The WMMR radio station in Philadelphia played what appeared to be a rough-mix album version of the new GUNS N' ROSES track "Better" Wednesday morning (February 21). The song has also popped up various download sites, prompting the band's management to contact all sites carrying the MP3 to request its removal.
Current GUNS N' ROSES guitarist Ron "Bumblefoot" Thal weighed in on the latest leak with the following posting on his web site forum: "This is why leaks are a problem. It's like working on a painting, and someone displaying it when it's only half done. It hurts the artist because something's getting out there that people assume is the final version, the best version, etc. The other people that it hurts are the FANS — I mean, the *real* fans, the ones that care the most.
"The latest 'leak' is obviously some experimental mix of 'Better' — not any version I ever heard, but I don't claim to have heard everything that's out there... Whoever put it out there did a real mindfucking of the fans, especially to do it now, when the album's release is growing closer.
"I have faith in everyone involved in the mixing of the album that they won't disappoint, they'll stay true to what you love about GN'R."
GUNS N' ROSES is gearing up to begin a world tour in April. The band has already announced two dates in South Africa — its first ever — and plans are reportedly in the works to bring the group to Japan, Thailand, South Africa, South America, Mexico, Australia, and New Zealand. Whether GN'R will be supporting the long-delayed "Chinese Democracy" album is not known. With two weeks to go before singer W. Axl Rose's tentatively announced March 6 release date, there have been no signs that the CD will surface anytime soon.
GUNS N' ROSES will headline South Africa's My Coke Festival in Johannesburg on April 27 and Cape Town on May 1.
The band did complete its first successful North American road trip in over a decade last year, along with a European trek.