Intervista a Sean Beavan, uno dei produttori di Chinese Democracy  (Letto 125 volte)

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Offline Michael Moro Coletti

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Qui il video, un'ora e mezza e nemmeno io ho avuto tempo di guardarlo per intero

sostanzialmente alcuni passaggi interessanti sono che già prima che Beavan (produttore fino al 2000, poi subentrarono altri) lasciasse, Axl aveva registrato quasi tutte le sue parti vocali.
Qui una vecchia discussione sul forum del mygnr dove appunto si discute dei tempi in cui Axl ha registrato e sostanzialmente molti concordano che molte delle canzoni finite poi sul disco fossero registrazioni già pronte nel 99-00.
Per farla breve, ma già lo sapevamo, il disco poteva essere pronto per la pubblicazione molti anni prima, io direi non oltre il 2001.

Offline Michael Moro Coletti

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copio e incollo dal thread aperto sull'intervista nel mygnrforum, è un po' un riassunto dei punti chiave dell'intervista:

Beavan said that:

A. All of the songs that ended up on CD, except for one, were among the about 35 songs he had worked on.

B. The vocals on CD are the ones recorded during his time.

The way I understand it, it doesn't necessarily mean that all the songs in A. were also B., i.e. completed songs with vocals and everything.

He also said that Axl credited him on the liner notes for the songs with vocals he had edited. I looked in the booklet and Beavan is credited for digital engineering on 8 songs (CD, SoD, TWAT, ITW, I.R.S., Riad, Madagascar and Prostitute) and only for arrangement on CITR. That probably means that the other 3-4 songs on CD hadn't had vocals yet when Beavan left.

In a 2008 interview though he had said that he felt the album was almost completed:

Antiquiet: Was there any sense that Chinese Democracy was nearing completion back then?

Sean: I thought there was. (laughs) I think we worked on thirty-five songs or something. But the guy just continually creates, and as people changed into and out of the band, a lot of things got re-tracked. I’d love to see the record come out soon, but we’ll see. They say it was turned in.

It's possible that there were other completed songs with vocals intended for the initial album which didn't make CD (for example, one of them could have been "Checkmate" - I believe the clip with vocal that has leaked is legit?) and were replaced with others at a later stage. The songs Beavan isn't credited for are mostly the Buckethead ones (Shackler's, Sorry, Scraped); it makes sense that those weren't completed when Beavan left and maybe one of them was the one he didn't work on at all.

Things really point out that by 2000 there was material ready for at least an album - or it was close to completion. There are other sources confirming it; Brian May for example; also, according to Bob Ezrin, Axl thought that the album was ready.

Axl must have started recording vocals in mid to late '99 and Finck had left by that time. From Finck's and Howerdel's interviews it seems that Axl couldn't decide which songs he wanted, he was revisiting the songs and/or had the band rework them; thus, he delayed to write lyrics and record vocals. Those conditions, maybe in addition to Axl focusing on re-recording AFD in '99, probably led Finck, who was there since '97, to leave.

The label was "discrete" at first, but Axl was in bad shape mentally and emotionally when Moby and Youth were on board. Then, when he started taking of with Beavan, the label, after the merging with Interscope, decided to supervise the project more closely. Beavan implied that there were disagreements with Axl. It seems that the label on one hand wanted the album to be finished, but on the other wasn't thrilled with the material -or some of it- Axl intended to put on the album and wanted changes (I think Tommy has also alluded to that); Beavan didn't help them on that regard as he was on Axl's side, so they were looking to get someone else.

Axl, on his part, although he was rejecting the label's recommendations, was, at the same time, insecure. Beavan implied that too; Axl wanted it to be his thing, his vision, but he also felt the burden of being on his own. Axl is insecure anyway, and it's no wonder that he would have been even more in that situation. And probably he wanted to write with Buckethead and have him lay parts on the songs, thinking that he could come up with something better; and that would take some more time.

  On 25/2/2018 at 2:36 AM, RONIN said:
on Axl/whether he's heard CD: No one did. I know he recorded a couple of songs [over a period of] several years, until someone from the company came in and thought they sucked.  (November 2004, Steven Adler)

I'm assuming Adler is referring to Bob Ezrin here...:shrugs:

Yeah, that's what I think too. He couldn't know details.

  On 25/2/2018 at 3:37 AM, RONIN said:
Beavan mentions Axl potentially wanting to learn guitar so he wouldn't have to depend on others. Interesting. More proof that he was trying to evolve his process to that of an auteur like Prince who plays a lot of his own instruments on his records and MJ who is maniacally precise and OCD about the sounds he creates on his albums. CD is essentially Axl's journey into becoming a music producer.

Yeah, from what Beavan said, Axl didn't intend to be a guitarist for the band or perform, but he wanted to be able to write on guitar on his own and not to be dependent on a guitarist to get the ideas he had. Asked about how he wrote songs in a 1989 interview:

- Do you use an instrument to write songs or do you rely on the band to write the music?

Axl: No, I don't rely on the band to come up with the music. I sometimes write with the guitar - I don't play guitar very well - or I write with the piano or a friend. When I sit down with a guitarist, we usually work hand in hand. He'll suggest ideas for my melodies and I'll suggest ideas for the guitar parts and this and that. It all kind of flows together. [Axl interview, Kerrang, June 1989]

He could do that when there were people he had chemistry with: Izzy, Slash, and also West Arkeen. Now he didn't have that (and Slash was out with Snakepit in '95 and Axl wanted to write songs - it's another matter that he wasn't in emotional shape to do it).

There is this story in Raz Cue's book from the time Axl was in L.A. Guns about the chemistry he had with Izzy and didn't have with Tracii Guns: Axl had a melody and an idea for a song, but Tracii didn't get it and played an irrelevant riff in a different key and tempo. In the end, Axl invited Izzy at the studio to show Tracii what he meant:

About two and a half seconds after Izzy plugged in, their musical communication was clear and evident. Axl sang a melody, and then Izzy said, “Like this?” and got to strumming.  Axl perked up with a happy smile and said, “Yeah that’s it. Now on that part…” It wasn’t long before the two had the whole tune worked out. In about ten minutes Izzy brought to life a song Axl spent fruitless hours trying to communicate to Tracii.