Brian May Says Working With Axl Rose Was An ‘Odd Experience’

During an interview with Classic Rock, Queen icon Brian May recently stated that working with Axl Rose for the album ‘Chinese Democracy’ was an ‘odd experience.’

Guns N’ Roses’ sixth studio album, ‘Chinese Democracy,‘ came in 2008 after fifteen years of a break following their 1993 album ‘The Spaghetti Incident?.’ It was also the first original music since the band’s ‘Use Your Illusion’ albums. However, the band was going through a pretty turbulent time during the making process of the album. Following the conclusion of the band’s chaotic ‘Use Your Illusion Tour,’ the group started to dissolve.

Izzy Stradlin had already left the band during the tour. Then, Slash and Duff McKagan also departed from GNR after the end of the tour. Axl Rose disappeared from public life for several years. He was now the only member left from the classic lineup. He recruited new band members and started to work on the new album. It took years to complete it, though.

The band worked with several producers and numerous notable musicians during the recording sessions. Axl Rose also asked Brian May to play guitar on the album. He recorded lead guitar for the song, ‘Catcher in the Rye’ and other unreleased songs, yet his performances didn’t appear on the final version of the record.

When asked about what it was like to work with the Guns N’ Roses singer in a new interview, the guitarist revealed that it was an ‘odd experience.’ May explained that Axl Rose was hardly ever present at that time since he was a recluse. Thus, they worked in different places, which caused a lack of communication between them.

About how it was to work with Axl Rose, Brian May said:

“It was an odd experience. I think it was about midway through the whole thing. By that point, Axl was pretty much a recluse. He was working in his house, and I was working in the studio at the bottom of the hill with his engineer at the time. He only rarely came down. Now and again, he would call in and get all enthusiastic and talk a lot, and then he’d be gone again. I don’t think any of what I played got onto the album.”

Then, the interviewer asked Brian May whether he had crossed paths with Axl Rose since then. The guitarist said he occasionally encountered him but not often. May revealed he is a bit shy and reclusive, but he should learn to keep in touch better.