We also have reports that another new song titled "Better" has been partially leaked. A 1 minute 2o second clip of the song is reportedly making the rounds on the Internet as well.
It is not known if the final versions of "I.R.S." and "Better" will make it onto the long delayed Chinese Democracy, but the leak of "I.R.S." may settle some fears of the GNR faithful that the new album would be a huge departure from the classic GNR sound. It still sounds like GNR, just further down the road.
Of course, the rest of the songs could be a huge departure and Axl recently told Rolling Stone that "Some people are going to say, 'It doesn't sound like Axl Rose, it doesn't sound like Guns n' Roses.'" And the clip of "Better" does indicate Axl has been paying attention to the direction of heavy music put out by bands like Nine Inch Nails during the almost decade and half since the last new GNR studio album hit stores, although no firm conclusions can be drawn from hearing only the first part of the track without hearing the direction it takes with the chorus.
The question remains, "Will there be Chinese Democracy" in 2006? A definitive answer we do not have, but there have been rumblings that announcement is coming out of the GNR camp within weeks. Former guitarist Slash added fire to the assumption that it may indicate the album is coming out next month when he gave a recent interview to Christian O'Connell of Virgin Radio. Slash told the morning show listeners, "Yeah it's going to happen, I've been made aware it's been heard. I'm really excited, it's been a long time waiting to see what the next step around the corner was going to be for him (Axl). We know where everybody else is, but we were wondering what he was going to be doing. It's coming out in March and apparently it sounds great."
Rolling Stone caught up with the reclusive Axl Rose early on the morning of Jan 14th at Korn's tour announcement party held at the Hollywood Forever Cemetery. Axl told the magazine that "people will hear music this year."
"It's a very complex record," Rose said of Chinese Democracy. "I'm trying to do something different. Some of the arrangements are kind of like Queen. Some people are going to say, 'It doesn't sound like Axl Rose, it doesn't sound like Guns n' Roses.'" He then smiled and added, "But you'll like at least a few songs on there."
"We're working on thirty-two songs, and twenty-six are nearly done," Axl told Rolling Stone. He said that 13 would make Chinese Democracy. The magazine reported that Axl listed the tracks "Better," "There Was a Time" and "The Blues" as his favorites.
Axl told antiMusic in June of 2003 when he stopped by our DVD release party for Led Zeppelin's How the West was Won that part of the delay was due to the fact that he decided to co-produce the album and he had to find his bearings in that capacity. He said that, coupled with his perfectionist nature are part of the reason it was taking so long because he wants to make sure the songs are perfect before letting them out.
We will wait and see if the album will finally come out this year as nothing is a given with Guns N' Roses. We do know that people are hungry to hear new music from Axl and company.