The prospect of hot-shot producer Youth working on Guns n' Roses' long-awaited next album didn't age well, or for very long, according to sources close to the situation. In the latest saga surrounding the group, which now features only one original member (Axl Rose), Sean Beavan (Marilyn Manson, Nine Inch Nails) has replaced Youth as the latest knob-turner to tentatively sign on to produce the next album.
According to insiders, Beavan has been asked by Rose to get involved in the project, and the producer has accepted in principle, although details and contracts have yet to be worked out. Neither G n' R's or Beavan's management, or the group's Geffen label, would comment, but sources close to the G n' R camp confirmed that Youth, their last producing candidate, is no longer welcome in the jungle. No details were available regarding his dismissal, but sources say things just "didn't work out" with the producer, who's best known as the bassist for Killing Joke and the co-producer of the Verve's Urban Hymns. Whether he actually recorded any material with the band -- which now includes former NIN guitarist Robin Finck, former Replacements bassist Tommy Stinson, erstwhile Vandals drummer Josh Freese and keyboardist Dizzy Reed -- is unknown, but considered unlikely. Beavan is the fourth name to surface as a potential Gunners' producer, a list that's also included former G n' R producer Mike Clink and techno whiz Moby.
The remodeled Guns n' Roses have been writing and demoing new material for at least two years. Recording and programming has been administered by Critter, an engineer/remixer, who's recently remixed material for Manson, God Lives Underwater and Sheryl Crow. Critter is expected to remain on board once the sessions get underway, assuming they actually do, but, like Beavan, his exact role has yet to be determined.
Sources at Geffen say the company is hoping for a mid-1999 release of the new album, which would be nearly six years after the band released the all-covers album The Spaghetti Incident? and nearly eight since it put out Use Your Illusion I & II.