For a few years now, we’ve been hearing about a new Guns N’ Roses album in the works, but the two “new” singles released thus far were retooled versions of decades-old Axl Rose compositions stemming from the Chinese Democracy sessions. Now, Slash has confirmed that the band hasn’t actually worked any brand new music since he and Duff rejoined the band in 2016.
The news comes as a bummer of sorts, as all signs were pointing to a new GN’R album. Slash had previously mentioned “jamming” on material with McKagan before stating that he hoped to release new GN’R tunes in 2021. However, the “new” singles “Absurd” and “Hard Skool” have been in existence for quite some time.
“As far as new Guns is concerned, we haven’t even gotten to that point of really in earnest sitting down and writing,” Slash told Audacy. “We’ve been doing a lot of material that’s been sort of sitting around for a while. So that will be a whole focused endeavor unto itself.”
Regarding the new-old songs, Slash said that they were essentially reworked from the ground up, with the current band members writing their own parts for the previously shelved tracks.
“They both have a lot of history,” Slash said of the “Absurd” and “Hard Skool.” “What happened was Axl [Rose] has all these songs that he recorded at some point along the way. And so Duff and I went in and re-did them, basically… Like, I wrote my own kind of parts to what else is going on, and [we] just sort of took the drums and re-did everything else.”
“Hard Skool” (originally titled “Jackie Chan”) was especially given a makeover, sounding far closer to a Slash-era Guns song than Chinese Democracy. On the other hand, “Absurd” (once titled “Silkworms”) showcases the industrial bent of GN’R circa 2008. Both tracks are included on the upcoming Hard Skool EP, the band’s first release featuring Slash and McKagan in 28 years.
Between retooling old songs, touring with GN’R, and playing in his own band, Slash has kept himself extremely busy. The guitarist just announced a new Slash Featuring Myles Kennedy and the Conspirators album, titled 4, arriving on February 11th.
Listen to the full interview with Slash below.