Slash has confirmed to Classic Rock magazine in a new interview that a new album from GUNS N' ROSES is definitely coming. "There's new GUNS material coming out as we speak, and we'll probably keep putting it out until the entire record's worth of stuff is done and then put it out solid," the guitarist said. "It's cool. I'm enjoying working on the stuff and having a good time doing it."
Last October, Slash told Audacy Check In host Remy Maxwell that GUNS N' ROSES had yet to begin writing new material after recently releasing two reworked songs from the "Chinese Democracy"-era sessions.
In September, the guitarist and his bandmates dropped "Hard Skool", which came more than a month after their performance and subsequent official release of "Absurd", a reworking of GUNS N' ROSES previously unreleased "Silkworms".
"As far as new GUNS is concerned, we haven't even gotten to that point of really in earnest sitting down and writing," Slash told Audacy Check In. "We've been doing a lot of material that's been sort of sitting around for a while. So that will be a whole focused endeavor unto itself."
As for how "Hard Skool" and "Absurd" came about, Slash said: "They both have a lot of history. What happened was Axl [Rose, GUNS singer] has all these songs that he recorded at some point along the way. And so Duff [McKagan, GUNS bassist] and I went in and re-did them, basically… Like, I wrote my own kind of parts to what else is going on, and [we] just sort of took the drums and re-did everything else."
Written by Rose and co-produced by Rose and Caram Costanzo, "Hard Skool", which had the working title "Jackie Chan", was originally recorded during GN'R's "Chinese Democracy" era but was eventually omitted from that album. Short clips of the song were later posted online and a full version was leaked in August 2019.
On "Hard Skool", Axl sings: "But you had to play it cool, had to do it your way/Had to be a fool, had to throw it all away/Too hard school and you thought you were here to stay/ If that were true, it wouldn't matter anyway."
"Hard Skool" is the title track of a new GUNS N' ROSES four-song EP which will be released on February 25. The effort, which is exclusive to the GUNS N' ROSES official store, contains the aforementioned two new songs — "Hard Skool" and "Absurd" (stylized as "ABSUЯD") — as well as live versions of "Don't Cry" and "You're Crazy".
"Hard Skool" EP track listing:
01. Hard Skool
03. Don't Cry (Live)
04. You're Crazy (Live)
"Absurd" came out on August 6, 2021, three days after GUNS N' ROSES performed the tune live for the first time during its concert at Boston's Fenway Park.
GUNS N' ROSES last performed "Silkworms", which was also reportedly written during the "Chinese Democracy" sessions, in 2001.
If and when it happens, the new GUNS N' ROSES studio album will be the first under the GUNS banner since "Chinese Democracy" and the first to feature Rose, Slash and McKagan since 1993.