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November 14th, 1998
November Reign
G n' R work with Manson producer; consider releasing live album

More than seven years after Guns n' Roses released their last full-length albums of original material (Use Your Illusion I and II), the lone original Gunman Axl Rose has begun work with Marilyn Manson and Nine Inch Nails producer Sean Beavan in a Los Angeles area studio, according to sources. However, Beavan manager Shannon O'Shea says it's too early to confirm his participation in the project, saying only "he's up for several things right now. Guns n' Roses may or may not be one of them."

Rose has reportedly been holed up writing epic quantities of new material since early 1994. He's tested out at least four producers since then, including Beavan, techno luminary Moby, former Killing Joke bassist and Verve producer Youth, and long-time G n' R collaborator Mike Clink, who sat in on rehearsals for a few months before ducking out of the project.

"Axl is trying to define his direction and trying out a lot of different collaborators," Clink says of the delay and direction of the forthcoming Guns album. "I've heard some of the material Axl has written and it's phenomenal, but he's a perfectionist and he needs everything to be just perfect. He needs the music to move him."

Rose's reputation for abruptly and frequently changing direction and contributors has left the director of publicity at Geffen Records, Bryn Bridenthal, hesitant and skeptical, though Bridenthal says Rose is scheduled to enter a Los Angeles studio with "a new producer" this weekend. Another source close to the project says the band's been in the studio for some time now. Bridenthal would not confirm anything regarding the recording session until the mercurial frontman presented her with some tangible music. However, she says Rose's motivation to roll up his sleeves and grind out new music may be stronger than ever now because he hopes to revisit the nation's arenas and stadiums with new material next summer.

It is not clear at this time whether Rose's bandmates -- former NIN guitarist Robin Finck, former Replacements bassist Tommy Stinson, former Vandals drummer Josh Freese, guitarist Paul Huge and keyboardist Dizzy Reed -- will contribute to the scheduled studio work this weekend. However, Stinson's appearance at the session looks doubtful considering he's performing with his band Perfect at Coney Island High in New York this Saturday (Nov. 14).

Meanwhile, it appears the parade of former Gunners -- including founding members Slash, Izzy Stradlin, Duff McKagan and Steven Adler -- may make an encore appearance on record-store shelves if a rumored Guns n' Roses live album ever comes to fruition. Clink, who toured with the band and recorded countless concerts in the States and abroad, says the concept of a live disc has been thrown around for quite some time.

"The material is sitting in the can," Clink says. "Axl will be the one to make the record happen ... it's all in the planning stages now."

Bridenthal, however, called the supposed live album a "fantasy concept" that may never become reality. She says Rose is concentrating 100 percent of his energies on the next Gunners album, and will not consider releasing a concert disc until that is finished.

"Axl can only do one thing at a time," Bridenthal says. "When he focuses, he really focuses well, but he sometimes can't see outside the periphery of his laser."

ANNI LAYNE with additional reporting by BLAIR R. FISCHER

Source(s): http://www.rollingstone.com/  
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