playing rhythm guitar. So we were both going, “Oh, fuck, are we gonna suck?” He doesn’t suck and it was a great classic Slash chord progression thing, riff, and we just kinda sunk into it and had a good time. We laughed through the whole thing; that guy is kinda like Isaac [Carpenter, drummer in Loaded] grown up. Has like three things goin’ on at all times and has kids and a beautiful wife and a beautiful home. He is THE example with capital T, H, E.

Mastering took place in December 2009 [MySpace, December 2, 2009].

March 31, 2010


In February 2010 it was reported that Myles Kennedy, singer in the band Alter Bridge, would join Slash on his tour in support of the forthcoming solo album [MySpace (via Blabbermouth), February 3, 2010]:

Also, I want to announce that Myles Kennedy is going to be fronting the band for the upcoming tour. Something I'm really stoked about.

Myles sang a killer track on the record and I think he is by far one of the best rock and roll singers out there today. I'm really honored and proud to be working with him.

I will announce the other band members shortly.

[Kennedy] was one of these sort of youngish rock singers that I wasn't real familiar with, who is probably one of the best, you know, young new rock 'n' roll singers around. There's actually two songs on the record that he did, and he can basically perform any other songs on the record, plus he knows how to do all the Guns N' Roses stuff. So it's worked out nicely.

Myles Kennedy surprised the shit out of me. He’s amazing! I didn’t know a lot about him before. I seemed to be the last kid on the block to discover Myles Kennedy.

Myles was the last guy that sang on the record,” Slash said. “And he was sort of a new discovery for me. ... He got asked by Zeppelin if he wanted to do the tour and went down and jammed with them. I was thinking, ‘Well, anybody’s who’s good enough for Zeppelin’s got to be pretty good.’ So I was like, ‘Do you want to come do the tour?’ And he said yes. He can really sing just about anything.

But I’d just recently been introduced to Myles Kennedy. He was the singer that Led Zeppelin was auditioning, he was in Alter Bridge, and I wasn’t familiar with him. But I called Myles up and asked him if he would be interested in singing one song. I sent it to him and I had no idea what to expect, I really wasn’t that familiar with his work and I’d never met him. Three days later he sent me an email with the track on it and it blew my mind. So I flew him out here the day after I got back from England from the Classic Rock Awards and we recorded the song. It was exactly what I wanted. We got on so well that, at the last minute, I did a second song with him for the album. It’s only just been added to the track listing, and is called Back From Cali. Again, like Starlight, it was something for which I couldn’t find anyone suitable – Myles nailed it. Now he’s going to be in my touring band too, so the whole thing really worked out better than I could have hoped.

In February, it was reported that Slash would also guest on Kennedy's solo album [Blabbermouth, February 8, 2010].


I wasn’t trying to consciously bridge any generation gaps or to try to be eclectic. I wrote the music first, and I took the different styles of music that I was writing and farmed it out to singers who I thought might like it or be appropriate for. So for instance, I’d say, ‘Adam Levine would sound amazing on this.‘ So while that may be way off the beaten Slash path, I knew that’s what I would sound great.

As a solo artist, I could get away with a lot of things that aren’t confined by the parameters of being in a band. This was a musical statement for me. I provided music for the singers, and it was an open campus for them to do what they wanted. Some people we collaborated on the music, and did whatever was necessary for that singer to have as much input, and some instances the arrangement I set the demo is the way it came out on the record. They had free rein on the lyrics and the vocal melodies.

I think when it comes down to it, inside of the first year I picked up a guitar I've always been in a band. Even when I had Snakepit, which was a band that originated with me, it was still treated as a band. It was five different guys who had equal input so it was a group situation, that sort of democracy that makes up a hopefully functional group [laughs]. After years of doing that and then the whole thing with Velvet Revolver and Scott [Weiland] and revisiting difficult lead singers again, I just needed to do something where I was calling my own shots. I needed to be able to do whatever music I wanted to do without having to worry about the other guys nitpicking it to death or rejecting it entirely.

Talking about the singers he didn't get:

I did the record with Eric Valentine who is the most superb producer and the perfect guy for me; it was almost like match made in heaven for this project. Originally Mark Ronson was slated to do it and there was this one song I couldn't figure out who was going to sing it. He suggested Jack White and I thought that'd be interesting so he went to Jack White and Jack said, "I'll play drums on it, I'll play guitar on it, but I won't sing on it." And for some singers that's a very personal thing that they do within the confines of their own group. So that one didn't happen. Another one, there's an instrumental on the record, and Dave Grohl was playing drums and I originally wanted him to sing it as well but he was like, "I don't like doing guest spots. I suck at it," so we just made an instrumental out of it. There was one other guy I couldn't get because of contractual [reasons]. Everybody else I was really fortunate to get and for the song that Jack White was going to do, I ended up working with Myles Kennedy which was a blessing in disguise.

And Michael Jackson:

I thought about doing something that would see him totally cross over into rock. But it was around this time last year and he was flat-out rehearsing for the London O2 gigs so in the back of my mind I thought: ‘He’s not going to have the time.’ It’s hard to believe he’s gone.

And being asked if he had considered Axl:

You know, I will be honest with you, even at the sake of it going public, when I was in the middle of this process there were a lot of singers names who flew through my mind during the process. You are living in Singer Land so all you are thinking about is singers. The thought of him crossed my mind at one point. I thought, “Axl could sing the shit out of any of these songs.” I, obviously, never made the phone call because I wanted to put the record out in this millennium.

The song 'Crucify the Dead' will be discussed in a separate, later chapter.


A bonus track which was set to be included on limited edition deluxe version of the album would be a new version of Paradise City with Cypress Hill and Fergie from Black Eyes Peas:

I’ve been playing Paradise City with Cypress Hill since 2002. It was just one of those fun things and I always said, I’m gonna record this one of these days. Finally the time came for me to do my own record and we went in and recorded it and we didn’t know who was going to sing the chorus vocals for the longest time.

But I'd done a song with Fergie and I was thinking, god, I would love to ask Fergie to sing the chorus but she seems like she doesn’t wanna sing it. Then we did this gig in Norway and she came up and sang a few songs and she sang the chorus to Paradise City so finally I asked her to do it.

It’s a different version than the original and it’s slowed down the way I originally wrote the riff. With Guns N’ Roses everything sped up, which was just the nature of the band! It’s cool, but this is more of a rhythmic, heavier groove.

But on March 19 it was reported that Slash was withdrawing this song from the album due to legal reasons [Blabbermouth, March 19, 2010].

When I f---ed with 'Paradise City', I heard about it. Trust me.

I've been playing 'Paradise City' with Cypress Hill since 2002 -- I just love the way they do the verses -- and we always have somebody come up and do the chorus. I always said, 'one of these days, we've got to record this' and here we were, seven years later. I had the Cypress Hill guys come down [to the studio] and I'd just done 'Beautiful Dangerous' with Fergie so I said, 'why don't you sing the chorus?' just for the hell of it. [...] I put it out as a B-side of a Japanese single and, of course, it cruised around the internet. I had all the Guns N' Roses purists that were really pissed off about it and I had all these other people that really liked it. [...] I just figured some people are taking it a little too seriously.

That got an interesting response. Some people loved it; all the purists were f---ing devastated I'd covered it. It was just a fun thing I did. I'd been playing that song with Cypress Hill for years, I always wanted to record it. Fergie was around, she's a huge Axl (Rose) fan, she came and sang it. I didn't put it on the album because I didn't want to make it look like it was really serious. So I put it on a Japanese B-side, and of course it trickled down. But it's actually a really cool version.

Talking about Fergie:

Fergie is stereotyped. It is easy to do because she is in the Black Eyed Peas. If I didn’t know her I would not have said, “Hey, let’s go get that chick to sing on my record.” I first met her when I did this impromptu guest appearance with the Black Eyed Peas and we did a rock medley. I had never met her.

I was doing this fund raiser -- that is what we were doing it for -- when we did the rock medley, she sang and and I went, “Wow” because she sang a Led Zeppelin song and then “Barracuda” and “Live and Let Die” by Paul McCartney. It really just blew my mind. I made friends with her and we got to know each other and it turns out that she is this full on rock chick. She started out in her first groups playing rock music.

Like almost every female in the industry, she made her way into pop music because, in this day and age, it is about the only way to get your foot in the door. She has had tons of success doing pop and she has become world famous because of that group. I knew, however, that she could sing the shit out of rock music. I actually had a song that I had written that I wanted a girl to sing and she was the first person that came to my mind.


The album cover was designed by Slash but painted by an artist called Ron English:

I told him give me a good skull in a top hat ’cause that’s my signature. My regular signature has a skull and cross bones. And so that‘s like an embellished version of my own signature.


For the tour, which would start in May [Rock Radio, March 11, 2010], Slash would play songs by Guns N' Roses:

More than anything, it’s because Myles is such a capable singer. He knows those songs, and he sings them great. A lot of those songs are in a register that most people can’t sing, and Myles can, and he can do it from the heart. That’s the real reason for unwrapping certain material that I haven’t played with anybody else.

I’m having a really great time with Myles and it’s reconstituted my faith in lead singers. Making my solo album, I worked with 18 singers who were all fantastic, so I’m not as bitter about the concept of lead singers as I once was. [...] Myles is (expletive) amazing. It’s very surreal how he handles the stuff he sings. I’m doing GN’R songs I’ve never done solo before, and Myles manages to own them without changing the style or trajectory of the song. Which is a fantastic (expletive) ability.

We have it set up so that he does Alter Bridge from October 'til January. And then we start up January through May or April. And then he does Alter Bridge from May through — into July, and then we do July through August, September. And so we're just juggling. And then during those periods that we're off, I'm doing Velvet Revolver and hopefully we'll find a singer and get that together.

The rest of the touring band would be comprised by rhythm guitarist Bobby Schneck, who's toured with Weezer and Green Day, Alice Cooper and Vince Neil drummer Brent Fitz, and Big Wreck bass player Dave Henning [Radio Rock, March 11, 2010].

For selected dates, Izzy joined Slash:

I hadn’t seen Izzy probably in a couple of years at that point, and he just rolled in like he always does. He got there before me, and basically had his track down by the time I got there. He’s always a no-frills, quick application [kind of guy]. And then we just hung out for a while and shot the shit — we have such a history that it’s like a couple of war veterans getting together.


While touring in June 2010, Slash was almost tackled by a drunk fan who got onstage and had his guitar broken:

What'd I say? Rowdy crowd for sure. But amazing! The guy who nailed me didn't take me down but he busted my poor guitar. Ah well... it was a kick-ass rock show in the first order!

The guy came down from the rafters [and] ran up to Slash and grabbed him during his 'Sweet Child O' Mine' solo. Broke the head on the guitar, Junior grabbed the asshole [and] they both fell to the floor. Junior hit his head hard and the Milan security did nothing! Kicked him out but didn't arrest him. I love Italy! But fuck those security [and] promoters for doing nothing! Slash could have seriously and Junior did. It's not right! What [are] they there for? As decoration? No they [are] there to protect the people [and] the artists. It's not right.

Now that all the facts are out, it was just some drunk guy who got on stage. It doesn’t seem like he had any ill will. What happened was, he came up behind me, and he’d managed to get up on stage and my security guard came up and tackled him, not knowing what this guy was neccissarily capable of or whatever. So the real melee was the tackle (laughs). He basically deflected the guy off of me, and somehow the guy had managed to be hooked onto my guitar, which I let go of, all in a split second. They went off the edge of the stage, my guitar hit the ground and I picked it up and continued playing, only to find that it was broken, so I had to switch guitars and finish the song. It turned out to not be that big a deal, but you never know exactly what it could have been.

I got hit, but I didn't get tackled. After the security guard broadsided the guy, he bounced into me. But had the security guy not jumped in, the velocity that this guy was coming in with, he would have taken me over the stage, and that would have been a drag because the stage was pretty high up. But luckily, that's not what happened. So I just continued playing and it was one of the best shows on the tour. I'm a rock guy. This kind of s--- goes with the territory.

Commenting on the state of the guitar:

Yeah it’s fine. I used it yesterday, and this happened the day before yesterday. All he did was rip the machine head off. The whole mechanism was sort of off. It was one of the Gibson ‘Inspired By’ guitars, which is a replica of my 1988 Les Paul Standard. So it’s one of those guitars that’s been Murphy-aged [aged by Gibson's Tom Murphy]. That’s why I only take new guitars on the road. I don’t take old guitars on the road because, in the sort of spirit and energy of the kind of performances that I do, and all the bands I’ve been in, there’s a certain amount of chaos, so if you’re looking to keep something preserved in its pristine state, don’t use it! (Laughs). Gibsons are durable, but if you feel any sentimental attachment to something that you’ve had for years and obviously have been through a lot of stuff with, leave it at home and take something else.


But speaking of Chester [Bennington], and I forgot all about this until just recently, when I was doing my first solo record, I worked with a lot of different people, some of whom, for whatever reason, didn’t end up on the record. One was with Chester. We did a song and Linkin Park at the time didn’t allow it to happen, so I did it with Lemmy [Kilmister]. The guy who engineered my demos sent it to me and I sent it to Chester’s family. But it was a trip cause the song [called “Doctor Alibi”] really speaks to his state of mind. [...] His family has got it so it would be totally up to them [to release it]. It was really good. He was awesome. It would be fine with me if they wanted to [release] it. Musically it’s basically the same as the Lemmy song, but the lyrics are really poignant.


[...] I thought it was great. I was happy for him because obviously I’d known him for a long time. I know he wanted to make this record in like 1992 and he finally got his feet underneath and pulled himself together. A lot of these songs he’s had stashed away for a long time. I thought it was really great.


In late 2011, Slash would release a live album from the band's show in Stoke, England, on July 24, 2011 [The Independent, July 17, 2011].

I’ve been wanting to play in Stoke since probably since Guns did its first U.K. tour back in, like, 1988. Because it’s such a small place, it was never, like, a choice destination for any of the promoters or agents. So this time around, since it was my own solo thing, I made sure that it was on there. And it just seemed like a fitting location to shoot the DVD. It was close to the end of the tour, so it just made sense. It was a great experience doing the gig and it turned out to be, you know mistakes and all, a pretty cool live show.

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27. JANUARY 2007-JUNE 2008 - LEAKS AND TOURING - Page 2 Empty Re: 27. JANUARY 2007-JUNE 2008 - LEAKS AND TOURING

Post by Soulmonster Fri Jul 02, 2021 9:59 am


After having had their previous two lawsuits from 2004 and 2005 dismissed [see previous chapters], Slash and Duff, in January 2008, again sued Axl and, among other, Sanctuary and Bravado International Group Merchandize Services, over alleged copyright infringement [Slash & Duff Vs. Axl lawsuit document, January 18, 2008]. Originally, they had only sued Sanctuary and Bravado back on July 30, 2007, but Sanctuary and Bravado filed a motion to dismiss the lawsuit on the grounds that it had no basis since Axl/Black Frog were not included in it even though the allegations were about business deals with them, which resulted in a new lawsuit (or an amended lawsuit) in January 2008 that included Axl/Black Frog.

As in the previous lawsuits, Slash and Duff again claimed they were the only remaining partners of the partnership agreement and as such had the sole right to govern the Guns N' Roses assets after Axl had decided to leave the partnership in 1995:

Slash and Duff remained members of the GNR Partnership, which owns and controls all GNR Partnership business and assets, including but not limited to: (1) the copyrights in the GNR songs written and composed prior to December 30, 1995 (which songs are in fact registered in the name of Guns N’ Roses Music), excluding songs written and composed after December 30, 1995 by Axl’s new “Guns N’ Roses” band (“GNR Songs”); (2) famous logos, artwork and marks created and used by GNR prior to December 30, 1995 excluding logos, artwork and marks, if any, created by Axl’s new “Guns N’ Roses” band after December 30, 1995 (“GNR Marks”), and (3) the right to license, control, and exploit the GNR Songs, GNR Marks and merchandise bearing GNR Marks (“GNR Merchandise”).

[...] Under the terms of the Partnership Agreement, upon his withdrawal from the GNR Partnership, Axl was deemed a “Terminated Partner,” and his right to participate in or make decisions regarding partnership business matters ended. Axl’s rights to share in certain partnership net revenues are set forth in the Partnership Agreement.

According to the lawsuit, Bravado had sold unauthorized merchandise that resembled old GN'R logos and artwork:

However, beginning in or about 2004 and without permission from the GNR Partnership or its partners, Bravado improperly started selling and/or authorizing the sale of merchandise bearing the GNR Partnership’s GNR Marks, notwithstanding the express exclusion of the right to do so in the written merchandising agreement signed by Axl. Plaintiffs are informed and believe, and on that basis allege, that after the GNR Partnership discovered and objected to Bravado’s use of GNR Marks and sale and/or license of GNR Merchandise, Sanctuary, Sanctuary Management and/or Bravado wrongfully induced and/or caused Axl to sign a letter in March 2006 purporting to retroactively grant Bravado the rights to sell GNR Merchandise. Specifically, the letter recited that two years earlier, in 2004, Axl had supposedly “granted a separate non-exclusive worldwide license to [Bravado] to manufacture, distribute, sell and exploit products throughout the world embodying the ‘historic GNR artwork’” on the terms set forth in the September 2002 merchandising license agreement with Bravado (collectively, the “Bravado Agreements”). In arriving at the terms of the Bravado Agreements, to the extent they purport to cover GNR Marks and GNR Merchandise, Sanctuary, Sanctuary Management and/or Bravado, through their control over Axl as his personal manager and publisher, secured for their benefit a below market royalty rate for the GNR Marks and GNR Merchandise.

Slash and Duff also sought to have a judicial determination on Axl's claim to still have ownership to the old GN'R assets:

Plaintiffs desire a judicial determination with respect to the Partnership Agreement, pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2201, that: (1) following Axl’s withdrawal from the GNR Partnership in 1995, Slash and Duff are the only remaining partners in the GNR Partnership and Axl has no right to vote on any Partnership issues or, in the alternative, if he has a right to vote on any issue, Partnership decisions are made on a “majority rule” basis; (2) Defendants had and have no authority to act on behalf of the GNR Partnership; (3) Defendants had and have no authority to authorize the use and exploitation of the GNR Songs, copyrights owned and controlled by the GNR Partnership, GNR Marks and GNR Merchandise; (4) Defendants had and have no authority to control, administer, or enter into license or sublicense agreements with respect to the sale or exploitation of GNR Songs, GNR Merchandise, or GNR Marks; (5) Defendants had and have no authority to collect revenue from the sale or other exploitation of GNR Songs, GNR Merchandise and GNR Marks; and (6) Defendants must account to Plaintiffs with respect to all revenues generated by the administration, licensing, sale or other exploitation of GNR Merchandise, GNR Marks, and GNR Songs or copyrights therein, and pay all such revenues to Plaintiffs with interest.

Axl would later refer to this lawsuit and claim Merck had changed the band's merchandize to incorporate older styles that were partly owned by Slash and Duff:

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.


Even if Axl accepted the mistake in merchandise (see quote above), the issue of governance of old Guns N' Roses assets, including the right to veto commercial use of old Guns N' Roses songs, were still contested between the parties and Axl would fight to have this settled in his favor. First his lawyer filed a motion to partially dismiss the case and a motion to strike "Guns N' Roses" as a party from Slash and Duff's lawsuit [Court documents, April 7, 2008].

The individual plaintiffs, Saul Hudson p/k/a Slash (“Slash”) and Michael McKagan p/k/a Duff (“Duff”), are disgruntled former members of GN’R, who are not only obsessed with Axl, but also determined to fabricate claims against him. The instant case is the third action they have brought against Axl in the past four years; the first two cases were dismissed prior to trial or any resolution.
Axl's Motion to Dismiss, April 7, 2008

The Motion to Dismiss largely relied on the argument that Slash and Duff had no sole right to the assets, that these rights were solely Axl's after he had left the partnership, and hence Axl  had not infringed upon their rights [Axl's Motion to Dismiss, April 7, 2008]. The Motion to Strike "Guns N' Roses" as a plaintiff in the lawsuit was based on this being far more damaging to Axl's reputation than being sued by only Slash and Duff:

Here, the fact that the Partnership is suing under the name of “Guns N’ Roses” is highly prejudicial to Axl, the band’s lead singer. Guns N’ Roses is an enormously successful band; Axl Rose is the leader of that band. A suit between Slash, Duff, and Axl is one thing; infighting amongst members of rock bands – and this band – have been well chronicled. But a suit by Guns N’ Roses against Axl, the band’s leader, is another matter altogether. The Partnership’s use of the “Guns N’ Roses” name gives the proceedings the imprimatur of legitimacy and is far more damaging to Axl’s professional reputation.
Axl's Motion to Strike, April 7, 2008

Both of these motions were opposed by Slash and Duff on April 24, 2008, with the arguments largely being based on a different interpretation of the partnership agreement as well as Axl's Motion to Strike being procedurally improper :

Defendant Axl Rose's ("Axl'") interpretation of the 1992 partnership agreement (the "Partnership Agreement") with his former partners, Saul Hudson p/k/a Slash ("Slash") and Michael "Duff" McKagan ("Duff"), ignores the plain meaning of critical provisions and is otherwise insupportable. While the Partnership Agreement is not a paragon of draftmanship, it states with explicit clarity that Axl would receive only one thing that Slash and Duff would not get if they, instead of Axl, left the Partnership: the right too the "Group Name," Guns N' Roses.
Opposition to Motion to Dismiss, April 24, 2008

First the motion is procedurally improper. In the guise of a motion to strike, Axl improperly seeks what amounts to a final adjudication on the merits of a newly manufactured, disputed and time-barred claim, i.e., whether the Partnership can continue operating under the name Guns N' Roses as it has for nearly 25 years. By shoehorning this request into a motion to strike, Axl seeks relief without having to produce any evidence or explain the reason for his delay. Such a drastic remedy cannot be obtained using this limited procedural mechanism, but instead requires that Axl bring an affirmative claim supported by evidence, It also requires that the Partnership be entitled to prese4nt its evidence, starting with over a decade of express acceptance by Axl (and all those acting on his behalf) of the Partnership name both in writing and by conduct.
Opposition to Motion to Strike, April 24, 2008

Axl followed up by objections on April 25, 2008, but both his Motions to Dismiss and to Strike were rejected by the court on May 5, 2008:

Defendants' Motion to Strike is based on the provision of the Partnership that entitles Axl to use, and ostensibly forbids the remaining partners from using, the “Group Name.” Defendants contend that “motions to strike have frequently been used to strike the name of a party that was wrongfully named as a plaintiff or a defendant in a compliant” (Motion to Strike 6:14-15), but. as Plaintiffs note, the cases they cite are almost wholly inapposite. See. e.g„ Clougherty v. James Vernor Co., 187 F.2d 288 (6th Cir. 1951) (finding that it was proper to strike names of 177 individuals from Complaint where Plaintiff admitted in open court that he had no authority to act for the 177 individuals). Here, the partnership referenced in the Agreement appears not to have been dissolved and, hence, is still in existence. See, FAC Ex. A at Vs 4(g) and 5(a). Therefore, until there is an order barring its participation, it is a viable party. While there may be an issue as to whether it should be called the "Guns N’ Roses” partnership, that dispute cannot be resolved in the present motion to strike with the current record. Moreover, granting the motion would not in any way make the trial less complicated or streamline resolution of the action (rather, it would have the opposite effect), and Defendants’ argument that Axl will suffer prejudice if the name of the Partnership is not stricken is frankly unconvincing.

Plaintiffs correctly observe that Defendants, by their motion, are really seeking an adjudication in their favor of numerous issues - such as, for example, whether the Agreement bars the Partnership from operating under the name “Guns N’ Roses,” and whether Axl’s challenge to the partners name is not barred by waiver, estoppel, or laches. It is noted that this is apparently the first time this argument has ever been raised in the litigious aftermath of this band. See Plaintiff's Request for Judicial Notice, Exs. 1 - 6. The motion is procedurally improper and will be denied.
Ruling on Motion to Strike, May 5, 2008

Defendants’ contention that this provision must be read as depriving Plaintiffs of any rights to merchandise revenues is, at this time, unpersuasive. Their argument, essentially, is that because trademark rights are derivative of the name, the GNR Marks were contractually transferred to Axl “along with the exclusive rights to the name [together with] the good will owned by or associated with the Partnership.” (Motion to Dismiss 5:27 - 6:1).

To the extent that Defendants are arguing that, under the “‘plain language” of the Agreement, both the Group Name and “goodwill owned by or associated with the Partnership” were transferred to Axl, the argument will, for purposes of this motion, be rejected. Moreover, the Agreement states fairly clearly that the GNR Marks would continue to be held by the Partnership (which may, among other things, militate against reading the Agreement as effecting a transfer of goodwill along with the name). As Plaintiffs argue, at most the contract is ambiguous. (Actually, it certainly is ambiguous). Where contractual language is ambiguous, construction of the ambiguous provisions “‘... is a factual determination that precludes dismissal on a motion for failure to state a claim.’” Conf 1 Airlines. Inc, v. Mundo Travel Corp.. 412 F. Supp. 2d 1059,1066 (E.D. Cai. 2006) (quoting Martin Marietta Corp, v. Int'l Telecomms. Satelite Org., 991 F.2d 94, 97 (4th Cir. 1992)).

Defendants, however, also have an argument under trademark law in addition to their argument from the contract language. The issue, then, becomes whether transfer of the Group Name necessarily entailed transfer of goodwill. It is doubtful that this issue can be properly resolved at the pleading stage.

Under the facts as pleaded, the FAC withstands a motion to dismiss the trademark claim.
Ruling on Motion to Dismiss, May 5, 2008

The judge would end the ruling with the following statement that Axl, Slash and Duff should negotiate a new partnership agreement rather than battle out their differences in court:

For the above reasons, Defendants’ Motions to Dismiss and to Strike are DENIED. That said, this entire dispute would be better resolved by a new agreement between the parties (to replace the old, obviously defective one) rather than through protracted and expensive litigation.
Ruling on Motion to Dismiss, May 5, 2008


With Axl's attempt at dismissing and/or striking parts of Slash and Duff's lawsuit being rejected by the court, Axl, on May 20, 2008, submitted through his attorney his responses to the allegations in the lawsuit and filed a counter-lawsuit against Slash and Duff as well as a cross-claim against Bravado and Sanctuary [Axl's Counter-Lawsuit, May 20, 2008]. On June 12, 2008, Slash and Duff's attorneys filed a motion to dismiss Axl's counter-suit or, alternatively, for the court to order Axl to clarify parts of his counter-suit. Axl's attorney then filed an amended counter-lawsuit against Slash and Duff on July 16, 2008 [Axl's Counter-Lawsuit, July 16, 2008]. The counter-lawsuit would utilize alternative arguing for why Slash and Duff did not have sole and exclusive rights to the assets of Guns N' Roses:

Sometime after Axl’s withdrawal from the “partnership,” one of several legal interpretations of the events occurred: (a) a new “partnership” which included Axl, Slash and Duff was formed; (b) a new “partnership” consisting solely of Axl and Duff was formed; or, (c) Axl was deemed readmitted to the “partnership.” This is alleged in the alternative because the parties, including Axl, Slash and Duff, as various events occurred, acted as if Axl was part of a new partnership or was re-admitted to the partnership. Regardless of the legal interpretation of the events that occurred, Slash and Duff never acted in a manner that lead to the conclusion that Axl had no rights as a partner in the “partnership."
Axl's Amended Counter-Lawsuit, July 16, 2008

Axl's attorney would also point out that Slash himself had left the partnership by pointing to a letter from his attorney dated on May 23, 1996, which explicitly stated that Slash was no longer a member of the partnership agreement:

Slash definitely did not continuously remain in the “partnership,” something his attorney at the time, Mitchell Tenzer, confirmed in a letter to the business manager for the “partnership” on May 23,1996, in which he stated:

“As you know, Slash is apparently being charged with various Guns N’ Roses partnership expenditures incurred since the first of the year even though he is no longer a party to the Guns N’ Roses partnership agreement." (Emphasis supplied.)

This admission that Slash was no longer a party to the Guns N’ Roses partnership agreement establishes that Slash did not continuously remain in the “partnership.”
Axl's Amended Counter-Lawsuit, July 16, 2008

Axl's attorney would further point to numerous documents as evidence that the partnership had been running as if Axl was still a member [Axl's Amended Counter-Lawsuit, July 16, 2008]. In conclusion, Axl's attorney would argue that Slash and Duff had newly fabricated a scheme that Axl was not a partner for financial gain:

It was only after many years, during which time Slash and Duff repeatedly and continuously represented to others that Axl was a partner and acted as if Axl was a partner, that Slash and Duff fabricated the scheme, which is the cornerstone of their FAC [=lawsuit against Axl], in which they now allege that they were the sole remaining members of the “partnership.” [...] It is clear that Slash’s and Duff’s misguided plan has been implemented for the sole purpose of hijacking Axl’s rights to the musical compositions he co-wrote and to steal his trademark rights. The “land grab” by Slash and Duff, who are apparently frustrated by their inability to recapture the glory that has eluded them in their post-GNR careers, is unavailing. Axl is the partner in the “partnership” with the majority share. A declaration of his rights in connection with the partnership is required hereunder. Additionally, Slash and Duff have breached their obligations to Axl and violated his rights and Axl is entitled to damages against Slash and Duff as well as a dissolution of the partnership.
Axl's Amended Counter-Lawsuit, July 16, 2008

On August 8, 2008, Slash and Duff's attorney filed a motion to dismiss Axl's counter-lawsuit [Slash and Duff's Motion to Dismiss, August 8, 2008]. In the Motion to Dismiss, Slash and Duff's attorney would argue their case on a statute of limitations:

Once the ad hominem attacks, rhetoric and gratuitous argument are removed, the bulk of Axl Rose’s (“Axl”) First Amended Counterclaim is devoid of legal foundation and fails to state a claim upon which relief can be granted. The first counterclaim - which seeks ajudicial declaration that Axl and Black Frog are coowners of the copyrights in the Guns N’ Roses (“GNR”) songs - is barred by the applicable three-year statute of limitations. These GNR songs were (in the mid-1980s to 1990s) and remain registered in the copyright office in the name of the GNR Partnership (the “Partnership”), and not to separate individual co-owners. Axl now claims those registrations were “erroneous,” but he failed timely to challenge them.

In an effort establish ownership by the separate individuals (as opposed to the Partnership), Axl relies on an exhibit (“Exhibit F”) attached to a 1994 settlement agreement between the band and a leaving member, Izzy Stradlin. Under Exhibit F, Axl, Slash and Duff were all contractually required to transfer the copyrights out of the Partnership and into each band member’s separate, wholly-owned publishing company. Because Axl admits those assignments never took place, his claim to secure co-ownership arose at the latest when Exhibit F was signed, well over a decade ago, and lapsed three years later.

The first counterclaim should also be dismissed because both he and Black Frog lack standing to bring it. Exhibit F expressly provides that the Guns N’ Roses Music partnership must assign a portion of its copyrights not to Axl personally, but to a separate publishing company formed by Axl. Thus, even under Axl’s own theory, he personally has no claim of co-ownership. In his amended counterclaim, Axl attempts to cure this defect by inserting Black Frog as a claimant. However, Black Frog was not formed until June 1998, four years after Axl alleges that Exhibit F became effective. Thus, it is impossible for Black Frog to have been the publishing company formed for purposes of accepting the copyrights pursuant to Exhibit F.
Slash and Duff's Motion to Dismiss, August 8, 2008

Furthermore, Slash and Duff's attorney would object to the alternative argument approach and ask for clarification:

Plaintiffs also move for a more definite statement of Axl’s dizzying partnership theory. Without explanation of any kind, Axl alleges that he is a partner with just Duff in a new partnership, or maybe Slash and Duff in a new partnership, or possibly Slash and Duff in the original GNR Partnership. These theories are materially irreconcilable. For example, under one of Axl’s possible partnership scenarios (the one where just he and Duff are partners), Slash is not a partner. Under that version, Slash manifestly cannot be liable for breach of any partnership or fiduciary duty, nor can he be a party to any claim for dissolution of such a partnership. Axl, however, has named Slash in both of those claims. Because Slash is entitled to know what he is being accused or, or even if he is being accused at all, clarification is necessary. In the two other alternatives proposed by Axl, he formed a new partnership with both Slash and Duff (the terms of which are unknown), or rejoined the original GNR Partnership but apparently gets to keep the group name he obtained only because he withdrew from that partnership.

Without knowing which partnership is at issue and what those partnerships did, Plaintiffs are left to guess at the whether Axl genuinely claims they ever entered into such a partnership, the extent of their fiduciary duties and what basis there may be for dissolution. Axl must be put to the task of providing enough information so that Slash and Duff can understand what it is they are being accused of, and as such, a more definite statement is in order.
Slash and Duff's Motion to Dismiss, August 8, 2008


A couple of weeks later Slash and Duff, and Axl, dismissed their respective lawsuits without prejudice [Settlement - Dismissal, August 19, 2008]. It is not clear what settlement was agreed upon between the parties, if any. In either case, business continued as usual with limited commercial use of the old Guns N' Roses material. No new lawsuits regarding this topic would be made, and in 2016 Slash and Duff rejoined Guns N' Roses [see later chapter].

Last edited by Soulmonster on Sat Jan 20, 2024 7:55 am; edited 13 times in total
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27. JANUARY 2007-JUNE 2008 - LEAKS AND TOURING - Page 2 Empty Re: 27. JANUARY 2007-JUNE 2008 - LEAKS AND TOURING

Post by Soulmonster Tue Aug 16, 2022 5:01 pm

JULY 2008

Bumblefoot had been a prolific solo artist before joining Guns N' Roses and the long periods of inactivity in the band allowed him to continue making and releasing music.

Talking about his next solo album, Abnormal:

Well, back up one step to Normal. That was pretty autobiographical about what was going on. I guess in a sense, everything anyone writes is autobiographical whether it is about an event that happened in their life or about the way they perceive it. Usually an artist is trying to get you to see something through their eyes not that I am an artist, I’m a “Bumblefuck”! [laughs] Normal was trying to tell the story of where shit was at, where I was beaten, battered and bumblefucked! I went on some mind-altering medication before I put a bullet in my head and that got me through that. The side effect of that is that on those kind of meds, you can’t really get creative anymore. They block a lot of the bad shit you use to create. So it was a whole time period of weighing what was better: to be happy and silent, or a head case but be able to give something. So in the end, music always wins! Otherwise there would be no musicians. If you ask half of them they are like, “Why the hell am I doing this?” It’s because you have to. You have no choice in the matter. It was assigned to you and it is not your choice. You have to do it and if you try not to, you feel like your holding your breath. You have to breathe and you have to make the music.

So, with Abnormal, the meds wore off. I’m a fucking head case again! [laughs] Ask her! [motions to his wife] So same old shit, a lot of love songs. Sure! [laughs] From everyone that has heard it, they say it reminds them of the Sex Pistols but with this Queen musical thing that is going on. There are moments where there is a little bit of opera and I did have opera singers come in and sing on it. I think guitar-wise, my head was in a different place with this album. I wouldn’t even say that I cared more about everything. I think I cared less about everything and that allowed me to do something a little more natural because I wasn’t guided by the idea of “this is what people want to hear” and “this is what I should or shouldn’t be doing.” I was just like, “Fuck it!” I just have to do whatever. In the end, I think a lot more melodic shit came out. The crazy shit was crazier and the pretty shit was prettier because when you let go of something and let it run free, it’s like taking the intensity knob and turning it up a couple of notches! So I am pretty happy with this album. It’s in the same direction as Normal was as far as songs with noodley-noodley over it, but I feel like I have stepped it up in every way. The sound quality, I put so much more time into the tone of everything. It just hit me over the head one day that it doesn’t matter what you play if your final tone is not pleasing. So I really put extra into that. I don’t know if it helped, but I tried! [laughs]

So Abnormal, it’s not as freaky as the name. Well, it’s got it’s moments. You know how I had that song, “Guitars Suck”? Well, now I have a song called “Guitars Still Suck” and it’s a little crazier than the last one! It was actually inspired by my friend Guthrie Govan, who is a wonderful friend of mine and an old friend of mine going back 20 years, lives in England. I was a guest on one of his songs that had a kinda country vibe to it and I wanted to make a song that was an answer back to him.

Bumblefoot would also mention that Abnormal described his period in Guns N' Roses and how he had gone from being normal to being abnormal::

The 'Abnormal' cd was the next chapter of life, being in GNR and how I processed the changes occurring around me, how I was suddenly seen by many as a different creature, overnight.

And how it was a response to his previous solo album Normal:

In a way it's a sequel, or maybe a counterpart. Or maybe it's like Evil Spock with the goatee in the parallel Universe. "Abnormal" definitely references "Normal" in ways. "Normal" was life on the meds. "Abnormal" is life off them. Seems like all the albums have different personalities to each other and within themselves. Or is it strong sides to one personality. It's a bit polar. And that's fine. I have no interest in doing anything to "fit" what an album or song traditionally is. I have to do what's honest to me, whether good or bad.

"Abnormal" is definitely the sequel, the counterpart, the upside-down mirror image to "Normal". It's life off the meds, and things are a bit more "on edge" than in the Normal days. A lot of the songs were written in October, they just started pouring out. There's one song called "Simple Days" that I had written while on tour with GnR. I was tempted to give the song to GnR, I think the song would have fit Axl's voice well.

[...] it’s like the evil Spock versus the good Spock in Star Trek – they’re Ying and Yang.

The Normal album touched on making the choice, whether to continue on meds and sacrifice creativity, or get off them so I can do what I love, making music, at the risk falling back into Hell. In the end you realize you're not powerless, it starts with your perception of things and how you choose to react to everything. It's where life was at self-discovery-wise, learning to give up control and not try to change what we can't, and to just roll with it all, to learn, and draw from your experiences. I think an emotional charge can push creative moments, I think it's a personal expression, a look inside a person, I think free thinking helps creativity flow, but I don't think artistry completely coincides with mental disorder. But I'm the wrong guy to ask, haha. Abnormal was the second chapter, it touches on where life is at now, with the intensity knob turned up, some of the new highs and lows that come with being in a band with name recognition, and how the world suddenly sees you differently.

And how the stories are autobiographical:

The music business was kicking my ass, so I took some stuff to help me out. And it felt as though someone pressed a ‘pause’ button in my brain – literally. And it lasted for a year and a half.

And how it began:

It always begins the same. I'd have this impending anxious feeling building for weeks, and right when I'm ready to completely snap, the first half of an album flashes in my head, complete, instrumentation and all. I'd hear it; no, more like I'd know it all in my head, the opera singers, tubas, cello, everything. Picture having an intuitive feeling that someone's sneaking up behind you and when you're about to bust into fight/flight mode, you turn and a stranger puts a book in your hands - as soon as it touches your hands you know everything in the book as if you had just read the whole thing. It's like that, only that when the book touches your hands it's like the inside of your head gets hit by lighting, it's this big flash.

I'd spend two days by myself in the studio writing down the lyrics and the musical ideas quickly in some cryptic way that I'd only have a limited time to be able to translate - if I'd wait too long it wouldn't make sense anymore. I'd get together with ... Dennis [Leeflang] and start showing him the songs on acoustic guitar, singing along, and he'd start feeling out beats,' Ron explained. 'I'd lay some tracks down and Dennis would play along to the tracks, we'd listen back and see what's working, what isn't, and continue building from there. Dennis does the drums, I do the rest, have some guests, and let things form.

Talking about when it will be released:

I would like to get it out there as soon possible. It’s a plus and a minus that I am doing things all by myself. It’s a plus in the sense that I don’t have to organize and wait and work it out. I can just put it out as it comes out, which is also a minus because there is no big bang when it comes out. Suddenly it is just there, but I kinda like that. So I am just making it available as I can and hopefully people will discover it and they have the option of deciding whether they like it ot not when it is there.

Abnormal was released in July:

So, Abnormal, we put it on the web in July. Did pretty well. Better than the rest of the stuff. The reason probably that my mum bought two copies instead of one. So now I got some distro in Europe and got some North American distro, they'll stick it in stores. Doesn't mean you can see it all over the shelves, just means that there is the possibility where a store can get it. Maybe they'll choose to, you know, stock it or they can order it, but, you know, it will be available.

July 2008

Talking about how he recorded the vocals and his guitars:

What I did, like normally what you do is, you pick a song and you work on it till you've got it done, you then work on the next one, you start hearing things from the last one you did and put a few tweaks to that, but you really focus section by section and just keep honing in word by word, everything. With Abnormal, I would go into the studio, I would have the songs ready to go, and I would sing every song one time straight through as if it was a gig, as quickly as possible. As soon as I finished one, save, the next song, sing it and save, next one... I wouldn't listen to anything, I would just go home and do the same thing next day. I did that for a month... and oh! Also, every time I did it, I made sure there were people there so this way I didn't get to think too much. I was in "ham-it-up mode" [?] where it's like, "Yeah, yeah, yeah", slightly in performance-mode, a little more. Cheese it out a little extra. So, yeah.

Did it the same way, so instead of going after a whole song I would sing the whole album all the way through, shut it off, go home. The next day I would do the same thing, did that for a month. By the end of that month all these things that might have spontaneously happened during that month became parts of the song, I started getting the feel for just the tone I should give a song and everything, and it worked out well and I would just pick the best take. And so, I did that. What else did I do that was different? Ah, I re-amped the guitars, which normally, which you do, is you're plugged into the amps, you got mikes on the amp, and you record what's coming through those mikes. Therefore, your performance, the way you played, what you played, is bound to the sound of your guitar coming through that amp, and you can't really change it very much. You can EQ it but you can't make any big changes. When you re-amp a guitar what you do is, you have the recording device in-between the guitar and the amps, so it's capturing just your raw guitar, it's capturing what you send to the amplifier. So this way, once you've played it right, you have that and you send that, you send the track of your performance to the amp and you can spend time tweaking the sound of the amp, picking different microphones, different distances, different rooms, different dampening, different everything, and you end up getting a much better guitar-sound because you have the option to get a better guitar sound. So I was able to spend a lot of time picking different amps and different settings for them that would be best, and I think I got a much better guitar sound as the result. It's a good way, I don't think I will ever go back.

Starting from the beginning with the drums, using floor toms as kicks, then recording the direct signal from the bass and guitars and re-amping them later, manipulating sampling rates. The vocal approach was different also - I'd sing the entire album straight through, one song right into the next without stopping, no re-takes or listening back. I'd leave, come back the next day and do the same - did that for a month. By the end, I knew what I wanted to do and how to do it, everything fell into place. It was a good way to do it, but I don't know if I'd ever do it that way again.

On this album I dug really deep and you can hear everything I was into at that primal, youthful… Sex Pistols, Ramones, AC/DC. Just a culmination of life up to that point. Like at moments you can probably pick out Van Halen, even Allan Holdsworth, maybe Yngwie, maybe Ace Frehley. All kinds of things. I think that album is a pretty good culmination. It’s sort of the score card adding up everything. It’s like ‘Here’s where your life is at up to this point.’ When I do these albums, that’s what they are. They’re as biographical as the bio on the website. I just put it all out there and spill my guts.

I definitely wanted [a live] feel. Very natural, not studio-processed, not ‘Let’s do it again and make sure we got the right take.’ It was like, ‘That take is all screwed up but it’s honest and pure and human as you can get, so let’s go with that one.’ So if there’s a screw-up in there, if the voice cracks, keep it! That’s being real! Those are the things you rewind, like, ‘Listen to the way his voice broke up!’ Those are things that can’t be repeated. You caught a real human moment. It’s so easy to get obsessed and start just over-magnifying all the little things, I guess getting microscopically immersed in it to the point that you’re counting the tiniest little things, driving yourself crazy for an hour comparing two different takes. Don’t overthink it. If it’s right, trust your instincts and move on. If you were to take Robert Plant’s vocal takes and nothing else, you’d hear all these little noises and things that sort of get eaten up by the music, yet if they weren’t there, there would be something very sterile about it. On some level that stuff just gets into your soul. When the true spirit is there, you feel it. I think that’s the mistake people make these days. Because of the ability to edit so much, we’re editing away our spirit in the music.

For the opera parts, Bumblefoot did a "world-wide Opera Challenge":

Haha, the Opera Challenge [laughs]. Yes, people would send me videos of themselves singing a famous opera. Worldwide entries, not sure what the exact total was, around 30 or 40 I think? Brian Larkin was first - it was the fire in his face as he sang, and of course having a great voice. Natalie Kikkenborg was chosen for her strong, classic opera voice. And Erin Bailey is a passionate singer, her voice made it breathe. A pleasure to have them all on the album.

Explaining the cover:

Shit, you see it as a scorpion too? [laughs]. The limbs are actually his arms, elbows bent with his fingers in his ears. It's just a picture of a guy whose head feels like a bomb, the fuse getting shorter, and his fingers in his ears as he braces for the explosion. That's how I felt at the time that the album was being made.

The album would sell more than previous albums from Bumblefoot:

Each album would sell more than the last, but "Abnormal" definitely took a bigger jump. It did better than expected from the beginning, we were moving more CDs and merch than we could keep up with. I wasn't expecting it to make a difference, but I guess the exposure, more people being aware of what I was doing, it seems to have made an inevitable difference. =0 A


Some [GN'R fans] became interested in what I was doing solo-wise. I was on their radar now, so it was a new chunk of population checking out what I was doing, but I think the response was the same as everyone else's - some like it, some don't, some are indifferent. It's like this for any band, any album.
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