Rock recluse Axl Rose made a surprise radio appearance to proclaim that Guns N Roses 10-years-in-the-making “Chinese Democracy” album will finally hit store shelves this fall.
The comments Saturday on Eddie Trunk’s syndicated radio show marked the first interview the painfully private Rose has given since his failed 2002 comeback tour, which was abruptly scrapped midway amid riots and canceled shows.
Roses impromptu appearance came when former Skid Row frontman Sebastian Bach, who was co-hosting the show, called Rose’s cell phone and patched the call through the studio.
Quizzed on when the near-mythical album would come out, Rose said, “Sometime this fall or late fall.” His band could be heard rehearsing in the background. “It will be out this year.”
Trunk invited Rose to drop by the studio, and about an hour later he did.
Asked about the aborted 2002 comeback tour, which ended when Rose failed to appear for a gig in Philadelphia, Rose told Trunk he felt pressured into doing it before he was ready. But he insisted he has no regrets, since the short-lived tour helped the new band members to gel. (The 2002 lineup included keyboard player Dizzy Reed from the original GNR, former Nine Inch Nails guitarist Robin Finck, bassist Tommy Stinson from the Replacements, guitar shredder Buckethead, drummer Brian “Brain” Mantia, formerly of Primus, guitarist Richard Fortus from the former Psychedelic Furs and Love Spit Love, and keyboard player Chris Pittman.)
“Can you tell people why the tour ended at that point?” asked Trunk.
“Umm, no, not exactly,” said Rose, declining to discuss it.
Plans are currently in the works for Rose to relaunch his comeback by playing four shows at New Yorks Hammerstein Ballroom over the next 10 days, then head to Europe to play several music festivals.
Rose said the band at the Hammerstein shows will be similar to the one that played the 2002 tour, except for a new lead guitarist, whom he declined to identify except to say it’s not an old GNR member. Buckethead left the band in 2004.
However, later in the broadcast, Rose seemed to contradict himself when he said he has been hobnobbing with former GNR guitarist and songwriter Izzy Stradlin, and strongly hinted that Stradlin may show up for the Hammerstein shows.
Former GNR guitar maestro Slash may end up back in the band as well, but probably not before the Hammerstein shows.