APPETITE FOR DISCUSSION
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APPETITE FOR DISCUSSION
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.

Cheers!
SoulMonster

35. 2015: AXL AND SLASH MAKE PEACE, DJ LEAVES THE BAND, WILL 2016 BE THE YEAR OF THE REUNION?

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35. 2015: AXL AND SLASH MAKE PEACE, DJ LEAVES THE BAND, WILL 2016 BE THE YEAR OF THE REUNION? Empty 35. 2015: AXL AND SLASH MAKE PEACE, DJ LEAVES THE BAND, WILL 2016 BE THE YEAR OF THE REUNION?

Post by Soulmonster Wed May 10, 2023 2:30 pm

CHAPTER INDEX

- EARLY 2015 [?]: COACHELLA WANTS GUNS N' ROSES
- MARCH 8, 2015: AXL CALLS SLASH
- JANUARY-JUNE 2015: AS FOR GN'R, NOTHING TO SEE HERE...
- IS A REUNION GETTING CLOSER?
- JULY 2015: "THE CURRENT STATE OF GNR IS PRETTY UP IN THE AIR"
- WHO CAN REUNITE GUNS N' ROSES?
- APRIL 2015: AXL PROTESTS INDONESIAN EXECUTIONS
- MAY 7, 2015: SLASH SAYS THE TENSION BETWEEN HIM AND AXL HAS DISSIPATED
- MAY 12, 2015: DUFF RELEASES THE BOOK AND EP 'HOW TO BE A MAN (AND OTHER ILLUSIONS'
- SHARING THE BLAME FOR THE DEMISE OF THE OLD BAND
- 2015: BEATRAZR WITH CHRIS AND FRANK
- FRANK TALKS ABOUT HIS APPROACH TO DRUMMING GN'R SONGS
- JULY 27, 2015: DJ LEAVES GUNS N' ROSES
- DJ AFTER GUNS N' ROSES
- JULY-AUGUST 2015: GN'R HAS A FUTURE AND 2016 WILL BE THE YEAR
- AUGUST 21, 2015: SLASH SAYS THINGS ARE "VERY COOL" BETWEEN HIM AND AXL
- REACTIONS FROM GN'R BAND MEMBERS TO AXL AND SLASH MAKING UP
- SEPTEMBER 2015: ASH BASHES AXL
- A REUNION TOUR IN 2016?
- SEPTEMBER 17, 2015: RICHARD IS INJURED IN A MOTORBIKE ACCIDENT
- OCTOBER 2015: AXL AND SLASH HAVE DINNER TOGETHER
- NOVEMBER 9, 2015: THROUGH TWEETS, GUNS N' ROSES MORE OR LESS CONFIRMS A REUNION BETWEEN SLASH AND AXL
- NOVEMBER-DECEMBER 2015: WHO WILL BE PART OF THE 2016 LINEUP?
- NOVEMBER 27, 2015: GN'R STARTS SELLING MERCH WITH CLASSIC LOGO AND VISUALS
- DECEMBER 2015: TOURING DETAILS STARTS LEAKING OUT
- DECEMBER 26, 2015: MYSTERIOUS GUNS N' ROSES TEASER IS PLAYED AT CINEMAS
- RUMOURS ABOUT NEW MUSIC TO ACCOMPANY THE REUNION
- DECEMBER 30, 2015: AXL TO APPEAR ON 'JIMMY KIMMEL LIVE' IN EARLY JANUARY 2016...THEN CANCELLED
- JANUARY 2016: THE NEW LINEUP STARTS REHEARSING
- LEARNING AND PLAYING THE CHINESE DEMOCRACY MATERIAL


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35. 2015: AXL AND SLASH MAKE PEACE, DJ LEAVES THE BAND, WILL 2016 BE THE YEAR OF THE REUNION? Empty Re: 35. 2015: AXL AND SLASH MAKE PEACE, DJ LEAVES THE BAND, WILL 2016 BE THE YEAR OF THE REUNION?

Post by Soulmonster Wed May 10, 2023 5:11 pm

EARLY 2015 [?]
COACHELLA WANTS GUNS N' ROSES

At some point, likely in early 2015 or late 2014, the Coachella Festival reached out to Axl offering big money for a reunited Guns N' Roses [GloboTV, September 4, 2016]. Goldenvoice, the organizers of the Coachella Festival, had promoted the band back in the 80s and Paul Tollett, the president and chief executive of Goldenvoice, would later state he had first approached the band with offers to play at Coachella back in 2014 [Los Angeles Times, April 24, 2016].

Tollett would talk more about how approached them:

Paul Tollett, the Coachella fest founder, would talk about his efforts to book the band:

I made a list of 10 people I needed to get on our side to make this happen and just worked through the list. Some I’m really close to, some I’m not so close to and some I didn’t know, and then the band members. So I had to work through all of that. [...] It’s hard to say whose idea it was because I’ve been trying to get them for a long time. A band’s got their own life. It’s got to be on their time schedule, not mine. And I’ve learned to really like that camp a lot. When I saw how many managers were involved and the potential soupy mess? But when I got in there, I saw it’s actually pretty well run. It’s been pretty mellow for me. [...] We had a little leg up in that 30 years ago and, one month, we (Goldenvoice) promoted Johnny Thunders and Guns N’ Roses at Fender’s Ballroom (in Long Beach) and then we did them with Cheap Trick. They were our go-to band anytime we had anything rock related because we were doing mostly punk rock at the time. So, we’ve had a relationship all these years. But we wanted to make sure everyone in their camp believed in Coachella because there’s a lot of opportunity if a band is going to get back together.

I went to them. But I’ve been trying for a while. Those types of things, it can’t be one person. It’s got to be a lot of people and different reasons it’s happening. When I go for something that’s not together, I never lead with the money, because it offends those artists. It can turn them off and the communication stops. Not because of the number, it’s just because commerce is the first discussion. These bands were getting bigger faster than Goldenvoice was, so we couldn’t hold on to them. Back then, a band would go platinum in a matter of months. It takes a company years to build up the skills, the money, the clout, the venues... there’s a lot to it. So when they hit it we had to cede them to other promoters. We just weren’t ready. I never pushed hard, but put it out there. It just started picking up steam.

When I talked to them, I said, “I made your flyer when you played at Fenders with Johnny Thunders back in 1986 or ’87.” I sent it to them. That was a tricky one. I had a list of 13 people that I had to get through. You’ve got to go in order. If you go out of order you can piss off the wrong person.


Being asked if he reached out to Axl first:

No, it starts way lower than that. It starts with people around me. Then there’s agents, managers, attorneys. Us humans are a little fragile when you’re cut out of something. So I’m going around: “Hey, just letting you know I’m going after this. I’ll keep you in the loop.“ But you can call the wrong person, and they’ll maybe call Slash and Axl too early and spook the whole thing.


As for whether it just came down to the amount paid:

Oh, no. If you lead with that, you will always be shut down. An artist doesn’t want to feel that they’re just that. Plus, as much as Coachella can pay, there’s always someone who can offer more. It can never be the money. I actually think the youth side of the show really sells a lot to some of these artists: Let’s get the new generation, the cutting-edge people.


Later, Axl would state that this interest from Coachella had been instrumental in reuniting Axl and Slash:

Actually, [the reunion] had a lot to do with Paul Tollet of Coachella. He started talking about it, it seemed real, so at that point, I just told my people that they could go ahead and start talking to people, and see what’s going on.


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35. 2015: AXL AND SLASH MAKE PEACE, DJ LEAVES THE BAND, WILL 2016 BE THE YEAR OF THE REUNION? Empty Re: 35. 2015: AXL AND SLASH MAKE PEACE, DJ LEAVES THE BAND, WILL 2016 BE THE YEAR OF THE REUNION?

Post by Soulmonster Wed May 10, 2023 5:12 pm

MARCH 8, 2015
AXL CALLS SLASH

On March 8, 2015, Axl would call Slash. This groundshaking event in Guns N' Roses history did not come entirely out of the blue and we can identify a few things that happened in the previous months that likely paved the way for the call:

  • Axl and Slash had reestablished some kind of professional relationship in 2014 when they signed an agreement that opened for each of they making releases containing song co-written by the other party [see previous chapter]

  • The Coachella Festival had offered the band a large sum to reunite on the 2016 event [see previous chapter].

In addition comes Slash's divorce with Perla Ferrar, Duff's position as a middleman after having toured with GN'R in 2014, and Slash's friendly tweet that came in February. See below for more details on all of these events.


DECEMBER 2014: SLASH FILES FOR DIVORCE WITH PERLA

As described in a previous chapter, in December 2014 Slash filed for divorce and the marriage with Perla was over. Later, this event would be claimed to have an affect on the coming reconciliation between Axl and Slash. At least, this would be claimed by Arlett Vereecke in February 2016, Guns N' Roses former publicist and a long-time friend of Slash:

There are lots of reasons to re-form now. Axl has been saying it for a couple of years, and basically the main reason is that Slash is available without the attachment of a bitchy wife. Axl has being saying for two years that this year he would put it back together. When that divorce was in the making, it went all forward really fast.


Marc Canter would also discuss how Perla Ferrar had been an obstacle to a reunion:

Perla was out of the picture and Axl didn't like Perla and the way she controls things.


Slash would later be asked if Canter was correct, but deny these things were connected:

No, it had nothing to do with — neither one had anything to do with the other. At least on my end, y’know.


Alan Niven would also speculate that Slash getting back to Meegan Hodges after the end to his relationship with Perla, would open up a channel to Axl through Meegan's friendship with Erin, and mention this to Mick Wall which eventually ended up in Wall's new book on Guns N' Roses, Last of the Giants [Extract from "Last of the Giants: The True Story of Guns N’ Roses" by Mick Wall, February 27, 2017]. Niven would talk more about this in 2018 when he was asked about a quote in Mick Wall's book where he had said that both Erin Everly and her friend Meegan Hodges had been involved in the reunion:

It's not an opinion, it was a piece of information that I was given. [...] And that doesn't surprise me, it doesn't surprise me that the girls were able to put a little bit of oil on the water and bring Slash and Axe together, that doesn't surprise me at all.


Slash would deny this, too:

Oh God, no. See, this is what we don’t want to get into. Because there’s so much bullshit talk out there. Erin had nothing to do with anything. Are you saying that Meegan and Erin got Guns N’ Roses back together?


The Classic Rock Journalist would mention that the rumor had started in Mick Wall's book The Last of the Giants:

I haven’t spoken to Mick in ages so he doesn’t know shit about anything. I’m sorry, Mick, but… Because no one [in Guns] is doing any press, no one wants to talk about anything personal. I’ve spent the last… since two thousand and fucking eight or whatever, avoiding Guns N’ Roses questions, and my life has been a lot better because of it. So I am not about to get into that now, you know. But no, there’s no truth to that.


As stated above, Alan Niven seems to have been the source Wall used in his book.


DUFF COMMUNICATES WITH BOTH AXL AND SLASH

And with Ferrar out of the picture, Duff could act as a middleman after having had his own reconciliation with Axl recently:

Duff was a big part in getting them back together. He was working with Axl again and is a good middle man. There was no-one else who communicated with Slash and Axl. When Axl was venting about Slash, Duff was able to help him see things through Slash's eyes.



FEBRUARY 2015: SLASH WISHES AXL A HAPPY BIRTHDAY

On February 6, Slash sent Axl a birthday greeting through Twitter:



Slash wishing Axl a happy birthday
February 6, 2015



About a year later, comedian Andrew Dice Clay would claim that the friendly tweet came as a result of his efforts to thaw the relationship between Axl and Slash and specifically urging Slash to say something positive to Axl [The Interrobang, January 18, 2016].

Steven would react to the birthday greeting:

I think that's great. 'Cause he doesn't have nothing against Axl. He loves Axl too. The four of us all love Axl. And I know that. 'Cause we had something that was so magical and so special, and nobody can ever take that away. And no matter what anybody did to anybody… time's supposed to heal all wounds. Let's move on. Let's all be happy and do what we love doing. And if we have an opportunity to play for the whole world and let everybody love it… 'Cause that's every musician's dream: to play music that everybody loves. And we did that. And I said, 'Let's take advantage of it and show the world…' I mean, personally, myself, I wanna show everybody how appreciative I am that they love our music.



MARCH 8, 2015: AXL CALLS SLASH

Then on March 8, Axl would pick up the phone and call Slash, although unbeknownst to the public for quite some time. He actually asked Fernando Lebeis to find Slash's number, who in turn asked Beta:

And then as it became more real, I texted Fernando and asked for Slash’s number. And then Fernando texts his mum and is like, "If this is a joke, I’m going to kill you” [laughs]


Fernando would later comment:

Back then, I thought it was a test and at the same time, as if a heavy weight was lifted off my shoulders.


At the time, March 2015, Slash was on tour with Myles Kennedy and the Conspirators in South America:

[...] like I said, I had asked for his number. And then I had called him and he was on tour or something, and then we set up when we were gonna see each other, and I think something happened to both of our plans and that didn't happen.

But, you know, over that period of time there was a lot of bad feelings, from the breakup up until - all throughout this, that whole 20 years, whatever it was. But you know, there is also a part of you that’s like in a marriage, where you love somebody, and so there is always that feeling, but then there is all this negative stuff, and- [...] Well, there was so much stuff perpetuated in the media and it was just blown out of proportion. So when he and I talked for the first time, it was really, really cool. [...] first time we spoke was on the phone, and then we got together when I got back into town, because I was on the road. I was in Peru, I remember it specifically (laughs).


Looking back at talking to Axl:

And then Axl and I talked and that was something that came totally out of the blue, totally unexpected. We talked and managed to alleviate some of this negativity that had been brewing. Not between us, because we had never actually spoken. It was sort of perpetuated through the media and stuff, and it just became a running thing – the biggest rivalry or whatever. So it was really nice to talk.

It was nice that it happened. I don't know if I would have had the wherewithal to call him, just because I'm introverted and it might have been hard for me.

You know, he was actually the better man of the two of us and he gave me a call at some point, I was on the road with Myles and the guys, I think in South America. And so that was the first conversation that we've had in twenty years.


Richard, on the other hand, thought that Slash had initiated the contact:

I think, you know, Slash have been trying to get hold of [Axl] for a while and they sat down and, you know, Axl was like, "OK, let's just talk it through." And they sat down privately, went through their laundry list of issues and were able to put it behind them.


It might be that Richard thought about Slash's earlier attempts at getting in contact with Axl (like visiting his house in 2005 or showing up at a GN'R show in 2001).

It is not known when exactly Axl and Slash got to talk in person, but likely after Slash returned to North America in April or during a break in the tour in August. Or maybe first when they had dinner together in October [see later chapter].

On July 24, Del James wished Slash a happy birthday [Twitter, July 24, 2015], a gesture that would have been unlikely unless the relationship between Axl and Slash was becoming normalized.


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35. 2015: AXL AND SLASH MAKE PEACE, DJ LEAVES THE BAND, WILL 2016 BE THE YEAR OF THE REUNION? Empty Re: 35. 2015: AXL AND SLASH MAKE PEACE, DJ LEAVES THE BAND, WILL 2016 BE THE YEAR OF THE REUNION?

Post by Soulmonster Wed May 10, 2023 5:15 pm

JANUARY-JUNE 2015
AS FOR GN'R, NOTHING TO SEE HERE...


Like for the second half of 2014, band members were free to pursue side project in 2015 with the band seemingly having no plans at all.

I got nothing on both of those [=Soul Asylum and Guns N' Roses] right now.
[...] And Guns, I'm not sure what's going on with that. I've kind of been out of loop on that a little bit. But, you know,  that's a cyclical event there. [...] you know, I'm pretty much free and clear to do what I want when I do what I want.


DJ would say he thought this wasn't the end to GN'R, but that the band was on a hiatus after extensive touring in previous years:

I’ve got [Axl's] back whenever he needs me. Ever since I joined GNR six years ago, it’s almost been nonstop touring. But we’ve kind of talked of more touring, and I’m looking at this more as a hiatus than the end.


As for whether a new album was in the works, Richard would say that he would definitely be involved in the next album and provide the default answer on how it was coming along:

There's so much stuff that was done. I mean, there's two or three albums' worth of material, seriously!! We've all been handing files back and forth to one another. We look forward to getting at it seriously and releasing a new album as soon as possible.


Dizzy helped out:

It's good stuff that will come out awesome. When will it come out? We just don't know yet. Only Axl knows, and he's very secretive. Be patient!


A few days later, Richard would say a new album would not come out in 2015, but that it should be out in 2016 and that they would tour:

We're gonna be doing stuff next year. There's… We're not gonna have anything out this year. Yeah… Next year…. Next year, it should be out. And we'll be touring.


When an interviewer mentioned this to Frank, he responded:

I say "Lets get to 2016"!!!


Frank would also confirm that a tour was being planned, perhaps even for the end of the year:

There are always plans for a tour. Hopefully by the end of this year or early next year!
Axl Rose Fã Clube Brazil, June 8, 2015; translated from Portuguese



RESPONDING TO FANS BEING FRUSTRATED


I think it frustrates fans with the lack of information that's given. It frustrates them with the lack of product. You know, the fact that they wanna buy albums and support the band and, you know, but they can't, you know?  And, you know, we do tour, we have toured a lot... I don't know. I don't know if it's justified or not.


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35. 2015: AXL AND SLASH MAKE PEACE, DJ LEAVES THE BAND, WILL 2016 BE THE YEAR OF THE REUNION? Empty Re: 35. 2015: AXL AND SLASH MAKE PEACE, DJ LEAVES THE BAND, WILL 2016 BE THE YEAR OF THE REUNION?

Post by Soulmonster Wed May 10, 2023 5:16 pm

IS A REUNION GETTING CLOSER?

With the band not touring and with no news about a new record, media continued to speculate about whether a reunion was in the cards. These speculations were also aided by an apparent thawing of the relationship between Axl and Slash [see previous chapter].

Around this time, Marc Canter would trivialize the problems that lay between Axl and Slash, without trivializing the strong emotions, and imply that they could be resolved easily if they got some help with the reconciliation:

I think having Duff now on talking terms with Axl is a big middleman.


Canter would also point out that Duff could be the one to facilitate a reconciliation:

I think Axl genuinely believes that the soul of Saul Hudson left that body when Slash OD'd and that there's a replacement soul that has taken over Slash's body, and Axl truly does believe that. And I think that's the greatest stumbling block to getting the band back together. It could have been just the luck of the timing of that moment. That Axl perceived that Slash had died, and a replacement soul had taken over Saul Hudson's body and Saul had gone off into the next world. Who's-ever in Saul Hudson's body right now, it seems like Slash to me.


Tom Zutaut, on the other hand, would claim that the main problem between them was of a more supernatural nature and that Axl was of the belief that Slash's soul had been replaced, something that might be more difficult to fix:

I think Axl genuinely believes that the soul of Saul Hudson left that body when Slash OD'd and that there's a replacement soul that has taken over Slash's body, and Axl truly does believe that. And I think that's the greatest stumbling block to getting the band back together. It could have been just the luck of the timing of that moment. That Axl perceived that Slash had died, and a replacement soul had taken over Saul Hudson's body and Saul had gone off into the next world. Who's-ever in Saul Hudson's body right now, it seems like Slash to me.


Still, the band members would not give anything away about the ongoing reconciliation process that was happening between Slash and Axl at the time, and they were possibly also not fully informed about what was happening:

I mean, Axl, you know, I've never met anybody that has so much genuine musical integrity. You know, he won't whore himself out, he won't do anything for business or money, it's just about the music. And he won't defend himself in the press because it doesn't matter, he doesn't think it matters. It's just about the music. That's all he cares about. And I've worked with a lot of people in this business and I've never seen or met anybody that would be motivated purely by that. By the desire to make art. And you can say whatever you want about it because he's not going to defend himself, but he is that and that's for sure. You know, otherwise there would have been a reunion. Because the offers for money have been outrageous, he would never do a reunion unless it was for something besides money.


On the ongoing talks about a reunion:

There's been talk since I've been in the band [laughing].


Not long after, Steven responded to Richard's comment:

That's nice to say he wouldn't do it for the money, but if he needs a reason to do it, I have a billion reasons, and that's a billion people around the world who love us and have supported us and want more than anything to see us.


Despite having claimed to have got over the need for a reunion with GN'R after the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction back in 2012 [see previous chapter], Steven would follow up with more reasons for why they should reunite:

I mean, if we did ever do a reunion, or if we even made a record again together, the GN'R guys, I think it would blow 'Appetite For Destruction' away. All of us are such better players. And when we did 'Appetite', we were only adults for maybe three or four years. And that's from our experiences in life, that's what we came up with. Now we've been adults for 30 years, and I've been through ups and downs, like an emotional roller coaster. I have a lot to write about, and I know the other guys, if we got together, being adults now and knowing what we know, and [having] been through what we've been through, I think we could make an even bigger kickass record. [...]

I think if we did a reunion show, or shows, it would definitely be for the fans. I mean, we've lived our dream lives. Everything we dreamed about we have experienced — good or bad. Sometimes you don't know what you want when you dream things. But we've experienced it and done it. We owe it to the fans. [...]

It's Axl's call on doing a reunion. It's all up to him. And I love him and I have his back, and I support him in everything he does except for if he doesn't wanna play for the fans, I can't support that. 'Cause it's all for the fans. If he says it's not for the money, it's for the art — it's for the fans. That's what it's for. [...] I would love to finish what I started with them. Like Motley Crue, they're doing their last tour. They started something, and they finished something. And to go out that way, it's gotta be magic. To look back on [your time in the band] and say, 'I had a great career. God really blessed me.' Plus Mick Jagger and Keith Richards hated each other. They still hate each other, but they're still playing music 52 years later, because they know what they've got. They have something that's magical, and the fans love 'em.

Matt wouldn't do [a reunion]. I see Matt practically every Monday night, and we talked about it. He wouldn't do it unless I was a part of it. And I said, 'Well, dude, I would do it without you.' And he said, 'But you're the original guy. You're the sound of GN'R. I'm not. So it's different.' And I said, 'If I did it, if Axl wanted to play the 'Illusion' songs, I would have you right next to me. You come up and I'll either take the throne or sit where I sit.'… Sort of like [the way we did it] at the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame. They didn't show that part on TV, I don't think, but [Matt] played 'Brownstone', and then I came up and played 'Sweet Child' and 'Paradise City'.

The whole reunion thing I would love to do just because of two decades of new fans who have never seen what the magic was. And I would love to be able to show them, but that's Axl's call. I just keep hearing that [Axl] has this thing with Slash. I hope not. 'Cause it's too old already. Time goes on. We're too old. We've gotta move on. If he has resentments… I hope he doesn't. That’s all. I love him, and I love all those guys. Let's leave it at that. [Laughs]

And if we do ever do a reunion — a reunion show or a tour — I would be very excited, 'cause I love those guys. I just hope nobody would hate anybody. Time is supposed to heal all wounds. And it's been 25 years… It's been 27 years… Shit… C'mon! Let's move on! Let's do something for the people! [...] I think Axl has his grudge, I think, with Slash, and I wish he would just move on. 'Cause Slash is a wonderful person, and Axl is a wonderful person. And they're both so talented, and together they're just so great.


Frank would also philosophize on how the band had changed:

Everybody's family changes along the way, people get divorced, bands are like families and things change. I love the original Guns and Roses but be happy that Axl is still creating music and still pushing forward and trying to reinvent himself and I just wish people would have more of an open mind on that. Everything is still kinda the same but different, just like everything in the world. The band is a living breathing organism.


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35. 2015: AXL AND SLASH MAKE PEACE, DJ LEAVES THE BAND, WILL 2016 BE THE YEAR OF THE REUNION? Empty Re: 35. 2015: AXL AND SLASH MAKE PEACE, DJ LEAVES THE BAND, WILL 2016 BE THE YEAR OF THE REUNION?

Post by Soulmonster Thu May 11, 2023 6:39 am

JULY 2015
"THE CURRENT STATE OF GNR IS PRETTY UP IN THE AIR"


In July Richard would say he didn't know what would happen with the band and indicate it could go in either way:

The current state of GNR is pretty up in the air. The last I heard they wanted to finish up the recordings that we have and put them out next year and start touring. But it has been a while since I've heard from anybody in that camp as far as management or Axl. So I really don't know.

[...] there are no immediate plans for Guns N’ Roses. I have heard from our management that next year we’re going to be working. I’m hoping we’ll have an album out next year. That would be great! Then we are supposed to be doing some touring. Until then, I’m staying focused on The Dead Daisies!


The quote above also confirms that Axl had plans on releasing the follow-up to Chinese Democracy after the touring in 2014.

At the same time, Frank would say he thought he was still in the band:

I'm as far as I know, yes.


And with nothing happening, Frank took off to Australia:

I'm gonna go down to [?], Australia, do a little promo vibe, meet some people, you know, I love that country. I love Australia. I mean, I can see myself grow old in Australia. And I'll go down and do this promo thing, make some contacts, make some hook-ups. So in my later years I can go and [?] Australia. So I've been to Australia, at a place called Whole Lotta Love. Jamming with some local musicians, getting to know people. And I leave on August 11. I'm doing that, on Friday, August 14. And then I've also been working in the studio, recording sessions, stuff like that, you know? I've gotta keep busy, you know.


While in Australia, a reporter would claim Axl has stated in 2014 that the follow-up and a remix album was ready to be released in 2015, to which Frank responded:

Axl hasn't told me that. There is something coming sooner than later, that is all I can say.


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35. 2015: AXL AND SLASH MAKE PEACE, DJ LEAVES THE BAND, WILL 2016 BE THE YEAR OF THE REUNION? Empty Re: 35. 2015: AXL AND SLASH MAKE PEACE, DJ LEAVES THE BAND, WILL 2016 BE THE YEAR OF THE REUNION?

Post by Soulmonster Thu May 11, 2023 6:43 am

WHO CAN REUNITE GUNS N' ROSES?


Over the years various had claimed they held the key to reunite the band, and this didn't stop with mounting speculation of a reunion in 2016:


DOUG GOLDSTEIN?


Doug Goldstein had previously claimed to know the real reason behind the rift between Axl and Slash (Slash having worked with Michael Jackson), and that because of this he knew what it would take to mend faces (Slash apologizing to Axl) and that he was the right person to oversee this and become the band's manager (again):

Slash would have to apologize for the episode with Michael Jackson. And I really believe that with as much as I love the band I would be the manager to bring them back together, I don't think anybody else could do that.
Rolling Stone Brazil, March 25, 2015; translated from Portuguese



SANMY HAGAR?


Sammy Hagar from Van Halen looked at it as a purely financial opportunity and offered to manage the band to wealth and opulence:

They’ve proved it again and again and again that it ain’t [about] the money. They just don’t get along because Axl goes out for a lot less money with his version of Guns N’ Roses, and Slash goes out for a lot less money with Velvet Revolver or by himself. The amount of money they could make if they got it all back together, made a great record and toured the world would probably be as much as the Rolling Stones [get], and for them not to do it, it obviously ain’t about the money. Because they could do it. I would manage them. I’d be their manager and make sure they got the right deal from all the promoters. They could be the biggest band in the world if they wanted to.
Attention Deficit Delirium, October 26, 2011



MARC CANTER?


For Uproxx' mini documentary on Guns N' Roses, released in 2015, Marc Canter would be asked what it would take to reunite the Appetite lineup, and answer:

What it would take to get these guys back together? It's simple, come back to where it all started. Right here. This is the room they started in. No bullshit. Just put them in here without any management, any handlers, any roadies. I believe that the chemistry inside them, the gravitational pull, is so strong that if they would just walk in this room, music would pour out of their souls. They know they needed each other back then. They know they need each other now. You put those guys together and that little $15 an hour rehearsal space where it all started, that's all you need.


This part of the documentary was originally intended to be called, "GN'R: Where It All Started," but ended up being called "One Man's Plan to Reunite Guns N' Roses" [LA Weekly, July 7, 2015].

Duff would respond to the documentary:

And Marc’s a dear friend [...]. I don’t know what he’s doing, to be honest. [...]  I have no comment on that. That came out of left field for me. My manager sent me the link and I looked at it like, “What the hell?” Little weird. But Marc is a good guy. He’s been around forever, and if that’s what he thinks, it’s his thing.


This prompted Canter, some weeks later, to explain that he simply answered a last-minute question ("What would it take to get these guys back together?"):

I'm passionate about the history of this band, and I would want to see them get back together, but that was not at all my plan. My plan was to be a part of a cool documentary about my time with the band. And it moved me watching it. But the question was something they threw in the last 20 seconds and spun it.


Because of the click-bait title, Canter had to do some damage control:

I emailed Slash about the Uproxx doc, and told him that they changed the name.


As for what Canter thought about a reunion:

My best guess? Seven to eight years, because Axl moves slowly. But before … it was never. You could put a gun to his head, and ask him to get on stage with Slash, and he'd pull the trigger.



FRED DURST?


In August 2015, after Slash having talked publicly about having talked to Axl and how the negativity between them had been dispelled, Fred Durst would, during a Limp Bizkit show, claim he was responsible:

I'd like you to know that we're responsible for Axl and Slash being back together. We had a meeting and it went really well.


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35. 2015: AXL AND SLASH MAKE PEACE, DJ LEAVES THE BAND, WILL 2016 BE THE YEAR OF THE REUNION? Empty Re: 35. 2015: AXL AND SLASH MAKE PEACE, DJ LEAVES THE BAND, WILL 2016 BE THE YEAR OF THE REUNION?

Post by Soulmonster Thu May 11, 2023 6:43 am

APRIL 2015
AXL PROTESTS INDONESIAN EXECUTIONS


In April 2015, nine Australians, the so-called "Bali Nine", were convicted of attempting to smuggle 8.3 kg of heroin out of Indonesia. The presumed leaders of the group, Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran, were sentenced to death.



Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumarany
October 2010



On April 27, just days prior to the planned execution, Axl penned a letter addressed to the Indonesian president, Joko Widodo, asking for clemency, and posted the letter on Facebook:

April 27, 2015

President Joko Widodo
President of Republic of Indonesia
Istana Merdeka
Jakarta Pusat 10110, Indonesia

Mr. President,

Thank you for taking the time to read this letter. In 2012 I and Guns N' Roses were both fortunate and privileged enough to perform in your country in Jakarta for the Indonesian people where we enjoyed and were taken aback by the incredible warmth of the Indonesian fans during our performance and in meeting fans and people there wherever we went. It was a very special and exciting experience we are fortunate to have had and to have as fond memories. I would like to express our sincere thanks to your country for showing us such warm and enthusiastic hospitality.

The main concern of this correspondence is in regard to the impending executions of Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran of the group referred to as the Bali Nine and of Mary Jane Fiesta Veloso. In following their stories in regard to particular comments made in their regard by the Attorney General of Indonesia that their efforts and those of their representatives through the courts "are just buying time" I feel with all due respect compelled to ask why a government official derides the efforts of anyone trying to save their own life or the lives of others through proper legal channels? And if or why the government of Indonesia condones such comments by its officials?

As all three are still alive these are clearly not cases where nothing can or should be done by those who care to do their utmost in efforts to spare them. Under the circumstances it would seem that if they are executed regrettably the Indonesian government becomes the more offensive criminal.

I appeal to you Mr. President, Mr. Joko Widodo to use your power in ways to strengthen international relationships between your country and others, to show your country's strength and allow the world to witness an extraordinary act of humanity and bravery on yours and your country's part.

To show each of us that there can be hope and true redemption in times of hopelessness and despair, that rehabilitation and turning one's life around is not just for one's place in what if any afterlife there may be or one believes in but here on this earth where it can do each of us the most good in this life now. Where true justice is better achieved in not killing, not ending the lives of and not destroying others but instead in this case, this situation, right now in this moment in your hands in sparing the lives of these two able bodied young men who've proven in the Indonesian prison system they are more than capable of being productive and positive contributors to society.

Their crimes were now long ago, their hearts and minds forever changed by their crimes, their trials, the hurt they've caused their loved ones, their countrymen, their rehabilitation, remorse, the lasting and deeply embedded fears of the crushing reality of very real and drastic life and death consequences and their deepest desires to become different and better people and if not to be forgiven to be shown mercy and given the opportunity to prove themselves.

In a world where the bad often outweighs the good and evil and negativity would appear more and more prevalent we need and can use every person choosing to make a difference however that choice came about that we can get, that we can save, that we can salvage and we can spare the lives of including those who have seen and learned from the errors of their ways and in doing so we show the entire world that we are capable of forgiveness and mercy, a much greater sense of courage, strength and humanity and being so much more than that which seeks to overcome and destroy us.

To not do so does not send as much a message of deterrence but rather a cold, cruel and uncaring message of hopelessness and blindness by the powers that be. Please do not be this type of man, this type of individual blinded by rigidity and inflexibility and ignoring your true power and wisdom by not acknowledging true change verified, witnessed and confirmed by virtually all who've been involved with either of these men during their incarceration.

It's true I do not know these men nor have I met them but their story has touched me deeply. I as well as many others could easily have found ourselves in their unfortunate and unarguably self-inflicted position. People make mistakes, sometimes big and horribly regrettable mistakes and sometimes more importantly people learn from their mistakes and make new choices, strive and succeed at true positive change. To not acknowledge and give such change the opportunity to prove it's value would seem in this case a greater crime than those originally committed.

This is clearly not a case of hardened, unrepentant, violent or greed driven killers with no regard for the lives of others. They are not con men lying and faking their behavior over all these years only to return to the people they once were and are no longer.  That these individuals must die purely as an example to others is in my opinion akin to a kidnapper or terrorist killing hostages to make their point and have their demands met. In carrying out their death sentences the example shown here is one of draconian justice where the punishment in this stage of the condemned's lives by virtue of their rehabilitation and genuine remorse over all these years no longer fits the original crime.

To kill these men under these conditions of their profound and proven change for the better seems a barbaric, backward and truly disgraceful act of pride, ego, fear and prejudice, prejudice against your own system and the souls of anyone who has committed what's been deemed a crime from one day making amends and having the opportunity to make things right by how they live their lives and not how they are brutally and with disregard executed.

In the case and impeding execution of Mary Jane Fiesta Veloso executing those on the bottom rungs of the ladder in the chain of drug trafficking or those caught in the web of human trafficking who may not have had the luxury of qualified representation or even proper translators during their trial seems more than unfair and proves what? That a government chooses to condemn those that it would appear few if anyone truly cares about or has ever cared about to begin with? A mother who's quite possibly sincere hopes of making a better life for her and her children have been destroyed in a tragic circumstance and with her execution only makes things worse for her family and the sorrow of those who do care that much greater.

I realize I am no one and no one to get involved with your affairs or those of your government and how this letter reads or anyone other than yourself thinks of it is irrelevant. Only the lives of these three human beings are what's important now. That said I did not speak in jest or empty flattery when I spoke of how I and my organization were affected by the depth of warmth shown us by the Indonesian people during our performance and stay in Jakarta.

I ask you now to show such great depth of humanity and compassion now to these individuals and to deny your bloodlust in your war on drugs and grant clemency to these three individuals and give them a permanent stay of execution and to change the course of your own life and place in both your country's and world history. No other can do what you alone have the power to do and that is the power to show benevolence and mercy where mercy can be truly appreciated and given it's proper respect not only by the condemned but by the entire world and it's many leaders.

Give them a chance to prove you right by living where their deaths at this stage can only prove tragic and by all involved avoidable and unnecessary. You've made your point and struck fear in both the hearts and minds of the condemned and anyone even remotely considering bad choices or already involved in those worlds. Their crimes were not committed on your watch. Life is the only thing important now, not death but life.

Sincerely,

W. Axl Rose


cc:

U.S. Secretary of State, John Kerry

U.S. Ambassador to Indonesia, Ambassador Robert O. Blake Jr.

Ambassador and Permanent Representative of the Republic of Indonesia to the United Nations, His Excellency Mr.Rezlan Ishar Jenie

National Commission on Human Rights of Indonesia (Komnas HAM), Mr. Ifdhal Kasim, Chairman

Ambassador to the United States, Budi Bowoleksono
Facebook, April 27, 2015


Axl was not the only artists who protested against the executions and wrote letters to the Indonesian president, Black Sabbath guitarist Tony Iommi and Napalm Death frontman Mark "Barney" Greenway did the same [Blabbermouth, April 28, 2015].

Chan and Sukumaran, together with six other people, were executed on April 28 [Rolling Stone, April 28, 2015].

Axl responded to the executions:

1. It's deeply troubling President Widodo ignoring International outcry went thru w/8 of the executions.
Twitter, April 29, 2015

2. Let's pray Miss Veloso's reprieve is permanent.
Twitter, April 29, 2015

3. Widodo's refusal 2 postpone the executions until all legal challenges n' investigations of corruption r resolved is inexcusable.
Twitter, April 29, 2015

4. 4 Widodo 2 b out of the country during his big statement refusing 2 take calls or read any last minute pleas 4 the condemned is cowardice
Twitter, April 29, 2015

5. The People of Indonesia deserve better.
Twitter, April 29, 2015


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35. 2015: AXL AND SLASH MAKE PEACE, DJ LEAVES THE BAND, WILL 2016 BE THE YEAR OF THE REUNION? Empty Re: 35. 2015: AXL AND SLASH MAKE PEACE, DJ LEAVES THE BAND, WILL 2016 BE THE YEAR OF THE REUNION?

Post by Soulmonster Thu May 11, 2023 6:48 am

MAY 7, 2015
SLASH SAYS THE TENSION BETWEEN HIM AND AXL HAS DISSIPATED

On May 7, 2025, at CBS This Morning TV show, Slash would drop the bombshell that the issues between him and Axl has been solved and that a lot of the tension had dissipated:

Well, we haven't really talked in a long time. But a lot of the tension that you were talking about has dissipated. We don't have all those issues anymore. There's not a lot of controversy. It's something that's more perpetuated by the media than anything.


As can be seen from the quote above, he also claimed they hadn't "really talked", although this is not strictly true since Axl had called him in March [see previous chapter], something that was revealed later. As has been discussed in previous chapters, they had also come to an agreement on co-signing off on the releases containing co-written material, and they had started wishing each other happy birthday (although from Axl to Slash through the Del James proxy).

Later in the day Sklash was asked about what he had told CBS This Morning, and responded that there was no animosity going on between the two:

Yeah, there's no animosity going on.


And when asked what had happened:

I think it's just… you know, over time, I think we all just got sick and tired of this sort of black cloud that really didn't… You know, I think the biggest thing that happens is just that when you have a breakup that is a little less than harmonious, you just build up a lot of bad energy because of the distance - you know, when you don't communicate or… you know what I'm saying? And just whatever the bad feelings were, they just get exaggerated and I think it just reached a point where it was ridiculous, you know?


Obviously, although he had claimed otherwise, Axl and Slash must have talked together.

Slash would also have to answer the inevitable "reunion" question and definitely didn't reject it:

I gotta be careful what I say there. I mean, if everybody wanted to do it and do it for the right reasons, you know, I think the fans would love it. I think it might be fun at some point to try and do that, but…it just starts to get into a whole complex thing. But anyway, it's really between the guys in the band.


Around the same time, Duff would also be asked about a reunion and whether it could happen, and would also vaguely indicate it could happen:

Maybe. I don’t go that far because I guess I just don’t have time to think about that. I have a 17- and 14-year-old. Life is busy. And I work. And I have my wife and keeping a marriage healthy. It’s work. I write and that’s my work too now. It’d be a little conceited to say if everybody thought like me…

It could happen. I mean, this thing could happen, and it could not. And I think it would be wonderful, one day, if we reconciled, first and foremost. That alone would be cool.


A couple of weeks later, Slash would reject the reunion rumours, claim he had just wanted to sounds "more friendly and positive" and that he and Axl was not in contact:

Hey, it's amazing what you read into it. I just wanted to sound a little more friendly and positive. But Axl and I aren't in touch and I don't see that.
BZ-Berlin, June 7, 2015; translated from German


And also that there had been no movement towards a reunion and that questions about it were "annoying" and "dumb":

[...] the reunion question annoys me because no one has done anything about trying to get a reunion… None of the guys in the band have gone public and said there was gonna be a reunion or anything like that, and it's just for lack of imagination to ask me this dumb question which they know what the answer is.


In August, Frank would talk about the feud between Slash and Axl and suggest the relationship hadn't thawed and was as icy as ever:

I don't know exactly what went down between those two but I haven't met Slash, he hasn't been around and he's not really welcome in the camp since I've been around.


It is quite possibly Frank simply weren't aware of what was happening between Slash and Axl.


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Post by Soulmonster Thu May 11, 2023 6:50 am

MAY 12, 2015
DUFF RELEASES THE BOOK AND EP 'HOW TO BE A MAN (AND OTHER ILLUSIONS'


In 2014, Duff would talk about writing his second book:

I'm writing a new book; I've got a new book deal. So I've been back here writing a lot. I had a column for the Seattle Weekly for five years, and there was one column that was called 'How To Be A Man,' and it was kind of tongue in cheek; it was really tongue in cheek. And I got a book deal from that column. It's a how-to guide of things I've learned about life — being a dad, being a husband and being in a rock band. And it's, like, a city guide in it, but a very tongue-in-cheek city guide; like, how I see cities. It's got all kinds of stuff. And other stories. And hopefully it's gonna be a funny book.


In January 2015, a release date of May 12, 2015, was announced and the title to be "How To Be A Man" [Press Release/Blabbermouth, January 4, 2015].

I had a column for the Seattle Weekly for five years, and there was one column that was called 'How To Be A Man', and it was kind of tongue in cheek; it was really tongue in cheek. And I got a book deal from that column. It's a how-to guide of things I've learned about life — being a dad, being a husband and being in a rock band. And it's, like, a city guide in it, but a very tongue-in-cheek city guide; like, how I see cities. It's got all kinds of stuff. And other stories. And hopefully it's gonna be a funny book.


The book had started off as a collection of some of the smaller articles he had written for various publications:

The original idea was to publish a book of my columns. But there was a particular column I wrote called "Manup" about the things I've learned in life that became the outline for the book. It became a much longer extension of a tidy little piece.

[The title] came from my Seattle Weekly column, which was titled the same. I did observational pieces about my experiences and the things I’ve learned over the years. I’ve been raising two girls and I’ve observed how women grow, all the way from one-day-old 'til now, with a daughter almost 18. And then I have my wife. I can only write from a man’s viewpoint. I really know that now, but I empathize and understand women a lot more.

To sum it up, what the original column was, is what a guy thinks when he’s 18 versus when he grows up. It’s totally different once you have a couple kids, but you don’t realize it as it’s happening. It hits you all at once.

I was 37. I wasn’t getting in fist fights… which I thought was manly when I was 18. And I wasn’t drinking two cases of beer… which I thought was manly when I was 18. And I wasn’t carousing with a bunch of strangers. I was with one woman and I had a baby girl and a toddler girl, and I was at the grocery store getting diapers, and my wife was calling me on the phone and I just realized, ya know, I’m the happiest I’ve ever been. I wasn’t fighting, I wasn’t drinking, and I wasn’t carousing. It just happened.

The book is sort of an assortment of all this kind of stuff from the column. I put it all into a six-month period of my life. There’s a story line. And I also put in all the things that I had jotted down or maybe had for column ideas.


Explaining how this book was lighter than his first:

[Writing 'How To Be A Man' didn't involve] the heaviness of digging deep into my own dark soul and figuring out stuff, mistakes I've made. This is… just more a journey into what is a man. Some of the stuff is things I've pulled from columns, or thoughts I've had discussing columns with my editor at Seattle Weekly. Just a whole list of things we discussed over the years. Yeah, it was a lot lighter [subject matter], for sure.




How To Be A Man (and other illusions) book
May 12, 2015



Together with the book, Duff also released a three-song EP also called 'How To Be A Man' [Press Release, April 29 2015]. The EP had the following songs 'How To Be A Man', 'Punker' and 'Kill the Internet'.



How To Be A Man (and other illusions) EP
May 12, 2015



Duff recorded on his birthday with Izzy and Taz Bentley:

Spent the first part of my birthday with @tazbentley and Izzy...rocking!
Twitter, February 6, 2015

[Izzy and I] recorded a song that day. We were talking on the phone, and [Izzy] said, 'Let's go record a song.' And we used Josh [Homme] from Queens Of The Stone Ages's studio; it was open. So we just went it — Izzy and I and Taz [Bentley] — and just had a blast. We recorded a song. I have it. It just got mixed. It's a super kick-ass song. And we just had fun, and we'll probably do it some more. We've always kind of done [stuff like that], but usually on his records. This was just like this open thing. And I had a riff, and he had an idea, and we recorded it in half a day. [...] Maybe [it will end up on my next record]. We're gonna maybe record some more. But we just enjoy making music together and enjoy each other's company. We're allowed to do that.


Which likely ended up as the title track to the EP:

Somebody mentioned to me, 'You should write a song to coincide with your book.' And I'm, like, 'How do you write a song for a book?' I've never written a theme song for [a James] Bond [movie] or any of that kind of stuff. We [Guns N 'Roses] recorded 'Live And Let Die' back in the day, but that was Paul McCartney who wrote that. So I wrote a really awful song. Like, first, I was, like, [singing] 'How to be a man…' And it was just awful. And I couldn't figure it out. And out of frustration, I hit on this riff that became the main riff for the song, and I just sang along to it: 'What it takes to be a man. How I wish I knew.' And that really sums up the book. And I sent the riff and the chorus that I had to Izzy. And I said, 'Izzy, you got something…? I need something to tie this in.' And he sent it back with a bridge, and he played drums on the demo, and he put a slide lead on it. He goes, 'Let's go and record it.' And we did. We just went down and recorded it. We got Roy, who plays drums for Stone Sour — a good friend of ours. And Jerrry Cantrell came and played lead. It was so natural.


Talking about working with Izzy:

We’ve continued to do music together over the years. He himself puts out records on iTunes, no publicity, he just puts them out. He’s so cool. He’s just the best. The songs on the EP all happened really quick, as rock & roll should. I had these songs. I had the bones and Izzy had the parts to complete the songs… So we recorded them. Then Jerry [Cantrell] came and played lead on them…

You know, they are just friends of mine. I hate it when it comes out like on social media, “featuring Alice in Chains' Jerry!“… I hate all that. They’re just my pals. I didn’t record this stuff to try to use them or their names to pimp my thing.

I had a really good time just creating… I've played on a bunch of Izzy records over the last fifteen years, and it was just really nice to be in the studio with him for a couple of days. I really trust whatever he does. If he says, 'I've got a bridge. I've got a part,' I know he's got a part. It's not, like, 'Oh, let me hear it.' It's, like, 'Okay, he's got the part. Good. That's taken care of.' And, yeah, I'd like to do more music with him — always; for the rest of my life.



MAY-JUNE 2016


A documentary film of Duff's performance of at the Seattle Theatre in 2013, when he was promoting his second memoir, would be aired in the US in May and June, 2016 [Rolling Stone, April 19, 2016].

Press release:

Guns N' Roses bassist Duff McKagan will release a documentary about his life, "It's So Easy And Other Lies: Live At The Moore", this summer. The film, which was directed by filmmaker Christopher Duddy, who previously worked on visual effects for "Terminator 2", "Total Recall" and "Titanic", captures a special performance Duff held in Seattle in 2013 when he was promoting his memoir.

A trailer for "It's So Easy And Other Lies: Live At The Moore" can be seen at RollingStone.com. The film will open in theaters on June 3.

"It's So Easy And Other Lies: Live At The Moore", which bases its name on the title of Duff McKagan's best-selling autobiography, documents the remarkable life of one of the founding members of both Guns N' Roses and Velvet Revolver. It is the story of his rise to the pinnacle of fame and fortune, his struggles with alcoholism and drug addiction, his personal crash and burn, and his phoenix-like transformation via a unique path to sobriety and eventual redemption. The book was a best seller in 2011, with the film being targeted at not only that fan base, but to fans of Duff's bands, including Guns N' Roses, Velvet Revolver and Loaded. Combined, these bands have sold over 100 million albums worldwide.




Film poster


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35. 2015: AXL AND SLASH MAKE PEACE, DJ LEAVES THE BAND, WILL 2016 BE THE YEAR OF THE REUNION? Empty Re: 35. 2015: AXL AND SLASH MAKE PEACE, DJ LEAVES THE BAND, WILL 2016 BE THE YEAR OF THE REUNION?

Post by Soulmonster Thu May 11, 2023 6:50 am

SHARING THE BLAME FOR THE DEMISE OF THE OLD BAND

During promotion for his new book, Duff would frequently visit the period when the Use Your Illusion lineup disintegrated and stress how he too could have made different decisions and how he had to let resentments go to play with Axl again back in 2014:

Over time I've gotten rid of a lot of resentment I didn't know I was even carrying around.

I’d done a lot of work for the previous 20 years, and just dealing with, who the fuck am I and looking at those parts of your life that we don’t always examine. We have something to do with the good in our lives, but there’s some of us in the bad, too. Whether we didn’t act properly or ignored stuff while it was happening or whatever. I realize I could have made some different decisions.


He would revisit this theme in an interview in 2018 when asked about the timing of him rejoining Guns N' Roses in 2014/2016:

I'm a sober guy. I had to do a lot of work, like healing the wreckage of, not just me drinking and the damage I'd done to myself, but in my life. And it takes you a couple of years to take a real accountability for your stuff, you can't just do it in one week. You know?


And say that writing his first book had been part of the process:

The way you think about it is, and you've thought about it through all your drinking and all your stuff, maybe that's not the way exactly it went down. And it wasn't until I wrote my book, the first book, It's So Easy, that I was alone in rooms writing this thing, on planes writing this thing. And I would write a full like 2,000 word passage. [...] I would write in those kinds of spurts because I was writing columns at the time too. I'd write a 2,000 word, you know, passage and I'd realize you just lied. The only person you're lying to is yourself and your computer, you know? [...] This is the way I wanna believe it went down and I would have to erase and press delete on the whole thing. And those are the moments I really started to, it was like 2007, 2008, 2009, I really started to rethink my part in my life and with that came a lot of aha moments.


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35. 2015: AXL AND SLASH MAKE PEACE, DJ LEAVES THE BAND, WILL 2016 BE THE YEAR OF THE REUNION? Empty Re: 35. 2015: AXL AND SLASH MAKE PEACE, DJ LEAVES THE BAND, WILL 2016 BE THE YEAR OF THE REUNION?

Post by Soulmonster Thu May 11, 2023 6:50 am

2015
BEATRAZR WITH CHRIS AND FRANK


In 2015, Chris and Frank started a new music project together, BEATRAZR:

Well I have BEATRAZR with Chris… we're trying to combine Rock N' Roll and Electronica. Fully experimental, we're having fun.
Axl Rose Fã Clube Brazil, June 8, 2015; translated from Portuguese




BEATRAZR


Last edited by Soulmonster on Sat May 27, 2023 4:08 pm; edited 10 times in total
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35. 2015: AXL AND SLASH MAKE PEACE, DJ LEAVES THE BAND, WILL 2016 BE THE YEAR OF THE REUNION? Empty Re: 35. 2015: AXL AND SLASH MAKE PEACE, DJ LEAVES THE BAND, WILL 2016 BE THE YEAR OF THE REUNION?

Post by Soulmonster Thu May 11, 2023 6:53 am

FRANK TALKS ABOUT HIS APPROACH TO DRUMMING GN'R SONGS


Adler and Sorum are iconic, I try to play somewhere between the punk rock of Adler and the professionalism of Sorum. Those guys really left their mark on Guns.

To me, Guns was almost like two different bands. “You Could Be Mine” is a slamming hard rock song, and “It’s So Easy” is a slamming, sleazy punk-rock tune. Two different drummers, two different feels. It’s opposites. When they were looking for someone to replace Adler, they found a more steady and straight-ahead kind of drummer. You know how sports teams will have a loud, screaming coach and then the next one will be really quiet? Adler is more off the rails, unpredictable, and Matt is a professional player, a technician. [...] I like to think I’m in between the two. A lot of that was [previous Guns drummer] Brain’s influence. He has that steady, professional thing but can also give you off-the-rails. So I’ll make “Mr. Brownstone” as funky as possible and “It’s So Easy” as if I’m Paul Cook of the Sex Pistols, while making “You Could Be Mine” as professional sounding as Matt Sorum.

_______________________________________

When Frank joined Guns N' Roses back in 2006, Brain's advice to him had been to make the songs his own:

What it was was, okay, so when I first joined the band Brain sat me down and it's like, "Hey, listen, the things that you want to think about when you're playing this music," and the main thing he told me was, like, "You want to take these songs and make them your own. There's parts to them, there's drum parts to them, obviously, but you want to make it your own somehow. That's the only way it's going to work. If you're up there playing other people's parts it's just not gonna rock." So I took it to heart and at the time, you know, I thought it was gonna be a temporarily thing, that it was Brain's seat, you know. So, especially the Chinese Democracy music because technically it's all new, at the time it was all new music, no one's ever heard it, you know. It's one thing that I can't really stretch with the old material because there's a lot of signature drum [?] songs, obviously I'm not [?] mess with imprint on Guns, for sure. [...] Anyway, so with the new stuff I stretched more, I started stretching the new stuff more because, again, you know, I knew that the fan had never heard the material, and the guys it was still new to them so I knew that I could sneak in [?], I knew that I could be more myself with the new stuff and I took it to heart on Brain's advice and I went for it. So I changed just a couple little things, you know, that I personally feel make the songs like jump up or give it a different shift, you know.

I did a few tracks with Brain and he told me to just make the songs my own. It wasn’t so much conscious writing as focusing on how the music made me feel and not overthinking it. And then on the song “Chinese Democracy”—which was written by drummer Josh Freese—I play that whole track by myself. But the rest of the record is me and Brain. We already had Josh’s arrangements and there was a lot going on, but I found room to express myself.


Still, he would emphasize trying to emulate the feel of the drummers before him:

I really try to keep the spirit of the way the song was played. When we play the Appetite… stuff I try to have the push and pulls. Steven’s punk rock bits are great. Adler’s playing was one of the greatest rock drumming performances in the history of music. You can put it in the top ten. His playing on Appetite… is perfect. Then with Sorum it’s a little more tight and more reserved kind of playing. I do try to keep that spirit, though. I have tremendous respect for the drummers in Guns N’ Roses. I love Brain so much. What Brain told me was to try and make the songs my own. I never forget that. Obviously my own personality comes through, especially on some of the funkier stuff. I might give a more New York hip hop kind of feel to it.

Some of the first record stuff, the way that Brain was playing it when I watched him play it, it sounded like it gave Axl more room to sing. Axl sings fast a lot so you have to pull back a little bit so he can get his words out.


Frank would also talk about how the most important thing to him was the songs, and how he wanted to play on great songs, possibly implying that he would like to record more music with Guns N' Roses when mentioning Matt and Steven:

I love songs, man, I'm a fan of the song, man, and to me that's always the first thing. I always play the song, you know. And playing great drum riffs that's fun and it's great but, you know, if it doesn't make the song better then, you know, it's not necessary, you know. I love songs, that's my favorite thing. As a drummer I wanna play on a great fucking song, man. That's why Ringo star, you know, he played on great songs. Phil Rudders played on great songs. You know, Charlie Watts have played on great songs. I wanna play on a great song. You know, Matt Sorum has played on a great song, you know. Steven Adler has played on great song. I wanna play on a great song. You know, that's all I wanna do.

What they did with Chinese Democracy, the drum sound they got there is the one that they like to use live. It’s not important to me that it has to be my snare sound, just as long as it sounds good. If it makes the music sound better then that’s all that matters to me. I don’t really mess with the tunings. I have a great tech and front of house guy and they’re the experts in that as far as I’m concerned. I have a 12” rack, 14” and 16” floor, 24” bass drum. The snare drum is the diamond of the kit, it’s a Tama bell brass snare. It’s the greatest drum I’ve ever heard. They used those on the record, but they used the original one from the ’80s. I think the one I’m using now is the newer one, the one Lars Ulrich came out with. The ones they used on the record were 27 years old, $3,000 a piece!


Being asked about drumming to a click track:

I love click tracks. My biggest concern as a drummer is tempo and making sure that the pocket is as deep as possible. Once you’ve got the tempo locked, you’re free. There’s a lot going on live, so we play the newer songs to a click. But I’m in and out. I use some clicks for groove, to get into the song, to get out, even the middle.


And how be practises:

Lately I’ve been battling arthritic stuff in my wrists and ankles. More my hi-hat foot than my kick. Practicing keeps everything well oiled. I don’t get much practice in on the road, but I have a drum room in my basement at home and I get down there every day. I try to play live two or three times a week, and I play drums daily. Playing actually relieves the stiffness and pain. We soundcheck every single show now, and I really enjoy that. You can play with a practice pad in your hotel room, but it’s not the same. I get a good half hour to forty-five minutes of warm-up in before the show. I need to play as much as possible and hit as hard as I usually hit.



MR. BROWNSTONE

Brain wrote the intro to "Mr.Brownstone". Thats why it's so funky. Matt did it more like a Bo Diddly stomp. Brain's has more of a Motown feel to it.

Brownstone is dope. I do Brain’s intro to Brownstone. Adler used to just do the bo diddley on the floor tom where as Brain was doing it more on the toms, the two racks and the floor.

A lot of that stuff [I play] is the Sorum stuff, but there’s also songs like Brownstone. If you want to know what kind of drummer I am just listen to me play Brownstone or Rocket Queen. I love being the foundation and sitting in that pocket. I can be in the pocket all day. I’m more like Phil Rudd, I just want to 2/4 it and let everybody else do their thing while I sit up there holding it together.


Steven would later not be impressed with the way Frank plays Mr. Brownstone:

'Cause Frank is a great drummer, but he does not play the way Steven Adler plays, and Steven Adler doesn't play the way Matt plays, and Matt doesn't play the way Frank plays. We all have our own style, but my style is the one that is on those records that everybody grew up listening to and [made] memories to. So when Frank is playing those songs, he's not playing them right. He's just really a great time keeper. I mean, put it this way: they were playing 'Brownstone'… I didn't know they were playing 'Brownstone' until all of a sudden they started singing the chorus. I went, 'That was 'Brownstone'?' 'Brownstone' you know instantly. I came up with a kickass groove. You know that. And I'm standing, going, 'What song is this?' But, like I said, we all have our own styles.



ROCKET QUEEN

"Rocket Queen " is like Steven's feel but I try to settle into more of a pocket. Not so much movement like on the record or his live performances.

Rocket Queen is dope.



BETTER

"Better" was one of the songs that I made my own like Brain suggested. I want to make sure that part [=the part just before 'I never wanted you to be so full of anger'] lifted up the song. Bring it to the next level.



YOU COULD BE MINE

My favourite song to play is You Could Be Mine, that’s so fun to play as a drummer. It’s a lot of fun. That one’s like shifting in a car. You’re peeling out then hit a low gear, then you’re cruising. You have to shift the gears. It’s balls out.



THINK ABOUT YOU

Think About You is a lot of fun, real punk rock and more of the kind of spirit that I grew up with.


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35. 2015: AXL AND SLASH MAKE PEACE, DJ LEAVES THE BAND, WILL 2016 BE THE YEAR OF THE REUNION? Empty Re: 35. 2015: AXL AND SLASH MAKE PEACE, DJ LEAVES THE BAND, WILL 2016 BE THE YEAR OF THE REUNION?

Post by Soulmonster Thu May 11, 2023 6:53 am

JULY 27, 2015
DJ LEAVES GUNS N' ROSES


On July 27, DJ posted a hand-written note on his Facebook page, announcing that he had left the band:

To Each and Every One Of You,

6 years ago I received a call that changed my life forever. The call was from a dear friend of mine (Katie McNeil-Diamond) who was working with Guns N’ Roses. It was an offer to audition for Axl Rose and earn a role in arguably the biggest rock band of my time. While I thought it was a complete long-shot, I decided to go ahead and give it a try. Much to my shock and surprise, I got the gig. And so began the most incredible journey I could have possibly imagined. I was blessed with the opportunity to not only work with one of the most talented bands but also to share the stage with a living legend and a truly gifted human being, Axl Rose. The amount of confidence and trust that Axl placed in me was genuinely heartwarming and truly career-defining. In the years that followed I traveled the world many times over and played these incredible songs night after night to the most enthusiastic and loving crowds. As you can imagine, the friendships that were forged during that time were deep and long lasting. But the most beautiful surprise of all was YOU... the fans. You welcomed me into your lives with open arms and showed me love and support that I could only have dreamed of. From the very first time I stepped on stage and started playing "Welcome To The Jungle," and felt the crowd erupt, I knew my life would never be the same. I'm not gonna lie...I was terrified!! But you were so accepting. You immediately turned my fear into pride. For that, I am truly grateful.

So now it is with a very heavy heart and yet great pride that I announce that I've decided to close this chapter of my life and encapsulate the wonderful times that I've shared with Guns N’ Roses into fond memories. I have reached a point in my life where I feel its time to dedicate myself to my band Sixx:A.M., my adoring wife and family, and to the many new adventures that the future holds for me. I have always been driven by my passion for creating music and Sixx:A.M. has always been a place where I can express myself honestly and share that passion with my two brothers and bandmates, Nikki Sixx and James Michael. As you know I have also been blessed with the love and support of my incredible wife, Naty, who has been at my side for much of this amazing journey.

As I sit here writing this letter, I want to take a moment to thank Axl from the bottom of my heart for not only the most incredible experience of my life, but for truly believing in me. You are a true friend and a champion of mine and I am forever grateful. And even as I move on to pursue other endeavors, I will always remain one of your biggest fans. I also would like to thank each and every one of you fans for your love and support throughout the years. Without you, I am nothing. Please know that I do not take one minute of this amazing life for granted.

I hope that you all join me as I forge ahead. Let's conquer the world together!

With love and respect,
Dj Ashba



DJ's letter, page 1
July 27, 2015
DJ's letter, page 2
July 27, 2015
DJ's letter, page 3
July 27, 2015


A couple of days later Frank would comment on the situation and emphasize that this didn't mean the band was ending:

I know there's going to be some news very soon regarding that whole situation. And all I can say is that, you know, Guns N' Roses still exist, they're still going forward. As far as details and particulars, I'm not at liberty to say. I haven't spoken to DJ yet, so I don't have any personal information from DJ. But I know that Guns N' Roses is still going.


Tommy would later mention his reaction to DJ telling him he was leaving the band and suggest DJ was sure a reunion was in the cards:

(laughs) You know, [DJ] called me up on the phone and told me that he was gonna quit, you know, and this that and the other thing. I just kinda got to thinking … it was funny that he made such a big deal about it because there wasn’t really anything going on. He seemed like it was kind of inevitable that there was going to be a reunion happening, so I think he…I don’t know if he (laughs) tried to get in front of the curve to, you know, drum up some extra fucking press for himself. I don’t really know what the deal was, but I thought it odd. I thought it an odd time to make a big stink about quitting, you know?


Frank would also indicate DJ's decision to leave the band had come unexpectedly:

I know the whole DJ thing is kind of throwing everything for a loop but until this point everybody in the band gets along great. I mean, I get along great with DJ, we've had tons of fun on the road.


And talk more about what was going to happen and that a plan was "in place":

No, no new news other than we're still forging ahead. But not any, like... I mean, its not really news, it's like there's a plan in place that is happening and that's all I can say. I haven't spoken to DJ, but apparently DJ would just, like… he'd rather do other stuff right now, which is cool. I mean, everything he said in that letter is true. I mean, he has a great relationship with the bandmembers and with Axl. Everything's good.


Talking about leaving the band and emphasizing it was the lack of new music that spurred him on:

However, we did this latest Sixx: A.M. run and it really just kind of made me go, wait a second, there's a huge difference playing somebody else's songs and playing my own. You know what I mean, I just felt every note I hit. Wow this is where I need to be. It was that tour that made me realize I had to go back to what I'm really about. I'm really really stoked.

I’ve been playing with Guns for six years, it was awesome but no amount of money, no feeling quite like when you look out into a crowd and you’re playing your songs, songs that came from your heart and you see them connecting with people. You see tears in peoples eyes because its touching them in a way. The songs have always meant the world to me because I helped write them all. When you see how they affect other people, that just kind of did something to me and it kind of put me on the right path. I just knew in my heart, I’ve had a blast playing in Guns N Roses, but its time to go and be true to my own music and give the fans what they’ve been dying to see.

I had a blast, man. I think over six years — I don't know; around six years — [I played] well over three hundred shows with them, and we had a lot of fun; there were a lot of laughs a lot of good times. It gets to a point where you kind of start losing yourself, or at least I do. I never got into the music business or started playing music for money, so at some point you kind of start going, 'Wait a second.' Playing other people's songs is really cool and it's fun, especially since you were very inspired growing up as a kid to these songs, but after a while you… I remember [Sixx:A.M.] did the 'Modern Vintage' tour — it was like nineteen shows — the difference between playing stuff that you write and the notes you hit that come from your heart, when you see them connect with the crowd, I can't tell you… No amount of money can buy that feeling. You know what I mean? So it just came down to following my heart and kind of just refocusing and getting myself back on track to where I knew I was supposed to be.


And tangential to that he would admit having struggled with some of the music:

I'm not a schooled player. In fact, I played in Guns N' Roses for seven years, [and it was a challenge playing other] people's songs. I do my best, but I have such a distinct style, and it's hard for me to actually play other people's songs; I actually have to work at it, whereas Sixx: A.M. is my style. It's what [come out of me naturally]; I don't even have to think about what I'm playing, it's just… I feel it. And I can't explain it. Along the way, many people have wanted me to teach 'em how to play guitar, and I can't teach you, because I'm not a teacher.


Towards the end of 2016, he would also state there had been "multiple reasons" for leaving, some of which he didn't want to mention, but mostly because he wanted toi prioritize SIXX:A.M.:

Well, there [were] multiple reasons [why I left GN'R] — a couple that I won't go into — but the biggest reason was I needed to get back to my roots, back to what I really truly believed in, and that was playing songs I helped write with [SIXX:A.M. bandmates] James [Michael] and Nikki [Sixx]. We have five albums out [and] we have a ten-year career together. So we did a tour, 'Modern Vintage' tour, where it was, like, nineteen shows, and that tour really changed my life and put my career back into perspective — you know, being out on the stage and connecting with the fanbase.


With Bumblefoot and DJ being out, Richard was the only guitarist left:

I'm the last man standing.



ASKED TO HAVE BEEN PART OF THE REUNION LINEUP?


In April 2016, DJ would claim he "absolutely" knew the reunion was going to happen and that he had been asked to be part of the new lineup:

Absolutely. In fact, Axl wanted me to be a part of it. I couldn’t be more happy for it happening. I was stoked to find out about it, people have got to remember, If I wasn’t a fan of the band, I wouldn’t have joined the band. I have great admiration for Axl, Slash and Duff and, Steven, Izzy and everybodys put into that thing. I have even more respect now after playing in the band for so many years. I couldn’t be more happy, I’m just a biggest fan as I’ve always been, I’m so happy for the fans that they get to go out there and see at least half of the band reunited, its a big deal. This is what the fans have been wanting, me included in that. I just didnt feel like it was my place. If Slash has come back, I couldnt be more happy, this is great. At that point, its best I go do what I’m really good at doing. Its kind of the best of both worlds, I get to have my favorite band back and I get to go play in my favorite band again. Its a win win.


A few months later he would say that Axl had called him personally:

I remember before the whole thing went down, before it was [made] public, Axl personally called me and really wanted me to be a part of it, and my whole thing was, you know, if [Slash is] coming back, that's his deal, man. I couldn't be happier as a fan, 'cause I get the best of best worlds — I go play in the band I love and I get half of the band I used to love back, which is kind of a win-win. But if Slash is back there, there's no reason I need to be there. I was just there trying to keep the music alive. [Laughs]

Axl called me and he really wanted me a part of the reunion, and I turned it down. I felt if Slash is coming back, that's great — that's what the fans want, and I can go off and do what I really wanna do now… And we left [off on good terms]; everything is good. And I couldn't be happier for the fans out there. I'm a fan. Half of the band reunited, which excites me, but at the same time, it's the best of both worlds — I get to do what I really love to do, and that's play in Sixx:A.M.


If this is true, the reunion was settled not long after Axl called Slash in March 2015 [see previous chapter], and DJ bowed out in July after knowing Slash would return. Alternatively, DJ could have quitted the band without knowing of the reunion and then later Axl called DJ later when he was planning the full lineup and asked him to return to the band.


LOOKING BACK AT HAVING BEEN IN GN'R


I've got to be honest ya know. I had the time of my life, I am beyond grateful to share the stage and had so many memories and met so many great fans out there. It was just a great time in my life.

It got difficult here and there. I mean, [Axl]'s definitely a unique character. You know what? I had the best time of my life doing it. I'm grateful. But he's the kind of guy that he has a very tight-knit circle, and I was fortunate enough to be a part of that tight-knit circle. And he's always treated me like gold. So, as far as what I can say, I have not a bad word to say. Although I do know if you cross him, he can turn more into the Kanye side of things.

Walking away from GN’R was the hardest decision I’ve ever had to make in my life. I loved sharing the stage with Axl and the guys. Axl put together such an incredible bunch of musicians, and I was proud to be part of that. I’ll always be thankful for Axl believing in me. But it’s not my band and it never will be. I was performing songs written before I got there. I had a blast doing it, and I will cherish it. But we did a 19-day sold-out run on the Sixx:A.M. Modern Vintage tour and it was that tour of playing my own songs - songs that came from my soul - and seeing how they connected to the fanbase, I could not put that feeling into words, and I realised that I needed to follow my heart.

Well, I learned a lot [from my time with Guns N 'Roses] onstage and offstage. I learned a lot about the business side of things and just how on a very, very large scale a band operates. It's much different when you're touring with a band in a machine like Guns N 'Roses than touring in a small, little band like Beautiful Creatures. So you learn a lot. And I'm a sponge. You learn about budgets and all kinds of stuff, and you apply that to your own thing. So you can't buy the experience that I experienced playing stadiums every night. And although it was not my music — it was somebody else's music — the experience was just… it's so valuable. I learned a lot and now I can apply it, on and offstage, in Sixx: A.M.

Again, I'm happy I did it, because it was an experience of a lifetime. And it really did make me, I believe, a better guitar player. It was tough. I'm not great at playing other people's styles, and it really made me… You know, I was playing quite a few different people's styles. One song I'd be soloing to a Buckethead solo, the next one would be a Robin Finck solo, the next one would be Slash, and it was tough because they all three have such different styles from each other. And there's three guitar players in the band, which I wasn't used to, so you played five measures of a solo and then the next guy would take off and it was just really broken up and it was a very unnatural feeling to play this stuff. But at the same time, it was an incredible challenge, and I'm glad I did it, though.

To have somebody like Axl believe in you and give you a really great shot in life is something I'll never forget.


Talking about being criticized while in GN'R:

It really does feel like a humungous weight has been lifted off my shoulders for sure. That was as huge responsibility for me being in Guns n’ Roses and to be honest, I didn’t really know just how big that weight was going to be. I learned a lot from my time with G n’R and am very grateful for it all. I experienced something for six whole years that money can’t buy and I was able to take away a huge amount of self-growth and an insight into the workings of a huge band like that.

I didn’t for one moment, anticipate that along with such a great gig, was going to be so much criticism, as well as a lot of praising and a lot of everything! The whole experience really made me grow thick skin real quick (laugh) and be aware of my surroundings. Looking back on that whole experience, I took away so much, to which I apply to my everyday life, as well as my role in Sixx AM. I feel that it’s overall made me a better business person and I’m very grateful for it.



REPLACING DJ


When asked who would replace Bumblefoot and DJ:

That also will be announced sooner rather than later. (Someone shouts "Is it Buckethead?") laughs. I actually will be playing guitar. There will be GNR news very soon.


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35. 2015: AXL AND SLASH MAKE PEACE, DJ LEAVES THE BAND, WILL 2016 BE THE YEAR OF THE REUNION? Empty Re: 35. 2015: AXL AND SLASH MAKE PEACE, DJ LEAVES THE BAND, WILL 2016 BE THE YEAR OF THE REUNION?

Post by Soulmonster Thu May 11, 2023 6:53 am

DJ AFTER GUNS N' ROSES

SIXX:A.M.

We are so pleased. It’s a dream come true to finally come together and admit that we are a band! We left two of the biggest bands out there: Mötley came to an end and I retired from GN’R.


On April 29, 2016, SIXX:A.M. released their next studio album, Prayers For The Damned, Vol. 1.

Well, we went in with the intent to make a more aggressive album then the past few records. We wanted to capture the live element on these songs so when we went in the studio, this is the first time we brought our live band to help us record it. We went in to do a double album, but we knew we weren’t going to release it as a double album. We’re going to release them some time apart. I think this one comes out on the 29th and Vol.2 will come out around September, October. What we wanted to do, our goal was to go in knowing we’re going to be playing as Sixx:AM from here on out. We wanted to add to our catalog some big arena rock type songs. We’re really excited about the future and how these album turn out and we can’t wait for the people out there to hear it.



Prayers For The Damned, Vol. 1
April 29, 2016


Then in November, the follow-up to Prayers For The Damned, Vol. 1, Prayers For The Blessed, Vol. 2, was released:

We actually wrote and recorded both albums in a nine month period. We entered the studio with the mindset of making a double album but the way we did it was to make two individual albums that coexist within each other. We were very aware of double albums having a very bad rap, usually with the first being packed with all the good songs and the second filled with the leftovers. We very much wanted to do the opposite was even more kick-ass than the first. We just approached it like we were writing two separate albums.

Well, the entire writing and recording process for both albums was nine months. We have never in our history ever worked out guitar solos before recording. We like to be spontaneous and have a certain organic approach to the way we capture our material. We have “loose” arrangements of the material which we use as a sort of guideline, but ultimately we tend to work on capturing that magic for the first time when we are recording.

The title of the album both Vol 1 Prayers for the Damned and Vol 2 Prayers for the Blessed could not be more apparent for the world we live in now and with recent happens in America.


Prayers For The Blessed, Vol. 2
November 18, 2016


RETURN TO GN'R?

To be honest, I think they are doing great without me and really, I don’t see myself going back to Guns n’ Roses ever again. Those days are over for me. I’m having a blast doing what I’m doing with Sixx AM and couldn’t be happier with the way things have panned out for me. My heart is totally committed to all things Sixx AM right now and I’m very excited about the prospect of touring and writing more music with Nikki and James.



"ASH"

In February 2024, Dj would talk about legally changing his name to only "ASHBA":

Daren has never felt like my name and neither has Dj. I actually don’t respond to Daren because I’ve never been called Daren. Dj has never felt like a name, more of a nickname. Thats why my close friends call me ‘ASH’ a shortened version of my last name. It’s the only name that feels like my own. I never chose to be called Dj, in fact it’s been more of a curse, being a guitar player, everybody thought I was a “DJ”, and I still get asked if I’m a DJ. So I’m going to legally change my name to just ASHBA. So, call me ASH.
Instagram, February 26, 2024


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35. 2015: AXL AND SLASH MAKE PEACE, DJ LEAVES THE BAND, WILL 2016 BE THE YEAR OF THE REUNION? Empty Re: 35. 2015: AXL AND SLASH MAKE PEACE, DJ LEAVES THE BAND, WILL 2016 BE THE YEAR OF THE REUNION?

Post by Soulmonster Thu May 11, 2023 6:54 am

JULY-AUGUST 2015
GN'R HAS A FUTURE AND 2016 WILL BE THE YEAR


In late July, Frank was asked if there was going to be a new album:

Well, at least the best way to answer that is that Guns has a future. Guns definitely has a lot of moving parts and there's a lot of things in the works and once we're ready to announce something, you know, the whole world will know. But everything is moving forward, everything's going in pace but it's moving forward.


The quote above came before it was announced that DJ was leaving.

With members focusing on different side projects and Bumblefoot having left the band, Frank was also asked if the band had disintegrated after the last Vegas residency in 2014 and would emphasize that the band still existed and that he was still part of the band:

Yeah, I don't think that's accurate at all. Yes, I am a member of Guns. I speak to... Axl and I text all the time. But yeah, I am a member of Guns and Guns still exists. Yes, sure, 100%. [...] Everybody, as far as I know, so far as, you know, this moment, everything is the same and everybody's there and, you know, we're moving forward.


Frank would also mention a possible tour towards the end of the year:

As of right now, we don't have anything booked, but I am hearing rumours that there's probably might be stuff towards the end of this year, beginning of next year. But there's nothing booked as of yet.


A few weeks later, Richard would state that despite DJ now having left, 2016 would be a busy year for the band:

No, there's actually, there's a lot going on with that whole thing right now. And it is looking like next year is going to be a big, big year for Guns N' Roses.


Tommy, though, seemed not to be informed on what was going to happen:

I reach out once in a while to that crew of people — a lot of whom are also my good friends — but I really have no idea what’s going on. I didn’t quit the gig or walk away from it. We just all sort of left it in Vegas.


This could mean that Tommy were less informed than Frank and Richard, or that he just decided to be silent about it.

In a later comment in the same interview, it seemed clear that Tommy not only expected his lineup of the band to be over but also that a reunion was taking place:

I’ll be honest with you: [Axl Rose] was always very good to me, and it was always a really good gig. It wasn’t necessarily the easiest gig, but it was always good. I have nothing but gratitude for it. If they got [the modern lineup] together again and wanted me to play, of course I’d have to think about it.


Tommy would also discuss the period after the band's last show in 2014, saying he had just left, but on good terms:

The back story on that, I don't really want to talk about on air. 'Cause what happened with it, it has nothing to do with Axl or any of that stuff; it had more to do with my personal situation. Basically, I played my last gig in Las Vegas with them and had to come home and tend to that the best I could while Replacements [reunion shows] were kinda being offered up. And I, you know, I sort of… I don't know. I think that… My guess is...that, at some point, someone's gonna call me and tell me what's up with that. 'Cause we all left… We've left on friendly terms— it wasn't like a bad thing. But another guitar player, DJ Ashba, I think he 'officially' quit to do something but, you know, I just… I had to walk away and take care of my stuff so. Taking care of my stuff; whatever my stuff is.


In an interview from early October, Richard would say he didn't know what was going to happen with GN'R but also imply he was involved in the talking:

[...] to be honest with you, I have no idea what’s going on. There’s been a lot of talk about stuff. We’ve been talking. The world’s been talking. Who knows what’s going to happen. I have no idea. [...] I really have no idea what’s going to happen. I do know that Guns wants to do something next year, so I’m hoping that it does and I can be a part of it. [...] There’s so much speculation going on right now that I don’t want to get myself into trouble and I really don’t know anything at this point.



ANOTHER GUITARIST ADDED?


In late August, when an interviewer stated that he was the only guitarist in the band, Richard refused to confirm:

Man, I can't... I can't divulge information like that.

As far as you know, that's right.


Had DJ or Bumblefoot already been replaced or was Richard informed about the ongoing discussions with Slash?


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35. 2015: AXL AND SLASH MAKE PEACE, DJ LEAVES THE BAND, WILL 2016 BE THE YEAR OF THE REUNION? Empty Re: 35. 2015: AXL AND SLASH MAKE PEACE, DJ LEAVES THE BAND, WILL 2016 BE THE YEAR OF THE REUNION?

Post by Soulmonster Thu May 11, 2023 6:57 am

AUGUST 21, 2015
SLASH SAYS THINGS ARE "VERY COOL" BETWEEN HIM AND AXL


While travelling in Sweden in August 2015, an interviewer said that he'd heard that Slash and Axl were friends again, and asked how that was possible:

Yeah, it was probably way overdue, you know. But it’s… you know, it’s very cool at this point; you know, let some of that sort of negative… dispel some of that negative stuff that was going on for so long.


And then when asked if they would play together again, Slash would be coy and definitely not rule it out:

Oh, I couldn’t answer that one, though (laughs).


Later, Marc Canter would talk about hearing the news:

I was the last middle man but I haven't been communicating with Axl - just Slash, Steven and Duff. Axl would get mad at me that I was defending Slash because he hated Slash at that time.I always thought I would be the one to bridge that gap but I broke that bridge with Axl, he thought I'd betrayed him. And hearing things from Duff was a little bit different to hearing my opinion. [After hearing the Swedish interview] I knew I could breathe and that something was in the works. Now there's nothing left for me to do - they're back together. I was trying to get them back together but now I don't have to do that. They're back.


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35. 2015: AXL AND SLASH MAKE PEACE, DJ LEAVES THE BAND, WILL 2016 BE THE YEAR OF THE REUNION? Empty Re: 35. 2015: AXL AND SLASH MAKE PEACE, DJ LEAVES THE BAND, WILL 2016 BE THE YEAR OF THE REUNION?

Post by Soulmonster Thu May 11, 2023 6:59 am

REACTIONS FROM GN'R BAND MEMBERS TO AXL AND SLASH MAKING UP


In the aftermath of Slash talking about how he and Axl had made amends, current and former band members would comment on the news:


STEVEN


Steven would be asked about his thoughts to the end to the feud:

I think that's great, 'cause it's been too long. The world has missed out on 25 years of great music, because those two weren't together. I mean, Slash and Axl, it's like Mick Jagger and Keith Richards, Steven Tyler and Joe Perry, Robert Plant and Jimmy Page. Imagine if those guys weren't together. It's a shame, and I'm just so glad that they're talking and everything is in the past like it should be. 'Cause I love those guys. Axl doesn't realize that I'm the one who loves him more than anybody. [Laughs]



MATT


I would have to plead the fifth on that, basically, because I just don't know. So I would say I plead the fifth. [Laughs]



TOMMY


Tommy, who had recently reunited with Paul Westerberg in The Replacement, was hoping that the reconciliation would result in a reunion of the classic GN'R lineup:

I'll be perfectly honest with you, man. I hope they do because, you know, when you go back to where you started from and just check that out, and feel that for a moment after you've gone on and done all these other things, you know, there's a reward that comes with that, and I had that with the 'Mats stuff... It's a good thing; it's a good thing to do once in a while. And I hope it works out for 'em — if it actually happens.



GILBY


It's strange. I mean, obviously, we've all heard [the rumors]. I actually did not know the news that Slash and Axl had talked, I didn't know, and I see him all the time. I don't know… I mean, obviously, it would be great for music if it did happen.

No, I really don't [think a reunion will happen with the classic lineup]. [...] I think if it happened, obviously, it would be great, but I've got to be realistic. The fans want the original five guys, and I do, too. It was a great band, [and] it would be great to see that. If it did happen, I would definitely be available to do it.

Well, you know what? I hope it happens. I honestly have no information, but I hope it happens. I think it's great for music, it's great for rock music. It was a great band. Everybody's alive, healthy. It should happen.


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35. 2015: AXL AND SLASH MAKE PEACE, DJ LEAVES THE BAND, WILL 2016 BE THE YEAR OF THE REUNION? Empty Re: 35. 2015: AXL AND SLASH MAKE PEACE, DJ LEAVES THE BAND, WILL 2016 BE THE YEAR OF THE REUNION?

Post by Soulmonster Thu May 11, 2023 7:02 am

SEPTEMBER 2015
ASH BASHES AXL


Slash's brother, Ash, would be less positive about Axl and Slash burying the hatchet and referred to Axl as "fat bastard" and "fat Elvis":

You obsessed fans of guns n roses. F--k a reunion. If you love guns enjoy what they made and move on. To dream of the opportunity that you could see them all together to me is like saying “I love the guys who invented my door in my apartment”. I walk thru it all the time. I wish they would get back together and invent a new door. What’s wrong with the door you have? It still works. You still use it. And you f--king fanclub page host need to get your own life to spend all your time figuring out what slash is doing first.

And to act like you have an education degree of guns n roses and yet you have your own families but still you spend most of your day and life as an undercover fanboy serving up the gossip with an attitude like you have some power over other fanboys & girls is like if you never stopped wearing superman underoos and think as an adult your f--king superman. It’s all so dumb to me. Not sure if I’m making myself clear. But grow up. Get a life. If I get one more f--ker asking me will guns do a reunion tour I’m blocking them. Axl is a fat bastard and the reunion would only be a disappointment and an action that would result in criticism. Just sayin.

That’s just it! They were the best of all time no where to go from there. They captured lightning in a bottle. Nothing left to prove. It’s done. Are the stones the Stones you grew to love in the 70’s ? F--- No!. Now a circus act. You loved Axl when he was beautiful now he’s Fat Elvis. So move on people. Buy slash’s WOF [World on Fire] album.


From his Facebook update, he seems he was a bit annoyed with people asking him about a reunion.



Slash and Ash



The next day, Ash offered an apology after having heard from Slash:

I apologize to Axl and his legions of fans who were offended by my post of yesterday. I am sorry I shot my mouth off. I know, or should know, better than to get involved in GN’R business. It has come to me [sic] attention that Axl is on a strict diet and losing weight. Unfortunately, my post was very offensive and upsetting to my brother, for which I apologize. To the rest of the world, I had one of these days when people kept asking me about a possible reunion and I had had enough… Again, my apologies.


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35. 2015: AXL AND SLASH MAKE PEACE, DJ LEAVES THE BAND, WILL 2016 BE THE YEAR OF THE REUNION? Empty Re: 35. 2015: AXL AND SLASH MAKE PEACE, DJ LEAVES THE BAND, WILL 2016 BE THE YEAR OF THE REUNION?

Post by Soulmonster Thu May 11, 2023 7:03 am

A REUNION TOUR IN 2016?


If they got together, they would be selling out football stadiums.
New York Times, December 3, 2011

______________________________________________

After Slash revelation that the hatchet between him an Axl was buried, media would indulge in speculation on whether a reunion tour was being planned for 2016. Australian touring mogul and Soundwave promoter AJ Maddah would comment on the rumours:

If [a reunion of the classic lineup of Guns N' Roses] does happen, it is going to take longer than six months for the band to be ready to tour. I think it'll take a hundred lawyers six months just to get the five of them into a rehearsal room together. But if, by a miracle, it does happen, then, of course, I'll throw everything I can to be involved and it would be my last act as a promoter, as after that I'll have nowhere to go!


And Fred Durst, who had recently, and likely jokingly, claimed to have reunited Slash and Axl, would hint that a reunion tour for 2016 was planned:

I don’t know, but I have a strong feeling that there’s gonna be a Guns N’ Roses tour coming up. So you better get your tickets when they go on sale. That’s all I can say.


Steven would say he didn't know if a reunion tour would happen:

I don't know if it's gonna happen. I'm just glad that [Slash and Axl] are talking.


And that he would be the last to know about it:

It's a shame that we haven't played together. Just like when Kennedy got shot, when John Lennon got shot; that was a shame. Us not playing together, Axl and Slash by themselves not playing together is that kind of shame… And if it does happen, I guarantee I will be the last to know about it.

If we played together, the whole arena would cry with joy. I go all around the world, I travel, and people always ask me, 'When are you gonna do a reunion? When are you gonna do a reunion?' And I want more than anything to be able to say, 'Oh, we're gonna do it on this day. Or this day.' But I have nothing to do with it. I wish I did. If I did, it would happened a long time ago. God wasn't ready for it.

Even if it was happening, I don't think Slash would tell me, because he knows how excited I get and that I would probably say something before I should. I would be the last one to know.

I have no idea [about a reunion]. Put it this way: I've known Slash for 38 years, we've known each other. He knows damn well if he told me something that I would climb the highest mountain and I would be screaming it out for joy. So, if anything happens, I will be the last to know about it.

I have no idea about nothing. I will be the last person to know. Because I've known for Slash thirty-what… thirty-nine years, and he knows that I would climb to the [highest] mountain and I would do, as Paul Stanley would say, 'shout it out loud.' And I don't know nothing.


But also take the opportunity to explain why he thought it would be a good idea:

That's why I think it's so important for us to play together — not because I wanna finish what I started with those guys… You know, 'cause we started something great, [and] I wanna end it on a good note. I wanna end it great and be a part of that. But we owe to the fans to do it. It's, like, we owe it to 'em. I mean, we all — the five of us — have accomplished our dreams, [we lead] wonderful, comfortable lives, because people love our music. And I've never heard a band, ever — and like I said, I've been around the world — where people wanted to have that band back together as much as GN'R, the original guys. I never heard it in my life. Maybe The Beatles. I mean, not even Aerosmith, when they broke up; people weren't, 'Oh, we've gotta see it.'


Being asked if it was true he would kill himself if he wasn't part of a reunion:

I would probably feel like I would wanna kill myself, but I wouldn't. I would probably just kill them. [Laughs] 'Cause if I'm not doing it, they're not doing it. If I'm going down, they're going down.


On September 19, a friend of Slash, John Murdy, would further fuel the reunion tour rumours:

I know that Slash and Axl talking again is a really good sign. I am going to let them figure that out.


And on October 9, Gilby would state that he would hope to be part of a reunion:

Of course, it was a great band. If Slash and Duff came back it would be special. I would hope I could be a part of it if that ever happened. I had a great time during those years. We were young and didn’t give a shit what anybody thought. Most people’s memories are of the drama and negative shit. I remember being a part of a very powerful musical unit. Everybody cared deeply about the live shows and the music that was recorded. I enjoyed that. I really felt we were on the same page musically and were passionate about our performances.


In early November, Scott Weiland would state that he had heard the band was reuniting:

I think that Guns N’ Roses are getting back together. I just heard that.



OCTOBER 15: FIRST REUNION SHOW IN PORTUGAL IN EARLY 2016?


By late 2015, rumours about specific reunion shows started to pop up.

According to a new report from Blitz, the massively-anticipated and massively-rumored reunion of the classic Guns N' Roses lineup will happen next year, with the first show set to take place in Portugal in early 2016. The source points out that one of the country's "top promoters" went to London to negotiate a $1.5 million deal for a two-hour live concert by the band. When it comes to notable festivals that might host the show, Rock in Rio Lisboa will take place in May for five days between May 20 and 28, while the Super Bock Super Rock festival has been scheduled between July 14 and 16.



NOVEMBER 9: TOUR ANNOUNCEMENT IMMINENT?


In November 2015, a "music insider" would claim that details on a reunion world tour was expected to leak within days:

"Slash and Axl have verbally agreed to get things together again and reform the original band. The live shows is where they can show the world what they had and also make the greatest earnings,” ​a music insider exclusively told Dish. “Promoters are quietly working away to land opportunities. Details of the reunion are expected to leak out in the next few days. Everyone is expecting huge demand for tickets, but the boys are very humble and are not sure what to expect.


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35. 2015: AXL AND SLASH MAKE PEACE, DJ LEAVES THE BAND, WILL 2016 BE THE YEAR OF THE REUNION? Empty Re: 35. 2015: AXL AND SLASH MAKE PEACE, DJ LEAVES THE BAND, WILL 2016 BE THE YEAR OF THE REUNION?

Post by Soulmonster Thu May 11, 2023 7:03 am

SEPTEMBER 17, 2015
RICHARD IS INJURED IN A MOTORBIKE ACCIDENT


Since The Dead Daisies have now announced that I am not going to be able to do the Australian tour, I'd like to share my statement here-

On September 17, 2015, I was involved in a motorcycle accident.  As a result, I broke my shoulder blade, collar bone, six ribs, a toe, I have a bruised lung, lacerated liver and a concussion.

Amazingly, my doctors have assured me that I will make a full recovery.  I have never missed a show in my entire career and unfortunately, I will have to miss the entire Australian and New Zealand leg of this tour.  I am devastated that I will not be able to play for the Australian and New Zealand fans, who have been so supportive and loyal.  

I am healing quickly and getting stronger by the day. I'm looking forward to rejoining the Daisies for the KISS Kruise as well as the Whitesnake tour and our own tour of the UK and France.

I’d like to thank everyone for their well-wishes and can’t wait to be back in Australia very soon.  rf




Richard before the accident
2014


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35. 2015: AXL AND SLASH MAKE PEACE, DJ LEAVES THE BAND, WILL 2016 BE THE YEAR OF THE REUNION? Empty Re: 35. 2015: AXL AND SLASH MAKE PEACE, DJ LEAVES THE BAND, WILL 2016 BE THE YEAR OF THE REUNION?

Post by Soulmonster Thu May 11, 2023 7:04 am

OCTOBER 2015
AXL AND SLASH HAVE DINNER TOGETHER

As described in previous chapters, Axl and Slash had been talking on the phone since Axl initiated the contact in March 2015. These talks led to Axl having Slash for dinner October:

[...] like I said, I had asked for his number. And then I had called him and he was on tour or something, and then we set up when we were gonna see each other, and I think something happened to both of our plans and that didn't happen.

And then eventually in October, we got together and we had a dinner at my house. And then Duff and I went and hung out right after that — like a week or so after. And then it was just kind of talking and planning. We initially were gonna do some kind of promos and stuff, and then other things came up that got in the way of that.


Slash would later describe meeting Axl again:

[...] it was very cathartic to physically talk. Because, I mean, there’s a bond you have that's never, you know... And then it makes the breakup -  I mean, what happens is that the bond makes the negative side of it that much worse, because you’re forced out of it, you know?

Not during that initial phone call, but after that, it was really good to be able to get rid of some of the negative baggage that we'd been carrying around for a long time. It'd been 20 years of not talking and letting this bad blood continue to be perpetuated by the media. It turned into something way bigger than what was really going on, so it was good to get past that.

So that [=the phone talks] sort of broke the ice and then we got together when I was back in LA and we talked about, you know, talked through a bunch of stuff and so on.

[...]  I had no foresight of a reunion whatsoever. The most important thing to me was that Axl and I got together and managed to have some lengthy conversations about stuff that concerned us. Just to have that sort of relationship back and that camaraderie between the two of us, band stuff aside, was really important. I was really relieved to have that. Because some of that negativity that had built up over the years, especially by the media, just turned into something that you’re carrying around all the time. It was sort of like the elephant in the room. So it was good to get rid of that.


Slash would talk about how he and Axl had discussed how they had responded to "outside parties" that had caused a lot of the problems between them:

There was definitely some new ground to cover as to some of the catalysts who were causing… And a lot of it was not really between he and I — it had to do with outside parties that were part of the entourage, so to speak — and that explained a lot. But then there was different things between he and I that we needed to talk about because of how we handled those outside influences. So it was just good that we finally did talk, because, shit, man — it was 20 fucking years that we did not say one word to each other… You're talking about two of the stubbornest people you could ever come across.


One of the things that were breached in their early talks were Slash's book and Axl's opinion that it contained errors:

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."


The initial idea was to simply play at Coachella, but it seems like a larger commitment was quickly in discussion:

It started with talking about Coachella, but at the same time that those talks were starting, there were people involved with Coachella — agencies and things — so they were having these conversations about what they could possibly do or not. So it was all being considered.

We started talking [about a tour], like, in the spring. Everybody's people were finding out about possibilities and things like that, and then we started talking together in the spring and so.


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35. 2015: AXL AND SLASH MAKE PEACE, DJ LEAVES THE BAND, WILL 2016 BE THE YEAR OF THE REUNION? Empty Re: 35. 2015: AXL AND SLASH MAKE PEACE, DJ LEAVES THE BAND, WILL 2016 BE THE YEAR OF THE REUNION?

Post by Soulmonster Thu May 11, 2023 7:06 am

NOVEMBER 9, 2015
THROUGH TWEETS, GUNS N' ROSES MORE OR LESS CONFIRMS A REUNION BETWEEN SLASH AND AXL

With the Axl and Slash now having reconciled and started planning reunion shows in 2016, a series of tweets on November 9 more or less confirmed that the ongoing reunion rumours were true:

What ever happened to no news is good news?
Twitter, November 9, 2015

Of course today everyone is a jouranlist.
Twitter, November 9, 2015

If only they could read lips...
Twitter, November 9, 2015

Surely they'll read between the lines.
Twitter, November 9, 2015


Then, a few days later, while Duff's wife, Susan Holmes-McKagan, were being interviewed her friend, Brandi Glanville, claimed a reunion was happening:

Guns N’ Roses is coming back, motherfuckers!


Not everyone would join the celebrations, though, Vicky Hamilton would claim to have texted with Slash who denied that a tour was happening in 2016:

OK … was texting with Slash who is on tour [in India] … he says the GNR tour isn't happening … so that's all I know … your guess is as good as mine …
Facebook, November 13, 2015


When LA Weekly reached out to Hamilton to have her confirm, she stated:

He said it isn't happening. [...] But you never know


Nikki Sixx, though, would claim it was a well-known secret:

THEY ARE [DOING A REUNION TOUR]. EVERYBODY KNOWS.
Twitter, November 13, 2015


And on November 20, Slash2Baz, a member of the forum Slash France, revealed that Slash had cleared his schedule for 2016, allowing a tour with Guns N' Roses to happen [Mygnrforum/Ultimate Guitar, November 20, 2015].


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35. 2015: AXL AND SLASH MAKE PEACE, DJ LEAVES THE BAND, WILL 2016 BE THE YEAR OF THE REUNION? Empty Re: 35. 2015: AXL AND SLASH MAKE PEACE, DJ LEAVES THE BAND, WILL 2016 BE THE YEAR OF THE REUNION?

Post by Soulmonster Thu May 11, 2023 7:06 am

NOVEMBER-DECEMBER 2015
WHO WILL BE PART OF THE 2016 LINEUP?

By November, all that was known was that Axl and Slash had reconciled and that a tour might happen in 2016. What was entirely unclear at this point, was who else would be part of the lineup. Would it be a reunion of the Appetite for Destruction lineup with Duff, Izzy and Steven too? Would it be a reunion of the Use Your Illusion touring lineup, with Duff, Matt, Dizzy and Gilby, too? Or would it be a mishmash of the 2014 lineup with Slash, and possible other allumni?

Art Tavana, writing for LA Weekly, presented some rumours from his insiders:

Gossip blogs like Dish Nation and Blabbermouth don't like to verify sources and conduct real reporting. We did. In fact, we've talked to five different real sources (not “friends” or sycophants at the Rainbow Room), and here's what we know:

Axl Rose, Duff McKagan and Slash, either through lawyers or managers, have been discussing the possibility of a GNR reunion tour. We've been told that Steven Adler and Izzy Stradlin are not involved. Sources have told us that promoters like AEG and Goldenvoice have been courting the big kickoff show. But nothing is confirmed yet, and whatever talks may or may not be happening regarding a possible reunion could fall apart at any moment. Or, based on Slash's text to Hamilton, maybe they already have.

Not a single original member or legal representative has confirmed or denied the rumors, which has resulted in mass hysteria among fans, bloggers and half the music industry in general. When we asked a former NIN tour manager what he thought about the reunion, his reaction was to freak out and walk away from us, quickly — as if we'd asked him for missile launch codes. The tour manager, who's a close friend of bassist Duff McKagan, could have denied the rumors calmly; instead, his abrupt reaction sent a signal that something is happening. But it's unclear what that something is.


So according to what Tavana had heard, it would have to be a hybrid lineup of Axl, Slash and Duff with other members excluding Izzy and Steven.

The very same day, another blog, Melodic Rock, would confirm this and also add that Frank, Richard and Dizzy would be part of the new hybrid lineup:

From everything I have heard from multiple trusted sources, the new Guns N Roses lineup will consist of:

Axl
Slash
Duff

With:
Richard Fortus
Frank Ferrer
Dizzy Reed


Richard would seem to confirm that he would be part of the 2016 lineup when he told the site Casopis.Headliner.cz that he was still in the band [Alternative Nation, November 19, 2015].

DJ would chime in the discussion and say he was hoping for a full reunion:

Rumors, rumors, read all about it! Personally, I would love to see the original members of Guns N’ Roses reunite. Let’s hope it happens for the fans!!
Facebook, November 13, 2015


In mid-December, Frank would drop a pretty big hint that he would be part of the new lineup when he encouraged people to visit the band's official online store:

Happy Holidays from the Thunderchucker family! ShopGunsNRoses.com
Instagram, December 16, 2015


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35. 2015: AXL AND SLASH MAKE PEACE, DJ LEAVES THE BAND, WILL 2016 BE THE YEAR OF THE REUNION? Empty Re: 35. 2015: AXL AND SLASH MAKE PEACE, DJ LEAVES THE BAND, WILL 2016 BE THE YEAR OF THE REUNION?

Post by Soulmonster Thu May 11, 2023 7:09 am

NOVEMBER 27, 2015
GN'R STARTS SELLING MERCH WITH CLASSIC LOGO AND VISUALS


The indications that Guns N' Roses was reuniting, at some level, kept piling on through November and early December, 2015, including the band store starting to sell merch with old trademarks owned by Axl, Slash and Duff, including the old logo from the Appetite lineup and the skull and cross artwork [Ultimate Guitar, November 27, 2015], as well as copyrighted artwork like the skull/top hat logo which was owned by Slash.



Examples of merch offered for sale
in late November 2015


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35. 2015: AXL AND SLASH MAKE PEACE, DJ LEAVES THE BAND, WILL 2016 BE THE YEAR OF THE REUNION? Empty Re: 35. 2015: AXL AND SLASH MAKE PEACE, DJ LEAVES THE BAND, WILL 2016 BE THE YEAR OF THE REUNION?

Post by Soulmonster Thu May 11, 2023 7:09 am

DECEMBER 2015
TOURING DETAILS STARTS LEAKING OUT

In early December, rumours of possible shows at Coachella Festival and a following 25-date tour, would come out:

I have a few friends at Live Nation, AEG & Ticketmaster. I know from the conversations I’ve had, this is definitely happening. As absurd as it sounds, the biggest hold up right now is whether they are doing Coachella or not. If they do Coachella, and as of now they are, they can’t announce the tour until January. LN/Ticketmaster, does not want GNR to do Coachella, so they can announce earlier. but GNR does.

As of now there is 25 dates.


A concert promoter, Alex Martel, the founder of Amnesia Rockfest in Canada, would also claim the band was demanding over $8 million for a single festival performance [99 Scenes/Ultimate Guitar, December 29, 2015].

With 25 shows allegedly being agreed upon that would result in more than $200 million in revenue.

A few days later "multiple sources" would confirm that the band would indeed headline the Coachella Festival in April before doing a 25-date stadium tour in North America [Billboard, December 29, 2015]. The band was claimed to demand more than $3 million per show [Billboard, December 29, 2015]. One source would later claim GN'R received $14 million for the two Coachella concerts but Goldenvoice Vice President Skip Paige scoffed at that rumor, saying “Do the math” [The Desert Sun, April 8, 2016].


INDUSTRY PROFESSIONALS' REACTIONS TO A REUNION TOUR


Reactions to a semi-reunited Guns N' Roses touring would come from various industry professionals. One concert promoter would emphasize the need for the band members to take it seriously:

It’s incumbent on the artist to convey the message to the fan base, ‘We’re back, we’re taking this seriously, we’re in shape, I can sing these songs, and we’re going to create the magic we once had.’ As the promoter, you’ve got what you’re buying. You just hope they take it as seriously as you do.


Washington, D.C.-based indie promoter Seth Hurwitz:

It might very well be a home run. It might very well be that it’s not. I prefer not to take part in these kind of all-or-nothing bets myself.


Doc McGee:

If it’s done right, it should do amazing [business]. If they have their shit together and go out there to kill, I think everybody comes to see them. If not, they’ll have a tough time selling it.


Danny Zelisko:

I think that if they play the right halls with ticket prices not too crazy, they will do awesome. There is definitely demand for this band with Slash and Axl reunited.


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Post by Soulmonster Thu May 11, 2023 7:09 am

DECEMBER 26, 2015
MYSTERIOUS GUNS N' ROSES TEASER IS PLAYED AT CINEMAS


In late December, a short teasing trailer of Guns N' Roses would be shown in the pre-trailers before Star Wars: The Force Awakens on cinemas:

Guns N' Roses fans who have hit cinemas this weekend to see Star Wars: The Force Awakens and other films are getting a pleasant surprise. According to several eyewitnesses, including one of our editors, three brief clips of "Welcome to the Jungle" are being played over black-and-white crowd footage during the pre-trailers programming - with no further explanation.


This coincided with the band updating its website to now feature the old logo [Blabbermouth, December 25, 2015].


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Post by Soulmonster Sat May 27, 2023 4:05 pm

RUMOURS ABOUT NEW MUSIC TO ACCOMPANY THE REUNION


In addition to the wealth of rumour about Slash and Duff reuniting with Guns N' Roses and the band doing a tour in 2016, rumours about this new lineup working on new music would also start to surface:

The insider, "who has life-long ties to countless artists," said that the group will also be "going to the studio to cut one or two new songs" during early 2016.


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Post by Soulmonster Sat May 27, 2023 6:29 pm

DECEMBER 30, 2015
AXL TO APPEAR ON 'JIMMY KIMMEL LIVE' IN EARLY JANUARY 2016...THEN CANCELLED


In addition to the band promoting the - yet unconfirmed - tour and new lineup in various ways, Axl would be schedule to appear on 'Jimmy Kimmel Live' in the first week of January 2016 according to insiders [Rolling Stone, December 30, 2015]. The event would seem to be confirmed by Axl's sister, Amy Bailey, who urged her followers to watch the show on January 5, 2016 [Facebook, December 30, 2015]. Notoriously media shy, and only sparingly doing any interviews, this would be Axl's first television interview since 2012. It was expected that this TV appearance would include Axl confirming the new lineup and the band's touring plans for 2016.

Then, a few days later, Axl seemed to have made fun of the confirmation expectations by tweeting about his confirmed love ot Taco Bell:

The only thing I know 'confirmed' is my LOVE of Taco Bell! Mmmmm.... Taco Bell!! Happy New Years!!"
Twitter, January 1, 2016



JANUARY 4, 2016: THE APPEARANCE IS CANCELLED


On January, a spokesperson for the show would announce that the appearance had been cancelled due to "unforeseen circumstances" [Los Angeles Times, January 4, 2015].

Jimmy Kimmel would joke about the non-appearance:

Axl Rose was supposed to be here tomorrow, but he will not be here tomorrow, for reasons known only to Axl Rose. Or maybe he will be here and he's just trying to keep us guessing. I don't know.
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Post by Soulmonster Sat May 27, 2023 6:52 pm

JANUARY 2016
THE NEW LINEUP STARTS REHEARSING

It was pretty surreal being back on this [reunion] tour because the first time that Axl, Duff [Mckagan, Guns N’ Roses bassist] and I were back in the same room in person, there was this unquestionable, powerful chemistry that I hadn’t really thought about because it had been 20 years. I always knew that we had this thing. It just happened as soon as we plugged in and started playing, and it was really like an overwhelming feeling of, ’Oh yeah…’”

[...] Axl and I had not talked for 20 years by the time it was that he and I had a conversation. And you know when we got past all that and it came together and we've gotten to the rehearsal room for, you know, a minute, it was just super, super powerful. And I sort of forgot the.... [?] that feeling, the chemistry that band innately have. And so once that started, you know, that was just an overwhelming feeling. And yeah, it was a relief to have it all come back together. It was cathartic in a lot of ways and it was musically really exciting.

---------------------------------------
In January, a few months after Axl's dinner with Slash in October, the new lineup started rehearsing, first just Slash and Duff, and then adding Frank before Richard joined later [Talk Is Jericho, September 6, 2017].

Talking about re-learning the GN'R material:

It’s been 20 years since I’ve played some of these songs. Estranged was fun to do again. I hadn’t done that in a while! Even the material I had been playing in other bands, I had kinda adapted them to take on a unique feel in a new context. I had to reacclimatise to the whole Guns N’ Roses vibe having not done it for a while.

I realised just how unique it is when Duff and I are playing together while Axl is singing. There’s a chemistry there that’s so powerful and on its own… after being away from it for so long, you almost forget just how massive it is. So that definitely retooled my approach to particular songs.

There was nothing that felt daunting, but I did drive around listening to the records to remember the parts. That way, I could walk into rehearsal and people wouldn’t have to stand around while I tried to remember the fingerings, haha!


And eventually Axl would join the rest of the band:

[The magic] started with rehearsal. It started out with just Duff and I and Frank and Richard and Dizzy, and just sort of getting back into the groove after 20 years. We got that going, and Duff and I have a very definite chemistry that happens right off the bat. But when Axl showed up to rehearsal and we started doing the set, it was one of those very palpable kind of feelings — the three of us together, and what happens when that happens. We didn't talk about it or anything, but it was something I was very aware of, and I was like, 'Wow.' It was cool.



RICHARD IS ON TRIAL

Based on this comment from Richard when asked how it was to rehearse with Slash, it seems like Richard initially was on trial:

We just we clicked really quick. [...] It was a trial period, you know. We were checking it out and if this is gonna work, you know? Duff and I played together before and it really clicked, quickly and easily. So we have a great report. We come from this very similar background, you know, as far as the classic rock and the punk rock stuff.


And in 2018, Slash would say that other guitarists from previous lineup(s) had been considered in addition to Richard:

It’s one of the reasons why when Guns N’ Roses started back up, I really leaned towards playing with [Richard]. Because there were a couple of other guys who used to be in the band too that were being considered, but I jammed with Richard because he was the first guy there and I knew he was fuckin’ great.


And also that Richard was there when Axl came to rehearse and that Axl had thought Richard was the right guy and had him come down:

Well, I mean, you know, I never met any the other guitar players that were in Guns N' Roses prior to my coming back. But Richard was there when we came in and started, you know, I mean, I knew he was going to be there and I think Axl knew that he was probably the right guy to work with me and that's why he had him come down. I'm not really sure how that happened.


Slash would later say he had clicked immediately with Richard:

Richard’s great. I don’t know all of the guys that played guitar with Guns prior to my coming back. I hadn’t met any of them. Richard was the first one at rehearsal, and we hit it off automatically.


For Dizzy it must have been a somewhat weird situation to have Slash and Duff back in the band, but he wouldn't admit it:

When I walked into that room and saw Slash and Duff, it was like 20 years ago. I had stopped thinking about them, but we said ‘Hey’ and just started playing.


In October 2016, Richard would talk about the extensive rehearsals they had done over the last year:

And I think I've rehearsed more in this last year with that band than I have in the previous fourteen years put together. It's been really intense and very focused and a great learning experience as well as a great honor to play with those guys.



MAKING CHANGES TO THE DRUMMING

Richard would explain that although he had clicked immediately with Slash and Duff, it had taken longer for Frank:

I don't know how much Slash was familiar with me or with Frank but we all got together and sort of felt out how it would be and how it was to play with each other. And some things click, some things don't. And with the three of us definitely clicked, I think we all agree, clicked instantly, and Frank maybe took a little bit for them to get used to playing with him because he is a different drummer than Matt who they did play with, but it really just seems to come together well, and everybody's pretty psyched about it.


Frank would explain how he adapted to his new band members:

I was using 14s [cymbals] before, but when we got into rehearsal, Slash and Duff [McKagan] wanted more of that big swashy feel. I switched to Sabian 15s at first and was getting more swash without actually having to lift my foot off the pedal, so I thought let’s just go 16s. Slash and Duff like to hear a lot of hi-hat, a lot of quarters and 8ths, like on “Paradise City” when I play those big fat quarters. It really cuts through in the arena settings.

[With Slash and Duff back in the band] it’s a lot more of that Adler feel. Much more dangerous. Playing in the Chinese Democracy version of Guns n’ Roses was more of a professional band setting with an effort to make sure the songs flowed and sounded crisp. I don’t want to say this version is sloppy—because Guns is not a sloppy band—but now it’s more of that punk-attitude, club-feel Guns.



CHEMISTRY IN THE NEW LINEUP

I am a big fan of our previous line up before getting back with Slash and Duff. And we did a lot of work with that and with our drummer Frank and Dizzy and Richard. To Slash's credit, what I got to say is- he and Duff… Duff had played with the last line up a few shows. He came in and played the way we did the songs. Then going into getting ready for Vegas and Coachella they all chose to… they just worked very hard, and Duff and Slash came in and worked very hard with Frank on the rhythm. Because that is how they like to work with the drummer and the drummer having a relationship with Richard that worked really good. They liked Richard. Everyone liked each other.



THE VELVET REVOLVER SONG SLITHER TO BE PLAYED

On June 16, an image of Richard 's gear would be posted showing a partial setlist including Velvet Revolver's Slither, suggested that the band had rehearsed this song, possible as a tribute to Weiland who had died earlier in the year. More about Slither being played in later chapters.



Richard with partial setlist
June 16, 2016


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