Posted by: Nar Williams | June 29, 2008

Yes, Chinese Democracy is Good — Thanks, Skwerl

Axl Rose

Today I went over to a friend of a friend’s studio to record some music for a new top secret, classified nerd project I’m working on with Chris Laughter and Jonathan London. Our host introduced himself as Skwerl and we sat down and started tuning up our guitars.

That’s when I noticed an article on Guns N’ Roses’ Chinese Democracy sitting there. I had heard the tracks when they hit the web last week. So I asked him, “Have you heard Chinese Democracy yet? It’s great.”

To which he replied, “Oh yeah, I’ve heard it. I’m the one who leaked it.”

Of course, then I realized I was hanging out with blogger Kevin Skwerl of Antiquiet, the website that I, along with hordes of other Gn’R fans, had bombarded when he streamed nine (seemingly) mastered tracks of the long awaited album (15 years, 13 million dollars). That was ten days ago, and he has since been delivered a cease-and-desist letter from Axl, visited by the FBI, and written up in Time, Wired, and Rolling Stone.

I always said that the more that Axl and Geffen jerked around trying to figure out how to release this finally finished album that we’ve all been waiting over 13 years for, the greater the chances would be that it would slip out of a pressing plant or office somewhere and wind up in the hands of some asshole with a blog. So… Hey, I told you so.

When I tried to get the scoop and asked how he got the nine unreleased tracks in the first place, he just smiled and said, “I can’t tell you that.”

What I can tell YOU is that the Chinese Democracy tracks are awesome. I was so stoked to hear a rock record that had some badass guitar solos on it (the electric guitar solo is a lost art in this era’s rock music) and Axl’s writing is as good as ever. The whole time I listened to it, I just kept thinking: why the hell haven’t they released this and moved on to the next record? It’s done. It’s great. Release the fucking album and make another one, Axl — We will buy it.

I’m glad I got to thank Skwerl in person for getting this music out to the fans, and wish him the best of luck in whatever comes next. As far as I’m concerned, Axl and the gang owe him thanks for all the free press. So now that the marketing is underway… release the album!

 Kevin Skwerl of Antiquiet

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