By this point of their existence, all Guns n Roses fans know better than to expect a new album to appear on any kind of predictable schedule. Every time there's a report that new material is being recorded or that the band is in the studio, our hopes are raised only to be dashed by one or more of the band's members responding to the rumors and saying that there's nothing new on the horizon in terms of releases. There were red-hot rumors that 2019 would see a new album being released, but the year came and went without anything new to listen to. Now, we're hearing those same rumors again - but this time, there might be reasons to be optimistic.
For a band that's now in its fifth decade, the number of albums recorded and released by Guns n Roses is staggeringly low. You would normally expect an act with this kind of longevity to have ten or more albums in its back catalog, but Guns n Roses have only seven, and that seven includes 'The Spaghetti Incident,' which many fans don't recognize as an album at all. There were fifteen years between that release and 'Chinese Democracy,' and it's been another twelve years since then. During that time, the band has appeared to split up forever on several occasions, but now the bulk of the original lineup is back together it seems that they've finally found a way forward.
Just because the band hasn’t been recording albums or singles doesn’t mean that they haven’t been available in other formats. Thanks to their world tour, there have been more opportunities to see Guns n Roses live in the past three years than there were in the previous twenty. They’ve also found the time to collaborate upon and release their own best UK slots online to internet casinos. They’re not the only metal act to attempt to reach fans this way - both Megadeth and Motorhead also have their own online slots games, but theirs is the most successful and the most popular with players. As great as the game might be, though, online slots are still a niche interest area, and the jukebox that comes with it is made up of old classics rather than new recordings. That might be about to change.
This latest news doesn’t come directly from any of the band’s members - but it’s from a source close enough to be worth listening to. It was Susan McKagan, the wife of bass player Duff McKagan, who let slip that the album might be closer to completion than any of us imagined during an appearance on a podcast at the end of April. By her own admission, she hasn't heard the full recording - if such a thing even exists - but she's heard enough to say that it sounds 'killer.' She also said that her husband had been working 'fastidiously' on the new material, and so it's to be presumed that there's been a lot going on behind the scenes that the band themselves have been trying to keep quiet. Whether McKagan will be pleased with his wife for letting the cat out of the bag is another matter - but her report is consistent with a few things the man himself said toward the end of last year.
Duff McKagan spoke to Kerrang magazine last year and said that there were 'some jams' being circulated among the band that were being worked on and knocked into shape ahead of a potential recording. Axl Rose was understood to be personally responsible for several of the demos, and McKagan felt that the recordings would eventually result in the release of a new album - he just couldn't say for sure when such a time might arrive. The band, as he noted, has never run on a schedule, and they're unlikely to start doing so now at this stage in their celebrated careers. We missed out on 2019, but if the amount of work going into recording has increased in recent months - which is what Susan McKagan appears to have confirmed - perhaps 2020 will be the year that fans get to hear the new material after all.
It's taken some time for the news to reach the press. While the 'Appetite for Distortion' podcast that Susan appeared on is a popular one with fans of the band and metal fans in general, it doesn't have a wide enough audience to generate headlines instantly. The world's press now appears to have picked up on the news, though, and aside from seeing it reported in Kerrang, we've also seen it appear in other reputable places . Duff expressed last year that the band is disillusioned with the way that music is released and consumed in the modern world, and expressed reservation with the idea of releasing an album in the same way such a thing would have been done in the past, but whether it turns up on vinyl, on CD, or through streaming alone, we're already eager to hear it.
At this stage, we don't have a title for the album, nor any idea of what it might sound like, but we're hoping for a return to the classic source material that the band is famous for. 'Chinese Democracy' was a broad church of an album in terms of sound, incorporating rap-metal and nu-metal as well as 80s metal, and although it was bold, it wasn't always successful. With all of the original players now back in their roles, we might be entitled to expect something that sounds a little more like the classic Guns n Roses albums of the past. We're not expecting another 'Appetite for Destruction,' and nor would we expect a band of men in late middle age to sound like a band of men in their early 20s full of the energy and rebelliousness of youth - but we know that they still have some of that original Guns n Roses spirit in them. If they didn't, they wouldn't still be playing arena tours, and stadium shows all over the world.
We don't know when these new recordings will be available to the public - but when we do, you'll find out right here on this website!