The Guns N' Roses, Axl, Nine Inch Nails Connection
launch.com - 05/19/2000

(5/19/00, 12 p.m. ET) - With the recent reports of a woman being arrested for stalking singer Axl Rose on Tuesday (May 16) at his Malibu home (LAUNCH, 5/18), the Guns N' Roses story seems to get stranger and stranger.

Rose is working on getting the band's new album, Chinese Democracy, out into stores some time in the next two years, but he's having problems finishing it up.

Rose has long admired Nine Inch Nails, and has worked with the band's former drummer Chris Vrenna and producer/musician Billy Howerdel. It was at Rose's studio that Howerdel hooked up with ex-Vandals drummer Josh Freese. Both are now currently in A Perfect Circle, which features Tool's Maynard Keenan on vocals.

Howerdel said that his experience working with Rose was a positive one. He told LAUNCH about his time in the GN'R studio, which delayed the formation of A Perfect Circle. "I didn't plan on being there that long. You know there's goods and bads. I mean, Maynard and I were going to do this [A Perfect Circle] a long, long, time ago," Howerdel recalled. "And when I started with them I said, 'I'm going to work three days a week,' and they said, 'four.' Well, they said, 'five,' I said, 'three,' they said, 'four,' we compromised. And then I just said, 'This is just going to be for a month or two,' and it wound up being two-and-a-half years. So you know, goods: I got to learn a lot of stuff. Bads: I could have stayed there forever, and I was there a little longer than I wanted to be. And I believed in it at the time, but there comes a time where you have to follow your dream, I guess."

Freese, who in addition to the Vandals has played with Paul Westerberg and Devo, also learned from his experience working with Guns N' Roses.

"Yeah, I learn something from everyone I work with. I've worked with a billion different artists," Freese said. "I've played on almost a hundred records. Depending on the situation, you can learn from every experience -- whether it's a good experience, a bad experience, or I might work with somebody that I could pick up some engineering skills from, or just learn to communicate better with people or just. . .No comment."

Vrenna was involved in the Chinese Democracy project at the beginning, when Moby was scheduled to produce the record. "Matt Sorum had left the band, and I was one of the first people down there. Robin Finck, who was in Nails, was already down there as a guitar player, kind of in the Slash role. It was very new at the time. They were just putting stuff together, and I went down there for a little while, just for a few nights. It never materialized into anything, but it was fun. I really liked Axl. I thought he was a really great guy."

The new GN'R album was slotted for a July release, but now it's been postponed indefinitely.

-- Darren Davis, New YorkGot news tips, comments, or questions? Send them to newstips@launch.com.