Former members of GUNS N' ROSES — guitarist Slash, bassist Duff McKagan, and drummer Matt Sorum — plus newcomer guitarist Dave Kushner (formerly of McKagan's post-GN'R project LOADED) are holding tryouts in Los Angeles to fill the vacant singer slot in their new band, and VH1 is filming the proceedings for a new show.
"I was on my way to rehearsal and thinking about all these reality shows," Slash told Rolling Stone. "I thought, 'You know what would be fucking cool? To show a band as it goes through all this bullshit.'"
The band had placed ads in everything from local circulars to Rolling Stone, reading, according to Slash, "Unnamed artist looking for singer-songwriter somewhere in the realm of early Alice Cooper/Steve Tyler, the harder-edged side of McCartney and Lennon."
"We were getting between 200 and 300 CDs a week," Slash said. "We listened to every single one of them. You have to, because you never know. That one that you throw away could be the shit."
More than 500 singers sent demos, and the band has so far auditioned about fifteen of them, including Sebastian Bach (ex-SKID ROW), Travis Meeks (DAYS OF THE NEW), Kelly Shaefer (ex-NEUROTICA, ATHEIST), Joshua Todd (ex-BUCKCHERRY), Mike Matijevic (STEELHEART), Pat Briggs (PSYCHOTICA), and A. Jay Popoff (LIT). Only Bach knew the band beforehand, but he doesn't necessarily have the inside track. "He's busy on Broadway, isn't he?" joked Sorum. "Seriously, we haven't found the one yet."
"I absolutely love [Sebastian]," said McKagan. "He's amazing, but we've just got to be really careful with who's going to front this thing."
McKagan, Sorum and Slash, who have written over fifty songs so far for the new project, openly admit that Axl Rose's recent misadventures with a band he's still calling GUNS N' ROSES are motivation to get the new band off the ground.
"When we saw what Axl was doing with his band, we decided there was nothing standing in our way," Sorum said. "We had to take some years to heal from what happened. It was crazy. We're a little older, a little wiser, but we've still got the rock & roll in us. We're ready. We're going to make a rock & roll album."