In the new issue of Rolling Stone hitting stands this Friday, Brian Hiatt reveals what he's discovered about the long-awaited Guns n' Roses album Chinese Democracy. The article begins with this elusive quote from G n' R manager Merck Mercuriadis, in which he essentially retreads stuff we already know: "The album will come out this year. There are ten Tuesdays left before January — it will come out on one of them." But trust us, it gets better.
Following Guns' headlining gig in San Bernadino, California, on September 23rd, Axl threw a party at his mansion and played the full album in his poolroom for visitors, including his friend Sebastian Bach, former singer of Skid Row. "It was mind-blowing," says Bach, who is opening for Guns n' Roses on their upcoming North American arena tour. "It's a very cool album — it's badass with killer screams, killer guitar riffs, but it's got a totally modern sound. The word for it is 'grand.' It's fucking epic. He's reinvented himself yet again."
The album includes some tracks that have been played live or leaked onto the Internet, including the poppy "Better" and the hard-hitting "I.R.S." "There's this one song called 'Sorry' that's almost like doom metal with Axl singing really clean over this grinding, slow beat that is fucking mean," says Bach. "I cannot get it out of my head."
Veteran engineer Andy Wallace, who mixed Nirvana's Nevermind, is working on the project, according to a source close to the band. "We're absolutely delighted with the mixes," the source says.
On October 24th, the band will kick off its North American tour in Miami. Two dates — November 10th in New York and November 20th in Halifax, Nova Scotia — are already sold out, according to Mercuriadis. Additional U.S. dates will be added in early 2007, and the band will return to the States in the summer as well, he says.
Though a source told Rolling Stone that the album is due November 21st, Mercuriadis declined to confirm this. "I don't know that we will announce a release date," he says. "You just might walk into your record shop one Tuesday and find it there."