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Axl on ‘Chinese Democracy’: “It’s Not a Solo Album”


Okay, let’s say you’re the leader of a successful band. You break up the band in a highly publicized spat and then recruit a cadre of supporting musicians that were not in the original band and release a long-awaited album under the original moniker. Should the record be referred to as a “solo album” at that point? According to Guns N’ Roses’ Axl Rose: No!

In an open letter penned by Rose and posted to a Guns N’ Roses fan forum, the legendary frontman clarified the songwriting credits on the recently released Chinese Democracy. “I didn’t make a solo record. A solo record would be completely different than this and probably much more instrumental. The songs were chosen by everyone involved.”

Those involved include bassist Tommy Stinson, formerly of the Replacements, drummer Josh Freese, keyboardist Dizzy Reed, and guitarist Paul Tobias, all of whom co-wrote the songs on Chinese Democracy. Except for “This I Love,” each track on the album features co-writing from at least one person other than Rose.

In the lengthy diatribe, Rose also sounded off on Slash, Guns N’ Roses’ legal issues, and — albeit vaguely — the future of the band. “No plans not to be Guns for the future.” Okay, great, but by the time we see new material from Guns N’ Roses again, will Dr. Pepper even exist anymore?