|FOUR BUST-UPS AND A SINGLE!
GUNS N' ROSES release a new single on January 2! W AXL ROSE WON'T be suing SLASH over his solo album! But they're still rowing! PAUL HUGE has definitely replaced Gilby Clarke! And they might start an album next year! JON HOTTEN loses his illusion ...
GUNS N' Roses, Los Angeles' recalcitrant Rock'n' Roll superstars, will return to action in 1995 with a brand new single, a cover of the Rolling Stones' 'Sympathy For The Devil', through Geffen on January 2.
The song - the first new Guns N' Roses material since their album of cover versions, 'The Spaghetti Incident?', came out in 1993 - is their contribution to the soundtrack for the blockbuster new Tom Cruise movie, Interview With A Vampire. The film features an entirely orchestral score with the exception of the GN'R track, which plays as the movie's credits roll.
It was recorded in Los Angeles in October, and features the line-up of vocalist W Axl Rose, bassist Duff McKagan, drummer Matt Sorum and guitarists Slash and new man Paul Huge.
Gilby Clarke's omission from the recording marks the end of his participation in Guns N' Roses.
Huge, Clarke's (temporary?) replacement, is an unheard of musician who has known Axl Rose from the years when the pair lived in Indiana. Axl is thought to be keen for Huge to combine with GN'R on a permanent basis, following a spate of successful rehearsals and the new man's tasty playing on 'Sympathy...', where his guitar lines twist together perfectly with Slash's.
Officially, Guns N' Roses' plans are to regroup in the second half of 1995 to begin work on a studio album of new original material, their first since the double 'Use Your Illusion' sets of 1991.
Unofficially, however, there are many barriers to the planned reunion, not least of which is the current reported bad blood between Axl and Slash!
Although stories ruminating elsewhere in the press are untrue (namely that Axl was to sue Slash over the use of some new songs the guitarist plans to include on his forthcoming solo album `It's Five O' Clock Somewhere'), RAW understands that the pair do not see eye to eye over Slash's extensive solo plans.
'IT'S FIVE O' Clock Somewhere' will be released via Geffen in February, and Slash is planning an extensive tour to support its release. To that end, he's confirmed the line-up of his touring band, SVO Snakepit. It features former Jellyfish sideman Eric Dover on vocals, Alice In Chains' Mike Inez on bass, and GN'R drummer Matt Sorum. They'll also be joined onstage by second guitarist Gilby Clarke, now, of course, very much an ex-Gunner!
And in a move that's reportedly not gone down too well with Axl, Clarke's involvement will extend to supporting SVO Snakepit with his own band, in order to promote his current solo release 'Pawn Shop Guitars'!
The solo album and tourwhich could begin this month with some low-key club shows in the States - is currently occupying all of Slash's time and energy. Sources close to the guitarist claim that, "he's not even thinking about Guns N' Roses at the moment."
The album has been produced by Mike Clink, who handled GN'R's first album, 'Appetite For Destruction'- and will feature the following tracks: 'Good To Be Alive', 'Back And Forth Again', 'Neither Can I', 'Dime Store Rock', 'Beggars And Hangers On', 'What Do You Want To Be?', 'Good To Be Alive', 'Monkey Chow', 'Some City Ward', 'Jazz Da Pit', 'Doin' Fine', 'I Hate Everyone But You' (a tune about Slash's wife Renee, apparently!), 'Be The Bait', 'Lower' and 'Take It Away'.
Although Rose has no plans to actually sue Slash over the material he considers to be 'Guns N' Roses tracks', the guitarist's choice to use the songs on his solo album has caused a rift between the pair. Slash has often commented on how similar he felt his material was to some of the tracks on the classic 'Appetite...'.
AS FAR as UK action goes, Slash is planning a promotional trip for 'it's Five O' Clock Somewhere' in February. The trip may include a one-off live date, with a full UK and European tour later in the year.
Naturally, the rumours of a rift have led to speculation ripping through the LA scene like
wildfire. Reports of a permanent split arise almost every week. The most recent ones have gone as far as to suggest that Rose and Slash were wrangling over the ownership of the Guns N' Roses name and logo. It's claimed that Axl is the man in possession, and could, in theory, continue the band on his own with a crew of sidemen!
On a less crucial note, drummer Matt Sorum has been at the centre of some whispers over the apparently vacant drumstool for the mooted Led Zeppelin reunion tour.
Geffen Records have put all the rumours in some sort of perspective by confirming the plans to begin the next GN'R album later next year. However, the situation does appear to be as volatile as ever, so prepare for plans to change as often as the wind!
In addition to the rift with Slash, Axl is facing two big lawsuits from his major relationships. Ex-wife Erin Everley will be seeing the singer in court over allegations that he physically and verbally assaulted her during the course of their marriage. Model Stephanie Seymour-star of most of the band's 'Use Your Illusion' videos -will also be bringing a civil suit into a Californian court shortly, alleging that Rose ill-treated her during their time together. Rose is reported to be counter-suing for the return of jewellery and other property.
ROSE HAS found time for a couple of interesting projects inbetween court dates, though. Firstly, he has been keeping an eye on the forthcoming official biography of Guns N' Roses. Somewhat pessimistically titled Shattered Illusion, it's due for publication in 1995 and has been written by Axl's long-time friend and lyrical collaborator, Del James. The book is understood to be the inside story of the band with a great deal of input from the vocalist's side. It's sure to be both an entertaining and controversial read!
From a musical point of view, Rose has turned his attention to resurrecting GN'R's own label, Uzi Suicide, which they used to launch their debut EP, 'Live ?!*@ Like A Suicide'.
With distribution lined up via Geffen, Rose organised a showcase gig for Geffen execs featuring four of the bands he's interested in. They are Soul, Davy's Farm, Salt Of The Earth and The Assassins.
Davy's Farm are now close to a deal, while Soul will have an EP out early next year, plus a Del James-directed video.
The Assassins are also close to inking a deal, and can expect a huge amount of publicity when they do sign, as they feature Axl's brother Stuart Bailey on guitar. Bailey was previously best-known as a vocalist with Dr. Whiskey. The Assassins' music, which Bailey has a hand in writing, is in the currently hot Southern Rock vein being pursued by the likes of Pride & Glory, and on the softer side, Blind Melon (another band Axl has helped out).
Uzi Suicide re-released all of Hanoi Rocks' back catalogue on CD in the US last year. Rose and Slash have often acknowledged the debt they owe to the seminal Glam tarts, who were led by Michael Monroe, currently with Demolition 23.
Rose has also been writing new material for GN'R, for when they do return to the studio.
So, one way or another, devotees will not be waiting much longer for GN'R activity, and there are sure to be many more twists and turns in the Axl/Slash saga before the band finally make it back into full-time action. We will, of course, keep you posted...
TIMETABLE OF RECONSTRUCTION
The dates for your diary, GN'R fans!
'Sympathy For The Devil' will be the next GN'R single, due out on January 2. The film from which it's taken, Interview With A Vampire, goes on general release in the UK on January 1. It will be accompanied by a full soundtrack album.
Slash's solo project, SVO Snakepit, release `It's Five O'Clock Somewhere' album via Geffen (see main feature for tracklisting). Slash and band will arrive in the UK for press and promotion and, it's hoped, a one-off gig to launch the LP.
MARCH AND APRIL
Slash's solo world tour hits full stride, with European and UK dates currently planned for spring/early summer.
Meanwhile, the Uzi Suicide label plans its first releases, possibly from Soul and Davy's Farm.
MAY AND JUNE
Slash completes his solo touring schedule. Del James' official GN'R book, Shattered Illusion, is mooted for release around this time, via Bantam/ Doubleday. There should also be a second solo album out from original Guns guitarist Izzy Stradlin' and his band, Ju Ju Hounds.
JULY AND AUGUST
After a brief holiday, Slash, along with SVO Snakepit cohort Matt Sorum, will regroup with Axl, bassist Duff McKagan, keyboardist Dizzy Read and possibly Paul Huge to begin rehearsals for the next GN'R album(s).
THE REST OF '95
If all goes to plan (and who knows, it could happen!?!), work proper begins on the album, with Axl, Slash and Duff honing the new material. An eventual release date and touring plans are too far away to contemplate as yet!
Thanks to anythinggoes for the scan.