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Guns N’ Roses Bassist Tommy Stinson Says Record Label Contributed to Delay of ‘Chinese Democracy’

Guns N' Roses
Chris McKay, Getty Images

It’s a fact that Guns N’ Roses spent an extraordinary amount of time recording ‘Chinese Democracy.’

But according to GNR bassist Tommy Stinson, the bulk of the blame for the drawn-out process really falls on the band’s label for failing to understand what the musicians needed.

In a recent interview, Stinson claims singer and bandleader Axl Rose “got zero f—ing help from anyone outside the band.” Yet Stinson adds that the record company — Interscope Records, which controls the Geffen imprint that released ‘Democracy’ in 2008  — did offer support: a revolving door of A&R representatives along with different producers, such as Roy Thomas Baker.

“He made things sound better,” Stinson admits, “but that wasn’t what we needed. We needed someone to help us f—ing sow it up, and he came in [and] f—ing re-recorded everything five f—g times with every amp in the country.”

Despite all the problems associated with the making of ‘Democracy,’ Stinson is proud of the album and feels it will eventually get its due from the public.

“Compare it lyrically to past GNR records … [and] I think there’s some significantly deep, thought-out stuff. Down the road people will see that,” Stinson says.

But did GNR benefit from the lengthy, complicated ‘Democracy’ experience? Stinson thinks so.

“I just see us making [the next] record much quicker,” he says, “because, in hindsight, a lot of what happened with ‘Chinese Democracy,’ we could get around now.”

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