Here's a theory: the longer that an artist works on something, the better it becomes. Is it true? Of course not, and that's why Chinese Democracy by Guns N' Roses is going to be rubbish.
But at least soon we'll be able to know that the new Guns N' Roses album is rubbish instead of just endlessly speculating about it like we've been doing for the last decade – Axl Rose has made a surprise radio appearance claiming that Chinese Democracy is definitely, definitely going to be coming out later in the year. Possibly.
It's been a while since Guns N' Roses were a real cultural force. Back then, the thought of someone with girl's hair and a top hat churning out a nine-hour guitar solo on a cliff seemed cool and playing Get In The Ring very quietly during GCSE art class was the very highest kind of brain-melting rebellion. Since then, though, things haven't been so great.
The man in the top hat was replaced by a man with a bucket on his head (named, brilliantly, Buckethead) and the songs dried up, apart from one tune playing in the background of one scene in lame Arnie flick End Of Days, and that song sounded like Axl Rose had been rummaging through The Prodigy's dustbin. And then there's Chinese Democracy.
Chinese Democracy has been on the boil for about ten years, and has achieved almost legendary status. It has apparently been re-recorded several times, sometimes industrial-sounding, sometimes orchestral, sometimes in the classic Guns N' Roses style. Brian May is said to have played on some versions of songs, along with Dave Navarro. Frighteningly, Shaquille O'Neal may have rapped all over the top of some Chinese Democracy tunes. At $13 million, Chinese Democracy may just be the most expensive album ever made. And soon we'll be able to hear just how much of a bloated directionless waste it is.
Speaking on Eddie Trunk's syndicated radio show on Saturday, Axl Rose put a vague date on the release of Chinese Democracy:
"Sometime this fall or late fall. It will be out this year."
This was Axl Rose's first interview since a messed-up comeback tour ended in riots in 2002, and was to help promote some Guns N' Roses shows in New York starting on Friday. Since Buckethead is no longer in the Guns N' Roses fold, the band will be playing with a new guitarist.
[story by Stuart Heritage]