Axl Rose: Taking Questions, Taking Names

Dec 16th, 2008 // 9 Comments

Axl Rose’s foray into handling his own press continued on Sunday, when he dropped by the Guns N’ Roses fan site to answer fans’ questions. The end result is half extended rant, half one-sided interview (he picked out questions from a list), with lots of talk about his tussels with Slash, how the real inspiration for “Sweet Child O’ Mine” was Lynyrd Skynyrd, and how a W. Axl Rose solo album would be “much more experimental and instrumental.” There’s a lot more, including some talk about the legal wrangling over the GNR name:

If I hadn’t secured the rights I don’t know where I’d be and I’d probably call what would then be the current lineup “Those mother fuckers!!”

This is followed by something called “rofl-lol.gif.” Yes, that’s right: Axl Rose has turned into someone who uses emoticons. Now when I think of the opening to “Patience,” I won’t be able to get this image out of my head:

Meanwhile, the Wall Street Journal has a long article on why Chinese Democracy flopped. Along with saying that Axl’s reclusiveness was a factor in the album’s poor sales (even though the damn album got more free press than any other record this year, thanks to its tortured backstory), it intuits that the lack of a music video hurt as well. Are that many people tuning in to those 5 a.m. video blocks on MTV? Huh.

Axl Rose Chat #3 []
At Best Buy, an Album Sounds a Sour Sales Note [WSJ]


  1. Audif Jackson Winters III

    I think even more than the press AC/DC did to promote BLACK ICE, what made that release successful was the ubiquity of a pretty catchy lead single. In the run-up to the release, you heard “Rock and Roll Train” seemingly everywhere. In particular, I recall it being used in all kinds of bumpers during sports telecasts, and on some CBS shows. Where could you hear the GNR single besides internet leaks and a few token radio spins?

  2. King of Pants

    I don’t suppose it’s because a) every track on that album sucks and b) when you string people along for fifteen years, people stop caring?

  3. King of Pants

    No, wait, wait, now I’m just getting started! It also couldn’t be because AC/DC is a long-running band with three decades-plus of experience and a solid record of hits, including one of the best-selling albums ever made, along with a bank of goodwill from which to draw fans, whereas Guns & Roses had one hit album before their frontman turned into an insane obsessional recluse? But hey, if it’s Facile Comparison Day, who am I to object?

    (Ahh, journalism!)

  4. Anonymous

    One hit album? wikipedia-

    Appetite for Destruction – worldwide sales in excess of 28 million
    G N’ R Lies – 12 million copies worldwide to date
    Use Your Illusion I & II – Both albums have been certified 7x Platinum

    Granted AC/DC have sold 42 million copies of Back in Black alone, but still. GnR had more than 1 hit album.

  5. Al Shipley

    big lols @ WSJ’s “Who’s Got The Biggest Sales Of Them All?” infographic

  6. Captain Wrong

    @King of Pants: Meeeeehhhhh…could be. (Was Axl “an insane obsessional recluse” in the Use Your Illusions days though?)

  7. dsven

    @King of Pants: GnR were HUGE from 88-92. Hell, even their greatest hits released in 04 sold a couple mil.

    I don’t think the comparisons to AC/DC are entirely without merit. AC/DC promoted the shit out of Black Ice. Axl did nothing…no vid, no exclusive interview, NOTHING.

    That, plus the small,little fact of no new material for 15 years, ensured the album’s failure.

  8. okiedoke

    C’mon, now. How many albums get recurring presence in a Doonesbury strip? That’s some core audience market targeting there … oh,wait. Well, newspapers sure are popular these days … oh, wait again. At least the dedicated fan is a Vet back from the war. Even though he’s brain damaged. Sorry.

  9. Maura Johnston

    @okiedoke: pet sounds!

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